Guest Work

The long, strange history of dieting fads

Guest Work Nov 12, 2017

By Melissa Wdowik, Colorado State University.  “Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of Obesity.” So started William Banting‘s “Letter on Corpulence,” likely the first diet book ever published. Banting, an overweight undertaker, published the book in 1864 to espouse his success after … Read More

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How to solve the ‘monster’ fatberg problem

Guest Work Nov 09, 2017

By Alison Browne, University of Manchester and Mike Foden, Keele University.  Fatbergs – enormous solid masses of oil, grease, wet wipes and other hygiene products that congeal together to cause major blockages – are wreaking havoc on the sewers of cities around the world. A 130 tonne specimen described as a “monster” recently caused backups … Read More

Why are talks over an East Antarctic marine park still deadlocked?

Guest Work Nov 05, 2017

By Cassandra Brooks, University of Colorado. Last week, representatives from 24 countries plus the European Union met in Hobart to discuss plans for a vast marine protected area (MPA) off the coast of East Antarctica. The proposed area, spanning almost 1 million square km, is crucial for a vast array of marine life. Scientists, conservationists and governments … Read More

How climate change affects the building blocks for health

Guest Work Oct 26, 2017

By Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland In August last year, a third of the residents of the North Island township Havelock North fell acutely ill with gastroenteritis after their water was contaminated with campylobacter. More intense rainfalls have caused flooding throughout New Zealand, as seen here in Northland. From www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND Following a long dry spell, … Read More

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Wearing protective headgear in rugby may increase the risk of serious injury – new research

Guest Work Oct 25, 2017

By Andrew Barnes, Sheffield Hallam University Rugby, with its rucks and its mauls, its scrums and its tackles, is considered one of the most physical sports played in schools. Head injuries and concussions pose a serious threat to the welfare of young players. And research has shown that at youth level, on average between one and two players … Read More

Rethinking tourism and its contribution to conservation in New Zealand

Guest Work Oct 24, 2017

By Valentina Dinica, Victoria University of Wellington.  New Zealand is one of 36 global hotspots for biodiversity. Its unique wildlife is a major draw card for tourists. About three million international visitors arrive in New Zealand each year, adding NZ$15 billion to the economy. At least half explore a national park or protected area (PA), … Read More

Citizen scientist scuba divers shed light on the impact of warming oceans on marine life

Guest Work Oct 22, 2017

By Madeleine De Gabriele, The Conversation Rising ocean temperatures may result in worldwide change for shallow reef ecosystems, according to research published this week in Science Advances. The study, based on thousands of surveys carried out by volunteer scuba divers, gives new insights into the relationship of fish numbers to water temperatures – suggesting that warmer oceans … Read More

Why our brain needs sleep, and what happens if we don’t get enough of it

Guest Work Oct 20, 2017

Leonie Kirszenblat, The University of Queensland Many of us have experienced the effects of sleep deprivation: feeling tired and cranky, or finding it hard to concentrate. Sleep is more important for our brains than you may realise. Although it may appear you’re “switching off” when you fall asleep, the brain is far from inactive. What we know from … Read More

Super cute home robots are coming, but think twice before you trust them

Guest Work Oct 09, 2017

By Cherie Lacey, Victoria University of Wellington and Catherine Caudwell, Victoria University of Wellington (pictured) Following several delays, a new range of social domestic robots is expected to enter the market at the end of this year. They are no ordinary bots. Designed to provide companionship and care, they recognise faces and voices of close family and … Read More

Testing adaptive governance approaches to address New Zealand’s ‘wicked’ environmental problems

Guest Work Oct 06, 2017

By Lisa Sharma-Wallace  Environmental problems today are complicated. Some might even call them ‘wicked’. They involve clashing public perceptions, moving targets, differing stakeholder aspirations, and long-term time-frames, often stretching over generations. They’re also multi-dimensional, including a number of different causes, impacts, parties, and objectives which shift over time. Where do we even begin to address problems like these? Non-linear … Read More