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Hamilton Public Lecture Series


Tue 18 Jun 2019, 5:45pm–7:00pm

Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Gate 2B, Knighton Rd, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato

Restrictions: Adults Only

Listed by: amanda7em

Chemistry and chemicals are often regarded as antithetical to food and to be avoided in the diet at all costs. From a research career in carbohydrate (sugar) chemistry, Merilyn will offer examples of how in fact the chemicals that comprise food can be both beneficial to human health and a selling point for the food industry. A lifetime of teaching in five countries and four continents and all ages from seven to seventy enables Merilyn to unpack a conceptually difficult subject and make it accessible and fun for non-scientists.

Merilyn’s career in teaching commenced in England and then moved to Malta GC, where she taught biology to the children of service personnel and SCUBA diving to Royal Marines. After relocating to Australia, Merilyn completed a BSc Hons in chemistry at James Cook University specializing in carbohydrate chemistry and then taught senior chemistry at the Townsville Grammar School. At the age of forty-five she completed her doctorate at the University of Montana (USA) specializing in carbohydrate chemistry while also working as an Assistant Professor (Research and Teaching).

On relocating to New Zealand, Merilyn took up a joint appointment at the University of Waikato and Forest Research (now SCION) in Rotorua, before becoming full time at this university. Merilyn’s research interests are not restricted to carbohydrate chemistry. Her extensive research collaborations within the university and with New Zealand and international CRIs and businesses have resulted in research papers on subjects as diverse as determining the geographical origin of possums from their dental enamel, the toxic components of karaka berries, the fundamental structure of biochar, production of biodegradable polymers, seagrass restoration and retention of antibiotics in soils.

The Hamilton Public Lecture Series introduces our newest professors to the community and gives them a chance to demonstrate how their work is having a real impact on the world around us.

This 35 minute public lecture is free and open to the public. Complimentary drinks and nibbles are provided from 5:15pm, prior to the lecture beginning at 5:45pm. Free parking is available on campus via Gate 2B, Knighton Road, Hamilton.

Please register to attend at Eventbrite and bring your ticket with you on the night.

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