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News: August 2020

The August 2020 edition of the ESRC Wales DTP newsletter

Publication date: 26 August 2020

Mauritius oil spill: how coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass could be affected

Sometimes bad things happen in the worst possible places – like the MV Wakashio running aground on shallow reefs off the south-east coast of Mauritius on July 25. The wreck of the bulk carrier ship began leaking oil in front of a nature reserve island (Ile aux Aigrettes), a couple of kilometres from a marine park (Blue Bay), and close to an internationally important wetland area (Pointe d’Esny Ramsar Site).

This article by Sivajyodee Sannassy Pilly, PhD Candidate in Marine Ecology, Bangor UniversityJohn Turner, Professor of Marine Biology and Head of School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, and Ronan Roche, Research Fellow in Marine Science at the School of Ocean Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 25 August 2020

Hot sulfur breath: Extremophilic archaea provide clues on evolution of sufur metabolism

The use of sufur compounds to produce energy is one of the most ancient types of metabolisms used by primitive microorganisms to thrive on the early anoxic Earth. How this microbial lifestyle has been evolving remains unclear.

In an article published in Nature Microbiology, an international team of researchers including Bangor University's Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) at the School of Natural Sciences revealed that the sulfate reduction in the hot spring is attributed to ‘Candidatus Vulcanisaeta moutnovskia’.

Publication date: 21 August 2020

Oceanic heat takes over atmospheric heating in melting back sea ice in the eastern Arctic Ocean

New research has shown that the eastern Arctic Ocean has experienced an over two-fold reduction of winter sea ice growth over the last decade due to the growing influence of heat from the ocean’s interior

The finding came from an international study, led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Finnish Meteorological Institute together with Bangor University and others, which used data collected by ocean moorings in the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean from 2003-2018.

Publication date: 21 August 2020

Nuclear Futures Institute named as part of Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Feasibility and Development project

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced recently that Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute will be part of the £10M Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Feasibility and Development project led by Westinghouse.

As the country strives towards net Zero CO2 generation, nuclear energy is being pursued as one of the leading resources that provides reliable, sustainable, low CO2 baseload electricity.

Publication date: 20 August 2020

Research into Low Carbon Energy and Environment enters new phase

Professor Julia Jones from Bangor University has been appointed as the new Director of the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE). Prof Jones will continue to build on the network’s excellent research in the environmental and natural sciences as she takes over this month.

Professor Jones will take over the role from Professor David N. Thomas, also of Bangor University, who led the national network during its first highly successful phase between 2013 and 2019.

Publication date: 19 August 2020

Research finds we ‘mirror-image’ touch during sexual interactions and treat our partner’s body like our own

A new study on the role of touch and gaze in sexual pleasure, by Bangor University and Royal Holloway, University of London, found that we instigate a mirroring-move during sexual interactions by touching our partners where we want to be touched.

Publication date: 13 August 2020

Anelka: Netflix documentary on 'misunderstood' French footballer fails to persuade

In recent years, Netflix has produced several major sports documentaries. Icarus is an example of a film that seeks to uncover the troubling – and often hidden – realities of doping in sport. Others, such as the recent series about Michael Jordan, The Last Dance, are essentially works that enable a star to promote themselves.

Netflix has promoted its new documentary Anelka: Misunderstood as providing a detailed and balanced portrait of the now retired French footballer Nicolas Anelka. Many reviewers agree. I’m not so sure. To me, it feels instead like a film where the presence of the protagonist has been predicated on providing largely flattering coverage without asking searching questions.

This article by Jonathan Ervine, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, School of Languages Literatures Linguistics & Media  is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 11 August 2020

The Moon and stars are a compass for nocturnal animals – but light pollution is leading them astray

Many nocturnal animal species use light from the moon and stars to migrate at night in search of food, shelter or mates. But in our recent study we uncovered how artificial light is disrupting these nightly migrations.

This article by Svenja Tidau, Postdoctoral Researcher in Marine Biology, Plymouth UniversityDaniela Torres Diaz, PhD Candidate in Biology, Aberystwyth University, and Stuart Jenkins, Professor of Marine Ecology, School of Ocean SciencesBangor Universityis republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 11 August 2020

Climate change is impacting the spread of invasive animal species

Research by a team of experts from Bangor University, and the German Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and University of Greifswald’s Zoological Institute and Museum has revealed how climate change may be assisting the spread of invasive species.

The results of their study which have just been released in the journal “Ecography” indicated considerable potential for the Asian shore crab to spread further north, along the coasts of Northern England and Norway.

Publication date: 6 August 2020