Te Ropu Awhina

MESA has strong ties with Te Ropu Awhina, an on-campus whanau supporting the development of excellent Maori and Pacific scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, architects and designers. Here we list and host some resources provided to us by members of the whanau that they have been kind enough to share with us!


Scientific Poster Design

Poster design and Presentation is a crucial skill for any up-and-coming scientist, yet few (if any) of us have ever really been told how to produce a great poster! Thankfully Awhina’s Miles Benton has compiled his experience with poster design into a tutorial to save you time and effort. This is a must see for any student or Post-Doc even if you’re a poster veteran!


Inkscape is a powerful, open source image editing software. It is ideal for generating top-quality posters and presentation slides and provides and excellent, free alternative to Microsoft Powerpoint. See here for download and installation instructions.

A nice addition to Inkscape is Jessyink, a javascript application that takes layers of an Inkscape SVG file and converts them into slides for a presentation. More than this however it allows you to put in custom slide transitions, animation and most importantly to convert/save your file into a number of different file types – eliminating those all-too-common formatting issues that plague presentation on out-of-date systems.


Endnote is Thompson Reuter’s answer to referencing and has become a staple for many scientists. There are alternatives out there, but Endnote does its job reasonably well. There is a multitude of Endnote resources available online (and courses from most university libraries) – and we will be publishing our very own “Endnote Tips and Tricks” soon. Here’s an introductory course from the University of Queensland that many people find useful. If you’re at Victoria University in Wellington Endnote courses are held weekly, the dates, times and rooms are here.


R is a one-of-a-kind statistical programming language. It was developed in New Zealand at the University of Auckland and has since been adopted by many academics and professionals around the world. It is well known for providing a free, open source alternative to SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) and in many ways is more flexible and powerful with many free modules available online to perform a wide variety of tasks. You can download the latest version for any operating system here.

R can appear a little daunting at first, but here’s a simple workspace that works on all major platforms: http://www.rstudio.org/

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