The 3rd annual symposium of the FoS Postdoc society will be held on the 14th of November, 2-5pm, room 303-G16. Like last year, every postdoc and early career researcher will have the chance to give a three-minute presentation about their work to a diverse audience. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what your colleagues in other groups and departments are working on.
Please register as soon as possible using the following form: Link


The symposium will consist of two keynotes (see below), followed by a mix of invited postdoc 15-minutes talks and postdoc 3-minutes talks. Complimentary coffee and tea will be offered during break(s), as well as catering at the end of the symposium for a social/networking time.


All postdocs and early-career researchers are invited to take part in the Annual Three-Minute Talk competition. Present your research in only three minutes, the time limited is enforced! First, second and third place prizes will be awarded.



Juliet Gerrard is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Auckland, and researches across biochemistry, health, agriculture, food science and biomaterial design. She is also currently the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.


Margaret Stanley is an Associate Professor in Ecology at the University of Auckland, and her research seeks to understand and mitigate human impacts on terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems. She is an accomplished science communicator and will share experiences around public outreach.


CHRISSIE PAINTING – Little creatures with big guns: exploring the diversity of weapon evolution in arthropods

Competition for mating opportunities has driven the evolution of a spectacular array of exaggerated male traits, including those used as weapons. My research on New Zealand arthropods investigates why there is so much diversity in weapon form and function, and how this influences the evolution of bizarre mating systems.

FREDERICK WELLS – Milk and Steel: A Sticky Situation

New Zealand’s biggest industry has a big problem. Milk powder is NZ’s biggest export, but making powder from liquid is tricky, and things tend to get sticky. I’m going to talk about spray drying, how it works (making milk powder), and how it doesn’t work (when spray dryers get clogged). Industrial spray dryers produce sprays of very fine droplets that dry mid air in huge steel vats. The problems start when droplets hit the walls. Milk sticks to steel surfaces and forms a solid layer – anyone who has boiled milk in a pan is familiar with this! We’re trying to solve this problem by looking at milk droplets one at a time in a custom-built chamber, and understanding their behaviour when they hit steel surfaces. We film all of this with high speed cameras and make some pretty cool movies, which also give useful information on how to prevent fluids from sticking to surfaces. All of this is backed up by simulation data, which is being carried out simultaneously. Milk is a non-Newtonian fluid (shear thinning to be precise) and it forms a skin when heated, so there’s a lot of science to explore beyond commercial applications. We will test different models of sticking, look for interesting splash behaviour, and test out a few new ideas along the way!