PGSA Research Roundtable

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PGSA Research Roundtable

Join us on Tuesday 20 March from 4-6pm at Student Union Building 217/218, Kelburn Campus for the PGSA Interactive Postgrad Forum.  Hear about exciting research at Victoria, enjoy complimentary food and great networking opportunities.  For more info:

“Kid’s Corner” – featuring activities, snacks, drinks and supervision for your kids, so you can come and engage in some great research while the kids are looked after! We especially encourage international families to come along, but all are welcome!’  No need to book just come along with your family.  

Presentation spaces are filling up please email if you would like to book your presentation for 2018.  Victoria Plus Programme: Students presenting at the forum may count this towards Vic Plus as a Skills Development workshop. Contact the Vic Plus team to discuss –



Charlotte Wells – Masters, Faculty of Education

Connections, Identity and Resilience Amongst Asian International Students at Victoria University

Across the world internationalisation of education is becoming an important contributor to globalisation. However, a dominant discourse suggests international students with poor language abilities, make limited social connections while overseas, resulting in negative experiences and academic under-achievement. Universities offer a range of support services aimed to improve outcomes for international students but these are only partially effective. However, an alternative view is emerging, which suggests international students are resilient and actively seek out challenging experiences overseas. International students are viewed as flexible, prepared to reshape their identity in order to make connections and succeed in overseas education. While there is emergent research, which supports this perspective, only a few studies have explored student flexible identity and connections within New Zealand.

This research seeks to understand how international students at Victoria University construct stories of resilience and explores the role that cultural identity plays in these stories. In particular, the research considers student views of connectedness and how this influences their identity development. Findings from this study have been developed as counter stories, which can offer other international students experiences that strengthen identity and resilience and offset negative discourses. These research findings can inform policymakers, help to enhance support service designs and inform international student recruitment strategies.

I will be explaining to the audience about the dominant negative discourse about international students in host countries, explaining my findings which demonstrate agency and resilience for these students and discussing how my research can be used to inform change for international students.


Huu Trung Truong – PhD, School of Engineering and Computer Science

Improve Internet Routing Performance with Software Defined Networking

The Internet has become an important part in our society. Billions of us rely on the Internet to work, entertain and communicate every day.

The Internet is the largest computer network ever built. On the surface, the Internet appears as simple as Google search box or Facebook’s home page.

However, the underlying network is very complex which is composed of hundreds to millions of devices.

This talk discusses present issues with the infrastructure of the Internet, and the demands for innovation. Then, it gives a brief introduction to Software Defined Networking (SDN), a radical networking paradigm. Aspects of my research which studies the application of SDN into addressing existing issues of the Internet will also be discussed.


Josh Brian – Masters, Marine Biology

Symbiont diversity and hybridisation on the highly biodiverse coral reefs of Timor-Leste.

Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems. Their survival is facilitated through ‘symbionts’ – these are single-celled algae, that live inside corals and provide food to them by photosynthesising. However, this association breaks down in hotter temperatures and more turbid (cloudy) water, which are both becoming more common due to climate change.

There are many different types of symbiont, and some are better adapted to more stressful conditions, which may help corals survive. In my thesis, I conduct the first study of symbiont diversity at Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. This region has extremely high coral diversity, and possibly the highest fish diversity in the world. However, thanks to the decades of social conflict, the symbiont communities have never been assessed.

I show that Atauro Island has very high symbiont diversity compared to other reefs around the world, which matches the coral diversity. However, there was a distinct difference between high- and low-quality sites, with a lower symbiont diversity at the hotter, more turbid sites. I also find evidence for symbiont hybridisation at high-quality sites only; my study is the first time this evolutionary mechanism has been corroborated by multiple genes in symbionts. Importantly, the corals themselves showed no differences, meaning there may be ongoing extinctions of symbiont communities in coral reefs world-wide without anybody realising. Long-term, these reductions in symbiont diversity will harm the ability of corals to adapt to severe environmental change.

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