Tagged: Environment and Ecology

Wasps are forever? The potential to eliminate an invasive pest in New Zealand; permissions withstanding - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Dec 21, 2020

By Gemma McLaughlin, University of Otago PhD candidate Invasive social wasps have long plagued New Zealand’s beech forests and suburbs. Now, a  genetic technology holds the potential to stop such wasps in their tracks. But one major issue lurks: are scientists even allowed to explore this option? New Zealand summers are a great thing. We have our kiwi classics: … Read More

5 reasons why banishing backpackers and targeting wealthy tourists would be a mistake for NZ - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 26, 2020

James Higham, University of Otago and Hazel Tucker, University of Otago Raise your hand if you’ve ever travelled for weeks or months as a backpacker on a limited daily budget. Keep your hand up if you were made welcome in the places you visited on your OE, enjoyed chance encounters and experienced the generosity of strangers. And did those … Read More

New Zealand weighs up a nation-sized battery - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Oct 21, 2020

Ian Mason and Robert McLachlan Climate change was a small but perceptible part of the recent election. On climate change, Labour pointed proudly to their record of legislating for net zero emissions by 2050 (nicknamed the ‘Zero Carbon Act’), establishing a Climate Change Commission to set carbon budgets and advise the government, and for strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme by … Read More

Transitioning - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 31, 2019

Two things you can guarantee at this time of the year. Predictions about the coming year, and days at the beach (only lightly polluted, hopefully). Futures thinking is often seen as identifying the “next big thing” – technology and consumer trends. But that’s surface level futuring. Wave spotting. As a first step in raising awareness of change … Read More

Climate change – determination over despair - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 19, 2019

  There is much to be despondent about looking ahead to the consequences of a changing climate. But adopting Jonathan Franzen’s defeatism isn’t the best response. Reducing adverse impacts of climate change isn’t as simple as regulating automotive emissions, banning a pesticide of refrigerant, or changing to LED lights. But nor is it as … Read More

How does epigenetics fit in? - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Dec 14, 2018

Greg Jones The study of epigenetics could well be a key tool in transforming valuable genomic information into useful health outcomes for New Zealanders. But what is epigenetics and why is it important? Epigenetics is the influence of genetic susceptibility combined with the complex interactions of each individual’s environment over their lifetime. An individual’s epigenome is a dynamic personalised profile … Read More

Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environment - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 03, 2018

Thomas Neitzert, Auckland University of Technology As companies move to get rid of single-use plastic bags and bans on microbeads are coming into force, new biodegradable or compostable plastic products seem to offer an alternative. But they may be no better for the environment. Recently, European scientists argued that existing international industry standards are insufficient and … Read More

Thinking beyond the impossible burger - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jul 12, 2018

The agricultural sector has long been called a “sunset industry”. If so, it’s more a long drawn out polar twilight than a quick tropical dusk. Rosie Bosworth has written about New Zealand becoming the ‘Detroit of Agriculture’. Scary stuff, for some. A welcome transformation for others, if you read the opinion pieces. But are predictions of the … Read More