Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1078

Passing of Professor Ken Strongman FRSNZ

Royal Society Te Apārangi is deeply saddened by the passing of Councillor Professor Ken Strongman FRSNZ on 29 December 2019. Ken made a tremendous contribution to the Society, particularly through his championing of the humanities that led to its re-inclusion in the Society.
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Ngā Ahua o te Ao Hurihuri - Rethinking our shared futures

The Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand has published a special issue on rethinking our shared futures in Aotearoa. It includes papers on topics including business, hauora, culture, society, environment and history to encourage reflection and discussion. All papers are open access and the cover features art work from Darryn George (Ngāpuhi).

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Past President receives New Year's Honour

Congratulations to Royal Society Te Apārangi's former President Professor Richard Bedford QSO, who was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance in the New Year's Honours.  


2020 Medals and Awards

The call for nominations for medals and awards to be offered by Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2020 is now open. A new award being offered is Tahunui-a-Rangi – for an invention or creation of a unique and ingenious structure, device, product, design, system, process, service or artefact(s) which is significant in its economic, social, cultural or environmental impact. The closing date for nominations is 31 March 2020


Call for papers on environmental DNA

The New Zealand Journal of Zoology is calling for papers for a special isssue on zoological applications for environmental DNA: detection, diversity and health. The Guest Editors are Dr Jonathan Banks and Associate Professor Gavin Lear.


Special issue on mānuka

A new special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science has been published on recent advances in Leptopsermum scoparium (mānuka) research. 

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New zoology journal issue 

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Zoology has been published. It includes articles on the spiders of Banks Peninsula, insect life of seasonal streams on Hauturu-o-Toi/ Little Barrier Island and the damage caused to primary production by wild mammalian herbivores. 


He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Women in research losing thousands compared with male counterparts
Women employed as academic staff at a New Zealand university are likely to earn about $400,000 less than men over the course of their career, according to new research.
Rachel Thomas @RNZ
Staggering number of recyclable plastic containers sent to landfill every year
In a world-first study involving the rubbish and recycling bins of 867 households nationwide, it has been found that Kiwis throw out 1.76 billion plastic containers each year. This news follows calls from PM's Chief Science Advisor Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ for a national plastic recycling strategy. This issue is outlined in her video Science and the Plastics Problem (transcript now available). 
Coronavirus dashboard
A new dashboard displays global confirmed cases and deaths from the Wuhan Coronavirus. 
@Johns Hopkins CSSE
New framework drives health research
A prioritisation framework was released in December which for the first time sets out a national vision for health research that will guide all government investment and help coordinate research efforts across the sector.

Ngā take o te wā Events

12 February, Invercargill
The developing brain: insights from rare diseases
Single gene disorders are rare, yet significant, diseases affecting children. Recent discoveries shed light on aspects of human development. Hear the latest from Professor Stephen Robertson FRSNZ, who is giving a talk as part of the Marsden Fund 25 Series.
13 February, Wellington
2020 New Fellows' Seminars
Come along and hear short seminars from 15 new Fellows, including Associate Professor Selina Tusitala Marsh FRSNZ, who were elected to the Academy of Royal Society Te Apārangi in November, recognising their distinction in research and advancement of humanities, science or technology.
27 February, Whangārei
Mathematical magic and the digital revolution
Mathematicians understand the magic that made the digital revolution possible. So can you. In his talk as part of the Marsden Fund 25 Series, Geoff Whittle FRSNZ will share some of this magic.
17 February, Wellington
The golden age of biotechnology: sustainable production of fine chemicals
Professors Nicholas Turner and Sabine Flitsch from the University of Manchester will give the 2020 Ferrier Public Lecture on how new biocatalysts are revolutionising the production of the starting materials for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.  

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Have you ever thought there was more to life?
Challenge the boundaries of knowledge by applying for the Human Frontier Science Program.

Closing date: Deadline to initiate an application is 19 March, full submissions 30 March.
Organisation: Human Frontier Science Program
Call for nominations for Fellows and Honorary Fellows
Royal Society Te Apārangi is calling for Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship nominations for 2020. A web portal has been set up to receive new and updated nominations. Email if you wish to submit a new nomination and you will be provided with a URL to access the web portal. See Bylaw 2.7 and 3.4, which specifies who may make a nomination and specific information about the Fellowship process, including Honorary Fellowship nominations.

Closing date: 30 April 
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Call for nominations for Companion
Election as a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand (CRSNZ) is an honour recognising sustained and outstanding leadership and contributions to the promotion, encouragement, and advancement of knowledge, science, technology and the humanities in New Zealand.

Closing date: 31 March
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Catalyst: Leaders - January 2020 call open
Catalyst: Leaders supports incoming and outgoing targeted international fellowships for exceptional individuals that cannot be supported through other means.

Closing date: 23 April 
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Catalyst: Seeding - January 2020 call open
Catalyst: Seeding facilitates new small and medium pre-research strategic partnerships with international collaborators that cannot be supported through other means, and with a view to developing full collaborations.

Closing date: 23 April 
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
ANZCCART Awards 2020
Applications are invited to the ANZCCART Animal Ethics Committee Member of the Year Award, and the Animal Care Award for New Zealand-based technicians and research assistants.

Closing date: 20 April
Organisation: Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching
New Zealand Ecohydraulics Trust Travel Award 
Applications are open for this award to help post-graduate students or early career New Zealand researchers attend the 13th Ecohydraulics Symposium being held 23-29 May 2020 in Lyon, France. The symposium is the premier meeting for scientists and innovative practitioners working across the disciplines of hydraulics with aquatic ecology, water engineering, fluvial geomorphology and biogeochemistry.

Closing date: 13 February
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
2020 Charles Fleming Fund applications open
Applications are open for the Charles Fleming Senior Scientist Award, an annual grant worth up to $10,000 to support a senior scientist's research, and the Charles Fleming Publishing Award for up to $8,000 to support preparation of a scientific books and relevant publications. 

2020 Hutton Fund applications open
Applications are open for the Hutton fund for research in New Zealand zoology, botany and geology. 

2020 Skinner Fund applications open
Applications are open for the Skinner Fund for research in Māori and Polynesian culture.

Closing date: 31 March 
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Comment on first draft of global biodiversity targets
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade welcomes feedback on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Biodiversity Framework and monitoring frameworks to help inform New Zealand’s position in the ongoing negotiations. Feedback should be sent to

Closing date: 3 February
Organisation: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ngā hui Conferences

26-28 July 2020, Queenstown
ANZCCART 2020: Openness in Animal Research
The deadline for submissions to the Australia and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) 2020 conference is Friday 14 February. The conference theme is openness in animal research and teaching
25-27 September 2020, Ōtepoti/Dunedin
Mapping the Anthropocene in Ōtepoti/Dunedin: climate change, community and research in the creative arts
Dunedin School of Art and Otago Polytechnic are calling for papers and presentations or displays that use creative media to make intelligible and relevant the complex data of climate change and the wider issues of planetary changes characterized by the term Anthropocene and its alternatives.

Next issue

Due to Waitangi Day, the next issue of Alert will be 13 February. Did you know that you can view past issues of Alert on our website? Visit:

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