Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Dry Valley researcher named Kudos finalist

9 September 2011

Dry Valley researcher named Kudos finalist

Dr Lee With McMurdo Dry Valleys In The Background

Dr Charles Lee from the University of Waikato department of Biological Science has been nominated as a finalist in the 2011 Kudos awards for his work uncovering the unusual ecology of microorganisms in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Nominated in the Emerging Scientist Category, Dr Lee’s research on the soil microbiota of the Dry Valleys could lead to a better understanding of the changing Antarctic environment.

The Kudos awards are a Waikato initiative held once a year to celebrate science achievement in the region.

“The Dry Valleys are ice-free all year round and basically a cold, seemingly lifeless desert,” says Dr Lee.

“For a long time, people had this idea that the environment in the Dry Valleys was largely sterile.”

Scientists found bacterial life in the Dry Valleys using DNA-based molecular genetic techniques, necessary as the organisms are very sparse in the soil and mostly uncultivable.

“In terms of microbiology, we now know there is quite a lot of microbial diversity in the Dry Valleys. The make-up of microbial communities is heavily influenced by the environment, so if Antarctica changes in the next few years we are likely to see drastic changes in these microbial communities.”

University of Waikato scientists have led New Zealand’s terrestrial biological research in Antarctica for more than 25 years and spend every summer carrying out fieldwork on the frozen continent.

“My research is about understanding our environment and may lead to significant changes in our understanding of Antarctica.”

Dr Lee is part of the university’s International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research and is currently leading a project supported by the Marsden Fund to study the bacteria living in the Dry Valleys.

The University of Waikato has two other finalists in the Kudos awards – Dr Anne Hume and Dr Johan Verbeek. The winners of the awards will be announced at a dinner on Thursday October 13.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Air New Zealand: Employees Recognised With $1,000 Share Award

The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees... More>>

Consumer NZ: Bank Complaints On The Rise, Survey Shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds. Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020... More>>

Federated Farmers: Applauds UK-Australia Free Trade Deal

News that Australia and the UK have signed a free trade agreement is a promising step forward in the fight against tariffs and protectionism, Federated Farmers says.
"It reinforces the international rules-based trading framework and is important for rural producers and global consumers," Feds President Andrew Hoggard says... More>>

ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>

Stats NZ: GDP Climbs 1.6 Percent In March 2021 Quarter Following December Dip

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.6 percent in the March 2021 quarter, following a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. "After an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021... More>>

Reserve Bank: Debt Serviceability Restrictions Added To Policy Toolkit

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua and the Minister of Finance have agreed to update their shared Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy and add debt serviceability restrictions to the list of potential tools available... More>>