Bird bacteria study reveals evolutionary arms race

A study of a songbird and a bacterium that infects it has revealed how species in conflict evolve in response to each other.

Burly bird gets the worm

The pecking order of garden birds is determined by their size and weight, new research shows.

Why do baboons floss?

A student from the University of Exeter is studying some surprising behaviour in baboons at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park.

‘Simple solutions’ to help rebuild coral reef ecosystems

The future of coral reefs was discussed at a workshop in Indonesia.

Male and female tennis players decline at same rate

The physical abilities of male and female tennis stars decline at the same rate as they age, new research shows.

Wild dolphins learn tricks from each other

Dolphins learn tricks from each other in the wild, new research shows.

South East Asia and Australia face fall armyworm threat

Countries including China, Indonesia and Australia all face a “high threat” of invasion by the fall armyworm, new research shows.

Study confirms truth behind ‘Darwin’s moth’

Scientists have revisited – and confirmed – one of the most famous textbook examples of evolution in action.

Revealed: a novel transport mechanism for Wnt proteins

A novel, self-governed transport system for Wnt cell signalling proteins has been discovered by Benjamin Mattes and Dr Steffen Scholpp at the University of Exeter.

Discovering why basking sharks go to Scotland

Scientists seeking to discover whether Scotland’s seas are a mating ground for basking sharks have filmed new footage showing the sharks being sociable.

Plastic found in stomach of dead turtle on Cornish beach

Plastic has been discovered in the stomach of a leatherback turtle found dead on a Cornish beach on Sunday.

Weird science served up in Falmouth

A jellyfish that looks like a fried egg and a crab that can live on land for 40 years are among the subjects for this year’s Science in the Square.

Fall armyworm will continue to spread

A devastating crop pest called the fall armyworm – discovered this week in India – will continue to spread, a researcher says.

Research into cell-to-cell signalling mechanism may lead to new cancer treatments

Pioneering new research into the way in which cells communicate with each other could hold the key

Night-time lighting changes how species interact

Night-time lighting from streetlights and other sources has complex and unexpected effects on communities of plants and animals, new research shows.

Cornish seal skeleton to go on display

The skeleton of a huge seal that washed up on a Cornish beach will go on display at the University of Exeter on Friday.

Acidic oceans cause fish to lose their sense of smell

Fish are losing their sense of smell because of increasingly acidic oceans caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, new research shows.

Microclimates may provide wildlife with respite from climate change

Sheltered pockets of cooler and more variable conditions in the British countryside may help native species

Viruses cooperate to overcome immune defences of bacteria

Virus particles that infect bacteria can work together to overcome antiviral defences, new research shows.

Cranes here to stay, new model predicts

The UK’s tallest bird – the common crane – is here to stay and the UK could have as many as 275 breeding pairs within 50 years, a new study says.

LED lights reduce seabird death toll from fishing by 85 per cent, research shows

Illuminating fishing nets with low-cost lights could reduce the terrible impact they have on seabirds and marine-dwellers by more than 85 per cent, new research has shown.

Stop antibiotics before resistance ‘tipping point’

Treatments using antibiotics should stop as soon as possible to prevent patients becoming resistant, new research shows.

Asian hornet nests found by radio-tracking

Electronic radio tags could be used to track invasive Asian hornets and stop them colonising the UK

‘The eyes have it’- photoreceptors in marine plankton form a depth gauge to aid survival

The eyes of some marine-dwelling creatures have evolved to act like a “depth gauge”, allowing these creatures to swim in the open ocean at a certain depth .

More woodland management needed to help save dormice

Managing woodlands to a greater extent could help stop the decline of Britain’s dormice, new research suggests.

Increase in storms could have ‘catastrophic impact’ on fishing industry

Potential changes in the frequency and intensity of storms off the coast of the UK and around the world could have a “catastrophic impact” on the livelihood of fishermen and sustainability of fishing industries, research led by the University of Exeter has shown.

All-female crew set for Pacific plastic pollution voyage

An all-female crew is set to embark on a mission across the Pacific to learn more about plastic pollution.

Micro-plastics in the Antarctic

Antarctica’s most remote and pristine habitats are contaminated with micro-plastic waste

Turtle tagged in Brazil reaches UK territory

A turtle tagged by University of Exeter scientists in Brazil has swum thousands of miles.

Ukrainian villages still suffering legacy of Chernobyl more than 30 years on

Milk in parts of Ukraine has radioactivity levels up to five times over the country’s official safe limit

Camouflaged plants use the same tricks as animals

Plants use many of the same methods as animals to camouflage themselves, a new study shows.

Public invited to quiz sea turtle experts

Top scientists will answer your questions about sea turtles in a live online Q&A on Friday (June 8).

Thousands of turtles netted off South America

Tens of thousands of sea turtles are caught each year by small-scale fishers off South America’s Pacific coast, new research shows.

Mixed signals from poisonous moths

Poisonous moths use bright red spots to warn predators to avoid them

Cautious prawns win battle for food

Prawns have personalities – and cautious crustaceans do better in the battle for food, new research shows.

Mongooses inherit behaviour from role models rather than parents

Young mongooses learn lifelong habits from role models rather than inheriting them from genetic parents, new research shows.

Public can help create night map of Earth

Researchers are asking the public to help them create the first high-resolution photographic map of Earth at night.

‘Virtual safe space’ to help bumblebees

The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a “virtual safe space” created by scientists at the University of Exeter.

Resistance to antifungal drugs could lead to disease and global food shortages

Growing levels of resistance to antifungal treatments could lead to increased disease outbreaks and affect food security around the world.

Climate-threatened animals unable to relocate

Many of the European mammals whose habitat is being destroyed by climate change are not able to find new places to live elsewhere.

Wildfires may cause long-term health problems for endangered orangutans

Orangutans, already critically endangered due to habitat loss from logging and large-scale farming, may face another threat 

Exeter academic to lead new journal

A University of Exeter academic will lead a new international journal published by the British Ecological Society.

Angry birds: Size of jackdaw mobs depends on who calls warning

Jackdaws recognise each other’s voices and respond in greater numbers to warnings from familiar birds than strangers, new research shows.

Discovery of immune cells able to defend against mutating viruses could transform vaccine development

Scientists have found immune cells can fight different strains of the same virus – a discovery which could help transform vaccine development.

Deteriorating Great Barrier Reef hushed: young fish no longer hear their way home

Degraded coral reefs are far quieter than five years ago, and no longer sound like a suitable habitat to young fish searching for a place to live and breed, according to research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

“Blue light” of LED streetlights linked to breast and prostate cancer

The “blue light” emitted by street lights including LEDs, and commercial outdoor lighting such as advertising, is linked to a significant increase in the risk of breast and prostate cancer, innovative new research has concluded.

Guardian award for policy-changing research on microplastic pollution

Research that revealed the devastating impact that microplastic pollution could have on the health of humans and wildlife has won a Guardian University Award.

Multiple sclerosis may be linked to sheep disease toxin

Exposure to a toxin primarily found in sheep could be linked to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans, new research suggests.

Crowded urban areas have fewer songbirds per person

People in crowded urban areas – especially poor areas – see fewer songbirds such as tits and finches, and more potential “nuisance” birds, such as pigeons, magpies and gulls, new research shows.

Viruses can evolve in parallel in related species

Viruses are more likely to evolve in similar ways in related species – raising the risk that they will “jump” from one species to another, new research shows.

Droughts mean fewer flowers for bees

Bees could be at risk from climate change because more frequent droughts could cause plants to produce fewer flowers, new research shows.

Coral bleaching threatens the diversity of reef fish

New research shows that coral bleaching not only whitewashes corals, but can also reduce the variety of fish occupying these highly-valued ecosystems.

Experts team up to study bluefin tuna and confirm return to UK waters

Atlantic bluefin tuna are known for being amongst the biggest, fastest and most valuable fish in the sea.

Dolphins tear up nets as fish numbers fall

Fishing nets suffer six times more damage when dolphins are around – and overfishing is forcing dolphins and fishermen ever closer together, new research shows.

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.

Breakthrough could aid development of bee-friendly pesticides

Efforts to create pesticides that are not toxic to bees have been boosted by a scientific breakthrough.

All-female crew to sail Pacific on plastics research mission

An all-female crew including sailors, scientists and film-makers will cross the north Pacific later this year to study plastic pollution.

Experience trumps youth among jumping fish

Tiny jumping fish can leap further as they get older, new research shows.

Fussy eating prevents mongoose family feuds

Mongooses living in large groups develop “specialist” diets so they don’t have to fight over food, new research shows.

Payments to protect carbon stored in forests must increase to defend against rubber plantations

Efforts to protect tropical forests in Southeast Asia for the carbon they store may fail because protection payments are too low, according to new research.

First evidence that marine top predators are exposed to microplastics via their prey

Microplastics can transfer up the food chain from fish to top predators, such as seals, new research shows.

Conflict between males and females could replace evolution of new species

New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonising habitats.

The mysteries of the deep: behind the scenes of BBC Blue Planet II

One of the most startling sequences from Blue Planet II was the result of a ‘fisherman’s tale’, according to a scientific adviser to the series, speaking at the University of Exeter. 

Forgotten crop pathogen may be about to return

Scientists, breeders, farmers and conservation groups must continue to work in close collaboration to prepare for the potential re-emergence of a forgotten crop pathogen, a new study says.

Large-group living boosts magpie intelligence

Growing up in a large social group makes Australian magpies more intelligent, new research shows.

UK chalk-stream salmon genetically unique

Salmon from the chalk streams of southern England are genetically unique, researchers have discovered.

Pulling power reveals new insights into membrane dynamics in human cells

Scientists have discovered how the movement and membrane dynamics of a specific organelle – called peroxisomes – are mediated. 

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world.

No-fishing zones help endangered penguins

Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows.

Orangutans, like people, use medicinal plants to treat joint and muscle inflammation

Scientists have discovered that the same plant used by indigenous people on Borneo is also used by wild orangutans to treat joint and muscle inflammation.

Antibiotic resistance: ‘sleeping’ bacteria that can survive drug treatment identified

‘Sleeper cells’, which can survive doses of antibiotics and lie resting in a dormant state, may hold a key to understanding antibiotic resistance, research has found. 

Human societies evolve along similar paths

Societies ranging from ancient Rome and the Inca empire to modern Britain and China have evolved along similar paths, a huge new study shows.

Exeter marine biologist is star of the Blue Planet

Blue Planet II, which has captured the nation’s imagination and highlighted the beauty and plight of marine life around the world, starred the University of Exeter’s Steve Simpson, Associate Professor of Marine Biology & Global Change.

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches,  including plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear.  

Boost for green research at Exeter

Sustainable seafood and electric cars are among the eco-friendly industries that will be the focus of new research at the University of Exeter.

Tuna dissected by university scientists

A tuna accidentally caught off Devon has been dissected by scientists at the University of Exeter.

Stunning ocelot picture wins photography prize

A researcher overcame termites, mice, flash floods and camera malfunctions to win a nature photography award.

University partnership awarded £2m grant for freshwater research

A £2m grant has been awarded to the GW4 Alliance by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to fund the establishment of a Freshwater Centre for Doctoral Training.

Female mongooses help their pups by driving out rivals

Mongoose mothers boost their pups’ survival chances by evicting rival females from their social groups, new research shows.

Forecasts help predict future of UK birds

Forecasts which predict how climate change will affect UK birds are improving, new research suggests.

Crime-scene technique used to track turtles

Scientists have used satellite tracking and a crime-scene technique to discover an important feeding ground for green turtles in the Mediterranean.

Every individual has a role to play: getting more from our models for environmental risk

In a paper published last month in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Katie Mintram, a PhD researcher at Exeter, discusses the environmental impacts of endocrine activating chemicals on freshwater fish.

Exeter evolutionary genomics expert delivers Sir Julian Huxley Lecture 2017

A leading expert in evolutionary genomics will deliver a high-profile lecture at the prestigious Linnean Society of London on Thursday, November 2 2017.

Tropical forest reserves slow down global warming

National parks and nature reserves in South America, Africa and Asia, created to protect wildlife, heritage sites and the territory of indigenous people, are reducing carbon emissions from tropical deforestation by a third, and so are slowing the rate of global warming, a new study shows.

Diversity and immigration increase productivity in microbial communities

Natural selection quickly turns a melting pot of microorganisms into a highly efficient community, new research shows

Sustainable seafood top of menu for new research group

A new research group will focus on how seafood can be safely and sustainably produced for the world’s growing population. 

Biosciences bakers ‘raise’ almost £280 for cancer care

A coffee morning organised by Biosciences volunteers has raised £279.63 in donations towards supporting cancer care charity Macmillan.

Conservationists should harness ‘Hollywood effect’ to help wildlife

Researchers say conservation scientists could work with filmmakers to harness the “Hollywood effect”.

Exeter Annual Fund delivers postgraduates a sporty wellbeing boost

Biosciences PhD student, Rebecca Millard, has been awarded a grant of £320 by the University of Exeter Annual Fund to set up weekly indoor hockey sessions to enhance mental wellbeing for Exeter’s postgraduate researcher community.

Plastic pollution discovered on ice floes near the North Pole

Melting ice is releasing frozen plastic into the Arctic Ocean, as plastic waste flows towards the Pole.

Fish have complex personalities, research shows

Tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies have individual “personalities”, new research shows.

High-flying ducks cross Himalayas

A high-flying duck species reaches altitudes of up to 6,800 metres (22,000 feet) to cross the Himalayas, new research shows.

Breakthrough in understanding mitochondria

Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how mitochondria – the “powerhouses” of human cells – are made. 

Otters learn by copying each other

Otters can learn how to solve puzzles by watching and copying each other, new research shows.

Virus reprogrammes ocean plankton

A virus which infects plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients, new research shows.

‘Inefficient’ sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive

Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to “inefficient” traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.

Boat noise disrupts fish co-operation

Noise from motorboats changes the behaviour of cleaner fish and the species they help.

How camouflaged birds decide where to blend in

Animals that rely on camouflage can choose the best places to conceal themselves based on their individual appearance, new research shows.

Grown-up gannets find favourite fishing grounds

Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits. 

Moth larvae testing firm wins grant

A spinout company, which provides moth larvae for use in scientific testing – reducing the need for tests on mice and rats – has won a £100,000 grant.

‘No solid evidence’ for biopesticide-diarrhoea link

A report commissioned by EU food regulators wrongly linked a highly effective biopesticide with diarrhoea in humans, an expert says.

A fifth of male fish in UK rivers now ‘trans-gender’ due to chemicals in human waste

Anti-depressants flushed down the loo reduce natural shyness in fish.

New RAD-seq Revolution: New Method Optimises Analysis

An international partnership between the University of Exeter and University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign have recently published the first method of its kind for standardising analysis of Restriction site-Associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) data.

Hydrogen peroxide protects plants against sun damage

Plants use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to control how their cells react to varying levels of light, new research shows.

Prize for ‘outstanding’ University of Exeter ecologist

A University of Exeter ecologist has won a prestigious prize for his outstanding achievements. 

Drowsy dormice doze into decline

Britain’s population of hazel dormice has declined by more than 70%, new research shows.

‘BEEHAVE’ project wins innovation award

A project which helps protect bees has won the 2017 BBSRC Innovator of the Year award for Social Impact.  

Climate change risk for animals living in prime conditions

Animals living in areas where conditions are ideal for their species have less chance of evolving to cope with climate change, new research suggests.

Cornwall cats needed for behaviour study

Where does your cat go when it leaves the house? What does it eat?

Motor-boat noise makes fish bad parents, leading to the death of their babies

Noise from motorboats is making fish become bad parents, and reducing the chance of their young surviving, research led by marine experts at the University of Exeter has shown.

Exeter researchers help protect Peru’s river dolphins

Peru's river dolphins will get new protection thanks to a plan developed with help from the University of Exeter.

‘BEEHAVE’ project up for award

A project which helps protect bees has been nominated for an innovation award. 

Global warming kills gut bacteria in lizards

Climate change could threaten reptiles by reducing the number of bacteria living in their guts, new research suggests.

Insecticide-resistant flies ‘rubbish’ at courting females

Insecticide resistance sounds like a superpower for the average male fruit fly – but there’s a catch.

Mongoose pups conceal identity to survive

Young mongooses may conceal their identity – even from their own parents – to survive.

Light pollution has serious impact on coastal wildlife, research shows

Scientists have recognised for some years that light pollution is a growing phenomenon that impacts on the behaviour and success of many animals.

New population of endangered cats found in Borneo

A new population of an endangered and elusive cat species has been found in Borneo.

Banded mongooses target family members for eviction

Banded mongooses target close female relatives when violently ejecting members from their social groups, University of Exeter scientists have found.

Captive meerkats at risk of stress

Small groups of meerkats – like those often seen in zoos – are at greater risk of chronic stress.

Computer game helps scientists understand animal camouflage

Computer games have helped scientists understand animal camouflage and colour vision. 

Logging threatens breeding turtles

Debris from logging in tropical forests is threatening the survival of hatchling leatherback turtles and the success of mothers at one of the world’s most important nesting sites in Colombia.

Birds to help unravel the inner working of nature’s most complex societies

Prestigious Human Frontiers Science Programme grant awarded to international research team led by University of Exeter

Beach debris to be transformed into art as part of Falmouth Spring Festival

Families can make art from litter found in the sea and on beaches as part of a free event at Falmouth Art Gallery.

Weather forecasting technology used to predict where proteins anchor within human cells

Met Office technology used to study climate change is being used by scientists to predict the sorting and location of proteins in cells of the human body.

Explore the fascinating creatures on Cornwall’s shores with free guided rockpooling session

Families can identify the fascinating creatures found on Cornwall’s shores with the help of a University of Exeter animal ecology expert as part of the Falmouth Spring Festival.

Exeter Bioscientist on exclusive list of top 50 entrepreneurs honoured at House of Commons

A Biosciences expert from the University of Exeter is celebrating after being honoured as one of an exclusive group of leading entrepreneurs, at a special ceremony at the House of Commons.

To stray or stay: population genetics of sea trout helps guide management

New research led by the University of Exeter in partnership with the Environment Agency and Westcountry Rivers Trust highlights how studying population genetics could improve the management of sea trout within the southwest.

The foundation of aquatic life can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests

Important microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests.

Soft coral species exhibit strikingly different patterns of connectivity around the British Isles

The evolution of land animals has been shaped by barriers such as oceans and mountains which have divided them and sent them down different genetic paths. 

Breeding oilseed rape varieties for pollinator-friendly traits

Amounts and sugar content of nectar vary between commercial varieties of oilseed rape (OSR) produced with different breeding systems, when tested in the glasshouse. 

New ‘frog-swab’ testing device revolutionises diagnosis of the deadly amphibian chytridiomycosis disease

University of Exeter researchers, Dr. Michael Dillon, Dr. Jamie Stevens, and Dr. Chris Thornton have joined forces with Dr. Andrew Bowkett of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust in developing a ground-breaking new diagnostic device for the rapid detection of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).

Scientists reveal core genes involved in honey bee immunity

An international team of researchers has identified a core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites.

A Tool for understanding the future of global coral reefs

Researchers at the University of Exeter, as part of a global collaborative research programme, have produced a guide to help coral reef managers understand the impacts of stressors on coral reef ecosystems.

Banded mongooses go to war over sex and territory

Gang warfare is not unique to humans – banded mongooses do it too.

Planned protection area would help basking sharks

A proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) off Scotland’s west coast would help basking sharks, researchers say.

Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health

People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to research.

Exeter helps protect Myanmar marine life

A new plan to protect Myanmar’s diverse marine life has been announced.

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

Rising temperatures could accelerate climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide stored in ponds and increasing the methane they release, new research shows.

Tough early life makes wild animals live longer

Growing up in tough conditions can make wild animals live longer, new research suggests.

Climate change and fishing create ‘trap’ for penguins

Endangered penguins are foraging for food in the wrong places due to fishing and climate change, research led by the University of Exeter and the University of Cape Town has revealed.

Penryn research excellence illustrated by competition success

Penryn PhD students are celebrating after sweeping the board at a high-profile research competition.

LED lighting could have major impact on wildlife

LED street lighting can be tailored to reduce its impacts on the environment, according to new research by the University of Exeter.

Climate change scientists should think more about sex

Urgent need to check how males and females respond differently to ocean acidification.

Antibiotics can boost bacterial reproduction

The growth of bacteria can be stimulated by antibiotics, scientists at the University of Exeter have discovered.

Mammal testing could be cut by moth larvae

The number of mammals used in animal testing could be cut dramatically and replaced with moth larvae.

Breakthrough by Exeter cell biologists

We all need contacts – how organelles hug in cells

Why hospital antibiotic management strategies do little to curb resistance

With an alarming growth in antibiotic resistance and doctors increasingly having to resort to last-chance antibiotics to save patients, is there a better way for hospitals to manage antibiotic treatment regimens?

Exeter research helps protect loggerhead turtles

A long-running research and conservation project is helping save an at-risk species of turtle.

PREDICTS database shines a light on ‘dark data’- making projected biodiversity responses to human pressures freely available

Despite a commitment being made during the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity to reduce the rate of global biodiversity loss by 2010, indicators of species richness and abundance continue to show unrelenting declines.

Climate change has mixed effects on migratory geese

Climate change improves the breeding chances of migratory geese in the Arctic – but puts mother geese at more risk of death, according to a new study.

Using ‘fire to fight fire’ to combat disease, including cancer, could make it worse, tests show

A treatment billed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against disease, including cancer, could back-fire and make the disease fitter and more damaging, new research has found.

Biodiversity loss raises risk of ‘extinction cascades’

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of “extinction cascades”, where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions. 

Stunning footage shows how drones can boost turtle conservation

Drones are changing the face of turtle research and conservation, a new study shows.

Exeter gets two Entrepreneurs in Residence

The University of Exeter now has two Entrepreneurs in Residence, appointed as part of a new Royal Society scheme.

Could Galapagos become plastic pollution free?

There is a growing movement in Galapagos to drastically reduce marine plastic pollution with the aim, one day, of having a plastic-free Galapagos Marine Reserve.

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