University of Otago

Established in 1869 with great vision and foresight from Dunedin’s early settlers, the University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest university. Today, the university has around 20,000 students, employs more than 3,800 staff, and is a significant educational, economic and cultural force. It has over 150,000 former students and enjoys a prestigious global reputation for outstanding research and scholarship.

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A study of drinking water sourced from groundwater in areas of intensive farming and horticulture found nitrate levels are already high and rising. from www.shutterstock.com

Drinking water study raises health concerns for New Zealanders

Nitrate in drinking water has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. That could have implications for some parts of New Zealand where nitrate levels are high.
Museum collections are repositories of specimens and data, including specimens, tissue samples and vocal recordings. from Wikimedia Commons

Taxonomy, the science of naming things, is under threat

Taxonomists are becoming as rare as some of the species they work on, and this puts museum collections and conservation efforts under threat and increases the risk of biosecurity incursions.
With the help of environmental DNA, scientists are compiling a census of life in Loch Ness, which should establish if there is any scientific basis to the centuries-old legend of the Loch Ness monster. Supplied

Monster hunt: using environmental DNA to survey life in Loch Ness

Scientists are using environmental DNA to compile a census of life in Loch Ness and to establish if there is any scientific basis for the centuries-old monster legend.
Hoki is one of New Zealand’s most valuable export fish. from www.shutterstock.com

New Zealand’s hoki fishery under scrutiny after claims of fish dumping, misreporting

Leaked reports reveal that some of New Zealand's largest fishing companies have been under-reporting their catch of the commercially valuable hoki by hundreds of tonnes.
Research found that media largely frame debate about oil and gas developments in New Zealand around how drilling should take place, rather than whether it should happen at all. Garry Knight/flickr

How media framing limits public debate about oil exploration

Researchers find that mainstream media in New Zealand tend to present fossil fuel development as positive for the economy, while framing opponents as irrational and extremist.
The team used hot-water drilling gear to melt a hole through Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf to explore the ocean below. Christina Hulbe

Climate scientists explore hidden ocean beneath Antarctica’s largest ice shelf

An international team has melted a hole through Antarctica's largest ice shelf to explore the hidden ocean below, and the shelf's vulnerability to climate change.
Snapper is one of the fish under New Zealand’s Quota Management system. from www.shutterstock.com

New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system: on an undeserved pedestal

New Zealand’s fisheries are considered among the best managed in the world, but this perception doesn't match the facts.
Can we trust a robot that makes decisions with real-world consequences? from www.shutterstock.com

How to make robots that we can trust

We are witnessing dramatic advances in the deployment of autonomous systems, but are we designing robots that can be trusted?
Young people are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections, but they face several barriers to getting tested. from www.shutterstock.com

Stigma and lack of awareness stop young people testing for sexually transmitted infections

Despite significant medical advances, rates of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, including some old foes like syphilis.

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