The College of Natural Sciences integrates research across three cognate academic schools: Ocean Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Environment, Natural Resources and Geography. In recent years there has been substantial investment in buildings and equipment, alongside strategic staff appointments.
Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF)
More than 80% of research submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 by the College of Natural Sciences has been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. This places the College in the top 20 amongst UK universities in each of three subject areas: Environmental Science, Agriculture and Health. Research strength is growing rapidly in the College with its quality rating increasing by 20% since the 2008 assessment, the 5th highest increase of any UK university in Environmental Science. Through its strategic alliance with Aberystwyth University, the College is now in 4th place in UK in “research power” (the quantity of high-quality research) in Agriculture and 14th in Environmental Science.
Strategic research priorities
Environmental science is one of the strategic research priorities of Bangor University. Research in this area is grouped into four complementary and overlapping themes that span marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems:
Earth system science and climate change
Aims to integrate new discoveries of past climate change with those of the impacts of contemporary climate change on ecosystems, communities and organisms, investigating potential mitigation through marine renewable energy and enhanced management of terrestrial and coastal environments.
Integration of catchment and coastal processes
Investigating processes from agricultural ecosystems via catchments to estuarine and coastal environments.
Ecosystem conservation and resource management
Integrates fundamental and applied science, with marine, wetland, forest and agro-ecologists working with biogeochemists, modellers and social scientists to address threats to biodiversity by climate change, habitat loss, over exploitation and invasive species. This links closely to our research on the environmental impact of agriculture.
Environmental and evolutionary biology
Integrates the fields of genomics, physiology and ecology to explore the interactions between populations, species, communities and the broader environment on both contemporary and historical timescales. A specific application of this work is the role of genome diversity in sustainable food production.
We have a longstanding research partnership with Aberystwyth University which has received impetus since 2006 from a number of externally-funded strategic initiatives, such as the Biosciences, Environment and Agriculture Alliance (BEAA). Within the partnership, environmental sciences and health are primarily centred at Bangor, while agricultural sciences are concentrated at Aberystwyth. This has allowed us to develop our own thematic foci and specialised infrastructures, at the same time as benefitting from the considerable synergistic potential of inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Research marked by an interdisciplinary approach
Our research is marked by an interdisciplinary approach which is vital to tackle the pressing and complex challenges that face the world’s population, including global environmental change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and unsustainable use of natural resources. To address the challenges of human and animal health we have two linked research themes, in Bangor Cancer biology and neuroscience and the Aberystwyth-led joint theme in Animal and microbial sciences. We have a strong record in knowledge exchange between researchers and stakeholders in the areas of policy and practice, which has led to our research having a high level of impact.
A notable feature of the College’s research is the high reach and significance of its impact on the economy, welfare, society, public policy, international development and the environment.
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