Litter problem at England’s protected coasts

Beaches in or near England’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have the same levels of litter as those in unprotected areas, new research shows.

Exeter researchers discover a novel chemistry to protect our crops from fungal disease

Pathogenic fungi pose a huge and growing threat to global food security.

Global study shows how marine species respond as oceans warm

A global analysis of over 300 marine species spanning more than 100 years, shows that mammals, plankton, fish, plants and seabirds have been changing in abundance as our climate warms.

Exeter genomics scientists to battle spread of coronavirus

Scientists and clinicians in Exeter are part of a £20 million investment to unlock the secrets of COVID-19.

 

Exeter sea turtle expert on Forbes 30 Under 30 list

A University of Exeter researcher has been chosen for the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of innovators in science and heath across Europe. 

Ship noise hampers crab camouflage

Colour-changing crabs struggle to camouflage themselves when exposed to noise from ships, new research shows.

Older beetle parents ‘less flexible’

Older parents are less flexible when it comes to raising their offspring, according to a new study of beetles.

Male-killing bugs hold key to butterflies’ curious colour changes

It is a spectacular butterfly breed with an intriguing back story – now scientists have revealed how male-killing bacteria are helping to create a dazzling hybrid of the African monarch.

Early worm lost lower limbs for tube-dwelling lifestyle

Scientists have discovered the earliest known example of an animal evolving to lose body parts it no longer needed.

Seagulls favour food humans have handled

Seagulls favour food that has been handled by humans, new research shows.

World-leading plastics research team collect Queen’s Anniversary prize

Prince Charles has awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education to a team at the University of Exeter.

Using the power of pop to change minds over sea turtle meat consumption

Researchers have developed a catchy way to reach communities on the island of São Tomé, in West Africa.

Beach clean data could boost science

Beach cleans can provide vital information on plastic pollution, researchers say.

Turtle tracking reveals key feeding grounds

Loggerhead turtles feed in the same places year after year – meaning key locations should be protected, researchers say.

Autoimmunity may explain why an important immune system is absent in many bacteria

New findings from University of Exeter researchers reveal how bacterial immune systems can be harmful for their hosts and explain why they are not found in many bacteria.

Exeter researcher finalist in Blavatnik Awards

A University of Exeter researcher has won recognition in the 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.

London Aquarium captures rare fish choir sounds in a first for underwater recording

The extraordinary sounds of fish communicating to one another has been captured for the first time in the UK at SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

Edible insects: Mealworms on your menu?

Cricket brownies and “chocolate chirp cookies” were served at a meeting about the future of edible insects.

Researchers find new evidence that a fungus can be hard to find

A team of experts have discovered that a common fungus that infects humans can not only predict an imminent attack from the immune system, it will even change its appearance to hide from it.

Secrets of orangutan ‘language’ revealed

“Climb on me”, “climb on you” and “resume play” are among the requests wild orangutans make to each other, researchers say.

Pioneering research gives fresh insight into one of the pivotal building blocks of life

The quest to better understand how genomic information is read has taken a new step forward, thanks to pioneering new research.

Breakthrough in battle against invasive plants

Plants that can “bounce back” after disturbances like ploughing, flooding or drought are the most likely to be “invasive” if they’re moved to new parts of the world, scientists say.

Lights on fishing nets save turtles and dolphins

Placing lights on fishing nets reduces the chances of sea turtles and dolphins being caught by accident, new research shows.

Alcohol tolerance may have saved our ancestors from extinction

The ability to process alcohol may have saved humanity’s ancestors from extinction, a new book suggests.

Humans closer to seeing though the eyes of animals

Humans are now closer to seeing through the eyes of animals, thanks to an innovative software framework developed by researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter.

Sounds of the past give new hope for coral reef restoration

Young fish can be drawn to degraded coral reefs by loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy reefs, according to new research published today in Nature Communications.

Animals could help humans monitor oceans

Sharks, penguins, turtles and other seagoing species could help humans monitor the oceans by transmitting oceanographic information from electronic tags.

University of Exeter’s world-leading plastics research wins Queen’s Anniversary Prize

The University of Exeter has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for the pivotal role it has played to expose the devastating effect that plastics pollution has on the health of humans and wildlife.

University experts feature in prestigious ranking of world’s most influential scientists

Leading climate, environment and health academics from the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the world’s most influential researchers, according to a prestigious new ranking.

Attomarker technology being showcased at London Science Museum

Attomarker, a pioneering spin-out company based at the University of Exeter, is featured in an exhibition at the Science Museum in London.

Jackdaw mobs flip from chaos to order as they grow

Chaotic mobs of jackdaws suddenly get organised once enough birds join in, new research shows.

Lung disease expert to join Exeter fungal centre

A leading expert on how fungal diseases affect human lungs will join the University of Exeter next year.

University of Exeter academic wins prestigious research prize

A University of Exeter academic has been awarded the prestigious Fleming Prize by the Microbiology Society.

Millions of seabirds rely on discarded fish

Millions of scavenging seabirds survive on fish discarded by North Sea fishing vessels, new research shows.

Scientists should have sex and gender on the brain

Thinking about sex and gender would help scientists improve their research, a new article published today argues.

“Big data” for life sciences – A human protein co-regulation map reveals new insights into protein functions

Proteins are key molecules in living cells. They are responsible for nearly every task of cellular life and are essential for the maintenance of the structure, function, and regulation of tissues and organs in the human body.

£18.5 million boost for South West biosciences

PhD training across the biosciences has received a massive boost thanks to a £18.5 million funding award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation) to the University of Bristol-led South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP). 

New B-Lines to put the buzz back into Cornwall

An ambitious new plan for helping our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects is being launched today by Buglife, the University of Exeter and Cornwall Council.

Advance in search for new Clostridioides difficile vaccine

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the hunt for a new vaccine for killer hospital bug Clostridioides difficile (C. diff).

Evolving alongside other bacteria keeps hospital bug potent

Bacteria that evolve in natural environments – rather than laboratory tests – may become resistant to phage treatments without losing their virulence, new research shows.

Fish more tolerant than expected to low oxygen events

Fish may be more tolerant than previously thought to periods of low oxygen in the oceans, new research shows.

Fertiliser scheme could solve Mexico’s seaweed problem

Mexico’s tourist beaches could be cleared of rotting seaweed by a new scheme to turn it into fertiliser and fuel.

Consumed by flames: wildfires darken skies over Indonesia

By Abi Gwynn, University of Exeter masters by research student working with the Borneo Nature Foundation and CIMTROP-University of Palangka Raya, in Palangka Raya, Indonesia

Indonesia under ‘blanket of smoke’ amid wildfires

Indonesia is under a “blanket of smoke” amid wildfires that threaten humans, wildlife and the global climate, researchers say.

Scientists ‘must be allowed to cry’ about destruction of nature

Scientists witnessing the destruction of the natural world must be supported and “allowed to cry”, researchers say.

Darwin Landing Day Seminar

Each year, the Darwin Landing Day Seminar celebrates Charles Darwin’s landing in Falmouth in 1836 after his voyage on HMS Beagle, a journey which changed humanity’s understanding of its place in the universe.

Mob mentality rules jackdaw flocks

Jackdaws are more likely to join a mob to drive off predators if lots of their fellow birds are up for the fight, new research shows.

Basking sharks exhibit different diving behaviour depending on the season, a new study shows

Tracking the world’s second-largest shark species has revealed that it moves to different depths depending on the time of year.

Jackdaws learn from each other about ‘dangerous’ humans

Jackdaws can learn from each other to identify “dangerous” humans, new research shows.

Alumni fund research into mitigating impacts of sport and leisure in the marine environment

Scientists know that light, litter and noise are all major stressors on marine life but we don’t yet have a full understanding of their combined and comparative effects on the environment. However this is set to change thanks to two Exeter alumni. 

Diving birds follow each other when fishing

Diving seabirds watch each other to work out when to dive, new research shows.

The “pathobiome” – a new understanding of disease

Cefas and University of Exeter scientists have presented a novel concept describing the complex microbial interactions that lead to disease in plants, animals and humans.  

Leatherback turtle spotted off Cornwall

A leatherback turtle has been spotted off the coast of Cornwall – the first confirmed sighting of a live leatherback in UK waters this year.

New technique can show links between prey and microplastics

A brand new method has been developed to investigate links between top predator diets and the amount of microplastic they consume through their prey, offering potential insights into the exposure of animals in the ocean and on land to microplastics.

Eden Project event marks massive clean-up of plastic on pristine Indian Ocean atoll of Aldabra

Environmental champions from the Seychelles, Oxford and Cornwall met at the Eden Project to show what the paradise island of Aldabra can teach the world about the scourge of ocean plastic.

Green turtles eat plastic that looks like their food

Green turtles are more likely to swallow plastic that resembles their natural diet of sea grass, new research suggests.

Robot cameras reveal secret lives of basking sharks in UK marine conservation first

An autonomous ‘SharkCam’ has been used in the UK for the first time to observe the behaviour of basking sharks in the Inner Hebrides.

Staring at seagulls could save your chips

Staring at seagulls makes them less likely to steal your food, new research shows.

Road verges provide refuge for pollinators

Roadside verges provide a vital refuge for pollinators – but they must be managed better, new research shows.

Study reveals how bacteria beat immune systems

The evolution of more severe infections is not necessarily driven by bacteria multiplying faster, new research shows.

Using weather radar to monitor insects

Scientists are developing a pioneering technique that allows them to monitor insects in the air using weather radars, as part of a research project called BioDAR.

Privatization of public goods can cause population decline, research shows

Scientists have given a fascinating new insight into the way microbes adopt a ‘co-operative’ approach to securing the nutrients they need to thrive.

Explore nature’s mysterious hidden worlds

Delve into the hidden world of microorganisms, discover the strange creatures that lurk in the deep ocean and the frozen continent, and be amazed by secretive glowing animals at this year’s Science in the Square.

Exeter experts help shape report into future ‘non-toxic environment’ for the UK

Experts from the University of Exeter have played a pivotal role in shaping a new Government report to combat exposure to toxic chemicals in the home.

‘Intensive’ beekeeping not to blame for common bee diseases

More “intensive” beekeeping does not raise the risk of diseases that harm or kill the insects, new research suggests.

No new males: Climate change threat to Cape Verde turtles

Rising temperatures could mean no male loggerhead turtles hatch at a key breeding ground by the end of this century, new research suggests.

Overfishing plus climate change equals threat to fisheries

Overfishing increases the threat posed by climate change to fish stocks and fisheries, according to a new report for MPs.

Hundreds of sharks and rays tangled in plastic

Hundreds of sharks and rays have become tangled in plastic waste in the world’s oceans, new research shows.

‘Gentle recovery’ of Brazil’s leatherback turtles

Brazil’s leatherback turtles are making a “gentle recovery” after 30 years of conservation efforts, new research shows.

It’s dog eat dog on the canine social ladder

Climbing the social ladder is a ruff business for dogs, new research shows.

Crop pests more widespread than previously known

Insects and diseases that damage crops are probably present in many places thought to be free of them, new research shows.

Colour change and behaviour enable multi-coloured chameleon prawns to survive

Chameleon prawns change colour to camouflage themselves as the seaweed around them changes seasonally, new research shows.

Skin bacteria could save frogs from virus

Bacteria living on the skin of frogs could save them from a deadly virus, new research suggests.

Honeybee mite raises bumblebee virus risk

A mite that spreads a dangerous virus among honeybees also plays an indirect role in infecting wild bumblebees, new research shows.

Migratory hoverflies ‘key’ as many insects decline

Migratory hoverflies are “key” to pollination and controlling crop pests amid the decline of many other insect species, new research shows.

OBE for scientist demonstrating devastating impact of plastic pollution

OBE for scientist demonstrating devastating impact of plastic pollution

Exeter scientist wins world’s biggest science communication competition

A University of Exeter scientist has won FameLab International, a global competition to find the best new science communicators.

‘Loser effect’ evolves separate from fighting ability

The “loser effect” – which causes animals to shy away from violence after losing a fight – evolves independently of any change in fighting ability, new research suggests.

Crabs’ camouflage tricks revealed

Crabs from a single species rely on different camouflage techniques depending on what habitat they live in, new research shows.

Wolf-dog ‘swarms’ threaten Europe’s wolves

“Swarms” of wolf-dog crossbreeds could drive Europe’s wolves out of existence, according to the lead author of new research.

Older male crickets attract more females – but have less sex

Older male crickets are better at getting females to live with them – but they mate less than younger rivals once they find a partner.

Penguins and their chicks’ responses to local fish numbers informs marine conservation

How adult penguins fish and the body condition of their chicks are directly linked to local fish abundance, and could potentially inform fishery management, a new study has found

Five rules to tackle antibiotic resistance

Current efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance are “not nearly radical enough”, a leading scientist says.

Exeter research technician wins award

A University of Exeter technician has won the Higher Education Bioscience Technician of the Year Award 2019.

Scientist to face royals and Dragons

A Devon scientist will face royalty and the stars of TV show Dragons’ Den in a competition for entrepreneurs.

Study reveals how social relationships transform bird flocks

Flocks of birds may appear to move with a single mind, but new research shows jackdaws stick with their mates – even though it harms the flock.

Exeter experts join Ganges plastic pollution mission

Two University of Exeter scientists will be part of an international team studying plastic pollution in the River Ganges.

Banana disease boosted by climate change

Climate change has raised the risk of a fungal disease that ravages banana crops, new research shows.

Early intervention could be key to battling invasive species

An international team of ecologists has carried out the first global meta-analysis of the characteristics and size of invasive alien species’ impacts on native species as invaders become more abundant.

Explore Cornwall’s fascinating wildlife at this year’s BioBlitz Penryn

Join a team of students at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus for a day filled with interactive wildlife activities for all the family.

How the social lives of animals should form part of our conservation culture

Philippa BrakesPhD student at the University of Exeter, writes for the Conversation UK

Plymouth beavers plan – what do you think?

Scientists want to know what the people of Plymouth think about plans to release beavers into a fenced enclosure in the city.

Banned pesticides in Europe’s rivers

Tests of Europe’s rivers and canals have revealed more than 100 pesticides – including 24 that are not licensed for use in the EU.

Exeter marine expert awarded prestigious medal for scientific contribution

One of the world’s foremost experts in fish ecology and bioacoustics has been awarded a prestigious prize from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Do crickets have personalities?

Do some crickets like to get up early, while others prefer staying up late?

Plentiful females keep male crickets young

Male crickets age more slowly if they have access to plenty of females, new research shows.

Complex artefacts don’t prove brilliance of our ancestors

Artefacts such as bows and arrows do not necessarily prove our ancestors had sophisticated reasoning and understanding of how these tools worked, new research suggests.

Classrooms invited to join live Arctic adventure

Young people around the world will get the chance to explore the Arctic via live broadcasts from researchers.

Marine conservation scientist wins ZSL award

A scientist who specialises in marine turtle research has won an award from international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Exeter experts give insight into environmental impacts of modern-day lifestyle choices on award-winning series

University of Exeter experts will give a fascinating insight into environmental impacts of modern-day lifestyle choices when they appear on the BBC’s latest Blue Planet UK series.

Exeter researchers feature in Royal Society special issue on CRISPR

Researchers based at the Environment and Sustainability Institute have guest edited and published in a new special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Colourful male fish have genes to thank for their enduring looks

Striking traits seen only in males of some species – such as colourful peacock feathers or butterfly wings – are partly explained by gene behaviour, new research suggests.

Buying and selling cattle can link individual farms to thousands of other farms with each purchase

Understanding the complex networks of “contact chains” between British farms, could help identify potential routes for spread of infections and improve disease control strategies for the cattle industry.

UK wild newt species free from flesh-eating fungus for now…

Wildlife conservation charity urges private amphibian traders to prevent Bsal fungus from infecting wild populations

Wanted: Pet owners whose cats take a walk on the wild side

The University of Exeter is seeking cat owners to become researchers for a new study designed to test different techniques to reduce the amount of wildlife killed by domestic cats, while maintaining and improving cat health and welfare.

World leading researchers give insight into link between evolutionary medicine and early life effects

The quest to determine why people experience different long-term reactions to adversity in early life has received a new, ground-breaking boost.

Understanding the rich social lives of animals benefits international conservation efforts

An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, from elephants and crows, to whales and chimpanzees, argues that animals’ cultural knowledge needs to be taken into consideration when planning international conservation efforts.

 

Maasai farmers only kill lions when they attack livestock

Maasai farmers do not kill lions for retribution whenever they lose sheep or cattle, new research shows.

Wild carnivores stage a comeback in Britain

Once-endangered carnivorous mammals such as otters, polecats and pine martens have staged a remarkable comeback in Britain in recent decades, a new review shows.

Live long and prosper: Mongooses enjoy lifelong benefits of ‘silver spoon effect’

The benefits of the ‘silver spoon effect’ in mongoose pups extend across their lifetime, a new study has shown.

Location, location, location: Proximity to the mainland determines how coral reef communities respond to major environmental disturbances

Severe weather and environmental disturbances, such as cyclones or thermal coral bleaching, affect specific areas of coral reefs differently, new research has shown.

Exeter researcher awarded Pew Fellowship to discover if commercial fishing harms endangered penguin populations

Experts will work to discover if commercial fishing is harming endangered African penguins by making it harder to forage for food in the ocean.

Exeter expert backs calls for bold national Plastic Packaging Plan to help protect oceans

One of the world’s foremost experts in microplastics research has backed calls for a bold new national policy framework to help reduce the amount of ocean plastic pollution.

How hunting for crabs in a museum helped unlock secrets of their evolution

Sara Mynott, PhD researcher in Marine Ecology from the University of Exeter, writes for the Conversation UK

Skyglow over key wildlife areas

Light pollution affects the skies over most of the world’s key wildlife areas, new research shows.

Poor diet may have caused nosedive in major Atlantic seabird nesting colony

The observed population crash in a colony of sooty terns, tropical seabirds in one of the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs), is partly due to poor diet, research led by the University of Birmingham has found.

Endangered sharks being eaten in UK

Endangered species of hammerhead and dogfish are among the sharks being sold as food in the UK, researchers have revealed.

Plastic in Britain’s seals, dolphins and whales

Microplastics have been found in the guts of every marine mammal examined in a new study of animals washed up on Britain’s shores.

Global antibiotic manufacturing discharge limits guided by Exeter researchers

The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Industry Alliance has adopted the recommendations made by Exeter scientists for the setting of antibiotic manufacturing discharge targets around the globe.

Wild insects ‘get old’ before they die

Short-lived wild insects “get old” – losing some of their physical abilities – before they die, new research shows.

Exeter neuroscience expert secures prestigious award

A neuroscience expert from the University of Exeter has secured a prestigious Wellcome Trust Investigator Award to pioneer new research into the function of neural circuits.

Roaming cats prey on their owners’ minds

Many cat owners worry about their pets wandering the streets, but perceive cats hunting mice and birds to be unavoidable instinct, researchers at the University of Exeter have found.