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Summer of lab

4 May, 2022

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Shannon Macdonald casting a hydrogel while interning in Associate Professor Malmström’s lab

Discovery Scholarship recipient Shannon Macdonald spent the summer making gold nanoparticles and hydrogels (respectively) in the labs of Principal Investigators Professor Duncan McGillivray and Associate Professor Jenny Malmström. The University of Auckland (UoA) Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry student says she loved being part of research labs.

“I loved being part of the research teams – seeing how passionate they are about their research, understanding what it’s like to be in a lab and how important it is to refer back to the basics. I can definitely see myself being happy doing that in the future.”

She also met up with MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator based at AUT, Dr Taniela Lolohea (see Developing highly functional and tailorable surface coatings).

“Taniela had done his PhD in Duncan’s lab so he came over and we spent time together talking about being Pacific peoples in science. It was so cool to meet him. We’re going to work together on the Tuākana Tutor Programme, developing and expanding the academic support in science for Pacific peoples to cultural support and identity within science.”

Shannon’s next goal is to try an internship in industry.

“There are two paths for me as a biomedical engineer and chemist – research or industry. I know I love research. Now I need to see what industry is like.”

For now, though, Shannon is focusing on the year ahead. She was successful in being accepted into the Biomedical Engineering stream at UoA, and has been selected as a Resident Advisor at her hall – UniHall Towers.

“I just can’t wait for uni to start. I’m so pumped for it.”

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Right: 2021 Discovery Scholarship recipient Shannon Macdonald (far right) with her colleagues Dr Anaïs Chalard (left) and Harrison Porritt in the University of Auckland materials engineering lab of Principal Investigator Associate Professor Jenny Malmström (second from left)

Discovery Scholarship recipient Eady Manawaiti interned with our Stakeholder Partner Iwi Diane Bradshaw. His project was two-fold – firstly to research the origins of how the the maunga Karioi received its name (for more about Karioi see the article about Dr Oliver McLeod’s research). Secondly, Eady, who is from Ngāti Maniapoto but also has whakapapa to Ngāti Te Wehi at Aotea harbour, spent time at Aotea and on Karioi looking at the impacts of the forthcoming Harvesting of Pine Trees project and how any damage to taonga species and to whenua could be mitigated. He also spent time at the University of Waikato with Dr McLeod in the lab.

Eady enjoyed the internship so much he’s adding an Earth Science paper this year as part of the completion of his Environmental Management degree.

The internship helped me process a lot of things. This is it for me. It really brings together everything I value – my Māori whānau and whakapapa, and science.

Eady Manawaiti Discovery Scholarship recipient and summer intern
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