Otago Daily Times

$17.5m re­search cash cov­ers coastal threat

- JOHN GIBB Health · Medicine · Science · Business School · Business Education · Business · University of Otago · Otago · New Zealand · GNS Science · Dunedin · Tumu

RE­SEARCH on the im­pact of in­creased coastal flood­ing on prop­erty prices is among many projects boosted by $17.5 mil­lion in Mars­den fund­ing to the Univer­sity of Otago.

The newly formed Cli­mate and En­ergy Fi­nance Group, led by the Otago Busi­ness School’s As­so­ciate Prof Ivan Di­azRainey, has re­ceived $869,000 to ex­plore to how in­creas­ing flood fre­quen­cies will af­fect prop­erty val­ues in New Zealand coastal cities.

‘‘This is an ex­tremely im­por­tant topic be­cause 65% of the pop­u­la­tion in New Zealand live within 5km of the sea and 85% of in­di­vid­ual wealth is con­cen­trated in real es­tate,’’ Prof Di­azRainey said.

Flood­ing also had im­pli­ca­tions for the sta­bil­ity of our banks, given that more than 60% of the value of the four largest New Zealand banks’ loan port­fo­lios in­volved hous­ing, he said.

GNS Science ge­ol­o­gist Dr Si­mon Cox, of Dunedin, has un­der­taken a re­cent study of South Dunedin hy­drol­ogy, and had con­trib­uted to a pi­lot scheme for the main study.

The main study would also pro­vide fur­ther in­sights into flood­re­lated ef­fects on prop­erty prices in parts of Dunedin.

Four­teen projects, led by re­searchers in the Otago com­merce, health sciences, hu­man­i­ties and sciences di­vi­sions re­ceived grants rang­ing up to $960,000, and 16 re­searchers re­ceived Fast Start grants.

Vice­chan­cel­lor Prof Har­lene Hayne said the 30 Otago grants were a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment.

The Otago re­search ranged widely, from Prof Ju­lia Hors­field's $960,000 for re­search into de­vel­op­men­tal diseases and can­cers, to Prof Claire Free­man’s $729,000 to en­cour­age ur­ban plan­ning that sup­ports child­friendly fu­tures.

In to­tal, the Mars­den Fund, which sup­ports ex­cel­lence in re­search, al­lo­cated $84.75 mil­lion (ex­clud­ing GST) for 134 re­search projects through­out the coun­try.

Other Otago Mars­den Grants ($960,000 un­less other­wise stated): Dr Karl Ire­mon­ger, phys­i­ol­ogy; Prof Peter Fin­eran, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy & im­munol­ogy; Dr Lynette Brown­field, bio­chem­istry, $958,000; Dr Louise Bick­nell, pathol­ogy, $959,000; Prof Ju­lia Hors­field, pathol­ogy; Prof Martin Hazel­ton, sta­tis­tics, $706,000; Dr H.G.L. Sch­we­fel, physics, $899,000; Prof Martin Kennedy, pathol­ogy, $956,000; Prof Claire Free­man, ge­og­ra­phy, $729,000; Prof An­thony Ket­tle, pathol­ogy; As­so­ciate Prof C. Fraser, marine sciences; As­so­ciate Prof Joanna Kir­man, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy & im­munol­ogy; Prof Pauline Nor­ris, Cen­tre for Pa­cific Health, $870,000.

Fast Start, each $300,000. — Dr Kirsty Daniel­son, surgery; Dr Judith (Jude) Ball, public health; Dr Siew Hoong (Joe) Yip, anatomy; Dr Michelle

Munro, phys­i­ol­ogy; Dr Do­minic Sear­les, math­e­mat­ics; Dr Karen Reader, pathol­ogy; Dr Jemma Geoghe­gan, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy & im­munol­ogy; Dr K.O. Smi­ley, anatomy; Dr G.A. McCul­loch, zo­ol­ogy; Dr K.J. Mitchell, zo­ol­ogy; Dr Erica New­man, Te Tumu; Dr L.A. Robertson, pre­ven­tive and so­cial medicine; Dr Htin Lin Aung, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy & im­munol­ogy; Dr Karen Greig, ar­chae­ol­ogy; Dr Kimberley O'Sul­li­van, public health; Dr Ro­main Meyrand, physics.

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