Media Advisory February 07

WORLD EXPERT TO GIVE LECTURE ON NEW MANUKA HONEY RESEARCH

The German scientist who discovered the compound in manuka honey responsible for its anti-bacterial properties will give a public lecture on his latest research at the University of Waikato later this month. Professor Thomas Henle of the Institute of Food Chemistry, Technical University of Dresden, led the research group that identified the chemical compound, methylglyoxal, in 2006; since then his group has identified further unique features of compounds in manuka honey and other foods. Professor Henle will discuss these findings publicly for the first time in his lecture, one of only two he’ll be giving in New Zealand. Waikato’s Professor Peter Molan, Director of the Honey Research Centre, will chair a question-and-answer session after the lecture. Professor Henle’s visit is sponsored by Manuka Health Co New Zealand. Professor Henle’s lecture “Glycation compounds in food: What’s unique about New Zealand manuka honey?” will be held in S Block, Lecture Theatre S.1.04, at 6pm on Monday February 20 at the University of Waikato.

MARIO KART INSPIRED GAME WINS GAME JAM

A game created by three University of Waikato graduates was voted site favourite at the Waikato leg of the recent 48 hour Global Game Jam. Catch Me If You Can, a multiplayer racing game, was created by Jacob Toye, Dave Leaver and Jeremy Moore and inspired by Nintendo 64 classic game Mario Kart. All three men graduated from Waikato about five years ago and now work as programmers and developers at Smartrak, a GPS tracking and fleet management company based in Hamilton. Global Game Jam brings computer enthusiasts together to create video and board games every January. It encourages experimentation and innovation - participants come together for 48 hours, form teams, and develop games around a theme that is announced at the start of the event.

WATER ALLOCATION IN NEED OF SERIOUS RETHINK - ACADEMIC

A Waikato University academic warns that New Zealand needs to rethink its water allocation system, or risk stifling economic and cultural development. University of Waikato researcher and assistant lecturer Jagdeep Singh-Ladhar says the country’s “first in, first served” approach to water allocation and the way local government deals with water allocation issues needs to change. Singh-Ladhar is currently undertaking a comparative study for the Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL), examining the law and policy around water allocation in New Zealand and Australia.

THE ITALIAN JOB

University of Waikato composers David Griffiths and Michael Williams will represent Oceania at the international Volcanic Lakes Festival in Italy later this month, the only performers from the South Pacific. “It’s a real honour and privilege to be asked to write something for this wonderful festival,” said Williams. “David and I are the sole representatives from this side of the world with composers from America, the UK, Korea and Egypt also attending.” The festival takes place over three weekends at five volcanic lakes. Each of the lakes has a legend attached to it and composers were assigned lakes and legends as the basis of their compositions.

HAMILTON GULLIES RESTORATION

The University of Waikato Centre for Continuing Education will host a series examining the restoration of Hamilton’s Gullies every Thursday night from February 9-23. Members of the Hamilton City Council will join University of Waikato graduates, scientists and experienced gully restorers, who will host the sessions. The February 9 session will examine the history and significant of “urban forests”, while the February 16 session will discuss why gullies are worth restoring and the final February 23 session will discuss ‘how to restore’. The one-hour lectures take place each Thursday in Waikato Management School, MSB1.05, starting at 7pm.

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