Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences News

Latest news 

Scintillating research in Japan

12 May 2017. Dr Marilou Raduban and Associate Professor John Harrison were successful in their grant application for the 2017 Collaborative Research for the Laser Energetics Program of Osaka University. The optical properties of rare earth-doped fluoride glasses as ultrafast neutron scintillators will be investigated in collaboration with the Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.

Funding for Galapagos Research 

12 May 2017Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral (Lecturer in Environmental Science and Ecology) has secured $40,000 in funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (United Arab Emirates), Galapagos Conservancy (USA), and the Foundation Ensemble (France). This funding will contribute to projects that aim to investigate the diversity of terrestrial snakes in Galapagos and to start the ground work for creating a biological corridor on Floreana Island for mockingbirds and snakes. These projects are a joint initiative between the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, Island Conservation and Massey University.

International Government Science Advisor

12 May 2017Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin was panellist for the International Government Science Advisors Network (INGSA) workshop in Auckland. From the INGSA website: Through workshops, conferences and a growing catalogue of tools and guidance, the network aims to enhance the global science-policy interface to improve the potential for evidence-informed policy formation at both national and transnational levels

Guest Lecture by CTO and Co-founder of Urnextgig

04 May 2017. The 158.753 Rapid Application Development postgraduate class hosted a guest lecture by Manfred Lange, CTO and Co-founder of Urnextgig. Manfred outlined the main three steps needed in developing a product: prepare, release and collect data. He used the web application Urnextgig to demonstrate his findings.

Putting the Squeeze on Relativity

28 April 2017. Dr. Krista Steenbergen at Massey University's Centre for Theoretical Chemistry and Physics has won 18.1 million computing hours on one of the world's top supercomputers. Following a highly-competitive application process, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe has awarded 18.1 million compute hours on the Marconi KNL supercomputer based at CINECA supercomputing facility (Italy). The team will use Marconi's extensive computational power to investigate relativistic effects under pressure.

STEM Champions

24 April 2017. INMS staff hosted an outreach event for 49 STEM Champions students on campus over the teaching break. These high school students completed two-day workshops in their areas of interest including making nature films in the Nature Flicks NZ project with Heather Hendrickson and her colleague, Max Schlesser. Students will be returning to campus on May 18 to show what they have created and to compete for prizes.

NZ BioOlympiad

23 and 24 April 2017. INMS staff hosted 25 high-achieving secondary school students from around the country as part of this year's BioOlympiad training camp. The week-long camp marks the end of the selection period for the NZ BioOlympiad team, numbering only a final 4, who will be travelling to Warwick (UK) in July to compete internationally. INMS staff guided the students through field and lab-based activities focused on animal behaviour, ecology, evolution and statistical analysis.

Kingsway College students visit Massey Auckland campus

10 April 2017. 50 motivated students from Kingsway College travelled to the Watson Science labs for a hands-on learning activity about molecular biology. The college students had an excellent time performing restriction enzyme digests with the help of INMS technical staff.

INMS Outreach at MOTAT Science Street Fair

02 April 2017. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland had record numbers for this year’s Science Street Fair. INMS staff and students representing biology, chemistry, genetics and physics had a great time running interactive science demonstrations. Highlights included delighting the young crowd with a dry ice bubble experiment, using a slinky to demonstrate wave generation, and revealing the microscopic world using field-portable microscopes.

Early Career Medal Award

23 March 2017Dr David Aguirre was awarded the Early Career Medal at the 2017 Massey University Defining Excellence Awards. Dr Aguirre’s research centres on quantifying genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes. In a post-PhD research career spanning only four years, Dr Aguirre has been the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the Rutherford Foundation Trust in 2013, a Marsden Fast-Start grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2014, and an Unlocking Curious Minds grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in 2016.

INMS staff publish new book

17 March 2017. A new book edited by Dr Andrew Colarik, Associate Professor Julian Jang-Jaccard and Dr Anuradha Mathrani is scheduled to be published by Massey University Press. Titled 'Cyber Security and Policy: A Substantive Dialogue', the new book contains contributions from several INMS staff including Dr Arno Leist, Dr Daniel Playne and Associate Professor Chris Scogings.

Collaboration with Landcare Research

17 March 2017Dr Kristin Stock has received funding from Landcare Research to study how crowdsourcing can provide data on changes to land use, species locations, and other important criteria. Dr Stock will evaluate how different types of crowdsourcing can provide specific types of data.

Latest 10 publications

i) Kim J-H, Wake GC (2017). A robust derivation of the Black-Scholes partial differential equation system without the self-financing hypothesis. Journal of Mathematics and Statistical Science 3: 97-103.

ii) Liang X, Wang R, Dai B, Fang Y, Liu D, Wu T (2017). Hybrid conditional random field based camera-LIDAR fusion for road detection. Information Sciences

iii) Zhang S, Li X, Zong M, Zhu X, Wang R (2017). Efficiency kNN classification with different numbers of nearest neighbours. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems

iv) Lefébure T, Morvan C, Malard M, François C, Konecny-Dupré L, Guéguen L, Weiss-Gayet M, Seguin-Orlando A, Ermini L, Der Sarkissian C, Charrier NP, Eme D, Mermillod-Blondin F, Duret L, Vieira C, Orlando L, Douady CJ (2017). Less effective selection leads to larger genomes. Genome Research doi: 10.1101/gr.212589.116

v) Hayman DTS, Marshall JC, French NP, Carpenter T, Roberts MG, Kiedrzynski T (2017). Global importation and population risk factors for measles in New Zealand: a case study for highly immunized populations. Epidemiology and Infection doi:10.1017/S0950268817000723

vi) Eme D, Zagmajster M, Delic T, Fiser C, Flot J-F, Konecny-Dupre L, Palsson S, Stoch F, Zaksek V, Douady JC, Malard F. 2017. Do cryptic species matter in macroecology? Sequencing European groundwater crustaceans yields smaller ranges but does not challenge biodiversity determinants. Ecography doi: 10.1111/ecog.02683

vii) Kingsford MJ, O’Callaghan MD, Liggins L, Gerlach G (2017). The short-lived neon damsel (Pomacentrus coelestis): implications for population dynamics. Journal of Fish Biology doi:10.1111/jfb.13288

viii) Wells SJ, Ji W, Gleeson D, Jones B, Dale J (2017). Population social structure facilitates indirect fitness benefits from extra-pair mating. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution doi:10.3389/fevo.2017.00018

ix) Petkliang N, Gale GA, Brunton DH, Bumrungsri S (2017). Wetland, forest, and open paddy land are the key foraging habitats for Germain’s swiftlet (Aerodramus inexpectatus germani) in Southern Thailand. Tropical Conservation Science doi: 10.1177/1940082917698467

x) Salhi A, Essack M, Alam T, Bajic VP, Ma L, Radovanovic A, Marchand B, Schmeier S, Zhang Z, Uludag M, Bajic VB (2017). DES-ncRNA: A knowledgebase for exploring information about human micro and long noncoding RNAs based on literature-mining. RNA Biology doi:10.1080/15476286.2017.1312243

Massey news releases

No definitive cause of orca death
The investigation into the death of an orca washed up on Whatipu Beach has found no evidence of boat strike or live stranding.
Massey marine biologists investigate orca death
A Massey University marine conservation team is mobilising to investigate the death of a killer whale, or orca, washed up on Auckland's west coast at...
Humans may have twice as many functional genes
While some genes in our DNA control the colours of our eyes, hair and even our risk of disease, other genes seem to serve no apparent biological...
Crowdfunding to save one of the world’s rarest birds
Conservationists protecting the endangered Norfolk Island green parrot are looking toward the public to fund a new colony on Phillip Island
New mathematical model could stop future financial crashes
It is widely accepted that the Global Financial Crisis in 2007 was the result of abuse of the financial markets, but could it all have been avoided...
Antibiotic resistance – microscopic ninjas to the rescue
Antibiotics save countless lives every year, but like an ageing title-fighter, their punch weakens over time. A Massey University evolutionary...

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