Hot off the press

When an ancient volcanic ‘supereruption’ caused sudden cooling, early humans got lucky

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

Do you answer emails outside work hours? Do you send them? New research shows how dangerous this can be

Guest Author Jul 14, 2021

Amy Zadow, University of South Australia   What could be so bad about answering a few emails in the evening? Perhaps something urgent pops up, we are tidying up an issue from the day, or trying to get ahead for tomorrow. Always being online and available is one of the ways we demonstrate our work ethic and professionalism. But the … Read More

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

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

Five shifts to decolonise ecological science – or any field of knowledge

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

Suburban living the worst for carbon emissions – new research

Guest Author Jul 06, 2021

Sabrina Zwick, United Nations University   Work, education, entertainment, or simply better connectivity all draw people to cities. By the end of this century around 85% of the world population are predicted to live in cities. There are speculations that the COVID-19 pandemic will slow down this urbanisation trend, but I think it’s unlikely to stop it. Cities remain … Read More

Too few women get to invent – that’s a problem for women’s health

Guest Author Jun 30, 2021

Rem Koning, Harvard Business School   MacArthur Genius and MIT professor Linda Griffith has built an epic career as a scientist and inventor, including growing a human ear on a mouse. She now spends her days unpacking the biological mechanisms underlying endometriosis, a condition in which uterus-like tissue grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can be brutally painful, … Read More

Stoatally different! How the ‘science of individuals’ is changing how we see pests.

Guest Author Jun 30, 2021

Jamie McAulay, Department of Conservation It’s just before midday and starting to drizzle as stoat trapper Ana Richards pulls a rotting stoat carcass from a DOC trap and scoops it into a plastic container, dripping. She’s 4 days into a 6 day trapping trip through Fiordland’s wild Murchison Mountains. From this rugged spur, the stinky … Read More

Proceed to your nearest (virtual) exit: gaming technology is teaching us how people respond to emergencies

Guest Author Jun 15, 2021

Ruggiero Lovreglio, Massey University   Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) aren’t just for gaming anymore, they’re also proving to be useful tools for disaster safety research. In fact, they could save lives. Around the world, natural and human-made disasters such as earthquakes, bushfires and terrorist attacks threaten substantial economic loss and human life. My research review looked … Read More

We discovered what’s killing the world’s rarest penguin – and it could help us make a vaccine

Guest Author Jun 15, 2021

Vartul Sangal, Northumbria University, Newcastle   Yellow-eyed penguins are the most endangered penguin species in the world, with just 4,000 left in the wild. Found only in New Zealand and its outlying islands, these birds can grow up to 79cm tall and weigh 8.5kg, which is similar to a one-year-old child. They’re easily identified by the pale-yellow band … Read More

The Irish lough that offers a window into the deep sea

Guest Author Jun 11, 2021

James Bell, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Rob McAllen, University College Cork, and Valerio Micaroni, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Deeper than most scuba divers can safely work and above where most underwater robots are designed to descend lie some of the most poorly studied ecosystems in the world. Between 30 and 150 … Read More