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Research grants

The Academy oversees a number of research scholarships and awards, using the Fellowship to assess applications. The following awards have been made.

Charles Fleming Senior Scientist Award

Emeritus Professor Robert Jackson FRSNZ, University of Canterbury, was awarded $10,000 to study a spider's innate aptitude for numbers, and whether numbers are abstract products of our minds and nothing more, or are they instead abstract ‘natural kinds’ existing external to our mental processes.

Charles Fleming Award for Publishing

Dr Bruce Hayward FRSNZ, Geomarine Research, was awarded $6,000 as a contribution to the cost of aerial photography to be used in a new book Spectacular New Zealand on the origin and history of Aotearoa’s most spectacular landforms and natural features.

Dr Robert Borotkanics, Senior Research Fellow, School of Sport and Recreation, AUT, was awarded $2,000 to support the publishing of Statistics in exercise, fitness and sport: with case studies in health and performance. An applied text written for the graduate-level audience. The book’s emphasis will provide accessibly written explanations on statistical and other quantitative techniques.

Skinner Fund (encouraging research in the study of the history, art, culture, physical and social anthropology of the Māori and other Polynesian peoples)

  • Josie Hagan, InSitu Heritage, "Cultural Mapping Whareongaonga 5 Blocks, Gisborne".
  • Jeanette Wikaira, University of Otago, "He taonga, hei taonga: An exploration of taonga and Māori wellbeing".
  • Brendan Kneebone, CFG Heritage, "Motutapu Island Greywacke".
  • John Middleton, University of Auckland, "Exploring the distribution of Phrases in the Tokelau Language".

Hutton fund (encouraging research in New Zealand zoology, botany and geology)


  • Kendall Morman, AUT, "Examine the impacts of fire and mycorrhizal colonisation on plant invasion in tussock grasslands."
  • Hannah Heynderickx, University of Otago, "Does pH variability in NZ kelp forests impact biofilm composition?"
  • Weixuan Ning, Massey University, "Phylogenomic analysis of New Zealand olyploidy Azorella (Apiaceae)."


  • Anya Leenman, University of British Columbia (Formerly, University of Auckland), "Climate change and alluvial fans: Impacts on flood hazards in mountain regions – Southern Alps."
  • Lachie Scarsbrook, University of Otago, "Acquisition of New Zealand’s first ancient herpetofaunal mitochondrial genomes."
  • Sophia Tsang, University of Auckland, "Using paleo-temperature profiles under lava flows to estimate their durations."


  • Michelle Roper, Massey University, "Exploring the evolution of vocal complexity in songbirds (passerines)."
  • Beth Hinton, Massey University, "Investigating sulphur isotope (δ34S) values in prey of long-finned pilot whales stranded in New Zealand waters for use in foraging ecology"
  • Jean-François Doherty, University of Otago, "Ethology and interactions of insects harbouring hairworms (Nematomorpha)."
  • Celia Balemi, University of Auckland, "Are Centrostephanus rodgersii increasing on northern New Zealand reefs and what ecological impacts do they have?"