Environment and Ecology

Aggressive marketing has driven the rise of the double-cab ute on New Zealand streets — time to hit the brakes? - News

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Kirsty Wild, University of Auckland and Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland   “Explore your inner beast.” That was the slogan used last year to sell the Ford Ranger. At 2.4 tonnes, that’s a lot of “light” truck, but the stakes are rising. This year, the 3.5 tonne Ram 1500 “eats utes for breakfast”. Super-sized light trucks have landed in Aotearoa … Read More

Why calling ordinary Kiwi cyclists ‘elitist’ just doesn’t add up - News

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   Something strange has happened to the perception of cyclists and cycling in the more than 200 years they’ve been around. Once a novelty, bike riding has moved from being a critical transport mode to a children’s pastime to now being popularly perceived as an elitist activity. This was readily apparent after the recent … Read More

How do Olympic athletes stack up against invertebrates? Not very well - News

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Caitlyn Forster, University of Sydney and Eliza Middleton, University of Sydney   Olympians spend years training to be the best of the best. Scientists and sportspeople have spent decades researching the mechanics of the human body to ensure our elite athletes are always reaching higher, faster and stronger. But how do human athletic skills compare with those of insects and … Read More

When an ancient volcanic ‘supereruption’ caused sudden cooling, early humans got lucky - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jul 22, 2021

Ben Black, Rutgers University and Anja Schmidt, University of Cambridge Around 74,000 years ago, a “supereruption” on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, blasted out an estimated 5,000 cubic kilometres of magma. This was the Toba eruption, the largest volcanic eruption of the past 2 million years. To put 5,000 cubic kilometres of magma in perspective, this is more than … Read More

Why climate change is forcing conservationists to be more ambitious: by moving threatened species to pastures new - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Jul 19, 2021

Sarah Elizabeth Dalrymple, Liverpool John Moores University As climate change brings record droughts and floods, extended fire seasons continue to make headlines, and the role of humans in this terrible situation is now undisputed, institutional change has been slow and unsteady. In particular, conservationists have been wary of pointing to climate change as the biggest threat … Read More

Climate explained: is New Zealand losing or gaining native forests? - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Jul 15, 2021

Climate explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz In recent decades, has New Zealand lost forest (both native and exotic) or gained it, courtesy of … Read More

A significant number of New Zealanders overestimate sea-level rise — and that could stop them from taking action - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jul 13, 2021

Rebecca Priestley, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Richard Levy, GNS Science; Taciano L. Milfont, University of Waikato; Timothy Naish, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Zoë Heine, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Following a recent storm surge in Wellington, some media coverage expressed surprise that 30cm of sea-level rise … Read More

With seas rising and storms surging, who will pay for New Zealand’s most vulnerable coastal properties? - News

Guest Author Jul 13, 2021

Tom Logan, University of Canterbury   The major storm surge and coastal flooding in Wellington earlier this month was another reminder that the sea is now lapping close to a lot of New Zealand’s front doors. The ominous question is: who will pay when it crosses the threshold? But that’s not a question worrying insurance companies. They’ve made their … Read More

Why do cauliflowers look so odd? We’ve cracked the maths behind their ‘fractal’ shape - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 09, 2021

Etienne Farcot, University of Nottingham   Have you ever stared at a cauliflower before preparing it and got lost in its stunningly beautiful pattern? Probably not, if you are in your right mind, but I reassure you it’s worth a try. What you’ll find is that what at first sight looks like an amorphous blob has a striking regularity. If … Read More

Five shifts to decolonise ecological science – or any field of knowledge - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jul 07, 2021

Jess Auerbach, North-West University; Christopher Trisos, University of Cape Town, and Madhusudan Katti, North Carolina State University   The COVID-19 pandemic will change a lot about the way knowledge is produced, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Social movements such as Black Lives Matter have also increased awareness of significant economic inequalities along racial and geopolitical … Read More