IRANZ news briefs

Di McCarthy

Dr Dianne McCarthy has been made a Distinguished Trustee of the Malaghan Institute, a lifelong award recognising her service for and enduring relationship with the institute. Photo: Malaghan Research Institute.

IRANZ funding success in MBIE Connect Scheme

IRANZ members have secured funding for four MBIE-funded Connect Scheme projects, totalling $1M, around 25% of the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.

    1. The Cawthron Institute is the contracting organisation for Ngā kāhui kaitiaki kaimoana: This project aims to connect iwi Māori with the science sector to ensure safe consumption of kaimoana from their rohe. It focuses on developing rapid testing tools for paralytic shellfish toxins and creating opportunities for kaitiaki to share knowledge.

    2. The Cawthron Institute is a partner organisation for Toheroa ki uta ki tai o Te Oneroa a Tohe: This project focuses on revitalizing toheroa populations in Te Oneroa a Tohe. It combines traditional knowledge with scientific research to support the restoration of this taonga species.

    3. The Cawthron Institute is also a partner organisation for Ngā Hua o Waitā - Mātauranga and climate change: Ngāti Rārua faces climate change challenges, prompting the creation of the Ngāti Rārua Climate Change Strategy 2023. The project will blend traditional wisdom with scientific knowledge to prepare for the future. Working with partners, they aim to build resilience and find innovative solutions for their land and future generations.

    4. Takarangi Research is the contracting organisation for Tikanga for Awa Plans: This project aims to empower iwi/hapū to better manage their freshwater resources by developing methodologies for compiling existing data, setting up monitoring programmes, and translating environmental goals into actionable plans.

These projects align with the goals of the Connect Scheme and have the potential to make significant contributions to their respective fields.

Xerra leaves IRANZ- and with good reason!

The Xerra Earth Observation Institute has recently resigned from IRANZ, and with good reason. The company has successfully evolved from a small Regional Research Institute to a commercial company with a global outreach.

Xerra has been part of IRANZ since Xerra's early days. Chief Operating Officer Emma Scarlet says it was great to have the support of IRANZ as they began their journey as a regional research institute.

Early last year, Xerra spun out a new company called Starboard Maritime Intelligence, building on and continuing exciting initial research and development done within Xerra. The Starboard subscription-based software utilising satellite data and scientific models helps nations tackle complex maritime challenges, ranging from risk assessing arriving vessels to detecting illegal fishing and uncovering non-reporting dark vessels.

“Starboard is now a genuine commercial company with customers in New Zealand and around the world, with science still a core part of what we do,” says Emma.

Starboard's multidisciplinary team of remote sensing and data scientists, software engineers and designers, and business and communication experts are spread throughout New Zealand and Australia. Their credentials include working for NASA and the European Space Agency, through to tech start-ups, aircraft manufacturers, humanitarian organisations, and academic institutions.

“We’re passionate about protecting our marine environment and supporting the people who rely upon it. Our oceans play a critical role in the lives of billions of people around the globe and ocean health is essential to planet health.”

IRANZ warmly congratulates the team at Xerra and Starboard.

Cawthron Institute: British Ecological Society award for paper

The British Ecological Society has awarded Cawthron Social Scientist Dr Marc Tadaki the prestigious Rachel Carson Prize for the best paper written by an early career researcher in the journal People and Nature. Marc’s award-winning piece ‘Transforming freshwater politics through metaphors: Struggles over ecosystem health, legal personhood, and invasive species in Aotearoa New Zealand‘ examines how metaphors shape freshwater science and policy.

Journal Lead Editor Andrea Rawluk said, "The beauty of this paper is that it draws on the accessible concept of metaphor as a way to reflexively conceptualise and communicate relationships between people and nature that has real world applications to policy and practice."

Read the paper >>

Join TTW for a knowledge exchange with Aboriginal possum experts

In conjunction with the Department of Conservation’s Predator Free programme, Te Tira Whakamātaki have recently announced the latest Te Whare Māta o ngā Kīrearea Predator Free Wānanga, to be held in Wellington at Pipitea Marae on 20-21 May 2024. Registration information will be released on TTW’s social media on 23 April 2023.

This wānanga will see attendees host and exchange knowledge with a small delegation of Aboriginal possum cloak makers and experts. On the first day TTW will gift them possum pelts, and they invite attendees to bring pelts to share.

Read more about Te Tira Whakamātaki >>

Lincoln Ag: Six decades of world-class solutions

This year, Richard Gordon has stepped into the interim leadership role of Lincoln Agritech, as the company enters its 60th year. He writes about the companies successes to date.

"Over those 60 years, Lincoln Agritech has transformed, from being initially focused on agricultural engineering, to researching and providing solutions to many of the world’s most pressing challenges. Climate change, environmental sustainability, protecting water, and sustainable production – our researchers are applying their minds to these issues, and more. In contributing to these impacts, we emphasise partnering and responsiveness.”


Bragato Chair sees a bright future for innovation in the wine industry

Independent Chair of Bragato Research Institute, Mark Gilbert, has just been reappointed for a further three-year term. Mark provides BRI with a strong background in business, innovation and commercialisation. He says BRI is entering an exciting new phase in its development as the research arm of NZ Winegrowers.

“Continuing to grow the productivity and profitability of the wine industry will be critical to New Zealand’s future growth and prosperity. BRI is equipping one of our nation’s most important primary industries with innovative solutions to tackle tomorrow’s challenges, so New Zealand can continue to create exceptional wines.”


Gillies McIndoe Postdoc Research Fellow Matt Munro awarded grant

Gillies McIndoe recently announced that Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Matt Munro has been awarded a grant from Research for Life. This significant achievement will fund his research project, ‘Unlocking therapeutic potential: Repurposing drugs to treat invasive meningioma’.

Winning your first grant as a postdoctoral researcher in this highly competitive grant writing process can be highly challenging and, when achieved, is a major milestone in a scientific career. IRANZ and Gillies McIndoe offer their congratulations.


Malaghan: Retired trustee recognised for tireless advocacy

Dr Dianne McCarthy has been made a Distinguished Trustee of the Malaghan Institute, a lifelong award recognising her service for and enduring relationship with the institute.

Appointed as a trustee in 2015 and most recently Chair of the Advocacy Committee, Dr McCarthy retired in early 2024. Malaghan Institute Chair Sir Paul Collins says the Trust Board unanimously supported her appointment as Distinguished Trustee.


HERA welcomes Dr Vladislav Yakubov to the ACM CRC team

With a PhD in mechanical engineering and expertise in additive manufacturing, Dr. Yakubov joins HERA from the University of Sydney. His role will involve leading R&D in innovative metal composites and collaborating on projects promoting sustainability and circular design using pioneering AI-based monitoring systems and novel 3D printing techniques.


Aqualinc: The importance of upskilling

Aqualinc’s Senior Water Resource Engineer Rose Edkins talks about completing her recent Certificate in Irrigation System Design in the Autumn 2024 edition of IrrigationNZ News Magazine.


New Board of Directors Chair for Cawthron

Lees Seymour (Ngāti Hikairo affiliation) is the new Chair of the Cawthron Institute Board of Directors. He replaces Meg Matthews (Ngai Tahu), who stepped down after nine years on the Board, including being Chair since 2018. Cawthron Trust Board chair John Palmer acknowledged Meg for the leadership, mahi, and commitment she provided to Cawthron, and welcomed Lees’ experience as a perfect fit for guiding Cawthron into the future.


Cawthron Annual Lecture and Open Day

This year’s Thomas Cawthron Annual Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday 8 August at the Annesbrook Church in Stoke. Further details will be announced soon.

Cawthron’s Annual Open Day will be held on Saturday 19 October.

Read more about the Cawthron Institute >>

HERA: Meet a 2023 Whanake Scholarship recipient, Tom Tamaira

Tom Tamaira is the recipient of the HERA Whanake Scholarship. Hailing from Palmerston North, Tom's passion for problem-solving and science led him to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at the University of Auckland. Embracing his Māori heritage, Tom aims to innovate in engineering and entrepreneurship. Tom advocates for diversity in engineering, believing Māori perspectives bring valuable insights to the field.

Read more about Tom's inspiring journey blending Mātauranga Māori with engineering innovation, driving positive change in manufacturing processes.


Chubb Life enters partnership to support the Malaghan’s cutting-edge research

As part of a new partnership with the Malaghan Institute, Chubb Life Insurance New Zealand Limited has pledged $100,000 over three years to support the institute’s research, advancing understanding of the immune system to improve human health.


Lincoln Agritech welcomes Helen Rutter, Jeff Lang, and Nevan Ofsoski

After many years with Aqualinc Research, Dr Helen Rutter has joined Lincoln Agritech as a Senior Research Scientist in the Environmental group. She has worked as a hydrogeologist for more than 30 years, in New Zealand and the UK. Helen is a Chartered Geologist (Geological Society of London) and a Senior Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Canterbury.

Dr Jeff Lang has joined Lincoln Agritech as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Environmental group, based in Hamilton. He is working on an MBIE-funded programme investigating climate change effects on the Waikato River, and other group projects. Jeff has a BSc in geology and geophysics, an MSc in earth sciences and a PhD in geology, all from the University of Auckland.

Nevan Ofsoski has joined Lincoln Agritech as Key Account Manager, based in the Hamilton Officer. He has a Bachelor of Horticulture Science, NZ Certificate in Biology, and a Diploma in Tertiary Teaching. Nevan enjoys working with scientists who are innovating and solving industry problems.

Read more about Lincoln Agritech >>

TTW: Speaking engagements

He Whenua Rongo: an Indigenous Seed, Soil and Food Sovereignty Symposium - an event by the Papawhakaritorito Trust and He Waka Kai Ora. Te Tira Whakamātaki’s Kāhui member Aroha Te Pareake Mead talked about Indigenous people's rights to protect Indigenous foodways, while CEO Melanie Mark-Shadbolt spoke about seed sovereignty and TTW's seed work.

BioHeritage Crazy & Ambitious 4, saw previous GM Tame Malcolm, Kahui members Kevin Prime and Aroha Mead, international whanaunga Joshua Viers, and CEO Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, alongside whanau (Kāwai Kaimai, Waikato and Waipa River Iwi, Hokonui Rūnanga) sharing their research, stories and thoughts on the ending of National Science Challenges.

Te Kura Roa: Creating our Future for Mātauranga Māori and Science, hosted by the Rauika Māngai, was an opportunity for Māori across the eleven National Science Challenges to come together to regather, share stories about the past 10 years, and discuss the future. Melanie Mark-Shadbolt opened the event.

Read more about Te Tira Whakamātaki >>

Date posted: 29 April 2024

Facebook Feed