Breadcrumbs

Research Showcase

Connecting our brightest minds to the world's toughest challenges

Our commitment to sustainable development and innovation permeates all of our research to provide support for business, for the environment, and for people everywhere.

The University of Waikato is home to eight research institutes and a large number of research centres and groups, all working to create new knowledge and tackle the tough questions.

Take a look at some of our latest research below

Understanding our environment like never before

TAIAO is a data science programme of $13 million over seven years, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

It will advance the state-of-the-art in environmental data science by developing new machine learning methods for time series and data streams that are able to deal with large quantities of big data in real time. The methods are tailored to deal with data collected on the New Zealand environment.

A circular economy for Aotearoa

Āmiomio Aotearoa is a novel economic concept which is cyclical in nature and regenerative by design, keeping products, components and materials at their highest value at all times.

Built on Mātauranga Māori and western science, the concept aims to move beyond the current linear extract-produce-use-dispose material and energy flow model of the modern economic system, which is unsustainable.

What happens to life as the world heats up?

A large research project that seeks to understand how biology responds to increasing temperature could give insight into what may really happen to life if our planet heats up.

Professor Vic Arcus and Professor Louis Schipper are two of four key principal investigators leading a project that aims to determine whether there’s a single theory of temperature dependence that applies to life.

Research to support wellbeing

Mapping the changing face of New Zealand

New Zealand’s population is rapidly changing with the settlement of migrants from all over the world, growing ethnic diversity, population ageing, changing fertility patterns and urban growth.

Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa/New Zealand (CaDDANZ, pronounced 'cadence') is  a research programme that is working to identify how New Zealand can better prepare for, and respond to, these demographic changes in order to maximise the benefits of an increasingly diverse population.

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Looking after Māori mums and babies

Kaupapa Māori research co-led by Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki aims to address inequities in maternal health services for Māori by using Māori knowledge and tikanga to empower Māori families.

The research project is funded by ‘A Better Start E Tipu e Rea’ National Science Challenge, and has received nearly $1 million in funding over two years.

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The benefits of backseat drivers

Having a passenger in the car can make a trip safer and more enjoyable, compared to driving alone, according to research by University of Waikato psychology professors Samuel Charlton and Nicola Starkey.

In this ground-breaking study, the researchers asked Kiwi drivers about the helpful things their passengers did, and the things they wish passengers would do more.

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Understanding inequities in our health system

A University of Waikato study looking at the treatment and timeliness of chemotherapy for bowel cancer patients in New Zealand has found inequities in the treatment of Pacific, Māori and Asian patients.

The findings will inform the newly-established New Zealand Cancer Control Agency, responsible for delivering equitable and nationally consistent cancer services for all New Zealanders.

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Research to help the environment

People, Cities and Nature

The People, Cities and Nature programme seeks to improve the quality of life, health and economic wellbeing in New Zealand's cities and towns through advanced understanding of urban ecology and the creation of flourishing natural environments.

It explores the benefits of ecological restoration to urban New Zealanders through six interrelated projects: plantings, lizards, predators, Māori values, green space benefits and cross-sector alliances.

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Protecting our oceans by understanding risks

A team of scientists are researching and modelling the risks and uncertainty our marine environment faces from multiple industries and climate change pressures into the future.

Led by University of Waikato researcher Dr Joanne Ellis, the work is part of a $70 million 10-year Government programme to understand and characterise uncertainty in order to prioritise interventions which support marine health.

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Towards 100% renewable energy

The Government will invest $30 million into investigating a proposed hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow in the South Island, a concept developed by Associate Professor Earl Bardsley from the University of Waikato.

The system would significantly expand New Zealand’s hydroelectric storage capacity, providing back-up power when other renewable energy sources are running low – a gap currently filled by coal and gas.

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Research to build the economy

Returning data control to the user

Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Trust and User-centric Services in the Cloud (STRATUS) aims to empower users by giving them control over the security of their data in the Cloud, and to give companies tools and services to sell.

STRATUS is a six-year, $12.2 million cyber security project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and undertaken by leading Cloud security researchers and practitioners.

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What makes high-grade mānuka honey?

University of Waikato researchers have discovered a unique group of microorganisms on the surface of mānuka leaves, which could help explain wide variation in the antibacterial properties of mānuka honey.

Expanding on these findings could help maximise the production of high-grade mānuka honey, which sells for hundreds of dollars per kilo.

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Advertised claims don’t hold true for everyone

The Nike Vaporfly running shoe has been worn by elite athletes while smashing world records – from 1500 metre dashes to marathons.

But University of Waikato researchers have found the $380 shoe may not always deliver on the promise of increased running efficiency, especially when used by recreational runners.

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