Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences News

Latest news 

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.

Orca stranding – Whatipu Beach

14 March 2017. A team of researchers from the Coastal-Marine Research Group including Dr Karen Stockin conducted a post-mortem examination of an orca found stranded on Whatipu Beach. A necropsy offered critical information that could rule out some of the previous hypotheses about why the whale may have died. The event achieved wide media attention across New Zealand with articles on, and

New Zealand scientists in major genes discovery

8 March 2017Dr Sebastian Schmeier is a co-author of a landmark paper on functional genes. For more information see the articles by the Massey News team and the New Zealand Herald

Pilot whale mass stranding at Farewell Spit

03 March 2017. A response team from the Coastal-Marine Research Group within INMS mobilised on Friday 10 February to Farewell Spit to help with the pilot whale recovery effort. The C-MRG team worked at the stranding site for several days alongside WILDBASE pathologists from the Palmerston North campus. Data and samples from as many whales as possible were collected for both pathological investigation (WILDBASE), and on-going life-history research (C-MRG). The Department of Conservation have provided more information about the stranding event.

Fascination Science

28 February 2017Dr Heather Hendrickson gave a seminar about Antibiotic Resistance, the reason it is a growing threat, and what we are doing here at Massey to combat the problem by phage hunting. The talk was well received and there were lots of great questions from the public. We are looking forward to the upcoming talk by Professor Joachim Brand on Gravitational Waves on March 28th at 7 pm.

Contributions to the scientific community [updated]

27 February 2017Associate Professor Ruili Wang has been appointed to the editorial board for Applied Soft Computing, and Professor Carlo Laing has received a 2016 Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Institute of Physics Publishing (UK). Dr Lauri Toikka has also been selected as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2016 by Institute of Physics Publishing and was awarded a Recognised Reviewer award 2016 by Elsevier Publishing.

Orientation Week coincides with SeaWeek

27 February 2017. Many of the usual activities for Orientation Week will be sea-themed and the INMS Marine Ecology team will be hosting a special screening of the film 'A Plastic Ocean' in SNW200, 5:30pm on Friday March 3. A trailer for the film can be seen here.

Visiting student joins Human-Wildlife Interaction Group

24 February 2017. Lauren Jaftoran from HAS University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands has started her 4-month internship on the banded rail project led by Senior Lecturer Weihong Ji. The banded rail project is in collaboration with the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society.


Latest 10 publications

i) 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

ii) 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

iii) 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

iv) 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

v) Sajjad MA, Kristensen KE, Rees NH, Schwerdtfeger P, Harrison JA, Nielson AJ (2017.) New complexity for aromatic ring agostic interactions. Chemical Communications 53: 4187-4190.

vi) Pearson HC, Jones PW, Srinivasan M, Lundquist D, Pearson CJ, Stockin KA, Machovsky-Capuska GE (2017). Testing and deployment of C-VISS (cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system) on wild dolphins. Marine Biology 164: 42.

vii) Filby NE, Stockin KA, Scarpaci C (2017). Can marine protected areas be developed effectively without baseline data? A case study for Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis). Marine Policy 77: 152-163.

viii)Wirz LN, Allison JR (2017). Block-restraining of residual dipolar couplings to allow fluctuating relative alignments of molecular subdomains. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology

ix) Hon CC, Ramilowski JR, Harshbarger J, Bertin N, Rackham OJL, Gough J, Denisenko E, Schmeier S, Poulsen TM, Severin J, Lizio M, Kawaji H, Kasukawa T, Itoh M, Burroughs MA, Noma S, Djebali S, Alam T, Medvedeva YA, Testa AC, Lipovich L, Yip CW, Abugessaisa I, Mendez M, Hasegawa A, Tan D, Lassmann T, Heutink P, Babina M, Wells CA, Kojima S, Nakamura Y, Suzuki H, Daub CO, de Hoon MJL, Arner E, the FANTOM consortium, Hayashizaki Y, Carninci P, Forrest ARR (2017). An atlas of human long non-coding RNAs with accurate 5’ends. Nature doi:10.1038/nature21374.

x) Anderson MA, Walsh DCI, Clarke KR, Gorley RN, Guerra-Castro E (2017). Some solutions to the multivariate Behrens-Fisher problem for dissimilarity-based analyses. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics doi: 10.1111/anzs.12176.

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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