Author Archives: secretary

Women in Nanoscience

Little materials, big stories

Hawke’s Bay: 6pm Tuesday 29 August

The National Aquarium of NZ, Marine Parade, Napier

Come hear nanoscientists discuss their lives and work

These are personal stories, told by women scientists from the MacDiarmid Institute.
Each talk will take you on a tour of the realities of life as a scientist and the exciting
research in the MacDiarmid Institute – from Chemistry to Physics to Engineering to
Biology and beyond. These talks are suitable for all levels and ages.

Dr CATHERINE WHITBY
Dr Catherine Whitby is an Associate Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute and Senior
Lecturer in Chemistry at Massey University. She uses nanomaterials to modify the chemistry of drop and bubble surfaces. Her findings have been applied in food and pharmaceutical products and in drilling fluids.

 

Prof MARGARET BRIMBLE
Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble is an Associate Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute and Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland. Margaret’s research interests are in the area of new materials for vaccines and therapeutic agents.

 

 

Dr GEMMA COTTON
Dr Gemma Cotton is a post-doctoral researcher with the MacDiarmid Institute at the University of Otago. Her research interests include nanomaterials, biomimetic materials and the design of new dental materials.

 

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. www.macdiarmid.ac.nz

Groundwater quality: The Critical Role of Trees

Dr Kamini Singha
Associate Director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program,
Colorado School of Mines

Date: 6.00pm Thursday 31 August 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale
Admission: Gold coin donation

Earth’s ‘critical zone’ is everything from the treetops to the bottom of aquifers. This zone provides water for human consumption and food production.

Human impacts and climate change affect water in the critical zone. The deep parts of the critical zone are hard to study.

Dr Singha explores some of these critical zone unknowns in this presentation, shedding light on key underground processes that affect water movement and availability. The links between evapotranspiration and underground water stores are examined, as well as 3D water movement over large areas, and the potential control of slope aspect on underground permeability.

The role of trees in the critical zone, and their connection to soil moisture, groundwater and stream flow, is explored through innovative imaging.

Dr Kamini Singha is on a 12 lecture tour of Australia and NZ, presenting The National Groundwater Association’s prestigious 2017 Charles Darcy Lecture in Groundwater Sciences.

Dr Singha is a professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering and the Associate Director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines. She worked at the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Geophysics from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of the faculty at The Pennsylvania State University from 2005 to 2012. She earned her B.Sc. in geophysics from the University of Connecticut in 1999 and her Ph.D. in hydrogeology from Stanford University in 2005.

Please direct any enquiries to hawkesbay.rsnz@gmail.com

Human health science to support new functional foods from fruit

Dr Roger Hurst
Principal Scientist, Plant & Food Research

Date: 6.00pm Tuesday 8 August 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, E.I.T. Gloucester Street, Taradale
Admission:   Gold coin donation

To secure a premium market position for a food, one of the most popular strategies is to claim an intrinsic human health-promoting ability.

Fruits in general have an inherent natural ‘health halo’, with some fruit often classed as ‘superfruits’ and/or ‘functional foods’, because they are rich sources of different bioactive substances that can provide human health benefits beyond just their nutritional content.

A lot of marketing emphasis has been placed on antioxidant activity of fruit compounds for health, but unfortunately this mode of action is not well supported by science. In recent years, other mechanisms are being revealed that can explain why fruits and their compounds are healthy.

Dr Roger Hurst leads a team of researchers focused upon providing health science evidence to support the development of new fruit food products. He will present on the team’s strategic targets, their multi-pronged approach to building the science evidence from chemistry, cell screening to human clinical studies, and will give insights into key data from various fruits, that is leading to the creation of new and improved fruit-derived functional food opportunities in NZ and Asia.

Dr Hurst has a biomedical health background through a career at the University of Toronto, Canada; the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK; and the Institute of Neurology, London, UK. Since joining Plant & Food Research (2007) he has developed an interest in phytochemical compounds and their role in modulating oxidative stress, inflammation, and immunity to aid tissue recovery and repair.

The World Ahead

Bridget Williams Books Winter Series

The World Ahead with Max Harris

Hastings Library, 6:30pm Thursday 10 August

Max Harris, author of The New Zealand Project, addresses key challenges for New Zealand, including climate change, the future of work and inequality. He encourages us to look ahead with hope and imagination – and to develop a new political vision based on the values of care, community and creativity.

Max Harris is currently an Examination Fellow at All Souls College in Oxford. He completed a Master of Public Policy and Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford while on a New Zealand Rhodes Scholarship from 2012–2014, and a Law/Arts conjoint degree (with Honours in Law) at the University of Auckland from 2006–2010.

Harris worked at the Supreme Court of New Zealand as a clerk for Chief Justice Elias in 2011–2012. He has also completed short stints of work at the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet (in early 2008, as a speechwriting intern), the law firm Russell McVeagh (in late 2008–2009), the Australian National University in Canberra (as a summer scholar, in late 2009–2010), the American Civil Liberties Union in New York (late 2010–2011), and Helen Clark’s Executive Office at the United Nations Development Programme (in July–August 2014).

Where and when

Auckland | Sunday 6 August 4-6pm. Golden Dawn, 134 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland. All welcome, no rsvp needed. Chair tbc. Panelists: Emmy RāketeMax Harris and Anthony Byrt.

Auckland | Tuesday 8 August, 6pm. OGGB4 lecture theatre in the Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland. All welcome, no rsvp needed. In conversation with Kingi Snelgar. Chair: Carol Hirschfeld.

Gisborne | Wednesday 9 August, War Memorial Theatre, 159 Bright Street. 5.30pm. Tickets $5 from Muirs Bookshop and Café. In conversation with Mark Peters.

Hastings| Thursday 10 August, 6.15 doors open, 6.30 start time. Hastings Library, cnr Eastbourne and Warren Streets, Hastings. All welcome, no rsvp needed. Chair tbc.

Carterton | Sunday 13 August, 3.00pm. Carterton Events Center, 50 Holloway St, Carterton. All welcome, no rsvp needed. Chair: Charlotte Macdonald.

Nelson | Thursday 17 August, 5.30 for 6.00pm. Kush café, 5 Church St, Nelson. All welcome, no rsvp needed. Logos: core plus Volume and Kush. Chair: Stella Chrysostomos.

What do faults feel?

A free public lecture by earthquake scientist Professor John Townend

WHEN: 6pm, Monday 14 August
WHERE: The National Aquarium of New Zealand Marine Parade, Napier

Professor John Townend will speak about lessons learned from recent and anticipated New Zealand earthquakes – including last year’s Kaikoura quake, one of the most complex earthquakes ever recorded.

Professor Townend is a geophysicist and Head of the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. He co-leads the Deep Fault Drilling Project and is a Director of the Seismological Society of America. He is also Director of the EQC Programme in Seismology and Fault Mechanics at Victoria University of Wellington.

Explore Matariki at the Planetarium

Gary Sparks, Director of Holt Planetarium and President of HB Astronomical Society

Thursday 1 June 2017 at 7.30pm
Holt Planetarium, NBHS, Chambers Street, Napier
Admission by gold coin donation;  50 people maximum
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED OUT – SORRY

To secure your place, please send an email to hawkesbay.rsnz@gmail.com

Throughout history, the changing yet cyclical patterns of stars in the night sky have been used to record the passage of time. Cultures around the world also used the patterns of stars to act as a library of sorts to help pass along myths and legends. For ocean going groups like the Polynesians, navigation stars were critical for their survival as they traversed the southern ocean.

Using our Zeiss ZKP-1planetarium projector, I will show you how the Polynesian cultures perceived the end of one year and the beginning of the next, the time of Matariki.

Matariki in the night sky. Image courtesy of pbkwee, flickr.com

This meeting will take place after the AGM of the HB Branch of the Royal Society which starts at 7.00pm.

Illuminating new medicines

Dr Siouxsie Wiles

Thursday 12 November 2015 at 6.00pm
Century Theatre, MTG Hawke’s Bay, 9 Herschell Street, Napier

Eventbrite - Illuminating new medicines - NAPIER Ten by Ten

Bioluminescence or ‘living light’, allows glow worms to lure food, fireflies to find a mate and nocturnal squid to camouflage themselves from predators. In this Ten by Ten talk, Dr Siouxsie Wiles will explain how bioluminescence is helping scientists discover new medicines to kill the antibiotic-resistant superbugs that experts predict will bring about the end of modern medicine within the next decade.

These talks are free and open to the general public.  However, to ensure a seat, please register to obtain a ticket. Enquiries: 04 470 5781 or lectures@royalsociety.org.nz.

About Dr Siouxsie Wiles

Siouxsie WilesSiouxsie is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland where she combines her twin passions for glowing creatures and nasty microbes to better understand superbugs and find new medicines to kill them.

Siouxsie is passionate about demystifying science for the general public, and raising awareness of the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. She is a blogger (Infectious Thoughts) and podcaster, as well as being a regular science commentator for Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme. Siouxsie has also teamed up with Australian graphic artist Luke Harris, to make short animations describing nature’s amazing glowing creatures and the many uses of bioluminescence in science:
The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid
Meet the Lampyridae | Firefly
Meet the Lampyridae II – from Fireflies to Space Invaders
Dr Wiles was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Callaghan Medal for science communication in 2013 and the 2012 science communication prize from the New Zealand Association of Scientists. She is on the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and seeks to be a role model for increasing the participation of women and girls in science.

With grateful thanks to Te Pūnanha Matatini and the Photon Factory and Dan Walls Centre for Pure and Applied Optics at the University of Auckland for their support of this talk.

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Sensing Technologies

Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology and remote sensing in conservation and ecological research, and commercial operations

Professor John Brooks

25 November 2015 at 6pm
Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale

John Brooks

Professor John Brooks, one of New Zealand’s top food microbiologists, lectured in food microbiology at Massey University and Auckland University of Technology for 36 years. In January 2014 he travelled to Antarctica with the Centre for UAV Research, part of the Institute for Applied Ecology at AUT. On this trip, John was Chief UAV Pilot, using two of AUT’s UAVs to provide proof of concept and to collect data on cyanobacterial mats in the Taylor Dry Valley.

In his talk, John will talk about UAV technology in general and then specifically about the Skycam UAV SwampFox, which he took to Antarctica.  He will bring the Fox and Ground Control Station (GCS) with him, show the operation of the aircraft and its systems, and run a simulation on the GCS to show the mission control functions.  There will be brief coverage of the photogrammetry software used to analyse the data.   He’ll explain the importance of cyanobacterial mats in the Dry Valleys, and show us pictures of the Taylor Dry Valley in Antarctica, and a video clip of a demonstration flight over the Spaulding Pond.

John will also outline the commercial application of UAVs, for example, to monitor the condition of forests throughout their life cycle, to assist the owners to plan harvesting.

John’s visit is jointly hosted by the Hawke’s Bay branches of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology, of which he is a Fellow.

NZIFST

New food production paradigms: why farm systems are changing

Dr Charles Merfield

Director, Future Farming Centre, Biological Husbandry Unit Lincoln

7:00pm – 8:30 pm, Wednesday 26th August 2015 (Note earlier time)
Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium in Napier

13032009338 smModern farming systems are 70 years old. They have been very successful at meeting their key aim; maximising food production. However, society is asking farmers to take on new aims including providing ecosystem services to protect and enhance the environment.

Four key technologies created modern farming: fossil fuels, synthetic nitrogen fertilisers, soluble lithospheric fertilisers and agrichemical pesticides. There are increasing issues with each of these both from the input (e.g. cost, resistance) and outcome (e.g. pollution) sides.

Sustainable agriculture is smart agriculture that uses all available tools to find long lasting alternatives. A key to developing and analysing farm systems is overlapping the sciences of physics, chemistry, biology and ecology. Sustainable farming can be viewed as a martial art, probing and testing the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses then using smarts, not brute force, to win the contest.

Viewing farming through the eye of Darwin’s Law of Evolution will allow more sustainable and durable solutions to be developed.

Charles MerfieldDr Charles Merfield is the founding head of the BHU Future Farming Centre which focuses on ‘old school’ agri/horticultural science and extension.

Charles studied commercial horticulture in the UK and then spent seven years managing organic vegetable farms in the UK and NZ.

In the mid 1990s he moved into research, focusing on sustainable agriculture including soil management, pest, disease and weed management general crop and pasture production.

He has been fortunate to work and experience agriculture in diverse range of countries including NZ, UK, Ireland, USA and Uruguay. He therefore has a broad knowledge of real-world farming as well as science as well a deep understanding of the history of agriculture and science, which enables him to paint the big-picture of where modern farming has come from and where it is going.

Bird Evolution – from Dinosaurs to DNA

AllanWilsonSeries2015Scott Edwards, Prof. of Zoology, Curator of Ornithology, Harvard University
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Napier venue: National Aquarium of New Zealand, Marine Parade, Napier

BOOKINGS REQUIRED – CLICK HERE
NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE

The Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society is delighted to be included in the Allan Wilson Centre’s 2015 International Lecture Series.

In this lecture, Scott Edwards explains that birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs.  This theory, based almost entirely on the size and shape of fossilized bones, is now the world view shared by most evolutionists.  What is less well known is that the genomes of birds – comprised of over 1 billion DNA letters and thousands of genes – bear traces of their dinosaur ancestry as well.

Modern genomics reveals how bird genomes reflect their streamlined and high-energy lifestyles, epitomized by their ability to fly. Deciphering the language of DNA reveals the origin of birds’ unique traits, such as feathers, the mystery of evolutionary reversals, such as loss of flight, and provides clues to their stunning diversity and survival in the face of global environmental change.

ScottEdwards

Scott Edwards is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He moved to Harvard University in late 2003 as a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology after serving as a faculty for 9 years in the Zoology Department and the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Scott‘s interest in ornithology and natural history began as a child growing up in Riverdale, Bronx, NYC, where he undertook his first job in environmental science working for an environmental institute called Wave Hill.He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1986.

In New Guinea and Australia he researched ecology of birds-of-paradise and studied the genetics and population structure of a group of cooperatively breeding songbirds called babblers (Pomatostomus) found throughout Australia and New Guinea. He received his PhD in 1992 from the Department of Zoology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, in 1992.  He conducted postdoctoral research in avian disease genetics at the University of Florida, Gainesville.  He has conducted museum-based fieldwork throughout the U.S., Australia and the Pacific region and has interests in many aspects of avian biology, including evolutionary history and biogeography, disease ecology, population genetics and comparative genomics.

He has served on the National Geographic’s Committee for Research and Exploration, the Senior Advisory Boards of the US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), and on the Advisory Boards of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.  He oversees a program funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the diversity of undergraduates in evolutionary biology and biodiversity science.  He is currently serving as Director of the Division of Biological Infrastructure in the Biology Directorate of the National Science Foundation.