Monday 21 September 2020 at 6:00 pm
EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale, Lecture Theatre 1 (Broadcast on Screen)
Sting – the large Elvish dagger from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – was wielded by both Bilbo and Frodo, and glowed blue whenever orcs were nearby. Nth Metal from DC Comics, is a hyper-conductive metal that has the ability to negate gravity, allowing a person to carry objects 20-70 times heavier than normal and to fly. From what we know of the periodic table and the world around us, could they exist in real life?
Join us for ‘Materials Fact or Fiction’, where MacDiarmid researchers delve into the periodic table to give us their scientific take on whether these could be reality in a not too far off future.
In order to accommodate any further changes in alert levels due to COVID, this year’s showcase will be in a digital format, with the option to either attend in person at EIT should that be possible and your preference, or to dial in from your own device. Please register here if you wish to dial in and we will send you the appropriate link to do so.
Dr Mike Price: MacDiarmid Institute Postdoctoral fellow in Physics, Victoria University of Wellington and
Dr Penny Brothers: Director of the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National
University and MacDiarmid Principal Investigator.
Joined by Otago Museum science communicator Dr Claire Concannon as MC. There’ll be two talks, a three minute animated video on the ‘science of lightsabers’, and time for Q&A.
Thursday 1 October 2020 at 7:00 pm
EIT Taradale, Lecture Theatre 1
Dr. Phil Lester
Wasps are feared and hated by many of us, with good reason – they sting. For anyone
who is allergic to their venom, a sting can mean a trip to hospital; for a very unlucky few, it can mean death. Wasps also place massive pressure on New Zealand’s biodiversity, especially on native birds, plants and insects, including our much-loved honey bees. They cause huge economic losses, estimated at more than $100 million each year. Native to Europe, Vespula vulgaris, the common wasp, has been inadvertently transported around the globe – usually travelling quietly, unseen, sleeping in people’s cargo. Today in New Zealand, the highest known wasp densities have up to 40 nests per hectare.
Phil Lester is a Professor in Ecology and Entomology at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He has published over 125 articles on invasive ants, wasps and other insects in journals that include Biology Letters, Ecology, and Proceedings of the Royal Society. Phil sits on the editorial boards of several journals, including Biological Invasions. He has won Fulbright and Royal Society Te Apārangi James Cook Research Fellowships.
Tuesday 6 October 2020 – 6:00 PM
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Munroe and Vautier Street, Napier
Dr. Phaedra Upton
The landscape serves as a link between the solid Earth and the atmosphere. At many spatial and temporal scales, landscape morphology and topography provide a constraint on the tectonics of the Earth and processes active within it. To unravel these, we need to understand the complex relationships between surface processes, their drivers and the rocks upon which they act. Phaedra will explore recent developments in modelling tectonics and surface processes within a single deformational framework. She will focus on collisional settings such as New Zealand’s Southern Alps, SE Alaska and the Himalaya where rapid uplift combines with vigorous climate regimes to create dynamic landscapes.
Dr. Phaedra Upton: After a first class honours degree in Chemistry, Phaedra completed a PhD in Geology, and is now the Geodynamics Team Leader at GNS Science, where she has worked for the last 11 years. She has widely published on oblique collisional plate boundaries including the Southern Alps. More recently, tectonic geomorphology has become her main focus.