Nicola Gaston

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Nicola Gaston
Residence Wellington, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealand
Alma mater University of Auckland, Massey University
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry, Physics
Institutions Victoria University of Wellington, MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology

Nicola Gaston is Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland[1] and Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, New Zealand.[2] She was previously a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington and has been a Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute since 2010.[3] Her research interests include understanding how and why the properties of clusters of atoms, such as their melting points, depend on size[3] and electronic structure.[4] For example, adding an extra atom of gallium to a cluster can change its melting point by 100 Kelvins.[5][6] She was awarded the CMMSE prize in 2016 for important contributions in the developments of Numerical Methods for Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Economics.[7]

She has been a strong advocate for women in science, arguing that science is sexist in national media[8][9] and exploring the role of women scientists in her blog, "Why Science is Sexist".[10] In 2015 she published a book of the same name with Bridget Williams Books.[11]

As President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists she publicly criticised the adoption of the National Science Challenges, due to the possible conflicting roles of the Prime Minister's Science Advisor and the marginalisation of Māori.[12]


  1. ^ "Associate Professor Nicola Gaston - The University of Auckland". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  2. ^ "Management and Governance - MacDiarmid Institute". MacDiarmid Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  3. ^ a b "The MacDiarmid Institute Management and Governance". 
  4. ^ "The science of stuff used to make things | Nine To Noon, 11:31 am on 10 August 2016 | RNZ". Radio New Zealand. 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  5. ^ "Nothing but 100 percent positive experiences from start to finish | New Zealand eScience Infrastructure". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Gallium nanoparticles and better chips | Science Interviews | Naked Scientists". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  7. ^ "Schedule & CMMSE Prize | CMMSE'17". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  8. ^ "On The Spot | Nights, 8:12 pm on 26 July 2013 | Radio New Zealand". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Women in science - National - NZ Herald News". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Why Science Is Sexist". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  11. ^ "Why Science Is Sexist | BWB Bridget Williams Books". Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  12. ^ Gaston, Nicola (2014). "New Zealand: Free up systems for funding and advice". Nature. 508 (7494): 44. PMID 24695303. doi:10.1038/508044b.