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…

What did you eat today?

For most people its a difficult and uncomfortable subject but what if I told you that I could figure out where you’ve been and what you’ve eaten based only on your poop. That’s right I said it, poop. So, yeah there may be a nicer way to say it, such…

Unhappy Feet: A Long March for the Adélies

The continent of Antarctica, the largest desert on Earth, is well known as the coldest and windiest place in the world. It is amazing to most that some plants and animals survive and thrive amidst these unforgiving conditions. Among those animals are several species of resilient penguins: the Adélies, Chinstraps,…

A glass half full of fungi: Something to wine about

  At anytime of the day or night, you can be sure that someone somewhere is enjoying a glass of fruity Sauvignon Blanc, an oaky Chardonnay, or a full-bodied Pinot Noir (Fig. 1). Yes, wine.     This all-time beverage of choice for ancient Romans, aspiring sommelier’s and your average…

Energy or food, what would you choose?

One of the major global challenges we are currently faced with is providing enough food for our ever-growing global population. As most people are aware now, the global population is going to increase from 7.3 billion to roughly 9.7 billion by 2050. We are already facing issues with food shortages and…

Love thy neighbour- dialect discrimination in the North Island Kōkako

The North Island kōkako (Callaeas wilsoni) is a charismatic songbird which as its name suggests, is endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. It is perhaps most well-known for its distinctive song, which can be heard emanating through its native forest home as day begins to break. If you’ve ever…