Research News: March 2011

New species of viper identified

A group of Bangor University scientists have featured in the National Geographic this weekfollowing their discovery of two new species of snake in Southeast Asia.

Publication date: 29 March 2011

Could the Arctic be coming out of hibernation?

Reduced ice cover in the Arctic Ocean could be the reason why the UK has experienced colder winters recently.

 

The ice has acted to insulate temperature changes in the sea from the atmosphere. But as the ice decreases in coverage this could have a consequent effect on our climate.

 

“Some climatologists believe the absence of sea ice north of Siberia last autumn allowed the warmer open ocean to heat the atmosphere, resulting in changed wind patterns and the development of a “blocking” atmospheric high pressure system over Siberia. This then results in cold air being channelled south from the Arctic, over northern Europe,” explains Dr Tom Rippeth of Bangor University.

 

Scientists at the University have also just discovered that the Arctic Ocean, is not as tranquil as previously supposed by oceanographers and this too could have an effect on the climate.

Publication date: 16 March 2011

Researchers reveal that sharks are hygienic

Scientists at Bangor University have shown for the first time, that sharks visit shallow tropical reefs or ‘seamounts’, to benefit from  cleaning services and rid themselves of cumbersome parasites.  The strategy is risky however, since by being there, they become vulnerable to interference from human activity.

Publication date: 15 March 2011

Celtic Media Festival Shortlist

A Bangor University lecturer is on the short list at the annual Celtic Media Festival for his latest documentary. Dr Llion Iwan directed a tribute to master poet Dic Jones following his death in 2009, and which was broadcast on S4C in 2010. Llion lectures in journalism and documentary film at the School of Creative Studies and Media.

Publication date: 14 March 2011

Bangor University announces third year of expansion of Postgraduate Research Scholarships

New Research Scholarship places are being offered at Bangor University for the third successive year. The places are part of the University's five year post-graduate expansion programme. They were also created to mark the University’s 125th Anniversary in 2009.

"A strong postgraduate community is an essential element of any international research-led university. As well as contributing to the further growth of our already vibrant postgraduate community, over half the Scholarship students will work on projects that will assist businesses working in key sectors of the Welsh economy. This will enable them to access the expertise that exists within the University to develop their businesses,” said Professor John G. Hughes, the University's Vice-Chancellor.

Publication date: 11 March 2011

ECB enlists Bangor University scientists to help with cricket talent testing

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has turned to sports scientists at Bangor University to assist them in creating a talent forecasting model to help identify future generations of world-class cricketers.

The aim of the research project between the ECB and the University’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences is to validate a model for predicting cricket talent. This will be used to help selectors and coaches assess and identify promising young players and increase their conversion rate into successful international cricketers.

Publication date: 9 March 2011

New research centre to help shape services for Children and Families in Wales

Building on research that has shown how programmes for infants, young families and teachers across Wales, support children’s social and emotional development, a new research centre should provide further answers that will continue to help the Welsh Assembly Government shape services for children and families in the future.

 

The Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) will be launched by Huw Lewis AM, Deputy Minister for Children on Wednesday 9 March at the Incredible Years Wales Annual Conference in Cardiff.

Publication date: 9 March 2011

CARIAD helps Ethiopian researchers to improve food security

Ethiopian researchers working with scientists at Bangor University’s Centre for Advanced Research in International Agricultural Development (CARIAD), have achieved a breakthrough in increasing the food security of poor farmers in drought prone areas of Ethiopia. They have identified two Indian wheat varieties, adapted to Ethiopian conditions, which give higher yields when rainfall is scarce.

Publication date: 8 March 2011

Getting to the heart of the matter

n a research project for the ESRC Public Services Programme, co-funded by the General Medical Council (the regulatory body for doctors), Dr Mark Exworthy and Professor Jonathan Gabe from Royal Holloway-University of London, and Ian Rees Jones from Bangor University, explored the impact of disclosure of death rates on cardiac surgeons. In 2009, they undertook an in-depth study at the micro level of a surgical unit, the meso level of the hospital in which the unit was based and the local Primary Care Trust, and the macro level of the regulatory environment. The research explored the connections between clinical professionals, managers and regulators.

Publication date: 4 March 2011

Dating Anglesey’s birth as an island and formation of the Menai Strait

Research has revealed when Anglesey became a permanent island through the formation of the Menai Strait.

Mike Roberts, a mature student from Amlwch, conducted the research as part of his PhD at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences, supported by the Cemlyn Jones Trust and the Countryside Council for Wales.

His research, just published in an academic journal, reveals that the Strait became a permanent feature between 5,800 and 4,600 years ago around the time when hunter-gatherers were replaced by the first farmers in north Wales.

Publication date: 1 March 2011