News archive 2015
The distinguished mycologist and former Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Exeter, Professor John Webster, died on 27 December 2014 at the age of 89.
Exeter has received a £2 million gift from The Wolfson Foundation to support the establishment of a new Living Systems Institute, which will pioneer a new approach to treating the world’s most serious diseases.
Microscopic plastic pollution, which is present throughout the world’s seas, could affect the feeding habits of one of the ocean’s key inhabitants.
A new study from the University of Exeter has found that viruses carried by commercial bees can jump to wild pollinator populations with potentially devastating effects.
A new study has discovered that the world’s highest flying bird, the bar-headed goose, employs an unusual flight strategy when migrating at extreme altitudes across the Himalayas in order to cope in the relatively low-density mountain atmosphere.
Research carried out at the University of Exeter has discovered a behavioural change in laboratory reared pond snails following a period of isolation relative to wild snails.
When the chips are down, having a strong personality may be the difference between thriving and failing.
A new study led by the University of Exeter has identified two major foraging grounds of the Mediterranean green turtle
Artificial sky glow around the world has been quantified for the first time by researchers using a global network of sky quality monitors.
Corals may be better equipped to tolerate climate change than previously believed, according to research led by the University of Exeter.
Scientists have found how simple bacteria can restart their ‘outboard motor’ by hotwiring their own genes.
Hormone disrupting chemicals and climate change increase the risk of population-level impacts in wildlife populations
The impact of pollution on wildlife could be made dramatically worse by climate change according to a new study published today in the journal PNAS.
Marine conservationists are increasingly pinning their hopes on marine protected areas (MPAs) to save threatened species and reduce over-fishing.
Successful environmental conservation needs to focus on the negotiation process, not just the end target.
Males that mate more often are more insecure about their social status than those mating less, according to new research on the behaviour of burying beetles.
Findings from a new study that set out to investigate the evolution of immune defences could boost the development of industrial bacteria that are immune to specific viral infections.
New research has discredited the popular belief that street lighting is attractive to common bats.
Artificial night time light from sources such as street lamps affects the growth and flowering of plants and even the number of insects that depend on those plants for food.
Part-night lighting, a proposed mitigation option to reduce the negative impacts of light pollution, is unlikely to benefit bats, a study published this week confirms.
A study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, has for the first time analysed how Twitter, TV and newspapers reported the IPCC’s climate evidence.
As part of National Science and Engineering week, GCSE level students from all over the south west were invited to come and discover the cutting-edge research being carried out at the University of Exeter.
Humanity’s use of land for agricultural production has come at a cost to local ecosystems worldwide, but some of the damage can be reversed.
On 4th March 2015, Sarah Duxbury, a second year PhD student in Biosciences, attended 'Voice of the Future 2015', a prestigious event organised by the Society of Biology where young scientists were selected to question MPs and science ministers on science policy issues in the Houses of Parliament in London, ahead of the General Election.
Changes in ocean chemistry associated with climate change are exacerbating the global decline of coral reefs.
The University of Exeter and the Marine Conservation Society are joining forces in an exciting new satellite tracking project to tag and follow basking sharks in Cornish waters.
Popular North Sea fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole could become less common on our menus because they will be constrained to preferred habitat as seas warm.
Biosciences newly reformed Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN) kicked off the spring with the opportunity to ask all your pressing questions about how to write and target a successful grant application during a workshop on the 15th April.
The British Ecological Society brings together experts from around the world this July to discuss the challenges plant pests and pathogens pose to global food security and ecosystem resilience.
The people of Devon are being urged to get involved in the second phase of a project which is trying to map the movements of cuckoos.
The University added an additional award to its Athena SWAN tally this year with a Bronze for the Biosciences department at Exeter.
Extinct British genes have been preserved in the stoat population of New Zealand, a new study has found.
Male flour beetles increase their courtship effort and their sperm count if a female smells of other males according to a study published in the journal Behavioural Ecology.
As insects grow old their behaviour becomes increasingly predictable according to new research.
Marine ecosystems can be changed by night-time artificial lighting according to new research.
University of Exeter researchers are part of the biodiversity research team of a new EUR 17 million EU Horizon 2020 funded project
New study in PNAS shows membrane remodelling protein Peroxin 11 (Pex11p) plays a role in peroxisomal fission. Organelle fission is crucial for human health and development as it regulates the number of peroxisomes inside the cells.
University of Exeter researcher, Professor Tamara Galloway, has contributed to one of the most expansive summaries of our knowledge of man-made litter in the world’s oceans to date.
Pollution from historic mining activities in south west England has led to a reduction in genetic diversity of brown trout.
Dr Ivana Gudelj from Biosciences has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant worth €2 million over the next 5 years.
Animals, like humans, excel at some tasks but not others according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Students, academics and staff from the University of Exeter and the Students' Guild gathered on 30 April to celebrate the 2015 Teaching Awards with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences winning 3 awards and placing as runner up in 3 categories.
The Central African country of Gabon is providing an invaluable nesting ground for a vulnerable species of sea turtle
Pond owners are being urged not to use garden chemicals, or to release goldfish into ponds.
For one of Britain’s best-loved and colourful group of insects, ladybirds, their colour reveals the extent of their toxicity.
Mongooses can discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding
Exeter researchers lead international initiative to face devastating crop disease
University of Exeter scientist elected President of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB)
Professor Nina Wedell has been elected President of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) by its membership, and will serve as President Elect 2015-2017, President 2017-2019, and Past President 2019-2020.
Researchers from Biosciences will be working closely with school pupils from Newton Abbot College to discover new antibiotics from soil bacteria.
University of Exeter researchers are set to work with local school pupils on a new study to explore the distribution of Lyme disease in the region.
A new study from the University of Exeter has found that racehorses are getting quicker
Professor James Wakefield's lab, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Rome, have found that the Misato protein has a central role in ensuring animal cells have enough of the building blocks required for cell division.
They are among the most iconic and easily-recognisable animals anywhere in the world, and play a striking role in both art and popular culture throughout the ages. Now, the elegant and captivating flamingo is the subject of a fascinating new book, authored by a leading expert from the University of Exeter.
Study finds pet owners reluctant to face up to their cats’ kill count
ESI Director part of influential international group considering Antarctica's future and biodiversity.
New study deciphers bird sounds to reveal language precursors in babbler birds
New research from the University of Exeter has shown that the sexually antagonistic gene for resistance to the pesticide DDT helps to maintain genetic variation.
Study reveals a common beat in global music
Young people will take part in a unique outreach project in which they will lead and participate in a scientific research project on chemicals in plastic food packaging.
Cleaning-up post-war explosive chemicals could get cheaper and easier, using a new genetic ‘switch’ device.
Study found 35% fewer bird species in agricultural habitats.
Mongooses take life-threatening risks to mate with partners from rival groups.
Proposed, planned and executed by postgraduates, the success of ExeBioCon 2015 puts it on a sure footing for an annual appearance.
The resilience of natural systems to disturbances might be crucial to their persistence, but what does resilience actually mean? Does it mean resistance or recovery? And why is it so important?
Researchers studying wild banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that these small mammals have either cooperative or selfish personalities which last for their entire lifetime.
The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.
Two world-leading scientists from the University of Exeter have been honoured with a prestigious national science award.
Researchers highlight the dangers of relying on climate-based projections of future crop pest distributions.
New camera technology that reveals the world through the eyes of animals has been developed by University of Exeter researchers.
Widespread drought-sensitive butterfly population extinctions could occur in the UK as early as 2050 according to a new study.
Scientists have found that a newly identified and highly infectious tadpole disease is found in a diverse range of frog populations across the world.
Researchers from the University of Exeter highlight the risk that engineered nanoparticles released from masonry paint on exterior facades, and consumer products such as zinc oxide cream, could have on aquatic creatures.
Wild jackdaws recognise individual human faces and may be able to tell whether or not predators are looking directly at them.
Sand fleas have a remarkable ability to change colour in order to match dramatically different backgrounds.
Masters student marked as one of the best internationally attends prestigious event on food security
University of Exeter Masters student Ángela Delgado Castillo attended this year’s prestigious IBM student recognition event as one of 80 hand-picked students from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Early humans were the dominant cause of the extinction of a variety of species of giant beasts, new research has revealed.
Visitors to the University of Exeter’s annual Science in the Square event found out that while nature might sometimes seem scary, science can help make sense of terrifying phenomena as diverse as erupting volcanoes and intestinal parasites.
Post-doctoral researchers, Dr Andrew Watts and Dr Sulayman Mourabit, have been selected as category winners for their respective photographs “Plastic Waste” and “Fish Selfie” in the Image of Research 2015 competition, run by Researchers Development at University of Exeter.
Persist and shout: Male bluebirds alter their songs to be heard over increased acoustic noise levels
Birds ‘shout’ to be heard over the noise produced by man-made activity, new research has shown.
Fishermen in the Turks and Caicos Islands could be increasing the local prevalence of a disease that is affecting turtle populations worldwide, by selectively harvesting healthy creatures and throwing back infected animals.
Cities should feature compact development alongside large, contiguous green spaces to maximise benefits of urban ecosystems to humans, research led by the University of Exeter has concluded.
UK fisheries survey logbooks from the 1930s to 1950s have been digitised for the first time, revealing how cod responded to changing temperatures in the last century.
New research sheds light on how fish cope with changes in salinity and the potential advantages that estuaries offer when moving from oceans to freshwater and vice-versa.
Researchers in Biosciences have been working closely with collaborators to produce a set of exciting free educational resources which aim to bring marine research to life in schools nationwide.
The Exeter Biosciences department is pleased to welcome four new academics.
A series of remarkable new camera trap videos has revealed some of the first ever footage of rare Peruvian animals.
Underwater noise in the marine environment is the focus of a new UK-wide research partnership.
Offshore wind farms which are to be built in waters around the UK could pose a greater threat to protected populations of gannets than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the universities of Leeds, Exeter and Glasgow.
Exeter researchers utilise the latest in next-generation sequencing techniques to unravel the genes that are expressed in the European shore crab, Carcinus maenas.
An academic from Biosciences has appeared on the BBCs One Show in a feature about the migration routes of bats.
As England prepares to introduce a charge for plastic bags, BBC science editor David Shukman speaks to Professor Tamara Galloway about the possible threat to the food chain, by the plastics broken down into tiny fragments in our oceans.
Thirty-one percent of cactus species are threatened with extinction.
Edible gifts given by male crickets to their female partners during mating contain unique proteins which could affect the females’ behaviour.
The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project has received a grant via the Heritage Lottery Fund.
All seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans.
If necessity is the mother invention, who is the mother of necessity?
Researchers from the Departments of Biosciences and English at the University of Exeter, supported by the Royal Society of Biology, are organising ‘Micrographia Day’: a celebration of the 350th anniversary since publication of the first fully illustrated book of microscopy by Robert Hooke.
Females have more sexual partners when they live in colder climates and are happier being monogamous when it is hotter, a study into the behaviour of insects has found.
A new study has demonstrated that lizards do not cope well with the climate predicted for the year 2100.
New research shows that certain species of moths and butterflies differ in how they respond to climate change.
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) has awarded Professor Charles R. Tyler this year’s Founders Award.
Elevated stress hormones during the later stages of pregnancy can affect pup survival rate.
One of the world’s most pioneering and influential developmental geneticists has been appointed as the inaugural Director of the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute.
Intensive farming practices have been linked to higher risk of bovine TB, new research has concluded.
A team of undergraduate students has won gold at the 2015 iGEM (the international genetically engineered machine foundation) awards held in Boston.
The extinction of one carnivore species can trigger the demise of fellow predators, conservation biologists at the University of Exeter have confirmed.
Researchers from the University of Exeter have discovered several new species of marine fungi inhabiting previously undescribed branches of the tree of life.
Getting help with baby care could keep families healthier and extend their lives, according to a new study into bird behaviour.
Scientists from the University of Exeter are warning of the risks that seismic surveys may pose to sea turtles.
A new study from the University of Exeter has found that teaching is not essential for people to learn to make effective tools.
A new study found that phytoplankton - microscopic water-borne plants - can rapidly evolve tolerance to elevated water temperatures.
Tough new policies to combat fish fraud across Europe appear to be working, according to a new study.
Professor Tamara Galloway from the University of Exeter swapped her lab coat for legislation last week when she visited Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw at the House of Commons for a week in Westminster.
A new study published in The American Naturalist by Dr Rick Bruintjes and colleagues finds that conflict with outsiders promotes affiliation between group members in the ‘princess of Burundi’, an East-African fish. Surprisingly, territorial intrusions by neighbours elicited a stronger reaction than those by strangers.
The ability of baby fish to find a home, or other safe haven, to grow into adulthood will be severely impacted under predicted ocean acidification, academics have found.
Warmer temperatures increase biodiversity and photosynthesis in phytoplankton, researchers at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have found.
Research carried out at the University of Exeter has advanced understanding of how some damaging bacteria behave and may pave the way for new and more targeted antibiotics.
A “window on the tree of life” created by a team which includes a University of Exeter researcher is helping to explain the worldwide variation in plant life-histories.
Scientists have been given an extraordinary glimpse into how wild New Caledonian crows make and use ‘hooked stick tools’ to hunt for insect prey.