Asia, Africa, Australasia: Auckland

Created On Saturday, 22 October 2011 12:05 By Administrator

October 26, 2012
The new generation of New Zealanders – evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand study
Dr. Susan Morton, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study following the development of nearly 7,000 children, in the context of their families, from pre-birth to early adulthood. The study is designed to provide up-to-date, population relevant information about growing up in New Zealand in the 21st century, and is unique in its capacity to provide a comprehensive picture of child development and to consider outcomes for Māori, Pacific and Asian children as well as European and other New Zealanders.

Growing Up is a huge undertaking, with the worthy goal of helping government and other agencies to develop appropriate evidence-based policies to improve the lives of children.  But does it really take a multi-million dollar research programme to tell us what makes for a good start to life?  And are we ready to hear what the study might reveal about our children and their potential to thrive?

Join Susan Morton, the Research Director of Growing Up in New Zealand, for a discussion of the study’s history and approach, and of its implications for our understanding of family life in New Zealand.

September 26, 2012
Flips & Wiggles: The Mystery of Earth's Magnetism
Gillian Turner, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University
Deep in the core of the planet churns a cauldron of molten iron – the source of the magnetic field that directs our compasses, guides numerous species on their annual migrations, and protects life on Earth from the deadly onslaught of the solar wind. As the core fluid churns, so the magnetic field lines rearrange themselves, the magnetic poles wander, and the direction of the compass needle changes imperceptibly – a few fractions of a degree each year.

Palaeomagnetists have confirmed that complete reversals of the magnetic poles occur perhaps two or three times per million years; and for every successful reversal there appear to be several aborted attempts resulting in wild excursions of the field direction and dips in its strength. What, another natural process with the potential to wipe us out?!

August 29, 2012
Curiosity on the Red Planet - Again with Mars?
Melanie Bruges, Stardome Observatory & Planetarium

Mars has always piqued human interest - more so than other brighter, larger and even closer neighbours of our solar system. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity is the latest and most expensive endeavour to explore the red planet yet undertaken, and so far has sent back some truly amazing images of the surface. But haven't we done all this before?  Join Melanie Bruges, Stardome Presenter, to discover the reasons why NASA has invested a large pile of public money in yet another mission to investigate Martian soils.

July 25, 2012

Life With Oxygen: A Battle Against Free Radicals
The Royal Society of New Zealand's Rutherford Lecture Tour 

Prof Christine Winterbourn
Free-radical researcher Prof Christine Winterbourn lectured at the Auckland Museum instead of .


June 27, 2012
Taatai Arorangi: applied astronomy in pre-European NZ
Pita Turei, Storyteller
Matariki, the cluster of stars named Pleiades in Western astronomy, has always had a special place in Maori cultural narratives.  Matariki is variously described as the eyes of the wind god Tawhirimatea, flung into the sky in protest at the forceful separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, or as the mother and six daughters who assist the sun during his annual period of winter weakness.  But the star-lore contained in Maori oral tradition is more than mere myth; it provides the conceptual foundations for a fully developed system of celestial observation with very practical applications.  Join Pita Turei, Storyteller, for a discussion of the fruitful connections between mysticism and science in traditional Maori astronomy.


May 30, 2012
Volcanoes in our midst: should we be worried?
Dr Bruce Hayward
Ever wondered if we are safer here in Auckland surrounded by volcanoes than those in earthquake ravaged Christchurch or residents of Wellington waiting for the “big one”?

Join Dr Bruce Hayward for a discussion of the recent advances in our understanding of the volcanoes of Auckland. Increased study of the volcanic field has extended its age back to 250,000 years; increased the number of recognised volcanoes to about 53; recognised that at least 5 erupted at the same time about 32,000 years ago; and that Rangitoto erupted in two episodes 10-50 years apart. These advances have been made by many different workers and have been summarised in Dr Hayward’s recent book “Volcanoes of Auckland: the essential guide”.

But what about future volcanic activity?  Auckland Council’s “Volcanoes of Auckland website gives the risk of an eruption in the next 50 years as 5%. Is this something we ought to be thinking seriously about? Come along to find out.

Bruce is a graduate of the University of Auckland where he studied the Waitakere Voclano; a former Curator of Marine Invertebrates at Auckland Museum; a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ; and a Member of NZ Order of Merit for his contributions towards earth science conservation.


March 28, 2012
A head start on stroke recovery

Dr Cathy Stinear, University of Auckland

Physical therapy is a critical part of stroke recovery, and is essential for regaining motor function. New research shows that priming the brain (with non-invasive stimulation, medications, and/or coordinated movement patterns) can enhance the benefits of physical therapy. But it’s not one-size-fits-all, so are there key ingredients to making a good recovery after stroke? Is it possible to have too much rehabilitation therapy? And does attitude matter as much as anatomy – is it your own fault if you don’t get better?

Dr Cathy Stinear is an Applied Clinical Neuroscientist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland. She is working on ways to select the optimal combination of priming techniques for individual stroke patients, based on understanding the extent of damage to key pathways in the brain.

Last Updated On Thursday, 20 October 2016 19:28 By Auckland