Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1187

2021 Prime Minister's Science Prizes

The latest Ko Ngā Puipuiaki Pūtaiao a te Pirimia Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners have been announced at an event in Te Whanganui-a-tara Wellington this week. The five prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the future.

  • The multidisciplinary Neonatal Glucose Studies Team, led by Dame Jane Harding FRSNZ, won the Te Puiaki Pūtaiao Matua a te Pirimia Prime Minister's Science Prize for their work in understanding the effects and how to prevent brain damage in newborns from blood sugar imbalance. 
  • Dr Jemma Geoghegan won Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Maea Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize for her work to understand how viruses evolve and spread, including her work to genome sequence COVID-19 cases in Aotearoa. 
  • Bianca Woyak, a specialist scientist teacher at Burnside Primary in Ōtautahi Christchurch won Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaako Pūtaiao Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize for her hands-on teaching of environmental studies that is inspiring her students to be leaders-for-change.
  • Toby Morris won Te Puiaki Whakapā Pūtaiao the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize for his outstanding graphics and illustrations about COVID-19, produced in collaboration with Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM.
  • Carol Khor Shun Ting, a Year 13 student at Burnside High School, won Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Ānamata Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize for her research project on overcoming melanoma drug resistance for treating skin cancer. 
Read more about the winners

Openness on use of animals in research, testing and teaching statistics

The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) commends MPI for the openness, comprehensiveness and clarity of its 2020 annual statistics on the number of animals used in research, testing, and teaching in New Zealand. Along with its detailed report, it has released an easy-to-read infographic.


New issue of zoology journal

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Zoology has been published. It contains articles on alternatives to 1080 for mammal pest control in New Zealand, a new genus for endemic orb-weaving spider and evaluation of the risk of predation for lizards in live traps.  

Read more >


2022 Call for postgraduate scholarship applications

The Academy of Royal Society Te Apārangi is today calling for applications for the following postgraduate scholarships:

  • The Sir Hugh Kawharu Masters Scholarship for Innovation in Science
  • Raewyn Good Study Award for Māori and Pasifika Social Science Research
  • RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship

Read more >

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

How did ancient moa survive the ice age

One species of iconic moa was almost wiped out during the last ice age, according to recently published research. But a small population survived in a modest patch of forest at the bottom of New Zealand's South Island, and rapidly spread back up its east coast once the climate began to warm.
By Nic Rawlence, Alexander Verry, Kieren Mitchell  @The Conversation

Schools, kura provided fresh resources to teach Matariki

New Matariki learning resources are being sent to schools and kura to help teachers educate students. The resources were developed by Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga (the Ministry of Education) in collaboration with Dr Rangi Mātāmua FRSNZ and the Matariki Advisory Group. 

I beheld a quantum computer. It was weird and excellent.

Last week I stood for the first time in front of a fully functioning quantum computer, IBM’s Quantum System One,​ at the company’s research labs in Yorktown Heights,​ New York.

Peter Griffin @Stuff

What is monkeypox?

Dr Jemma Geoghegan answers questions about the monkeypox virus, which has now spread across almost 20 countries where it is not endemic.

Modelling NZ's next Omicron wave - Expert Reaction

How might waning immunity and reinfection affect our next wave of COVID-19? Researchers have modelled different scenarios to predict what the coming months might look like.

Ngā take o te wā Events

Until 4 Pipiri June
Samoa Language Week 2022

This year's theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa - Samoa Language Week is Fa’aāuāu le Folauga i le Va’a o Tautai - Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean. Activities and events are being held throughout Aotearoa to embrace and celebrate Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa.

25 Pipiri June - 3 Hōngongoi July, nationwide
NZ Garden Bird Survey

The survey is an annual citizen science project organised by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. Count the birds you see in your back garden, school, park or marae. Visit for resources, activities and tips.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Call for Applications:  New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) 2022 Science Medals
Applications are invited for the four NZAS 2022 Science Awards: Hill Tinsley, Shorland, Marsden, and Cranwell Medals. Applicants can apply directly or can be nominated by a third party. Team applications are also eligible for the Shorland and Cranwell Medals.
Full guidelines, application forms and past awards are available at

Closing date: 31 Hōngongoi July
Organisation: New Zealand Association of Scientists

Help to track flu and COVID via the FluTracking system
With the relaxing of COVID-19 control measures and the reopening of borders, health authorities are expecting a resurgence of flu in 2022. Volunteers can help to track the impact of both flu and COVID-19 in their local community. Participants will be asked to take 30 seconds per week to help track flu and COVID-19.

Organisation: Flutracking New Zealand, Ministry of Health

Royal Society Te Apārangi - 2022 Call for Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellowship nominations – four weeks to go

This is a reminder that Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship nominations for Royal Society Te Apārangi close at the end of Pipiri June. Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand is an honour proposed by one’s peers and conferred for distinction in research or the outcomes resulting from intellectual endeavour.
A web portal has been set up to receive new and updated nominations, so please email ( ) if you wish to submit a new nomination. Please note that the Academy is focused on increasing the diversity of nominations from under-represented groups, particularly with respect to gender, ethnicity, and employment context.

Closing date: 30 Pipiri June, 2022
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi

Seeking Associate Editors for the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research

The New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research is currently seeking energetic, qualified and committed researchers at any career-stage to join the editorial team as Associate Editors.  

NZJAR is an international, peer-reviewed journal. It publishes scientific articles on all aspects of animal and pastoral science relevant to temperate and subtropical regions.

Closing date: 17 Pipiri June
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi

Wānanga Ipurangi Webinars

3-4pm 3 Pipiri June, Online
Examining marine biogeographical patterns and trophic interactions in Antarctica through eDNA

Gert-Jan Jeunen from the University of Otago will give a Zoom seminar for Genomics Aotearoa. His current research investigates the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity.

11am, 8 Pipiri June, Online

Chasing fungal antagonists of the myrtle rust fungus in Brazil

This webinar for Beyond Myrtle Rust is resented by Dr Gleiber Quintão and Dr Robert Barreto, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil, who have started a novel programme targeting A. psidii in Brazil.


7 - 10 Pipiri June, Online 
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research Biosecurity Bonanza

Over four days, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research will be hosting 9 webinars highlighting their predator and weed biocontrol research. Talks include research on the movements of feral cats in the eastern beech forests of the South Island, island rodent eradications, metabolomics, and much more. 

4 - 4.45pm 16 Pipiri June, Online
Te Kāhui o Matariki and the environment

Matariki is not far away – incorporate this special time of year into your teaching and learning in a way that deepens students' understanding of mātauranga and the environment. Register to attend this free online professional development webinar. 

Mō Te Apārangi | About Us

Royal Society Te Apārangi supports New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. Our varied programmes provide support and opportunities for researchers, teachers and school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. To learn more visit
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Aotearoa New Zealand.

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