Research News: January 2018

Project gives Welsh-speaking throat cancer sufferers a voice

A Welsh Government-supported project to help Welsh speakers who are at risk of losing their voice to continue to communicate in their native language has received a visit from Minister for the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan.

Publication date: 31 January 2018

We opened up all our data on coral reefs – more scientists should do the same to protect habitats

Coral reefs are critically important to the world but despite the ongoing efforts of scientists and campaigners, these stunningly beautiful ecosystems still face a variety of threats. The most pervasive is, of course, climate change, which is putting their very future in jeopardy.

This article by Adel Heenan, Postdoctoral fellow, School of Ocean SciencesBangor University and Ivor D. Williams, Coral Reef Ecologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 29 January 2018

Study reveals long time scale of recovery for marine sea fans and other species

Pink seafans, Ross corals and white sea squirts could take up to 20 years to recover after an area of the seabed was closed to scallop dredging, according to predictions by a team of scientists at Bangor University.

Publication date: 26 January 2018

Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings - A new series of papers

A series of papers published in Implementation Science this week provides guidance on how to apply the GRADE-CERQual approach. CERQual helps assess how much confidence to place in findings from qualitative evidence syntheses.

Publication date: 25 January 2018

New NE African records of ancient climate support early dates for initial human dispersal Out of Africa

The origin and population expansion of anatomically modern humans (AMH) continues to be a much-debated area of research. 

The previously established consensus is that humans originated on the African continent, in the area of the East African Rift Valley, and subsequently migrated “Out of Africa” around 70,000 years ago.  But there are a host of authors that suggest differently; with some of the more recent genetic evidence as well as somewhat limited archaeological evidence suggesting a much earlier date for the migration - around 120,000 to 130,000 years ago. 

Against this back-drop, there is surprisingly little direct evidence of what the climate was like in East Africa over this time, yet it is acknowledged that this influences patterns of human migration.

Newly published research in Scientific Reports aims to plug this hole in our knowledge.

Publication date: 24 January 2018

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience to rising sea surface temperatures are an essential component of global efforts to safeguard coral reefs

A review of the literature points to the importance of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions in addition to protecting or augmenting resilience mechanisms in the face of increased frequency of climate change impacts.

Publication date: 22 January 2018

Research project to explore impacts of estates on the communities of the Ogwen Valley

Bangor University’s Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates has received a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to work with the communities of the Ogwen Valley in Gwynedd to explore the lives and experiences of those generations of people who lived and worked on the Penrhyn estate during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Publication date: 22 January 2018

£5m EU funding boost for Bangor University

A world-leading scientific facility will be developed at Bangor University following a £5m EU funding boost the Energy and Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, announced today [18.01.18].

The funding will help create the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, which will position the University at the cutting edge of research into how natural materials can be utilised within industrial products and processes.

The investment will enable the University to work on major research and development projects with global businesses in sectors including life sciences, pharmaceutical, energy and manufacturing.

Publication date: 18 January 2018

Adverse childhood experiences increase risk of mental illness, but community support can offer protection

People who have experienced abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as living with domestic violence during their childhood are at much greater risk of mental illness throughout life.

Findings from a new national study across Wales found adults who had suffered four or more types of ACE were almost 10 times more likely to have felt suicidal or self-harmed than those who had experienced none.

Publication date: 18 January 2018

Cooperation between University and creative industries

People working in creative industries in north Wales are to come together with experts from Bangor University’s School of Creative Studies & Media on 19 January in a networking event; Beyond Borders, expected to be the first of a series of similar workshops.

This first event between lecturers and researchers and members of Creative North Wales is seen as an opportunity for the School to work more closely with companies and practitioners in the creative industries, and to discuss opportunities for future collaboration.

Publication date: 17 January 2018

You are more likely to deny the truth in your second language

Whether you’re speaking in your native tongue, or in another language, being understood and believed is fundamental to good communication. After all, a fact is a fact in any language, and a statement that is objectively true should just be considered true, whether presented to you in English, Chinese or Arabic.

However, our research suggests that the perception of truth is slippery when viewed through the prism of different languages and cultures. So much so that people who speak two languages can accept a fact in one of their languages, while denying it in the other.

This article by Manon Jones, Senior Lecturer  at the School of PsychologyBangor University and Ceri Ellis, Research Associate, University of Manchester was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 9 January 2018

Is fishing with electricity less destructive than digging up the seabed with beam trawlers?

While many people may be interested in the sustainability and welfare of the fish they eat, or the health of the environment, fewer probably worry about the effect that trawl fishing – which accounts for 20% of landings – has on the ocean.

This article by Michel Kaiser, Chair of Marine Conservation Ecology, School of Ocean Sciences was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 8 January 2018

2018 must be the year that we reimagine judicial diversity

This article by Stephen Clear, Lecturer in LawBangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Shortly before his retirement at the end of 2016, the then supreme court President, Lord Neuberger, stated that “the higher echelons of the judiciary in the UK suffer from a marked lack of diversity and … the supreme court does not score at all well”.

In a year where equality has been more at the forefront of the public consciousness than ever before, one would hope that this stark commentary from Britain’s top judge would have sparked some change. And yet, more than a year later, little progress has been made.

Publication date: 3 January 2018

Scientists call for action to tackle the threat of invasive tree species to a global biodiversity hotspot

An invasive Australian tree is now posing a serious threat to a global diversity ‘hotspot’ according to new collaborative research between Landcare Research in New Zealand, the Universities of Cambridge (UK) Denver (US) and Bangor University (UK).

This species, Pittosporum undulatum, known locally as mock orange, was introduced to a botanic garden in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica in the late 19th century. As its local name suggests, this fast-growing, glossy-leaved tree has bright orange fruit which open to reveal small, sticky, sugary-coated seeds. These are widely dispersed by native Jamaican bird species and it has been invading new habitats at a high rate. At first, the species took over land abandoned from the cultivation of coffee and tree crops, but more recently it has expanded into the natural forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. This invasion was accelerated by the damage caused to the forests by Hurricane Gilbert 29 years ago, and it is likely to be further advanced by future major hurricanes.

Publication date: 2 January 2018