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Evolution Victorian poetry nanotechnology research

Evolution, Victorian poetry and nanotechnology research receive Marsden funding

Eleven research projects from Massey University have received funding in the 2004 Marsden round – the second highest number of successful proposals from any one research organization to be funded this year.

Some 69 projects will be funded in this year’s round, totalling $3.3 million. These include full Marsdens and Fast-Start awards, which recognise rising star researchers. Fast-Starts and aim to further their research careers.

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nigel Long says the calibre of young researchers at Massey has been recognised with Fast-Start grants making up five of the 11 awards. “This recognises our commitment to building the capability of our young staff and the need to nurture New Zealand’s next generation of star researchers.”

Professor Long says the University has received funding for nearly half the proposals it put up, which is particularly pleasing as there had been a record number of projects put forward in this round.

The full Marsden grants have gone to researchers who are recognised as leaders in their disciplines, in areas where Massey University has a critical mass of expertise, he says. “Massey’s contribution towards knowledge generation in these areas key to New Zealand’s development is being rewarded.”

The five researchers to receive Fast-Start grants are Dr Stephen Marsland, Dr Justin O'Sullivan, Dr Ulrich Zuelicke, Dr Catherine McCartin, and Dr Elizabeth Gray. Recipients of full Marsden grants are Dr Andrew Sutherland Smith, Dr Kathryn Stowell, Professor David Lambert, Dr Doug Armstrong, Professor Barry Scott and Professor David Officer.

Professor David Lambert will use his Marsden to investigate whether wingless moa have functional limb genes.

Professor Barry Scott will use his funding to study the reactive oxygen species generated by a fungal NADPH oxidase regulate hyphal differentiation and growth in Epichloe festucae, a mutualistic symbiont of temperate grasses.

Dr David Officer is to look at artificial photosynthesis with the aim of mimicking light harvesting while Dr Kathryn Stowell will look at controlling calcium flux in skeletal muscle and Dr Doug Armstrong will conduct an experimental test of metapopulation theory using reintroductions of a New Zealand bird species.

With his Fast-Start grant Dr Ulrich Zuelicke will investigate “Spintronics without magnets: A new road to nanodevices and quantum information processing”. Dr Zuelicke was recently awarded an Early Career Research Medal by the University. Dr Justin O’Sullivan’s research project is entitlted ‘Do DNA loops actively regulate rRNA synthesis?’ while Dr Stephen Marsland will undertake ‘a principled approach to the non-rigid registration and structural analysis of groups of medical images’. Dr Catherine McMartin will study online model theory and online algorithms, and Dr Andrew Sutherland-Smith will find the answer to the question “How does the cytoskeleton regulate cell signalling?”. Dr Elizabeth Gray’s project is entitled “Transfigurations: Christian and lyric tradition in Victorian women's poetry”.

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