IRANZ news briefs


A hookworm (green) inside its host with immune cells (red) swarming around. Image: Malaghan.

Malaghan in the News: COVID-19 coverage

Malaghan Institute scientists have featured extensively in the New Zealand media, talking about the impact and implications of COVID-19 on human health and global efforts to combat it.

Coverage in July included the TVNZ, NZ Herald, News Hub, Stuff, and RNZ. View some of the media coverage here.

IRANZ welcomes Land and Water Science

Land and Water Science, based in Invercargill, has this month joined the IRANZ fold. Scientists at Land and Water Science provide a range of scientific services in environmental and earth science fields. They have extensive experience in environmental science and resource management gained through research and consulting for and within regional councils, crown research institutes, and universities.

Director Dr Clint Rissman says many projects have involved the use of high resolution spatial and temporal data which has provided an integrated view of environmental processes that range from regional to paddock scale. Clint recently led a project team for Our Land and Water National Science Challenge to understand how and why surface water quality varies across New Zealand. The team published a paper in Science of the Total Environment outlining a water quality modelling framework which accurately models water quality based on landscape factors, such as soil type and geology, combined with land use.

IRANZ at Speakers Science Forums

Professor Graham LeGros, Director of Research at the Malaghan Institute, and Dr Nancy Garrity (Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Hine), Research Scientist, New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research – Te Kahuōpapa, have both recently given presentations at the Speakers Science Forums for MPs and guests at Parliament.

At the June event, COVID 19: Towards Vaccine Development, Graham talked about the current status of Covid19 vaccines for New Zealand. What is good, what is bad, and what is possible? He gave an overview of work in New Zealand, explaining virology, immunology, and epidemiology, and the role New Zealand can and is playing in the global research towards vaccine development, to ensure access to a safe and effective potential vaccine at the earliest opportunity.

At the July event, Future Stars: showcasing New Zealand’s research talent, Nancy, who is currently leading a research project to repurpose by-products from the pounamu carving industry into 2nd generation materials, such as 3D printed or injection-moulded products, or as an additive for composite materials such as concrete, talked about the integration of mātauranga Māori within a Western science framework, and the trials and tribulations of aligning two different knowledge systems.

Cawthron scientists to inspect foreign vessels

From August 2020, Cawthron scientists, working with New Zealand Diving and Salvage (NZDS), will carry out in-water hull surveys of foreign vessels to check for biofouling as part of national biosecurity survey to combat ‘stowaway’ invasive marine species entering New Zealand waters on the hulls of cargo ships. Read more.


HERA CEO Dr Troy Coyle has been elected as Chair of the Tertiary Education Commissions (TEC) Workforce Development Council (WDC) Interim Board for Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics. Read more.

Troy is also a member of MBIE’s newly formed Building Advisory Panel. The Panel will provide MBIE's Deputy Chief Executive of Building, Resources and Markets with independent strategic advice on issues facing the construction sector. It will provide guidance, advice and direction on the ways that MBIE can support an innovative and high-performing sector.

HERA has recently achieved Sustainable Steel Council (SSC) Certification. Gaining SSC Certification is achieved through an audit process based on set criteria that have been modelled on Treasury’s Living Standards Framework and relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including a carbon footprint assessment. Read more.

PlantTech's new Principal Scientist sees opportunities to transform horticulture

PlantTech's new Principal Scientist Dr Andrew Gilman plans to applying his expertise in deep learning to support the New Zealand horticultural industry to fulfil its true export potential.

After taking up the research role, he says he was immediately noticed the opportunities to apply technology to the plant value chain. “We’re in a space that is moving very rapidly and something that is possible today wasn’t possible just a few months ago,” says Andrew. Read more.

BRI: Wine research and education come together

Three institutions offering wine and viticulture courses have signed an agreement that will see them collaborate on research and student learning with the Marlborough Research Centre and Marlborough-based Bragato Research Institute.

The Memorandum of Understanding brings together tutors and students from Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawkes Bay, Otago Polytechnic, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, whose Budge St campus also houses Bragato’s research winery, as well as the Marlborough Research Centre. Read more.

LASRA conference bigger and brighter in 2021

LASRA Director Geoff Holmes says in light of the ongoing global pandemic response they have cancelled the 2020 LASRA Annual Conference that was scheduled for 13-14 August 2020 in Wellington. He said that they are looking forward to a bigger and brighter conference in 2021 when hopefully global and industrial disruption and border closures will be behind us. He said all proposed 2020 presentations, covering the latest research in hide, skin, and leather processing will be supplied to LASRA members in due course.

Malaghan news

Malaghan Institute Head of Research Technology Kylie Price has been elected as Secretary for the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC), recognising her expertise, passion and tireless efforts to boost the impact of cytometry as an advanced analytical research tool world-wide. Read more.

A recent paper published by the Malaghan Institute’s parasitic disease research team has provided some solid evidence that gut worms can suppress dangerous inflammation in the skin, protecting against allergic conditions. Read more.

Returning Kiwi scientist Dr David O’Sullivan has joined the Malaghan Institute Translational Immunology Group to apply his expertise to immune health research as part of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. Read more.

MRINZ asthma research published

MRINZ have two published editorial papers in this August's Respirology journal as well Biomedical illustrator and Senior Research Fellow Dr Ciléin Kearns’s art on the cover. The papers on Anti-Inflammatory Reliever therapy in asthma, and on Asthma-COPD Overlap are available online.

Prime Minister launches Ara Ake - the National New Energy Development Centre

The National New Energy Development Centre Ara Ake was launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Plymouth on 23 July. Cristiano Marantes has moved from Vector Technology to take up the role of Ara Ake’s Chief Executive.

Prime Minister Ardern highlighted that launching Ara Ake was to ensure New Zealand moves to a low energy future. The centre will be focused on a range of low emission energy options and making sure New Zealand is investing in innovative ideas to move the country to 100% renewable energy and reduce emissions. Megan Woods, Minister of Energy and Resources, highlighted the Government’s road map for green hydrogen produced from renewable energy as one of the commercial opportunities for New Zealand. Prime Minister Ardern said it was important we provided certainty in planning for and transitioning to the future.

Xerra Gateway pilot trial concludes

From 10 July 2020 the Xerra Gateway pilot will no longer be available for accessing current and archived Sentinel satellite data from the Copernicus Programme.

Xerra still offers a variety of commercial satellite imagery and products from Airbus, Maxar and Planet. They also provide training on how best to utilise EO data. CEO Steve Cotter says it’s been a pleasure to offer Xerra Gateway, albeit for a limited time, to the local community of remote sensing specialists and enthusiasts.

Date posted: 29 July 2020

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