Guest Work

Climate change will fuel bush fires

Guest Author Nov 12, 2019

Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only minor, with New Zealand firefighters gearing up for possible deployment … Read More

The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?

Guest Author Nov 05, 2019

Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as well as making the water safer for recreational activities and … Read More

A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolution

Guest Author Nov 01, 2019

Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits in the branches of trees to snack on later in … Read More

Science prizes are still a boys’ club. Here’s how we can change that

Guest Author Oct 22, 2019

Justine Shaw, The University of Queensland and Vanessa Wong, Monash University This year, five of the seven Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were awarded to women. While this is a welcome development, the great majority of awards and prizes for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Australia still go to men. Our research has identified some of the key … Read More

Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research

Guest Author Oct 11, 2019

Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading about new research findings to help us make sense of … Read More

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Discovery of prehistoric baby bottles shows infants were fed cow’s milk 5,000 years ago

Guest Author Sep 26, 2019

Julie Dunne, University of Bristol How did people look after their children in the Stone Age? It turns out that prehistoric parents may not have been so different to modern mums and dads. Clay vessels that have been found in Germany could have been used to supplement breast milk and wean children more than 5,000 years ago. They became … Read More

New Zealand needs to wake up to the possibilities of a circular bio economy

Guest Author Sep 13, 2019

Elspeth MacRae New Zealand is at a crossroads, a pivotal point in history where solutions must be found to stem the tide of eco-system collapse, fight climate change, provide for a growing population and find ways of consumption that respect the ecological boundaries of the planet. Now there is a real urgency to find innovative solutions, be bold, and … Read More

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How to get people to eat bugs and drink sewage

Guest Author Sep 03, 2019

Nathan S Consedine, University of Auckland In wealthy societies, we’ve become increasingly picky about what we eat. The “wrong” fruits and vegetables, the “wrong” animal parts, and the “wrong” animals inspire varying degrees of “yuck”. Our repugnance at fruit and vegetables that fail to meet unblemished ideals means up to half of all produce is thrown … Read More

Māori and Pasifika scholars remain severely under-represented in New Zealand universities

Guest Author Sep 02, 2019

Tara McAllister, University of Auckland and Sereana Naepi, Thompson Rivers University The number of Māori and Pasifika students attending New Zealand universities has been increasing steadily, with 75,625 Māori and 32,465 Pasifika enrolled in 2018. But for many of these students, they will not be taught by Māori or Pasifika throughout their degree. And depending … Read More