Earth and physical sciences

Our scientists work on a broad range of challenging questions, conducting field work throughout New Zealand and on every continent of the world.

Wellington is New Zealand’s science capital, and Victoria’s scientists—physicists, chemists, earth scientists and astronomers—collaborate with government science agencies and Crown Research Institutes on a range of research projects.

New Zealand is one of the most geologically active countries in the world with a landscape that is continually subjected to the combined effects of wind, rain, sea and volcanic and seismic activity. With expertise gained in this natural laboratory, our earth scientists work on a broad range of challenging questions, conducting field work throughout New Zealand and on every continent of the world.

Other researchers use the excellent laboratory and computing facilities at Victoria to look inside and manipulate materials, molecules and atoms and to study terrestrial and galactic magnetism and the geochemistry of supervolcanoes and meteorites.

Victoria’s many scientific research centres bring togther scientists from across the Faculty of Science to focus on fundamental issues in areas such as Antarctic science, nanotechnology and climate change and work on innovative new technologies in areas such as photovoltaics, nuclear magnetic resonance and radiation imaging. Our researchers play leading roles in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, New Zealand’s centre for research excellence in materials science and nanotechnology.