Latest News

Royal Academy grant for the ‘Photo-Electric Light Orchestra’

An innovative outreach project delivered by Bangor University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering in partnership with the University’s Widening Access Centre has secured a £30,000 grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering as part of its Ingenious scheme – a programme that seeks to engage the public with engineering.

Publication date: 16 April 2019

DNA analysis finds that type of grass pollen, not total count, could be important for allergy sufferers

As the winter cold is replaced by warmer temperatures, longer days and an explosion of botanical life, up to 400m people worldwide will develop allergic reactions to airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. Symptoms will range from itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing, to the aggravation of asthma and an associated cost to society that runs into the billions.

This article by Simon Creer, Professor in Molecular Ecology and Georgina Brennan, Postdoctoral Research Officer, at the School on Natural Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 16 April 2019

Migrating bats use the setting sun

Bats weighing no more than 6 grams, migrating over a thousand miles from the Baltic to Britain, could be the key to revealing how migrating mammals navigate.

We know more about how birds and reptiles and fish navigate than we do about mammals such as whales or wildebeest, but one part of the puzzle is revealed in the latest edition of Current Biology.

Publication date: 12 April 2019

Identifying the grass pollen that gets up your nose

Scientists could be a step closer to providing more precise pollen forecasts to the 25% of the UK population who live with either asthma or hay fever. This follows the first results of a major three-year project to analyse airborne grass pollen.

The first year’s findings, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, have shown that it is not just the overall ‘load’ of grass pollen in the air that could cause those particularly bad days for asthma and hay fever sufferers.  Days which see increased asthma attacks or intense hay fever could be related to the release of pollen from particular grass species.

Publication date: 8 April 2019

Our Planet is billed as an Attenborough documentary with a difference but it shies away from uncomfortable truths

Over six decades, Sir David Attenborough’s name has become synonymous with high-quality nature documentaries. But while for his latest project, the Netflix series Our Planet, he is once again explaining incredible shots of nature and wildlife – this series is a little different from his past films. Many of his previous smash hits have portrayed the natural world as untouched and perfect, Our Planet is billed as putting the threats facing natural ecosystems front and centre to the narrative. In the opening scenes we are told: “For the first time in human history the stability of nature can no longer be taken for granted.”

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

Publication date: 5 April 2019

Plastic Pollution and Our Planet

As ‘Our Planet’, a nature documentary narrated by Bangor University Honorary Graduate Sir David Attenborough launches on Netflix, Marine Biology student Thea Moule shares her experience of plastic pollution.

Publication date: 5 April 2019

HRH Prince of Wales notes shining example of best practice in sustainable management on expansion of the Cayman Islands Marine Protected Areas

Bangor University working in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy have assisted the Department of the Environment to expand the Marine Parks system in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, through projects funded by the DEFRA Darwin Initiative. 

The expansion of Cayman’s existing marine parks was approved by the Cabinet and announced during the visit of His Royal Highness, Prince of Wales, on 28th March.  The Environment Minister indicated that “This expansion will serve to protect our local marine stocks, as well as the crucially important coral reef network surrounding our Islands for generations to come.”

Publication date: 4 April 2019

Student research on freshwater microplastics hits the headlines

Research conducted by students at Bangor University, working with Friends of the Earth, has attracted global media attention.

Bangor University was commissioned by the environmental organization, to measure the amount of plastics and microplastics in British lakes and rivers- and what they found was widely reported in print and broadcast media across Britain and beyond.

Publication date: 3 April 2019

Solving one of the great mysteries surrounding the moon

Dr Mattias Green of Bangor University, in collaboration with researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, have netted a research grant worth £520K from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to tackle a major question in the understanding of the history of the moon.

Publication date: 2 April 2019

New study models the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland

Experts have used an innovative approach to model the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland.

Researchers used state-of-the-art tools to help identify the most suitable location for lynx reintroduction in Scotland – and how this choice might affect the size of a population and its expansion over subsequent decades. Significantly, they believe their model will inform and enhance decision-making around large carnivore reintroductions worldwide.

Publication date: 29 March 2019

Uncoupling the link between snake venom and prey

What was fast-becoming received wisdom among herpetologists, namely that snake venom composition normally reflects the variety of their prey, has been disproved in one common species of North American rattlesnake.

Many recent studies had identified links between the type of prey and the type of venom that had evolved in venomous snake species world-wide. This was thought to reflect natural selection to optimise venom for different prey, and sometimes evolutionary ‘arms- races’ between snake and prey species.

Publication date: 13 March 2019

Graduation Profile: Ehren Pawley

Publication date: 13 December 2018