UC Science

The official page of the Faculty of Science at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Any such report will be treated with respect and anonymity.

The Faculty of Science includes the School of Biological Sciences; the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences; the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing; and the School of Earth and Environment. We offer a Bachelor of Science degree with 18 major subjects and 32 disciplines as well as our professionally accredited Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours qualification and the Ba

Operating as usual

Elaine P. Snowden Astronomy School | University of Canterbury 10/01/2024

Calling all Year 12 and 13 Students interested in Astronomy or Physics 💫🔭

Applications for EPS Astronomy School 2024 are now open! EPS Astronomy School is a week-long camp held here at UC, including a visit to UC's Mt John Observatory to explore our incredible night skies. This is a great opportunity for you to spark your interest in Astronomy here at UC!

Click the link below for more info and to apply:

University of Canterbury

Elaine P. Snowden Astronomy School | University of Canterbury The Elaine P. Snowden Astronomy School is a programme for Year 13 students interested in studying Astronomy or Physics at university, running from 14-19 April 2024.

Photos from UC Science's post 18/12/2023

Science Summer Camp 2023!

We had an amazing time last week hosting 60 Year 12 Students on-campus to explore Science at UC. The week consisted of workshops, a group project focusing on sustainability, fun team building activities and a field trip to Cass Field Station and Kura Tāwhiti | Castle Hill. We hope everyone had a great week and we hope to see you all at UC in the future 🥼🌿🧪✨

Photos from UC Science's post 15/12/2023

Here are some highlights from the He Puna Pūtaiao, Pō Whakanui last week! He Puna Pūtaiao is a UC Science outreach programme we run to give local Māori High School students the opportunity to grow their Science knowledge with the guidance of our amazing Science mentors alongside Dr John Pirker, from the School of Biological Science. A huge thank you to the team involved and congratulations to the students who completed the programme! 🥼💧🔍


Study human thought and behaviour with our new Bachelor of Psychological Science. Across the disciplines of psychology, you’ll explore how our brains function and what affects our actions, emotions and wellbeing. You’ll have six specifically designed minors to choose from, including Forensic or Workplace Psychology.

Enrolments now open for 2024!



Huge congratulations to UC Science's Dr Heather Hendrickson and her team, who have been awarded $8.9m in Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funding. 🔬👏

The bacteria research could help protect kiwifruit and bees from dangerous pathogens. 🥝🐝

Read more: https://brnw.ch/21wDEbA

Life in a frozen ocean | Penguins, algae and the sea ice they depend upon | Humanitix 02/10/2023

Life in a Frozen Ocean is a panel discussion on tomorrow (4 October 5.30pm) at Tūranga libraries.

Hear from experts from UC, NIWA and Cawthorn and learn more about the impacts of sea ice warming on our lives, the planet, microbiology, and of course penguins.

Find out more

Life in a frozen ocean | Penguins, algae and the sea ice they depend upon | Humanitix Life in a frozen ocean | Penguins, algae and the sea ice they depend upon, Hosted at Tūranga, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand, Wed 4th Oct 2023, 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm NZDT. Tickets are free. Only on Humanitix


Awesome Antarctica is on now at the library!

Check out all the exciting events and activities available for your whānau.

With activities for all ages including lectures, exhibitions and even how you see a penguin from space!

Find out more


Antarctic sea ice is presently at an extreme low, with about 20% lower coverage than normal for this time of year. This retreat and its implications topped the agenda at recent international conferences, and now New Zealand scientists are convening a panel discussion on Antarctic sea ice and climate change. The goal is to provide updates on this rapidly evolving situation, as well as highlight the potential direct and indirect implications for New Zealand before researchers head into the field this season. The emergency summit will be held on Tuesday, 3 October. It consists of an online discussion session for invited panellists and an online media briefing. There will also be an information evening for the public at Wellington’s City Gallery with live-streaming capability.

6pm – 8pm Public panel discussion (Wellington in-person with live-stream)
- Featuring our invited panellists with public Q&A
- Pre-registration is required here: https://events.humanitix.com/panel-discussion-emergency-summit-on-antarctic-sea-ice-and-climate-change

Timeline photos 19/09/2023

UCArts and UC Science are pleased to share the winning entries from this year’s Art of Science competition! 🎨

School students from Year 5 to Year 13 from around Aotearoa were invited to create a piece of artwork with an underlying science message.
We loved seeing all the 🌟amazing🌟 entries and want to say a huge congratulations to our winners!😍🙌

Winners (in order of appearance):

Apprentices (Year 5-7)
🥇 Olivia Zhou for the Sea Creatures Drawing
🥈 Ruby Zimo Wei-Solt for the illustration of How Birds Fly
🥉 Letao (Rebecca) Fang for In July, Please come to NZ to meteors

Interns (Year 8-10)
🥇 Sam Tianlan Kennedy for Phage vs Corona
🥈 Danielle Wu for Experiment about what it would be like if Humans stopped living on Earth
🥉 Elissa Piao for Human Emotions

Masters (Year 11-13)
🥇 Joshua Kyle Caisip for Negative Impacts of Trash
🥈 Ngaio Dawson for Parts of a Plant
🥉 Rebecca Mengyao Shi for Science is Everywhere


Our second-year geology students have been exploring the West Coast - making maps and having fun in the sun. Learning essential skills to be a professional Earth scientist.


Congratulations to Corinne Singeisen who successfully defended her PhD thesis on Initiation and mechanisms of rock slope failures during the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, New Zealand.

Corinne has been an excellent citizen of the School over the last 3.5 years and put together an outstanding thesis, pulling together remote sensing, geophysics, field mapping, drilling & core logging, and numerical modelling to better understand coseismic landslides. Examiners thought the thesis represented a significant step forward that ‘bridges the detailed case study to regional susceptibility or hazard assessment.’

Corinne’s project was co-supervised by our brilliant collaborators Chris Massey and Andrea Wolter at GNS. We thank Prof. Bill Murphy at Leeds, and Prof. Xuanmei Fan at Chengdu Tech for examining, and Kari for chairing.


We are looking for a fulltime observing technician at University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.

Learn more below

We are currently looking for a full-time observing technician for the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory (UCMJO). Internationally renowned, the UCMJO is New Zealand's premier optical astronomical research observatory and is the key field station for the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences who operate it for astronomical teaching and scientific research for UC's staff, students and visiting researchers.

See more details in the job ad here: https://lnkd.in/gGeBzi2i
The closing date for this position is: 3rd September 2023 (midnight, NZ time)

Photo credit (B&C telescope at the UCMJO): UC Engineering student Chester Hall-Fernandez

2023 – November Summit 24/08/2023

Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Young Inspiring Explorers
Applications are now open for Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summit!!
Do you know a Year 7–9 student who would love the opportunity to experience a weekend of fun, adventure and making new friends, while learning all about Antarctica?
The Summit is hosted in Christchurch, Gateway City to Antarctica in partnership with William Pike Challenge.
Successful applicants will:
❄️Meet huskies and ride a Hägglund at the International Antarctic Centre
❄️Spend two nights camping in a tent
❄️Be inspired by the stories of Shackleton, Scott, Hillary and other early polar explorers
❄️ Find out about Antarctica from people who have lived there!

25 places are available on the Summit, which will run Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November 2023.

Applications close Sunday 10 September.

For more information and to apply, head to:

2023 – November Summit The Young Inspiring Explorers programme connects young people with Antarctica's history and the spirit of exploration.

Entomological Society of New Zealand 23/08/2023

The Canterbury Branch of the Entomology Society of New Zealand is relaunching!

The Entomological Society of New Zealand is a group of people passionate about all things entomology. For more information, check out the society website. T

All are welcome to be part of this, school kids, students, professionals, non-professionals, amateurs and retirees. If you have a passion for entomology, come along and get involved!

If you are interested in joining the Canterbury Branch please fill out the Google Doc survey link below, so we can gather contact details and information

Entomological Society of New Zealand The Entomological Society of New Zealand was formed in 1951 to provide a common meeting ground for everyone interested in entomology in New Zealand. The Society aims to stimulate interest, encourage amateurs, and promote the profession of entomology by organising meetings, publishing information, aw...

Photos from UC Science's post 22/08/2023

Over the past 2 weeks we have been connecting with high school students interested in geography by hosting both
- Year 13 Geography Scholarship day
- Maatangi Whenua (Geography School Quiz)

Thanks to Geogsoc - University of Canterbury Geography Society for all their help running the quiz and supporting the Geography Scholarship Day.


𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟕 𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐬❓

In the hundred or so years since computers were first invented, they’ve shrunk amazingly in size and grown considerably in computing power. Today, computers can be smaller than a grain of rice!

Find out more


𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐫 𝐍𝐞𝐢𝐥 𝐈𝐬𝐚𝐚𝐜 𝐌𝐒𝐜 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐡𝐃 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝟑𝟏 𝐎𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫

For prospective and current Master's and PhD students our Sir Neil Isaac scholarships are now open for entries.

The eligible areas of study include those focused on conservation, ecological or environmental enhancement research that supports the preservation, amelioration and/or deeper knowledge of New Zealand native flora and fauna species in the natural habitat, as it relates to the wider picture of a healthy biodiversity within New Zealand.

Typically these studies will be undertaken in the subject areas of Environmental Sciences, Geography and/or Biological Sciences (in particular Conservation and Ecology), though any subject area in Science that meets the topic focus criteria will be considered.

Closing date 31 October | Value $20,000 per annum | Tenure Up to 2.00 EFTS for a MSc student, Up to 3.00 EFTS for a PhD student

Photos from UC Science's post 17/08/2023

Our postgraduate science evening is occurring now in C1 at UC! Come down and meet the postgrad coordinators and learn more about your future study options

Photos from UC Science's post 17/08/2023

🌄 Embracing the Beauty of the Port Hills! 📸🏞️

Today we uncovered the stunning landscapes of the Port Hills! 🌅🏔️ Joined by Professor Ben Kennedy, a Volcanologist University of Canterbury, our exploration took on a whole new level of excitement and knowledge.

A huge shoutout to Professor Kennedy for gracing us with his expertise on volcanoes and geology. 🌋


Awesome Antarctica is continuing their amazing journey with another speaker this Wednesday (16 August) at 5:30pm

Hear about Laura's 50-day Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ skiing to the South Pole, how she developed an explorer mindset, and the lessons she learned from the past and present to better prepare for the future.

Register now https://events.humanitix.com/awesome-antarctica-speaker-series-or-skiing-to-the-south-pole-laura-andrews

The 'Awesome Antarctica" Speaker Series continue in on Wed 16 August, at 5:30pm - This time is Laura Andrew's turn to share her amazing 50-day Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ skiing to the South Pole!
Get your free tickets online at: https://events.humanitix.com/awesome-antarctica-speaker-series-or-skiing-to-the-south-pole-laura-andrews


💫🌟 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄!! 💫🌟

10 UC Science clubs have banded together to bring you an end-of-term extravaganza which will leave you star-struck! 🤩🥳

Tickets are now live at https://underthestarsball-event.getqpay.com - get in quick and don't miss out!


Our all UC postgraduate evening is live now

Missed it or want to know more about science? Our science postgraduate evening is next week. Register now


Akiaki Ākonga | Student Experience are now recruiting for Kaitaki Ākonga | Student Leaders to help us run our mentoring programmes in 2024.

They are running an online info session for interested students on Monday, 7th August, at 6pm. Anyone who is enrolled, at least in their 2nd year in 2024, and passionate about supporting new students can apply.

Join our Kaitaki Ākonga info session here https://canterbury.zoom.us/j/97220101386 and
apply to be a mentor via https://forms.office.com/r/BuSPdAN65A.

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Christchurch?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Choose Science. Change the world.

The College of Science at the University of Canterbury delivers high quality learning through teaching that builds on our research excellence.

Located in the spectacular South Island of New Zealand, UC Science offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications, state-of-the-art facilities, amazing research opportunities, passionate, world-recognised lecturers and an unrivaled student experience.

The College includes the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, the Departments of Communication Disorders, Geography, Geological Sciences, Psychology, the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management and the Gateway Antarctica Research Centre.

UC Science arms students with the knowledge and transferable skills to make a real difference in society. Join the dreamers, explorers and innovators of our time. Choose Science and change the world.

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The Food Engineer: Dr Olivia Ogilvie




Beatrice Tinsley, University Of Canterbury, IIam

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