News and Events

News Archive: December 2014

Bangor University’s Prof John Witcombe receives prestigious award

Prof John Witcombe, Professorial Fellow in the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, received his award as Development Agriculturalist of the Year for 2014 from the Tropical Agriculture Association recently.

Publication date: 19 December 2014

Impressive turn out for Student Christmas Market

PJ Hall opened its doors to over 1,000 customers from across the university as well as the wider community for its fifth annual Student Christmas Market. Visitors took the opportunity to purchase unique handcrafted products and last minute gifts and stocking fillers. Many items had a Welsh or international theme and some stalls were sold out within a couple of hours.

Publication date: 19 December 2014

Bangor University recognised for world-leading research

Bangor University’s research has a major impact around the world according to a national assessment of research quality (REF) published today.

Publication date: 18 December 2014

Prudent Health – Bangor explores ways to assist the Welsh Government

A health delegation from Welsh Government visited Bangor University to visit the Welsh Centre for Behaviour Change (WCBC) and discuss the government Prudent Health agenda. WCBC are currently writing a chapter for the Prudent Health ebook (prudenthealthcare.org.uk) to help bring the knowledge of behaviour change science to prudent healthcare issues.

Publication date: 17 December 2014

Biological Sciences Alumnus pens best-selling book

A Bangor University alumnus recalls a heart-thumping account of surviving the sinking of a fishing boat in the waters of Antarctica in his best-selling book, Last Man Off.

Publication date: 16 December 2014

British Ecology Society Awards Bangor Lecturer

A lecturer at Bangor University’s School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography has been awarded the prestigious British Ecological Society’s Founders’ Prize for 2014.

Publication date: 16 December 2014

British gardeners can now grow really tasty, outdoor-grown tomatoes

From next year, British gardeners will be able to buy blight- resistant tomato plants that will grow outside. Developed in conjunction with Bangor University, the tomatoes are far better than any previously available.

Publication date: 16 December 2014

New understanding of venom could open door to more effective antivenoms

New research, which disproves the theory that venom evolved just once in reptiles, could also lead to new medical treatments to counteract snakebite.

Publication date: 15 December 2014

Natural Resources Wales Chief Executive visits 25-year research programme

Dr Emyr Roberts Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) visited Bangor University to present a guest lecture on Natural Resources Wales and opportunities for the integrated management of our natural resources to a gathered audience of students and staff.

Publication date: 12 December 2014

Science revision should be much more fun from now on – thanks to a new App released by Bangor University

The new Adolygu – Revision App is the first ever bilingual App to be produced to support Year 10 pupils throughout Wales with their GCSE Science revision.

Publication date: 11 December 2014

Trawling makes for skinny flatfish

Trawling the seabed doesn’t just remove some of the fishes living there; it also makes some of the survivors thinner and less healthy by forcing them to use more energy finding less nutritious food.

That’s the conclusion of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, based on the work Dr Andrew Frederick Johnson undertook while studying for his PhD at Bangor University. “We already knew that some species of bottom-dwelling fish in trawled areas were skinnier than those elsewhere, based on earlier work by Dr Jan Geert Hiddink (2011, Journal of Applied Ecology), but until now it was assumed this was because they couldn’t find enough food and went hungry”.

Publication date: 11 December 2014

Bangor University brings significant European research funding to north Wales

Research funding worth nearing £10 million has been levied by Bangor University researchers from the European Union research funding programme, and the University expects to improve on this results in the new European research and innovation programme.

Forty-two major pan-European research projects led by Bangor University academics were successfully funded, against stiff competition in FP7, the 7th Research Framework Programme of the European Commission, which ran from 2007 to 2013.

Publication date: 10 December 2014

Masculine features support ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism spectrum disorder

Recent research from Bangor University has revealed a new spin to a long-standing theory of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

The ‘extreme male brain’ theory proposed by Simon Baron-Cohen, speculates that ASD is a consequence of elevated pre-natal testosterone levels. In a study recently published in the journal, Clinical Psychological Science, Naomi Scott and colleagues at Bangor University’s School of Psychology investigated the possible implications this has for a physical appearance associated with ASD.

Publication date: 10 December 2014

UK on verge of steep lung disease rise in young adults - due to heavy spliff smoking?

The UK needs to be prepared for a steep rise in the number of young  adults affected by a severe form of lung disease due to their regular cannabis and tobacco use - lung specialists will tell the British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting on Wednesday 3rd December.

Publication date: 10 December 2014

Making the game of golf ‘Plane Easy’

Despite the health benefits of regular light to moderate exercise, levels of physical activity in adults in Wales continue to be poor. Golf has the potential to fill that gap and deliver numerous benefits; however participation in the sport has been in decline over recent years. This is something that local golf coach Matthew Wharton (of The Golf Performance Studio, Bangor) a Bangor University alumnus is trying to address with his “Plane Easy” golfing method.

Publication date: 9 December 2014

Sea urchins from Antarctica show adaptation to ocean acidification

A study of sea urchins from the Antarctic Peninsula has revealed an ability to adapt to changing conditions such as rising sea temperature and acidification. Writing in the Journal of Animal Ecology the authors set out to answer important and fundamental questions on how life in the ocean will respond to projected changes in the coming decades.

Despite evidence of increasing acidification of the world’s oceans, questions remain over whether marine species will be able to adapt to these changing conditions. This latest study, led by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and Bangor University, is one of the longest ever conducted.

Publication date: 9 December 2014

Bilingualism and ageing

Many older people keep mentally active and enjoy using ‘brain training’ puzzles and games for their leisure, however the science on their efficacy is as yet partial and inconclusive.

Another area which is as yet, still not fully understood and has also resulted in conflicting results, is whether being bilingual offers a protective factor in age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.   

A small-scale study of bilingual Welsh/English speakers funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, was led by Prof Linda Clare of Bangor University’s School of Psychology. At the outset of the research, there was no evidence available about the effects of bilingualism for older Welsh speakers. The now completed study has found no evidence for a significant delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease in Welsh/English bilinguals. This finding was comparable to that in Montreal, Canada where no bilingual advantage was found in non-immigrant bilinguals.

Publication date: 8 December 2014

Venom Day goes from strength to strength

Bangor University’s Herpetological Society recently held their fourth annual Venom Day. Hosted at the School of Biological Sciences, several experts gave talks about a variety of subjects in the field and delegates had the opportunity to see a live display of venomous reptiles, which included a Cobra, Gila Monster and a variety of vipers. The event is part sponsored by the British Herpetological Society and the International Herpetological Society.

Publication date: 5 December 2014

Are you exercising enough to make you sick?

Should you go harder or go longer?

Marathon and endurance races are increasingly popular, as is a new thirst for intense exercise, such as in ‘spike’ or ‘buzz’ intensity training methods and classes. But which is better for you? Or, to put it another way, which will do least damage to your immune system?

New research by Bangor University challenges the current thinking that longer, less strenuous workouts are less harmful to the immune system.

Publication date: 4 December 2014

Archive of the month

A busy Bangor High Street c. 1910, which appears to have been taken from the clock.

This photograph comes from the collection of R.T. Pritchard of Orme Road, Bangor.

Publication date: 3 December 2014

Bangor Law Lecturer appointed new Academic Fellow at Inner Temple

Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees, a Lecturer in Law at Bangor University has been appointed to a prestigious three-year role as an Academic Fellows of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Dr McDermott Rees is one of only four leading academics to be selected by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, one of the four barrister Inns of Court of England and Wales. The Inns of Court hold the exclusive right to call candidates to practise at the Bar of England and Wales.  The Inner Temple’s Academic Fellows Scheme recognises the outstanding contribution of legal teaching and research of early to mid-career academics. It also aims to support their research and to build a stronger relationship between the Bar, judiciary and legal academia.

Publication date: 3 December 2014

Sir Geraint Evans Award presented to Bangor Music Lecturer and Composer

Dr Guto Pryderi Puw of Bangor University received the 2013 Sir Geraint Evans Award from the Award’s inaugural recipient, Dr Jeremy Huw Williams, on behalf of the Welsh Music Guild at  an event at the Cardiff and County Club recently (30 November 2014).

Publication date: 3 December 2014

How do Welsh universities advance the world around us?

Today marks the launch of a new portal – www.researchwales.ac.uk – that will showcase some of the shining examples of how Welsh universities advance the world around us.   Among the research being showcased are excellent examples of research work by Bangor University’s academics, these include the following examples.

Publication date: 2 December 2014

Learning the ‘rhythm’ of a language helps language learners become fluent

As Wales faces a decline in the number of Welsh speakers, it’s even more important that Welsh learners make the transition from second language learners to become fluent Welsh speakers.

One identified obstacle to ‘fluency’ is Welsh learner’s difficulty in replicating the sound of Welsh- not only the ‘ll’ ‘ch’ and other sounds unfamiliar to the English ear, but also the stress and rhythm of the language, which is different to that of English, and other languages.

Publication date: 2 December 2014

Mixing waters up in the Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica and plays a key role in controlling the global climate. It is here that ocean currents return from the abyss to the surface, closing the global ocean overturning circulation. This circulation drives the poleward transport of heat, which is critical to the relatively mild weather here in the UK.

New research by Bangor University and the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, has for the first time identified a new process that contributes to this upwelling of abyssal water, a key component of the global overturning circulation.

Publication date: 1 December 2014

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