Fascination Science

A free lecture series

Reserve the last Tuesday of each month to hear from some of the leading minds in science today. Massey University Auckland scientists take you into the fascinating world of scientific discoveries.

Most lectures are held on the Massey Auckland campus in the Sir Neil Waters lecture theatre. See map on the right.

Lectures start at 7pm.

RSVP now!>

Upcoming events

Illustration of cold planet

How New Zealand is discovering cold planets

Tuesday 29 May, 2018
Associate Professor Ian Bond

Associate Professor Ian Bond More than 3000 planets orbiting other stars have been found. Most of these are warm/hot planets that orbit close to their host stars. Here in New Zealand the technique of gravitational microlensing is used to discover colder planets in more distant orbits. This is the last unexplored realm of exoplanet space but very important in understanding planet formation and even addressing habitability. This lecture will cover how we use microlensing in NZ starting from the first planet discovered by this technique through to the latest results. We will also look at future plans to work with NASA to use microlensing to find planets from space.

Student using oculus rift

Virtual reality: how does it work and what does it mean?

Tuesday 26 June, 2018
Dr Daniel Playne

Dr Daniel Playne The main ideas behind Virtual Reality and the modern advancements in technology will be discussed, along with the major challenges still facing developers.

Warning: may include interactive demos!

Can you trust what you see?  The magic of visual perception

Tuesday 17 July, 2018
Prof Oge Marques, Florida Atlantic University

Prof Oge Marques This lecture presents and explains a diverse collection of visual perception phenomena. This will challenge your common knowledge of how well we detect, recognize, compare, measure, interpret, and make decisions upon the information that arrives at our brain through our eyes.

It also explains the relationships between the latest developments in human vision research and emerging technologies, such as: self-driving cars, face recognition and other forms of biometrics, and virtual reality.

Galapagos snake

Snake conservation in the Galapagos Islands

Tuesday 31 July, 2018
dr luis ortiz-catedral

The Galapagos Islands hold a special place in the history of science thanks to their role in helping Charles Darwin formulate his ideas about evolution. More recently, these remote islands have taken centre stage in ecological research and conservation. In this lecture, Luis will talk about his research on Galapagos snakes, how a single 182-year old museum specimen holds the key to guide the largest ecological restoration project on these islands, and his mentorship programme to stimulate young Ecuadorians to pursue a career in conservation science.

Six brightly coloured birds

Fifty shades of display: solving the bird colour problem

Tuesday 28 August, 2018
Professor james dale

Professor James Dale Birds display an astonishing diversity of plumage colours.  The brilliant and striking coloration of their feathers have inspired and fascinated us, and to this day continue to puzzle us. Indeed, even measuring how colourful birds are is challenging because colour is a complex, multi-dimensional trait that is seen differently by the birds compared to us. In this talk Jim will describe the problem of colourfulness in birds - how to measure it and why both males and females have it in so many different species.

Previous Fascination Science lectures

Find out more about previous speakers and their topics.

Previous lectures

Study sciences at Massey

Massey University offers study programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Sciences research at Massey

Massey University demands excellence in our research.We bring together world-leading experts from several disciplines to further knowledge and make a difference in New Zealand and the world.


We are keen to hear your thoughts about this series and ideas about topics you are interested in.

Give us your feedback

Find out more about


All lectures take place from 7–8.30pm unless noted otherwise.


Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre
Massey University Auckland, Albany

Maps of campus

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey