Wellington, New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

www.victoria.ac.nz
Wellington, New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.It is particularly well known for its programmes in law, the humanities, and some scientific disciplines, and offers a broad range of other courses. Entry to all courses at first year is open, and entry to second year in some programmes is restricted.Victoria had the highest average research grade in the New Zealand Government's Performance-Based Research Fund exercise in 2012, having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003. Victoria has been ranked 265th in the World's Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings . Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties are strong winds that encircle Antarctica. They are almost unimpeded by land except for the tip of South America and the southern end of New Zealand’s South Island. These winds play a major role in Earth’s climate, helping to regulate the carbon dioxide exchange between the deep ocean and atmosphere, and influencing rainfall, temperature and sea ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere. Now scientists have uncovered a 17,000-year history of these shifting winds, sitting at the bottom of a New Zealand lake bed. Last year, Gavin Dunbar and colleagues from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand drilled deep into the sediments underlying Lake Ohau – a lake that lies to the east of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, and underneath the path of the Roaring Forties. In recent decades, growth of the ozone hole has forced the winds to shift southwards, resulting in summer rains decreasing by as much as 40% in southern New Zealand. This is reflected in the lake sediments, which accumulate when heavy rains wash them down the slopes of the nearby mountains. The scientists extracted 80m of layered sediments, and radiocarbon dated twigs and leaves in the sediment to reveal 17,000 years of climate history. Using data they had gathered over the last seven years, Dunbar and his colleagues were able to calibrate the sediment layers and recognise the difference between dry summers (millimetre scale couplets of fine silt) and flood events (centimetre thick silt layers). Their findings are published in Earth & Space Science News. Now the scientists are working through the sediments layer by layer, listening to the howling of ancient winds.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

New Zealand has set itself an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last rat, possum and stoat. The idea is to give a second chance to the distinctive birds that once ruled this South Pacific nation. When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 85 million years ago, predatory mammals hadn't evolved. That allowed birds to thrive. Some gave up flight altogether to strut about the forest floor. Then humans arrived, bringing predators with them. Rats stowed away on ships. Settlers introduced brushtail possums - an Australian species unrelated to North American opossums - for the fur trade and weasel-like stoats to control rabbits. The pests destroyed forest habitats and feasted on the birds and their eggs. More than 40 species of birds died out and many others remain threatened, including the iconic kiwi. Now people want to turn back the clock. Yet the plan sounds impossible. How do you kill millions of vermin across a country that's the size of the United Kingdom? How do you ensure a few furtive rats won't undo all the hard work by surviving and breeding? Scientists are talking about the mission in military terms: choking off pests on peninsulas and then advancing the front lines from there; developing new traps and genetic weapons; winning the hearts and minds of children and farmers alike. Momentum began growing five years ago when the nation's leading scientist, Sir Paul Callaghan, delivered an impassioned speech. When it comes to heritage, he said, England has its Stonehenge, China its Great Wall, France its Lascaux cave paintings. What makes New Zealand unique, he asked? Its birds. Callaghan was suffering from advanced cancer and could barely stand. But for over an hour he outlined his predator-free vision, saying how growing up he was inspired by efforts to reach the moon and how saving the birds could become New Zealand's own Apollo program. He died a month later, but the vision grew. Nine months ago, it became official government policy. Then-Prime Minister John Key announced a goal to wipe out the nuisance animals by 2050, calling it the "most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world." The goal has been embraced by many, although even its strongest supporters say it will require scientific breakthroughs. Some critics argue the plan should also have targeted feral cats or worry mice numbers might explode if rats disappear. Others say the effort is underfunded and overly ambitious. "It's a fantasy science fiction," says Wayne Linklater, a wildlife biologist at the Victoria University of Wellington. "And it really is seriously distracting us from some really big changes and improvements we can make in biodiversity and the environment now." The number of pests in New Zealand is many times larger than the human population of nearly 5 million. Possum numbers in 2009 were estimated at 30 million. Scientists can't hazard a guess at how many rats there are because their numbers fluctuate wildly. So far, the government has committed only a few tens of millions of dollars toward the project, which is estimated to cost billions. Officials say more money will come from local authorities and philanthropists. Many aren't waiting for that. Along a popular forest trail a 10-minute drive from the bustle of central Wellington, Jonathan Moulds takes breaks from his run to clamber up banks and check rat traps. He's among 50 volunteer trappers who incorporate pest control into their regular workouts at the Polhill Reserve. Many became inspired three years ago after rare native birds that disappeared from the region a century ago began breeding there again. Paul Ward, who leads the volunteer group, lists ways that birds have seeped into the culture, from the country's music awards that are named after the boisterous tui to the nickname for a New Zealander: kiwi. "It's about looking after our identity as much as it is looking after the birds," he says. James Russell, a scientist at the University of Auckland, has great hopes for the eradication plan. And he knows exactly how hard it can be to catch a single rat. During his doctoral research 15 years ago, Russell released monitored rats on small islands to see if they would take over. The first rat he released, named Razza, evaded recapture for 18 weeks. It even swam to another island. The story inspired a local author to write a children's book in which Razza defiantly repeats the line, "Can't catch me." But Russell, heartened by the progress since then, says New Zealand leads the world in clearing vermin. Rangers have wiped out pests from more than 100 small islands, which are providing a breeding ground for rare birds. Yet making the much larger main islands pest-free remains an enormous leap. Russell is helping lead an effort to find scientific breakthroughs, such as changing pest genes to make them die out, using biosensors to target individual pests over vast areas, and using powerful new lures that rely on the scent of sex rather than food. The Goodnature company in Wellington is coming up with its own innovations. It has developed traps that use pressurized carbon dioxide to reset themselves. Left alone, one trap can kill 24 rats over six months. Robbie van Dam, a company founder, says that cuts down on the expense of employing trappers, which is particularly useful in remote areas. Van Dam says the company is now investigating the use of drones to help place traps. Other pest control methods have proved contentious, including use of the poison 1080, sodium fluoroacetate. Hunters say the toxin sometimes kills their dogs, and animal advocacy groups say it's inhumane. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says a benefit of wiping out pests would be ending the use of such toxins. She says taxpayers stand to save tens of millions of dollars a year that's spent on pest control. Barry looks about the Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington, where raucous kaka parrots and fidgety saddlebacks are among the rare birds protected from predators by a specially designed fence that stretches for miles. She says she hopes one day the whole country will look, and sound, as idyllic. "The momentum has been fantastic," Barry says. "Street by street, town by town, city by city, we will join forces and achieve this thing."


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

New Zealand has set itself an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last rat, possum and stoat. The idea is to give a second chance to the distinctive birds that once ruled this South Pacific nation. When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 85 million years ago, predatory mammals hadn't evolved. That allowed birds to thrive. Some gave up flight altogether to strut about the forest floor. Then humans arrived, bringing predators with them. Rats stowed away on ships. Settlers introduced brushtail possums - an Australian species unrelated to North American opossums - for the fur trade and weasel-like stoats to control rabbits. The pests destroyed forest habitats and feasted on the birds and their eggs. More than 40 species of birds died out and many others remain threatened, including the iconic kiwi. Now people want to turn back the clock. Yet the plan sounds impossible. How do you kill millions of vermin across a country that's the size of the United Kingdom? How do you ensure a few furtive rats won't undo all the hard work by surviving and breeding? Scientists are talking about the mission in military terms: choking off pests on peninsulas and then advancing the front lines from there; developing new traps and genetic weapons; winning the hearts and minds of children and farmers alike. Momentum began growing five years ago when the nation's leading scientist, Sir Paul Callaghan, delivered an impassioned speech. When it comes to heritage, he said, England has its Stonehenge, China its Great Wall, France its Lascaux cave paintings. What makes New Zealand unique, he asked? Its birds. Callaghan was suffering from advanced cancer and could barely stand. But for over an hour he outlined his predator-free vision, saying how growing up he was inspired by efforts to reach the moon and how saving the birds could become New Zealand's own Apollo program. He died a month later, but the vision grew. Nine months ago, it became official government policy. Then-Prime Minister John Key announced a goal to wipe out the nuisance animals by 2050, calling it the "most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world." The goal has been embraced by many, although even its strongest supporters say it will require scientific breakthroughs. Some critics argue the plan should also have targeted feral cats or worry mice numbers might explode if rats disappear. Others say the effort is underfunded and overly ambitious. "It's a fantasy science fiction," says Wayne Linklater, a wildlife biologist at the Victoria University of Wellington. "And it really is seriously distracting us from some really big changes and improvements we can make in biodiversity and the environment now." The number of pests in New Zealand is many times larger than the human population of nearly 5 million. Possum numbers in 2009 were estimated at 30 million. Scientists can't hazard a guess at how many rats there are because their numbers fluctuate wildly. So far, the government has committed only a few tens of millions of dollars toward the project, which is estimated to cost billions. Officials say more money will come from local authorities and philanthropists. Many aren't waiting for that. Along a popular forest trail a 10-minute drive from the bustle of central Wellington, Jonathan Moulds takes breaks from his run to clamber up banks and check rat traps. He's among 50 volunteer trappers who incorporate pest control into their regular workouts at the Polhill Reserve. Many became inspired three years ago after rare native birds that disappeared from the region a century ago began breeding there again. Paul Ward, who leads the volunteer group, lists ways that birds have seeped into the culture, from the country's music awards that are named after the boisterous tui to the nickname for a New Zealander: kiwi. "It's about looking after our identity as much as it is looking after the birds," he says. James Russell, a scientist at the University of Auckland, has great hopes for the eradication plan. And he knows exactly how hard it can be to catch a single rat. During his doctoral research 15 years ago, Russell released monitored rats on small islands to see if they would take over. The first rat he released, named Razza, evaded recapture for 18 weeks. It even swam to another island. The story inspired a local author to write a children's book in which Razza defiantly repeats the line, "Can't catch me." But Russell, heartened by the progress since then, says New Zealand leads the world in clearing vermin. Rangers have wiped out pests from more than 100 small islands, which are providing a breeding ground for rare birds. Yet making the much larger main islands pest-free remains an enormous leap. Russell is helping lead an effort to find scientific breakthroughs, such as changing pest genes to make them die out, using biosensors to target individual pests over vast areas, and using powerful new lures that rely on the scent of sex rather than food. The Goodnature company in Wellington is coming up with its own innovations. It has developed traps that use pressurized carbon dioxide to reset themselves. Left alone, one trap can kill 24 rats over six months. Robbie van Dam, a company founder, says that cuts down on the expense of employing trappers, which is particularly useful in remote areas. Van Dam says the company is now investigating the use of drones to help place traps. Other pest control methods have proved contentious, including use of the poison 1080, sodium fluoroacetate. Hunters say the toxin sometimes kills their dogs, and animal advocacy groups say it's inhumane. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says a benefit of wiping out pests would be ending the use of such toxins. She says taxpayers stand to save tens of millions of dollars a year that's spent on pest control. Barry looks about the Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington, where raucous kaka parrots and fidgety saddlebacks are among the rare birds protected from predators by a specially designed fence that stretches for miles. She says she hopes one day the whole country will look, and sound, as idyllic. "The momentum has been fantastic," Barry says. "Street by street, town by town, city by city, we will join forces and achieve this thing."


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: phys.org

The idea is to give a second chance to the distinctive birds that once ruled this South Pacific nation. When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 85 million years ago, predatory mammals hadn't evolved. That allowed birds to thrive. Some gave up flight altogether to strut about the forest floor. Then humans arrived, bringing predators with them. Rats stowed away on ships. Settlers introduced brushtail possums—an Australian species unrelated to North American opossums—for the fur trade and weasel-like stoats to control rabbits. The pests destroyed forest habitats and feasted on the birds and their eggs. More than 40 species of birds died out and many others remain threatened, including the iconic kiwi. Now people want to turn back the clock. Yet the plan sounds impossible. How do you kill millions of vermin across a country that's the size of the United Kingdom? How do you ensure a few furtive rats won't undo all the hard work by surviving and breeding? Scientists are talking about the mission in military terms: choking off pests on peninsulas and then advancing the front lines from there; developing new traps and genetic weapons; winning the hearts and minds of children and farmers alike. Momentum began growing five years ago when the nation's leading scientist, Sir Paul Callaghan, delivered an impassioned speech. When it comes to heritage, he said, England has its Stonehenge, China its Great Wall, France its Lascaux cave paintings. What makes New Zealand unique, he asked? Its birds. Callaghan was suffering from advanced cancer and could barely stand. But for over an hour he outlined his predator-free vision, saying how growing up he was inspired by efforts to reach the moon and how saving the birds could become New Zealand's own Apollo program. He died a month later, but the vision grew. Nine months ago, it became official government policy. Then-Prime Minister John Key announced a goal to wipe out the nuisance animals by 2050, calling it the "most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world." The goal has been embraced by many, although even its strongest supporters say it will require scientific breakthroughs. Some critics argue the plan should also have targeted feral cats or worry mice numbers might explode if rats disappear. Others say the effort is underfunded and overly ambitious. "It's a fantasy science fiction," says Wayne Linklater, a wildlife biologist at the Victoria University of Wellington. "And it really is seriously distracting us from some really big changes and improvements we can make in biodiversity and the environment now." The number of pests in New Zealand is many times larger than the human population of nearly 5 million. Possum numbers in 2009 were estimated at 30 million. Scientists can't hazard a guess at how many rats there are because their numbers fluctuate wildly. So far, the government has committed only a few tens of millions of dollars toward the project, which is estimated to cost billions. Officials say more money will come from local authorities and philanthropists. Many aren't waiting for that. Along a popular forest trail a 10-minute drive from the bustle of central Wellington, Jonathan Moulds takes breaks from his run to clamber up banks and check rat traps. He's among 50 volunteer trappers who incorporate pest control into their regular workouts at the Polhill Reserve. Many became inspired three years ago after rare native birds that disappeared from the region a century ago began breeding there again. Paul Ward, who leads the volunteer group, lists ways that birds have seeped into the culture, from the country's music awards that are named after the boisterous tui to the nickname for a New Zealander: kiwi. "It's about looking after our identity as much as it is looking after the birds," he says. James Russell, a scientist at the University of Auckland, has great hopes for the eradication plan. And he knows exactly how hard it can be to catch a single rat. During his doctoral research 15 years ago, Russell released monitored rats on small islands to see if they would take over. The first rat he released, named Razza, evaded recapture for 18 weeks. It even swam to another island. The story inspired a local author to write a children's book in which Razza defiantly repeats the line, "Can't catch me." But Russell, heartened by the progress since then, says New Zealand leads the world in clearing vermin. Rangers have wiped out pests from more than 100 small islands, which are providing a breeding ground for rare birds. Yet making the much larger main islands pest-free remains an enormous leap. Russell is helping lead an effort to find scientific breakthroughs, such as changing pest genes to make them die out, using biosensors to target individual pests over vast areas, and using powerful new lures that rely on the scent of sex rather than food. The Goodnature company in Wellington is coming up with its own innovations. It has developed traps that use pressurized carbon dioxide to reset themselves. Left alone, one trap can kill 24 rats over six months. Robbie van Dam, a company founder, says that cuts down on the expense of employing trappers, which is particularly useful in remote areas. Van Dam says the company is now investigating the use of drones to help place traps. Other pest control methods have proved contentious, including use of the poison 1080, sodium fluoroacetate. Hunters say the toxin sometimes kills their dogs, and animal advocacy groups say it's inhumane. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says a benefit of wiping out pests would be ending the use of such toxins. She says taxpayers stand to save tens of millions of dollars a year that's spent on pest control. Barry looks about the Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington, where raucous kaka parrots and fidgety saddlebacks are among the rare birds protected from predators by a specially designed fence that stretches for miles. She says she hopes one day the whole country will look, and sound, as idyllic. "The momentum has been fantastic," Barry says. "Street by street, town by town, city by city, we will join forces and achieve this thing." In this May 4, 2017 photo, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve native species keeper Bethany Brett holds Mohua, a female great spotted kiwi in her enclosure in Christchurch, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 photo, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve native species keeper Nick Ackroyd inspects the beak of Mohua, a female great spotted kiwi, in her enclosure in Christchurch, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) In this March 2, 2017 photo, Goodnature co-founder Robbie van Dam, poses with his company's resetting rat traps at Polhill Reserve in Wellington, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. Van Dam says the company is now investigating the use of drones to help place traps. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) In this March 2, 2017 photo, workers assemble resetting rat traps at the Goodnature factory in Wellington, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) In this March 22, 2017 photo, Wayne Linklater, a wildlife biologist at the Victoria University of Wellington, speaks during an interview in Wellington, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) In this March 22, 2017 photo, a saddleback rummages for food at the Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand. Raucous kaka parrots and fidgety saddlebacks are among the rare birds protected from predators by a specially designed fence that stretches for miles at the sanctruary. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) In this March 22, 2017 photo, a tourist films a takahe at Zealandia in Wellington, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last rat, opossum and stoat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) In this March 23, 2017 photo, a woman walks her dog along the fence line of Zealandia, a wildlife sanctuary, in Wellington, New Zealand. People across New Zealand are embracing an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last stoat, possum and rat. The idea is to give a second chance to the unusual birds that ruled this South Pacific nation before humans arrived 800 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) Explore further: The end of the rat race? New Zealand aims to become rat free


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRASUPP-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2017

The objective of the AENEAS project is to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated European Science Data Centre (ESDC) to support the astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The scientific potential of the SKA radio telescope is unprecedented and represents one of the highest priorities for the international scientific community. By the same token, the large scale, rate, and complexity of data the SKA will generate, present challenges in data management, computing, and networking that are similarly world-leading. SKA Regional Centres (SRC) like the ESDC will be a vital resource to enable the community to take advantage of the scientific potential of the SKA. Within the tiered SKA operational model, the SRCs will provide essential functionality which is not currently provisioned within the directly operated SKA facilities. AENEAS brings together all the European member states currently part of the SKA project as well as potential future EU SKA national partners, the SKA Organisation itself, and a larger group of international partners including the two host countries Australia and South Africa.


Curtis N.F.,Victoria University of Wellington
Coordination Chemistry Reviews | Year: 2012

The cyclic tetraamine 2,5,5,7,9,12,12,14-Octamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane can occur as six-diasterioisomers which are best characterised by the Cahn Ingold Prelog (CIP) priority rules. When coordinated, the nitrogen centres can occur in five configurations, resulting in 30 possible configurations. The configuration of the amines and their metal-ion compounds are unambiguously defined by the CIP configuration of the four carbon and four nitrogen chiral centres present. The chemistry of these cyclic tetraamines, and their metal-ion compounds is reviewed, with emphasis on structural studies, which permit unambiguous assignment of configuration. The literature reporting the preparations and properties of 2,5,5,7,9,12,12,14-octamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane and its compounds contains confusing and incorrect configuration assignments. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..


Visser M.,Victoria University of Wellington
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

Area products for multihorizon stationary black holes often have intriguing properties, and are often (though not always) independent of the mass of the black hole itself (depending only on various charges, angular momenta, and moduli). Such products are often formulated in terms of the areas of inner (Cauchy) horizons and outer (event) horizons, and sometimes include the effects of unphysical "virtual" horizons. But the conjectured mass independence sometimes fails. Specifically, for the Schwarzschild-de Sitter [Kottler] black hole in (3+1) dimensions it is shown by explicit exact calculation that the product of event horizon area and cosmological horizon area is not mass independent. (Including the effect of the third "virtual" horizon does not improve the situation.) Similarly, in the Reissner-Nordstrom- anti-de Sitter black hole in (3+1) dimensions the product of the inner (Cauchy) horizon area and event horizon area is calculated (perturbatively), and is shown to be not mass independent. That is, the mass independence of the product of physical horizon areas is not generic. In spherical symmetry, whenever the quasilocal mass m(r) is a Laurent polynomial in aerial radius, r=√A/4π, there are significantly more complicated mass-independent quantities, the elementary symmetric polynomials built up from the complete set of horizon radii (physical and virtual). Sometimes it is possible to eliminate the unphysical virtual horizons, constructing combinations of physical horizon areas that are mass independent, but they tend to be considerably more complicated than the simple products and related constructions currently being mooted in the literature. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Sterelny K.,Victoria University of Wellington
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

This paper contributes to a debate in the palaeoarchaeological community about the major time-lag between the origin of anatomically modern humans and the appearance of typically human cultural behaviour. Why did humans take so long-at least 100 000 years-to become 'behaviourally modern'? The transition is often explained as a change in the intrinsic cognitive competence of modern humans: often in terms of a new capacity for symbolic thought, or the final perfection of language. These cognitive breakthrough models are not satisfactory, for they fail to explain the uneven palaeoanthropological record of human competence. Many supposed signature capacities appear (and then disappear) before the supposed cognitive breakthrough; many of the signature capacities disappear again after the breakthrough. So, instead of seeing behavioural modernity as a simple reflection of a new kind of mind, this paper presents a niche construction conceptual model of behavioural modernity. Humans became behaviourally modern when they could reliably transmit accumulated informational capital to the next generation, and transmit it with sufficient precision for innovations to be preserved and accumulated. In turn, the reliable accumulation of culture depends on the construction of learning environments, not just intrinsic cognitive machinery. I argue that the model is (i) evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios; (ii) the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record; (iii) the model is anthropologically and ethnographically plausible; and (iv) the model is testable, though only in coarse, preliminary ways. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Gamlen A.,Victoria University of Wellington
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers | Year: 2013

New Zealand, like many countries, has recently shifted from casting emigrants in a negative light to celebrating expatriates as national champions. What explains this change? Wendy Larner focuses on recent government initiatives towards expatriates as part of a neoliberal 'diaspora strategy', aimed at constructing emigrants and their descendants as part of a community of knowledge-bearing subjects, in order to help the New Zealand economy 'go global'. This study confirms that the new diaspora initiatives emerged from a process of neoliberal reform. However, it also highlights that in the same period, older inherited institutional frameworks for interacting with expatriates were being dismantled as part of a different dynamic within the wider neoliberalisation process. It argues that the shift in official attitudes towards expatriates arose from the overlap between these two processes in the period 1999-2008. In this way, the research builds on the 'diaspora strategy' concept, placing it within a broader analysis of institutional transformation through 'creative destruction', and linking it to a wider research agenda aimed at understanding state-diaspora relations beyond the reach of neoliberalism. © 2012 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).


Low J.,Victoria University of Wellington
Child Development | Year: 2010

Three studies were carried out to investigate sentential complements being the critical device that allows for false-belief understanding in 3-and 4-year-olds (N = 102). Participants across studies accurately gazed in anticipation of a character's mistaken belief in a predictive looking task despite erring on verbal responses for direct false-belief questions. Gaze was independent of complement mastery. These patterns held when other low-verbal false-belief tasks were considered and the predictive looking task was presented as a time-controlled film. While implicit (gaze) knowledge predicted explicit (verbal) false-belief understanding, complement mastery and cognitive flexibility also supported explicit reasoning. Overall, explicit false-belief understanding is complexly underpinned by implicit knowledge and input from higher-order systems of language and executive control. © 2010, the Author(s).

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