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UC Science Radio
12 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Developing language for learning
We know language development predicts learning outcomes at primary school, so how do we give our tamariki the best chance to succeed? Speech and Language Therapist and University of Canterbury Master's student Catherine Sivertsen wants to get the world excited about language and is encouraging parents and educators to give the gift of words.
11 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Is our kai moana radioactive?
Should we be worried about radioactivity in our kai moana? Sarah Guy is the person to ask. Sarah is a University of Canterbury PhD student researching emerging environmental contaminants that may affect human health. Specifically, she looks at exposure to radioactivity through ingestion of shellfish. In this episode of UC Science Radio, find out what she’s learned, how she came to study environmental science at UC, and why it’s a perfect fit for her.
10 minutes | May 27, 2021
Inspiring the astro-curious
As a Year-13 student, Rosemary Dorsey’s interest in our solar system was ignited by an outreach event she attended at UC. Now studying towards a PhD in astronomy, she’s returning the favour. Rosemary’s research focuses on solar system science and characterizing small body populations. She also engages in science outreach to inspire other students to study physics. Hear about her fascinating field and how she’s fostering a new generation of astrophysicists in this episode of UC Science Radio.
9 minutes | May 20, 2021
Satellites and sea ice
Gateway Antarctica PhD student Rodrigo Gomez-Fell explains what satellite imagery can tell us about sea ice movement, sea level rise and climate change. Rodrigo’s research focuses on ice tongues – narrow sheets of ice that form at the end of glaciers and move rapidly from the coastline into the ocean. He uses remote sensing data from satellites and other tools to monitor the mass balance, flexure, and movement of ice tongues in Antarctica.
10 minutes | May 20, 2021
Solving the suicide crisis
Growing up in rural New Zealand, Taylor-Jane Cox felt first-hand the impact of losing people she knew to suicide. Now, studying clinical psychology at the University of Canterbury she is researching what’s behind our country’s alarming suicide statistics and seeking solutions to support our most susceptible group – young men.
13 minutes | May 5, 2021
The truth behind mapping
People make maps – but maps can also shape people. David Garcia’s research looks into the production of geographic knowledge in the digital age. Who’s making maps, for what purpose, and why do these questions matter?
9 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Computers that think
Computers are incredible at logical processing, but could they ever think like humans do? Josh Mallinson’s work in neuromorphic computing is helping to shed light on how brains work – and how computers might one day follow suit.
13 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Geomorphology and mātauranga Māori
When Clare Wilkinson started her PhD at the University of Canterbury, her project was strictly within geology and geomorphology, but her research into how Kaikoura rivers responded to the 2016 earthquake grew her appreciation of the event’s cultural impact and the valuable intersection of mātauranga Māori and western science.
9 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Capturing carbon with seaweed
Finn Ross is a University of Canterbury honours student studying ecology. His research is about using seaweed to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. He won the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship 2019 Social Enterprise Challenge for his business plan based on his research called "The Seaweed Solution." Hear how it works in this episode of UC Science Radio.
13 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
The dirt on plastic
Do microplastics affect our productive soil systems? That’s the question driving Helena Ruffell, PhD student in Environmental Science at the University of Canterbury. Learn more about what she’s found and what inspired her to go digging in the dirt.
10 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Bioplastics from bacteria
From methane… to bioplastic? University of Canterbury microbiology MSc student Flynn Adcock is working with Crown Research Institute, Scion, to investigate how a combination of bacteria can be can harnessed to convert methane gas into biodegradable plastic.
14 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
Culture, science and storytelling
From choose-your-own-adventure volcano stories to smart phone lava games, University of Canterbury PhD student Dr Sriparna Saha’s research is all about finding ways to make more science accessible. In this episode, we discover how engaging with kids at their level is a catalyst for knowledge and confidence.
15 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
Igniting the flame of learning
It’s incredible what one conversation with the right person can do. For University of Canterbury marine biologist Dr John Pirker, it was a kōrero with his neighbour and some of his Ngāi Tahu kaumātua that set him on the path of becoming a scientist. John’s now on a mission to “ignite the flame of learning” in today’s rangatahi. Learn more in our latest episode of UC Science Radio.
14 minutes | Jul 11, 2020
The business of science
A wonder gel for wound healing, birth control for possums, and beating antibiotic resistance in cattle worms – it’s all part of the job for UC chemist and entrepreneur Prof Rudi Marquez, on this episode of UC Science Radio.
21 minutes | Jun 27, 2020
Science on thin ice
Award-winning teacher and glaciologist Dr Heather Purdie talks about studying endangered glaciers, research, passion for the environment, and why virtual teaching will never replace real-life experiences with nature.
20 minutes | Jun 20, 2020
Wellbeing at work
What if, instead of being a source of stress – our work (and workplaces) were good for us? In this episode, University of Canterbury Professor of Psychology Katharina Naswall talks about the world of work in uncertain times, how to increase health and wellbeing in the workplace, and what it takes to make sure our work is good for us.
23 minutes | Jun 13, 2020
Words and worlds collide
What’s the difference between a poet and an astronomer? Nothing, if you’re astrophysicist and creative writer Dr Michele Bannister – our latest guest on UC Science Radio.
23 minutes | May 30, 2020
Micronutrients for the mind
When it comes to food – we often think of our bodies first. But what about our brains? The food we eat, our environment and stress levels all impact our brain function and mental health. In this episode, University of Canterbury Professor of Clinical Psychology, Julia Rucklidge, discusses the fascinating relationship between nutrients and mental health, and explains the research she’s been doing to help reverse the mental health epidemic.
15 minutes | May 23, 2020
Shedding light on dark matter
Dark matter makes up the majority of the universe but remains a mystery to science. In this episode, physicist Dr Chris Gordon shares his passion for the shadowy substance, and how studying the universe benefits us here on earth – like giving us WiFi and the World Wide Web.
23 minutes | May 16, 2020
Ending our love affair with plastic
Lightweight, strong, waterproof – plastic is a wonder material, but it’s not so wonderful for nature. In this episode, University of Canterbury environmental chemist Dr Sally Gaw explains what plastic is doing to our environment, where it’s ending up, and how we can fix the problem.
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