Research Grants Report.
Dr R. S. Allan in 1930 was granted £30 for research on tertiary brachiopoda. On the 5th May he reported that he had carried out field work, and obtained collections of brachiopoda from several localities. The collections have been studied in part, and the results published in Volumes 62 and 63 of the Transactions, and the fossils now available will provide the raw material for further contributions to the knowledge of our tertiary palæontology and stratigraphy. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Mr G. Archey in 1926 was granted £40 for research on New Zealand Chilopoda. On the 29th April he reported that he had been unable yet to finalise his report. Further collecting in the King Country, Coromandel, Clevedon, the Waitakeries, and the Waikato district has been done and has added new forms, and the examination of type specimens from the United States has caused a very worth while delay. Expenses during the year amounted to 21s, exhausting the grant.
Mr B. C. Aston in 1928 took over from Dr Malcolm £9 16s 7d for research on pukateine. On the 7th April he reported that during the year further supplies of bark had been forwarded to Professor Barger, who has written from Edinburgh University that Dr Schlittler was just attacking the problem of the constitution of lauropukine, the third alkaloid of pukatea bark, of which he had been able to isolate some 15 grams. On the physiological side of the investigation, Dr Fogg, of the Otago Medical School, intends to resume this work. As Professor Barger has refunded the expenses incurred in forwarding material to him, the balance of the grant stands at £7 12s 11d.
Mr G. Brittin in 1919 was granted £20 for a research in fruit tree diseases. On the 18th April he reported that he had continued to obtain results from his experiments, and he forwarded a full report of the work accomplished up to that date with the conclusions arrived at, which may be summarised as follows:
(1) That bud-dropping and die-back of peach trees is apparently due to late growth in the autumn, consequently the wood is not mature when the first frosts make their appearance.
(2) That great care must be exercised when using artificial manure, the forcing effects of which are generally to promote too late a growth in the autumn, besides causing a later maturing of the crop.
(3) That a cover crop every three years has proved the most satisfactory way of keeping the trees healthy and strong and fit to bear regular crops of fruit.
(4) That a late spraying in the autumn of lime-sulphur 1–100 before the leaves fall, with regular sprayings of atomic sulphur or lime-sulphur 1–150, will keep under control both the brown-rot and shot-hole fungus in any ordinary season.
(5) That careful pruning combined with judicious heading back will cause the trees to give regular crops of fruit, besides preventing much infection of the trees by silver blight.
There is an unexpended balance of £2 11s 9d.
Mr A. E. Brookes in 1928 was granted £40 for study of the coleoptera of the islands off the Auckland coast. On the 29th March he reported that during the past year practically all his spare time had been devoted to mounting and classifying the specimens obtained. Altogether over 1000 specimens had been dealt with. Six hundred were taken on the Little Barrier Island representing 152 species, and 400 specimens from the Hen and Chicken Island representing 85 species, and it is probable that there will be several new species to record. There is an unexpended balance of £1 16s.
Mr J. W. Calder in 1930 was granted £30 for research in the vegetation of Arthur Pass. On the 18th April he reported that the work had progressed satisfactorily, two visits being made to the area at Arthur Pass. Most of the time was spent in locating from old prints and photographs areas photographed 35 years ago. Work is being continued as opportunity offers, and a paper dealing with the salient features of the vegetation changes has been published in the Journal of Ecology. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Miss L. Cranwell in 1930 was granted £20 for study of the ecology of marine algae. On the 19th April she reported that intensive work on selected bays at Anawhata was continued, and a considerable amount of field work was done over a larger area than last year. Special attention was paid to localities where fresh-water streams or seepage entered, and where moving sand was an important factor. During the last year a big collection of bottled and pressed material has been made. The mounted specimens are being arranged in two series—(a) systematic and (b) according to their ecological grouping in herbarium boxes purchased for the purpose. There is an unexpended balance of £9 1s 5d.
Dr G. H. Cunningham in 1929 was granted £25 for a mycological survey of Tongariro National Park. On the 24th April he reported that during last season he was unable to visit the Park, and consequently no fungi were collected. No expenses were incurred, and there is a balance of £18 1s.
Dr O. H. Frankel in 1929 and 1930 was granted £42 12s for cytological research. On the 26th April he reported that the study of the cytology of genus Hebe has progressed considerably. At present the chromosome numbers of nearly 50 species are known. Different chromosome numbers have been found for forms belonging to the same species, e.g., for varieties of Hebe salicifolia. A case of species formation by chromosome restitution has been found in a hybrid swamp, H. buxifolia x Traversii, the new form possessing the added parental numbers. A similar mechanism apparently is responsible for several other species formations which, on morphological grounds, had been attributed to hybridization by Drs Cockayne and Allan (H. laevis and H. evenosa). Grantee has a balance in hand of £8 0s 2d.
Miss E. M. Heine in 1930 was granted £15 for research on pollination of New Zealand plants. She reported on the 7th April that since her last report she has been accumulating more data, and she is now only waiting for a further identification of insects by the Museum Entomologist before she can publish a full account of the results.
Dr J. K. H. Inglis, who between 1923 and 1930 was granted £125 for research on essential oils of native plants, reported on the 18th April that work on the essential oil of Dacrydium Biforme was continued by Mr J. W. Shields. Special attention was directed to the solid Diterpene which is common to this oil, to that from Dacrydium Colensoi, and to that from Phyllocladus Alpinus. Work has also been started on the constitution of Karaka nuts. The expenditure during the year was only 17s 5d, leaving a balance in hand of £4 10s 5d.
Mr A. W. B. Powell in 1925 was granted £50 for a survey of the Molluscan Fauna of Manukau Harbour. He reported on 12th April that a further series of dredgings was made, and in conjunction with others taken previously will suffice to supply the information required concerning the bottom conditions of the area. The shore work is still progressing as opportunity offers, but there still remain considerable areas yet to be investigated. Three papers prepared during the year have been sent in for publication in the Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London. There is an unexpended balance of 15s 11d.
Mr H. F. Skey in 1927 was granted £175 in addition to the balance left by Captain Isitt for upper air research. He reported on the 19th April that with the aid of the second aerological theodolite the observational work is being continued almost daily free of expenditure from the grant. The first theodolite purchased is being used in Auckland for observational work. With the improvements in reliability of air-plane travel the air services will probably soon be extended, and with this in view it seems advisable to continue the observations of upper air currents. There is an unexpended balance of £48 1s 4d.
Waitemata Harbour Survey Committee was in 1925 granted £65 for an ecological survey of the Waitemata Harbour. Mr Powell, who is secretary of the committee, reported on the 12th April that further series of d [ unclear: ] edge stations have been established, and much of the material obtained has been worked over and distributed to those engaged upon the various groups. The polychaete material has been named by Professor Benham, who intends writing a report on the whole of the polychaete material collected during the course of the investigations. The hydrographical and meteorological report is being prepared by Mr W. K. Hounsell, who already has made numerous salinity and hydrogen-ion concentration tests for the various parts of the area. Miss Cranwell has made further investigations with the seaweeds, and Mr Falla has collected a large amount of data concerning the feeding habits of the sea-birds of the area, and is making an investigation into the plankton content of the sea-water. Dr Uttley has the bryozoan material to report upon, and Mr W. F. Bennett, of Perth, has supplied identifications of crabs, and intends publishing a note on a species new to New Zealand that was dredged by the committee. He himself has prepared extensive lists of the mollusca of the area. Three papers based on the findings of the committee have been published. This research is also assisted by a Hutton grant of £25, £10 of which was paid during the year, leaving a total unexpended balance of £21 15s 7d.
Dr G. H. Uttley in 1928 was granted £35 for research on bryozoa. He reported on the 24th April that the receipt of recent literature and collections of additional recent specimens have necessitated a considerable amount of revision of the papers already prepared.