Research News: May 2012

Bangor University helps government of Madagascar develop a strategy to tackle bushmeat hunting

Bushmeat hunting - the hunting of wild animals for food, is recognised as a major conservation issue across much of the tropics. However until recently the threat this poses to Madagascar’s wildlife, including its famous lemurs, was not wildly recognised. Following three years of research by Bangor University with the Malagasy NGO Madagasikara Voakajy (funded by the UK government’s Darwin Initiative), there is now much more information on the extent of this problem and how it could be tackled.

Publication date: 29 May 2012

First Global Study: Seagrass beds can store twice as much carbon as forests

Globally threatened seabed areas are hotspots for carbon storage according to a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience this week (20.5.11 doi:10.1038/ngeo1477 ). The study “Seagrass Ecosystems as a Globally Significant Carbon Stock” is the first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrass meadows.

Publication date: 22 May 2012

New means of safeguarding world fish stocks proven

Powerful and versatile new genetic tools that will assist in safeguarding both European fish stocks and European consumers is reported in Nature Communications (DOI 10.1038/ncomms1845 22/05/12). The paper reports on the first system proven to identify populations of fish species to a forensic level of validation.

Publication date: 22 May 2012

Researchers meet in Ireland to discuss impacts of climate change to Irish Sea shellfisheries

SUSFISH researchers from Wales and Ireland recently met at University College Cork to discuss the impacts of climate change to commercial shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea.  Bangor University is leading this collaborative project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which brings together experts from Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities in Wales and the University College Cork in Ireland.

Publication date: 11 May 2012

Psychologists reveal how emotion can shut down high-level mental processes without our knowledge

Psychologists at Bangor University believe that they have glimpsed for the first time, a process that takes place deep within our unconscious brain, where primal reactions interact with higher mental processes. Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience (May 9, 2012 • 32(19):6485– 6489 • 6485), they identify a reaction to negative language inputs which shuts down unconscious processing.

Publication date: 9 May 2012

Don't make a mistake; don't make a mistake; DOH!

Athletes at the Olympic Games will strive to perform to their potential under intense pressure this summer. Each one will be trying to win a gold medal and concentrating on not making any mistakes. However, researchers at Bangor University’s Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP) have revealed that some performers are likely to make a mistake that they least want to.

Publication date: 2 May 2012

How personality affects sporting achievement

At the highest level of sporting performance, the difference between winning and losing may have more to do with your personality than your sporting prowess.

To achieve ‘Gold’, athletes need to be able to perform at a high level while under an immense amount of pressure. The key to success is the combination of the highest level of athletic performance and the ability to perform while also under great personal stress.  While some individuals thrive under pressure, others will ‘choke’ and fail to perform as well as in training - when the stress is reduced.

Publication date: 2 May 2012