Skip to main content

Leprosy confirmed in wild chimpanzees

Leprosy has been found in wild chimpanzees for the first time, a new study reveals.

Cats' whiskers reveal felines favour free lunch

Domestic cats that regularly catch wild animals still get most of their nutrition from food provided at home, new research shows.

Desert teamwork explains global pattern of co-operation in birds

A new study from the Kalahari Desert finds that teamwork allows birds to cope with brutally unpredictable environments.

 

Hoverflies navigate using sun and body clock

Hoverflies use a combination of the sun and their body clock to navigate when they fly south for the winter, new research shows.

Artificial Intelligence could help predict harmful algal blooms

A new project will develop Artificial Intelligence tools to predict harmful blooms of algae in the ocean.

Rapid increase in global light pollution

Global light pollution has increased by at least 49% over 25 years, new research shows.

Unrealistic experiments mean true impact of nitrogen pollution on the environment is unknown, study warns

Unrealistic scientific experiments mean the true impact of nitrogen pollution on the environment remains poorly understood, a new study warns.

Crop farmers face new disease pressures as climate changes

Climate change will increase the burden of crop diseases in some parts of the world and reduce it in others, new research suggests.

Plastic creates 'evolutionary trap' for young sea turtles

Plastic pollution creates an "evolutionary trap" for young sea turtles, new research shows.

Warning over start of commercial-scale deep-sea mining

Deep-sea mining in international waters could begin in two years – but researchers say this is unnecessary and could cause irreversible damage to marine ecosystems.

Hands, face, space to protect great apes

Tourists who visit Africa's gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos should follow social distancing rules, researchers say.

Red Dead Redemption 2 teaches players about wildlife

Players of the popular game Red Dead Redemption 2 learn how to identify real American wildlife, new research shows.

Light pollution has complex effects on animal vision

Changes in the colour and intensity of light pollution over the past few decades result in complex and unpredictable effects on animal vision, new research shows.

Seabird colony creates 'halo' of depleted fish stocks

A vast seabird colony on Ascension Island creates a "halo" in which fewer fish live, new research shows.

£250,000 kickstart for University of Exeter microbiologist

Dr Stineke Van Houte has received £250,000 to support her research into antimicrobial resistance.

Jackdaws don't console traumatised mates

Male jackdaws don't stick around to console their mate after a traumatic experience, new research shows.

Cornish farmers could unlock 'natural capital' worth millions

Cornwall's farmers could unlock "natural capital" worth millions of pounds, a new report suggests.

COVID-19’s socio-economic fallout threatens global coffee industry

COVID-19’s socio-economic effects will likely cause another severe production crisis in the coffee industry, according to new research.

Bird migration takes plants in wrong direction to cope with climate change

Migratory birds carry most seeds in the wrong direction to help plants cope with climate change, new research shows.

Mongooses solve inequality problem

A fair society has evolved in banded mongooses because parents don’t know which pups are their own, new research shows.

Seabird eggs contaminated with cocktail of plastic additives

Chemical additives used in plastic production have been found in herring gull eggs, new research shows.

Turtle's tale reveals dual fishing threat

The story of a turtle caught twice in fishing nets reveals a dual threat facing many ocean animals.

G7 'legacy' project launched to protect and restore nature across Cornwall

The UK government has pledged an initial £700,000 for a nature recovery project in Cornwall as a "legacy" of this week's G7 summit.

Research project receives €6M to boost greener consumer products in Europe using innovative biotechnology

A pioneering, pan-European research project, designed to boost greener industrial processes for more sustainable daily consumer products like cosmetics or foods, has been launched. 

Experiments show natural selection opposes sexual selection

Natural selection can reverse evolution that occurs through sexual selection and this can lead to better females, new research shows.

Plastic project launches bottle for each G7 nation

On World Ocean Day, June 8, a collaboration of scientific institutions and ocean groups from around the world will launch scientific monitoring devices into the ocean.

South West scores 65 out of 100 for ocean health

South West England has scored 65 out of 100 for ocean health, a new report reveals.

New findings show pigeons act selflessly when under threat

A new study of pigeons has revealed that they flock together in the presence of predators for the collective benefit, rather than for selfish interest. 

Plastic in Galapagos seawater, beaches and animals

Plastic pollution has been found in seawater, on beaches and inside marine animals at the Galapagos Islands. 

Exeter researcher wins prestigious paediatric infectious diseases award

Professor Adilia Warris, co-director of The MRC Centre for Medical Mycology based at the University of Exeter, has received this year’s Bill Marshall Award for her pioneering paediatric infectious diseases research.

Road verges provide opportunity for wildflowers, bees and trees

Road verges cover 1.2% of land in Great Britain – an area the size of Dorset – and could be managed to help wildlife, new research shows.

G7 ministers must 'listen to the science'

G7 ministers meeting this week must "listen to the science" and protect the world's ocean, according to researchers and conversation organisations.

New tools needed to prevent plant disease pandemics

Plant disease surveillance, improved detection systems and predictive modelling – integrated at the global scale – are necessary to mitigate future plant disease outbreaks and protect the global food supply, researchers say.

Study uncovers drivers of fishers' decisions of where to fish

A team of researchers from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and the University of Exeter, alongside Oceanswell, have used a new approach to understand the movement and drivers of commercial fishing fleet activity in one of the world’s most over-exploited oceans.

Mediterranean turtles recovering at different rates

Numbers of two Mediterranean turtle species have risen in the last three decades – but in Cyprus the recoveries are happening at different rates, new research shows.

Sharks in protected area attract illegal fishers

Thousands of sharks have been illegally caught in a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Indian Ocean, new research shows.

Cayman Islands sea turtles back from the brink

Sea turtles in the Cayman Islands are recovering from the brink of local extinction, new research shows.

Ship traffic dropped during first months of Covid pandemic

Ship movements on the world's oceans dropped in the first half of 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions came into force, a new study shows.

UK waters are home again to the bluefin tuna

Atlantic bluefin tuna have returned to UK waters and can once again be seen during the summer and autumn months.

Exeter academics awarded grants for pioneering fungal research

Two scientists from the The MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, based at the University of Exeter, have received prestigious Springboard Awards from The Academy of Medical Sciences for their research into a deadly fungal disease.

Five-year funding boost for fungal research centre

A leading fungal research centre has received a further five years' funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Scientists discover unique Cornish 'falgae'

Red algae that grow in Cornwall's Fal Estuary are genetically unique, new research shows.

Friends and enemies 'make sense' for long-lived animals

It makes evolutionary sense for long-lived animals to have complex social relationships – such as friends and enemies – researchers say.

Ocean's mammals at crucial crossroads

The ocean’s mammals are at a crucial crossroads – with some at risk of extinction and others showing signs of recovery, researchers say.

Gray’s beaked whales 'resilient' to ecosystem changes

An elusive whale species in the Southern Ocean could be resilient to near-future ecosystem changes, according to a new study by the universities of Exeter and Copenhagen.

Amphibians that produce fewer offspring have increased extinction risk

The risk of extinction among amphibians – the most endangered animals on the planet – increases for species that produce fewer babies per birth, new research shows.

New findings about immune system reaction to malaria and sickle cell disease

Scientists have discovered in more detail than ever before how the human body’s immune system reacts to malaria and sickle cell disease.

Fishers at risk in 'perfect storm'

Stormier weather will increasingly force fishers to choose between their safety and income, researchers say.

€4 million project uses cutting-edge technology to enhance the habitats of key fish species

A cross-Channel partnership will use innovative underwater acoustic tracking technology to identify the environmental conditions a range of important marine species need in order to thrive.

Female gannets go the extra mile to feed chicks

Female gannets travel further than male gannets to find fish for their chicks in some years but not others, new research shows.

Rarest seal breeding site discovered

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown breeding site used by the world's rarest seal species.

Global warming poses threat to food chains

Rising temperatures could reduce the efficiency of food chains and threaten the survival of larger animals, new research shows.

Exeter researcher writes book for Attenborough series

A University of Exeter scientist has written a book to accompany a new Sir David Attenborough TV series.

Chimpanzees and humans share overlapping territories

Chimpanzees and humans "overlap" in their use of forests and even villages, new research shows.

Cell biology specialist joins fungal research team

A specialist in cell biology and genetics is set to join the University of Exeter’s leading fungal research centre.

Play and meaty food reduce hunting by cats

Domestic cats hunt wildlife less if owners play with them daily and feed them a meat-rich food, new research shows.

Common pipistrelle bats attracted to wind turbines

One of the most abundant bats in Europe may be attracted to wind turbines, a new study shows.

Family ties explain mysterious social life of coral gobies

The strange social structure of tiny fish called emerald coral gobies may be explained by family loyalty, new research shows.

Healthy oceans need healthy soundscapes

Oceans were once filled with the sounds of nature, but overfishing, climate change and human noise have fundamentally changed the natural underwater "soundtrack", researchers say.

Ocean sharks and rays threatened with extinction

Three quarters of ocean shark and ray species face an elevated risk of extinction, according to new research.

Breakthrough in understanding 'tummy bug' bacteria

Scientists have discovered how bacteria commonly responsible for seafood-related stomach upsets can go dormant and then "wake up".

Genital shape key to male flies' sexual success

Having genitals of a certain shape and size gives male flies a major reproductive advantage, new research shows.

Exeter researcher receives prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) Award

Dr Neeltje Boogert from the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall has won the 2021 ASAB Christopher Barnard Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Investigator.

Grey camouflage 'better than zebra stripes'

Dull, featureless camouflage provides better protection from predators than zebra stripes, according to a new study.

New research sheds light on early mechanisms driving diatom bloom formation

Scientists have discovered how diatoms (a globally important group of eukaryotic algae) sense the availability of phosphorus, a vital macronutrient that controls diatom growth and productivity in the oceans.

Ivory Coast creates first Marine Protected Area

Ivory Coast has announced the creation of its first Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Crops near Chernobyl still contaminated

Crops grown near Chernobyl are still contaminated due to the 1986 nuclear accident, new research shows.

Shark fishing bans partially effective

Bans on shark fishing are only partially effective in protecting sharks, new research suggests.

Babbler bird falls into climate change trap

Animals can fall into an "ecological trap" by altering their behaviour in the “wrong direction” in response to climate change, researchers say.

'Message in a bottle' tracks plastic pollution

Electronic tags released in the Ganges river show plastic pollution can travel thousands of kilometres in just a few months.

Birds able to adjust egg-laying date

Many birds are able to change their egg-laying date to cope with variable conditions, new research shows.

Plastic contaminants harm sea urchins

Plastics in the ocean can release chemicals that cause deformities in sea urchin larvae, new research shows.

Stickleback study reveals 'parallel' evolution

Animal species in different parts of the world can evolve in "parallel" in response to similar conditions, according to a new study of fish.

Waste fishing gear threatens Ganges wildlife

Waste fishing gear in the River Ganges poses a threat to wildlife including otters, turtles and dolphins, new research shows.

Plant evolves to become less visible to humans

A plant used in traditional Chinese medicine has evolved to become less visible to humans, new research shows.

Indonesian wildfires a 'fixable problem'

Indonesian wildfires that cause widespread air pollution and vast carbon emissions are a "fixable problem", according to the leader of a project set up to help tackle the issue.

Bacteria and 3D printers could help restore coral reefs

A team of University of Exeter students are using genetically engineered bacteria to produce a material that could help repair degraded coral reefs.

Exeter part of UK-wide genomics consortium in £12.2million funding boost

A £12.2 million funding boost will help scientists at the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust contribute to national efforts to map how COVID-19 spreads and evolves

Pacific project will build a circular economy to target plastic pollution

Scientists aim to tackle plastic pollution in the Galapagos Islands and wider Eastern Pacific in a major project based on cooperation with local researchers and communities.

Teaching and complex tools 'evolved together'

The human ability to teach and our use of complex tools may have evolved together, according to new research.

Migrating animals 'live fast and die young'

Animals that migrate "live fast and die young", new research shows.

Tropical peatland conservation could protect humans from new diseases

Conservation of tropical peatlands could reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the likelihood of new diseases jumping from animals to humans, researchers say.

Chemical clues in leaves can reveal ash tree resistance to deadly disease

Naturally occurring compounds in ash leaves could be linked to susceptibility of individual trees to the fungal disease ash dieback (ADB), new research shows.

Evolution favours new diseases of 'intermediate' severity

New epidemic diseases have an evolutionary advantage if they are of "intermediate" severity, research shows.

Puzzled otters learn from each other

Asian short-clawed otters learn from each other when solving puzzles to get food, a new study shows.

Funding boost for the next generation of environmental scientists

The University of Exeter and its partners have secured a new £3.5m Centre for Doctoral Training with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to research chemicals in the environment.

Animal groups consider multiple factors before fighting

Groups of animals consider multiple factors before deciding whether to fight rivals, researchers say.

Female mongooses start battles for chance to mate

Female banded mongooses lead their groups into fights then try to mate with enemy males in the chaos of battle, new research shows.

Slow-living animal species could be disease ‘reservoirs’

Animals that live slowly – breeding less rapidly and living longer – could be "reservoirs" of diseases that could jump to new species including humans, new research suggests.

Join expert discussion on saving the oceans

Scientists specialising in the marine environment will answer questions on ocean conservation during a free online event organised by the University of Exeter.

‘Cinderella’ medicinal plant could improve breast cancer treatment

A plant which had previously been dismissed as not being medically useful could prove to be a hero in disguise, after scientists discovered it not only stops the growth of breast cancer cells but does not affect normal cells – a potential first for future cancer chemotherapy treatment.

Artificial night lighting has widespread impacts on nature

Artificial night-time lighting has a diverse range of effects across the natural world and should be limited where possible, researchers say

Secrets of 'smasher shrimp' property ladder revealed

Mantis shrimps carefully survey burrows before trying to evict rivals, new research shows.

Exeter-trained scientist honoured in Peru

A scientist trained at the University of Exeter has won Peru’s highest award for conservation.

Project to investigate Southeast Asia plastic pollution

Researchers have launched an ambitious project to discover the impacts of plastic pollution in the oceans of Southeast Asia – and how the problem might be tackled.

Exeter researcher wins Philip Leverhulme Prize

A University of Exeter researcher has been named among the winners of the 2020 Philip Leverhulme Prizes.

Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings

The number of sea turtles spotted along the coasts of the UK and Ireland has declined in recent years, researchers say.

Prestigious medal honour for University of Exeter sensory ecology and behaviour expert

A University of Exeter expert has been awarded a prestigious medal for his cutting-edge research to explain the complexities of animal sensory systems, coloration, and behaviour.

Australian carp virus plan 'dead in the water'

Plans to release a virus to reduce numbers of invasive Common Carp in Australia are unlikely to work and should be dropped, researchers say.

Project aims to reveal the fate of tyre particles in the marine environment

The new study aims to assess an until now hidden form of marine litter and show the effects it could have on our seas

Nights warming faster than days across much of the planet

Global warming is affecting daytime and night-time temperatures differently – and greater night-time warming is more common than greater daytime warming worldwide – new research shows.

Plant diseases threaten UK whisky and gin

Fans of UK whisky and gin "need to worry about plant health", scientists say.

Scientists launch key principles to preserve plant health in Scotland

Scotland’s Plant Health Centre has launched a set of five key principles, which outline important steps to protect plant resources.

Galapagos guides to 'barcode' wildlife

Galapagos tourist guides are being retrained to catalogue the islands' famous biodiversity.

Exeter scientist becomes ASAB president

A University of Exeter scientist has been chosen as president of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).

Meningitis expert joins Exeter fungal research centre

A leading expert on infectious diseases has joined a fungal research team at the University of Exeter.

Gulls pay attention to human eyes

Herring gulls notice where approaching humans are looking, and flee sooner when they're being watched, a new study shows.

Researchers identify five types of cat owner

Cat owners fall into five categories in terms of their attitudes to their pets’ roaming and hunting, according to a new study.

Study sheds light on killer fungus

Scientists have identified an "Achilles heel" that could help in the fight against a killer fungus.

New study reveals migratory habits of teenage green turtles

Researchers and conservationists who have been tracking turtle migration for over a decade believe a new study highlights the need for investment and conservation of vital marine habitats which play a key role in turtle’s formative years.

Insect-based animal feed could help UK reach net zero

Insect-based feeds for farmed animals could help the UK reach its net zero carbon emissions target, researchers say.

‘Critical’ questions over disease risks from ocean plastics

Key knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of how ocean microplastics transport bacteria and viruses – and whether this affects the health of humans and animals, researchers say.

Seafood study finds plastic in all samples

A study of five different seafoods has found traces of plastic in every sample tested.

How fish stocks will change in warming seas

New research out today highlights the future effects of climate change on important fish stocks for south-west UK fisheries. 

'Outstanding' Exeter staff awarded teaching fellowships

Two "outstanding" University of Exeter staff have won prestigious National Teaching Fellowships.

Designing a sustainable future for aquaculture, the world’s fastest growing food sector – A One Health approach

Seafood is one of the fastest-growing and highly traded food markets.

Mammal cells could struggle to fight space germs

The immune systems of mammals – including humans – might struggle to detect and respond to germs from other planets, new research suggests.

Plastics found in sea-bed sharks

Microplastics have been found in the guts of sharks that live near the seabed off the UK coast.

Exeter professor in conversation with BBC Dynasties director

A director from David Attenborough’s Dynasties series will speak to Professor Steve Simpson, of the University of Exeter, in a free online event.

Road verges could be havens for pollinators

Better-managed road verges can help boost pollinating insects, new research shows.

Exeter in global top five for research on green space and public health

The University of Exeter has leapt into the top five institutions in the world for research output on the links between green space and public health.

Penryn student receives prestigious award for her work on tackling plastic waste

A University of Exeter postgraduate student has been honoured with The Diana Award - the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.

Ecosystem degradation could raise risk of pandemics

Environmental destruction may make pandemics more likely and less manageable, new research suggests.

Sustainable Aquaculture Futures members win papers of the year awards at Cefas

The collaborative centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures (SAF) is celebrating double success in the Cefas Paper of the Year competition.

Darwin grants for Exeter research

Three marine conservation projects involving University of Exeter scientists have been awarded funding by the UK government’s Darwin Initiative.

Research sheds new light on the role of sea ice in controlling atmospheric carbon levels

A new study has highlighted the crucial role that sea ice across the Southern Ocean played in controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during times of past climate change, and could provide a critical resource for developing future climate change models.

Innovation by ancient farmers adds to biodiversity of the Amazon, study shows

Innovation by ancient farmers to improve soil fertility continues to have an impact on the biodiversity of the Amazon, a major new study shows.

Oldest relative of ragworms and earthworms discovered

Scientists have discovered the oldest fossil that can be assigned to the living annelid worms, the group of animals that contains earthworms, leeches and many different forms in the ocean including polychaetes (such as ragworms and lugworms).

Crop pathogens ‘remarkably adaptable’

Pathogens that attack agricultural crops show remarkable adaptability to new climates and new plant hosts, new research shows.

Threats to global food security from emerging fungal crop pathogens

Amongst the world's most challenging problems is the need to feed an ever-growing global population sustainably. 

Sustainable plastics vital for greener world

Creating sustainable plastics is vital for the future of our environment, a new report says.

Are we underestimating microplastics in the marine environment?

A new study suggests an underestimation of microplastics in the ocean.

Online simulation to help public understand how diseases spread

Scientists have created an online simulation to help people understand how individual actions affect the spread of diseases.

Pine martens like to have neighbours – but not too near

Pine martens need neighbours but like to keep their distance, according to new research.

‘Pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called “pingers” could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting caught in fishing nets with no negative behavioural effects, newly published research suggests.

Solve invasive seaweed problem by turning it into biofuels and fertilisers

UK researchers have developed a cheap and simple way of creating biofuel and fertiliser from seaweed, whilst removing plastic from the oceans and cleaning up tourist beaches in the Caribbean and Central America. 

New test identifies lobster hybrids

Scientists have developed a test that can identify hybrids resulting from crossbreeding between European and American lobsters.

State-of-the-art imaging method provides new insights into how bacteria move and exchange genetic information

Scientists have made a pivotal breakthrough in advancing our understanding of how bacteria move and perform genetic exchange.

Predicting the future Fish of the Day: How well do our models work?

Understanding how the physical and biological world reacts to climate change is a challenge that science must contend with.

Otters juggle stones when hungry, research shows

Hunger is likely to be the main driver of stone juggling in otters, new research has shown.

Exeter scientist elected Royal Society Fellow

A leading scientist from the University of Exeter has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Learn from past to protect oceans

History holds valuable lessons – and stark warnings – about how to manage fisheries and other ocean resources, a new study says.

Fellowship success for Biosciences researchers

Four members of Biosciences staff have been awarded prestigious national research fellowships. 

Rising research star receives prestigious fellowship to develop “molecular movie camera”

One of the new generation of rising research stars at the University of Exeter has received a prestigious national fellowship.

Exeter researchers secure prestigious national fellowships

Five leading researchers from across disciplines at the University of Exeter have received prestigious national fellowships, it has been announced.

Genetics expertise could transform fish production

A recent review of research highlights how genetics can support development of sustainable aquaculture for global food security.

New research gives insights into how a group of novel organelle-based disorders affects cells

A pioneering study has shed new light on how a group of novel organelle-based disorders affect cells.

Vexing Nemo: motorboat noise makes clownfish stressed and aggressive

Hormonal changes caused by motorboat noise cause clownfish to hide, skip meals and attack their neighbours – putting damselfish in distress.

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.