Latest News

£1.85m study to investigate microbes “hitch-hiking” on marine plastics

Experts at Bangor University are working with the Universities of Stirling and Warwick on a new £1.85 million project investigating how marine plastics transport bacteria and viruses – and the impact that may have on human health.

The scientists are aiming to understand how plastics act as vehicles, with the potential to spread pathogens within coastal zones, or even from country to country, and how that affects health.

Publication date: 13 December 2018

Coastal light pollution

Have you ever given a thought to how light pollution in our coastal towns may be affecting our marine neighbours?

The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University is leading a new four year project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, that will improve our understand of how light pollution from coastal towns and cities impacts life along our shores.

Publication date: 13 December 2018

Graduation Profile: Ehren Pawley

Publication date: 13 December 2018

Student volunteers plant hundreds of trees in Snowdonia

Students from Bangor University have planted hundreds of trees as part of an exciting wildlife project with a tourism business in Snowdonia.

The group, from the Bangor Forestry Students’ Association (BFSA), hope the new trees will improve the landscape of the world-famous Ogwen Valley, near Bethesda.

Publication date: 10 December 2018

Ocean acidification will increase the iodine content of edible seaweeds and their consumers

Evidence is rapidly accumulating that ocean acidification and elevated temperatures will have catastrophic consequences for marine organisms and ecosystems. In fact, it is something we are already witnessing. Coral reefs are bleaching, while snails and other calcifying marine organisms struggle to build their shells, scales and skeletons and juvenile marine animals even struggle to navigate to suitable habitats.

This article by Georgina Brennan, Postdoctoral Research Officer, School of Natural Sciences; Dong Xu, Associate Researcher, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, and Naihao Ye, Professor, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 7 December 2018

Agroforestry can help the UK meet climate change commitments without cutting livestock numbers

Some 12m hectares of the UK is currently covered by agricultural grasslands which support a national lamb and beef industry worth approximately £3.7 billion. However, proposals have been made that this landscape should undergo radical changes to aid the country’s climate change commitments. A controversial government advisory report recently produced by the independent Committee on Climate Change calls for UK lamb and beef production to be reduced by up to 50%. It claims that by replacing grazing land with forestry the UK will be able to substantially decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.T

his article by Charlotte Pritchard, PhD Researcher, at the School of Natural Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 7 December 2018

Addressing Food Poverty

Three members of staff at Bangor University attended the inaugural meeting of The North Wales Food Poverty Alliance (NWFPA) in The OpTIC Centre St Asaph recently. 

The North Wales Food Poverty Alliance NWFP is a round table of multi-sector organisations chaired by Flintshire County Council, which aims to address the multiple challenges of food poverty in North Wales.

Publication date: 7 December 2018

Madagascar: fear and violence making rainforest conservation more challenging than ever

"People are too afraid to return to the village so they are sleeping in the forest or have left altogether. They have lost their stored grain and all their belongings. I don’t know how they will get by."

These are the words of Riana*, a young woman from Bevoahazo, a tiny village in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. Bevoahazo sits on the edge of Ranomafana National Park in a UNESCO world heritage site teeming with endangered and endemic species. Security in the area has been deteriorating over the last few years but things have escalated recently.

This article by Julia P G Jones, Professor of Conservation Science at the School of Natural Sciences, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 5 December 2018

What does gathering from the seashore mean to the modern hunter gatherer

Liz Morris-Webb, a researcher at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences is looking for people who gather from the seashores of Wales to take part in her research.  If you forage for food, bait, money, education, medicine, research or something more unusual, you can take part.

Publication date: 5 December 2018

First meeting to develop Wales’ shellfish industry

Shellfish producers, scientists and regulators are meeting at Bangor University today (4 December) for the first workshop to develop a new Shellfish Centre. The centre will deliver the research and innovation needs of the industry and secure sustainable growth of this valuable Welsh sector.

Publication date: 4 December 2018

Rare woodland wildlife at risk because of 50-year-old tree felling rules

This article by Craig Shuttleworth, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, at the School of Natural Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

In the UK it is illegal to deliberately kill or injure red squirrels, disturb them while they are using a nest, or destroy their nests. Yet, although the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act provides these protections, there is a legal anomaly in England and Wales – one that can potentially undermine the conservation of the red squirrel, along with every other rare and endangered forest plant or animal species. Although rare woodland species are protected, the habitat they dwell in is generally not.

Publication date: 30 November 2018

What seabirds can tell us about the tide

When the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) set out to tag razorbills, their aim was to track their behaviour and movements along the coast of North Wales. The tag data revealed that, at night, these seabirds spent a lot of their time idle on the sea surface. "We saw this as an opportunity to re-use the data and test if the birds might be drifting with the tidal current," says Matt Cooper, a Master of Oceanography graduate from Bangor University in Wales. It turns out they were, according to a new study led by Cooper that shows the potential of using seabirds to measure ocean currents. The results are published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Ocean Science.

Publication date: 29 November 2018

Why are we getting these warm wild winds?

Is there a cold winter on the way?

Whilst our weather has warmed in the last couple of days with the arrival of mild westerly winds from the Atlantic, there are indications further afield which may point to a cold winter for Wales.

Scientists monitoring ocean conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean have detected a warming of the surface water which is a strong indicator of the onset of a major global climate event, known as an “El Nino”.

Publication date: 29 November 2018

Topping success – A slice of Chemistry for local schools during chemistry week

Publication date: 28 November 2018

Virtual Reality enables you to swim with sharks - in Welsh!

"Ocean Rift", one of the world’s most popular Virtual Reality programmes is the first to be available in Welsh for use with VR headsets. (English version here).

Created by Dr Llŷr ap Cenydd, a lecturer at Bangor University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Ocean Rift was one of the first programmes to be released alongside the Samsung Gear VR headset, and has become one of the most popular with an estimated 2.5 million downloads since 2013.

Publication date: 28 November 2018

What planet Earth might look like when the next supercontinent forms – four scenarios

The outer layer of the Earth, the solid crust we walk on, is made up of broken pieces, much like the shell of a broken egg. These pieces, the tectontic plates, move around the planet at speeds of a few centimetres per year. Every so often they come together and combine into a supercontinent, which remains for a few hundred million years before breaking up. The plates then disperse or scatter and move away from each other, until they eventually – after another 400-600 million years – come back together again.

This article by Mattias Green, Reader in Physical Oceanography, Bangor UniversityHannah Sophia Davies, PhD Researcher, Universidade de Lisboa , and Joao C. Duarte, Researcher and Coordinator of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Group, Universidade de Lisboa is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 27 November 2018

Welsh Food Advisory Appointment

Dr Philip Hollington, of the School of Natural Sciences, has been appointed to the Welsh Food Advisory Committee for a period of three years.

Publication date: 26 November 2018

Mangrove forests can rebound thanks to climate change – it’s an opportunity we must take

Humans have become adept at destroying natural habitats. Indeed, we’re so good at it we’ve changed the very makeup and climate of our planet. But there may be signs the natural world is fighting back by protecting itself against rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, and we face the tantalising prospect of helping this process.

This article by Christian Dunn, Senior Lecturer in Zoology at the School of Natural Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 20 November 2018

Bangor University student reaches semi-finals of national business competition

forestry student from Bangor University has reached the semi-finals of a national business competition run by a charity that supports student and graduate entrepreneurs. Jemima Letts, 21, has been shortlisted in the Tata Social Impact category for her business Tree Sparks, a social enterprise aiming to ignite conversation within 15-19 year olds about environmental awareness, as well as highlight that jobs within the environmental sector are viable for young people.

Publication date: 11 October 2018

The young Bangor fish entrepreneur who believes that any fin is possible

A 20 year old student at Bangor University is using his lifelong passion for marine biology to drive his ambitions to become the largest online livestock supplier of fish species in the UK. Sam Hamill, who is currently in his third year studying Marine Biology, is set to launch Big on Fish in November, an online shop and retail store selling aquarium equipment and stocking over 1,100 exotic fish and coral species.

Publication date: 27 September 2018