Lynley Hargreaves

Lynley Hargreaves is a freelance science communicator with a background in mathematical physics. After a stint overseas at Physics Today magazine, she spent happy years working for the Royal Society Te Apārangi, albeit with intermittent disappearances to the mountains of the West Coast of the South Island. From this now permanent West Coast base, she has been conducting IAQ interviews since the beginning of 2014, asking a wide range of researchers how their work can give us insights into the workings of the world.

Traffic jam - Infrequently Asked Questions

Apr 24, 2014

When Associate Professor Ilze Ziedins goes to work, she chooses between taking the ferry or driving her car. The car trip sometimes takes a mere 15 minutes, but if the roads are congested it can last an hour or more. So she has a personal interest in her research on the mathematics of networks, and how real-time information can help. Associate Professor Ilze Ziedins near an uncongested section of State Highway One. Are you out on the street measuring traffic queues and asking people about their travel choices? No, the work we do is just with mathematical models of networks and idealized users. My background is in modelling queueing networks including, for instance, telecommunication networks, and the flow of patients through treatment centres such as intensive care units. For this roading project we ask, if people can choose the … Read More

Crow man - Infrequently Asked Questions

Apr 09, 2014

Gavin Hunt was researching his PhD in New Caledonia, looking into the plight of a flightless endemic bird called the kagu, when he first spotted the local crows. Now, four Marsden grants later, one of these clever crows has over a million hits on youtube and the research is helping us understand how early humans may have learned to make tools. What were the birds up to that was so extraordinary? Dr. Gavin Hunt They were making and using tools – hooked implements that would not be out of place in the toolkit of a modern human – to extract small prey from nooks and crannies in trees. Over several years I ‘stole’ tools from crows by frightening them away and retrieving their tools, which often involved climbing trees. The tools that I collected showed that the crows … Read More