Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1116

2020 Research Honours Awards winners announced in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

This year, the Research Honours Aotearoa awards look a little different. Rather than one national event, we are hosting three regional events across Aotearoa. These local gatherings will focus on connecting and sharing with one another while celebrating the mahi of Aotearoa's leading scholars and researchers. The first winners were announced this evening at Government House in Te Whanganui-a-Tara:

Dr Nick Albert, Plant & Food Research, won the Hamilton Award for his outstanding contributions to understanding the compounds responsible for different colours in plants.

The Health Research Council of New Zealand's Te Topu Rapuora Medal was won by Dr Cherryl Waerea-i-te-rangi Smith, Te Atawhai o Te Ao, who co-founded and co-directed New Zealand’s first community-based, independent research institute focussed on environmental and health research that addresses Māori needs.

The Health Research Council of New Zealand awarded the Liley Medal to Professor Mark Weatherall, University of Otago, and Mark Holliday, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, whose recent study provides a breakthrough for asthma management.

Dr John Caradus FRSNZ, Grasslanz, won the Thomson Medal for his work improving the value of grasslands for New Zealand farmers.

Professor David Tipene-Leach, Eastern Institute of Technology, won the Tahunui-a-Rangi Award for inventing the wahakura - an ingenious bassinet-like device designed to decrease sudden infant death syndrome whilst supporting bedsharing.

The Pou Aronui Award was won by Professor Rawinia Higgins, Victoria University of Wellington, who has made esteemed and far-reaching advances in Māori language revitalisation. 

Associate Professor Maria Bargh, Victoria University of Wellington, won Te Puāwaitanga Award for her exceptional contribution to the discipline of political science in collaboration with Māori communities.

Finally, Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd FRSNZ, University of Auckland, has won the Rutherford Medal for his exceptional contributions to literary studies. Brian has provided a new framework for studying arts, informed by evolutionary theory.

Another five winners will be announced next Thursday in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and the remaining six the following week in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Read more

Call for Associate Editors 

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

Read more >

Chloroplast from the past: Beech genealogy guides future conservation

A new paper in the New Zealand Journal of Botany comprises research on the effect glacial cycles had on beech forest distribution in Aotearoa New Zealand. Studying the diversity of chloroplast in the five species of southern beech shows how different species fared throughout the Plio-Pleistocene era.

Read more >

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Vitamin C can help severe COVID-19 cases, NZ-led review finds
Associate Professor Anitra Carr says there are promising early indications that vitamin C could be used to treat COVID-19 or be used as an "adjunctive" treatment to complement a main therapy.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald
Learning from COVID-19 and building more resilient food systems
By the end of 2020, an additional 130 million people could face famine, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain its spread. 
@International Science Council
New technology gets info faster post quakes
Lead scientist Dr Bill Fry explains how the GNS Science-led project will produce faster and more specific scientific information in the minutes following a big earthquake.
@RNZ First Up
What's for dinner? Dolphin diet study
Research by 2018 Rutherford Discovery Fellow, Dr Karen Stockin has connected the diet of the common dolphin with the prevalence of commercial fishing and water quality.
Is a marine heatwave coming?
New Zealand's coastal waters are running hotter now than they were at this point three years ago - when the country was enveloped by a freak marine heatwave that fuelled our warmest summer.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald

Ngā take o te wā Events

5 November (6 Nov NZDT), Online
Falling Walls Circle Table: Combating systemic discrimination in science
This event, coordinated by the International Science Council, will bring together scientists and expert commentators to discuss the transformations needed to correct systemic racism and discrimination in science.
10 November, Nelson
Materials: Fact or Fiction, Nelson
MacDiarmid Institute researchers Dr Erin Leitao and Professor Bill Williams will delve into the periodic table to give us their scientific take on whether the Philosopher’s Stone from Harry Potter and Axonite from Doctor Who could be a reality in a not too far off future. 
10 November, Auckland
The role of plants in a changing environment
In this inaugural professorial address, Professor Sebastian Leuzinger from Auckland University of Technology will take audiences on a tour of the fascinating world of plants. He will present examples of his research spanning from the physiology of a single leaf to the global carbon cycle.
10 December, Dunedin
Inside the Nobel
This event, hosted by the Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences, will feature a variety of speakers who will give a short presentation about the Nobel Prize in each of the disciplines for 2020 and why it is important. The format for the lecture will be six prizes, six speakers, six minutes each.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

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, mātarauanga, science, humanities and technology.

Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Closing date: 30 November 2020
Become an Analyst with the Ministry for the Environment
This is an opportunity for full-time Analysts to join the Environmental Reporting programme. As a member of the team, you would play a key supporting role in the delivery of reports and have the opportunity to work across multiple topic areas.

You would also contribute to the continuous improvement of the programme and to the wider environmental monitoring and reporting system, to help achieve greater impact with data, analytics and science.   

Organisation: Ministry for the Environment
Closing date: 11 November 2020
Apply for Innovative Young Minds 2021

IYM offers young women in years 11 and 12 - from the Greater Wellington Region - the opportunity to learn about the wide range of research and career opportunities available in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing).

There is both an online and residential programme being offered in 2021. On both programmes, participants will be exposed to eye-opening and inspiring science and technology content in a highly interactive way.

Organisation:  Hutt City Council & Rotary Hutt City
Participate in a survey on predatory journals and conferences 

Academic predatory journals, publishers, and conferences threaten to cause long-term damage to research and researchers.

The purpose of this survey is to understand the extent and impact of predatory journals and conferences across geographic regions, disciplines and career stages as experienced by members of the global research community.

Organisation:  The Interacademy Partnership

Wānanga Ipurangi Webinars

10 November, World Science Day
Rethinking Human Development for today's world
This webinar relay across the globe aims to explore the future of human development thinking, building off the 30-year anniversary of the Human Development Report and the joint project on rethinking human development, which is run by the International Science Council and the United Nations Development Programme.
11 November
Fire and rust - the impact of myrtle rust on post-fire regeneration in Australia
In this webinar, forest pathologist Geoff Pegg will introduce a project aiming to determine the impact of myrtle rust on regenerating Myrtaceae in a range of ecosystems in New South Wales and south-east Queensland. 

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
Royal Society Te Apārangi
11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon,
Wellington 6011
Aotearoa New Zealand.

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