Breadcrumbs

Café Scientifique explores Mānuka – the plant behind the honey

8 November 2018

University of Waikato Associate Professor Mike Clearwater.

Mānuka – it’s known as liquid gold, but it’s also the subject of recent controversy with fake Mānuka honey doing the rounds and other countries trying to claim it as their own.

Associate Professor Mike Clearwater from the University of Waikato will explore the plant behind the honey at the next Café Scientifique in Tauranga on Monday 19 November.

“From reviled weed to treasured medicinal plant, our view of mānuka has always depended on its role in our lives.  For many, that view has been transformed by the discovery of the properties of its unusual honey,” says Mike. “As the mānuka honey industry continues to expand rapidly, millions of seedlings are being planted, and landowners, bee keepers and exporters are competing fiercely for access to a limited resource.”

What is it that makes this plant so different?  Mike will examine the latest research on mānuka, from its genetics to the biology of nectar production. How does the plant make nectar, and why does the nectar contain its active ingredients? Is it really the same plant growing in Australia, and how does the nectar of its Australian cousins compare with the local varieties?

A plant biologist, Mike originally studied at the University of Auckland, before undertaking a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and post-doctoral work in the USA. Upon returning to New Zealand, he joined Plant and Food Research in Te Puke as a research scientist, spending much of his time working on the biology of the Bay of Plenty’s kiwifruit and avocado crops. Transferring to the University of Waikato in 2009, he is now leading a research project examining the biology of flowering and nectar production by mānuka. His research expertise includes plant physiology, vascular biology and the development of flowers and fruit.

Café Scientifique is a regular Tauranga-based seminar series where anyone can explore the latest scientific thinking and research from national and international speakers. Café Scientifique is organised by Saffron Consulting Ltd and supported by the University of Waikato. There is a $5 cover charge.

Event: Café Scientifique, Tauranga.
Topic: Mānuka: The plant behind the honey.
Presenter: Associate Professor Mike Clearwater, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato.
Time and Date: Monday 19 November 2018. Doors open 6.30pm, presentation starts 7.00pm.
Location: Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga.
Contact: julia.banks@saffronconsulting.co.nz

Register here.

Related stories

Tauranga early childhood student’s heart of gold

Tauranga mother of six Charlotte Hartley, who was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Adult Learner’s Award and…

Rising to the challenge of tertiary study

Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) student Dorothea (Tia) Strauss received the Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge…

Home but not away for Papamoa College students

Year 13 Papamoa College students Brooke Bayly and Joshua Brown have each been awarded a…

Leaving a WSU legacy

Nexus editor Lyam Buchanan and WSU President Candra Pullon both graduated from the University of…

Uni signals the turning of a new Paige

Otumoetai College student Paige Taylor has been awarded a D.V. Bryant Trust University of Waikato…

First-in-family scholarship means study down town for Bayley Brown

Bayley Brown is set to follow her childhood dream of becoming a teacher when she…

It’s uni in the Bay for Bae

Water polo and volleyball rising star Bae Fountain was awarded a University of Waikato Sir…

Whakatāne wahine takes on Waikato, then the world

It’s been a year of self-discovery for Rangipare Belshaw-Ngaropo, who moved from small coastal town…

The science of seaweed

Sea lettuce - it’s unsightly, smelly and the scourge of Tauranga Harbour during summer. While…

Waikato students off to Asia and Latin America

Waikato students have been awarded a combined total of $304,685 through the Prime Minister’s Scholarship…

Double scholarship success for Waitaha iwi mokopuna

Bay of Plenty’s Travis Moke and Shyanne Erueti will be the first in their whānau…

Waikato student drives home master’s research into golf

George Wardell is researching the effect of weighted golf clubs in training, working towards the…