All posts by bsg17

Fantastic fulltime job in biosecurity

Do you want a fantastic fulltime job in biosecurity?

Are you into engineering, plastics, design, 3D printing, CAD and product development? Are you interested in conservation?

Envico Technologies in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, works nationally and internationally with leaders in conservation to eradicate introduced animals from remote islands.

Supported by Predator Free 2050 and UC Biosecurity Innovations, EnvicoTech invites your expressions of interest to improve an aspect of the spitfire devices, prototype and test it, then identify a manufacturer to produce it.

Find out more and get in touch!

To protect our unique flora and fauna, EnvicoTech have made 3 different “spitfires” for control of stoats, possums and rats.

Possum spitfire EnvicoTech

Rodent spitfire Envicotech

Stoat spitfire Envicotech

The “Spitfires”  are a long-life targeted-toxin delivery device for remote locations.  A sensor detects the target animal based on physical features.  Once the target  is detected,  a  dose of liquid toxin is sprayed onto their fur. The device then resets. The animal ingests the poison when it grooms and is humanely killed.


Masters scholarship

Apply for a Masters scholarship, 28K tax free for up to 18 months.

This is an exciting project with potentially high conservation impact with a commercial partner and supported by UC Biosecurity Innovations (UCBI).

Design a chemical to humanely kill introduced vertebrates. 
Photo b
y Airwolfhound

You will have

  • a chemistry or chemistry engineering background
  • a first or second-class honours
  • an interest in  conservation and pest control
  • and ideally an  understanding of reaction kinetics of NMR  however training will be provided.

Your Masters in Chemical Process Engineering or Masters in Science will develop a novel vertebrate toxic agent (VTA). The VTA is a mixture of two compounds and there is a possible production route for the active species.  You will develop a process design on the reaction kinetics or mechanism.  The measurements will be used to inform a New Zealand company, your funders, and to determine whether or not the production is commercially viable.

Key objectives are

  • To identify whether the reaction an equilibrium reaction.
  • To determine the reaction rate constants, and how these vary with temperature.
  • Recommend a probable reactor type for small scale production of the substance.

We will address these objectives using a novel benchtop NMR spectroscopy setup to perform online monitoring of the reaction kinetics. We will use NMR to perform structural identification of the products of the reaction, and to perform quantitative analysis of the changing composition throughout the reaction.  We will also design and build a system to enable real-time sampling of the reaction mixture.

Find out more and get in touch!

Summer project for biodegradable predator lures and traps

Apply for this summer project on biodegradable predator lures and traps, $6k tax free summer project by 15 Dec. Keep your summer lifestyle – this project can be done remotely..

This project is funded by UC Biosecurity Innovations. 

Leaf and plastic
Biodegradable filament

Carry out a literature search on biodegradable materials/filaments such as hydrogels and/or bioplastics (PHA family, Cellulose acetate).

Ideally you are interested in chemical product formulation and want to go on to further study in this exciting field. Or you may be  great at literature searches and have a good understanding of chemistry. Or perhaps you can’t wait to reduce plastics in the environment.

Joint work between the School of Product Design (SoPD) and the Department of Conservation (DoC) prototyped long life lures made of polyolefins (LDPE/HDPE/PP). This is not ideal for remote field work.

Long term, we want a lure and trap to target the “last 5%” of mammalian predators following large scale mammalian predator control in remote areas.

The aim is to develop a lure or trap so that they may become “set-and-forget” devices which will break down in the field, eliminating the need for removal. This will be especially important in  conservation areas and in  difficult and/or dangerous terrain.

This work  will provide a proof of concept for a future Masters. After the initial basic formulation development there is potential for  fluid encapsulation design and/or  novel designs of solid or semisolids as well as field trials,

Find out more and get in touch!