eNewsletter Issue 18, May 2018

Director’s update

We’re now well into the mid-way review process for all National Science Challenges. This review will assess our progress to date and ultimately decide our future. See below for more about this and how you can get involved.

With the release of our new 2017 Highlights report, I’m delighted to finally be able to demonstrate the great strides we’re making toward finding science-based solutions to enhance and restore Aotearoa’s native environments and production landscapes. Its release is hot on the heels of MBIE’s fantastic overview of what all 11 National Science Challenges have been up to as they tackle Aotearoa’s biggest science-based problems.

One of our main roles is to co-ordinate national research collaborations through the right teams that incorporate scientists, communities, industry, government agencies and NGOs – all in partnership with Māori. Our Challenge Parties help us by focusing their research to increase the positive impact this collective effort will have on Aotearoa’s environments. We now have 18 parties on board after recently welcoming the Cawthron Institute to the Challenge.

Our Future Strategy

Future strategy infographics. Drawing - Sandra Velarde

With thanks to Sandra Velarde, economist, for the above sketch notes from our consultation with Scion.

The BioHeritage Challenge is half-way through an intensive consultation process with all 18 of our Challenge Parties as part of the development of a Future Strategy.

The Future Strategy is a large part of the assessment process in the mid-way review of all science Challenges. While it won’t contain any detail on science projects, it will clearly outline the Challenge’s priority areas for future research investment.

Research Highlight: A super-lure for stoats

Stoat lure news

A team from Manaaki Whenua, the University of Auckland, and a range of other organisations are  working on a super-lure  to improve the success of controlling stoats – a mammal that inflicts a devastating toll on Aotearoa’s native wildlife.

Non-native plants invading Aotearoa – register for free talks at Royal Society

Ornamental to detrimental talk

Register now for a series of free talks being held around the country by BioHeritage Project Leader  Professor Phil Hulme from Lincoln University – the Leonard Cockayne Lecturer for 2018.

Being held in May and June, the talks will focus on how many introduced plant species, including those that were thought of as harmless for home and botanic gardens, are now posing significant economic and environmental costs.

Win a copy of Professor Phil Lester’s The Vulgar Wasp

The Vulgar Wasp cover

Like this post on our Facebook page before 1 June and you could win a copy of BioHeritage Project Leader Phil Lester’s new book about New Zealand’s most wanted pest. Phil’s book was inspired in part by his work in the BioHeritage Challenge and explores the story of the common wasp, its impact on us, and on Aotearoa’s biodiversity.

Contribute to our online eDNA hub

Collecting eDNA sample

Scientists are encouraged to contribute their environmental DNA (eDNA) datasets to Aotearoa’s first national biodiversity database where researchers will be able to share and integrate eDNA data.

Early Career Workshop: registrations now open

Early career workshop registration

Registrations are now open for post-graduate and post-doctoral BioHeritage Challenge researchers for an Early Career Workshop being held in Lincoln on 23 and 24 July. There are also limited spaces for students and early career researchers not yet involved with the Challenge, but who are doing related research and want to get involved.

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Collecting eDNA sample
eDNA hub

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Scientists are encouraged to contribute their environmental DNA (eDNA) datasets to Aotearoa’s first national biodiversity database where researchers…

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Stoat. Image - Andrea Byrom
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