Science Corner

New Zealand is home to lots of fresh and innovative environmental research. Be it Earth, sea or sky, our scientists and peers share their reflections on current research, issues and ideas.

The air that we breathe

It can be difficult to grasp the challenges that our atmosphere faces. How can we get to know this big invisible blanket around us? Here we look at the basic co…

Raising the profile of women in science

When you think of a scientist, what do they look like?

How safe is “natural”? Taking a look at four plant-based pesticides from nature’s arsenal

Dr Joanna Dowle looks at the difference between natural chemicals found in plants and chemicals made in a lab, and whether one is safer than the other.

What we can learn from mesocosms – and how to create your own little world

How can simulating little ecosystems be useful for assessing chemical risk? Read on to find out and make your own ecosystem in a jar.

The spike protein and the Pfizer vaccine

The story of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its biotech company partner BioNTech, the vaccine, and its regulatory journey thr…

I now pronounce you denewed

The EPA has commenced the 2021 “denewing” of new organisms. The New Organisms team explains what this means, and ask you to put forward your proposal(s).

The fate of chemicals in the environment

Whenever we use lotion or apply garden spray directly into the environment, its journey rarely ends there. Understanding what happens to a chemical in the envir…

Weighing up the risks

The EPA makes decisions for the people and environment of Aotearoa. Risk assessment is a big part of this - but what is risk? Lee Bailey, a Senior Advisor in ou…

The waggling wisdom of bees

Find out how bees communicate with one another, and why understanding the world of bees and other insects is important in protecting them from harm.

Riparian planting and the effect of chemicals on waterways

Planting next to streams and river banks (called riparian planting) has many benefits, especially on farms. It can decrease erosion and run-off while improving …

Life in plastic (not so fantastic)

Find out some of the weird ways plastics can make their way into the environment, and how the EPA is involved in the global fight against plastic pollution.

The art of presenting complex spatial data simply

Emma explains the trials and tribulations of creating easy to understand maps from complex spatial databases.

Sourdough Ecosystems – parallels between a sourdough starter, or rēwena/rēwana, and our environment

Over lockdown, many people discovered the joy of making their own bread using a sourdough starter – find out how this relates to protecting our local ecosystems…

Zoonoses, COVID-19, and the EPA - what's the connection?

Principal Scientist and Acting manager of our New Organisms team, Dr. Tim Strabala, explains how zoonoses operate, and how these diseases relate to the work we …

Islands and isolation

On Thursday 19 March, a group of EPA science and community engagement staff met with kaitiaki on Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour to collect water sampl…

We all thrive when women and gender minorities work in science

The EPA is proud to support women in science. Hannah Davidson speaks to her science colleagues about the importance of diversity, equality, and encouraging a tw…

From carp to chemical fate–the cascading effects of invasive fish species in our waterways

Environmental fate specialists and ecotoxicologists are worried about the effects of invasive fish species and chemical residues on the ecological balance of ou…

Mātauranga Māori: Applying a Māori lens to environmental management

The unique relationship between Māori and the environment can inform regulatory decision making, and help make the welfare of our environment part of everyone’s…

Rockpools, punk science and student strikes

Reconnecting with our local environments like we once did as kids can benefit both the environment and communities; technology can help us here.

Varroa mite chews the fat

Illuminating research on Varroa destructor has recently been presented at the 2019 Apiculture NZ conference.

Chemistry in the clouds - developing New Zealand's first Earth System Model

A numerical model for predicting future changes to the NZ environment has made global contributions to help fill gaps in climate knowledge.

Older articles

An archive of articles written by our scientists and others.