If you go down to the shore today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Many will have witnessed the presence of a starfish or two when visiting the seashore or a public aquarium. Starfish come in an exciting range of colours and sizes, but have you ever given a thought to how this multi-armed wonder manages to exist in our oceans when it’s so unlike the other animals we know?
Publication date: 16 February 2018
Bangor University’s BioComposites Centre (BC) has been selected to lead a consortium to deliver a review on ‘The potential for using bioenergy resources for construction and other non-energy uses’ for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a non-governmental advisory body. This review will feed into the updated Bioenergy Review 2018, which will be published by the CCC in the autumn.
Publication date: 8 February 2018
Do a quick search for “snakes” in the news and you’ll find people terrified, bitten or, sadly, killed by these creatures. Many of us fear their slithering ways and researchers have found evidence which suggests that humans have evolved a tendency to spot snakes more easily than other animals.
But there are more than 3,500 species of snake in the world, and they have been around for 167m years – so they must be doing something right.
Publication date: 7 February 2018
New research proves that environmental DNA survives for less than two days in small fast-flowing rivers and so provides highly localised and current information on species composition. This is crucial new evidence as biologists turn increasingly to new DNA sampling techniques to assess aquatic ecosystem health.
Publication date: 2 February 2018
Bangor University has thrown its support behind the reintroduction of beavers in Wales to mark World Wetlands Day (2.2.18).
Scientists from the university are calling for more support of the Welsh Beaver Project which aims to bring back the iconic animal to the country.
Publication date: 2 February 2018
Pink seafans, Ross corals and white sea squirts could take up to 20 years to recover after an area of the seabed was closed to scallop dredging, according to predictions by a team of scientists at Bangor University.
Publication date: 26 January 2018
New NE African records of ancient climate support early dates for initial human dispersal Out of Africa
The origin and population expansion of anatomically modern humans (AMH) continues to be a much-debated area of research.
The previously established consensus is that humans originated on the African continent, in the area of the East African Rift Valley, and subsequently migrated “Out of Africa” around 70,000 years ago. But there are a host of authors that suggest differently; with some of the more recent genetic evidence as well as somewhat limited archaeological evidence suggesting a much earlier date for the migration - around 120,000 to 130,000 years ago.
Against this back-drop, there is surprisingly little direct evidence of what the climate was like in East Africa over this time, yet it is acknowledged that this influences patterns of human migration.
Newly published research in Scientific Reports aims to plug this hole in our knowledge.
Publication date: 24 January 2018
Scientists call for action to tackle the threat of invasive tree species to a global biodiversity hotspot
An invasive Australian tree is now posing a serious threat to a global diversity ‘hotspot’ according to new collaborative research between Landcare Research in New Zealand, the Universities of Cambridge (UK) Denver (US) and Bangor University (UK).
This species, Pittosporum undulatum, known locally as mock orange, was introduced to a botanic garden in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica in the late 19th century. As its local name suggests, this fast-growing, glossy-leaved tree has bright orange fruit which open to reveal small, sticky, sugary-coated seeds. These are widely dispersed by native Jamaican bird species and it has been invading new habitats at a high rate. At first, the species took over land abandoned from the cultivation of coffee and tree crops, but more recently it has expanded into the natural forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. This invasion was accelerated by the damage caused to the forests by Hurricane Gilbert 29 years ago, and it is likely to be further advanced by future major hurricanes.
Publication date: 2 January 2018
Recent market research has shown that alcohol consumption in Britain has fallen by 18% since 2004. The beer sector has also seen a decline in demand but within this sector, the Society of Independent Brewers has reported a steady growth amongst its members. The number of breweries in Britain is at a 70 year high with a total of over 1800 established independent breweries in 2015. There is no sign of the sector growth slowing and the demand for locally produced beer continues.
Publication date: 12 December 2017