Research News: November 2016

Understanding the conditions that foster coral reefs' caretaker fishes

This article by Adel HeenanNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationAndrew HoeyJames Cook UniversityGareth J. WilliamsSchool of Ocean Sciences Bangor University, and Ivor D. WilliamsNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Coral reefs are among the most valuable natural assets on Earth. They provide an estimated US$375 billion worth of goods and services every year, such as supporting fisheries and protecting coasts. But reefs face many stresses and shocks, from local threats like overfishing, habitat damage and pollution to the global impacts of climate change. Many scientists are working to identify management strategies that can effectively buffer reefs against the array of threats that challenge them.

Publication date: 30 November 2016

A 'sapphire rush' has sent at least 45,000 miners into Madagascar's protected rainforests

This article  by Julia P G Jones, Professor of Conservation Science, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The rainforests of Didy in eastern Madagascar usually ring with the calls of the indri, the island’s largest lemur. There is a different noise now: the chopping of trees, digging of gravel, and cheers of encouragement from the thousands of illegal miners who have flooded to these forests since sapphires were discovered in late September.

Publication date: 21 November 2016

How Humans/children develop social skills: €1.5M ERC funding to examine the Cognitive Neuroscience behind the development of a “Social Brain”

Humans are inherently social creatures and our understanding of the world is shaped from the very beginning by the social interactions we observe and engage in. As a consequence, we are truly excellent at extracting information from social scenes. We can quickly discern if two people are cooperating or competing, flirting or fighting, and helping or hindering each other. Most important of all, we swiftly learn a great deal about people from observing their interactions with others – even a brief interaction give us important clues about their personality, their social abilities and their current mood. How does this remarkable skill develop? What are its brain bases? How is this kind of “social interaction perception” related to real-world social ability and social learning across development?

Publication date: 15 November 2016

Trump's victory shows that people don't always vote for what is best for their wallet

One of the supposed attractions of a first-past-the-post electoral system is that political leaders have to embrace the centre ground to win. Donald Trump’s victory has turned that on its head – and with it the assumption that voters will make rational choices based on what is best for their own circumstances, and without regard for how others fare.

This article by Shanti P Chakravarty, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Bangor University Business School was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 15 November 2016

The men who impersonate military personnel for stolen glory

This article by Leanne Simpson, PhD Candidate, School of Psychology | Institute for the Psychology of Elite PerformanceBangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article

In 2009, a 61-year-old man joined an annual Remembrance Day parade wearing an impressive array of medals. So impressive in fact that an expert said their awarding would have made him “world famous – and some sort of Rambo character”. After he was tracked down, the man, later named as Roger Day, claimed his medals were “pukka” but his story was denounced by military personnel and the public alike

Publication date: 7 November 2016

Paris climate agreement enters into force: international experts respond

The Conversation asked a panel of international experts to give their view on the significance of the agreement coming into force. Among the invited contributors is Professor Julia Jones, Professor of Conservation Science at the School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography.

Publication date: 4 November 2016

New ‘Safe Operating Spaces’ set to sustain world’s coral reefs

Leading coral reef science experts call for new ’safe operating spaces’ to be agreed to ensure the survival of valuable coral reefs for the future.

In a review article published this week in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, (Guiding coral Reef Futures in the Anthropocene doi 10.1002/fee.1427), which draws together all the latest knowledge on coral reefs, the scientists argue that, globally, we should agree ‘safe operating spaces’ or buffers in order to ensure survival of coral reefs.

Publication date: 3 November 2016

Unpublished Poems by R.S. Thomas come to light

A collection of previously unpublished poems by the major Welsh poet R.S. Thomas has just been published under the editorship of Professor Tony Brown (School of English Literature) and Professor Jason Walford Davies (School of Welsh), the Co-directors of the University’s  R.S. Thomas Research Centre, the major archive of the poet’s work.

Publication date: 3 November 2016