News: January 2018

Fantastic Job Opportunity

Applications are invited for the above fixed term, full time post working in the School of Chemistry.

Publication date: 29 January 2018

We opened up all our data on coral reefs – more scientists should do the same to protect habitats

Coral reefs are critically important to the world but despite the ongoing efforts of scientists and campaigners, these stunningly beautiful ecosystems still face a variety of threats. The most pervasive is, of course, climate change, which is putting their very future in jeopardy.

This article by Adel Heenan, Postdoctoral fellow, School of Ocean SciencesBangor University and Ivor D. Williams, Coral Reef Ecologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 29 January 2018

Study reveals long time scale of recovery for marine sea fans and other species

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

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience to rising sea surface temperatures are an essential component of global efforts to safeguard coral reefs

A review of the literature points to the importance of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions in addition to protecting or augmenting resilience mechanisms in the face of increased frequency of climate change impacts.

Publication date: 22 January 2018

£5m EU funding boost for Bangor University

A world-leading scientific facility will be developed at Bangor University following a £5m EU funding boost the Energy and Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, announced today [18.01.18].

The funding will help create the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, which will position the University at the cutting edge of research into how natural materials can be utilised within industrial products and processes.

The investment will enable the University to work on major research and development projects with global businesses in sectors including life sciences, pharmaceutical, energy and manufacturing.

Publication date: 18 January 2018

Friends raise tens of thousands of pounds to help Dr Sophie Williams return home

A gin festival, a sponsored climb of Snowdon, specially designed Christmas cards and a hair-shaving event are just some of the many fund-raising activities carried out by friends and family of Sophie Williams in the last few months. The money is needed to make adaptations to Sophie’s home to provide wheel-chair access and space for the carers she needs 24 hours a day.

Sophie, a lecturer in Bangor University, suffered brain injury when on fieldwork in China in 2015. She has limited movement below the neck and depends on a ventilator. The work to her home in Sling, near Tregarth, is expected to cost around £60,000.

Publication date: 17 January 2018

Is fishing with electricity less destructive than digging up the seabed with beam trawlers?

While many people may be interested in the sustainability and welfare of the fish they eat, or the health of the environment, fewer probably worry about the effect that trawl fishing – which accounts for 20% of landings – has on the ocean.

This article by Michel Kaiser, Chair of Marine Conservation Ecology, School of Ocean Sciences was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 8 January 2018

Broadcaster Miranda Krestovnikoff presents ‘A whistle-stop tour around the coast’

TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff is to give ‘A whistle-stop tour around the coast’ at a special public lecture in Bangor University on Wednesday, 31 January at 5.30pm in Pontio Lecture Room 5.  The lecture is free and all are welcome, but tickets are required.  They can be booked through the Pontio website or by calling the Box Office on 01248 382828.

Publication date: 4 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