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Achieving win-win outcomes for native biodiversity and pastoral farming

Friday 4 September at 6.00pm, at the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Prof David Norton, School of Forestry, University of Canterbury.
Cost – $5 per person.

In order to comply with the Alert Level 2 requirements for our upcoming talk, we need to restrict attendance to no more than 100 people. To avoid turning people away at the door, we are asking people to please RSVP in advance to secure a spot . Please do not RSVP until you are sure you can attend. We would also like to encourage all guests to arrive early in order to allow for the extra time required to safely check everybody in. And as always, please stay home if you aren’t feeling well.

For those of you who are unable to attend in person, we are planning to live-streaming the talk. You can join the meeting here: https://meet.google.com/wvk-rozf-scx

Welcome to The Wanaka Branch of the
Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Wanaka group was formed in February 2013, becoming the 9th Regional branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand which is based in Wellington. Consistent with the aims of the central organisation, the main objective of the Wanaka Branch is to advance and promote science, technology and humanities in Wanaka and the Wanaka region. Read more on the history and philosophy of the Branch.

The Branch seeks to achieve this by offering a series of 6 to 10 lectures each year. It aims to bring speakers who are highly regarded in their field of knowledge and expertise, as well as good communicators. Each year a number of eminent national and international speakers, who tour New Zealand under the umbrella of the Royal Society Wellington are included in the programme.

The Wanaka Branch is constituted as an unincorporated society and comprises a membership who appoint an executive committee at an AGM held in May each year. Members receive advance notices of lectures and other communications by email. Lectures are open to the public, and usually held at 6pm on a Friday in the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.

Becoming a Member

Anyone is welcome to become a member of the Wanaka Branch. For information about types of memberships, subscriptions/fees, how to apply, and Rules of the Society, please click on the link below.

Upcoming Talks

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Moriori – assuredly a story worth telling.

Date to be confirmed. Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Dr Doug Sutton, University of Auckland (Retired).

This paper summarises research over the last fifty years which has clarified what we now know about:

  • The  original discovery of the Chatham Islands,
  • The indigenous development there of Moriori population, culture and society,
  • The nature of Moriori society as it was prior to new arrivals,
  • The demographic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of rediscovery by sealers and whalers, and the enduring occupation of the islands by new settlers.
  • The condition of Moriori by 1870.

It reviews the Moriori struggle for survival which was set in motion by the herculean efforts and tactical genius of Hirawanu Tapu (1824-1900) and codified, a hundred years after his death, by settlement with the Crown.

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Bacteriophages to counter antibiotic-resistance (Title TBC)

Date to be confirmed. Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Dr Simon Jackson, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago.

Cost: $5 per person.

“New University of Otago research into how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve could help pave the way for smarter health therapies, and counter antibiotic resistance.”

View full article in the ODT

View ‘Microbiology prize win’

The overall aim of my research group is to understand the interactions between bacterial viruses (phages) and their hosts. Currently, we are funded to study bacterial phage defence systems, such as CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems. With the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacterial pathogens, we urgently need to find new ways to treat bacterial infections. Exploiting phages as natural antimicrobials to kill bacterial pathogens, termed phage therapy, is a promising approach to address the AMR crisis. However, the success of phage therapy is dependent on understanding the complex interaction between phages and bacteria. To address these challenges, we use a combination of bioinformatic, comparative genomics and molecular biology approaches. In 2017, I was awarded the IlluminaTM Emerging Researcher Award, as the top New Zealand Molecular Biologist within 5 years of PhD completion.

https://micro.otago.ac.nz/

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Smoke, mirrors and aerosol: Bioengineering Healthier Lungs

Friday 25 February at 6.00pm 2022, at the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Dr Kelly Suzanne Burrowes, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland.

The lungs are continuously exposed to the environment via the air (and other things) we breathe, making them susceptible to damage. As a result, respiratory diseases present a huge burden on society and their prevalence continues to rise. We are developing new methods to measure and understand lung function using computational modelling and development of new imaging methods. This talk will focus on a few different projects aimed at addressing the harm caused by cigarette smoking and COVID-19. These projects include the development of a digital platform to improve treatment of lung cancer, assessing the safety of electronic cigarettes or vaping, and creating a new device to measure airflow in mechanically ventilated patients.

Dr Kelly Burrowes is a Senior Researcher in Auckland University’s Bioengineering Institute. Her work focuses on developing new methods for measuring, predicting and understanding lung function, including computational modelling and the use of various imaging tools. She then brings these measurements together to understand the lungs and changes that occur due to disease, treatments, and exposure to e-cigarettes. After completing her PhD at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Kelly spent ten years at the University of Oxford with the Computational Biology Group before returning to the University of Auckland in 2016.

Thank you to the fine folks at Maori Point Wines, who generously donate award-winning central otago wine for our speakers.

maori-point-wine

Saving Our Lakes – What Can We Do?