Posts categorized as Research

South Island Botany Field Trip – Te Papa Botanists in Action!

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  • Broken River Ski Field 4WD photo by Phil
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  • 21Amuri Notothlaspi 4 Phil

In December 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on an 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens collected, including 19… Read more »

Making discoveries with our citizen science projects

An undescribed species of jumping spider, eating a fly. Observed by Pete McGregor, Ruahine Range, 13 December 2014. Image Pete McGregor CC BY-NC-ND. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1128770

The spider and fern citizen science projects running alongside the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition are roaring along. To date, there have been 101 participants and 745 observations in the Spiders with Te Papa project, and 83 participants and 1332 observations in the Ferns with Te Papa project.  Thank you to all these contributors. Phil Sirvid and I… Read more »

Looking at Hei Tiki – Wear Patterns

Hei tiki (pendant in human form), New Zealand, maker unknown. Purchased 1979. Te Papa (ME014129)

I have found that studying patterns of wear on hei tiki can be quite revealing. Most hei tiki are made from nephrite pounamu, one of the toughest and most durable natural materials in existence. This being so I think we can safely assume that surface wear on hei tiki didn’t happen overnight. This wear indicates prolonged… Read more »

Follow citizen science biodiversity discoveries

I get a daily email from NatureWatch NZ listing the New Zealand observations of ferns added that day. This is an easy way to check for observations that are relevant to my research and/or that I can help identify.

Botrychium australe, parsley fern. Image Mike Lusk CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1366930

NatureWatch NZ is a citizen science website for recording New Zealand’s biodiversity. Many tens of observations are added each day, covering all kinds of life. NatureWatch NZ homepage. The quantity of new observations might seem overwhelming if you’re actually just interested in a particular group – perhaps you: are studying echinoderms, want to share your… Read more »

Floor talk about Te Papa’s science

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Would you like to know more about the scientific research carried out by Te Papa? Our natural history research programme encompasses tiny invertebrates to plants, and spans the ocean depths to high-flying birds. For those in Wellington, Science Curator Leon Perrie will give a floor talk in the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition space on Thursday 2nd April,… Read more »

New Flora treatments online, including hairy tree ferns and fork ferns

The fork ferns Tmesipteris tannensis (left) and Tmesipteris elongata (right) are amongst the species covered in the just-published eFloraNZ treatments. Fork ferns are often found growing on the trunks of tree ferns. Photo © Leon Perrie

New electronic Flora of New Zealand (eFloraNZ) treatments have just been published for six fern families in New Zealand.   The new treatments include the hairy tree ferns, Dicksonia, and the fork ferns, Tmesipteris. Each eFloraNZ treatment is a definitive, peer-reviewed account of a group of plants. eFloraNZ treatment for the Dicksoniaceae (the hairy tree ferns, including whekī… Read more »

The DeCLASSIFIED! citizen science projects have been running for nearly three months. These projects are an opportunity to learn spiders and ferns with Te Papa’s experts, and to help us with our research. The Ferns with Te Papa project has gathered up more than 920 observations from 59 contributors. 365 of these observations have been… Read more »

Life through a burrowscope lens (Part 5) – subterranean Takapourewa / Stephens Island

  • A sooty shearwater broods its newly-hatched chick inside its burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A fairy prion on the colony surface at night on Takapourewa. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A tuatara inside a burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A fully-grown fairy prion inside its burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently led a team that visited Takapourewa / Stephens Island Nature Reserve, to select and gather up 100 fairy prion chicks to move to Mana Island near Wellington. This is the sixth (and last) in a series of blogs about the project and the wildlife of Takapourewa. As… Read more »