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NZ National Science Challenges

Collection by Science Learning Hub • Last updated 4 weeks ago

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A new collaborative effort is underway to monitor kauri dieback in the Waitākere Ranges Regional park. While Auckland Council have been monitoring the area since 2008, the scope of work to date has focused on a surveillance effort to detect pathogen presence and symptoms associated with kauri dieback disease. This monitoring programme will be the first to look at kauri health in the Waitākere Ranges from an epidemiological perspective, along with analysing soil samples... Auckland, Ranges, Regional, Effort, Perspective, Monitor, The Cure, Challenges, Science

Kauri Dieback monitoring in the Waitākere Ranges - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

A new collaborate effort between Auckland Council, mana whenua and researchers is underway to monitor kauri dieback in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with plans to survey up to 3,500 kauri trees for signs of the disease.

Commercial mussel lines are great at catching mussel spat, but are made of plastic. The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project, ...is investigating the feasibility of using natural fibre lines to help restore kuku/mussel beds in Ōhiwa Harbour. In 2007 there were 112 million baby kuku in a continuous 2km reef – by 2019 there were less than 80,000 in the entire harbour. Kuku, also called kutai, are a taonga (treasured) species for the local iwi, and crucial to the health of this ecosystem. Science Resources, World View, Mussels, Restore, The Locals, Sustainability, Beds, Restoration, Commercial

Early signs of success at mussel ‘restoration stations’

Commercial mussel lines are great at catching mussel spat, but are predominantly made of plastic. The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project, led by Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke (University of Waikato), is investigating the feasibility of using natural fibre lines to help restore kuku/mussel beds in Ōhiwa Harbour. In 2007 there were 112 million baby kuku in a continuous 2km reef – by 2019 there were less than 80,000 in the entire harbour. Kuku, also called kutai, are a taonga (treasured) species…

By Beyond Myrtle Rust. If you walk through a tract of native forest in NZ, you will no doubt notice plants growing on the trees. These are epiphytes, a name given to organisms that grow on the surfaces of plants. Epiphytes are plentiful and varied in NZ and include the Kahakaha – also called the Perching Lily – as well as a number of orchids, mistletoes and other plants. But plants aren’t the only epiphytes living on native trees. There are also hundreds of epiphytic microbes. Myrtle, Orchids, Rust, Challenges, Lily, Trees, Science, War, Number

Microscopic epiphytes may help in the war against myrtle rust - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

Microbiologist Hayley Ridgway is investigating the epiphytic microbe communities living on myrtle species, and their role in the spread of myrtle rust.

PhD candidate Alexa Byers has recently published new research in Soil Biology and Biochemistry on the composition of microbial communities in soil associated with roots of kauri that are symptomatic and asymptomatic for kauri dieback. Kauri Tree, New Zealand Holidays, Poster Design Inspiration, Biochemistry, Middle Earth, Tree Of Life, Holiday Destinations, Lord, Community

Understanding the microbial communities of symptomatic kauri soils - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

PhD candidate Alexa Byers has recently published new research in Soil Biology and Biochemistry on the composition of microbial communities in soil associated with roots of kauri that are symptomatic and asymptomatic for kauri dieback.

NZ BIOLOGICAL GERITAGE NATIONAL SCIENCE CHALLENGE Sept 2020 Myrtle, New Zealand, Rust, Challenges, Science

Seeing the trees in the forest: understanding the role of myrtles in New Zealand’s ecosystems - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

With myrtle rust now well established in New Zealand, attention is turning to the hosts of the disease...

Sarah Sale, a PhD candidate and new member of the Beyond Myrtle Rust programme, started her research at the University of Canterbury in April amid New Zealand’s lockdown. Although COVID-19 definitely complicated the initial stages of her PhD, there was a silver lining. “There’s a lot of writing and research involved in a PhD,” says Sarah, “particularly because I haven’t done anything related to mycology before, and it’s a field with a lot of words and concepts that are not used anywhere… Silver Lining, Canterbury, Myrtle, Fungi, Rust, University, Challenges, Science, Writing

Sarah Sale, growing a troublesome fungus for good - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

Sarah Sale, a PhD candidate and new member of the Beyond Myrtle Rust programme, started her research amid New Zealand’s lockdown.

Māori working across the National Science Challenges and @NgaPaeotM, have just released their own guide to Vision Mātauranga. Science Resources, World View, Leadership, The Outsiders, Challenges, Maori

Rauika Māngai — PDF DOWNLOAD NSC

Māori working across the National Science Challenges and @NgaPaeotM, have just released their own guide to Vision Mātauranga.

Stressors caused by human and natural activities can lead to a ‘tipping point’, where an ecosystem loses its capacity to cope with change and it rapidly transforms. Tipping points are difficult to predict and often result in the loss of valuable marine resources or ecosystem services. Environmental monitoring is critical to detect changes so that we know the early warning signs (EWS) of when a tipping point (TP) is being approached, and to increase the certainty that a TP has occurred... Marine Environment, Warning Signs, Marines, Sustainability, Challenges, Science, Change, Activities, World

Monitoring for tipping points in the marine environment — SUSTAINABLE SEAS NSC

Stressors caused by human and natural activities can lead to a ‘tipping point’, where an ecosystem loses its capacity to cope with change and it rapidly transforms. Tipping points are difficult to predict and often result in the loss of valuable marine resources or ecosystem services. Environmental monitoring is critical to detect changes so that we know the early warning signs (EWS) of when a tipping point (TP) is being approached, and to increase the certainty that a TP has occurred...

Moving any new control measures from the lab to the landscape is as much a social challenge as it is a biological challenge.  In response to this need, this Bioethics Panel was co-convened by Drs Emily Parke (Philosophy) and James Russell (Biology) from the UoA as part of the BioHeritage project High tech solutions to invasive mammal pest control.  The Panel brings together a wide range of academic, industry and community experts who horizon-scan the social, cultural and ethical issues ... Social Challenges, Ethical Issues, One Year Ago, Free News, Pest Control, Predator, Biology, Philosophy, Lab

Bioethics Panel - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

To achieve the vision of Predator Free New Zealand 2050, researchers need to develop novel tools and technologies for cost-effective, landscape-scale control, eradication and surveillance of small mammal pests.

Virtual plastic tracker — VIDEO (LEARNZ & CORE)  Heni Unwin, a Kairangahau (researcher) at Cawthron Institute, speaks with LEARNZ educator Shelley Hersey about Ocean Plastic Simulator (referred to as the virtual plastic tracker in the video). The app uses computer modelling to visualise where virtual plastic dropped in the seas around New Zealand might end up. Discussion point: What are two ways people can use the tracking app for conservation purposes? Waste Management System, Tracking App, Seas, Conservation, Core, Challenges, Plastic, Science, Education

Virtual plastic tracker

Heni Unwin, a Kairangahau (researcher) at Cawthron Institute, speaks with LEARNZ educator Shelley Hersey about Ocean Plastic Simulator (referred to as the virtual plastic tracker in the video). The app uses computer modelling to visualise where virtual plastic dropped in the seas around New Zealand might end up. Discussion point: What are two ways people can use the tracking app for conservation purposes?

Fate of plastic dropped in Cook Strait Ministry Of Education, Green Dot, South Island, Black Dots, Plastic Models, 30 Day, Recycling, Coast, Challenges

Fate of plastic dropped in Cook Strait

The Ocean Plastic Simulator models what could happen to virtual plastic dropped near Ward (black dot) in Cook Strait. After 30 days, some of the plastic (red x) has washed onto the coast of the North Island, while other pieces (green dot) are swept out to the open ocean.

Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a study published in Communications Biology. Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Marine Ecosystem, Bait And Switch, Marine Environment, Plastic Pollution, Plastic Waste, Sea Birds, Marine Life, Breathe

Plastic debris on the beach

Millions of tonnes of plastics enter the oceans every year. Plastics do not biodegrade but break into smaller pieces. Plastic pieces are picked up by ocean waves and currents and carried long distances.

Kauri Rescue has treated another 400 trees for kauri dieback this year, after Auckland Council agreed to take over funding the community project. Auckland, Challenges, Trees, Strong, Community, Science, Life, Tree Structure, Wood

Kauri Rescue going strong after new lease on life - Biological Heritage - National Science Challenge

Initially supported by the BioHeritage Challenge, Kauri Rescue was set up to help treat kauri dieback on private property during…

During Seaweek, Cawthron Institute researcher Heni Unwin travelled the country to share her research with Dr Ross Vennell on tracking plastic pollution in our marine environment. Marine Environment, Plastic Pollution, Secondary School, Recycling, Track, Challenges, Science, Country, Women

Seaweek focus on tracking plastic pollution

During Seaweek, Cawthron Institute researcher Heni Unwin travelled the country to share her research with Dr Ross Vennell on tracking plastic pollution in our marine environment. Heni, a kariangahau (Māori researcher), visited 10 primary and secondary schools in Whangarei, Wellington and Nelson where she talked about plastic pollution. Students got the opportunity to use a virtual plastic tracking tool Heni and Ross have developed. “The students gave feedback that has helped us improve our…

Diane (Ngāpuhi) helps ensure that mātauranga (Māori knowledge) is valued alongside science in national problem-solving initiatives such as Rethinking Plastics Aotearoa. Science Resources, World View, Problem Solving, Recycling, That Look, Knowledge, Challenges, Mindfulness, Profile

Diane Ruwhiu - Curious Minds, He Hihiri i te Mahara

Diane (Ngāpuhi) helps ensure that mātauranga (Māori knowledge) is valued alongside science in national problem-solving initiatives such as Rethinking Plastics Aotearoa.

The goal of becoming predator free in 30 years could be hampered by conflicts, inadequate planning and uncertainty, a report warns. Ethical Issues, Predator, Animals Beautiful, New Zealand, Literacy, Challenges, Creatures, Goals, News

Warning predator free goal faces 'conflicts' and uncertainty

The goal of becoming predator free in 30 years could be hampered by conflicts, inadequate planning and uncertainty, a report warns.