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Research scientist to speak on deep-sea exploration in NZ

Napier born senior research scientist at the Smithsonian to speak on deep-sea exploration in New Zealand at the MTG Century Theatre

David L Pawson, Senior Research Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in the USA will be presenting a public lecture: Deep-Sea Exploration in the New Zealand Region 1865-1965 at the MTG Century Theatre on Sunday 23 March at 5pm.

Drawing upon his knowledge of New Zealand deep-sea research, including his personal experiences in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dr Pawson will tell accounts from expeditions large and small, some of them involving Hawke’s Bay.

“Exploration of the deep sea,” says Dr Pawson, “is always exciting, often funny, and sometimes dangerous – especially in the New Zealand region!”

MTG Hawke’s Bay is very excited to be able to host Dr Pawson for his only public lecture on this visit to New Zealand. With an active interest in teaching and bringing science to the general public, Dr Pawson has presented of more than 200 lectures over the years.

“It is not often Hawke’s Bay plays host to a speaker of such calibre. Dr Pawson works at one of the world’s pre-eminent natural history museums and will be visiting his hometown of Napier this March. We jumped at the chance to host him at MTG” says Eloise Wallace, Public Programmes Team Leader, MTG Hawke’s Bay.

David attended St. Joseph’s and Marist primary schools in Napier and St. John’s High School in Hastings. During the early years of his life, Dr. Pawson spent a lot of time fishing and swimming on the Napier beach, and there he developed an interest in marine life.

After gaining a B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Zoology from Victoria University he joined the Victoria University deep-sea research team in the 1950’s, a time when exciting pioneering deep-sea research was being undertaken under the leadership of Professor L.R. Richardson.

He has a lifelong interest in New Zealand marine biology, and he has maintained research programmes in New Zealand for many years.

In 1964 he was invited to join the Smithsonian Institution as a Research Curator. He has conducted research on echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins and their relatives) in many parts of the world, especially the deep sea, and in the vicinity of isolated oceanic islands.

His research has taken him to Ascension and Galapagos Islands, the Caribbean, the southern oceans and Antarctica, and he has made more than 200 dives in manned submersibles. Other research interests include the US Fish Commission Steamer Albatross (1883-1921) and her scientific crew, and the life and times of his eminent predecessor, Smithsonian scientist Austin H. Clark (1880-1954).

Century Theatre
9 Herschell Street, Napier
Sunday 23 March 2013 at 5pm
Entry by donation
No pre-bookings, arrive early to avoid disappointment


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