Research & Expertise
The University of Waikato is one of New Zealand's major research organisations, playing a key role in the economy and making a significant contribution to the international innovation system.
Waikato University has led New Zealand in terrestrial biological research in Antarctica for more than 30 years. Most recently Professor Craig Cary and Dr Charles Lee have secured NZ Antarctica Research Institute funding for a new pilot study to develop effective ways to measure early signs of climate change in Antarctica by developing tools to chart changes in the continent's ecosystems.
Waikato University ecologist Professor David Hamilton (pictured) is leading an "Outcome Based Investment" from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to conduct research to underpin restoration of the country's lakes. The Lake Ecosystem Restoration NZ programme has $10 million over 10 years to address the threats posed by algal blooms and pest fish through a series of projects aimed at restoring indigenous lake biodiversity.
Animal protein from meat processing waste can be turned into a high-value biodegradable plastic, named Novatein, using industry-standard equipment in a new manufacturing process discovered through research led by Waikato University chemical engineer Dr Johan Verbeek. A University subsidiary, Aduro Biopolymers LP, has been formed to take Novatein to the market.
Award winning book Mau Moko: the world of Māori tattoo, published by Penguin, continues to be a popular read. It is the result of many years of research by a team at the Māori and Psychology Research Unit at Waikato University, including Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Dr Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua and Rolinda Karapu. It has been reprinted twice in English, and translated into French.
Associate Professor Louis Schipper and Dr Dave Campbell (Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences) are leading research in techniques for determining real-time fluctuations of carbon dioxide in farm soils with a vision to assist farmers with land management decisions for optimal environmental and production outcomes.
New Zealand swamp kauri provide a unique source of information about past climate change unmatched in the world. By measuring past atmospheric 14C archived in kauri tree-rings, the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, under the directorship of Dr Alan Hogg, is helping to develop climate change records spanning thousands of years at time periods of critical interest to international researchers.
Waikato University researchers are helping New Zealand's biggest companies save millions of dollars by becoming more energy efficient. Led by Professor Peter Kamp, the Energy Research Group partners with government agencies and companies such as Fonterra, Carter Holt Harvey and the Glenbrook Steel Mill to identify opportunities for the country's biggest energy users to become more efficient.
Flexible Language Acquisition - or FLAX - is an easy-to-use open-source software tool developed by Professor Ian Witten. It allows language teachers to create practice exercises for their students from 'real' language texts and multimedia available through digital libraries. It is supported by the University's Greenstone Digital Library Software, an award-winning digital library system used across the world.
Screen and Media Studies senior lecturer Dr Gareth Schott is leading a new genre of international academic research, Game Studies, to examine the impact of video game violence on young New Zealanders in context with the culture of gaming, and the experiences and ideas of the players. His research is producing results that will help inform video gaming censorship classification in the future.
Research at Waikato University is investigating the impact of traumatic brain injury on the long-term health and wellbeing of children and young people. Along with colleagues from AUT, Auckland University and the Waikato District Health Board, senior lecturer in psychology, Dr Nicola Starkey, is heading research into what has been dubbed "the invisible epidemic".