Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1076

An interview with Dr Natalie Robinson

Marine physicist Dr Natalie Robinson, NIWA, specialises in polar oceanography. Natalie's research contributes to our understanding of the oceanic connection between ice shelves and sea ice.

In her work, Natalie tries to understand the “nitty-gritty" so that other people can use her findings to make better predictions of how the ice will respond to a warming ocean.

In an interview as part of our Marsden Fund 25 Series, she shares her motivation to study polar oceanography and her passion for making science accessible to everyone.  
Read more

Golden binaural beats

Samantha Brown of Sacred Heart Girls' College, Hamilton, has been awarded a Gold CREST for her project “Binaural Beats" - investigating repeated exposure to a specific type of sound to maximise its potential effect on our brain. Binaural auditory beats are what the listener hears when tones at two different frequencies are presented to the left and right ear.


He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Draft cannabis legislation released
This week the Government released the first draft of the cannabis legislation that New Zealanders will vote on in next year's referendum. The Science Media Centre has gathered some expert reactions on the release. 
@Science Media Centre
Mixing languages to build confidence and raise achievement
Early career researcher Dr Corrine Seals MRSNZ,  Victoria Univeristy of Wellington, represented Royal Society Te Apārangi at the Knowledge Futures Forum. She speaks about her research to help multilingual pre-schoolers improve their additional languages by mixing in the ones they already know.
@RNZ Nine to Noon
Judith Binney Fellowship 2019
The 2019 Judith Binney Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Nēpia Mahuika (Ngāti Porou), Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Waikato. The 2019 Judith Binney Writing Awards have also been announced. 
@Judith Binney Trust
NZ teenagers hit new lows in reading, maths and science tests
New Zealand's 15-year-olds have hit new lows in the international PISA tests of reading, maths and science.
Why I had to quit teaching to get science into primary schools
Chris Duggan explains why she felt compelled to start House of Science (an Organisational Member of Royal Society Te Apārangi). Now every week over 8,000 primary school students around the country are doing science experiments in their classrooms, many in te reo Māori. 
@The Spinoff
NZ Association of Scientists announces new President and agenda
The new President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS)  is Professor Troy Baisden, based at the University of Waikato. (NZAS is an Organisation Member of Royal Society Te Apārangi).
@NZ Association of Scientists
Celebrating 60 years of peace and science in Antarctica
December 1, 2019, marks the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty – one of the most effective international agreements.
Tracking Pacific golden plovers around the world
Each southern summer, Pacific golden plovers can be found feeding on islands across the Pacific, from Hawaii to New Zealand. In winter, the small wading birds head north to breed in the Arctic. But exactly where they head to or the route they fly to get there, has been a mystery – until this year.
@RNZ Our Changing World

Ngā take o te wā Events

5 December, Wellington
The Well in Welcome
Distinguished academic and activist scholar Professor Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow, examines the worldwide Refugees Welcome movement in the context of creating a flourishing, inclusive society founded on the principles of well-being.
6 December, Wellington
Navigating plastic pollution in Aotearoa
This expert panel discussion is about the extent and nature of plastic pollution in Aotearoa, and the best individual, business, and policy solutions that can be adopted.
12 December, Palmerston North
Classifying soil for sustainability
Professor Marta Camps-Arbestain, Massey University, gives the New Zealand Society of Soil Science's Norman Taylor Memorial Lecture on a new framework for soil classification to gain an holistic understanding of soil for sustainable management. 5pm Thursday 12 December, AH1, AgHort Lecture Block, Massey University. 
10 December, Rotorua
The 21st Century Race for Space
Royal Society Te Apārangi's Rotorua Branch is holding a movie night showing 'The 21st Century Race for Space' where Brian Cox explores whether the space billionaires can make mass space flight a reality.
10 December, Wānaka 
Alpine fault earthquake: Ground shaking and impacts 
Professor Brendon Bradley is part of a research team pioneering ground motion simulation to identify and mitigate earthquake impacts. They have been working on a system to model the process of an earthquake. He will be giving a talk as part of the Marsden Fund 25 Series.
18 December, Wellington
Powering Potential 2019 
40 talented secondary students who are tasked with discovering innovative solutions to big questions facing both science and technology industries, will present their findings in a public event.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)
Research grants for scientists at the frontiers of knowledge and risk on the complex mechanisms of living organisms in Life Sciences Research.

Closing date: End of March 2020
Organisation: Human Frontier Science Program
Nominations for appointment to Conservation Boards
There are 38 vacancies across 14 Conservation Boards nationwide that the Minister of Conservation is seeking to fill. If you would like Royal Society Te Apārangi to nominate you for a position, please contact us

Closing date: 28 January 2020
Organisation: Department of Conservation
2020 NASA Internships and NZ Space Agency Scholarships 
High-performing New Zealand post-graduate students are invited to apply to participate in the NASA International Internship Programme from August to December 2020. To complement this opportunity, MBIE is offering New Zealand Space Scholarships.

Closing date: 19 December 2019
Organisation: NASA, New Zealand Space Agency, MBIE, Education New Zealand
2020 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards
Take 2 minutes to nominate deserving people, teams, partnerships or projects that exemplify best practice in the commercialisation of publicly funded research.

Closing date: 20 December 2019
Organisation: Kiwi Innovation Network
Women and the ocean: Changemakers challenge
This competition, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, aims to showcase leading female changemakers working to develop business solutions to achieve ocean-related sustainability.

Closing date: 6 January 2020
Organisation: World Ocean Initiative
Positions sought for the EPA HSNO Committee
The Environmental Protection Authority are recruiting for new members to join their Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) decision-making committee.

Closing date: 18 December 2019
Organisation: Environmental Protection Authority

Ngā hui Conferences

7-9 July 2020, Northland
New Zealand Ecological Society 2020 Conference
The Ecological Society aims to foster collaboration and communication among ecologists.
1-4 September 2020, Nelson
Physiomar 2020
Physiomar is a triennial international forum for discussion of recent advances in all aspects of the physiology of aquatic invertebrates. 
24-28 May 2021, Wellington
9th International Shallow Survey Conference
The theme of Shallow Survey 2021 'Coastal Challenges: Innovative approaches to mapping shallow coastal water environments' is a key feature of this conference series.

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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