New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

School of Fundamental Sciences

Massey University’s School of Fundamental Sciences* leads study and research into the basic sciences on the Palmerston North campus. Our multi and interdisciplinary research and teaching span the biological and physical sciences, mathematics and statistics.


Institute of Fundamental Sciences - study

Our graduates build careers in many areas of science and technology within New Zealand and overseas. We offer the BSc degree, and our BSc (Hons), MSc and PGDipSci programmes combine taught papers and research and we have a strong PhD programme.


Mathematical formulae

We are a highly productive group carrying out interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of our disciplines. We have extensive international collaborations and an impressive history of commercialising our results.

Head of School

Professor Paul Plieger

Prof Plieger is Head of the School for the School of Fundamental Sciences. 

He is a trained inorganic synthetic chemist specialising in ligand design, synthesis and functionality. He has strong research interests in anion encapsulation, supramolecular cages, nanomagnets and beryllium coordination chemistry. 

Staff contacts and expertise

The School Fundamental Sciences is one of six interconnected schools within the College of Sciences.

Find out more about staff and their research expertise and the College of Sciences.

All School staff

College of Sciences


The School of Fundamental Sciences is located on the Manawatū campus in Palmerston North.

School address


Massey University Fundamental Sciences
Science Tower A1.19
Colombo Road
Palmerston North 4410
New Zealand
Attn xxxxxx


Massey University Fundamental Sciences
PN461 Private Bag 11222
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand
Attn xxxxxx

Manawatū campus


The Forder Public Lecture Series - The Usefulness of Useless (Mathematical) Knowledge

16 March 2020

The Forder Lectures are an annual series, given by a mathematician from the UK who tours NZ visiting all the universities. The talk is hosted by Massey University's School of Fundamental Sciences.

This year's speaker is Dr Julia Wolf, a university lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge.

Find out more

Short courses

Scholarships and jobs

Molecular scientist looking into microscope

PhD and master's opportunities

At any one time, the School of Fundamental Sciences has PhD and master's scholarship opportunities, both for specific projects, and projects to suit your expertise and interest.

Find out more

Meet our graduates


Manawatu statistics consultancy

Statistical consultancy service from the Statistics and Bioinformatics group. We provide advice to researchers within Massey University as well as private organisations.

Find out more

Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre

The MMIC facility is available for use by organisations such as researchers, Crown Research Institutes, other teaching institutions, hospitals and commercial clients. We offer transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and image analysis and have a professional team of specialists to help you with your microscopy needs.

Find out more

Massey Genome Service

Massey Genome Service provides DNA & RNA sequencing services to New Zealand researchers and students.

Find out more


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory

Equipment in this laboratory includes a

  • 700 MHz spectrometer with a cryogenically-cooled probe; 60-place sample changer and autotune and match module for high throughput
  • 500 MHz spectrometer
  • 400 MHz spectrometer
  • 200 MHz horizontal widebore spectrometer, with high resolution imaging capabilities.

Optical Laboratory

The Laser Laboratory includes optical tweezers, light scattering, and Raman spectrometer.

Find out more

PC2-certified Laboratory

This laboratory includes equipment for molecular biology, protein expression and purification.

Find out more

Solar cell construction and performance

We have solar cell construction and performance testing facilities.

Find out more


There are a wide range of spectrometers as part of the equipment on the Manawatū campus including

  • Applied Photophysics Chirascan CD spectrometer (new in 2008)
  • ThermoElectron Nicolet high-resolution FT-MIR/FT-FarIR
  • UV-Vis spectrometers
  • Raman spectrometers
  • Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectrometer
  • Fluorimeter
  • Polarimeter

Find out more

X-ray Diffraction Laboratory

The X-ray Diffraction Lab houses a Bruker D8 Venture diffractometer. X-rays are generated by a microfocus diamond (IuS) source with Cu radiation. X-rays are detected by a noiseless Photon III detector. The diffractometer is set up for small molecular and protein crystallography on small and weakly-diffracting samples. Powder X-ray diffraction patterns are also easily measured. An Oxford Cryostream 800 provides cooling down to 80 K. An ISX stage for protein plates, microscopes, cameras and many other accessories are available.

Find out more

Research centres and groups

Centre for Structural Biology

The Centre combines state-of-the-art crystallographic, NMR, computational, biochemical, and biophysical approaches to study biomolecular structure, dynamics and interactions.

The centre houses New Zealand's finest collection of NMR spectrometers (700, 500, 400 and 200 MHz) along with a a new Xray diffraction suite.

Find out more

Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Our research seeks to understand the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions so that we can better inform disease resistance breeding programmes in crop and tree species of relevance to New Zealand.

Find out more



Find out more about the Massey University study programmes, research, facilities, services and people working in the School of Fundamental Sciences' areas of specialisation.

Contact us

* The School of Fundamental Sciences was previously known as the Institute of Fundamental Sciences.

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey