Breadcrumbs

Professor Vickery Arcus awarded James Cook Research Fellowship

1 November 2017

Professor Vickery Arcus
Professor Vickery Arcus

University of Waikato researchers are looking at how the biological world responds to changing temperatures.

The Royal Society Te Apārangi has awarded Professor Vickery Arcus a prestigious James Cook Research Fellowship.  His work is on the temperature dependence of biological rates from enzymes to ecosystems.

Enzymes catalyse the chemical reactions necessary for life to exist, and Professor Arcus is charting how they respond to changes in temperature. The model they have developed from individual enzymes scales up to vastly complex behaviour -  organisms, the ecosystem and the biosphere itself.

One of the big unknowns in climate change is what the biosphere will do as temperature goes up. Professor Arcus says the current models are relatively simple. “If we are successful in describing from a fundamental point of view the behaviour of biological systems in response to warming, then we can use the new model to predict how the biosphere will react. We’re interested to see if our predictions differ significantly to those produced by simpler models.”

The balance of all the world’s organisms respiring and all of them photosynthesising is a major contributor to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Being able to predict whether the balance will change with global warming will help produce a more accurate picture of the future of the planet.

Professor Arcus is collaborating with Waikato’s Professor Louis Schipper and other researchers and students on four projects which converge on the subject. He will use Fellowship funding to coordinate and expand the work.

He says he is proud to be able to bring the James Cook Research Fellowship to the University of Waikato. “It means the very best science is being done here.”

Related stories

It's time to care about our insects

Dr Chrissie Painting, along with 70 other researchers from 21 countries, are calling for immediate…

RH Innovation

Student-owned agri-tech startup gains business boost from Microsoft

A student-based agri-tech startup company that has developed an inventive way to measure moisture, salinity…

Louis Schipper & Vic Arcus

Waikato researchers aim to find out what happens to life as the world heats up

A large research project that seeks to understand how biology responds to increasing temperature could…

 Dr Alison Campbell

Science educator named Honorary Fellow by the University of Waikato

A long-standing University of Waikato academic and science communicator has been named an Honorary Fellow…

Michèle Prinsep

Waikato academic ranked in top one per cent in the world for research citations

A University of Waikato researcher who identifies compounds in marine species which could be used…

Professor Troy Baisden

Professor named new president of the New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS)

Professor Troy Baisden, who is based in School of Science at the University of Waikato,…

Sharna McCleary

Science student uses mushrooms to help clean up Whakatāne canal

Oyster mushrooms are helping to clean up an historically contaminated timber processing site in Whakatāne,…

Maui Hudson & Tahu Kukutai

Fighting for Māori data rights

Two researchers are helping to pioneer a global initiative that seeks to restore control of…

Lead researcher Prof Albert Bifet

Waikato Data Scientists awarded $13 million

Data scientists at the University of Waikato have been awarded $13 million from the Government.

Dr Lee Streeter

Time-of-flight researcher awarded by Royal Society

Dr Lee Streeter has solved a big problem in time-of-flight technology, improving the measurement of…

Chemquest

Whakatāne High School win ChemQuest

Students from Whakatāne High School took out the top prize at the University of Waikato’s…

STEM Fest

Uni campus hosts STEM Festival in Tauranga

As a main sponsor of the country's first world-class STEM Festival (STEMFest) event, the University…