Guest Work

Ash samples provide vital information for volcanic eruption response

Guest Author Apr 21, 2022

PHOTO (cropped): Japan Meteorological Agency, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=114321094 Jenny Stein, Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge Following a volcanic eruption, local communities understandably have more pressing concerns than ensuring a sample of ash gets sent to a lab. But that sample will provide crucial insight into the extent and types of hazards people will be exposed to … Read More

Can birds use weapons?

Guest Author Apr 07, 2022

Professor Kevin Burns, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Most of us know the sad story of New Zealand’s natural history. Having evolved for millennia in the absence of mammals, most New Zealand animals never learned how to cope with the throngs of predatory mammals that accompanied us on our journey to Aotearoa New Zealand. Thankfully, recent conservation … Read More

Our cities are making us fat and unhealthy – a ‘healthy location index’ can help us plan better

Guest Author Apr 01, 2022

Matthew Hobbs, University of Canterbury and Lukas Marek, University of Canterbury As councils and central government consider what cities of the future will look like, a new tool has been developed to map how various features of where we live influence public health. The Healthy Location Index (HLI) breaks down healthy and unhealthy elements in cities across New Zealand. Read More

What does ‘academic freedom’ mean in practice? Why the Siouxsie Wiles and Shaun Hendy employment case matters

Guest Author Jan 14, 2022

Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury   Two high-profile University of Auckland academics raised important questions about academic freedom with their complaint to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) that their employer had failed its duty of care to them. Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles and Professor Shaun Hendy have become well known for their work explaining the science behind COVID-19 and … Read More

The stomach moves to a rhythm of gentle contractions. Any change can be an early signal of gastric disease

Guest Author Dec 21, 2021

Peng Du, University of Auckland and Peikai Zhang, University of Auckland Our stomach is a wonderful organ that turns what we eat into the nutrients and energy we need to maintain our health. At first glance, it might appear as a simple extendable muscular bag, but it has many sophisticated divisions of labour and functions that continue to puzzle researchers. Read More

Autistic people need a greater say in where NZ’s autism research funding is spent – here’s a way forward

Guest Author Dec 07, 2021

Lisa Marie Emerson, University of Canterbury Research has tremendous potential to help the estimated 93,000 autistic New Zealanders live the lives they want to live. The trouble is, funding for autism research is currently skewed away from the areas autistic people themselves say would be most useful. When asked what future autism research should be prioritised, autistic people and … Read More

Studying the complex genetics behind hair colour reveals how melanin affects us

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

Frida Lona Durazo, Université de Montréal   One of the traits that we usually use to physically describe people is their hair colour. Hair is a useful descriptor because it varies so much among us. Melanin is the molecule responsible for the many different hair colour tones. It’s also responsible for the colour of our skin and eyes. We inherit … Read More