Danger? New strain of rabbit disease released in New Zealand!

Imagine its August 1997. You’ve just been out to dinner with your family. You settle down for the night surrounded by everyone you love. You wake early in the morning for breakfast, everyone around you is still asleep. Or so they appear to be. You look closer at your mother…

Mānuka: defending grapevines from fungal attack

Leptospermum scoparium, known as tea tree or mānuka, is native to Australia and New Zealand. This iconic plant has been historically used across several industries, including honey production, meat seasoning, and in the pharmaceutical industry as an essential oil for medicinal use. However, there is another potential use related to…

When is a weed a weed? Canterbury’s gardening choices effect native conservation.

In the Canterbury region there is a considerable lack of native green spaces. The landscape is dominated by exotic agricultural and domestic species, which creates the now famous patckwork-esque landscape Canterbury is well known for. The sheer impact of urban and rural expansion on the Canterbury plains is very apparent….

Field work in the Southern Alps: undergraduate research on introduced pests

Veronica Price-Jones was an international exchange student that came to Lincoln University in 2017. She did the ECOL 393 Field Ecology Research course and recounts her experiences here. Admittedly, my ECOL393 experience did not get off to the most auspicious start. Thanks to a combination of cancelled, delayed and missed…

Barry Donovan, King of New Zealand Bees

Franziska Schmidlin, as a masters student in ENTO 612 Advanced Entomology, was tasked with interviewing working entomologists. Here is part of her report on an interview with Dr Barry Donovan who has worked on insects for 50 years. The first time I met Barry Donovan was while working on a…

A tale of biodynamics: Do moon rhythms influence a wine’s taste?

Over recent decades, biodynamic agriculture, or biodynamics, has been promoted by some people outside of traditional agricultural as the most “earth-friendly” agricultural management system. The philosophy of biodynamics was founded by Rudolf Steiner based on a series of lectures titled “Spiritual foundations for a renewal of agriculture” given in 1924….

Is moonlight the ultimate weapon?

Being terrorised by house mice was a challenge I faced growing up through my primary school years. Forgetting to empty half eaten lunch from my school bag in the evening could result in large rat holes by the morning. This was a lesson that I had to learn the hard…

No Buzz, No Food, No Joke.

Decline of insect pollination and its economic effect on NZ crop production. Honey Bee in Apple Tree My earliest memory of wanting to become a scientist goes way back. I was only 8 years old when I imagined myself lying somewhere in the Amazon, observing the behaviour of small mammals…

About The Seal’s Latest Meals

Soon after their arrival, human settlers started to hunt the New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) from the islands’ shores and in its sounds. The pinnipeds were harvested for their meat by Maori, as well as by Europeans, who in addition found them quite useful for their fur (hence their…

The Great Glacial Meltdown

If you have ever had the opportunity to travel in New Zealand, chances are high that your itinerary included a visit to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, situated in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the South Island. Often described as one of the most iconic tourism destinations of…