News archive - 2012

Fit females make more daughters, mighty males get grandsons

Females influence the gender of their offspring so they inherit either their mother’s or grandfather’s qualities.

Timely ends: telomere length in early life predicts lifespan

New research by a team from the Universities of Glasgow and Exeter shows that a good indicator of how long individuals will live can be obtained from early in life using the length of specialised pieces of DNA called telomeres. 

Cefas and the University of Exeter sign strategic alliance

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter have sealed a strategic collaboration.

Predators hunt for a balanced diet

Predators select their prey in order to eat a nutritionally balanced diet and give themselves the best chance of producing healthy offspring.

£20 million centre will advance disease treatment

The University of Exeter has announced plans to develop a £20 million interdisciplinary research centre to understand how cells operate and how diseases are caused.

Turtles’ mating habits protect against effects of climate change

The mating habits of marine turtle may help to protect them against the effects of climate change, according to new research led by the University of Exeter.

South West researchers awarded £4.2m to improve our understanding of life on Earth

A new partnership, announced by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, aims to establish the South West of England as a centre for international excellence in training for bioscience and food security research.

Exeter scientists illustrate plant communication in landmark BBC series

The University of Exeter has contributed to a new BBC Two series, by conducting an experiment that visualises communication between plants.

Redder ladybirds more deadly, say scientists

A ladybird’s colour indicates how well-fed and how toxic it is, according to an international team of scientists.

First study to show that Bisphenol A exposure increases risk of future onset of heart disease

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a controversial chemical widely used in the plastics industry.

University team to lead project to safeguard Ascension Island's wildlife

A University of Exeter team will deliver an ambitious programme to protect the unique flora and fauna of Ascension Island.

Marine Protected Areas are keeping turtles safe

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are providing sea turtles with an ideal habitat for foraging and may be keeping them safe from the threats of fishing.

Success in Students' Guild Teaching Award nominations

Biosciences staff have received nominations in three categories for this year’s teaching awards.

University researcher reaches finals of prestigious global competition

Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, from Lima (Peru) has been named as a finalist in one of the world’s most prestigious wildlife conservation competitions - the Whitley Awards.

Green-glowing fish provides new insights into health impacts of pollution

Understanding the damage that pollution causes to both wildlife and human health is set to become much easier thanks to a new green-glowing zebrafish.

Exeter biologist rediscovers 'forgotten' 19th century illustrations

A unique collection of nineteenth century visual teaching aids belonging to the University of Exeter has been rediscovered after more than six decades.

International research team unravels origin of devastating kiwifruit disease

An international research team including an Exeter scientist has used the latest DNA sequencing technology to trace a devastating pathogen back to its likely origin of China.

First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants

Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter and the Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a mysterious ocean giant: the manta ray.

University scientist joins international team to sequence butterfly genome

A University of Exeter scientist has joined a landmark effort to sequence the genome of a South American butterfly.

£30,000 award to South West sea-life scientist

HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) has presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to University of Exeter research fellow Joanna Alfaro Shigueto for her work to build a better future for Pacific coast wildlife and fishing communities.

Light pollution transforming insect communities

Street lighting is transforming communities of insects and other invertebrates, according to research by the University of Exeter.

University of Exeter 5th in the UK for Biosciences

Biosciences at the University of Exeter has continued to enhance its global reputation by rising to 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2013 league table for the discipline.

Universities champion biodiversity in Cornwall

Students from the University of Exeter and Falmouth University have joined forces with the Tremough Campus Services Group (TCSG) to collaborate on the formation of a new Biodiversity Enhancement Plan for the Cornwall Campus.

Exeter scientist plunges school pupils into marine science

University of Exeter biologist Dr Ceri Lewis is supporting a national campaign to get marine science on the agenda of Britain’s schools.

Cornwall academic awarded prize for conservation contribution

Professor Brendan Godley from the Cornwall Campus has been awarded a prestigious prize from the Zoological Society of London for his outstanding contributions to conservation science.

University of Exeter boosts research in disease prevention and treatment

The University of Exeter is furthering our understanding of the causes and treatments of diseases.

Helping family is key for social birds

Social birds that forgo breeding to help to raise the offspring of other group members are far more likely care for their own close relatives than for more distant kin, a new study has found.

University scientists to reveal the secret life of sharks

University of Exeter scientists are part of a team investigating the movements of large sharks visiting Scottish waters.

Public sightings suggest increase in basking sharks in British waters

The number of basking sharks recorded in Britain’s seas could be increasing, decades after being protected from commercial hunting in the late 20th century.

Exeter team solves fungi cell mystery

A University of Exeter team of scientists has solved the puzzle of how fungi organise their nuclei, which contain their DNA.

Be a scientist for the day in Falmouth

University of Exeter scientists from the Cornwall Campus are inviting local people to join them and become scientists for the day in Falmouth on Friday 17 August.

Study proves that one extinction leads to another

When a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon follow, according to new research.

Research links Bisphenol-A to narrowing of the arteries

A research team from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, and University of Cambridge has for the first time established a link between high levels of urinary Bisphenol-A (BPA) and severe coronary artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries).

Menopause evolved to prevent competition between in-laws

The menopause evolved, in part, to prevent competition between a mother and her new daughter-in-law, according to research published in the journal Ecology Letters.

Pesticides not yet proven guilty of causing honeybee declines

The impact of crop pesticides on honeybee colonies is unlikely to cause colony collapse, according to a paper in the journal Science.

Exeter scientist discovers UK's rarest bat in East Devon

University of Exeter scientist Dr Fiona Mathews has discovered one of Britain’s rarest mammals living in East Devon.

Twitter principles of social networking increase family success in nesting birds

New research carried out by scientists at Universities  in Exeter, France and Switzerland reveals for the first time the importance of social networking in producing a successful family.

Exeter students take bronze at international biology competition

A multidisciplinary team of Exeter undergraduates captured bronze in the European round of the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition.

Grant award of €5 million will fund pioneering University research

Four of Europe’s most promising scientists from the University of Exeter have received a total of more than €5 million to advance cutting-edge research which will help develop a deeper understanding of the world.

Scientist joins royalty and celebrity as conservation trustee

A biologist is in prestigious company after he joined a princess and environmental broadcaster David Bellamy in supporting the world’s longest-established international conservation body.

Say hi to a magpie via new app

A new app which encourages people to say “good morning Mr Magpie” via their mobile phone will help scientists evaluate the benefits which birds bring to the quality of human life.

£2 million research boost for Exeter scientists is part of major international push to help the world’s poorest farmers

University of Exeter scientists have received a £2 million boost to their efforts to tackle crop diseases that affect farmers globally – from Sub Saharan Africa to South West England.

World-renowned scientist joins food research alliance

Professor Sarah Gurr joins the Food Security and Land Research Alliance between Exeter, Bristol and Rothamsted Research taking up a post based at the University of Exeter and Rothamsted’s North Wyke campus.

Ecologists shed new light on effects of light pollution on wildlife

Light pollution is often associated with negative effects on wildlife.

Taking refuge from climate warming: how can we help our wildlife?

Conservation policymakers and practitioners have met with researchers from the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) to discuss the conservation potential of ‘microclimatic refugia’.

Viruses cooperate or conquer to cause maximum destruction

Scientists have discovered new evidence about the evolution of viruses, in work that will change our understanding about the control of infectious diseases such as winter flu.

Kids go wild for Cornwall’s new science lab

Broadcaster and naturalist Nick Baker has opened a new state-of-the-art teaching laboratory in Cornwall, which will help encourage children to engage with science.

Birdsong bluster may dupe strange females, but it won’t fool partners

Male birds use their song to dupe females they have just met by pretending they are in excellent physical condition.

Badger sleeping habits could help target TB control

Sleeping away from the family home is linked to health risks for badgers, new research by the University of Exeter and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) has revealed.