Researchers awarded $800,000 for field research

University of Canterbury (UC) researchers Dr Sarah van Eyndhoven and Dr Jean Power have been awarded $400,000 by Royal Society Te Apārangi to carry-out their research projects.

  • The Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships

UC’s Dr Eyndhoven and Dr Power have been selected as 2023 Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients. The Fellowships help build a foundation for young, early-stage researchers to have an independent, successful career in their field.

The Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships seek to build human capability in research, science and technology by investing in outstanding early-career researchers. Fellowships provide a total of $400,000 (excluding GST) over two years for recipients to carry out full-time research, with allocations for salary, institutional overheads and research expenses.

Dr Sarah van Eyndhoven’s awarded project is titled ‘Between the Clutha and the Kawarau – the threads of old and new identities shaping written language use among early Scottish immigrants to New Zealand.’ The project will focus on the use of Scots spellings and uniquely Scottish words, as well as the adoption of New Zealand colloquialisms and te reo Māori. Dr Eyndhoven aims to produce the first publicly available, digitally searchable database of New Zealand immigrant correspondence, and fill an important gap in the documentation of New Zealand’s early settler history.

Dr Jean Power’s research is titled ‘Solving microbial community function using Aotearoa-New Zealand geothermal springs as model systems’. Dr Power will sequence the genomes of the microorganisims from the 100 geothermal springs in the Taupō Volcanic Zone. The work will assess ecosystem health, promote mātauranga Māori, kaitiakitanga, and draw attention to the value of these biodiversity hotspots. The findings will reiterate that microorganisms are taonga and hold importance in conserving ecosystems as part of Aotearoa’s treasured native landscape.

In total, five Rutherford Foundation Fellowships have been awarded to researchers in Aotearoa New Zealand. The three other recipients include Dr Akshata Anchan (University of Auckland), Dr Preeti Cowan (University of Auckland) and Dr Marion Donald (Manaaki Whenua | Landcare Research).

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