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Published 24 January 2019

Opportunity to hear from newest Fellows

From fertility treatments to how to sustain Indigenous research, Fellows and Honorary Fellows elected last year to the Academy of Royal Society Te Apārangi for distinction in research and/or advancement of pūtaiao science, hangarau technology and aronui humanities will be giving short presentations on their rangahau research.

The event is held every year as part of the induction of Fellows, but this year it is part of a special event to celebrate he kotahi rau one hundred years of electing Fellows to the Academy. 

The presentations take place on Thursday 14 February at Royal Society Te Apārangi, 11 Turnbull St, Thorndon, Wellington from 1.30pm until 4.45pm.

Due to the limited time available, the new Fellows will be presenting in two streams but the audience can move between rooms.  

See below for the schedule and summaries of the presentations and secure your seat by registering for the event. 



Stream 1 (Aronui Lecture Room)


Stream 2 (Kete Room)


1.30 pm

Margaret Hyland, Victoria University of Wellington


Stephen Robertson, University of Otago


1.45 pm

Simon Malpas, University of Auckland


Cather  Simpson, University of Auckland


2.00 pm

Cynthia Farquhar, University of Auckland


Jason Tylianakis, University of Canterbury


2.15 pm

Angus Macfarlane, University of Canterbury

Social Science

John Gibson, Victoria University of Wellington


2.30 pm

David Williams, University of Auckland


Ichiro Kawachi, Harvard University


2.45– 3.15 pm

Afternoon Tea




3.15 pm

Carolyn King, University of Waikato


Susy Frankel, Victoria University of Wellington


3.30 pm

John Gibson, University of Waikato

Social Science

Charles McGhee, University of Auckland


3.45 pm

Tom Higham, University of Oxford


Merryn Tawhai, University of Auckland


4.00 pm

David Bryant, University of Otago


Warrick Couch, Swinburne University of Technology


4.15 pm

Emily Parker, Victoria University of Wellington


Robyn Longhurst, University of Waikato

Social Sciences



Stream 1 (Aronui Lecture Theatre)

Professor Margaret Hyland FRSNZ, Victoria University of Wellington

From splats to scrubbers: the role of surfaces

Surfaces are where materials interact with their environment. Surfaces control important processes like adhesion, adsorption and corrosion.  From aluminium smelting to surface coatings, Margaret’s research has a common thread of understanding processes occurring at surfaces. She will look at how surfaces control droplet splashing in coating formation and the role of alumina surfaces in capturing fluoride pollutants.


Professor Simon Malpas FRSNZ, University of Auckland

The medical device revolution

The internet revolution has led to unprecedented change in society and business. The next age of development will take these advances and apply them to medical devices. Simon will focus in his presentation on the development of implantable devices for measuring pressure and the opportunity for major changes in clinical treatment in the comping years.


Professor Cynthia Farquhar FRSNZ, University of Auckland

Improving the evidence for fertility treatment

Professor Farquhar’s research over the past 30 years has focused on improving the evidence for women’s health, in particular maternity care, and gynaecology and fertility treatments. Cindy is the Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group established and past Chairman of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (2005-2013). She has over 280 peer reviewed publications.


Professor Angus Macfarlane FRSNZ, University of Canterbury

Toitū te Mātauranga: sustaining Indigenous Research

The research aligned to Angus’ discipline focuses on exploring Indigenous and sociocultural imperatives that influence education and psychology. He has pioneered several theoretical frameworks associated with culturally-responsive approaches for professionals working across these disciplines. Recently there has been a repositioning of the emphasis toward more proximity to Mātauranga Māori - and its authoritative place within and beyond Aotearoa.


Professor David Williams FRSNZ, University of Auckland

Amalgamation, integration, dual heritage

A New Zealand Institute paper in 1882 concluded the Maori race was dying out, to be supplanted by a superior race. Prime Minister Nash in 1960 insisted ‘integration’ was the only pathway to a harmonious, and progressive community. TUIA 2019 will celebrate ‘Dual Heritage, Shared Future.’ Reflections on changing historical perspectives.


Professor Carolyn King FRSNZ, University of Waikato

Small mustelids in New Zealand: predator invasion ecology down-under

Carolyn’s lifetime of research has centred on the ecology of small predators, at Oxford (1967-71), and in New Zealand (since 1972). Current management policies for stoats and rats depend on her data and monitoring techniques, especially for understanding their population irruptions after beech masts, and their potential for invasions of offshore islands.


Professor John Gibson FRSNZ, University of Waikato

Development through migration: evidence from the Pacific

For people from small, island, countries, including New Zealand, international labour mobility is important to their portfolio of development opportunities. Measuring impacts of this mobility is hard, because migrants self-select. This talk discusses impacts in the Pacific of skilled emigration, seasonal return migration, and settlement migration based on random ballot.


Professor Tom Higham Hon FRSNZ, University of Oxford

New bioarchaeological research sheds light on human evolution between 100,000 and 40,000 years ago

Cutting edge bioarchaeological techniques are revealing more about the complex interplay between modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans over 60,000 years of evolutionary time. Radiocarbon, genetics, collagen peptide mass fingerprinting and other methods have allowed scientists to document interbreeding and extinction, and explore why it is that we are the only group of humans left on Earth. 


Professor David Bryant FRSNZ, University of Otago

Evolution and proof

David is a mathematician working primarily in evolutionary genetics. He develops methods used to infer complex evolutionary histories from genetic and genomic data. This requires modeling, statistics, theoretical mathematics and algorithm design.


Professor Emily Parker FRSNZ, Victoria University of Wellington

Playing with nature’s catalysts: insights into enzymes

Enzymes are the catalysts that facilitate the chemical reactions that support all living organisms. Emily’s work has focused on understanding the molecular details of how enzymes achieve this remarkable acceleration of these critical chemical processes. The findings of Emily and her colleagues have implications for the discovery of new antibacterial therapies and new enzyme-based technologies.


Stream 2 (Kete)

Professor Stephen Robertson FRSNZ, University of Otago

Molecular genetics in the clinic: a lens on human development

A congenital developmental disorder affects 1 in 30 children. Molecular genetics improves the diagnosis and management of these children but also reveals new knowledge on the molecular underpinnings of the embryonic development in the human. Stephen and his team have developed new diagnostic tests for several disorders and revealed new mechanisms governing the development of the human brain and skeleton.


Professor Cather Simpson FRSNZ, University of Auckland

Understanding light and making it work

Light is one way for nature to transmit energy from one place to another. Its interaction with matter makes that energy useful. Cather and her colleagues use lasers to explore this interaction at its fundamental levels – and adapt that knowledge to improve things like dairy farming and human health.


Professor Jason Tyliankis FRSNZ, University of Canterbury

Disentangling the web of life

All species depend on interactions with others, which form complex networks. The architecture of these networks influences the stability and functioning of ecosystems, but it is altered by human-induced changes to the environment. Understanding of ecological networks can allow us to predict extinctions and the propagation of disturbances across ecosystems.


Professor John Creedy FRSNZ, Victoria University of Wellington

Economic modelling for public policy analysis

John’s work covers a range of economic policy analyses, with an emphasis on personal and consumption taxation, and social benefits including superannuation. John has constructed many economic models to examine the revenue and redistributive effects of tax policy, particularly allowing for the way individuals respond to tax policy changes. 


Professor Ichiro Kawachi Hon FRSNZ, Harvard University

Disaster resilience in an aging society: lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity worldwide. Due to population aging, older people are increasingly affected. Ichiro’s talk will focus on the two major health threats that have emerged among older survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, namely, cognitive decline and metabolic syndrome.


Professor Susy Frankel FRSNZ, Victoria University of Wellington

The Patent Pharmaceutical Paradox

Patent law and the protection of related data impact the innovation and availability of pharmaceuticals. The policy rationale for patents is that they function as innovation incentives, yet their impact can interfere with innovation. How to balance these competing effects is a tension that policymakers face and this presentation discusses.


Professor Charles McGhee FRSNZ, University of Auckland

The eye: who would believe something so small could contain all the wonders of the universe?

The eye and vision have fascinated individuals, scientists, philosophers and physicians for millennia. Our knowledge of the eye grows exponentially, with unveiling of vital microscopic function and myriad malfunctions. As science has revealed ocular secrets, medicine has reversed many maladies. This lecture explores the interface of medicine and science in ophthalmology.


Professor Merryn Tawhai FRSNZ, University of Auckland

A personal digital model of lung structure-function over the adult lifespan

Merryn and her colleagues have developed statistically- and biophysically-based analysis methods and lung models that link 3D imaging to standard laboratory tests. The new technology can be used to guide interventional approaches, develop and optimise treatments for the individual, and stratify patients into groups in need of more targeted, personalised therapies.


Professor Warrick Couch Hon FRSNZ, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

‘Nature versus nurture' on a cosmic scale

The ‘nature versus nurture’ issue has been as hotly debated in astronomy as in the life-sciences. Warrick’s research has focused on resolving this issue in an astronomical context; specifically, to determine the extent to which galaxy properties are determined by their conditions at birth, as opposed to subsequent environmental influences.


Professor Robyn Longhurst FRSNZ, University of Waikato

 ‘The body’: why it matters

Since the mid 1990s there has been a transformation in the way that human geographers understand people-place relationships. Until then ‘the body’ was largely ignored. The micro scale of ‘the body’ was considered to be less important than the macro scales of cities, regions and nations. Robyn argues this omission of ‘the body’ matters. Drawing on empirical examples, she explains why. 


Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi