Tag Archives: biosecurity

Five UCBI student conference grants – closes 25 Feb

Calling all biosecurity research students!

Apply for one of five UCBI student conference  grants to attend the International congress on biological invasions ICBI 2023.

The grant is up to $572.00 + GST (registration $408.38 + GST) and dinner ($163.47 +GST).

It’s easy.  To apply you must:

  • Be a student enrolled at UC 2023.
  • e-mail a 400 word abstract about your research (note the title and authors is not included in the word count) to biosecurityinnovations@canterbury.ac.nz by Friday 25 Feb (this week).
  • Present an A0 poster OR deliver an oral presentation using UCBI logos at ICBI to be held at the Christchurch town hall 1-4 May 2023.
  • Wasp

Our panel will consider applications and advise you of your success by Wed 22nd February.

You will then complete the registration with our help before Tuesday 28 February.

PhD Scholarship available, apply now!

Apply for this PhD scholarship 28K plus fees pa for 3 years.


Novel mass spectroscopy for detection of insect biosecurity threats

Ideally you will have

  • a  first-class Honours or Master’s degree in biology or chemistry
    skills in mass spectrometry

  • an interest in entomology
  • demonstrated competence in statistical analysis
  • experience with multivariate data analysis and/or machine learning

Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) has been used to “fingerprint” food but has yet to be applied to detect biosecurity threats to plants. A particularly difficult challenge is the rapid id of insect pests, especially when endemic species look similar.

You will focus on foundational work, develop and validate REIMS ability to detect insect biosecurity threats, classify samples and quantify limitations, e.g., influence of sample age and storage.

You will work in New Zealand’s only REIM facility, work collaboratively at AgResearch, as well as at Lincoln University and at Canterbury University, where you will gain excellent opportunities for networking.

This scholarship is supported through a Better Border Biosecurity programme (www.b3nz.org.nz) collaboration between the University of Canterbury’s Biosecurity Innovation Research Cluster (UCBI), AgResearch and Lincoln University.

Your supervisors will be Assoc. Prof Steve Pawson (UC School of Forestry, Director UC Biosecurity Innovations), Assoc. Prof. Alastair Ross (AgResearch) and Dr Karen Armstrong (Lincoln University).

Find out more and get in touch!


Masters scholarship

Apply for this Masters scholarship $28K pa for 18 months.

Investigate the reaction kinetics of a novel vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) designed to control introduced predators.

This research is funded by a New Zealand company, who want to know if it is feasible to manufacture the VTA.

You will

  • be a chemistry major or chemical engineer with a first- or second-class honours.
  • use a novel benchtop NMR spectroscopy
  • identify whether the reaction an equilibrium reaction.
  •  determine the reaction rate constants, and how these vary with temperature.
  • build a system to enable real time sampling of the reaction mixture
  • recommend a probable reactor type for small scale production of the substance
  • have an interest in conservation/predator control

Understanding of reaction kinetics and NMR spectroscopy will be an advantage, but training will be provided if required.  Your supervisor will be Daniel Holland.

Develop a toxin to control predators

Find out more here

Send your CV and GPA  and a quick email asap to biosecurityinnovations@canterbury.ac.nz