Monthly Archives: September 2018

27 Nov 2018: Nano Girl is Back!

Whilst not a branch meeting of the Royal Society, we are happy to promote this event aimed at promoting an interest in science in young people. Last year’s shows were warmly received

Meridian Energy and Nanogirl Labs are proud to present Nanogirl Live! “Out of this World” – A Live Science Spectatular.

Following our last two sell-out tours, join Nanogirl, Boris (her trusty lab assistant), and CLAIR (Constantly Learning Artificial Intelligence Repository) for science and engineering as you have never seen them before. An action packed adventure with rockets, explosions and even a live tornado – come see science and engineering come to life in the coolest way possible, right before your eyes.

This international touring science show is suitable for the whole family. This brand new script features all-new experiments and all-new explosions – all inspired by New Zealand’s own space programme!

“Educational, Entertaining and Explosions!” – 5 Stars

For tickets and more information: Out of this World – Nano Girl

6 Nov 2018 Exploration of the deep sea around New Zealand: progress and promise

Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 6.00pm

National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier

Dr Dave Pawson

Emeritus Senior Scientist
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Admission: Gold coin donation


The great ocean depths affect our day-to-day lives in many ways, and they are home to mysteries, monsters, and minerals that capture our imagination. New Zealand, with its immense Exclusive Economic Zone, has played a large part in the 150-year history of deep-sea exploration. How much do we know today about the deep sea, and what do we need to know?

Dave Pawson was born and raised in Napier, and he received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology from Victoria University, Wellington. He joined the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA, in 1964. Now retired, he was a Senior Research Scientist for many years. He has taught courses at several universities, published 300 scientific papers, presented more than 200 public lectures.


During a long career in research in the deep sea, making more than 200 dives in manned research submersibles to depths in excess of 4,000 metres, Dave has had many deep-sea adventures, involving new and amazing animals, sunken ships, unexploded ammunition from two World Wars, and piles of automobiles!



Dr. Pawson is a marine biologist, specialising in deep-sea biology and the marine biology of isolated oceanic islands, and his research specialty is the echinoderms – sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and their relatives and has had this starfish named after him.



20 Nov 2018: What does the future hold for plant-based protein foods?

6.00pm Tuesday 20 November 2018

Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale

Dr Marian McKenzie

Senior Scientist, Food Innovation

NZ Institute of Plant & Food Research

Admission:   Gold coin donation

Consumers have changing attitudes toward the food they eat, and are increasingly focused on flexibility of food choice, aligned to their lifestyle, the environment and personalising foods to their own health drivers. New Zealand is moving beyond commodity-based food production and into the production of premium foods. Within this space we need to consider the importance of consumer thinking and drivers, particularly around protein-rich foods.

This talk will firstly consider the future of protein-rich, plant-based foods and the opportunities for New Zealand to diversify from our traditional meat and dairy production base. Secondly, it will focus, as a case study, on current research from the Premium Potato Foods research programme, which investigates consumer desired traits and the production of added-value potato products for the benefit of New Zealand’s potato industry.

Dr Marian McKenzie is a member of Plant & Food Research’s Food Innovation portfolio and leads the Premium Potato Foods programme. In recent years the programme has focused on investigating consumer perception of potato flavour and identifying the metabolome that informs that flavour, as well as identifying mechanisms that lower the glycaemic impact of potato.

Dr McKenzie completed a PhD in plant physiology and molecular biology at the University of Otago, before taking up a Postdoc at Massey University and then a permanent position at Plant & Food Research. She has a background in plant biochemistry and molecular biology and has recently sought to align these areas with human sensory and health research.