New damselfly sharing habitat with UK natives
A damselfly species that came to the UK from Europe poses a minimal risk to native damselflies and dragonflies, new research shows.
Double prize success for Exeter students at international biology competition
A multidisciplinary team of undergraduate students have won two awards in the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition.
Harmful fungal toxins in wheat: A growing threat across Europe
Harmful fungal toxins are on the rise in Europe’s wheat and affect almost half of crops, according to a new study.
Academics unite to call for action on reducing pollution from pharmaceuticals
Academics from across the University of Exeter and other universities and industry sector call for action on reducing pharmaceutical pollution.
Egyptian lagoon vital to Cyprus turtles
The number of green turtles breeding in Cyprus has risen in recent years – but this bounce-back depends heavily on an Egyptian lagoon where many turtles feed, new research shows.
New technology maps movement of microscopic algae, crucial to ocean health
The movement patterns of microscopic algae can be mapped in greater detail than ever before, giving new insights into ocean health, thanks to new technology developed at the University of Exeter.
Exeter lecturer wins Royal Society of Chemistry Education Prize
University of Exeter lecturer Dr Alison Hill has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Excellence in Higher Education Prize.
Electric pulses save sharks from fishing hooks
Gadgets that emit small electrical pulses can drastically cut the number of sharks and stingrays caught accidentally on fishing lines, new research shows.
Exeter researchers recognised in global rankings
Twenty-one researchers from the University of Exeter have been recognised as leading experts in Clarivate’s annual highly cited researchers list.
500 million year-old fossils reveal answer to evolutionary riddle
An exceptionally well-preserved collection of fossils discovered in eastern Yunnan Province, China, has enabled scientists to solve a centuries-old riddle in the evolution of life on earth, revealing what the first animals to make skeletons looked like. The results have been published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Volvo Environment Prize 2022 awarded for world-leading microplastics research
Professor Tamara Galloway from the University of Exeter has been awarded the Volvo Environment Prize 2022, for her pioneering work to alert the world to the devastating impacts of plastic pollution in the environment.
Breakthrough in protecting bananas from Panama disease
Exeter scientists have provided hope in the fight to control Panama disease in bananas.
Sustainable fishing plan for Caribbean spiny lobsters
A new project will help to ensure sustainable fishing and aquaculture (fish farming) of Caribbean spiny lobsters.
Natural England and University of Exeter announce partnership
Natural England and the University of Exeter have announced a new strategic partnership to boost nature recovery.
A study from the University of Exeter reveals a master regulator controlling fungal infection of wheat
The discovery of a "master regulator" for pathogenicity is crucial in the development of control strategies.
New bid to 'outflank' antimicrobial resistance
A major new project will investigate the defence mechanisms of bacterial cells, to help stop the spread of drug-resistant genes.
Fertilisers cause more than 2% of global emissions
Synthetic nitrogen fertilisers account for 2.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, new research shows.
Scientists study tourists to protect great apes
Researchers are protecting great apes from diseases by studying the behaviour and expectations of tourists who visit them.
Congo creates first Marine Protected Areas
The Republic of the Congo has created its first ever Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), supported by a research team including the University of Exeter and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Algal expert awarded experimental biology medal
A leading microbiologist at the University of Exeter has been recognised for her outstanding research into algae.
Scientists stunned by vast insect migration
Migratory insects cross at least 100km of open sea to reach Cyprus on the way to mainland Europe.
Exeter academic awarded grant to research a new fungal lineage
A University of Exeter academic has won a Wellcome Trust Career Development Award to research an antifungal-resistant lineage of fungi.
Study achieves longest continuous tracking of migrating insects
Insects are the world’s smallest flying migrants, but they can maintain perfectly straight flight paths even in unfavorable wind conditions, according to a new study from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior (MPI-AB) and the University of Konstanz in Germany, and the University of Exeter in the UK.
Safeguarding Indigenous Peoples’ lands could save primates
Safeguarding Indigenous Peoples' lands offers the best chance of preventing the extinction of the world's primates, researchers say.
Scientists discover key genes behind insect migrations
Scientists have identified more than 1,500 genetic differences between migratory and non-migratory hoverflies.
Exeter researcher wins Lister Prize
A University of Exeter researcher has won the prestigious Lister Prize to support her research into fungal pathogens.
Numbers and experience count in mongoose warfare
Strength in numbers and experienced individuals are both vital in mongoose warfare, new research shows.
New research gives insights into how organelles divide in cells
A pioneering study has shed new light on how subcellular organelles divide and multiply.
Science Futures to make Glastonbury debut
Festivalgoers can learn about climate change, space travel, plant power and much more at Glastonbury's new Science Futures area.
Otters learn from each other – but solve some puzzles alone
Otters learn skills from each other – but they also solve some mysteries alone, new research shows.
Free Soapbox Science talks in Exeter
Fish on painkillers, the power of tiny shrimps and late-night snacking by bumblebees are just some of the subjects on offer at this year's Soapbox Science in Exeter.
Scientists show how fast-growing bacteria can resist antibiotics
Scientists have demonstrated how some fast-growing bacteria can resist treatment with antibiotics, according to a study published today in eLife.
Exeter doctoral student wins prestigious medal for "extraordinary" research
A prestigious medal for the UK’s best PhD thesis in biology has been awarded to Dr Timothy Lamont, for his PhD work at the University of Exeter.
AI learns coral reef "song"
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can track the health of coral reefs by learning the "song of the reef", new research shows.
British coral predicted to be resilient to climate change
An iconic coral species found in UK waters could expand its range due to climate change, new research shows.
'Fuel of evolution' more abundant than previously thought in wild animals
The raw material for evolution is much more abundant in wild animals than we previously believed, according to new research from the Australian National University (ANU).
Drug resistance molecule can spread though bacterial 'communities'
DNA molecules called plasmids – some of which protect bacteria from antibiotics – can spread rapidly through bacterial "communities" that are treated with antibiotics, new research shows.
Pioneering study identifies global dynamics of Antibiotic Resistance
Scientists have used ideas from artificial intelligence to identify patterns of antibiotic resistance around the world.
'Democracy' governs mass jackdaw take-offs
Jackdaws use a "democratic" process to decide when to leave their roosts en masse, new research shows.
'Make or break' year for protecting nature
2022 is a "make or break" year for protecting nature and tackling climate change, a leading scientist says.
'Traffic calming' boosts breeding on coral reefs
Coral reef fish breed more successfully if motorboat noise is reduced, new research shows.
Satellites and drones can help save pollinators
Satellites and drones can provide key information to protect pollinators, researchers say.
Scallops swim into illuminated fishing pots
Scallops are drawn to illuminated fishing pots like moths to a flame, new research shows.
Sea turtle success stories along African east coast – but thousands still dying
Conservation of sea turtles along Africa's east coast has made good progress – but tens of thousands still die each year due to human activity, researchers say.
Peru "pinger" trial deters dolphins but not whales
A trial of underwater sound devices called pingers reduced the number of dolphins caught in fishing nets – but did not deter humpback whales.
Research ship delves into ocean history
A research ship is taking seabed samples from the North Sea and North Atlantic to find out what the oceans were like before major changes caused by humans.
UK wildlife watchers welcome "ecological refugees"
Wildlife watchers generally welcome species that have arrived in the UK due to climate change, new research suggests.
Protected areas don’t always boost biodiversity
Protected areas such as national parks have a "mixed impact" on wildlife, according to the largest ever global study of their effects.
Multi-million funding for new 'terrestrial blue economy' research
A pioneering new research project, designed to unlock the true potential of sustainable shrimp production in the UK using renewable energy technology, has received a multi-million pound funding boost.
'Whup' and 'grumble' calls reveal secrets of humpback whales
Sounds made by humpback whales – including a previously unknown call – have given researchers a glimpse of their lives in the high seas.
Selective breeding sustainably protects honey bees from Varroa mite
A new breed of honey bees provides a major advance in the global fight against the parasitic Varroa mite, new research shows.
African network protects key turtle sites
A network of West African Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covers key sites used by green turtles, new research shows.
Remote Indian Ocean reefs bounce back quickly after bleaching
Coral reefs in remote or protected areas can recover quickly after mass coral bleaching events, new research shows.
Modern animal life could have origins in delta
The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, new research suggests.
Researchers aim to discover how viruses communicate
The different "languages" used by viruses will be investigated by a new research project at the University of Exeter.
Voles cut grass to watch flying predators
A tiny rodent trims tall grasses so it can watch the skies for flying predators, new research shows.
Half century of protection pays off for sea turtles
Green turtle numbers continue to rise on a group of islands where the species has now been protected for more than 50 years, new research shows.
LEAF status for all Exeter labs
All eligible laboratories at the University of Exeter have now achieved Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) accreditation.
Female chimpanzees avoid humans
Female chimpanzees are less likely than males to go near villages and farmland used by humans, new research shows.
Whole-genome sequencing reveals new secrets about killer fungus
New research from the University of Exeter reports largest ever whole-genome sequencing project for the potentially fatal yeast infection Candida glabrata from hospitals across Scotland
Plastic labelling needs 'sustainability scale'
Labelling of plastic products needs a drastic overhaul including a new "sustainability scale" to help consumers, researchers say.
Racing looks through eyes of horses to help deliver improved safety at all British jump courses
Racing at Stratford Upon Avon on 14 March will mark the start of a new era over jumps in Britain as obstacles begin turning white as part of a welfare-driven project to develop new ways to help make hurdle and fence design safer.
Bid to protect "blue food" revolution
Scientists have developed a new way to identify and reduce the impact of chemicals and diseases in global aquaculture (fish farming).
Leading UK marine scientists welcome move towards global plastics pact ahead of major UN meeting
Plastic pollution is universally accepted as having dire effects on the world’s marine life and ecosystems, in addition to presenting risks to human health including through the leaching of chemical additives and consumption of microplastics contained in seafood
'Freeze or flee' reactions run in fish families
Families of fish tend to share similar reactions to stressful situations, new research shows.
UK biodiversity renewal project to revive nature and communities receives £10 million investment
Researchers at the University of Exeter have received £10 million to investigate and tackle biodiversity loss in the UK through partnerships and community action.
Three Exeter researchers win Discovery Fellowships
Three University of Exeter researchers have been awarded prestigious Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Discovery Fellowships.
Gabon provides blueprint for protecting oceans
Gabon's network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provides a blueprint that could be used in many other countries, experts say.
How do pathogens learn to be pathogens: partnerships between microbes leading to human disease
New research discovered that the fungus Rhizopus fights back against soil predators and human immune cells by partnering with a bacteria called Ralstonia in a two way partnership.
Exeter biologists investigate smallest propeller on earth
University of Exeter scientists have discovered new information about the tiny propellers used by single-cell organisms called archaea.
Bid to discover how immune systems recognise fungal invaders
A new research programme aims to define the vital first step in how human immune systems recognise fungal invaders.
English Channel stops new rockpool species reaching UK
The English Channel prevents many rockpool species "making the jump" from Europe to the UK, new research shows.
Fish study shows role of oestrogens in sense of smell
Steroid oestrogens play an important role as embryos develop a sense of smell, new research shows.
Bluefin tuna tagged for the first time in UK waters with acoustic ‘residency’ tags
Bluefin tuna have been tagged with state-of-the-art acoustic tracking tags for the first time in UK waters.
Bid to understand how bacterial defences affect the spread of 'mobile genetic elements'
A major new project will investigate how bacterial defences influence the spread of segments of DNA called mobile genetic elements (MGEs) between bacteria.
New discovery on regulation of organelle contact
A pioneering study has revealed how cellular compartments (organelles) are able to control how much they interact and cooperate.
Due to rapid warming, Arctic sea-ice is retreating.
New bid to protect Central Arctic Ocean
Researchers and an Arctic explorer are working together to protect the ocean that surrounds the North Pole.
Due to rapid warming, Arctic sea-ice is retreating – potentially opening new waters to shipping, fishing and other human activities.
A new partnership between the 90 North Foundation, led by explorer Pen Hadow, and the University of Exeter will investigate the unique ecosystems of the Central Arctic Ocean (defined as waters more than 200 nautical miles north of the coasts of the five surrounding nations).
This distance from coastlines means the Central Arctic Ocean is in "international waters" (also known as "high seas"). Fishing there is currently banned by a voluntary agreement, which is not legally enforceable and will expire in 2037.
The new Central Arctic Ocean Unit at Exeter will investigate biodiversity and ecosystem services (benefits to humans), and examine how these might be protected in this changing region.
"We depend on the health of the natural world for our survival," said Hadow.
"The Arctic Ocean plays multiple roles in sustaining our planet's life-support systems, including the climate and biodiversity.
"Species in this region are already under pressure from the loss of sea-ice habitats, ocean warming and acidification.
"So far, vessel-based activities in the Central Arctic Ocean have been minimal, and coastal states and Indigenous Peoples represented by the Arctic Council have recognised the fragility and importance of this region.
"However, if these cold waters are to be an 'Arctic Ark' – both for existing wildlife and 'refugee' species moving north – we need to understand and protect them to maximise the resilience of all species to the environmental changes and human impacts.
"That's the mission of the 90 North Foundation, and we're delighted to be working with the University of Exeter, which is home to some of the world's leading experts on marine biodiversity and conservation."
Recent research suggests the wider Arctic region is warming four times faster than the rest of the world.
Species known to rely on sea-ice for survival include polar bear, walrus, narwhal, orca and three species of Arctic seal, and the ice is also vital to the plankton that supports the rest of the food web.
"We're delighted to work with the 90 North Foundation to conduct this vital research, which will inform the management of this precious part of our planet," said Professor Brendan Godley, who leads the Exeter Marine research group at the University of Exeter.
"We want to understand how these Arctic ecosystems function, and how human activities can be sustainably managed.
"From plankton, via whales and shipping, to legal and policy issues, Exeter has a wealth of expertise in marine biodiversity and protection."
Exeter is home to a range of Arctic experts, including Professor Gail Whiteman, founder of Arctic Basecamp.
Professor Lisa Roberts, Exeter's Vice-Chancellor, said: "The University of Exeter is home to a community of more than 300 marine researchers.
"We are focussed on increasing understanding of our oceans, learning how external influences impact them, and determining the actions we can take to mitigate risks from the climate and ecological crisis.
"The Arctic is a special place which few have visited but many value for its unique and dramatic ecosystems.
"It’s vital we better understand these current ecosystems, identify the risks they face and use this information to ensure the region is better protected for future generations.
"We are pleased to be working with 90 North on the Central Arctic Ocean Unit, an ambitious partnership that will work to achieve these goals."
Date: 2 February 2023