Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1064

Winners of 2019 Falling Walls Lab New Zealand 

Falling Walls Lab New Zealand was held at Royal Society Te Apārangi in Wellington on Tuesday with 18 New Zealand-based and 2 Fiji-based participants taking the floor for 3-minutes each to share their research project, business model or social initiative relevant to the world today.

Seer Ikurior (middle) won first place for breaking down the wall of resistant worms. Seer will now head to the Falling Walls Lab final and conference in Berlin to share his research to identify 'wormy lambs' from their behavior with ear-tag accelerometers and GPS monitoring devices, reducing the risk of resistant worms through overuse of treatment.

In second place was Jake Campbell (second left) for breaking the wall of unaffordable diabetes management – his research explores new methods of non-invasive medical sensing.  In third place was Dr Catherine Tsai (second right) for breaking the wall of infectious disease – her research focuses on a novel vaccine strategy.

Congratulations to all of this year's participants at Falling Walls Lab New Zealand and thanks to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and to the distinguished jury for their support.

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Māori loan words and language myth busting

Dr Andreea Calude of the University of Waikato is a Senior Lecturer, linguist, and recipient of a 2016 Marsden Fast-Start grant. In her research she is particularly interested in 'loan words', like ‘whānau’ in New Zealand English. As part of our Marsden Fund 25 Series, she explains her interest in loan words, overturns some language myths and shares how she hopes to inspire others to consider why people speak the way they do.


UC ecologist to represent NZ at the International Union of Biological Sciences

Plant physiological ecologist Professor Matthew Turnbull from the University of Canterbury has been chosen to represent New Zealand at the International Union of Biological Sciences.

Professor Turnbull will be supported by Royal Society Te Apārangi to represent New Zealand through Catalyst: Influence.  


2019 Research Honours Aotearoa

Our annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements and contributions of outstanding kairangahau Māori, researchers and scholars in science, technology and humanities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand will be held on 17 October 2019 in Ōtepoti Dunedin. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase.


He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Loading Docs: He Hekenga Tūhura
Just weeks before his passing, Sir Hector Busby discussed a legacy of celestial navigation and waka carving, and considered who will carry the knowledge after he's gone.
 @Loading Docs
There is concern in New Zealand that the trend of taking photographs with penguins and other creatures is having an impact on feeding, breeding and birth rates.
Eleanor Ainge Roy @The Guardian
The 2019 Kudos Award Winners have been announced
Waikato celebrated the achievements of 19 finalists and announced winners in eight categories at the 13th Annual Kudos Science Excellence Awards last Thursday at Claudelands.
@The Kudos
Freshwater action plan - expert reaction
Experts weigh in on the Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, which has been released by the Government and aims to restore rivers and lakes within a generation.
@NZ Science Media Centre
Find out who’s running in the local elections and what they stand for
Policy Local makes it easy to see what sets the candidates apart in your local elections. It presents candidates’ policies on each topic side by side, making it easier for you to decide who to vote for. 
Policy Local @The Spinoff

The ongoing racial inequities uncovered in decades of health research
In the first of a four-part series, Carmen Parahi reports on the decades of research by Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama.
Carmen Parahi @Stuff

In a recent article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Suzanne Pitama looks at the role of medical education in addressing health inequality.

Ngā take o te wā Events

10 October, Blenheim
25 years of using DNA to trace Pacific origins and migration
University of Otago's Lisa Matisoo-Smith FRSNZ has  spent decades using DNA to map human migration. She will give a talk as part of the Marsden Fund 25 Series on understanding the genetic history of the modern population of New Zealand.
25 September, Auckland
Cafe Scientifique: Stayin’ alive
Dr Martin Bader will be speaking about a kauri tree stump that keeps itself alive within a shrouded forest in the Waitakere Ranges, by holding onto the roots of neighbouring kauri trees. 
30 October, Wellington
Designing Solutions for the 21st Century 
Presented by Dorenda Britten, the Designing Solutions three hour workshop will stimulate your interest in the design processes of products, systems and services that surround us.
15-18 October, various locations
Cannabis policy experts to speak at public lectures
Massey University is bringing five leading international experts to New Zealand, to host a series of public lectures on cannabis policy reform in the lead-up to the national referendum on cannabis law planned for next year’s general election.
September 16, Auckland
A Brighter Future for Children with Cerebral Palsy
University of Auckland would like you to meet three of their talented emerging scientists at this free public event, to learn about their research and how it can make a life-changing difference for children with cerebral palsy.
7 October, Wellington
Cafe Scientifique: Before they croaked it
Join Luke Easton to discuss recent findings of New Zealand's extinct frogs; why they were unique and what their discovery has meant for the species of Leiopelma that cling to survival today.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

"Domains" research funding round now open
The Deep South is seeking funding proposals for their Domains Research. They're looking to fund research that will enable climate-sensitive sectors - hapū and iwi, business, and local and central government - to adapt to climate change.

Organisation: The Deep South National Science Challenge (Te Kōmata o Te Tonga)
Closing date: 8 November 2019
Round two now open for 2020 Ockhams
Entries are now open in the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for eligible titles published between 1 September and 31 December 2019.

Organisation: NZ Book Awards Trust
Closing date: 23 October 2019
Consultation on the NZ Biodiversity Strategy 
Department of Conservation is undertaking a consultation on a new national strategy for biodiversity to ensure the strategy reflects what New Zealanders want for nature.

Organisation: Department of Conservation 
Closing date: 22 September 2019
Essential Freshwater policy consultation 
One of five policy packages the Ministry for the Environment is consulting on this month. Their team will be on a nationwide roadshow to explain proposals and invite feedback.

The Government’s key priorities include protecting our environment and transitioning New Zealand to a sustainable, low emissions future. Consultations will run from 9-26 September.

Organisation: Ministry for the Environment (Manatū Mō Te Taiao)

The Prime Minister's Science Prizes

The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes are open for applications. These prizes were introduced to raise the profile and prestige of science among New Zealanders.

Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi (Secretariat)
Closing date: 10 October 2019 

Ngā hui Conferences

23 October / Lincoln
Impact of Changing Landscapes on Primary Production
The New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS) Canterbury Section is holding a 1-day forum surrounding the present tension around land use.

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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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