Environment and Sustainability Institute News

Keep up to date with the latest news from the Environment and Sustainability Institute.

New report takes stock of jellyfish in UK seas

A new report by the University of Exeter and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) takes stock of where and when UK jellyfish occur in UK seas for the first time in over 40 years.

Should we listen to our genes, or does mother know best?

Breaking the mould of inherited family characteristics could help you survive in a fast-changing world, scientists have discovered.

Cornish collaboration could revolutionise the market for electric vehicles

A new partnership between businesses and academics in Cornwall could revolutionise the way electric vehicles (EVs) are marketed in the UK.

Feedback control could be key to robust conservation management

Mathematical algorithms used to control everyday household items such as washing machines could hold the key to winning the fight for conservation, a new study has claimed.

Science could help Cornwall lead the world in sustainable lobster fishing

Biologists from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute at the Penryn Campus are assessing the impact of the National Lobster Hatchery’s activities on wild lobsters around Cornwall’s coast.

First scientific UAV facility in the UK launched in Cornwall

Cornwall is home to the UK’s first scientific facility dedicated to research involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), with a series of talks taking place on July 10-11 to mark the exciting launch.

Business and bees could benefit from new research

Researchers from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) are collaborating with Cornwall’s leading vegetable growing company to increase its courgette yields by understanding more about how bees and other insects pollinate the plants.

Fal-moth study needs your garden

Falmouth residents are being sought by a student at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus who is conducting research into the causes of moth declines.

Exeter scientist reveals secrets of Scotland’s basking sharks in new report

Seas between the islands of Skye and Mull on Scotland’s west coast are highly important for basking sharks, according to a report published today by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Penryn Campus peloton make final preparations for school maths tour with a difference

A team of intrepid experts are preparing to set the wheels in motion in their quest to bring maths to life for Cornish schoolchildren.

Exeter 6th in UK for most cited researchers says new global ranking

Eight University of Exeter academics feature in an authoritative new list of the most highly cited researchers, published this week by Thompson Reuters. This places Exeter 6th in the UK.

Young Cornish students help create unique artwork

‘Trawler Trash’ a unique installation created by artist Liz Franklin and Cornish Yr 10 students has been unveiled at the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on the Penryn Campus.

Gannet sat nav reveals impact of fishing vessels

Fishing vessels have a far bigger ecological footprint than previously thought, according to research which tracked the movement and behaviour of seabirds using GPS devices.

Climate change and disasters discussed by Exeter academic at Hay Festival

The impact of weather-related disasters and how humans can prepare for climate change in the future will be discussed by a panel including Professor Katrina Brown of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts this week.

Cornish students help leading university research institute celebrate its first anniversary

Students from secondary schools across Cornwall joined researchers and postgraduate students from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) to help celebrate the Institute’s highly successful first year.

Allotments yield healthier soil, study finds

The soils under Britain's allotments are significantly healthier than intensively farmed soils, researchers have found.

An eye in the sky: UAVs in Environmental Research

UAVs in Environmental Research, a two-day scientific meeting, takes place 10-11 July 2014 at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute.

Resilience and Development: mobilising for transformation

Eleven scientists from Geography and the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter, will be attending the Resilience2014 Conference.

How Australia got the hump with one million feral camels

A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia’s remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled on a large scale.

New charter group forms a collective voice for Cornish outdoor activity providers

A new group designed to give key providers in Cornwall’s burgeoning outdoor activity sector a collective voice and ensure that they operate with the highest regard for the environment, has been launched.

Flood prone communities in UK and Africa to share their stories through theatre

An ambitious project exploring the shared experiences of flood-hit and vulnerable communities in Cornwall and Kenya has been announced today, with the aim of building resilience for those affected by climate change and extreme weather events.

Art and science collaboration explores Cornwall’s mining heritage

Cornwall’s illustrious mining heritage has provided the inspiration for a special collaboration between a local artist and University of Exeter scientist.

Global warming may increase methane emissions from freshwater ecosystems

New research led by the University of Exeter suggests that rising global temperatures will increase the quantity of the key greenhouse gas methane emitted from freshwater ecosystems to the Earth’s atmosphere – which could in turn lead to further warming. 

Cornish pond owners recruited for study into frog killing diseases

Pond owners across Cornwall are being sought by a student at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus who is conducting research into whether two deadly frog diseases can be found in the county.

Virtual bees help to unravel complex causes of colony decline

Scientists have created an ingenious computer model that simulates a honey bee colony over the course of several years.

Understanding microclimate could improve wildlife conservation management in a warming world, say researchers

Understanding the relevance of microclimate for wildlife may improve the effectiveness of conservation management in a warming world; say a group of researchers who have this week published an article discussing the topic in the popular conservation magazine, British Wildlife

Researchers track light pollution from space

Urban development and the growth of cities across Europe have resulted in a continental trend towards increasing brightness of night-time light.

Managed honeybees linked to new diseases in wild bees

Diseases that are common in managed honeybee colonies are now widespread in the UK’s wild bumblebees, according to research published in Nature.

Research and creative industries workshop for creative practitioners

Creative practitioners are invited to the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on Monday 7 April to learn more about how they can work with universities and academic researchers to support and develop their creative practice. 

Satellite tracking identifies Atlantic Ocean risk zones for leatherback turtles

The last large populations of the leatherback turtle are at risk because their migratory routes in the Atlantic Ocean overlap with the locations of industrial fisheries, a new study shows.

Artificial reef to be created from waste seashells

Specialists in marine resources and artificial reefs have gathered at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) to discuss the design and creation of an innovative new marine reef in the English Channel.

Leading university researchers to deliver talks at local aquarium

Falmouth Aquarium, in collaboration with the University of Exeter, is hosting a series of public lectures from January which will see leading researchers discussing topical issues from climate change and food security to how we can reduce our own individual energy usage. 

Public launch event and environmental lecture at the Penryn Campus

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is celebrating the launch of the Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities (CEAH) on Wednesday 11 September.

New research explores integrated electric vehicle and energy generation system

Computer based models are being used to assess the costs and benefits of integrating electric vehicles into the Cornish energy system.

Solar research group achieves combined Impact Award win

A group from the Environment and Sustainability Institute has been recognised at the University of Exeter Impact Awards which took place at the Streatham Campus in Exeter last night.

Smart phone technology is revolutionising ecological and evolutionary research say scientists from the University of Exeter

The varied and valuable uses of smart phones and their apps deserve much wider scientific recognition and exploitation by environmental researchers concludes a review of research app development published this week.

New book celebrates everyday repairs in the South West

A project led by two cultural geographers based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, and inspired by the practices of repair and renewal in the South West, is documented in a new book.

University of Exeter Professor attends inaugural Congress of Brazilian, Chilean and Argentine Ecological Societies

The University of Exeter’s Professor Kevin J Gaston addressed delegates at the first ever joint Congress of the Brazilian, Chilean and Argentine Ecological Societies, which took place this month in Puerto Varas, Chile.

University researchers highlight environmental challenges and their social causes and solutions in World Social Science Report

The University of Exeter’s Professors Katrina Brown and Neil Adger, and Drs Saffron O'Neill and Helen Adams have contributed to the prestigious World Social Science Report published today, Friday 15 November 2013.

Incredible ‘gannet cam’ captures birds’ eye view

Scientists from the University of Exeter and the RSPB have captured incredible footage of what it’s like to fly with the UK’s largest seabird.

Exhibition reveals night-time photography

An exhibition of images made during full moon night walks in the summer by local residents is now on display at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

Institute website showcases current research

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) website now features research profiles showcasing the diverse interdisciplinary work being led by its growing team of internationally recognised researchers.

University of Exeter Professor joins board of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership

The University of Exeter’s Professor Kevin J Gaston is taking up an invitation to join the board of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership (CIOSLNP), which launches today.

Experts explore local sustainable fashion and textile practices

Fashion professionals gathered at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) recently to take part in a specialist symposium - Applying Cornish Wisdom; Localising Sustainable Fashion and Textile Practice.

Infection connections: Badger surveillance project reveals how TB infects their social networks

Researchers at the University of Exeter and the AHVLA’s National Wildlife Management Centre have shown that the social lives of badgers are related to their risk of infection with bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The Environment and Sustainability Institute, and partners, launch innovative Natural Capital Mapping Project

The Environment and Sustainability Institute, and partners, launch innovative Natural Capital Mapping Project (NCMP).

Exhibition and ‘swish’ event mark new sustainable fashion collaboration

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Falmouth University have celebrated their new sustainable fashion collaboration with a ‘stylish’ event.

Basking shark tagging nominated for Best Conservation Project – four days left to vote

A shark tagging project run by the University of Exeter and Scottish Natural Heritage has been shortlisted for Best Conservation Project in the Countryfile Magazine awards. 

University of Exeter researchers identify wildlife refugia in Dartmoor National Park

Researchers from the University of Exeter are surveying Dartmoor to identity places that shelter wildlife from climate change.

Playing tag with sharks off the west coast of Scotland

Twenty-seven basking sharks have been tagged in the second year of a project to find out more about their life cycle.

University of Exeter professor wins Marsh Award for Ecology

Professor Kevin J Gaston, Director of the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), has been awarded the prestigious Marsh Award for Ecology by the British Ecological Society.

Public launch event and environmental lecture at the Penryn Campus

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is celebrating the launch of the Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities (CEAH) on Wednesday 11 September.

Second year of basking shark tagging gets underway

The second year of a project to track basking sharks in Scottish waters is now underway.

Student work exhibited at Falmouth Aquarium

Undergraduates from the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus have kindly donated part of their degree work to Falmouth Aquarium as an educational resource.

Top ranking in Geography journals

The journal Global Environmental Change, edited by Neil Adger in Geography and Katrina Brown in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, has retained its positions as the top ranked journal in Geography discipline for the third year.

Public urged to have a say in developing bioenergy policy and priorities

Local people are invited to the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on Thursday 18 July to join researchers and the BBSRC (the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) in an interactive session to help determine the future of bioenergy policy in the UK.

Environment and Sustainability Institute is crowned Eco Building of the Year

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) has won Eco Building of the Year in the Michelmores/Western Morning News Property Awards.

New book explores the patterns of conflict and cooperation between environmental organisations

In her new book, the Environment and Sustainability Institute's Dr Clare Saunders investigates the relationships between a broad range of environmental organisations.

Photos on social media used to measure aesthetic value of Cornish landscape

A new method designed to measure the aesthetic value of ecosystems has been applied in Cornwall.

Institute launches new-look web profiles

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) academic, researcher and professional staff profile web pages have been given a dramatic new look.

British butterfly desperate for warm weather this summer

Butterflies are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and new research has revealed that when summer weather turns bad the silver-spotted skipper battles for survival. 

Explore light pollution in a West Cornwall night-walk

Local residents and people with an interest in their local environment are being asked to get involved with an exciting light pollution event in St Just this summer.

Postgraduates explore a sustainable Cornish seaweed industry

Students are working with the University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) to explore how a Cornish business can become a ‘firm of the future’ – a business inspired by nature.

‘Upstream Thinking’ earns CIWEM Wetlands Award

A team of Geographers working in collaboration with South West Water on a pioneering project has won CIWEM’s Living Wetlands Award.

Creative exchange event for local artists

Local artists are invited to the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on Wednesday 26 June to take part in the second Creative Exchange Programme’s Melting Pot.

Professor Kevin J Gaston comments in Nature journal

Efforts to improve street lights are providing a rare opportunity to cut both financial and environmental costs, argues Professor Kevin J Gaston in the current edition of the journal Nature.

Supporting poor communities through ecosystem services in Mozambique and Kenya

A new project led jointly by the University of Exeter and the Stockholm Resilience Centre has been awarded £1.9 million by Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation.

Cornwall Campus hosts leading environmentalist

The University of Exeter Cornwall Campus recently welcomed British campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and leading environmentalist Tony Juniper.

Cornwall’s University Campus welcomes His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex

Cornwall’s University Campus welcomes His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex

Opening of Environment and Sustainability Institute inspires next generation of researchers

The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), a £30 million environmental research institute at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus was formally opened on Tuesday 23 April by more than 120 local school children. 

Leading environmentalist to visit the Cornwall Campus

The University of Exeter Cornwall Campus is to host a public lecture by British campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and leading environmentalist Tony Juniper on Wednesday 1 May 2013.

Miniature aircraft could help scientific data take off

In their most basic form, remote-controlled aircraft are the perfect gadget-lover’s toy, but now their high-tech cousins have the potential to revolutionise the way ecological data are collected.

Wildlife artist takes up residency at research centre

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of inaugural Creative Exchange Affiliate, wildlife artist, Chris Thorn.

Free communicating green agenda event for local businesses

Local businesses are invited to a day of free talks and workshops showing them how to create and communicate their environmental messages successfully.

Scottish sharks to be tracked for a second year

Scientists are to extend a popular basking shark tracking project for another year, it was announced today.

Does your business have a sustainability challenge?

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Business School are seeking Cornish businesses to work with a small group of students this May.

Melting Pot event stirs cross-sector inspiration

University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) hosted the inaugural meeting of the Creative Exchange Programme’s Melting Pot on 30 January 2013.

Renewable Energy students seek business placements

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Renewable Energy department are looking for businesses to host student summer placements and projects.

First public engagement champions selected

January saw the selection of the University’s first public engagement champions by the Catalyst project.

Outdoor activity experts discuss South West environmental code of conduct

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) has held a conference with outdoor activity businesses to explore and discuss the establishment of a voluntary code of conduct for outdoor activity providers in Cornwall, which could help minimise their impact on the environment.

Badger sleeping habits could help target TB control

Sleeping away from the family home is linked to health risks for badgers, new research by the University of Exeter and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) has revealed.

Double win for water research projects

Two prestigious awards have been presented to projects in which University of Exeter scientists are helping to develop groundbreaking methods to monitor the success of restoration of the South West’s upland peatlands.

Vaccination reduces the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs testing TB positive

New evidence from a four-year field study has shown that BCG vaccination reduces the risk of tuberculosis infection in unvaccinated badger cubs in vaccinated groups, as well as in badgers that received the vaccine.

Taking refuge from climate warming: how can we help our wildlife?

Conservation policymakers and practitioners have met with researchers from the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) to discuss the conservation potential of ‘microclimatic refugia’.

Say hi to a magpie via new app

A new app which encourages people to say “good morning Mr Magpie” via their mobile phone will help scientists evaluate the benefits which birds bring to the quality of human life.

Streetlight policies could cast a shadow over wildlife

Scientists have conducted the first study into the ecological effects of a variety of energy-saving options to reduce overnight street lighting.

Cultural dimensions of climate change are underestimated, overlooked and misunderstood

The impact of climate change on many aspects of cultural life for people all over the world is not being sufficiently accounted for by scientists and policy-makers.

Small is Beautiful? A public exhibition of photography

Small is Beautiful? A public exhibition of photography celebrates the completion of a two-year research project.

Professor Robbie McDonald discusses badger cull

Professor Robbie McDonald discusses controversial badger cull on BBC Radio 4 Material World

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research Network gets off the ground

A new Research Network is established to explore the creation of a facility for environmental research and monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

Environmental research of global significance

The University of Exeter is engaging in a global research project to improve understanding of environmental liabilities and risks associated with mining operations.

Proposals sought for new Creative Exchange Programme

The Environment and Sustainability Institute has teamed up with the RANE research group to launch a new Creative Exchange Programme.

University scientists to reveal the secret life of sharks

University of Exeter scientists are part of a team investigating the movements of large sharks visiting Scottish waters.

Top journal in Geography and Environmental Sciences edited in Exeter

The interdisciplinary journal Global Environmental Change, edited by Prof Neil Adger in Geography and Prof Katrina Brown in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, has been confirmed as the top journal in Geography with the release of the latest impact factors.

Marine energy doubled by predicting wave power

The energy generated from our oceans could be doubled using new methods for predicting wave power.

University scientists develop new tools for conservation and wildlife management

A University of Exeter team has developed new software tools for helping prioritise efforts in species conservation.

Universities champion biodiversity in Cornwall

Students from the University of Exeter and Falmouth University have joined forces with the Tremough Campus Services Group (TCSG) to collaborate on the formation of a new Biodiversity Enhancement Plan for the Cornwall Campus.

Light pollution transforming insect communities

Street lighting is transforming communities of insects and other invertebrates, according to research by the University of Exeter.

Universities showcase creativity and lift the lid on research for the local community

The University of Exeter and University College Falmouth will be showcasing creativity, originality and ground-breaking research in all sorts of ways for the local community and visitors to Falmouth to enjoy between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 19 May 2012.

First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants

Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter and the Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a mysterious ocean giant: the manta ray.

Environment and Sustainability Institute reaches construction milestone

The Leadbitter Group and the University of Exeter have celebrated reaching the highest point in the construction of the University’s £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) with a traditional topping out ceremony.

Aerial survey reveals Exmoor's rare peatlands as never seen before

An unmanned aircraft has captured hundreds of images of Exmoor’s peatlands, revealing the condition of this rare environment as never seen before.

University of Exeter to join Russell Group

The University of Exeter is delighted to announce that it has accepted an invitation to join the Russell Group of leading research-led universities.

Discoveries boost region's reputation for environmental research

New discoveries from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute will boost the region’s reputation for world-class research.

World-class professors will help Cornwall take centre stage for environmental research

A trio of renowned professors will move to Cornwall following an international hunt for academics of the highest calibre to establish the region as a world-leading centre for environmental research.

Showcasing Science Reception

Nearly 100 alumni and supporters gathered in London’s iconic Lloyd’s Building to hear Professor Kevin J. Gaston discuss ‘the power of ecosystems'.

Major investments will help businesses thrive

Innovation is at the core of three major new projects, collectively worth over £50 million, and all designed to help businesses thrive in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond.

Businesses and University to build environmental knowledge economy for Cornwall

More than 100 business representatives have met with the University of Exeter to discuss how together they can build an environmental knowledge economy for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Exeter ranked in top ten UK universities

The University of Exeter has been rated as one of the top ten UK universities in The Times Good University Guide.

Ceremony kicks-off Environment and Sustainability Institute

A ceremony has marked the official start of construction work on the building which will house the University of Exeter’s £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the Tremough Campus.

Head of Cornwall's first university environmental research institute appointed

Professor Kevin J Gaston has been appointed inaugural Director of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

£30 million investment in new research institute

A £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is set to be built at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus.