RNZ: Our Changing World

300 EpisodesProduced by RNZWebsite

Getting out in the field and the lab to bring you New Zealandstories about science, nature and the environment.

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Shaped by the wind

September 19th, 2019

25:12

The 20-metre long wind tunnel at the University of Auckland is used to test the aerodynamics of objects as varied as Olympic cyclists and buildings, as well as drones, ancient building designs & tiny gas turbines.

Our Changing World for 19 September 2019

September 19th, 2019

24:51

The largest wind tunnel in New Zealand is used to test everything from the effects of turbulence on drones to ancient building designs and tiny gas …

Praseodymium - a long name but not many uses

September 15th, 2019

6:20

Praseodymium is a metal wirh the second longest name on the periodic table and not many uses, says Prof Alan Blackman from AUT in ep 63 of Elemental.

Potassium - a matter of life and death

September 12th, 2019

11:18

From levitating burnt buttocks, to excitable nerves and sure-to-rise baking, potassium is highly reactive and vital to life, says Prof Allan Blackman in ep 62 of Elemental.

Green cities of the future - what we can expect in 2050

September 12th, 2019

27:29

Better solar panels and efficient carbon capture technology will help shape the impact and look of cities in the future, say MacDiarmid Institute …

Our Changing World for 12 September 2019

September 12th, 2019

28:28

MacDiarmid Institute scientists talk about how their work improving solar panel efficiency and developing carbon capture and storage techniques might …

Polonium - few redeeming features

September 8th, 2019

10:16

Polonium will be forever linked with the names Curie and Litvinenko and has negligible desirable features, says Prof Allan Blackman in ep 61 of …

Plutonium - nuclear bombs & nuclear power

September 5th, 2019

9:01

A radioactive heavyweight associated with nuclear bombs & power, which is powering the Voyager spacecraft, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 60 of Elemental.

The science of toxic algal blooms

September 5th, 2019

28:20

Toxic algae expert Jonathan Puddick has a Marsden Grant to find out if toxic cyanobacteria share their toxins with non-toxic species.

Our Changing World for 5 September 2019

September 5th, 2019

28:17

Cyanobacteria are responsible for toxic algal blooms in lakes and rivers, and Cawthron Institute scientists are trying to better understand them.

Platinum - another pricey precious metal

September 1st, 2019

8:57

Platinum is useful in catalytic convertors, is used to treat testicular cancer and will be useful in hydrogen fuel cells, says Prof Allan Blackman …

Phosphorus - P was discovered in pee

August 29th, 2019

14:27

Phosphorus, chemical symbol P, was first isolated as an element from thousands of litres of urine. Also found in guano, aka bird poo. Allan Blackman …

No escape: separating from an abusive partner

August 29th, 2019

10:56

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, but sociology research shows life post- separation can still leave women …

Our Changing World for 29 August 2019

August 29th, 2019

25:50

Research into relationships and their break-ups, and oxygen is very friendly with other chemical elements.

Palladium - cleaning up your car's exhaust

August 25th, 2019

12:29

Palladium is a pricey precious metal most commonly used in catalytic convertors on car exhausts, says AUT's Allan Blackman in ep 57 of Elemental.

Oxygen - the friendly element

August 22nd, 2019

14:46

Oxygen is very friendly with other chemical elements & very helpful for life on Earth, says Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 56 of Elemental.

Using sound to brew better beer

August 22nd, 2019

13:14

What happens if you play a Viennese waltz or death metal to beer as it brews? Experimenting with musical ways of making better beer.

Our Changing World for 22 August 2019

August 22nd, 2019

27:35

Does playing different sounds to fermenting yeast change the taste of beer and osmium, the densest chemical element.

Osmium - heavyweight champion of the elements

August 18th, 2019

8:58

Osmium is extremely rare and expensive. It is the densest chemical element, rivals diamond as being the least compressible of all known substances & has a distinctive 'pong' according to Allan Blackman in ep 55 of …

Nitrogen - a vital powerhouse

August 15th, 2019

13:07

Most important biological molecules contain nitrogen, even though it takes lots of energy to make or break its chemical bonds, says Allan Blackman …

Risky decisions & gambling addiction

August 15th, 2019

11:54

Electronic gaming machines, or the pokies, are highly addictive. Sonia Sly investigates why problem gambling develops and how it is associated with other disorders.

Our Changing World for 15 August 2019

August 15th, 2019

21:43

Why playing pokie machines can easily lead to a gambling addiction, and the chemical element nickel is in more than just five cent coins.

Niobium - useful at high & low temperatures

August 11th, 2019

9:53

Niobium is a metal that is useful at both very high temperatures, as in jet engines, and very low temperatures as a superconductor, says Allan …

Nickel - more than just a 5 cent coin

August 8th, 2019

9:57

The chemical element nickel is named after a German word for Satan or the Devil, but nickel is now more usually thought of as a North American five cent piece, says Allan Blackman in ep 52 of Elemental.

Detector Gadget the conservation dog

August 8th, 2019

18:27

Detector Gadget is a dog with a job. She is a conservation dog trained by her handler Sandy King to sniff out rodents on predator-free islands.

Our Changing World for 8 August 2019

August 8th, 2019

28:00

Gadget is a conservation detector dog, trained to sniff out rats, and the chemical element neon is not just found in neon signs.

Kākāpō chicks growing up

August 5th, 2019

30:30

The kākāpō chicks are graduating to being juveniles and only seven birds are still sick with aspergillosis, in ep 23 of the Kākāpō Files.

Neon - the red of neon lights

August 4th, 2019

10:52

There are no known compounds of the noble gas neon, which does however produce the brilliant crimson of red - and only red - neon lights. Ep 51 of Elemental with Prof Allan Blackman from AUT.

Neodymium - the secret behind supermagnets

August 1st, 2019

9:06

Neodydmium magnets include the strongest permanent magnets known and are found in devices like speakers & headphones, says chemistry professor Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 50 of Elemental.

Challenging gender norms & the threat of female sexuality

August 1st, 2019

14:31

Professor Ciara Cremin explores the politics of cross-dressing and gender identity in both her personal and her professional life.

Our Changing World for 1 August 2019

August 1st, 2019

24:29

The politics of cross-dressing and gender identity, and the chemical element molybdenum.

Molybdenum - a catalyst at bacterial to industrial scales

July 28th, 2019

10:18

Molybdenum has an essential role as a catalyst at microbial and industrial scales and is an important element in enzymes, says Prof Allan Blackman, …

Mercury - mesmerising quicksilver

July 25th, 2019

11:33

Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, says Allan Blackman in ep 48 of Elemental.

Restoring Fiordland's 'island lifeboats'

July 25th, 2019

41:18

The Department of Conservation and volunteer groups, including the Coal Island Trust, are hard at work removing pests such as stoats and deer from …

Our Changing World for 25 July 2019

July 25th, 2019

40:43

The Department of Conservation and groups such as the Coal Island Trust are taking pests off Fiordland islands and reintroducing rare species.

Manganese - the 'essential' essential element

July 23rd, 2019

8:36

The metal manganese is a vital part of photosynthesis and is found in aluminium drink cans, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 47 of Elemental.

Magnesium - loved by everyone and everything

July 21st, 2019

10:07

Magnesium is loved by plants, folk suffering constipation and boy-racers, as Allan Blackman reveals in ep 46 of Elemental.

Lutetium - an obscure Parisian

July 18th, 2019

8:08

After a fierce struggle for naming rights, the last lanthanoid element to be discovered was eventually named after Paris, says Allan Blackman in ep 45 of Elemental.

New way to stop unwanted biofouling

July 18th, 2019

16:15

Electroclear is a start-up company at the University of Auckland using electric fields to deter small marine organisms from settling on boats and underwater structures.

Our Changing World for 18 July 2019

July 18th, 2019

31:35

Chris Walker explains how they plan to use electricity to prevent underwater fouling, and DOC announces the results of kakapo paternity testing.

Kākāpō dads revealed

July 16th, 2019

26:59

Paternity testing has revealed who the top kākāpō dads are, as well as the success of the artificial insemination programme, in ep 22 of the Kākāpō Files.

Lithium - a mood enhancing element

July 14th, 2019

8:44

Lithium is the lightest metal, and it is used in batteries and for the treatment of bipolar disorder, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 44 of …

Lead - sweet-tasting but deadly

July 11th, 2019

14:19

Lead is the element that took down an empire, and its sweet taste belies a metal that is dangerous for human & animal health. All this and more with Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 43 of Elemental.

Children's art - more than just a picture

July 11th, 2019

13:49

Prof Harlene Hayne investigates childrens' artworks: are they just a picture or do they offer insights and clues into the kid's emotional world?

Our Changing World for 11 July 2019

July 11th, 2019

27:38

What insights can children's drawings give us, and deadly tales from the chemical element lead.

Lanthanum - curious case of a 'lost' element

July 7th, 2019

8:01

Despite giving its name to a whole group on the periodic table, chemists can't agree if lanthanum even belongs in that group, says Prof Allan …

Krypton - its name means 'hidden' but it's a real thing

July 4th, 2019

8:16

In real life krypton is a noble gas which is commonly used in neon signs and laser light shows, says Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 41 of Elemental.

The science of Matariki

July 4th, 2019

29:09

Professor Rangi Mātāmua talks about the 120-year-old book which has preserved his ancestors' knowledge of Māori astronomy.

Our Changing World for 4 July 2019

July 4th, 2019

28:50

To mark Matariki, the Māori New Year, we join Dr Rangi Matamua from the University of Waikato to hear about Māori astronomy.

Iron - creator of the modern world

June 30th, 2019

11:35

Iron is formed in stars, makes up most of the Earth's core & as a result enables life as we know it to exist, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT, …

Kākāpō waiting game

June 28th, 2019

29:10

The kākāpō health crisis is stable, with no further cases of aspergillosis diagnosed, and seven hand-reared chicks have been successfully released in …

Iridium and the end of the dinosaurs

June 27th, 2019

8:23

Iridium is the second-densest element on the periodic table and the most erosion-resistant metal. A layer of iridium in rocks marks the demise of the dinosaurs, according to Allan Blackman from AUT, in ep 39 of …

Freshwater fish swim for science

June 27th, 2019

14:27

NIWA scientists are putting freshwater fish such as inanga through swimming trials, to find out how they cope with water moving at different speeds.

Our Changing World for 27 June 2019

June 27th, 2019

25:52

NIWA is putting freshwater fish through their paces in a swimming test, and the story of indium, the chemical element that is the Queen of the touchscreen.

Indium - Queen of the touchscreen

June 20th, 2019

12:10

Indium is a very soft metal, and as indium-tin-oxide it is an indispensable part of the swipeability of touchscreens, says Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 37 of Elemental.

Predator Free NZ - dream or reality?

June 20th, 2019

45:20

A panel of five experts debate what it will take to turn the idea of a predator-free New Zealand by 2050 from a dream into a reality.

Our Changing World for 20 June 2019

June 20th, 2019

44:45

A panel discussion on 'Predator Free New Zealand - dream or reality' with five experts in pest biology and large scale eradication porjects.

Hydrogen - 'number 1 in the Universe'

June 16th, 2019

11:05

Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table. It is the oldest, lightest and most abundant element in the universe, but on earth it is usually …

Holmium - obscure, but an important surgical laser

June 13th, 2019

7:14

Holmium has interesting magnetic properties and is an important part of precise surgical lasers known as the 'Swiss Army knife' of lasers, according …

Our Changing World for 13 June 2019

June 13th, 2019

30:06

Behind-the-scenes at Auckland Zoo with sick kākāpō, and the chemical element holmium.

Behind-the-scenes of the kākāpō health crisis

June 12th, 2019

39:33

Kākāpō death toll from aspergillosis rises by one to seven, while nine birds have been given a clean bill of health. Sad and positive news from the …

Helium - rare on earth but universally abundant

June 9th, 2019

13:52

Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe and possibly the most unreactive element on the periodic table, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT, in ep 34 of Elemental.

Hafnium - helped land the first astronauts on the moon

June 6th, 2019

6:46

Hafnium is named after Copenhagen and as it has a very high melting point it was used in the thruster nozzles of the Apollo Lunar modules, according …

Tawaki bust penguin swimming records

June 6th, 2019

7:32

Twice a year tawaki or Fiordland crested penguins make migrations of many thousands of kilometres to the south to feed at the Polar Front.

Successful new seabird colony on Matiu Somes Island

June 6th, 2019

10:08

Eight years ago volunteers began translocating fluttering shearwater chicks to Wellington's Matiu Somes Island to establish what is now a growing …

Rifleman to royal albatross - a bird atlas for NZ

June 6th, 2019

10:43

The NZ bird atlas will be a 5-year project counting common & rare birds from the Kermadecs to the far south.

Our Changing World for 6 June 2019

June 6th, 2019

32:01

The NZ Bird Atlas is launched, a successful effort to create a new fluttering shearwater colony, Fiordland's tawaki penguins go for record-breaking …

Gold - a most desirable noble metal

June 2nd, 2019

14:28

Gold is highly valued for its colour as well as for being malleable and ductile, and as a noble metal it is unreactive and doesn't rust, says Allan …

Germanium - important in the first transistors

May 30th, 2019

7:29

Germanium is a metalloid that was a key element in early transistors and is now used in optical fibres and infrared night vision scopes, says Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 31 of Elemental.

The streams beneath the streets

May 30th, 2019

15:30

New research shows Wellington's underground streams are important homes and highways for freshwater fish.

Our Changing World for 30 May 2019

May 30th, 2019

30:18

Many of Wellington's streams now run in pipes under the roads, and the aspergillosis crisis in the kakapo population grows.

Kākāpō health concerns continue

May 29th, 2019

16:46

The number of cases of aspergillosis in the kākāpō population continues to rise, with 30 birds on the mainland for testing & treatment. The …

Gallium - mysterious case of the disappearing spoon

May 28th, 2019

7:19

Gallium is the second element named after France, is a key element in mobile phones & Blu-ray players & melts at body temperature, says Prof Allan Blackman in ep 30 of Elemental.

Gadolinium - plays a key role in MRI scans

May 26th, 2019

8:51

Gadolinium has interesting magnetic properties and is used as a contrast agent in MRI scans, according to AUT's Prof Allan Blackman in ep 29 of …

Francium - final naturally-occurring element to be discovered

May 23rd, 2019

7:43

Francium was the last naturally-occurring element to be discovered and has never been seen, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 28 Elemental.

The Southland accent - a rolling change

May 23rd, 2019

21:58

The Southland accent has a distinctive burr, and new research is revealing how those 'rolled Rs' have changed over time.

Our Changing World for 23 May 2019

May 23rd, 2019

30:48

Southlanders are rolling their Rs more - and less - than 100 years ago, and the chemical element fluorine.

Fluorine - the non-stick element

May 19th, 2019

10:34

Fluorine is a highly toxic green gas that is the main ingredient in non-stick teflon coatings. In ep 27 of Elemental, Prof Allan Blackman from AUT, says that fluorine has very different properties from fluoride.

Europium - putting the security in the Euro

May 16th, 2019

6:05

Europium is named after Europe and is responsible for a forgery-busting aspect of the Euro banknote, reports Prof Allan Blackman in ep 26 of Elemental.

Mystery of the longfin eel's breeding ground

May 16th, 2019

18:59

NIWA freshwater ecologists hope sophisticated satellite tags will solve the msytery of where New Zealand's longfin eels go to breed in the Pacific.

Foulden Maar - a 23-million year-old fossil treasure trove

May 16th, 2019

12:13

A 23-year million year old volcanic crater in inland Otago that is a treasure trove of exquisiute fossils is facing the threat of being mined for …

Our Changing World for 16 May 2019

May 16th, 2019

29:09

NIWA is tagging longfin eels to try and find their mysterious breeding grounds, and Foulden Maar is one of NZ's premier fossil sites.

Worrying times for kākāpō

May 15th, 2019

37:02

A spate of kākāpō chicks deaths from a fungal pneumonia caused by aspergillosis has DOC's Kākāpō Recovery Team very worried. Two further adult deaths …

Erbium - through rose-tinted glasses

May 12th, 2019

8:08

Erbium is named after a chemically famous Swedish village, and adds a rose-tinted glow to the periodic table, in ep 25 of Elemental with Allan Blackman from AUT.

Dysprosium - hard to get

May 9th, 2019

8:22

Dysprosium earned its name by being very hard to separate from other elements and has become very important in electric car motors. Join Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 24 of Elemental.

Kea get a helping hand

May 9th, 2019

28:41

The Kea Conservation Trust & the Arthur's Pass Wildlife Trust have combined forces to band kea as part of a citizen science project & are working to make the village a safer place for the curious birds.

Our Changing World for 9 May 2019

May 9th, 2019

27:52

The Kea Conservation Trust is working with South Island communities to better understand kea and find ways to keep them out of trouble.

Curium & meitnerium - in honour of two pioneering women

May 7th, 2019

15:46

There are only two chemical elements on the periodic table named after women: curium, in honour of Marie & Pierre Curie, & meitnerium after Lise Meitner. Allan Blackman from AUT introduces the women and their …

Copper - essential, in moderation

May 5th, 2019

12:09

Copper is a soft metal that is an essential element for enzymes and life, gives octopuses their blue blood and was often used to make coins. Allan Blackman from AUT has the lowdown on copper in ep 22 of Elemental.

Cobalt - goblin of the periodic table

May 2nd, 2019

9:30

Famous as the colour of blue glass and important in red blood cells, cobalt can form a permanent magnet and is vital for livestock. Allan Blackman …

Laser scanning crime scenes

May 2nd, 2019

15:12

ESR is using a laser to scan crime scenes, allowing police and juries to 'fly through' the scene long after the event.

Our Changing World for 2 May 2019

May 2nd, 2019

26:46

ESR is laser scanning crime scenes, and the kakapo breeding has been busy on Anchor Island.

Glad and sad kākāpō tidings

May 1st, 2019

37:17

The death of Hoki from a fungal infection brings the number of adult kākāpō to 146, while there are 77 chicks. Ep 17 of the Kākāpō Files includes a …

Chromium - colourful and shiny

April 28th, 2019

8:11

Chromium is a transition metal that gives colour to precious jewels, the shine to your car fender and your kitchen bench, but can also be a killer. …

Chlorine - good for health, bad for health

April 25th, 2019

12:07

Chlorine is the culprit in the 'case of the exploding trousers'. It is also well-known as a disinfectant and chloride ions are essential for life, …

Lava Lab and drilling into a volcano's magma chamber

April 25th, 2019

27:20

University of Canterbury's Lava Lab, plans to drill into a volcano's magma chamber and a Curious Mind volcano drilling game for schools.

Our Changing World for 25 April 2019

April 25th, 2019

27:00

University of Canterbury's Lava Lab, plans to drill into a volcano's magma chamber and a Curious Mind volcano drilling game for schools.

Cerium - combustible and confusing

April 21st, 2019

10:25

Cerium is the most abundant rare-earth element and pops up in self-cleaning ovens, cigarette lighter flints and spectacle glass. Find out more with Allan Blackman from AUT in ep 18 of Elemental.

Carbon - life & times of the 'king of elements'

April 18th, 2019

11:45

Carbon underpins life as we know it, fuels our world and gets its own branch of chemistry, according to AUT professor Allan Blackman, in ep 17 of Elemental.

Finding DNA in fingerprints

April 18th, 2019

11:03

A new method of finding DNA in fingerprints could take some of the guesswork out of crime scene analysis.

Our Changing World for 18 April 2019

April 18th, 2019

29:46

ESR is finding DNA from fingerprints and the latest kakapo news, brings chick tally to 75 with three still to hatch.

Longest kākāpō breeding season

April 16th, 2019

28:46

With 75 living chicks and the final three eggs due to hatch this week, the 2019 kākāpō breeding season is set to be the longest on record. All this & the sex ratio of the first 49 chicks, in ep 16 of the Kākāpō …

Calcium - strength and beauty

April 14th, 2019

9:55

Calcium creates objects that are strong and beautiful, from caves, to teeth and bones, and coral reefs. Find out more in ep 16 of Elemental, with …

Caesium - the time-keeper

April 11th, 2019

11:22

A second, the basic unit of time, is defined by caesium, which is also useful for dating things. Find out more about caesium's role as a timekeeper, …

How enzymes respond to rising temperatures

April 11th, 2019

18:56

Biology professor Vic Arcus is trying to tease out how enzymes are able to speed chemical reactions up.

Our Changing World for 11 April 2019

April 11th, 2019

26:28

Research into how enzymes are able to speed up reactions as much as they do, and the chemical element cadmium.

Cadmium - colour and quantum dots

April 7th, 2019

8:06

Cadmium has featured in red traffic lights, rechargeable batteries and now has a role in quantum dots, according to Allan Blackman, from AUT, in ep …

Bromine - the colour purple and poison gas

April 4th, 2019

9:21

The story of bromine is one of the color purple, the Dead Sea and an early poison gas used in the First World War, says Allan Blackman from AUT, in …

Science of a 'mega mast' & planning wide-scale predator control

April 4th, 2019

28:40

This summer has seen a 'mega-mast' mass seeding event in New Zealand's forests and DOC is now planning its largest-ever predator control operation to …

Our Changing World for 4 April 2019

April 4th, 2019

27:55

The science of a mega mast year: predicting mass seeding events in New Zealand's forests and how DOC is planning large-scale predator control to save …

Kākāpō chicks still hatching

April 1st, 2019

24:36

Most of the 72 kākāpō chicks are thriving in wild nests, the males are winding down their booming, and there are 7 fertile eggs still to hatch, in ep 15 of the Kākāpō Files.

Boron - made by cosmic rays, useful in the kitchen

March 31st, 2019

7:10

Made by cosmic rays and supernovae, used in ovenproof cookware, and a key ingredient in the strongest acid ever made. Allan Blackman from AUT explores boron in ep 12 of Elemental.

Bismuth - an unusual heavy metal

March 28th, 2019

10:09

Bismuth is a heavy metal that expands when frozen, and can be used to levitate trains and soothe upset guts, as Allan Blackman from AUT explains in episode 11 of Elemental.

Caves reveal past climate change

March 28th, 2019

17:51

Caves are a subterranean library of past climate change records, captured as water dripping from above creates flowstones and stalactites.

Our Changing World for 28 March 2019

March 28th, 2019

28:44

Caves hold a record of past climate change captured in flow stones, and the synthetic heavyweight elements at the bottom of the periodic table have …

Beryllium - sweet and precious, but deadly

March 24th, 2019

5:36

You'll find beryllium in precious jewels and a space telescope mirror, but just don't inhale the dust - all in episode 10 of Elemental, with AUT's Professor Allan Blackman.

Kotahitanga and kākāpō

March 22nd, 2019

11:05

Kākāpō chick numbers continue to climb. The latest tally is 64 chicks, including one named Kotahitanga, meaning unity and solidarity. Ep 14 of the …

Berkelium and the synthetic heavyweights

March 21st, 2019

11:59

The heaviest elements on the periodic table have only ever existed fleetingly in the lab, so Allan Blackman from AUT has grouped them all together in episode 9 of Elemental.

Our Changing World for 21 March 2019

March 21st, 2019

26:48

Barium is a chemical element that hates being on its own, and experts from Orana Park and Auckland Zoo are looking after hand-reared kakapo chicks.

Barium - never found on its own

March 17th, 2019

9:25

Barium is never found on its own in nature, as it loves buddying up - but a version of it is found in hospitals. Allan Blackman from AUT reveals barium's secrets in episode 8 of Elemental.

Fat happy kākāpō chicks

March 15th, 2019

34:31

Thirty four kākāpō chicks are putting on plenty of weight in wild nests as the rimu fruit ripens, and 23 chicks are also being hand-reared, in episode 13 of the Kākāpō Files.

Astatine - awfully rare

March 14th, 2019

8:41

No one has ever seen astatine, which shares the distinction of being one of the rarest naturally-occurring elements on earth. Find out more with Allan Blackman from AUT in episode 7 of Elemental.

Crime-busting software package wins PM's Science Prize

March 14th, 2019

23:49

An ESR software package that analyses complex crime scene samples containing DNA from multiple people, has won the 2018 Prime Minister's Science …

We need to talk about climate change, says science prize winner

March 14th, 2019

15:22

James Renwick loves talking about the science underlying climate change, and this willingness has won him the 2018 Prime Minister's Science Communication Prize.

Young physicist wins the PM's Future Scientist Prize

March 14th, 2019

7:21

Modelling granular materials such as corn and salt has earned Onslow College physics student Finn Messerli the school's third Prime Minister's Future …

Our Changing World for 14 March 2018

March 14th, 2019

30:40

The 2018 Prime Minister's Science prizes have gone to crime-busting software, a climate change communicator and a young physicist.

Arsenic - the well-known poison

March 10th, 2019

7:37

Arsenic is a well-known killer that was once dubbed 'succession powder'. Join Allan Blackman from AUT in 8 episode of Elemental, a journey through the periodic table.

Argon - every breath you take

March 7th, 2019

7:55

Argon is in every breath you take and its inertness is its best feature, as we discover with AUT chemistry professor Allan Blackman, in episode 5 of Elemental.

Bull kelp genes and earthquake uplift - a surprising connection

March 7th, 2019

14:04

New research shows that bull kelp along a tectonically uplifted stretch of coast south of Dunedin has a surprisingly different genetic signature to …

Our Changing World for 7 March 2019

March 7th, 2019

25:33

We've a story about bull kelp and earthquake uplift for Seaweek, and we meet some volunteer kakapo helpers.

Kākāpō helpers

March 7th, 2019

24:13

Volunteers from around the world are helping the kākāpō team, with tasks ranging from feeding birds and people, looking after the power system on …

Antimony - takes lives, saves lives

March 3rd, 2019

8:03

Antimony can be used to take lives - and to save lives. Check out episode 4 of Elemental with Professor Allan Blackman from AUT.

Kākāpō rangers

March 1st, 2019

25:15

There is a hard-working team of island rangers helping save kākāpō, working day and night, and the chick tally has reached 44, in episode 11 of the Kākāpō Files.

Our Changing World for 28 February 2019

February 28th, 2019

27:22

Professor Allan Blackman from AUT explores the chemical elements actinium and americium, and the Kakapo Files podcast catches up with the work of the island rangers.

Americium - a radioactive, domestic do-gooder

February 27th, 2019

7:27

Invented during war, radioactive americium has become a bit of a do-gooder that is in most homes. Find out more with AUT's Allan Blackman in episode 3 of Elemental.

Aluminium - light & versatile

February 24th, 2019

6:22

Aluminium is a light, well-known metal with lots of useful properties. Join AUT chemistry professor Allan Blackman for episode 2 of Elemental.

Actinium - rare & radioactive

February 21st, 2019

6:28

The first alphabetical element in the periodic table is actinium. It is a heavy radioactive element, as we discover in episode 1 of Elemental, with Professor Allan Blackman from AUT.

Plastic pollution in streams - a citizen science effort

February 21st, 2019

14:07

NIWA freshwater scientist Amanda Valois is co-opting citizen scientists to work out where plastic rubbish in streams is coming from.

Our Changing World for 21 February 2019

February 21st, 2019

32:34

A citizen science project on plastic pollution in streams and flying kākāpō sperm takes to the air.

Flying kākāpō sperm

February 21st, 2019

25:00

In a world-first for kākāpō conservation, a drone (nicknamed the 'spermcopter') has flown kākāpō sperm across Whenua Hou / Codfish Island - the Kākāpō Files was there for episode 10.

Tales from the periodic table

February 19th, 2019

10:30

In the prequel to Elemental, AUT's Allan Blackman introduces us to Dmitri Mendeleev and chemistry's periodic table of elements.

Fush 'n' chups and the Kiwi accent

February 14th, 2019

12:29

The distinctive New Zealand accent and why young women lead the way in the evolution of a uniquely Kiwi way of talking.

Our Changing World for 14 February 2019

February 14th, 2019

27:27

The evolution of the Kiwi accent, and many more kakapo eggs and chicks.

On the island

February 11th, 2019

16:33

More than 160 kākāpō eggs have been laid and the first 21 chicks have hatched, but there is also news of the first chick death, in episode 9 of the Kākāpō Files.

Archey's frogs thriving in the King Country

February 7th, 2019

19:49

The King Country population of the highly threatened Archey's frog is thriving, thanks to years of rat control.

Our Changing World for 7 February 2019

February 7th, 2019

26:27

Archey's frogs are thriving thanks to rat control, and the first kakapo chicks have hatched and their mothers are mating again.

Round two begins

February 5th, 2019

10:49

The chicks that have hatched are off to Dunedin, the females have started mating again, and there is breeding action on Hauturu, all in episode 8 of the Kākāpō Files.

Squishy drug delivery

January 31st, 2019

16:35

An octopus squeezing through a small space and a squishy ball have inspired a new way of delivering drugs through the skin that is being developed at the University of Otago.

Our Changing World for 31 January 2019

January 31st, 2019

29:02

How to squish drugs through the skin using nanotechnology, and keeping up with the kakapo.

The chicks are hatching

January 31st, 2019

13:38

The first two chicks of the 2019 kākāpō breeding season have hatched and the exciting news keeps coming in, in episode 7 of the Kākāpō Files.

Full House

January 26th, 2019

23:27

Forty eight out of fifty kākāpō females on the southern islands have mated, nesting is well underway and the first AI has been carried out, all in episode 6 of the Kākāpō Files.

'Fish ear bones are like a diary'

January 24th, 2019

16:27

Fish ear bones are tiny treasure troves of information about a fish's life, its environment and even local weather.

Our Changing World for 24 January 2019

January 24th, 2019

24:40

Fish earbones are tiny treasure troves of information about a fish's life and where it lives, and catching up on all the kakapo breeding action in the first month of the Kakapo Files podcast.

Super-studs & hitting the reset button

January 17th, 2019

16:23

The most popular kākāpō males will get a chance to do it all over again as the females are encouraged to mate and nest for a second time, in episode …

Our relationship with urban green spaces

January 16th, 2019

13:18

Otago University science communication student Karthic Sivanandham investigates urban nature and how we relate to it.

Sounds of science - a new Our Changing World theme

January 14th, 2019

0:29

Our brand-new 2019 opening theme is made from 20 eclectic sounds of science & nature that have featured on Our Changing World, ranging from birds to robots.

Action stations

January 10th, 2019

24:05

Don't count your kākāpō chicks until they hatch, kākāpō leaky homes and lots more kākāpō sex, all in episode 4 of the Kākāpō Files.

Woof Woof the talking tui

January 9th, 2019

14:23

Woof Woof the talking tui inspired University of Otago student Joel Zwartz to find out how birds and people talk.

Busy birds

January 2nd, 2019

6:51

Kākāpō breeding action really kicked off on Christmas Eve and in episode 3 of the Kākāpō Files we discover it is in full swing.

Never ask a boy 'why?'

December 27th, 2018

10:59

Science communication student Mary Rabbidge takes a look at the brains of teenage boys, to find out why they behave the way they do.

Early birds

December 22nd, 2018

8:32

In episode 2 of the Kākāpō Files we find out that when it comes to kākāpō breeding the early birds are, well, very early.

Kākāpō - night parrot

December 21st, 2018

13:00

The kākāpō is one of the world's rarest birds, and in the first episode of the Kākāpō Files we learn about the giant flightless parrot's 'love triangle.'

Salps - a surprising jelly-like relative

December 20th, 2018

16:23

The 'jelly soup' that many New Zealanders experienced at the beach last summer was caused by blooms of salps.

NZ tree nettle ongaonga could offer pain relief for Guillain-Barré

December 20th, 2018

12:49

An accidental encounter with the tree nettle, ongaonga, and some self experimentation may lead to a new pain treatment.

Our Changing World for 20 December 2018

December 20th, 2018

30:00

Salps are a little known but important part of the ocean's plankton, and self-experimenting with the painful stinging nettle, ongaonga.

NZ falcons thriving in logged pine plantations

December 13th, 2018

24:04

Rare native New Zealand falcons are thriving in some unexpected places, including recently logged pine forests.

Our Changing World for 13 December 2018

December 13th, 2018

24:02

Rare native New Zealand falcons are thriving in some unexpected places, including recently logged pine forests.

Muscle wasting and 'skinny fat' in old age

December 6th, 2018

15:33

Our muscles lose strength and mass as we age, and old age expert Debra Waters says we should do resistance training so we won't develop sarcopenia.

Place names tell a story about lost species

December 6th, 2018

6:38

Place names turn out to be a good record of where plants and animals once occurred and where they have been lost.

Our Changing World for 6 December 2018

December 6th, 2018

21:24

Resistance training is the best way to keep muscles strong as we age, and what place names tell us about plants and animals that used to be found there.

Giant willow aphids - a sticky invasive nuisance

November 29th, 2018

17:28

Scion entomologists are trialling a parasitic wasp that they hope will control a growing nuisance: the giant willow aphid.

Eavesdropping on noisy seaweeds

November 29th, 2018

13:39

Tiny, noisy gas bubbles produced by a tropical seaweed are part of the soundscape of a coral reef.

Our Changing World for 29 November 2018

November 29th, 2018

30:08

On the hunt for a way to control giant willow aphids which are a sticky nuisance, and noisy seaweeds on coral reefs.

Our Changing World for 22 November 2018

November 22nd, 2018

22:49

The Department of Conservation celebrates 70 years since the momentous rediscovery of takahē in Fiordland with the families of the original discovery party members.

Celebrating 70 years since takahē rediscovery

November 22nd, 2018

23:06

The Department of Conservation and special guests celebrate the dramatic rediscovery of the takahē in Fiordland, 70 years ago.

Getting from A to B: research into older drivers

November 15th, 2018

16:12

New Zealand has a growing population of older drivers and an important issue is 'when do they give up driving?'

Marsden Medal won by molecular 'discoverer'

November 15th, 2018

11:04

Warren Tate has jointly won the 2018 Marsden Medal for a lifetime of molecular discoveries about proteins and the genes that code them.

Award for hands-on microbiology

November 15th, 2018

7:04

Judith Bateup has been awarded the Cranwell Medal for science communication, for running hands-on microbiology classes for school students.

Our Changing World for 15 November 2018

November 15th, 2018

31:59

Older drivers, and the 2018 winners of the Cranwell and Marsden Awards from the NZ Association of Scientists.

Biggest risk to ageing well is loneliness

November 8th, 2018

15:14

Yoram Barak says there are some simple ways of maintaining a healthy brain into old age. Good social relationships are key.

Old ice gives insights into future sea level rise

November 8th, 2018

16:40

Melting polar ice will be the biggest contributor to sea level rise in future - but will it come from Greenland or Antarctica?

Our Changing World for 8 November 2018

November 8th, 2018

30:03

An expert says loneliness is the biggest risk for brain health, and ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica.

From hills to the sea - a community thinks about freshwater

November 1st, 2018

28:13

Te Awaroa o Porirua Whaitua committee is a group of locals thinking about freshwater quality in the Porirua catchment and harbour.

Our Changing World for 1 November 2018

November 1st, 2018

27:53

Te Awaroa o Porirua Whaitua committee has been thinking about freshwater in the Porirua catchment and what could be done to improve its health.

A flower map to help NZ beekeepers

October 25th, 2018

14:40

A Honey Landscape Map for New Zealand could help beekeepers find the best flower-rich sites for their beehives.

Myrtle rust research

October 25th, 2018

14:19

Scientists are working to better understand the invasive plant diesase myrtle rust, and how it might impact native plants and ecosystems.

Our Changing World for 25 October 2018

October 25th, 2018

28:10

A project to map manuka flowering and help bee keepers pick the best places for their hives, and screening native plants to find resistance to myrtle rust.

Mathematician wins top science award

October 18th, 2018

15:07

Rod Downey, a mathematics professor at Victoria University of Wellington, has won New Zealand's top science honour, the Rutherford Medal.

Snapper may be next farmed fish

October 18th, 2018

16:07

Maren Wellenreuther, from Plant and Food Research, has won the 2018 Hamilton Award for her work developing snapper as a future aquaculture species.

Using DNA to study human migrations a winner

October 18th, 2018

12:19

Lisa Matisoo-Smith, from the University of Otago, has won the 2018 Mason Durie Medal for her work using DNA to understand the migration of people to Aotearoa.

Our Changing World for 18 October 2018

October 18th, 2018

41:59

Among the 24 researchers honoured with science awards this year are mathematician Rod Downey, molecular anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith and …

Banding together for banded dotterels

October 11th, 2018

16:05

George Hobson is a teenager with a passion for birds - especially the banded dotterels that nest on Eastbourne's beach.

Over-eating might be in the brain

October 11th, 2018

15:17

Mei Peng is investigating whether we each have a 'sensory fingerprint' that determines how we react to food.

Our Changing World for 11 October 2018

October 11th, 2018

30:12

The seaside community of Eastbourne has banded together to keep an eye on banded dotterels, and the reason we over-eat might be in our brains.

From poo to plastic

October 4th, 2018

14:22

Scion scientists are developing ways to safely convert human faecal waste into bioplastic.

Our Changing World for 4 October 2018

October 4th, 2018

14:41

Scientists at Scion are developing ways of treating human waste to make it safe, then using it to make bioplastic.

Seabirds at risk from fishing round the globe

September 27th, 2018

12:17

Many of New Zealand's threatened seabirds are at danger from fishing across the Pacific.

Melanie Bussey - Concussion on her mind

September 27th, 2018

20:34

Melanie Bussey studies concussion in sport, and how the human body reacts to impacts that might cause damage to the brain.

Our Changing World for 27 September 2018

September 27th, 2018

30:57

A study into whether getting concussed while playing rugby makes players more likely to get concussion in the future, and trans-Pacific efforts to stop seabirds getting killed by fishing boats.

Winner and losers - native birds in a pest-free sanctuary

September 20th, 2018

14:05

Twenty-five years of bird counts have revealed an unexpected consequence to the creation of the predator-free Zealandia Sanctuary.

Wellington's south coast gets a spring clean

September 20th, 2018

9:40

Community groups descend on Wellington's south coast each spring to pick up rubbish - including lots of plastic and cigarette butts.

Our Changing World for 20 September 2018

September 20th, 2018

23:46

For Conservation Week, the Friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve celebrate their 10th anniversary by helping with Wellington's annual south coast clean-up, and how native bird numbers in Zealandia have changed over 20 …

History vs science vs religion

September 13th, 2018

22:29

Scientist Quentin Atkinson has looked at how the structure of Pacific societies determined how quickly they converted to Christianity - but an historian is not so sure of his conclusions.

Our Changing World for 13 September 2018

September 13th, 2018

23:22

A scientist and a historian debate the role of science in determining how quickly different Pacific societies converted to Christianity in historic …

Gaming the physio

September 6th, 2018

15:04

Wellington company Swibo is making physiotherapy exercises more interesting using video games, mobile phones and balance boards.

3D printing - the future is 4D

September 6th, 2018

12:39

3D and 4D printing could be a nimble tool for New Zealand manufacturers that also uses wood-based bioplastics.

Our Changing World for 6 September 2018

September 6th, 2018

27:05

Smart phones, video games and balance boards are making physiotherapy exercises more exciting, and 3D and 4D printing offer interesting possibilities for small manufacturers.

Urban bats: Long-tailed bats thriving in Hamilton

August 30th, 2018

25:56

Long-tailed bats are thriving in gullies and bush along the Waikato River, where it flows through central Hamilton.

Our Changing World for 30 August 2018

August 30th, 2018

25:47

Long-tailed bats are thriving in gullies and bush along the Waikato River, where it flows through central Hamilton.

Ageing muscles - use them or lose them

August 23rd, 2018

15:42

Research shows that nerves play a surprisingly important role in muscle loss, while exercise helps us maintain our strength.

Putting cardboard boxes to the test

August 23rd, 2018

11:41

Cardboard boxes are the workhorse of the economy, and Scion has a special facility to test them and better understand why they sometimes fail.

Our Changing World for 23 August 2018

August 23rd, 2018

26:58

Research into ageing muscles show that nerves play an important role and exercise is protective, and a special facility to test the strength of …

Precious field books part of enormous heritage project

August 16th, 2018

30:14

Field notebooks from some of NZ's first surveyors are among 1000s of historic documents digitised by LINZ in one of the world's largest cultural …

Our Changing World for 16 August 2018

August 16th, 2018

29:53

LINZ has almost completed one of the largest cultural heritage archiving projects in the world, of notebooks and plans that underpin property …

Can an introduced parasitic wasp control a nuisance beetle?

August 9th, 2018

17:01

After years of trials, Scion entomologists believe New Zealand could safely introduce a parasitic wasp to control the eucalyptus tortoise beetle.

Micro-fossils, filing cabinets and past climate change

August 9th, 2018

9:58

Tiny grains of fossil pollen are helping GNS Science researchers piece together the big picture of past environments.

Our Changing World for 9 August 2018

August 9th, 2018

26:37

Finding out if an introduced parasitic wasp could be a biocontrol agent for a pest of eucalpytus trees, and how fossil pollen can tell us about lost …

Mussels on the move

August 2nd, 2018

16:37

Kākahi or freshwater mussels are being moved to Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington as part of an ambitious restoration project.

Te Papa responds to scientists' concerns about collections

August 2nd, 2018

9:34

Te Papa says it will undertake an internal review of the way it manages its collections, and an international external review of its natural history …

Eco-friendly wood glue

August 2nd, 2018

10:49

Scion has developed a bio-based adhesive to make fibreboard that is environmentally friendly and even compostable.

Our Changing World for 2 August 2018

August 2nd, 2018

35:28

Kākahi or freshwater mussels on the move to Zealandia, Scion's green bio-based wood adhesive, and Te Papa announces international review of its …

DNA in fossil bone fragments reveals NZ's lost world

July 26th, 2018

20:23

Bags of bone fragments are casting a genetic spotlight on New Zealand's lost natural world, and on the impact of early Polynesians on its biota.

Scientist worried for Te Papa's biological collections

July 26th, 2018

16:58

A world-renowned fossil expert is concerned about the impact of a restructure at Te Papa on its important natural history collections.

Our Changing World for 26 July 2018

July 26th, 2018

36:38

Ancient e-DNA from bits of old bones is shedding new light on New Zealand's "lost world" and the impact of humans, and concerns about Te Papa's …

Robots - Nao and the Bristlebots

July 19th, 2018

19:29

A humanoid robot called Nao, and swarms of bio-inspired little robots that behave like social insects, wowed crowds at Dunedin's International Science Festival.

Biofuels made from sawdust

July 19th, 2018

12:52

Researchers say that liquid fuels made from sawdust from specially planted plantation trees could be a winner in New Zealand.

Our Changing World for 19 July 2018

July 19th, 2018

31:07

A humanoid robot called Nao and tiny bristlebot robots charmed kids at the International Science Festival in Dunedin, and using pyrolosis to make …

Southern right whales returning to mainland New Zealand

July 12th, 2018

15:30

A southern right whale in Wellington Harbour is a sign that the species is recovering after being hunted nearly to extinction.

Bringing the river into the lab

July 12th, 2018

13:45

In the Water Engineering Laboratory at the University of Auckland, engineers are recreating rivers, to understand how water flows, and how floods behave.

Our Changing World for 12 July 2018

July 12th, 2018

27:41

Whale expert Will Rayment tells us all about New Zealand's southern right whales, and engineers are studying the flow of rivers in the University of Auckland's Water Engineering Laboratory.

Hunt for kauri that are resistant to kauri dieback disease

July 5th, 2018

14:44

Researchers at Scion hope that thousands of tiny kauri seedlings might include some that are resistant to kauri dieback disease.

Native birds doing well in Wellington

July 5th, 2018

8:56

A renaissance in native forest bird numbers in the capital is helped by urban bush and Predator Free Wellington efforts.

Our Changing World for 5 July 2018

July 5th, 2018

22:46

Testing kauri seedlings to find individual trees that might be resistant to kauri dieback disease, and native forest birds are thriving in Wellington city parks and reserves.

Mapping the world's sea floor

June 28th, 2018

18:40

Seabed 2030 is an international collaboration to map the world's sea floor, much of which is unmapped.

Asteroids, dinosaurs and international tension

June 28th, 2018

14:55

Astronomer Duncan Steel is an expert in detecting asteroids and comets, and in defending the earth from potential impacts.

Our Changing World for 28 June 2018

June 28th, 2018

32:34

Seabed 2030 is an ambitious international collaboration to map the world's sea floor, and astronomer Duncan Steel is concerned asbout asteroids …

Antarctica's ice is melting

June 21st, 2018

22:06

Research reveals new evidence about past, present and future impacts of climate change on Antarctica's ice.

Wasp genomes revealed

June 21st, 2018

8:10

Wasps are a big problem in New Zealand, and scientists hope that knowing the genomes of common and German wasps will help them find novel ways of …

Our Changing World for 21 June 2018

June 21st, 2018

29:18

Antarctic experts discuss the latest research on how fast Antarctic ice is melting and why it matters, and sequencing the genomes of introduced common and German wasps.

Havre - the world's largest deep ocean volcanic eruption

June 14th, 2018

17:56

Geologists have discovered that the 2012 eruption of Havre volcano, on the Kermadec Arc, was the world's largest submarine volcanic eruption.

Finding new drugs from the sea

June 14th, 2018

11:43

Michele Prinsep is a 'drug hunter' - she looks for potential pharmaceuticals in marine organisms and cyanobacteria.

Our Changing World for 14 June 2018

June 14th, 2018

29:04

A chemist talks about sourcing potential new drugs from marine creatures, and understanding the largest deep-ocean volcanic eruption ever documented.

Edible bioplastic - food wrap of the future?

June 7th, 2018

9:47

University of Otago researchers are developing the ultimate heat-and-eat: an edible bioplastic food wrap, using waste from the corn and shellfish …

Exercise and a special video game boost kids' brains

June 7th, 2018

15:41

Psychologist David Moreau is working with New Zealand schools to find out if exercise combined with a computer game aimed at brain training could …

Our Changing World for 7 June 2018

June 7th, 2018

24:22

Combining high intensity exercise with a computer game-based brain training is having good results for struggling school kids, and developing an …

A citizens' jury on euthanasia

May 24th, 2018

31:25

Fifteen Dunedin citizens took part in a University of Otago citizens' jury to discuss legalising euthanasia and assisted dying.

Our Changing World for 24 May 2018

May 24th, 2018

31:00

Fifteen Dunedin citizens took part in a University of Otago citizen jury to discuss legalising euthanasia and assisted dying.

Mistletoe rescue mission

May 17th, 2018

12:09

Botanists have banded together to bring native mistletoes back to Wellington city, using seeds rescued from a plant growing on a dying tree.

Understanding New Zealand's largest fault

May 17th, 2018

15:31

New Zealand's first underwater observatories are recording the 'creaks and groans' of our largest fault to better understand slow-slip earthquakes.

Our Changing World for 17 May 2018

May 17th, 2018

26:40

A rescue mission to return mistletoe to Wellington city, and a research trip to study the Hikurangi subduction zone, home to some of New Zealand's largest earthquakes.

World-first probe into an active submarine volcano

May 10th, 2018

11:13

Geologists on board the JOIDES Resolution research ship are attempting to drill into the flanks of the submarine hydrothermal Brothers Volcano.

Book charts changing face of Otago Peninsula

May 10th, 2018

16:11

An environmental historian charts the transformation of the Otago Peninsula from rich forest to grassy pasture in the book "The Face of Nature."

Our Changing World for 10 May 2018

May 10th, 2018

26:47

The book "The Face of Nature" is an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula, and a world first attempt to drill into an active submarine volcano.

'My favourite insect is a cicada'

May 3rd, 2018

12:46

Olly Hills, aged 11, is a big fan of insects, and author of the field guide 'Cicadas of New Zealand.'

Quit or persist - it's all in the brain

May 3rd, 2018

12:16

Blake Porter is investigating what happens in our brain when we decide to quit something that is good for us or persist with something that is bad us.

Our Changing World for 3 May 2018

May 3rd, 2018

24:02

The author of the field guide 'Cicadas of New Zealand' is 11-year-old Olly Hills, and Blake Porter is investigating the brain and what makes us quit …

Caring for waterlogged waka

April 26th, 2018

16:36

Dilys Johns is an archaeologist who specialises in conserving waterlogged Māori taonga such as ancient waka and wooden gardening tools.

Wallaby vs shark: a toothy quirk of nature

April 26th, 2018

4:45

One of Australia's smallest wallabies - the nabarlek - shares an unlikely dental similarity with sharks: the ability to continually replace its teeth.

Our Changing World for 26 April 2018

April 26th, 2018

20:41

Dilys Johns specialises in conserving waterlogged archaeological items such as wooden waka and early Maori gardening tools, and the nabarlek is an …

Myrtle rust - its impact in NZ and Australia

April 19th, 2018

32:46

Myrtle rust is having a profound impact on native plants and ecosystems in Australia - what will its effect be on New Zealand forests?

Our Changing World for Thursday 19 April

April 19th, 2018

32:24

It's been a year since myrtle rust arrived in New Zealand - what impact is is having, and what we can learn from Australia and Hawaii's experiences with this invasive plant killer.

Seabird hotspot - the Poor Knights Islands

April 12th, 2018

31:48

A team of seabird experts experience the joys and challenges of counting Buller's shearwaters on the predator-free Poor Knights Islands.

Our Changing World for 12 April 2018

April 12th, 2018

31:31

The Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust is shining a spotlight on seabird diversity in the Hauraki Gulf - including Buller's shearwaters that breed on …

N=1 - an artist's microbiome

April 5th, 2018

14:56

A 46-year-old art work has revealed how the gut microbiome of artist Billy Apple has changed during his adult life.

Sea lion whiskers reveal marine secrets

April 5th, 2018

13:24

Tiny samples collected from the teeth, tissue and even whiskers of marine animals can reveal where they feed and travel.

Our Changing World for 5 April 2018

April 5th, 2018

26:48

Stable isotopes found in teeth, fur and even whiskers can show where marine animals feed, and a 46-year-old art work has revealed how the gut …

Dragonflies - masters of flight

March 29th, 2018

18:08

Dragonflies are precision flying machines, and Ruary Mackenzie Dodds says they are an indicator of clean water.

Superconductor sandwiches

March 29th, 2018

8:23

High temperature superconductor research in New Zealand includes new nano-scale superconductor sandwiches.

Our Changing World for 29 March 2018

March 29th, 2018

26:38

Dragonflies are exquisite flying machines with an ancient history, and high temperature superconductor research that includes superconductor sandwiches.

Spy in the water - Wellington Harbour's smart buoy

March 22nd, 2018

12:11

A smart buoy in Wellington harbour is phoning in information about sea conditions and how muddy water from the Hutt River moves around the harbour.

Meet Lusius malfoyi, a parasitoid wasp

March 22nd, 2018

15:27

Tom Saunders has named a native parasitoid wasp after a Harry Potter character, in a bid to improve the reputation of these 'good' wasps.

Our Changing World for 22 March 2018

March 22nd, 2018

27:25

Among New Zealand's many species of parasitoid wasps is one named after a Harry Potter character, and information from a smart buoy in Wellington harbour is now freely available online.

Turnaround in takahē's fortunes

March 15th, 2018

27:35

An expedition into Fiordland reveals that takahē numbers are on the rise, and there will soon be a new takahē population in Northwest Nelson.

Glaciers in trouble after marine heatwave

March 15th, 2018

9:26

An aerial survey reveals this summer's marine heatwave in the Tasman Sea was bad news for glaciers in the Southern Alps.

Our Changing World for 15 March 2018

March 15th, 2018

34:55

The good news is that takahē numbers are on the rise, while a marine heatwave has been bad news for South Island glaciers.

Tipping Points and the health of estuaries

March 8th, 2018

27:29

A nationwide experiment is investigating how estuaries might suddenly 'tip' as a result of increasing nutrients and sediments.

Our Changing World for 8 March 2018

March 8th, 2018

27:54

The nationwide Tipping Points project is looking at how small changes in the amount of nutrients and sediments in estuaries could lead to big changes.

Dogs that sniff out pest fish

March 1st, 2018

22:12

Waikato University researchers are training pet dogs to sniff out pest fish such as koi carp.

Our Changing World for 1 March 2018

March 1st, 2018

22:24

Waikato University researchers are training pet dogs to sniff out pest fish that are a problem in Waikato lakes and rivers.

Beyond face value: re-shaping our thinking about diversity

February 22nd, 2018

27:33

As ethnic and cultural diversity increases in New Zealand, psychologists discuss their work and the challenges posed by this increasing diversity.

Our Changing World for 22 February 2018

February 22nd, 2018

27:42

Sonia Sly meets three psychologists investigating aspects of cultrual diversity,and discovers that we should look for commonalities rather than …

Science to solve kiwifruit crisis a winner

February 15th, 2018

13:33

A 100-strong team of researchers from Plant and Food Research have won the 2017 Prime Minister's Science Prize for using science to solve the …

Science speed dating leads to top award

February 15th, 2018

9:08

A four minute conversation led to a revolutionary tooth decay treatment using silver nanoparticles and a PM's science award for the chemist who …

Science film-maker a winner

February 15th, 2018

9:27

Film-maker Damian Christie has won the 2017 Prime Minister's Science Communication Prize to help tell science stories on film.

Our Changing World for 15 February 2018

February 15th, 2018

29:59

The 2017 Prime Minister's Science Prizes have been awarded to Plant and Food Research for their work on kiwifruit Psa, a chemist using silver nanoparticles to stop tooth decay, and a science film-maker.

Safe houses for Kaikoura's baby paua

February 8th, 2018

14:55

NIWA is testing small 'safe houses' for baby paua, with the idea of boosting the population on the earthquake-damaged  Kaikōura coast.

Using light to reveal hidden molecular information

February 8th, 2018

12:13

Michél Nieuwoudt uses light to uncover hidden information in different kinds of material, from milk to works of art.

Our Changing World for 8 February 2018

February 8th, 2018

25:53

Designing and testing concrete 'safe houses' for baby paua, and using light to detect art forgeries and the properties of milk.

Chemical camouflage - putting predators off the scent

February 1st, 2018

30:52

Could chemical camouflage save rare birds by putting predators off the scent? Ecologists are testing the idea in the Mackenzie Basin.

Discovered - the 'missing' male stick insect

February 1st, 2018

9:42

A male stick insect belonging to an all female group of New Zealand stick insects has been discovered for the first time - in the UK.

Our Changing World for 1 February 2018

February 1st, 2018

39:23

Chemical camouflage is put to the test in the Mckenzie Basin to see if it can protect nesting shore birds from predators, and the discovery of the …

Clever canines

January 25th, 2018

15:08

How do dogs think? Do they experience emotions such as jealousy? The Clever Canine Lab at the University of Auckland is investigating.

Buildings that better survive earthquakes

January 25th, 2018

13:16

Engineer Geoff Rodgers is designing a new generation of low-damage buildings that move in an earthquake and remain useable afterwards.

Our Changing World for 25 January 2018

January 25th, 2018

28:08

Testing dogs to find out how smart they are and how they think, and designing low-damage buildings that move during an earthquake and remain useable.

Te Waikoropupu Springs - what's their value?

January 16th, 2018

12:20

Science communication student Lucy Coyle, from the University of Otago, finds out about the freshwater and cultural values of Pupu Springs in Golden …

The rabbit problem

January 8th, 2018

15:02

Science communication student Berenice Mathieu, from the University of Otago, finds out about moves to introduce a more virulent strain of RHD or …

Seals- friend or foe?

January 2nd, 2018

13:27

Science communication student Lana Young, from the University of Otago, talks to fishers and a marine mammal scientist about the rising number of seals and sea lions.

What's happening with our freshwater?

December 26th, 2017

13:05

Science communication student Tegan Good, from the University of Otago, takes a look a freshwater issues in New Zealand.

What do we do? Agriculture in the age of synthetic food

December 21st, 2017

43:46

If technologies like meat grown from stem cells and milk grown in vats take off, how will the New Zealand agricultural sector respond?

Good news for Kaikōura's Hutton shearwaters

December 21st, 2017

6:18

The first ground visit to the Hutton's shearwater breeding colony since the November 2017 Kaikōura earthquake shows damage not as bad as feared.

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