Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

News Archive: March 2020

Coronavirus: experts in evolution explain why social distancing feels so unnatural

For many people, the most distressing part of the coronavirus pandemic is the idea of social isolation. If we get ill, we quarantine ourselves for the protection of others. But even among the healthy, loneliness may be setting in as we engage with pre-emptive social distancing.

This article by Isabelle Catherine Winder, Lecturer in Zoology, School of Natural Sciences and Vivien Shaw, Lecturer in Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 26 March 2020

Snake venom evolved for prey not protection

It is estimated that every year, over 100,000 human deaths can be attributed to snakebite from the world’s 700 venomous snake species – all inflicted in self-defence when the snakes feel threatened by encroaching humans. However, a new piece of research concludes that snake venom did not evolve as a defence mechanism.

Publication date: 25 March 2020

Entrepreneurial students put Bangor University in a top spot 

More Bangor University students began their own businesses than at any other university in Wales according to a new survey.    

The study of 404,182 students at eight Welsh universities analysed the number of graduates who started their own business, moved into senior positions to run established businesses, or became freelancers. It also placed Bangor University second highest in Wales for all these categories, with just under one in ten (9.13%) graduates choosing to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test.  

Publication date: 24 March 2020

Why do snakes produce venom? Not for self-defence, study shows

Snake venoms vary a lot between species in their make-up and effects, which is a major problem for developing treatments. Snakes use these venoms for two main purposes. The first is foraging, where venom helps the snake to overpower its prey before eating it. The second is self-defence against potential predators – this is how millions of people get bitten, and around 100,000 killed, every year.

This article by Wolfgang Wüster, Senior Lecturer in Zoology, Bangor University and Kevin Arbuckle, Senior Lecturer in Biosciences, Swansea University is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 24 March 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE Suspension of Teaching 16-20 March

Due to the fast changing situation regarding Covid-19, and in line with many other universities, the University Executive has taken the decision to suspend all face to face teaching with immediate effect, until the end of the academic year. Instead, from Monday 23rd March all teaching and other learning materials will be delivered online to enable you to continue with your studies. This applies to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students.

Publication date: 15 March 2020

Commemorating 70 Years since the Bethesda Bomber Tragedy

In the early hours of 15 March 1950 an Avro Lincoln bomber from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire crashed above Bethesda. None of the crew, aged between 22 and 32, survived.

In this, the 80th year since the Battle of Britain, Dr Hazel Pierce, Associate Member of the Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book at Bangor University, has looked into this accident to remember the six men who lost their lives and to recognise the efforts of local people who helped in the rescue attempt that night.

Publication date: 13 March 2020

Nuclear agreement between Wales and Canada

Universities from Wales and Canada have joined forces to develop pioneering nuclear technologies together.

Bangor University, in North Wales, and the University of New Brunswick (UNB), in Canada, are to begin collaborating on new energy sources.

Publication date: 12 March 2020

Huge ecosystems could collapse in less than 50 years – new study

We know that ecosystems under stress can reach a point where they rapidly collapse into something very different. The clear water of a pristine lake can turn algae-green in a matter of months. In hot summers, a colourful coral reef can soon become bleached and virtually barren. And if a tropical forest has its canopy significantly reduced by deforestation, the loss of humidity can cause a shift to savanna grassland with few trees.

This article by John Dearing, Professor of Physical Geography, University of SouthamptonGreg Cooper, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, SOAS, University of London, and Simon Willcock, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 11 March 2020

The Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime

Large ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest, will collapse and disappear alarmingly quickly, once a crucial tipping point is reached, according to calculations based on real-world data.

Writing in Nature Comms (10.1038/s41467-020-15029-x), researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, reveal the speed at which ecosystems of different sizes will disappear, once they have reached a point beyond which they collapse – transforming into an alternative ecosystem.

Publication date: 10 March 2020

Tropical forests’ carbon sink is already rapidly weakening

Dr Simon Willcock, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University’s School of Natural Sciences is an expert in tropical landscapes and the benefits people receive from them. He contributed to a major piece of research, published today. He collected and provided data from Tanzanian rainforests, as well as collaborating with the manuscript preparation.

Publication date: 4 March 2020

Wales One World Film Festival arrives in Bangor

The Wales One World Film Festival (WOW) has, since its inception in 2001, celebrated with passion and enthusiasm the many riches of world cinema.

WOW's mission has always been to create and sustain a Wales-wide travelling film festival that brings a brilliant selection of films from around the globe to cinemas across Wales, and for the first time in their history, this March, they will be partnering with Pontio Cinema, here in Bangor between 26 March and 1 April.

Publication date: 2 March 2020