Media Advisory 4 July

Iwi relationships with Antarctic and the Southern Oceans
The Deep South National Science Challenge has announced a total of $1.5 million for seven new scientific research projects to help New Zealanders better understand their future climate. One of those projects is Te Tai Uka a Pia ‒ Iwi relationships with Antarctic and the Southern Oceans to enhance adaptation to climate change. It’s being led by Associate Professor Sandy Morrison from the University of Waikato. She says different tribes, iwi and hāpu have their own Antarctic stories, particularly South Island and Chatham Island Māori and registering those stories will expand the range of Māori historical references to Antarctica. That information can then be used alongside science to prepare communities for climate change impacts, through awareness-raising, adaptation and mitigation strategies. Associate Professor Morrison says they will also hold a workshop with scientists involved in the Challenge to discuss what key science messages should be shared with Māori communities and explore how these can be connected with Māori relationships and references.
Contact: Associate Professor Sandy Morrison, 07 858 5097, 027 276 0277, or

Marine ecologist to present research at marine sciences conference
University of Waikato marine ecologist Dr Phil Ross will present his research at the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society and Australian Marine Sciences Association conference in Wellington, from July 4-7. Dr Ross will present his talk “Can knowledge of early Māori fisheries practices help restore the Toheroa?” as part of the indigenous science session, which sees indigenous panellists from Australia and New Zealand discuss ways for the marine science and indigenous communities to engage more effectively in research partnerships. Other Waikato academics presenting at the conference include Professor Chris Battershill on New Zealand marine biotechnology, and Professor Marnie Campbell on the resilience of subtidal seagrass.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Waikato imagines sustainability
The University of Waikato, in collaboration with the Waikato Regional Council, is launching a new event that focuses on the future of sustainability in the Waikato region. Imagine Sustainability, a free, public event is on Friday July 15 from 10am-4pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts in Hamilton. The day includes presentations and panel discussions by Waikato’s leading professionals and academics in sustainability, including Parekawhia McLean - CEO Waikato-Tainui, Antanas Procuta - Principal Architect PAUA Architects, Paula Southgate - Waikato Regional Council Chair and the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Bruce Clarkson. There will also be DIY workshops by university staff, students and community groups. Waikato Students’ Union will run a resource exchange auction and the student winners of the Eco my Flat competition will be announced. Not-for-profit, volunteer and community organisations are invited to host a stand or display on the day. Registrations close tomorrow, Tuesday July 5. Visit to register.
Contact: Megan Burton-Brown, 07 838 4419, or

A conversation with Sir Peter Gluckman
The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, will present a “Conversation on Science and Society” at the University of Waikato on July 11. The discussion will consider how science and research communities can better engage with policy makers and with the public, aimed at encouraging better understanding and connection to the often-complex processes through which research-derived evidence can inform decision-making at government and community levels.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Memorial service for former VC Roy Crawford
The University of Waikato will host a memorial service this Wednesday July 6 for former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Roy Crawford who passed away on June 23. The service is at 1pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on campus. Robert (Roy) James Crawford, engineer and academic leader, was the university’s vice-chancellor for a decade, completing his term in December 2014. In the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to tertiary education. He was made an Emeritus Professor and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in April this year.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Transport futures: connected and autonomous vehicles survey
Car companies are rapidly integrating new technologies into their vehicles with the aim of making driving safer, reducing fuel consumption and easing congestion. These range from helping drivers in particular situations for example, Intelligent Parking Assistant System, to total automation (self-driving cars). Technology is also enabling cars to ‘talk’ (or connect) to each other and the road network around them, which can provide information about cars suddenly braking in front of them or traffic congestion. The University of Waikato’s Transport Research Group is interested in finding out New Zealanders’ views of these new vehicle technologies and their willingness to use them. They seek participants to take part in a survey that takes approximately 15 minutes. The findings will be written up for publication and presented at relevant conferences. For more information on the study, contact Dr Neha Malhotra, Associate Professor Samuel Charlton or Associate Professor Nicola Starkey at
Contact: Associate Professor Nicola Starkey, 07 837 9230, or

To Florida on a ‘light’ Fulbright
University of Waikato electronic engineering student Harrisson Jull is heading to Florida next month where he’ll spend a year researching aspects of light. Harrisson is the recipient of a $25,000 Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award and will spend his time at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Currently in the fourth year of his PhD, Harrisson is studying laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, that is, the use of light and laser emissions to study different materials. In Harrisson’s case, the material is grass and he’s using light to analyse plasma on the surface of grass, which tells him what kind of nutrients are in it. He says long-term, this research is for precision agriculture, particularly fertiliser application. In Florida, Harrisson will be working on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy system applied to an agricultural robot. The robot will be used to make spatial measurements of a field, giving site-specific nutrient information.
Contact: Harrisson Jull,021 025 19248, or

Top law man joins Waikato staff
Recently retired Senior Court of Appeal judge and president of the New Zealand Law Commission Sir Grant Hammond is joining Waikato University’s Te Piringa - Faculty of Law on a part-time basis as a Professor of Judicial Studies. Sir Grant, knighted in 2011 for services to law and who received the university’s first Doctor of Laws degree in 2014, will be teaching a course in judicial remedies and assisting with supervision of graduate students. The judge has had an extensive career that’s combined practice with academia. He was a teaching fellow at the University of Illinois, then worked as associate professor at Dalhousie University in Canada before taking up a professorial appointment at the University of Alberta, where he was also director of The Institute of Law Research and Reform. He was also Dean of Law at the University of Auckland before becoming a High Court judge for 11 years, then spent a decade as a judge of the Court of Appeal. He still sits on the Samoa Court of Appeal.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

Experience science and engineering with faculty open daysThe University of Waikato's Faculty of Science and Engineering is opening its doors to the public next week for a two-day event. People attending the open days can spend a day in university labs, experiment with liquid nitrogen, learn about combustion reactions, develop code to drive a remote-controlled car, or experience a day on campus designing, building and testing engineering projects. Science Open Day is on Wednesday July 13 Engineering Open Day is on Thursday July 14 Both events are free to the public, places are limited and registrations are required before July 10.
Contact: Kayleigh Farquhar, 07 838 4628, or

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