News: November 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

Guest Lecture from Professor Robert Hoehndorf, KAUST, Saudi Arabia

Publication date: 15 November 2018

Improbable vision

Publication date: 6 November 2018

More experiments may help explore what works in conservation

All over the world, countless conservation projects are taking place, attempting to achieve aims from reducing habitat loss, to restoring populations of threatened species. However there is growing awareness that conservationists have not always done a good enough job at evaluating whether the things they do really work. But our new study shows that simply experimenting could change this.

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 November 2018