Fascination Science

A free lecture series

Come and hear from some of the leading minds in science today. Massey University Auckland scientists take you into the fascinating world of scientific discoveries.

Timing and venue

All lectures start at 7pm followed by drinks and nibbles.

Lectures are in the Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre, Massey University Auckland (Albany)

New marine discoveries at the Kermadec Islands

Dr Libby Liggins (Massey University) and Dr.Tom Trnski (Auckland Museum)

27 June 2017


Small, remote islands such as New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands have long been revered as natural laboratories­. Here we can examine the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity.

Typically, the biodiversity of the marine environments surrounding islands is less-studied. However, our recent expeditions to these Islands have exponentially increased our knowledge of the marine biodiversity. This highlights the scientific and conservation importance of this region.
Dr Liggins and Dr Trnski have dived and explored the Kermadec islands and will share some, until now, secrets of the intriguing marine biodiversity from this special place. They will talk about their expeditions and highlight recent discoveries.

Auckland Museum logo

The microbiome: how the legions of organisms within you are affecting your health

David Relman (Thomas C. and Joan M Merigan Professor and Professor of Microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine)

1 September 2017

Genome sequence

Serendipity and the discovery of new protein chemistry from the microbial world

Ted Baker (Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery and the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland)

26 September 2017

Throughout my scientific life I have been fascinated by the beautiful and complex structures of biology, especially those formed by proteins. The advent of genome sequencing, some 20 years ago, brought a vast array of new data, but also indicated how much is still unknown about the natural world. In this talk I will describe some of the unexpected findings, and potential new applications, that can come from exploring some of the “unknown” proteins encoded in genome sequences. By targeting genes for proteins predicted to be displayed on the outside surfaces of bacteria, we discovered bonds that form spontaneously when the host proteins fold up, and can now be used as a molecular “super-glue” to join proteins together for applications in biotechnology. 

Gems of Ramanujan and their Lasting Impact on Mathematics

Ken Ono (Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University and incoming Maclaurin Lecturer 2017)

10 October 2017

Ramanujan's work has has a truly transformative effect on modern mathematics, and continues to do so as we understand further lines from his letters and notebooks. In this lecture, some of the studies of Ramanujan that are most accessible to the general public will be presented and how Ramanujan's findings fundamentally changed modern mathematics, and also influenced the lecturer's work, will be discussed.

The speaker is associate producer of the film The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan. He will share several clips from the film in the lecture.

Previous lectures

SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES, DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR GAVEN MARTIN

Fractals and fractal structures are ubiquitous in nature where small scale symmetries are repeated at ever larger scales or large scale symmetries repeated at ever finer detail – we can see this in snowflakes and in the Mandelbrot set.

The remarkable fractal Lorenz Butterfly (the butterfly effect) arising from simple models of weather predictions shows fractal structures naturally arising in chaotic systems.

Gravitational waves: Listening in to the sounds of the universe. Professor Joachim Brand

This lecture examined how the detection of gravitational waves resembles listening more than seeing and how the merging of two black holes was 'heard', a discovery that most likely could never have been made with conventional telescopes.

Joachim also looked at the amazing technology of laser interferometry that made this detection possible, and the development of quantum technologies that will make future detectors even more sensitive.

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AND WHAT WILL WE DO NEXT? DR HEATHER HENDRICKSON

Antibiotics save countless lives every year, but like an ageing title-fighter, their punch weakens over time. A Massey University evolutionary biologist will speak to an Auckland audience about what we might do when the antibiotic-era comes to an end and who the next contender will be.


Like to attend?

These events are free, but please rsvp so we know numbers that will attend. All lectures are in the Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre, Massey Auckland campus.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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About the speakers

Tom Trnski

DR tOM TRNSKI

DR Libby Liggins

David Relman

Prof dAVID RELMAN

Ted Baker

PROF EDWARD NEILL BAKER

PROF KEN ONO


Find out more about


Venue

Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre
Massey University Auckland

Maps of campus

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