We have all been taught the theory of New Zealand's origins: it was attached to a super-continent known as Gondwanaland, then broke away millions of years ago and drifted into the Pacific with a cargo of Gondwanaland plants and animals. But is there another theory? Could the landmass of New Zealand have sunk only to rise out of the sea again? And if so, where did our native flora and fauna come from?
Dr Hamish Campbell is a Wellington-based research scientist employed by GNS Science in Avalon, Lower Hutt. He has been a professional geologist since 1978, and his main research interest is in older rocks and fossils of New Zealand. However, he is best known as 'the geologist at Te Papa'. Most recently, Hamish collaborated with Gerald Hutching to produce the book In Search of Ancient New Zealand – the culmination of many years of work in New Zealand and on the Chatham Islands searching for the answers to New Zealand’s unique physical and geological past.
Dr George Gibbs has published numerous scientific papers and is the author of several books on New Zealand insects. Most recently, he won the Montana Book Award in the Environment Category for his book Ghosts of Gondwana: The history of life in New Zealand. He is a Senior Research Associate at Victoria University. His research interests include New Zealand insect fauna and its biogeographic history, with special emphasis on primitive butterflies and weta.
Science Express@ Te Papa – In Search of Ancient New Zealand was recorded on 4 October 2007.
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