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New Zealand Science Teacher

Science Education & Society

Science fellows announced

Thirteen of New Zealand’s best researchers in science and the humanities have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Society also announced the election of two Honorary Fellows.

The newly elected Fellows work in fields ranging from linguistics to mathematics, housing to computer science.

Fellows are involved in providing expert advice, promoting best practice and communicating information in their field. Honorary Fellows have a special responsibility to encourage international collaboration between scholars.

“Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to our top researchers for showing exceptional distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities,” says Academy Chairperson Professor Geoff Austin.

The newly elected Fellows are as follows:

  • Marti Anderson, Professor in the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study at Massey University – Albany, who is an ecological statistician specialising in the development of new quantitative methods for community ecology.
  • Mark Billinghurst, Director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand and Professor at the University of Canterbury, who is a researcher developing innovative computer interfaces that explore how virtual and real worlds can be merged together.
  • Antony Braithwaite, Professor in the Department of Pathology, University of Otago, who has established himself as one of the world’s authorities on a protein called p53, which is a central molecular player in the processes by which the body resists virus infection and the development of cancer.
  • Gregory Cook, Professor in theDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, who is a world-leading authority on the metabolism and energetics of microbial growth.
  • Rod Ellis, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland, who is a world-renowned expert in the field of second language acquisition and language teacher education.
  • Jörg Frauendiener, Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, who is an international expert in Einstein’s theory of general relativity, working mainly on mathematical issues and numerical simulation techniques.
  • Robert Hannah, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato, who is the current leading international authority on the measurement of time and calendar systems in ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, who leads two internationally recognised research programmes– housing and health (He Kainga Oranga) and sustainable cities (New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities).
  • Philip Hulme, Professor of Plant Biosecurity, Lincoln University, who is recognised worldwide for his scholarship and scientific achievements that have significantly progressed global understanding of the causes and consequences of biological invasions.
  • Lisa Matisoo-Smith, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, who is a biological anthropologist who has made huge contributions to knowledge about the human settlement of the Pacific.
  • Charles Semple, Professor in the Dept of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, who is a world-leading researcher in two quite different fields – matroid theory (a branch of pure mathematics) and phylogenetics (an applied area at the interface of computer science, discrete mathematics and evolution biology).
  • Rupert Sutherland, GNS Science, Wellington, whois one of New Zealand’s leading earth science researchers with an international reputation in the area of plate motions of the SW Pacific, kinematics of the Alpine fault, structure of petroleum bearing basins of New Zealand and flow and processes in the mantle that control surface topography.
  • Richard Walter, who holds a Personal Chair in the Anthropology Department, University of Otago, and is an internationally renowned scholar of Pacific archaeology and indigenous tradition.

The new Honorary Fellows elected are: 

  • Nobel Prize Winner Professor Sir John Walker FRS, from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom, who has used protein chemical methods to gain critical insights into the function of the key enzyme involved in cellular energy production, the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase.
  • New Zealander Professor Andrew Roberts from the Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, who is a world leader in environmental magnetism, rock magnetism and paleomagnetism.

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