Jumping spiders: Good things come in small packages Guest Work Apr 23

By Dr Anne Wignall, Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University. Spiders often get a bad reputation – with eight legs, fangs and a habit of coming into our homes without invitation, they can seem like they belong in another world. But spiders are fascinating and can be more like us than we think. [...]

Explainer: the wild storms that lash Australia’s east coast Guest Work Apr 22

Acacia Pepler, UNSW Australia and Lisa Alexander, UNSW Australia Over the past 24 hours, the Sydney, Central Coast, and Hunter regions of New South Wales have experienced very heavy rain, gale-force winds with gusts over 100 km per hour, and waves of more than 10 m in height. For Sydney it was the wettest single [...]

The idol reverence Guest Work Apr 21

by Ryan Ridden-Harper It’s a weird thing sometimes to be a physics student, and I bet even more so to be a physicist. For the most part of life you move through the world normally, no one notices anything strange or off about you. But sometimes something that never ceases to fail to amuse me happens. Take [...]

Right of reply – Responding to Hot Topic Guest Work Mar 23

By Bryan Leyland and Dr Bob Carter We are grateful to Sciblogs for the opportunity to comment on the blog-posting by Gareth Renowden which appeared on Sciblogs. Mr. Renowden was reacting to our newspaper article “Hypothetical global warming” in the Dominion Post. He later commented on the response by Drs. Wratt, Reisinger & Renwick (WRR) to our [...]

The longest decade – the quest for fusion Guest Work Mar 11

by Ryan Ridden-Harper Fusion, the ability to create near limitless power is always a decade away. Or so the joke goes. This summer I got the opportunity to join the quest for fusion, with a Summer Research Scholarship at the Australian National University. For my project I was supervised by Associate Professor Matthew Hole as I worked on [...]

Digging up the history behind New Zealand’s first dinosaur Guest Work Feb 26

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the first dinosaur bone being discovered in New Zealand. One of the remarkable aspects of this discovery is that it was driven by an amateur fossil hunter, Joan Wiffen. Joan’s story and fossils now mark her as an important figure in New Zealand science, and the 40th anniversary of Joan’s first dinosaur [...]

The power of pollen Guest Work Jan 27

By Katherine Holt Anna Sandiford has written before about how she uses pollen in her forensic science work after watching an episode of ‘Bones’. Pollen also offers a world of other exciting opportunities – from searching for oil or preventing ‘honey fraud’, to tracking goods or fighting the war on drugs. As a palynologist (pollen scientist) I [...]

The science behind a good homebrew Guest Work Jan 12

The 2nd part of a summer science series from NIWA Karl Safi is reluctant to say brewing beer is a science. He thinks it is more accurate – and important – to describe it is a combination of science and art. But he will admit his day job as a microbial ecologist definitely helps with [...]

The photographers behind NIWA’s stunning shots Guest Work Dec 22

NIWA photographers are well known for their stunning images of New Zealand’s environment. Four of the best discuss their favourite shots and what was going on at the time. Dave Allen, photographer. Camera: Nikon D800 The photo of scientists Tony Bromley and Sally Gray releasing a weather balloon was taken at the tiny West Coast [...]

“The Science of Systematics” – key to Fonterra’s and New Zealand’s future Peter Griffin Dec 15

by Peter Buchanan What value can be put on an accurate scientific name?  How about the “value” of the bacterial names Clostridium sporogenes vs. Clostridium botulinum?  In the latter case, the estimates begin upwards of NZ$100 million. There is an important branch of science called Systematics that often slips below the radar until critical issues [...]

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