Media Advisory September 20

A-B-C APPROACH TO POPULATION AGEING

Waikato University’s free public lecture series on our city, our region will give an A-B-C approach to population ageing. The university’s Population Studies Centre director, Professor Natalie Jackson, delivers the fourth lecture in the series on September 22. Dr Jackson will discuss the demographic challenges and opportunities in the Waikato region. She is followed on September 29 by Faculty of Science and Engineering Dean Professor Bruce Clarkson and Chair of Lakes Management and Restoration Professor David Hamilton. Lectures take place from 6.30pm to 7.30pm each Wednesday evening until September 29 and are held at the University’s Academy of Performing Arts, with parking available in Gate 2B off Knighton Rd, Hamilton.

WAIKATO BIOLOGIST BARCODES LIFE FORMS IN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT

Imagine a catalogue of life at your fingertips; being able to know the name of any animal, plant, fungus or organism in an instant, without having to search through reference or guide books. Waikato University Biologist Dr Ian Hogg is making this a reality through his involvement with the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Project. The iBOL Project is assembling a DNA barcode library, which will result in a simple way to identify any species world-wide. The project involves researchers from 25 nations around the world with a five-year plan to obtain DNA barcode records for 5 million specimens representing 500 thousand species. Dr Hogg, who has been involved in the project since its inception, is attending the international launch of the iBOL Project in Canada on September 25 as New Zealand’s primary representative, and is also the co-leader of the project’s freshwater bio surveillance workgroup.

UNI STUDENTS LEARN WHILE RAISING MONEY FOR CANCER SOCIETY

Waikato University students are putting their new skills to the test. Over the next four weeks, Waikato Management School students will be running events as part of a new paper on event management. Among the 15 student-organised events is a Charity Spring Fashion Show and Auction, which will showcase the latest spring clothing collections from local stores and auction items ranging from limited edition pink breast cancer Pandora bracelets to a yacht ride and a three-month gym membership. Other events include a comedy night, a disco, a talent show, a drive-in movie, a quiz night, a mini-golf tournament and a scavenger hunt. Proceeds from all these events will go to support the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society in its appeal for $4.25 million to build a new accommodation facility for people receiving treatment for cancer. The facility, on Tainui St in Hamilton, will house 600 people every year and provide free meals and accommodation, and will also be the hub for the Cancer Society’s support services. The Charity Spring Fashion Show and Auction takes place at 7.30pm on Friday September 24 and is held at the Ferrybank Lounge on Grantham Street in Hamilton. Tickets cost $30.

BAGS ARE PACKED – HE’S READY TO GO

University of Waikato student Thomas Stubbs is one of a handful of New Zealanders to receive a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Prince of Wales Scholarship. Stubbs, whose journey will begin on September 28, plans to spend three years at Cambridge, looking into the world of precarious employment - where circumstances can be very unstable for workers. The scholarship sees successful applicants beginning and completing their PhD study at Cambridge University. It will cover all of his fees for the three years, which equates to around $80,000 New Zealand Dollars. Stubbs has just completed a Master of Social Sciences degree.

WAIKATO UNIVERSITY RECEIVES FUNDING FOR EAST TIMOR PROJECT

A linguistics team from the University of Waikato has been granted funding of more than $10,000 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Seriously Asia Programme. The funding will allow the team, led by Drs James McLellan and Roger Barnard, to create computer-based teaching materials using the innovative FLAX language learning software developed by the university's Computer Science Department - creating a technological leap for what's one of the world's poorest countries. Dr Barnard says the technological leap has some big advantages for East Timor. "It overcomes the lack of money for books, and the need to maintain a low carbon footprint," he says. "It also provides experience in using a suite of software programs that could be extended to providing teaching materials for other parts of East Timor's curriculum." Dr McLellan is in East Timor this month to work with local lecturers on the project. The new Seriously Asia funding also enables the Waikato University team to continue work required to gain international accreditation for the curriculum through the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

UNI HOSTS FINALE OF MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST

The finale of the Royal Over-Seas League international music scholarship contest takes place at Waikato University tonight. After a weekend of auditions chamber music groups from universities all over New Zealand will come together to compete in the final event being held at the university’s Academy of Performing Arts. Competitors are vying for a fully funded five week UK musical experience, which includes flights to the UK; four weeks hospitality and accommodation; spending money; coaching and master-classes with leading teachers in the UK; recitals and concert appearances; visits to major UK conservatoires; and, tickets to cultural events. The Royal Over-Seas League international music scholarship contest aims to develop the careers of talented young professional artists and musicians. The contest finale takes place at 7pm on Monday September 20 at the University of Waikato Academy of Performing Arts. For event information visit http://www.waikato.ac.nz/academy/whaton.shtml

PUBLIC LECTURE EXPLORES THE HUMAN BRAIN

Award winning scientist Professor Richard Faull, Director of Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research, will give the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Distinguished Speaker Lecture at the University of Waikato next week. Professor Faull will present his research into the mysteries of the human brain, which has led him to the ground breaking discovery that the brain is capable of regenerating cells. These findings have changed the perception of the human brain and have opened up new strategies for fighting brain disease. This free public lecture takes place at 7.30pm on Thursday September 30 and is held at the University of Waikato Academy of Performing Arts. For more information on this lecture visit www.royalsociety.org.nz

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