Important Dates for your Diary:

14-21 July 2013 IBO in Switzerland
9 August 2013 Registration closes for national entrance exam
21 Aug 2013 National entrance examination 
1 Oct 2013 Tutorial programme begins
26 Feb 2014 Selection Exam for Practical Training Camp
Apr 2014 Practical Training Camp
July 2014 IBO in Indonesia



We hope you will find this site informative, up to date, relevant, and that it will answer all your questions regarding the NZIBO and its activities. If you have any questions please contact the appropriate committee member, as listed on the NZIBO Committee Page.

The function of this front page is to highlight up coming initiatives, bring to your attention things of which we are proud and to generally provide a snapshot of activities that have or are about to take place. It is our intention to update this front page regularly.

Registration for the NZIBO 2014

Registration to participate in the NZIBO 2014 is now closed.

IBO Video Competition

For the fifth year in a row the IBO organisers are holding a video competition to promote the IBO. This year the Indonesian organizers of IBO 2014 have chosen 'Biodiversity and me' as the topic of the video. You can find the announcement and the rules of the competition on the Indonesian IBO website and on the official information IBO website. Students selected to attend the training camp and those representing New Zealand at the IBO are invited to participate in the competition. Please share your ideas on our facebook page.

Dannevirke prodigy reaps what he sows

StuartCurranStuart Curran is one of the world's brightest biology students, but is proud to call Dannevirke home. Stuart, 18, head boy at Lindisfarne College in Hastings, has just returned from the International Biology Olympiad in Switzerland with a bronze medal - won in tough competition against 240 competitors from more than 60 countries. Winning his bronze medal, Stuart was the first-placed New Zealander and was just one place away from taking out a silver medal. Read the full story here...

Swiss Success

2013winnersAt the 24th International Biology Olympiad, in Bern Switzerland, the New Zealand International Biology Olympiad  team of David Chou (Macleans College), Stuart Curran (Lindisfarne College), Gillian McNaughton (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu), and Evelyn Qian (Diocesan School for Girls) each won a Bronze medal. With 241 students from 62 countries competing, team leaders Dr Heather Meikle and Mr Richard Hendra commended the team on their Swiss Success in such an academically challenging event. Extremely innovative and well organised, this was the first International Biology Olympiad where students entered their answers on tablets and not on paper. The team has thoroughly enjoyed meeting jurors and students from around the world, visiting Bern, learning to carve wooden cows and to play the Alpenhorn.
left to right - David Chou (Macleans College), Evelyn Qian (Diocesan School for Girls), Stuart Curran (Lindisfarne College) and Gillian McNaughton (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu

Video of the entire amazing week - our IBO 2013
Facebook page for the IBO 2013
Final rankings for the IBO 2013
Link to scores for each participant in the IBO 2013

NZIBO Alumni

Each fortnight we'll upload a story highlighting the fantastic achievements our alumni have reached after participating in the NZIBO.

BenKornfield...... while for many of those who do the NZIBO, biology will form an integral part of future studies, for many of us it will not. Yet the other skills, such as academic confidence, drive to be the best and passion for learning and competition persist for all of us - and that is certainly what I got out of my experience as part of the NZIBO......Read Ben Kornfeld's full story.

Read more stories from alumni in our Alumni Archive.


Stuart Curran to face tough test at Bio Olympiad

StuartCurranThe head boy of Lindisfarne College is one of four students from around the country to join the New Zealand biology team travelling to Switzerland for the International Biology Olympiad. Stuart Curran, 17, last year sat an entrance exam comprising about 70 people, all attempting to make it to the 24th hosting of the event between July 14 and 21 in Bern.

"I had to complete online assignments on a weekly basis over the summer holidays and once a month submit a big overall topic assignment," he said.He was selected in the top 22 in the exam which resulted in him travelling to Waikato and Massey (Albany) Universities to complete a 10-day training camp. Read more from the Hawkes Bay Today newspaper article....

2013 Team to Compete in Switzerland Announced

NZIBO has just completed a very successful training and selection camp. 22 students from around the country attended this camp and enjoyed 9 days packed full of learning and fun. The camp was hosted by Waikato University, Auckland Zoo and Massey University’s Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences with additional lecturers from Auckland University.

After sitting three gruelling exams; two practical and one theoretical, the final team was selected to represent New Zealand at the 24th International Biology Olympiad in Switzerland this July. The team is David Chou (Macleans College), Stuart Curran (Lindisfarne College), Gillian McNaughton (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu), and Evelyn Qian (Diocesan School for Girls). They will be accompanied to Switzerland by team leaders; Dr Heather Meikle (Palmerston North Girls’ High School) and Mr Richard Hendra (Tauranga Girls’ College).

I am sure you will join with me in wishing our NZ team all the best at this competition and in thanking all of NZIBO’s sponsors, without whom we could not offer this programme to our best young biologists.

Dr Angela Sharples
Chairperson, NZIBO

Camp 2013 - A report by Gillian McNaughton

Saturday morning- Start of the holidays- Kings' College Auckland Biology Department;
22 Students gathered from all over New Zealand, selected as the top secondary school biology students with a series of exams and tutorials which started last September and continued over the summer...

The first few moments of awkwardness were soon forgotten as we realised how much we all had in common- first and foremost our passion and love for biology. This was the just the start of some amazing and lasting friendships that we made throughout the week.

We started the 10-day residential course with a fantastic lecture on Embryo Development with Prof. Fabiana Kubke from the University of Auckland. The next day, we had a challenging biostatistics lecture from Prof. Brian McArdle (also UofA) and then an amazing tour around Maungatautari, an ecological island doing lots of conservation work, despite the fact that it was pouring down with rain. This set the scene for the rest of camp; we all approached everything with enthusiasm, energy and heaps of questions! This was just the beginning of an exhilarating and inspiring week of practicals, lectures, seminars and last but not least a snorkelling trip.

For the first half of the week, the camp was based at the University of Waikato, who very generously made their biology labs and equipment available for us to use, and set up an amazing plant, fruit and seed exhibition; I really appreciated the chance to touch and dissect real specimens rather than just studying from the diagrams.

On Thursday we travelled back up to Auckland after our first practical exam, to spend a wonderful afternoon at Auckland Zoo, where among other things, we learnt about diabetic monkeys, and analysed the behaviour of the Hamadryas baboons. This was another fantastic opportunity to experience a different field of biology, and to let us see a small part of the huge body of zoo research.

The rest of the week was spent at Massey University, Albany campus, where we did further practical laboratories including a stream diversity project, and an inspiring seminar where four researchers presented a short snapshot of their work. This was eye-opening; I never knew that proteins could be so interesting or that so much research was being done into the intricacies of how they fold!

The last event of the week was a visit to the Leigh Marine Laboratories and Reserve, where we spent an afternoon collecting fish data, compiling it and then presenting our 'research' to the group. This was a great opportunity to see some current research and of course ask lots of questions. Finally, we went snorkelling, and getting close to some of the fish we had identified earlier in the day. We even saw a stingray! The evening was wrapped up with a visit to the Waiwera hot pools.

We were very fortunate to meet a representative from Pearson during the week; Pearson very generously gave each member of the camp a brand-new copy of the latest edition of Campbell Biology - our biology bible! This was very much appreciated by everyone at camp, especially those of us studying from older editions.

I came home sad to leave all my new friends, but buzzing about all the biology, both practical and theoretical, and inspired to study biology in some form or another next year at university.

I would definitely encourage anyone studying Biology in year 12 or 13 to sit the entrance exam for next years Olympiad in Term 3, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain.
This experience has been unforgettable and very enjoyable; my final thanks go to Dr Sharples, Dr Meikle, and the other staff without whom the camp wouldn't be possible.

NZIBO 2014

Now's the time to start thinking about the team to represent New Zealand at the 2013 International Biology Olympiad in Switzerland 14 to 21 July 2013. Important dates for the diary are:

2013 IBO in Switzerland 14 to 21 July 2013
Registrations close for the national entrance exam 9 August 2013
National entrance examination  21 August 2013
Tutorial programme begins 1 October 2013
Camp Selection Exam 26 February 2014
Practical Training Camp April 2014
2014 IBO in Indonesia July 2014

We encourage you to register for the national entrance exam. See here.

International Biology Olympiad

More on the IBO can be found here.

Archived material from previous years

Can be found here.