We’re hosting our fun, nerdy nights on the first Wednesday of EVERY MONTH
next event is 2 August at Cascade Bar.

2 August Speakers

“Microbes are everywhere – The modern woman’s guide to dying of dysentery”
by Tori Head

Being a 21st century woman is hard – especially without the adrenaline rush that comes with the constant fear of tuberculosis, polillo and black plague. Fortunately, even in 2023, a painful microbe induced demise could still be yours. Supermarkets, local swimming spots and even your own house can be a petri dish for food and water borne illness, so bring along your raw chicken to find out where they come from and how NZ is working to reduce your risk of dying from dysentery. 

Tori Head works at the institute for environmental science and research in the Public Health lab. She has an honors degree in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Otago. Most importantly, her mothers cooking resulted in food poisoning multiple times as a child, giving her a deep distrust of potentially uncooked chicken (her main qualification for speaking on this topic). 


“How to ignore fitness industry bullshit, to focus on health, fitness and movement stuff that works”
by Dr Susie Stevens

We are fed so many lies when it comes to the fitness industry – most of them targeting vanity, consumerism and inexperience. This sweet yarn will help you ignore the distractions, but focus on the good stuff – a tiny lesson on critical consumerism when it comes to all things exercise.

Dr Stevens is a total nerd with all the bracketed credentials that run after my name to prove it. She’s been in the game for 20 years, so don’t let her child-like height fool you into thinking I’m 12. She likes Mr Mint-Choc from Rollickin and a decent Whiskey. In the daytime, she works at the University of Canterbury, but at night, she fights crime.


“Widows, somersaults, suicide and the smell of vomit: Katipō and redback spiders”
by Cor Vink

There are two species of widow spiders in New Zealand; the endemic katipō and the invasive Australian redback. Where they live and what they do may surprise, delight and/or horrify you.

Arachnologist Cor Vink is a Senior Lecturer in Entomology at Lincoln University. He has worked on spiders for nearly 30 years, which means he knows some stuff about them and he’s older than he’d like to admit. He is particularly interested in New Zealand spider taxonomy and systematics (describing new species and figuring out how they are related to each other) and their ecology. Cor doesn’t have any pet spiders because that would be weird.