Careers in science
So you wanna be a scientist? Fancy yourself in a white coat in a biohazard lab? Or in a wetsuit built for ice diving in Antarctica? Or maybe you like building…
Meet some of the metrologists who work at the Measurement Standards Laboratory by selecting one of the labels for further information. These highly skilled scientists are part of the team that provides calibration services, helps with research and development and ensures that New Zealand’s units of measurement are consistent with the SI – the International System of Units.
From dino droppings to gut microbes to square poop, you can learn a lot by studying poos. Study something in a test tube, and scientists say that the research was performed in vitro. That’s Latin meaning “in glass.” Study it in a living body, and it’s in vivo (“in a living thing”). But what if your research has you poking around in poop? Scientists haven’t had a word for that — until recently. Introducing in fimo. This new scientific term describes experiments done on feces.
Exploring climate change through creative arts a focus for Prime Minister's science award recipient - STUFF ARTICLE It's a sense of duty that drives a Victoria University science academic to do more to encourage environmental issues like climate change to be explored through the arts. Geography, environment and earth sciences professor James Renwick was announced as a winner of a Prime Minister's $100,000 science communication prize on Tuesday.
Opportunities in the science technician workforce: Summary for Teachers Help students find career opportunities in science. Match qualification level to science-rich roles. Find out what issues are important for career development. Do you have students interested in science who are not likely to go to university?
Professor Dave Kelly is a population ecologist who has a particular interest in pollination and the survival of native plants. He sees himself as fortunate, because he gets paid to do what many people have to fit into their weekends and holidays. His job does involve teaching and research on the university campus in Christchurch, but he also gets to spend time doing fieldwork. This often means exploring remote locations and observing some of New Zealand’s wonderful animals and plants.
VIDEO CLIP: Jane Mullaney is a PhD student at Plant & Food Research, Palmerston North. Jane describes her career pathway from graphic artist, to busker, to microbiology technician and PhD student. She has always had a questioning mind and believes that science is just as artistic as being able to paint, sing or play an instrument.
VIDEO CLIP: Teenage ideas about future careers sometimes do not become reality. In this video clip, Professor Kate McGrath, Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, describes herself as a teenager who wanted to become a pilot and then a soil scientist who became a physical chemistry professor. These changes were the result of multiple influences.
Dr Juliet Ansell grew up in England and has a doctorate degree in human tropical parasitology from Oxford University, which involved fieldwork with school children in Tanzania, East Africa. Juliet has also worked in laboratories in the UK, Africa, Australia and New Zealand on a diverse range of research questions including transmission of HIV from mother to baby, malaria in pregnant women and cattle ticks on European breeds in Queensland, Australia.
Most parents have dreams for their children, and Kelvin Barnsdale’s father was no different. Kelvin’s dad was a mechanical engineer and he predicted that the future would involve electronics, so he named his son after a famous electrical engineer. Kelvin thinks that his dad’s trick appears to have worked – from an early age, he has been fascinated with the magic of radio and how it can control things from a distance.
Te Taka Keegan has had an unusual career path that has involved working as a hardware engineer, returning to university to do a degree all in Māori and to continue his study with a master’s thesis on traditional navigation. For his master’s thesis, Te Taka studied traditional Māori navigation and had the opportunity to help rig and sail a traditional double-hull canoe (waka) from Hawaii to Rarotonga.
Dr Ian Brown - Senior research scientist - Materials research - Industrial Research Limited (IRL) ...“Scientific research is a completely flexible and varied career – you don’t know what is going to be on your plate from one week to the next. When you get enough experience on board, you can control your own destiny and your own research to a large extent. The key thing for younger people is to keep their options open – don’t specialise too soon.”
Dr Joanna Kirman was an immunologist at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. In 2012 she relocated to the University of Otago to continue developing an improved vaccine for TB using the Biohazard 3 facility that can accommodate TB.... "Being a scientist is a lot like being a detective – you have to think of cunning ways to solve problems and find the answers."
Dr Charley Fleischmann’s research interests are in fire modelling, fire reconstruction, furniture flammability and computer modelling. When Charley finished high school, he never thought he would go to university, but as it turned out, he never left. When Charley was a volunteer firefighter, someone suggested he try fire engineering as a career, and as he had no better ideas, he decided to give it a go.
As the Research Director of the Malaghan Institute, Professor Graham Le Gros oversees the running of a number of research programmes involving a staff of 100 people. He also heads a research group of 8–10 people including PhD students...."Research is the most interesting thing to do. You think you understand something and then discover a new fact that changes your understanding completely."
Liz Girvan is a microscopist at the University of Otago. After she left school Liz worked in several jobs that were unrelated to science. Then, by chance, she saw the advertisement for her current position. She thought she’d give it a go, applied for the job and got it. She says, “I fell in love with it straight away... No day is ever the same. I can be looking at head lice, the internal structure of a marshmallow and a piece of a failed helicopter blade all in the same day!”
Dr Bronwyn Lowe hasn’t had your ‘standard’ scientific career path. Rather than becoming more and more specialised in one area of science, the Australian has seized every chance to try something new. In her 25 years in science, she has worked in four different fields in two countries (Australia and New Zealand) and continues to expand her scientific horizons at every opportunity.