Media Advisory 7 August 2017

7 August 2017

Harnessing excellence in marine biotech
The ‘Blue2Green’ international Marine Biotechnology Convention is taking place this week in Tauranga, bringing together a cross-section of scientists to explore new research opportunities centred around the theme of environmental sustainability linked to development of new high-value marine industries. Convention Chair and Director of the University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Research Station in Tauranga, Professor Chris Battershill, says with the global marine biotechnology market predicted to reach $US5.9 billion by 2022, the convention is seen as an integral opportunity to strengthen research and development ties amongst the represented Pacific Rim and Australasian countries. He anticipates the convention will demonstrate how to harness existing excellence across marine biotechnological sciences to fast track sustainable wealth creation through novel application of marine biotechnologies, additionally examining how these very technologies can be used to aid repair or strengthen environments under threat. For more information visit
Contact: Elle Stewart, 021 0878 4659 or
Professor Chris Battershill, 07 575 0481 ext 7501, 027 445 5908, or

Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America
Ten University of Waikato law students are heading to Chile as recipients of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America. The Waikato Law application was the only successful group application in the latest round of Prime Minister’s scholarships. The students will spend a month in Santiago attending classes in environmental law at the University of Chile, visiting an environmental law court and gaining work experience in law firms around Santiago. Management student Thomas Macdonald has been awarded an individual scholarship to travel to Mexico.
Contact: Ella McIntosh, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Is there life on Mars?
As our ability to extend observations beyond earth improves, planetary scientists are looking anew to the potential for life on other planets – a field called astrobiology. But it’s about more than hunting for ET. How did life start on Earth and get to where it is today? What are the limits to life? And what are indisputable signs of life once there but now gone? These are some of the questions Professor Ian Hawes, an aquatic biologist, will address in his Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘Windows to other worlds: Antarctic lakes, astrobiology and milestone moments for life on ancient Earth’. Professor Hawkes will talk about extraordinary events in the evolution of life on Earth and discuss the only known modern “oxygen oasis” he recently discovered with his collaborators in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica.  His lecture takes place on Tuesday 15 August starting at 5.15pm. It is free and open to the public. Parking is free after 4.30pm in the University of Waikato’s Gate 1 (Knighton Road) carpark.
Contact: Margaret Hegarty, 07 838 9564, or

Tauranga hosts leading sports performance innovators
The University of Waikato is hosting a Sports Performance Innovation Forum this week as part of Tauranga’s inaugural Groundswell Festival. Taking place at the University of Waikato’s Adams Centre for High Performance Sport at Mount Maunganui, the forum will feature a line-up of leading sports performance professionals who will cover the anatomy from head to toe. Speakers include Steve Stanley from Siliconcoach - a software company advancing sports performance - who will cover the eyes, cricket commentator Peter McGlashan who will cover the hands, exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Dr Stacy Sims from the University’s High Performance Centre, who will cover the belly, and Wade Flanagan, Innovation Developer at Nike, who will cover the feet.  The event takes place on Wednesday 9 August, 9am-2pm at 52 Miro Street, MountMaunganui. For more information visit:
Contact: Anthea McLeary, 07 557 8960, or

Doing our Bit
Refugee campaigner Murdoch Stephens is giving a public lecture at the University of Waikato this week, hosted by Te Piringa – Faculty of Law. Mr Stephens supports doubling New Zealand’s refugee quota and will “untangle” some of the psychological determinants that will always see refugees viewed as a cost. He’ll also talk about how his ‘Doing our Bit’ campaign came about and its development from radical fringes to a mainstream position. The lecture ‘From principle to practice: doing our bit for refugees in a time of politicised migration’ takes place on Wednesday 9 August, 11am-12pm in L.G.05.  
Contact: Ella McIntosh, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Moving from one state to another
The third TEDxRuakura event is taking place at the University of Waikato on August 20. University staff and alumni make up four of the 10 speakers at this year’s event. They are cyber security specialist Associate Professor Ryan Ko, Educationalist Professor Michael Peters and alumnae Tania Jones who’s a design thinking facilitator and marketing manager, and Linda Radosinska, a former HR manager turned fine art photographer and filmmaker. Speakers will explore the movement or transition from one state of being to another in TEDxRuakura 2017’s theme ‘Beyond’. TedxRuakura runs 10am-5pm with tickets available from
Contact: Kylie Rae, 0204 130 5060, or

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