Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1117

2020 Research Honours Awards winners announced in Ōtautahi

The second Research Honours Aotearoa awards took place this evening in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Five more of our 2020 award winners have been announced: 

Te Kōpunui Māori Research Award, was presented to Dr Michael Stevens (Ngāi Tahu) for his mahi developing fresh perspectives on indigenous histories.

The Hatherton Award has gone to Dr Georgia Grant, GNS Science, for her work developing a break-through method for determining past sea-level rise.

The Metge Medal has been awarded to social scientist Professor Steven Ratuva, University of Canterbury, who leads many multidisciplinary projects, including the largest ethnicity project in the world.

The Humanities Aronui Medal has been awarded to Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland FRSNZ, University of Canterbury, a leading philosopher of artificial intelligence, computing and information technology.

Finally, the Hutton Medal, the Society's oldest medal, has gone to geneticist Distinguished Professor Neil Gemmell, University of Otago, whose research is driving the development of new approaches for conservation and management of the world’s rarest species.

The final six winners will be announced next week in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Read more

Marsden Fund supports world-leading research

Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden, the Marsden Fund, has just allocated $84.751 million (excluding GST) to 134 research projects led by researchers in Aotearoa. This year, one large interdisciplinary project - investigating the links between asthma in young children in Aotearoa and access to nature - received a Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million. 

There were 59 recipients of Fast-Start grants for early career researchers and 74 standard grants for established research leaders and their teams, with projects addressing a range of issues of both local and international importance. 

 Learn more >

2020 Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships and Scholarships supporting early-career researchers announced

Dr Julie Spray, Dr Emily Greenbank, Dr Alice Hill, Dr Tristan McArley, Dr Leighton Watson, Dr Shane Rooyakkers and Dr Alexis Marshall have been awarded Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in the 2020 funding round. These 2020 Postdoctoral Fellows will be exploring a diverse range of research topics, including asthma management, impacts of climate change on snapper and geothermal activity in the Taupō Volcanic Zone. 

Jennifer Palmer and Amelia Cordwell have been have been awarded three-year Cambridge Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarships to support their studies on neurodegenerative diseases and astrophysical fluid dynamics.

Read more >

New issue of crop and horticulture science journal

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science has been released. Article topics include calcium fortification on tomato quality, the physiology of New Zealand beetroot crops, and a book review of Farewell Silent Spring: the New Zealand Apple Story by Howard Wearing FRSNZ.

Read more >

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Is New Zealand's vanishing nature worsening kid's asthma rates?
A research project under this year's Marsden Fund round has scientists investigating whether a loss of green spaces is linked to asthma among Kiwi kids.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald
COVID-19 coronavirus: Who will be first in line for the Pfizer vaccine?
Vulnerable people and frontline COVID-19 workers including border and healthcare staff will likely be the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine when it becomes available.
Derek Cheng @NZ Herald
Earth-shaking research on solid ground
A long-running programme of seismological research has not only helped reveal the secrets behind Aotearoa’s shifting landscape, but it has also trained the next generation of earthquake scientists.
@Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand's first student-built satellite ready for lift-off
A satellite built by university students is about to be launched into space to measure the electrical activity in the upper reaches of the Earth's Atmosphere.
@University of Auckland
Seas ice yet to form off Siberia, worrying scientists
The Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea are failing to re-freeze as rapidly as in the past. Scientists are worried the northern polar region may be entering a new climate regime.

Ngā take o te wā Events

16 November, Dunedin & Online
How do plants know when to flower?
In this inaugural professorial lecture, professor Richard Macknight will discuss his research on discovering the genes that enable plants to flower in response to seasonal cues, such as winter cold and the increasing day length of spring. 
25 November, Online
New Zealand CleanTech for the World
CleanTech seeks innovative solutions to environmental challenges while maximising business. This event will bring together sector experts to explore how New Zealand businesses can play a part in addressing the global environmental challenges we face.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Kaitohutohu Pūtaiao Special Advisor position available at Royal Society Te Apārangi

This position involves providing advice to the International Science Council’s Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS). Your advice will be based on research and analysis of individual scientific freedom cases, generic or systemic limitations to scientific freedom, and global approaches to ethical and other responsibilities in doing science.

Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Closing date: 20 November 2020
Ngā Kaiarotake Rangahau Research Assessor positions available at Royal Society Te Apārangi

This position will involve providing support for, and operation of, monitoring, reporting and evaluation systems for research projects which have been assigned funding by Royal Society Te Apārangi. 

The Research Funding team works collectively and has the responsibility to cover a broad range of disciplines in social sciences, mātauranga, science, humanities and technology.

Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Closing date: 30 November 2020
Submit a proposal for congress on sustainability science

Next year, the Future Earth Sustainability Research and Innovation 2021 congress will be held, and there is currently an opportunity to submit a session proposal. This year's call is dedicated to specific themes with particular relevance to this current year:
  • Green recovery and circular economy
  • Youth and sustainability
  • Root causes of global socio-economic crises
  • Beyond 2030
Organisation: Future Earth
Closing date: 15 December 2020

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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