Research News: June 2018

Why we explored an undisturbed rainforest hidden on top of an African mountain

Atop Mount Lico in northern Mozambique is a site that few have had the pleasure of seeing – a hidden rainforest, protected by a steep circle of rock. Though the mountain was known to locals, the forest itself remained a secret until six years ago, when Professor Julian Bayliss spotted it on satellite imagery. It wasn’t until last year, however, that he revealed his discovery, at the Oxford Nature Festival.

We recently visited the 700 metre-high mountaintop rainforest in an expedition organised by Bayliss, in collaboration with Mozambique’s Natural History Museum and National Herbarium. As far as anyone knew (including the locals), we would be the first people to set foot there (spoiler: we weren’t).

This article by Simon Willcock, Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University and Phil Platts, Research Fellow, University of York was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 29 June 2018

First textbook on ocean renewable energy published

A potential source of renewable energy surrounds us – the ocean – a vast natural resource that could potentially meet all of the world’s growing demand for electricity several times over.

With recent investments, R&D, and academic research into ocean renewable energy, it was considered timely to produce a textbook on the fundamentals of ocean renewable energy. This book, published by Bangor University ocean energy expert Dr Simon Neill, in collaboration with Dr Reza Hashemi at the University of Rhode Island, is the first published in this new topic.

Publication date: 28 June 2018

Welsh Professor wins people’s choice Award

A volume of poetry written by a Bangor University Welsh Professor has won the golwg 360 Barn y Bobl prize (Welsh people’s choice award) at the glittering 2018 Wales Book of the Year Awards.

Caeth a Rhydd by Peredur Lynch, Professor in Welsh had been shortlisted in the Welsh language Poetry category. Professor Peredur Lynch completed his first poetry volume while on a sabbatical at Harvard University’s Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures.

Publication date: 27 June 2018

Significant barriers to timely diagnosis of dementia and access to post-diagnostic support found across five European countries

Significant barriers to timely diagnosis of Alzheimer have been found across Europe, according to a report presented today at the European Parliament.

The findings of the five-country study funded by Alzheimer Europe and led by Prof Bob Woods of Bangor University’s College of Healthcare Sciences identified the following:

Publication date: 26 June 2018

We're working on a more accurate pollen forecasting system using plant DNA

Most people enjoy the warmer, longer days that summer months bring – but plant allergy sufferers will have mixed emotions. Roughly one in five Europeans suffers from allergic reactions to tree, grass and weed pollen causing pollinosis, hay fever and allergic asthma.

This article by Simon Creer, Professor in Molecular Ecology, School of Biological Sciences and Georgina Brennan, Postdoctoral Research Officer, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 21 June 2018

Bangor Scientists travel to Peru to research life in thin air

Mountains literally take our breath away, not only because of the dramatic landscapes and distinctive cultures, but because every breath taken at high altitude contains less oxygen (known as hypoxia). Hypoxia places a considerable strain on the lungs, blood, heart and blood vessels as they work together to satisfy the body’s need for oxygen. Researchers from the School of Sport, Health and Exercise (Extremes Research Group) at Bangor University have a particular interest in understanding how humans adapt to life in thin air.

Publication date: 20 June 2018

‘Once in a lifetime’ rainforest research trip

Six days after getting married, lecturer Simon Willcock left his wife for a once in a lifetime trip to a ’lost world’- an isolated rainforest atop a large outcrop of volcanic rock in Mozambique.

A lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University, since his PhD Simon has worked with a network of leading scientists whose interest include the study of remote and undisturbed rainforests.

Publication date: 19 June 2018

R.S. Thomas Festival, Aberdaron & Bangor

The annual festival celebrating the work of R.S. Thomas and his artist wife Mildred ‘Elsi’ Eldridge is to be held in his last parish at Aberdaron, at the tip of the Llŷn, on 29 June -1 July.

Professor Tony Brown, co-director of Bangor University’s R.S. Thomas Research Centre has been involved with the festival for some years. 

Publication date: 11 June 2018

Human cancer therapies successfully treat tumor-ridden sea turtles

Therapies used to fight human cancers successfully treat genetically similar tumors in sea turtles, a new study shows. In fact, turtles can survive their own tumors and help scientists better understand human cancers.

A disease, known as Fibropapillomatosis, has been rapidly spreading to sea turtles around the world. With the fibropapillomatosis virus come large tumors growing on sea turtles’ bodies and, for some turtles, death.  

Publication date: 7 June 2018

Response to the Reid report on research and innovation

Following today’s publication of Professor Graeme Reid’s review of Government-funded research and innovation in Wales, Bangor University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone said: “Wales has a number of strengths in research and innovation and it’s important that we continue to support existing areas of excellence, as well as develop and nurture new areas of expertise.

Publication date: 6 June 2018

Calls for control as Asian Toads set to wreak havoc in Madagascar

Despite knowing how damaging the introduced cane toad was to Australian native wildlife, it seems that we humans have done it again.

Unless swift control measures can be taken, a non-native toad is set to cause havoc in Madagascar, home of many unique species found only on the island.

Publication date: 4 June 2018