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Travel grants for research in the United States

News release from the Royal Society of New Zealand

For immediate release

6 November 2012

Travel grants for research in the United States

Eight New Zealand researchers have won travel grants to initiate research with collaborators in the United States from the 2012 International Mobility Fund.

The travel grants are administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to promote international connections within the New Zealand research system.

One of the awardees this year is Mr Ben Knight, Marine Biophysical Scientist at the Cawthron Institute. Mr Knight has been awarded a travel grant to develop links in marine research for the modelling of algal blooms.

These harmful, toxic blooms can occur in areas such as the Queen Charlotte Sound and have a negative impact on the shellfish industry. His work may provide shellfish farmers the specialist knowledge they need to avoid heavy losses to stocks. Mr Knight will spend two weeks at the University of North Carolina’s facilities working with Dr Dennis McGillicuddy on the computational modelling and fluid dynamics of bloom spreads.

The complete list of winners is:

New Zealand researcher

Project title

American collaborator

Dr Evelyn Sattlegger,

Massey University

Deciphering the role of a regulatory protein: Is IMPACT the crossing guard preventing cell division derailment?

Dr Orna Cohen-Fix,

NIH. Duke University School of Medicine

Dr Vicky Yang Wang,

University of Auckland

Coupling Mitral Valve with Ventricular Modelling to Investigate Mitral Regurgitation.

Prof Michael Sacks,

University of Texas at Austin

Mr Ben Knight,

Cawthron Institute

Bloom simulation modelling of the Toxic Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella in the Marlborough Sounds.

Dr Dennis McGillicuddy,

North Carolina State University

Dr Tom Wheeler,


An extract of milk that stimulates uptake of vitamin B12.

Prof Ralph Green,

University of California

Dr Julia Horsfield,

University of Otago

Modelling human developmental syndromes in Zebrafish.

Prof Thomas Schilloing,

University of California

Dr Guy NL Jameson,

University of Otago

Thiolate Activation at Non-Heme Mono Iron Centres.

Prof David P Goldberg,

Johns Hopkins University

Dr Jie Han,

University of Auckland

Nylons: a new class of micropollutant sorbents for water purification.

Prof Benito J. Marinas,

University of Illinois

Dr Rosemary Brown,

University of Otago

Prolactin transport into the brain

Prof William A Banks,

University of Washington

The International Mobility Fund: United States aims to develop new opportunities for New Zealand researchers in the United States, utilising overseas advances in research, science and technology for the economic, social and environmental progress of New Zealand.

The grants support stays of typically two weeks at an American institution.

The fund runs once a year and will be open again for applications between June to July 2013.

Areas of research eligible for the grants include: biochemical and biomedical sciences, earth sciences and astronomy, humanities, life sciences, mathematical and information science, physical science/engineering, social sciences, and technology development.


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