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Find out what former NIWA colleagues and friends have been doing.

Our newest Royal Society Fellow

 Dr Wendy Nelson from our Wellington site was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand at the annual general meeting of the Society’s Academy in Wellington. Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to top researchers for showing distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities

 Apart from being an excellent ambassador for science generally, Wendy is a leading international expert on red algae seaweeds. Her work has resulted in the recognition of New Zealand as a centre of diversity on a global scale.

NIWA scientist wins 2010 Edward Kidson Medal

Congratulations to Dr Andrew (Drew) Lorrey, a climate scientist at NIWA Auckland, who has been awarded the 2010 Edward Kidson Medal by the Meteorological Society of New Zealand.

The medal was awarded for Drew’s paper “Regional climate regime classification as a qualitative tool for interpreting multi-proxy paleoclimate data spatial patterns: A New Zealand case study” published in the international journal “Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology” in 2007. 

A key insight of Drew’s winning paper is that New Zealand’s regionally-distinct climate signatures can be linked by basic circulation modes operating over seasonal and longer time slices. The spatially distinct patterns can illustrate the importance of atmospheric circulation on the nation’s climate, and how major climatic drivers like the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Southern Annular Mode impact New Zealand over long time scales. The simple approach of exploiting large palaeoclimate data collections that span New Zealand’s mountainous terrain makes Drew’s approach a powerful and subtle interpretive tool for reconstructing past climate. In the future, this method will allow linkages between climate change signals from other regions of the Southern Hemisphere, and for using local proxy data to test global climate model simulations.