IRANZ news briefs


In new research from WSP, researcher Jared Thomas says there are several possible reasons for people not accessing or progressing slowly through the driver licensing scheme. These include not having access to a car, not having someone to teach them how to drive, difficulty accessing testing stations in rural areas, or anxiety about the driving test. Photo: WSP.

Welcome to new member IGCI

IRANZ welcomes a new member to the Independent Research fold. The International Global Change Institute (IGCI) is a team of climate change and risk assessment experts with projects in over 60 countries, including China, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and the US. With team members who were part of the 2007 UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Nobel Peace Prize, solid science underpins IGCI's training and climate and risk assessment data products and software. CLIMsystems, the commercial side of IGCI, is a member of the Climate Technology Centre & Network, the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism.


IGCI: Dr Yinpeng Li appointed to the CMIP-7 Data Access team

Dr Yinpeng Li, a Senior Climate Scientist at CLIMsystems and a member of the not-for-profit International Global Change Institute (IGCI), has been appointed to the CMIP-7 Data Access team.

The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) is an international effort to improve our understanding of climate change. Select research institutions collaborate to develop and run models that simulate the Earth's climate system. CMIP scientists compare the results of different models and assess their strengths and weaknesses using standardised protocols and scientific rigour of the highest order.


Gillies McIndoe: Dr Swee Tan - In search of a better way

Gillies McIndoe’s Dr Swee Tan, and a former Gillies McIndoe student, Dr Sabrina Koh, were invited to present at the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS) Annual Scientific Meeting in Queenstown.

Dr Tan presented, "In search of a better way – My research journey." In this presentation, Dr Tan shared his inspirational story of identifying a medical need to change how Infantile Haemangioma was treated and finding a better option.

Dr Koh was awarded the prize for the 2nd best presentation at the NZAPS meeting. Her presentation was titled, "Do Margins ≥5mm Lead to Superior Survival and Recurrence Outcomes in Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma?" The work was done in collaboration with the Wellington Regional Plastic, Maxillofacial & Burns Unit at the Hutt Hospital. This retrospective study examined whether they could model the probability of loco-regional recurrence, all-cause mortality, and cancer-specific mortality at one, two, and five years in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) based on the tumour-free excision margin. The researchers found that increasing size of the tumour-free excision margin significantly reduces the probability of loco-regional recurrence, all-cause mortality and cancer-specific mortality at one, two, and five years.

Read more about Gillies McIndoe >>

Aqualinc: Sponge cities sound great but beware the unintended consequences

Following on from the recent spate of articles in mainstream media calling for "sponge cities" as a solution for flooding, Aqualinc Research Principal Hydrogeologist Dr Helen Rutter shared her thoughts. In an opinion post she wrote the problem is that "sponge cities" rely on there being available infiltration capacity.

"In many of our coastal cities, groundwater is shallow and there is nowhere for the infiltrating water to go. Auckland is actually a prime example - after the Auckland Anniversary rainfall event, several areas experienced groundwater flooding for a prolonged period.

"Therefore, you cannot divert more rainfall/recharge to ground without understanding the shallow groundwater system first. Then you also need to understand the impact on infrastructure - our stormwater and wastewater infrastructure drains a lot of shallow groundwater and diverting more stormwater to ground will have cascading impacts. Improving the stormwater and wastewater infrastructure to prevent infiltration can have the unintended negative consequences of causing groundwater flooding.

"Sponge cities sound great but there are so many unintended consequences to think about. The hydrogeology/hydrology needs to be properly characterised first, and the influence of (and on) infrastructure incorporated in any assessment."

Read more about Aqualinc >>

Cawthron and Ifremer strengthen international collaboration with MOU

Cawthron Institute Chief Science Officer Dr Cath McLeod and Ifremer CEO François Houllier have formalised a new strategic partnership between their two research institutes by signing a memorandum of understanding in July during a visit to Ifremer’s two facilities in Nantes and Brest.


New Trustee announced for Cawthron Institute

Dr Peter Crabtree has been appointed as a new Trustee on the Cawthron Institute Trust Board. Chair, John Palmer said the skills that Peter brings will be a great asset to Cawthron.


WSP Research to pinpoint improvements to driver licensing

WSP researchers recently launched an online survey to gather information on people's experiences accessing and progressing through Aotearoa New Zealand’s driver licensing system.


Lincoln Agritech: Francelino Rodrigues keynote at Brazilian Plant Breeding Congress

Lincoln Agritech Senior Scientist and Precision Agriculture 2IC Francelino Rodrigues will be heading to Brazil as a keynote speaker at the 12th Brazilian Plant Breeding Congress in late August. One of the main objectives of the conference is to stimulate and promote novel tools and techniques related to plant improvement.

In his presentation, Francelino will talk about how the next generation of high-throughput field phenotyping is revolutionising the plant breeding industry and agricultural research. He’ll particularly focus on how low-altitude remote sensing coupled with modern modelling techniques can be used to retrieve biophysical and biochemical plant traits, to support the selection of genotypes resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Read more about Lincoln Agritech >>

Xerra taking Starboard to Halifax

Starboard's Andrew Middleditch and Moritz Lehmann travelled to Halifax in early August for the IMCS Network's 7th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop. They presented a paper on "From detection to action: Fresh techniques to harness AIS and satellite data for fisheries MCS"

Read more about the workshop >>

Read more about Xerra >>

Malaghan: Surveillance cells in the skin and their role in allergy

Evelyn Hyde is a senior research officer who is taking a deep dive into the specific cells and molecules involved in the development of allergies, bringing us closer to a future where allergies can be better understood and managed.


Gillies McIndoe: Understanding Meningiomas

Gillies McIndoe’s Ph.D. student, Clara López Vásquez, has been investigating Meningiomas and working to understand why they are more prevalent in women than men.

Read more about Gillies McIndoe >>

Malaghan: HRC to fund study on the skin’s role in initiating allergic disease

The Health Research Council of New Zealand has granted the Malaghan Institute’s Ronchese Laboratory $1.2 million to better understand the crucial role immune cells in the skin play in initiating allergic diseases.


Date posted: 25 August 2023

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