Author Archive

Introducing our members only area

Monday, July 4th, 2022

This space is dedicated for internal updates that relate to Bioprotection Aotearoa.  Viewing these updates is only possible when you are logged into the members only area.

While logged in, you will also been given access to

  • further contact information and social media links (if this has been supplied)
  • important files and information, such our powerpoint templates and brand assets
  • key policy information (these are currently being drafted)

Over time, we hope this space will grow with key information that with benefit you and the work you are doing.

Please email us if you have suggestions for information and key documents that you would like to see here.


Bringing the tūī back to town – how native birds are returning to NZ’s restored urban forests

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Postdoctoral Fellow Elizabeth Elliot Noe has always followed The Conversation.  Feeling brave, Elizabeth decided to pitch a story idea to them.  She submitted a 900-word article about planting more native trees in urban areas to encourage the return of native birds to urban forests.  Elizabeth says that these small actions in local neighbourhoods can make a big difference.

Elizabeth was surprised to learn that The Conversation chose to publish her article. “It was fun to see them add pictures and make it shiny and exciting.”  She was even more surprised to learn that media aggregate sites such as Stuff and the NZ Herald republished her article word for word, with no edits.


Conservation genomics in practice

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Director for Bioprotection Aotearoa, Professor Amanda Black was interviewed recently by Nature.  Amanda discusses how Māori deeply care for the environment and biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand, as this is how Māori define themselves and is culturally important.

“Different Māori tribes are kaitiaki, or guardians, of taonga, or treasured species. Conservation-biology- and biodiversity-oriented projects in New Zealand involve Māori. Respect for Indigenous peoples is integrated into scientific practices in fieldwork and sample handling and when using data to benchmark computational tools. Those tasks are part of conservation genomics, in which methods such as sequencing and sequence analysis are used to study the genomes of people, plants, animals and microbes.”

Amanda says it was an enjoyable experience chatting with the writer, “A journal like Nature is starting to recognise the value and experience of indigenous researchers.”  A mission for Nature, is to ensure that the results of science are rapidly disseminated to the public throughout the world, in a fashion that conveys their significance for knowledge, culture and daily life.


How Māori stepped in to save a towering tree crucial to their identity.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

The New York Times talks to our very own Dr. Nick Waipara and other Māori researchers about Māori led interventions to save kauri from kauri dieback.  Nick discusses the competitive system for scientific funding being directed towards the priorities of non-Māori researchers, making work on the disease “problematic, underfunded, piecemeal and ad hoc”.



Genome: Science of Life exhibition to launch

Friday, April 29th, 2022

This radio interview features Professor Peter Dearden, a Deputy Director for Bioprotection Aotearoa.  Peter is also the director of Genomics Aotearoa and discusses with Wallace Chapman from RNZ the launch of a new exhibition at Tūhura Otago Museum, called Genome: Science of Life.

Since COVID arrived on our shores, genomics has become a part of the public consciousness.


Familiar reforms part of new Government plan to adapt to a hotter world

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

This article features comments from Professor Anita Wreford, a researcher for Bioprotection Aotearoa, who welcomes public consultation following the release of the draft National Adaptation Plan.   Anita comments on how this is a good opportunity to discuss how conflicting viewpoints would be resolved, and “rightly” decide how costs can be shared.

“For example, the preferred position of one funding body – such as the council – could be different from the communities’ viewpoint. Solutions could create new problems, Wreford noted: one community might want to build a sea wall that would impact the safety or ecology of a neighbouring locale.”


Fears wilding pine issue has been underestimated, expert says

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

This article features Distinguished Professor Philip Hulme, who is a Deputy Director at Bioprotection Aotearoa.  Philip lends his expertise on an article about management efforts to eradicate wilding pines in Aotearoa.


The whakapapa of soil

Monday, February 28th, 2022

Professor Nick Roskruge is a Deputy Director and leading researcher at Bioprotection Aotearoa.  He wrote an article for Stuff discussing the whakapapa of soil and its defining pronouncement which establishes place and purpose.


Aotearoa’s weed problem

Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

This article features Professor Margaret Stanley, a researcher at Bioprotection Aotearoa.  Margaret shares her science communication project on weed management.

Margaret was one of 30 scientists and illustrators who participated in a “Drawing Science” workshop in 2021.  This event was hosted by the Science Media Centre and The Spinoff.  It was inspired by the successful collaboration between Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris that produced the now globally famous COVID 19 illustrations and gifs.

Scientists were asked to bring a science-specific concept or result they wanted to communicate.  Margaret has been struggling with how to effectively communicate best practices on weed management (based on excellent science).

So after some science and illustrator speed dating, Margaret was paired with illustrator, Pepper Racoon and the campaign to communicate wicked weed management began!


Co-sponsoring undergraduate pathways for Māori and Pasifika students

Monday, December 20th, 2021

Bioprotection Aotearoa, is the latest co-sponsor of MacDiarmid’s Institute  Discovery Scholarships programme, that nurtures a pathway for undergraduate Māori and Pasifika students interested in STEM.

Through collaboration the most difficult challenges can be overcome.  Partnerships such as these, are important to lift representation and diversity in science and carve out a space that allows for indigenous knowledge and value systems to be embedded in the traditional structures of science and research.

Bioprotection Aotearoa is excited to awhi the next cohort of students for 2022, so they have access to scientific learning opportunities where they feel valued and continue to be inspired by a scientific future of discovery.

Visit the MacDiarmid Institute Discovery Scholarship page to learn more about how this programme supports Māori and Pacific Island students in tertiary science.