Media Advisory 14 November 2016

Waikato University awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
The University of Waikato has been awarded its first Rutherford Discovery Fellowship. The fellowship was awarded to School of Science Senior Lecturer Dr Adam Hartland who has been granted $800,000 over five years for his project “Unlocking the karst record: quantitative proxies of past climates from speleothems”. Dr Hartland’s study addresses the need to find new ways of working out the exact range of past rainfall and air temperature variations over the recent geological past (up to the last 10,000 years). Using new approaches including trace elements and magnetism, the project will develop new records of the past climate of our region, focusing on the major climate mode of El Niño – Southern Oscillation. Combining cave monitoring, laboratory experiments and cutting-edge geochemical measurements, the new records produced will alter the existing understanding of cave science and the climate of this region.
Contact: Dr Adam Hartland, 021 104 5067, or

Waikato University sponsors international ecological conference in Hamilton
Ecology and Restoration, Australasia (ERA2016) is the first joint conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) and the New Zealand Ecological Society (NZES) and is being held in Hamilton from 19-23 November at Claudelands Events Centre. The conference theme is “Restoring Resilience across all Environments”. University of Waikato Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and authority in ecological restoration Professor Bruce Clarkson is the conference chair. Themes being covered at the conference include ecosystem function, forests and grasslands, invasive and pest species management, mining restoration and indigenous restoration and co-management. The keynote speaker is Predator Free NZ Chair Sir Rob Fenwick, and canopy ecology pioneer and scientist Meg Lowman is the plenary speaker. Media is welcome to attend. For more information visit
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Heroes and rogues of accounting
Tomorrow, Tuesday 15 November, University of Waikato Accounting Professor Grant Samkin will give his inaugural professorial lecture, ‘Moving beyond the green and purple: People I’ve known and places we’re going’. Professor Samkin has been a chartered accountant for the past 26 years, and an academic for the past 17. A major theme of Professor Samkin’s research is non-financial, narrative reporting  – how commercial and public organisations use annual reports to not only report on their financial performance to shareholders, but also as a public relations tool to manage their reputation. After analysing thousands of annual reports, he is developing a new accounting framework that will help external stakeholders measure a company’s performance against environmental targets such as contribution to biodiversity. Other research has included corporate social responsibility disclosures during the global financial crisis, the use of Z-scores to predict the collapse of finance companies, and whether schools should teach students financial literacy skills. This inaugural professorial lecture will be held at the University’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public, and parking is free after 4.30pm in the University’s Gate 1 carpark. For more details see
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

Waikato DHB Chief to speak on healthcare management accountability
Waikato District Health Board CEO Dr Nigel Murray will give a free public talk at the University of Waikato on November 24 sharing his experiences of management accountability in healthcare. Dr Murray took over the reins of Waikato DHB in July 2014. He was previously chief executive of Fraser Health Authority in Canada where he led an organisation of 22,000 staff serving a population of more than 1.6 million people. Dr Murray also spent 10 years with the New Zealand Army as a senior medical officer, and carried out United Nations assignments to plan and implement health services in Bosnia and post-war Iraq. In 1995, he was awarded an MBE for his services to health. Dr Murray then moved into a health management career, initially at Auckland District Health Board as general manager planning and development. His talk, starting at 4.30pm, is part of the Excellence in Practice series run by Waikato Management School's Corporate and Executive Education centre. Spaces are limited, so please register attendance at
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or, Debbie Roberts, 07 838 4014, or

Opening up picture books
Diversity in picture books will be the focus of a day-long seminar at the University of Waikato later this month. The seminar on 24 November is being hosted by the Waikato Picturebook Research Unit in the Faculty of Education and will feature librarians, teachers, academics, authors and an illustrator talking about how they see diversity in the genre. Organiser Dr Nicola Daly says the concept of diversity is interpreted broadly to include ethnicity, language, sexuality, and (dis)ability. Registration for the event filled three weeks ahead of the closing date, and includes primary and early childhood teachers, librarians, authors, tertiary students and academics, mostly from the Waikato Bay of Plenty region, but also from Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North.
Contact: Dr Nicola Daly, 07 838 4298, or

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