First “Research Bites” in New Zealand

Article written by Marta Ribó.


The first SRAP-IEAP “Research Bites” event in New Zealand was held in the University of Auckland on Thursday 26th May. Four SRAP-IEAP members gave talks about their research work in New Zealand.


Mónica Gañán

Mónica Gañán presented her professional trajectory: She completed her PhD in microbiology at the Spanish National Research Council in the area of intestinal microbiota modulation by probiotics and natural compounds. Her postdoctoral experience took her to explore different areas, including new non-thermal technologies for food processing and the use of natural compounds as topical antifungals. Currently she brings together researchers, public funders, and industry to implement complex bespoke projects and partnerships that accelerate the development of innovations and new technologies.

Evert Duran Quintero

Evert Duran is a research fellow at the University of Auckland. His research is focused on geophysical techniques, and he presented the Euler Deconvolution, which can be used to estimate the depth to a magnetic body from aeromagnetic data.  Guessing the depth correctly can aid the process of inversion of geophysical data by constraining the geometry and extent of the mesh grids while also providing clues to set better informed regularization parameters. In other words, help us follow the solutions to the non-unique problem of inversion that are geologically plausible. Some modelling examples in my research have shown the limitations and possibilities of this approach.

Sònia García

Sònia García presented her research on the regulatory interventions that may enable greater transparency of the seafood value chains, focussing on the potential of labelling and traceability to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The EU, the US and Japan, three of the largest seafood markets in the world, have adopted such measures to verify the legality of the seafood sold in their markets. While increased use of labelling and traceability may reduce the incentives to trade in illegally fished seafood, the extent of their impact and their potential mainstreaming remain unclear.

Marta Ribó

Marta Ribó is a marine geologist research fellow at the University of Auckland, and her research is centered in the study of contemporary sediment dynamics and the hydrodynamics controlling the changes on seabed morphology. She presented her research career trajectory, starting to investigate the marine environment in the Mediterranean, to the SE Australian margin and the work she is currently conducting in New Zealand. Her expertise focuses on understanding the seafloor geomorphology in shallow and deep waters and assessing the impact on the seabed of human activities, including plastic pollution and anchor drag marks. Her work involves using a wide range of methodologies spanning from seafloor mapping, seabed sampling and hydrodynamic monitoring; all conducted during scientific surveys on board of research vessels.



About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.