News: January 2019

Prestigious early career award goes to PhD student

A Bangor University PhD student is the first female to be awarded an international prize for her outstanding work in the field of marine sedimentology.

Megan Baker was awarded the International Association of Sedimentologists RICHARD W. FAAS RESEARCH PRIZE and a cash award of €2000. The Faas prize is awarded every two years to an early career researcher. This is also the first time that this prize has been awarded to a PhD student.

Publication date: 30 January 2019

Financial incentives to attract new teachers extended

Staff at Bangor University’s School of Education and Human Development have welcomed Education Minister Kirsty Williams’ recent announcement that the existing financial incentives for teacher training is to be extended into the academic year 2019-20.

The incentives, of up to £20,000 per student, aim to attract the best graduates into teaching priority subjects such as maths, chemistry, physics, computer science and modern foreign languages.

Publication date: 29 January 2019

True cost of gambling underestimated, say new publications

The current focus on individual ‘problem gamblers’ fails to take into account the full health and social cost of gambling because it overlooks the wider impact on families, friends and communities, according to new work published today.

The joint work by Bangor University, Public Health Wales, Heather Wardle Research and Swansea University also shows that problem gambling rates are highest in the most deprived communities of Wales

Publication date: 29 January 2019

Psychology PhD Student dances her PhD for international competition

Bangor University Psychology PhD student Kohinoor Darda has entered an international competition which allows her to explain what her PhD is about.

Publication date: 28 January 2019

Sharing Welsh language technologies with the world

On 25 January, academic researchers, local developers and representatives from some of the digital sector’s most prominent companies met to discuss and share best practice in the field of language technologies, at the Technology and Welsh Language Conference 2019. This is the third annual conference held by the Language Technologies Unit at Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University’s Centre for Welsh Language Services, Research and Technology.

Publication date: 28 January 2019

Inspirational Bangor University tutor wins national tutor award

A Bangor University lecturer who reminds her students to phone their families has won a national award.

Human Geography lecturer Siân Pierce, who says she finds people “endlessly fascinating”, has picked up an Inspire! Tutor Award after watching thousands of her students graduate in her more than 20 years.

The awards celebrate the achievements of exceptional tutors and mentors in Wales who have shown outstanding passion and commitment to encourage, support and teach other adult learners to pursue their goals and transform their lives, whether it’s in their community or the workplace.

Publication date: 25 January 2019

Why people with anxiety and other mood disorders struggle to manage their emotions

Regulating our emotions is something we all do, every day of our lives. This psychological process means that we can manage how we feel and express emotions in the face of whatever situation may arise. But some people cannot regulate their emotions effectively, and so experience difficult and intense feelings, often partaking in behaviours such as self-harmusing alcohol, and over-eating to try to escape them.

There are several strategies that we use to regulate emotions – for example, reappraisal (changing how you feel about something) and attentional deployment (redirecting your attention away from something). Underlying neural systems in the brain’s prefrontal cortex are responsible for these strategies. However, dysfunction of these neural mechanisms can mean that a person is unable to manage their emotions effectively.

This article by Leanne Rowlands, PhD Researcher in Neuropsychology,  at the School of Psychology is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 25 January 2019

Bangor University scientist receives honorary doctorate from Chilean university

Dr Shaun Russell, Director of Bangor University’s Treborth Botanic Garden, was awarded a ‘doctor honoris causa’ at a ceremony at the Universidad de Magallanes (UMAG)  recently.

UMAG is located in the city of Punta Arenas on the Straits of Magellan in southern Chile. Dr Russell has been conducting botanical research work in the region for the past 16 years. Tierra del Fuego is a global diversity hotspot for mosses and liverworts, which are classed as bryophytes and Dr Russell’s work on these small but ecologically important plants, contributed directly to the creation of the UNESCO “Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve” there in 2005.

Publication date: 24 January 2019

Bangor University to host UniBrass’ debut in Wales

For the first time in its history, UniBrass will be hosted in Wales at Bangor University on Saturday 2nd February 2019.

UniBrass, the University Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is being organised by current students and alumni of Bangor University supported by the UniBrass Foundation; a charity set up to aid the development of the contest and to encourage students to continue playing in brass bands through university.

Publication date: 23 January 2019

Enhanced research reporting method to improve patient care

Patients could benefit from improved care and outcomes thanks to new research reporting guidance developed from a study that Bangor University researchers contributed to.

Experts have developed an approach that enables better reporting of findings from the combination of qualitative studies such as information garnered from patient interviews and focus groups.

The study has led to the creation of the first-ever tailored reporting guidance for the methodology, known as meta-ethnography. It will give researchers and healthcare bosses greater confidence in the findings of qualitative studies and, ultimately, aid the improvement of patient care and services.

Publication date: 17 January 2019

Exercise can fast-track your workplace well-being - here's how

Exercise has been found to reduce stress, increase positive mooddecrease anxiety and alleviate depression. But you may not know that the emotional well-being associated with exercise is also linked to key attributes that can help us while we work.

This article by Rhi Willmot, PhD Researcher in Behavioural and Positive Psychology at the School of Psychology is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 17 January 2019

Bangor University placed in the top 10 of global green league

Bangor University is ranked eighth in the world for its commitment to sustainability according to an international league table of environmentally friendly institutions.

The University is one of four UK universities appearing in the Top 10 of the UI Green Metrica league table of the world’s greenest universities.

Publication date: 15 January 2019

How our unconscious visual biases change the way we perceive objects

 As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But while we can appreciate that others might hold different opinions of objects we see, not many people know that factors beyond our control can influence how we perceive the basic attributes of these objects. We might argue that something is beautiful or ugly, for example, but we would be surprised to learn that the same object is perceived as a sphere by one person but as a cube by another.

This article by Beverley Pickard-Jones, PhD Researcher, at the School of Psychology is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 15 January 2019

Investigating why oak trees are dying is helping scientists understand how infectious diseases work

British oak trees are under threat from a disease known as Acute Oak Decline. Mainly affecting mature trees, it can kill them within four to five years of symptoms appearing. However, while researchers like myself have been looking into what causes it, and trying to find a way to prevent it, our work has been hindered in part by the fact that we have to follow a set of scientific rules known as Koch’s postulates.

This article by James Doonan, Postdoctoral Research Officer, School of Natural Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 14 January 2019

Assessing the value of dementia support groups

New ageing and dementia research at Bangor University will soon be underway, with a team from the Bangor Institute of Health and Medical Research in the School of Health Sciences being the only university in Wales to be awarded funding as part of the ESRC-NIHR Dementia Research Initiative 2018.

This programme of work, led by partners at University College London, centres around people living with rare dementias, and will involve the first major study of the value of support groups for people living with or caring for someone with a rare form of dementia.

Publication date: 10 January 2019

Bangor University Venom Day attracts world-leading experts

Toxin enthusiasts from around the globe gathered in North Wales for an annual event organised by Bangor University students.

Leading academics, world experts and a TV star joined over a hundred people for the unique Venom Day conference in Bangor to discuss toxicology and venomous species.

Publication date: 10 January 2019

Why foraging for free is food for the soul

 In the past few years, there’s been a resurgence in the idea of foraging for food. The practice of hand gathering plants and animals for bait, money or the table has long taken place, but more recently top chefs have been popularising the idea, while urban foragers have told of the lengths they go to to find wild food in big cities.

This article by PhD candidate at the School of Ocean SciencesElisabeth S. Morris-Webb, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 10 January 2019

Holocaust Memorial Day Service at Bangor University

A service to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 will be held at the Prichard-Jones Hall, Main Arts Building, College Road, in Bangor on Monday, 28 January, from  10:30am to 11:30am.

The theme of this year’s service is ‘Torn from Home’ and will feature music and readings from local schools, members of the local community and council, the Students Union, The Chaplaincy Team, and University Staff.

The service, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Prichard-Jones Hall, Main Arts Building, and refreshments will be served afterwards.

Publication date: 9 January 2019

“For services to tackling poverty abroad and to education in Derby”

Dr Daljit Singh Virk, a Senior Research Fellow at Bangor University is to receive the OBE.

The award recognises the impact of Dr Virk’s scientific contributions as geneticist and plant breeder as well as his leading role in establishing the Sikh faith Akaal Primary School, in Derby in 2015. The free school was established under the Academies Act.

Dr Virk has been at the heart of one of Bangor University’s most impactful research projects, which has contributed to improved food security and livelihoods for millions of households in some of the most impoverished countries.

Publication date: 8 January 2019

Archive of the Month – January 2019: George Hartley Bryan (1864-1928)

George Hartley Bryan was Professor of Pure & Applied Mathematics at Bangor from 1896 until his retirement in 1926. In 1911 he published ‘Stability in aviation; an introduction to dynamical stability as applied to the motions of aeroplanes, a book that established Bangor at the forefront of new scientific advances.

Publication date: 7 January 2019

Lynette Roberts: Welsh poet who fused touch and sight into sound

The name of Lynette Roberts may not be the first that springs to mind in the history of Welsh writing in English, possibly because her futuristic poetry of World War II still sounds new and strange. In her epic poem Gods With Stainless Ears she imagines postwar humans in a technologised, ecologically damaged landscape:

This article by Zoë Skoulding, Reader in English at the School of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 2 January 2019