Life In The Wild Boosts Immune Function6 December 2010Life in a demanding environment with limited resources might be better for the immune system than living in comfort, according to new research from the University of Bristol.
Scientists develop new DNA technique to aid crops and trees at risk from deadly 'honey fungus'25 November 2010An international team of scientists has developed a new technique to aid crops at risk from a devastating agricultural parasite commonly known as the ‘honey fungus’, one of the most serious diseases of trees and shrubs across the northern hemisphere. The development allows crops to be screened for natural resistance by adding DNA with fluorescent genes to the fungus before being planted out.
Wildlife Biology Awards - and Finale17 November 2010An Award Ceremony will take place during the evening of Wednesday 17 November for the 2008-10 cycle of the Certificate in Wildlife Biology. The awards will be presented by Professor Juliet Brodie, President of the British Phycological Society and Chair of Botanical Research at the Natural History Museum, London.
Bristol Students Lead The World with Precision Farming Prototype10 November 2010A Biology/Mathematics undergraduate, Katherine Coyte, was one of an interdisciplinary team of students that came third in the finals of one of the most prestigious international events in Synthetic Biology, the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.
Why the leopard got its spots20 October 2010Why do leopards have rosette shaped markings but tigers have stripes? Rudyard Kipling suggested that it was because the leopard moved to an environment “full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows” but is there any truth in this just-so story?
2010 WWF Living Planet Report launched in Bristol18 October 2010The 2010 Living Planet Report from WWF was launched last week as part of Bristol's annual Wildscreen festival. The release was timed to coincide with the COP 10 Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, which starts today.
Tom Gorochowski wins award at International Conference on Systems Biology15 October 2010Congratulations to Tom Gorochowski, who has won Best Poster at the International Conference on Systems Biology, 10-16th October. This is the world's main systems biology conference, typically attracting 1000 attendees. Tom's prize was in the Computational Methods and Tools Session chaired by Sophia Ananiadou and Pedro Mendes, and was sponsored by Sulsa.
Science policy in action7 October 2010Hannah Rose, a final year PhD student in the Veterinary Parasitology & Ecology Group, has been awarded a competitive 3-month internship at the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff to work with science policy makers.
Taking the pulse of coral reefs20 September 2010Healthy reefs with more corals and fish generate predictably greater levels of noise, according to researchers working in Panama. This has important implications for understanding the behaviour of young fish, and provides an exciting new approach for monitoring environmental health by listening to reefs.
Welcome to Daniel Montoya13 September 2010A new Research Fellow, Daniel Montoya, will be working on the theory of ecological restoration for the next two years. He is from the Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid and will be based in Jane Memmott's group during his stay.
Alice Hughes wins award at International Bat Research Conference1 September 2010Congratulations to Alice Hughes who won a prize for the best oral presentation by a student at the 15th International Bat Research Conference in Prague, held between 23-27 August. Alice won a professional bat detector worth over £1000 for her presentation 'Predicting distributions of Asian bat species over 20,000 years and solving zoogeographic riddles'.
UK researchers release draft sequence coverage of wheat genome27 August 2010The first sequence coverage of the wheat genome has been publicly released by a team of UK researchers, including scientists from the University of Bristol. The release is a step towards a fully annotated genome and makes a significant contribution to efforts to support global food security and to increase the competitiveness of UK farming. The work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Scientists discover key to Christmas Island's red crab migration27 August 2010One of the most spectacular migrations on Earth is that of the Christmas Island red crab (Gecarcoidea natalis). Acknowledged as one of the wonders of the natural world, every year millions of the crabs simultaneously embark on a five-kilometre breeding migration. Now, scientists have discovered the key to their remarkable athletic feat.
Dr Andy Radford to lead a £600,000 grant on the impact of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment25 August 2010Andy Radford, Marc Holderied and Steve Simpson, along with Cato ten Hallers-Tjabbes of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, have been awarded a £600,000 contract from Defra to study 'The Impact of Anthropogenic Noise on Fish and Invertebrates at the Individual, Population and Community Level'. The project will combine experimental investigations of physiological, behavioural and developmental impacts on individuals with volumetric soundscape mapping and predictive population modeling to consider this rapidly increasing global issue.
Less is more for a hungry bat19 August 2010Like a stealth fighter plane, the barbastelle bat uses a sneaky hunting strategy to catch its prey. A team of researchers from the University of Bristol combined three cutting-edge techniques to uncover the secret of this rare bat’s success.
Flower Power for the 21st Century: free science discussion event4 August 2010To celebrate Simon Hiscock's hosting of this year's International Conference on Plant Sexual Reproduction, come along to the Victoria Rooms on the 5th August at 5.30 pm to talk to leading plant researchers (and BBC Bang Goes the Theory’s Dr Yan Wong), about the amazing world of pollen, seeds and plant reproduction.
Marine Pied Piper leads Nemo astray4 August 2010The growing amount of human noise pollution in the ocean could lead fish away from good habitat and off to their death, according to new research from a UK-led team working on the Great Barrier Reef.
Seeds of Change: A ballast seed garden for Bristol13 July 2010Seeds of Change is an ongoing investigation of ballast flora in European port cities by artist Maria Thereza Alves. The project was part of the 2007 Arnolfini exhibition Port City, with the artist undertaking a period of research to find and photograph possible ballast sites around the river Avon and Bristol's Harbourside.
Steve Simpson's research featured in "onearth" and on "The WildLife" show13 July 2010Dr Steve Simpson's research into coral reef fish and coral larvae behaviour, reef sounds, and anthropogenic noise pollution is featured in "onearth". And Dr Steve Simpson provides a feature-length interview about his research on reef noise, fish and coral behaviour and human noise pollution.
How birds prepare for war7 July 2010Just as human soldiers show greater solidarity when entering combat zones, new research from the University of Bristol has demonstrated that birds also increase their affiliative behaviour in situations where conflict with rival groups is likely.
Professor Jane Memmott to lead a £1.3m grant on urban pollinators22 June 2010Professor Jane Memmott will lead a £1.3m pound consortium project on “Urban Pollinators: Ecology and Conservation”. The project will fund three members of research staff based in the School of Biological Science, along with further staff at the Universities of Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh.
Double cover success for Bailey and Foster groups11 June 2010In the first cover paper, Kilaru et al., Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75, (pp. 7196-7204), 10.1128/AEM.01151-09, the cover featured the fruiting bodies of the basidiomycete Clitopilus passeckerianus, which produces a natural antibiotic called pleuromutilin. Recently, a derivative of pleuromutilin called retapamulin was approved for use in humans as a treatment for impetigo and infected wounds. However, despite its increasing importance, until now no molecular tools have been available to achieve a full understanding of this antibiotic. The paper describes all the necessary tools to manipulate this important organism.
Welcome to Prof Mark Beaumont9 June 2010The School welcomes Professor Mark Beaumont as Chair in Biostatistics, a joint appointment between Biological Sciences and the Department of Mathematics. Mark specialises in the application of novel Bayesian methods to biological questions. For example, the use of gene frequency information to infer the demographic history of populations, changes in effective population size and patterns of gene-flow and admixture, and also to identify which gene loci are under selection.
Bristol Festival of Nature this weekend9 June 2010The Festival of Nature is at the Bristol Harbourside this weekend, 12 and 13 June. The only event of its kind in the UK, the festival gives people of all ages the opportunity to explore, enjoy and get close to the natural world – all free of charge. The University has two tents there and many enthusiastic volunteers and participants, so come along and participate!
Hedgehogs adapt to life in the city2 June 2010More hedgehogs may now be living in towns and cities than in the countryside but how they trade off the risks and benefits of an urban environment has been little known – until now. New research from the University of Bristol, published in Animal Behaviour, investigated how hedgehogs are coping with life in the city.
Discussion Events for the Festival of Nature28 May 2010The Bristol Festival of Nature is thrilled to be hosting a special pre-record live broadcast of "Saving Species" in partnership with Radio 4 and BBC Natural History Unit Radio, on 11th June.
Dr Chris Thorogood wins Linnean Society of London prize28 May 2010Congratulations to Dr Chris Thorogood who has been awarded the Linnean Society of London’s Irene Manton Prize in recognition of his thesis “Host specificity and speciation in the holoparsitic angiosperm Orobanche minorsm. (Orobanchaceae)".