Guest Work

Bird of the Year: Which birds are good for ecosystem services?

Guest Author Oct 05, 2018

Bio-Protection Research Centre We are midway through one of the most important electoral contests of the year: Bird of the Year. Every year, this popular campaign raises awareness of New Zealand’s native birds and the perilous state many populations are in. At the Bio-Protection Research Centre we also think it’s a great opportunity to get people thinking about … Read More

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Palu and Donggala: working towards resiliency

Guest Author Oct 03, 2018

Michele Daly, GNS Science We can only imagine how horrific it currently is for the people of Central Sulawesi, following the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck Donggala and Palu on late Friday afternoon 28th Sept 2018. The damaging tsunami which struck Palu Bay at incredible speeds a reported 30mins after the quake happened, caused widespread destruction. This was on top of … Read More

Satellite measurements of slow ground movements may provide a better tool for earthquake forecasting

Guest Author Oct 02, 2018

Simon Lamb, Victoria University of Wellington It was a few minutes past midnight on 14 November 2016, and I was drifting into sleep in Wellington, New Zealand, when a sudden jolt began rocking the bed violently back and forth. I knew immediately this was a big one. In fact, I had just experienced the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura … Read More

Charisma in nature

Guest Author Oct 01, 2018

Sophie Fern It’s been a huge couple of weeks in New Zealand conservation, with Conservation Week, followed by the Great Kererū count and today voting opens for Bird of the Year. I find Bird of the Year fascinating, both because I am a giant bird-nerd, but also because I have a professional interest in what people like about the natural … Read More

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Some thoughts on the current tahr debate

Guest Author Sep 28, 2018

Professor David Norton New Zealand’s native flora evolved without ungulates (deer, chamois, tahr, goats, merinos) and did not develop many of the defensive mechanisms that are present in plants in other parts of the world. Ungulates have well documented adverse impacts on New Zealand’s native vegetation, especially when at high densities. Exclusion of ungulates, including tahr, has led to … Read More

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Flu plane: are we really ready for a global pandemic?

Guest Author Sep 10, 2018

Mark Eccleston-Turner, Keele University An Emirates airliner was quarantined at John F Kennedy International Airport on September 5 after several passengers reported flu-like symptoms. Oxiris Barbot, New York City’s acting health commissioner, said the cause of the illness was “probably influenza”. The following day, two more flights, arriving from the Middle East were quarantined at … Read More

Dead as the moa: oral traditions show that early Māori recognised extinction

Guest Author Sep 07, 2018

Priscilla Wehi, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Hēmi Whaanga, University of Waikato, and Murray Cox, Massey University Museums throughout Aotearoa New Zealand feature displays of enormous articulated skeletons and giant eggs. The eggs are bigger than two hands put together. This is all that remains of the moa. Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago … Read More

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Genetic solutions to pest control

Guest Author Sep 05, 2018

Neil Gemmell New Zealand stunned the world in 2016 announcing a goal to eradicate mammalian predators by 2050. The key targets are possums, rats and stoats; species that cause enormous damage to our flora and fauna and in some cases are an economic burden to our productive sectors. As all of these species were introduced to New Zealand from elsewhere … Read More

Why synthetic marijuana is so risky

Guest Author Sep 04, 2018

C. Michael White, University of Connecticut The Green, a gathering place in New Haven, Connecticut, near Yale University looked like a mass casualty zone, with 70 serious drug overdoses over a period spanning Aug. 15-16, 2018. The cause: synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2, Spice, or AK47, which induced retching, vomiting, loss of consciousness and trouble breathing. Read More