Author Archives: Nicole Wilkie

Mon 14 Oct 2019: Beatrice Hill Tinsley 2019 Lecture tour

Monday 14 October 2019 at 6pm

EIT Taradale
Babak Tafreshi

The World at Night
Bridging science, art and culture by connecting the Earth & sky in photography. Babak Tafreshi spent the past two decades photographing surreal scenes of night sky in all continents, an adventurous journey to the world at night where the wonders of Earth & sky merge in photography.

This talks also presents The World at Night (TWAN) international program that involves many of the world’s best nightscape photographers documenting the last remaining starry skies on the planet to increase public awareness on values of natural night environment for all species. TWAN is also a bridge between art, humanity, and science, with a unique message. The eternally peaceful sky looks the same above symbols of all nations and regions, attesting to the unified nature of Earth and mankind. One People, One Sky!

TWAN produce and present photographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against the celestial attractions. The familiar context of the images, which represent naked eye views, add a new tool to efforts to popularize astronomy alongside images and science results from large telescopes. The photos have been used by astronomy educators world-wide as they educate viewers on many fundamental aspects of practical astronomy such as the natural look of sky, constellations, celestial motions, and sky events. With the images taken at important cultural sites around the world, the connection between our many cultures and the night sky through history is emphasized, particularly in images that include ancient sites of astronomical importance. www.twanight.org

Babak A. Tafreshi is a photojournalist and science communicator. The National Geographic night sky photographer, merging art and science, he is also the founder and director of The World At Night program, a board member of Astronomers Without Borders organization, a contributing photographer to Sky&Telescope magazine and the European Southern Observatory. Born in 1978 in Tehran, Babak lives in Boston, but he is often on the move and could be anywhere, from the heart of Sahara to the Himalayas or Antarctica. He received the 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award, the world’s most recognized award at the time for scientific imaging, for his global contribution to night sky photography.

Mon 21 Oct 2019: Two topics from Plant and Food Research Measuring Sustainability and CRISPR Crops

Monday 21 October 2019 at 6pm

EIT Taradale, Lecture Theatre 1

Dr Craig Anderson and Dr Revel Drummond


Admission by Gold coin donation

Craig Anderson will attempt to illustrate the ‘sustainability’ of current and future food production through the lens of ‘energy-returnon-investment’ (EROI).

He believes that EROI can more rationally frame the impact technological transformations could have and make some assumptions about the trajectory of our future with respect to our environment.

Revel Drummond will explain what CRISPR is, and is not, and how it could help protect NZ crops. As CRISPR modifies a plant’s DNA, it is currently caught by the blanket ban on genetic modification in this country. Revel discusses whether this is appropriate, and whether NZ risks missing out on this technological revolution.

Tue 10 Sept 2019: Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry: the science

Tuesday 10 September 2019 at 6pm

EIT Taradale, Lecture Theatre 1

Dr Brent Gilpin

Institute of Environmental Science and Research

In August 2016, the Havelock North water supply became contaminated with the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni. As a result, thousands became ill, and the deaths of four people were directly linked to the outbreak.

This is not only the largest campylobacteriosis outbreak in the world, but arguably it is also the most comprehensively studied. Unravelling the causes of the outbreak required the combined application of multiple scientific disciplines. This public lecture will describe the outbreak investigation, the causes of the outbreak, and how this outbreak is transforming the management of drinking water, not only in New Zealand, but worldwide.

Dr Brent Gilpin is Science Leader at the Institute of Environmental Science & Research. He is a molecular microbiologist whose primary research interests include the application of genetic analysis techniques to understanding foodborne and waterborne outbreaks and disease, microbial water quality, faecal source tracking, and zoonoses (diseases or infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans). Campylobacter from the Havelock North water supply were isolated in his laboratory from water samples taken on 12 August 2016. Since then the outbreak and its consequences has been a regular feature in his life.