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Squid, Penguins and Super-eruptions Attract Top Researchers

Squid, Penguins and Super-eruptions Attract Top Researchers to New Zealand

Education New Zealand: Media Release 19/11/10

Top doctoral candidates from seven countries are coming to New Zealand’s universities in 2011 to take up New Zealand International Doctoral Scholarships (NZIDRS). The scholars will be studying in a wide range of fields spanning from New Zealand’s native trees to the philosophy of virtue, and checking out some exotic wildlife along the way.

The recipients of the NZIDRS this year come from every corner of the globe, including Canada, Colombia, Germany, Iran, Turkey, the UK and the US.

“It’s great to see the diversity in both the nationalities of the successful applicants and their areas of study,” says Education New Zealand Scholarships Manager Camilla Swan. “Having high achieving students such as these at our universities broadens New Zealand’s academic reputation and benefits our national research capabilities.”

Three of the ten scholarships were awarded to students from Canada. Jesse Kelly will be studying a type of mid to deep-water squid that is important to the open ocean food chain, although little is know about them. Fellow Canadian Kyle Morrison is keen to head down to Campbell Island, 700km south of the South Island, to look into the reasons for the startling 94 per cent decline in the rockhopper penguin population. The third Canadian, Tami Nicoll, is working on ways to predict the eventual outcome when river systems are disturbed.

German NZIDRS recipient, Christian Roschak, will investigate how native trees may be used in sustainable forestry in New Zealand. A high demand for specialty timbers could mean that plantations of native trees can be both economic and ecological winners.

British researcher Katy Chamberlain will use new advances in crystal analytical techniques to discover more about a volcanic super-eruption that took place over 760,000 years ago in Eastern California, increasing our understanding of this extremely rare geological event. Competition for the scholarships was very stiff, with 300 applications coming through Education New Zealand from all over the world and only ten spots available. The scholarship pays for tuition for up to three years of PhD level research, as well as allowances for living expenses, travel, books etc.

“The scholarships are based on academic merit, so only those with the highest levels of achievement in their fields of study are considered,” says Camilla Swan. “The level of interest from all over the world is very high every year, and students are extremely keen to enrol in New Zealand universities for their doctoral studies.”

New Zealand International Doctoral Scholarships are funded by the Ministry of Education and administered by Education New Zealand. Applicants can conduct their research through any New Zealand university. Applications are accepted from citizens of all countries apart from New Zealand and Australia (as they are considered domestic students), and close annually on July 15. For further information see


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