Media Advisory 25 October 2016

KuDos Awards for two Waikato academics
Two academics from the University of Waikato’s School of Science were announced as winners in this year’s KuDos Hamilton Science Excellence Awards on October 19. Professor Vic Arcus received the Waikato District Health Board Medical Science Award and Professor Brendan Hicks received the Waikato Regional Council Environmental Science Award. Professor Arcus specialises in molecular biology and evolution. His KuDos nomination focused on research into mycobacterium tuberculosis, a disease that asymptomatically affects one-third of the world’s. Professor Hicks is a leading freshwater ecologist. Two of his projects include the remote sensing of water quality in lakes. This technique has the potential to revolutionise monitoring of fresh waters and make major cost savings
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Free public lecture from NZ Law Society’s executive director
The University of Waikato’s Faculty of Law is hosting a free public lecture by New Zealand Law Society executive director Christine Grice as part of its 25th anniversary lecture series. Her lecture will question what the law profession will look like in 10-50 years’ time, and how law firms and practitioners can adapt to ensure the law profession is healthy and sustainable in the future. Ms Grice has extensive experience as a litigation lawyer and acted as arbitrator or mediator in a variety of cases from complex commercial and multi-party cases to electronically conducted internet disputes. Her focus has been on commercial and corporate law. She has chaired a number of boards, including the Perry Group Ltd and Radio NZ Ltd. She is a former President of the NZ Law Society and sits as a judge of the Cook Islands High Court. The lecture is on Tuesday November 1 from 5.30pm-8pm in N.1.03, Law Building, Hillcrest Road.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Universities learn from each other
The University of Waikato’s Faculty of Education and the National Institute of Schooling Reform and Development at East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai have signed a memorandum of understanding to work collaboratively in many aspects relevant to teaching and research in education. The Chinese university works closely with the republic’s Ministry of Education, and its academics will work closely with professors Tina Besley and Michael Peters from the Centre of Global Studies in Education at Waikato. Of particular interest for Waikato is the ‘Shanghai Model of Primary Education’ and how this has resulted in Shanghai being rated number one in the OECD 2013 PISA rankings for reading and maths (NZ is ranked 13 and 23). For ECNU, New Zealand’s 21st century classroom environments and models of Māori education hold interest.
Contact: Professor Tina Besley, 07 838 4466 ext 6246, or

Leaf fossils, CO2, and the Antarctic ice sheet
An ancient crater lake in Central Otago is providing new insights into atmospheric carbon dioxide changes and how those changes affected the Antarctic ice sheet 23 million years ago. Dr Beth Fox, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Waikato, says fossilised leaves found at Foulden Maar near Middlemarch hold evidence of a sharp increase in atmospheric CO2 levels associated with a major collapse of the ice sheet. Dr Fox and colleagues at Columbia University in the US found that changes in the stomatal cells and carbon isotope ratios in the leaves showed levels of CO2 rising sharply from about 500 parts per million (ppm) to between 750 and 1550 ppm over a span of around 10,000 years. But even when the CO2 levels dropped back to previous levels, the ice kept on melting. Dr Fox says this information is important as scientists study today’s CO2 concentrations and their effect on Antarctica. For more information visit
Contact: Dr Beth Fox, 07 838 4520, 021 0852 4559, or

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