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University of Auckland celebrates Marsden fund success


University of Auckland celebrates $20.6 million in Marsden fund awards

The University of Auckland is celebrating the success of 38 of its researchers and research groups whose projects have won $20.6 million in the Marsden Fund round, representing the best ever result for the University.

The awards amount to around one third of the total funding this year.

The research supported by the fund will address diverse topics including a novel peptide delivery strategy for the development of vaccines, information on volcanic eruptions held in cave stalagmites and how to learn a second language unconsciously.

“The Marsden Fund supports research which is at the cutting edge of discovery, and these awards reflect the calibre of researchers at the University of Auckland and the excellence and breadth of our research,” says University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon.

“We congratulate our researchers for this recognition of their outstanding work.”

Seventeen research projects from the Faculty of Science received a total of $9.6 million. Among these, Dr Jodie Johnston will carry out research to improve understanding of internal communication within proteins. Professor Neil Broderick will research new optical sensors for geophysical applications.

Grants of $4.2 million were awarded to seven research projects from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, including Professor Larry Chamley whose research will investigate whether fetal DNA might be introduced permanently into maternal cells during pregnancy.

Six projects from the Faculty of Arts were awarded a total of $3.2 million. These include Professor Thegn Ladefoged, who will research ‘The making of Māori society: an archaeological analysis of social networks and geo-political interaction’.

Grants worth a total of $1.7 million were awarded to four projects from the Faculty of Engineering, including for Dean of Engineering, Professor Nic Smith, for research into how coronary blood flow survives the heartbeat.

Two research projects from the Business School received a total of $1.4 million, including Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy for the research ‘New Methods of Panel Data Forecasting Applied to New Zealand’s Property Market’.

Dr Arie Rosen from the Auckland Law School was awarded $300,000 to research ‘A Law Beyond Democracy: The Insulation of Private Law from Democratic Change’ and Dr Melinda Webber from the Faculty of Education and Social Work received $300,000 to research ‘A fire in the belly of Hineāmaru – Ngāpuhi distinctiveness’.

Applications to the Marsden Fund are highly competitive. This year the fund distributed $65 million to 117 research projects around the country.

Successful projects from the University of Auckland are:

• Research Fellow, Dr Jonathan Astin
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Stop or go? Unravelling the mechanisms behind lymphatic vessel patterning
$820,000

• Professor Joel Baker
Faculty of Science
Opening Nature's vaults: speleothem archives of volcanic eruptions
$870,000

• Dr Thomas Baker
Faculty of Science
Welfare capital and the new welfare state: A comparative study of privately financed welfare services in the Anglophone world
$300,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Simon Barker
Faculty of Science
Melt inclusions as a 'window' through the crust: What drives the most productive region of silicic volcanism on Earth?
$300,000

• Professor Neil Broderick
Faculty of Science
New Optical Sensors for Geophysical Applications
$830,000

• Professor Larry Chamley
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Mum, you are what your babies make you!
$800,000

• Dr Juliette Cheyne
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Measuring in vivo activity in the prefrontal cortex and its link to Autism Spectrum Disorders
$300,000

• Distinguished Professor Marston Conder
Faculty of Science
Symmetry, group structure, algorithms and representations
$500,000

• Professor Paul Donaldson
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Spectacles in a bottle: Pharmacological regulation of the physiological optics of the ocular lens
$810,000

• Professor Alexei Drummond
Faculty of Science
Genomes, phenotypes and fossils: integrative models of species evolution
$830,000

• Professor Steven Galbraith
Faculty of Science
Advanced mathematical and cryptographical tools for software protection
$590,000

• Dr Anne Gaskett
Faculty of Science
Why don't orchid pollinators go extinct? A new mechanism for the maintenance of coevolutionary relationships
$300,000

• Professor Ashwin Gover
Faculty of Science
Geometric structures critical for analysis and physical theories
$525,000

• Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy
Business School
New Methods of Panel Data Forecasting Applied to New Zealand’s Property Market
$705,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Miika Hannula
Faculty of Science
Dependence Logic and Its Applications
$300,000

• Professor Deborah Hay
Faculty of Science
Making receptors fly: using mass spectrometry to reveal mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptor function
$810,000

• Dr Phyllis Herda
Faculty of Arts
Ancient Futures: Late 18th and early 19th century Tongan arts and their legacies
$530,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Saifang Huang
Faculty of Engineering
Yellow-Emitting Phosphors for Blue-Light-Pumped White Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
$300,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Jodie Johnston
Faculty of Science
Understanding internal communication within proteins
$870,000

• Professor Thegn Ladefoged
Faculty of Arts
The making of Māori society: an archaeological analysis of social networks and geo-political interaction
$705,000

• Associate Professor Tony Lambert
Faculty of Science
Sight unseen: penetrating the enigma of unconscious vision
$675,000

• Dr Erin Leitao
Faculty of Science
Semiconductor Catenation using Catalysis
$300,000

• Dr Shaofeng Li
Faculty of Arts
Implicit Language Aptitude: How to Learn a Second Language Unconsciously
$300,000

• Dr Steffen Lippert
Business School
Beyond the Jury Paradox: Collective Decision-Making without Common Priors
$705,000

• Dr Julie MacArthur
Faculty of Arts
Power to the People? Investigating the politics and resilience of community energy initiatives in New Zealand, the UK and Denmark
$300,000

• Dr Jenny Malmstrom
Faculty of Engineering
Nano-vessels for signals to cells - when and where they are needed
$300,000

• Associate Professor Steve Matthewman
Faculty of Arts
Power Politics: Electricity and Sustainability in Post-Disaster Ōtautahi (Christchurch)
$630,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Troy Merry
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The mechanics of mitochondrial derived peptides (MDP) regulation
$300,000

• Professor Hinke Osinga
Faculty of Science
Understanding the geometry of dynamics: invariant manifolds and their interactions
$590,000

• Associate Professor Thomas Proft
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
PilVax - a novel peptide delivery strategy for the development of vaccines
$825,000

• Dr Andrea Raith
Faculty of Engineering
Novel Decomposition Techniques for Multiobjective Optimisation
$300,000

• Dr Arie Rosen
Auckland Law School
A Law Beyond Democracy: The Insulation of Private Law from Democratic Change
$300,000

• Dr Kevin Simon
Faculty of Science
Does rapid evolutionary adaptation to temperature heat up the role of consumer body size in ecosystems?
$675,000

• Dean of Engineering, Professor Nic Smith
Faculty of Engineering
Coronary blood flow survives the heartbeat: How?
$830,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Christopher Walker
Faculty of Science
Naturally biased? Exploring neuropeptide signal pathway bias in neurons
$300,000

• Dr Robert Webb
Faculty of Arts
Māori, Pasifika Youth and Justice: International Comparisons
$695,000

• Dr Melinda Webber
Faculty of Education and Social Work
A fire in the belly of Hineāmaru – Ngāpuhi distinctiveness
$300,000

• Research Fellow, Dr Jie Zhang
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Determining the potential of the corneal Transition Zone as corneal endothelial transplants
$300,000

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