Environment and Sustainability Institute News

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

Children‘s bug hotel help nurture nature in an unexpected place

More than 100 bug rooms for the bug hotel will start to help bring a Redruth playing field back to life as students from year 4 at Treleigh Community Primary School provide accommodation for unloved insects to help grow nature.

Creative Exchange ‘Melting Pot’ invites new collaborations

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) hosted the Creative Exchange Programme’s ‘Melting Pot’ on 19 April 2018. The event brought together local creative practitioners to discuss and develop new collaborations with University of Exeter research staff.

Droughts mean fewer flowers for bees

Bees could be at risk from climate change because more frequent droughts could cause plants to produce fewer flowers, new research shows.

Experts team up to study bluefin tuna and confirm return to UK waters

Atlantic bluefin tuna are known for being amongst the biggest, fastest and most valuable fish in the sea.

Wasting the World Away: the ESI’s sixth Environment and Sustainability Day

Year 10 pupils from five schools across Cornwall took part in a series of workshops at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute for the sixth annual Environment and Sustainability Day: ‘Wasting the World Away’.

Fussy eating prevents mongoose family feuds

Mongooses living in large groups develop “specialist” diets so they don’t have to fight over food, new research shows.

No-fishing zones help endangered penguins

Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows.

Reversing the Destructive Effects of Fast Fashion

The devastating yet often unreported effect that “fast fashion” has on the natural environment will be exposed at a special symposium, held later this month.

Tuna dissected by university scientists

A tuna accidentally caught off Devon has been dissected by scientists at the University of Exeter.

First ESI Think Tank held on “The Anatomy of Adaptation”

The first ESI Think Tank took place on Friday 24 November, tackling the subject of “The Anatomy of Adaptation”.

ESI researcher awarded prestigious fellowship

Dr Stineke Van Houte from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute has been awarded a prestigious BBSRC Future Leader Fellowship entitled: "CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives to fight antimicrobial resistance".

Lighting revolution may increase light pollution

A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year.

Diversity and immigration increase productivity in microbial communities

Natural selection quickly turns a melting pot of microorganisms into a highly efficient community, new research shows

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid visits Penryn Campus

Key senior Government members visited the Penryn Campus to strengthen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Cornwall arising from Brexit.

Project develops next generation of offshore renewable energy technology

World-leading researchers from the University of Exeter will collaborate with counterparts in China on a pioneering new project to develop the next generation of offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

Buildings to generate their own power with innovative glass blocks

Buildings could soon be able to convert the sun’s energy into electricity without the need for solar panels, thanks to innovative new technology.

‘Inefficient’ sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive

Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to “inefficient” traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.

Grown-up gannets find favourite fishing grounds

Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits. 

Heritage Futures event marks project midpoint

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute invited partners and collaborators of the 4-year research project Heritage Futures to mark the project’s midpoint.

Bees move in at university after swarming on to campus

A swarm of bees that turned up on a university campus has been allowed to stay.

Prize for ‘outstanding’ University of Exeter ecologist

A University of Exeter ecologist has won a prestigious prize for his outstanding achievements. 

Connecting the Curriculum - ESI Teacher Affiliate Day

Teachers and technicians from Cornwall’s post-16 sector spent a day with Kevin Gaston's research group for the first ESI Teacher Affiliate Day..

Drowsy dormice doze into decline

Britain’s population of hazel dormice has declined by more than 70%, new research shows.

‘BEEHAVE’ project wins innovation award

A project which helps protect bees has won the 2017 BBSRC Innovator of the Year award for Social Impact.  

‘Let some heritage sites go’, says academic

Some heritage sites cannot be preserved and should be allowed to decay, a new book argues.

Vice-President of Royal Society visits University of Exeter

One of the UK’s leading scientists has praised the “energy, commitment and enthusiasm” of researchers at the University of Exeter, during a special visit.

Global warming kills gut bacteria in lizards

Climate change could threaten reptiles by reducing the number of bacteria living in their guts, new research suggests.

Volunteers needed to help save ‘less popular’ species

Which species would you save from extinction: Elephants or newts? Toads or tigers?

Environment and Sustainability Institute appoints new Director

Professor Juliet Osborne has been appointed as the new Director of the University of Exeter’s flagship Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

Light pollution has serious impact on coastal wildlife, research shows

Scientists have recognised for some years that light pollution is a growing phenomenon that impacts on the behaviour and success of many animals.

Cornish pupils given insight into ‘why energy matters’ at Environment & Sustainability Day

Dozens of schoolchildren from across Cornwall were given a fascinating insight into the relationship between energy and the environment, at a special event held at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus.

6000 Flowers Arts Project creates a buzz for bumblebees as Cornwall welcomes the first day of Spring

A new art show launched this week at The Environment and Sustainability Institute’s Creative Exchange as Cornwall welcomed the arrival of Spring.

The foundation of aquatic life can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests

Important microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests.

Breeding oilseed rape varieties for pollinator-friendly traits

Amounts and sugar content of nectar vary between commercial varieties of oilseed rape (OSR) produced with different breeding systems, when tested in the glasshouse. 

European funding launches Marine-i to provide support to marine businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Up to £6.8m of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) has been secured to develop marine technology research, development and innovation activities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Planned protection area would help basking sharks

A proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) off Scotland’s west coast would help basking sharks, researchers say.

Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health

People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to research.

Exeter helps protect Myanmar marine life

A new plan to protect Myanmar’s diverse marine life has been announced.

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

Rising temperatures could accelerate climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide stored in ponds and increasing the methane they release, new research shows.

Basking sharks seek out winter sun

The winter habits of Britain’s basking sharks have been revealed for the first time.

Gene editing could help tackle cancer and inherited diseases

Gene editing techniques developed in the last five years could help in the battle against cancer and inherited diseases.

Climate change and fishing create ‘trap’ for penguins

Endangered penguins are foraging for food in the wrong places due to fishing and climate change, research led by the University of Exeter and the University of Cape Town has revealed.

Penryn research excellence illustrated by competition success

Penryn PhD students are celebrating after sweeping the board at a high-profile research competition.

Laser technique boosts aerial imaging of woodlands

A ground-breaking technique which allows green spaces to be mapped in 3D from an aircraft could boost biodiversity, aid human wellbeing and even help protect rainforests.

World-leading Ocean Energy Professor receives prestigious international scholarship

One of the world’s leading Renewable Energy experts has received a prestigious international award, in recognition to his ground-breaking research into ocean energy and technology.

Electronic Tracking of Song Birds Shows Roads and Urban Features Influence Choice of Gardens

Bird feeders visited more often in suburban gardens than terraced streets.

Exeter professor appointed to influential global research advisory group

A world-leading social scientist from the University of Exeter has been appointed to an influential global research group, designed to pioneer new ways to tackle some of today’s greatest challenges.

Production of seedless fruits an under-estimated tool for improving food security, research shows

The opportunity to produce bountiful levels of vital food crops such as apples, tomatoes and watermelons could be boosted by reducing a crop’s demand for pollinators, new research has shown.

Wave energy device successfully deployed at BiMEP site

The final section of a sophisticated wave energy device has been successfully installed by a collaborative research team in the Bay of Biscay, on the northern coast of Spain.

Solar energy professor wins top Indian community accolade

A University of Exeter professor and solar energy expert has been honoured for his services to education.

Scavenger crows provide public service, research shows

Crows are performing a useful function and keeping our environment free from rotting carcasses, research carried out at the University of Exeter in Cornwall has discovered.

Experts listen in on noisy Falmouth seas

A long-term plan for managing noise in shallow parts of the ocean such as Falmouth Bay is needed to protect the environment, scientists have said.

Be wary of knotweed advice on the web, researchers warn

Gardeners turning to the internet for advice about Japanese knotweed are likely to find a wide range of potentially misleading advice.

From Tehran to Penryn

Dynamical systems theory and the thawing of UK-Iranian relations.

Showcasing the ESI

The ESI at three years old: the story so far and the way ahead.

Renewable energy expert to take part in key discussion at Houses of Parliament

A University of Exeter expert will take part in a round-table discussion at the Houses of Parliament.

Camouflage influences life-and-death decisions that animals make

Nesting birds time their escape from an approaching predator depending on how well camouflaged their eggs and their own bodies are.

What we don't know can harm us

A bit more knowledge would be a less dangerous thing ...

South West MEP takes policy advice from scientists at Penryn Campus

South West MEP Clare Moody has visited the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus to take advice from leading academics.

A new mobile phone app for grassroots mapping

Exeter academics have created an app which could help aid humanitarian rescue work in disaster-struck regions by using geographic data to map landscapes.

Showing the next generation what we do

If you want to know what the biggest environmental challenge we face is, ask 100 15-year-olds ...

The Bishop of Truro at the ESI

The Bishop drops in to find out what we're doing.

Tagging project confirms Sea of the Hebrides importance to basking sharks

A pioneering three-year project to learn some of the secrets of Scotland’s basking sharks by using satellite tag technology has shown an area off the west coast to be truly important for these giant fish.

Land management could help wildlife beat the challenges brought by climate change

The harmful effects of climate change on wildlife habitats can been counteracted by localised land management, a new research paper has suggested.

Giving the Lords the low-down on drones

The ESI's drones-expert has been talking to MPs and Lords about the emergent technology's use in research.

Soil Culture: Young Shoots at The Eden Project

Exhibition featuring ex-ESI creative affiliate highlights the overlap between art and science.

Eyes on the horizon

Threats to species can come from a huge variety of sources, which is why it's worth looking hard and looking often.

Cornwall Campus pioneer awarded MBE

A key figure in establishing and building the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campuses has been awarded an MBE for services to the community.

Phytoplankton like it hot: Warming boosts biodiversity and photosynthesis in phytoplankton

Warmer temperatures increase biodiversity and photosynthesis in phytoplankton, researchers at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have found.

Protected area design secrets revealed in new study

It is not only size that matters when planning a protected area, other spatial features such as shape are also critical to the number of animal species found there.

Don’t forget plankton in climate change models, says study

A new study found that phytoplankton - microscopic water-borne plants - can rapidly evolve tolerance to elevated water temperatures.

Resilience: new book contributes to fast-changing debate

An ESI professor's new book adds to the debate around climate change, globalisation, rural and urban poverty and inequality.

Northern exposure: ESI researchers in Edinburgh

Seven ESI researchers to present at prestigious annual ecology meeting.

Festival of Social Science: A fascinating insight into social science and its influence on our lives

Exeter academics will be demonstrating how our research is investigating the key issues in modern day life at a series of events.

Common lizards under threat from climate change

A new study has demonstrated that lizards do not cope well with the climate predicted for the year 2100.

Social scientist wants to know what you think about on the throne

University of Exeter Politics lecturer Dr Joanie Willett is hosting a series of community discussions designed to collect information on what various members of the public think the British constitution should look like.

Having a say in the national conversation

An ESI academic is invited to tell Parliament what she thinks.

The ESI in five minutes

What exactly does the ESI do, and why does it do it?

Healthier fishing communities

Workshop examines the neglected area of health and wellbeing in fishing-dependent communities.

Kenyan actors visit Cornwall to share extreme weather experiences

Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus will today welcome actors from Kenyan charity, S.A.F.E. Kenya.

A day on the downs

An exciting cultural event  brings communities together to celebrate the unique landscape, history and culture of Goonhilly Downs.

University of Exeter contributes to new underwater noise monitoring network

Underwater noise in the marine environment is the focus of a new UK-wide research partnership.

New partnership will help manage Cornwall’s environment

An exciting new partnership in Cornwall is hoping to use academic research to inform the management of the county’s world-class natural habitats.

Butterflies heat up the field of solar research

The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.

Resilience project brings Kenyans to Cornwall

Extreme weather and coastal communities: theatrical project twins Cornwall with Kenya.

Future looks gloomy for Robben Island penguins

Fish feast boosts penguin numbers.

Creative collaborators' summer show

A chance to see and - ask questions about - joint projects between ESI researchers and creative practitioners.

Monaco meeting considers Antarctica's future

ESI Director part of influential international group considering Antarctica's future and biodiversity.

Flies, sandflies and statistics

Summer workshop of national mathematicians' group will share innovative methods for collecting and analysing ecological data.

Time, Memory and Storytelling in the Making of Place

One of the world's leading environmental historians talks about the many narratives that combine to make a place meaningful.

Downs on the up after Arts Council funding

ESI-RANE Creative Exchange Programme Artist affiliates awarded Research and Development Funding.

Study reveals largest turtle breeding colony in the Atlantic

The Central African country of Gabon is providing an invaluable nesting ground for a vulnerable species of sea turtle 

Frogs face virus risk in garden ponds

Pond owners are being urged not to use garden chemicals, or to release goldfish into ponds.

Up on the roof

Sophisticated radar on the ESI's roof is giving researchers new insights into the specific factors affecting bird migration.

Ecosystem management that ignores ‘taboo tradeoffs’ is likely to fail

Research published today recommends a new approach to the difficult tradeoffs that environmental managers face when choosing between environmental sustainability and profitability. 

Grant success for University of Exeter researchers at Cornwall’s Wave Hub

University of Exeter researchers are part of the biodiversity research team of a new EUR 17 million EU Horizon 2020 funded project 

Coastal light pollution disturbs marine animals, new study shows

Marine ecosystems can be changed by night-time artificial lighting according to new research.

ENVI-Hub: a new website goes live

A new, interactive website - intended to be a central platform for environment and sustainability in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - has launched.

New Zealand stoats provide an ark for genetic diversity

Extinct British genes have been preserved in the stoat population of New Zealand, a new study has found.

Public urged to report basking shark sightings for new tracking project

The University of Exeter and the Marine Conservation Society are joining forces in an exciting new satellite tracking project to tag and follow basking sharks in Cornish waters.

New things to print, new ways to think

ESI researcher talks to BBC Radio 4 about the possibilities offered by disruptive new technology.

Expedition studies Indian monsoon’s past to discover future impact of climate change

The quest to discover how future climate change will impact the formidable Indian monsoon phenomenon could find the answer rooted in the prehistoric past.

Environment & Sustainability Day

What do you get when you add nearly 100 school-pupils to a world-class environmental research institute?

Part-night lighting is ineffective in capturing natural peaks in bat activity

Part-night lighting, a proposed mitigation option to reduce the negative impacts of light pollution, is unlikely to benefit bats, a study published this week confirms.

The year of growing bananas

The artist, the research scientist and the attempt to grow bananas in the UK.

Light pollution shown to affect plant growth and food webs

Artificial night time light from sources such as street lamps affects the growth and flowering of plants and even the number of insects that depend on those plants for food.

Nature’s inbuilt immune defence could protect industrial bacteria from viruses

Findings from a new study that set out to investigate the evolution of immune defences could boost the development of industrial bacteria that are immune to specific viral infections.

Biohacking: research's new wave

The low-cost, DIY people's science that could change the way research is done.

Power to the people

Professor Tapas Mallick used his Inaugural Lecture to describe how cheaper, more efficient solar power could transform the lives of billions.

Night skies brightest in human history

Artificial sky glow around the world has been quantified for the first time by researchers using a global network of sky quality monitors.

Critical green turtle habitats identified in Mediterranean

A new study led by the University of Exeter has identified two major foraging grounds of the Mediterranean green turtle 

Collaboration with Eden starts to bear fruit

Great minds thinking alike: the University and Eden turn the idea of collaboration into a reality.

Why Sustainable Mining is not an oxymoron

Inspiring words from a world-leader in responsible mining.

Pasty-thefts: new evidence, usual suspects

When it comes to swooping-and-snatching, not all gulls are created equal.

Research pinpoints new technique for producing cheaper solar energy

Pioneering new research could pave the way for solar energy to be converted into household electricity more cheaply than ever before.

New ways with old clothes

ESI workshops are encouraging new things to do with not-very-old clothes.

Field Course Fortnight

Some people have been looking forward to going back to work more than others.

All is calm, all is bright

Our academics, researchers, professional staff and creative affiliates are unlikely to be working much in the next couple of weeks, although two will be on ITV at peak time over Christmas ...

Sustainable Cornwall - The Cultural Connection

The ESI recently hosted a day's conference organised by the Institute of Cornish Studies (ICS).

Unwrapping the science of Christmas

Many species of animals do weird and wonderful things during the colder months. 

University of Exeter receives £5 million investment for STEM subjects

The University of Exeter has today received a £5 million funding boost to create its next generation of world-class science facilities.

Researchers to use algae to clean up mine water

A ground breaking research project aims to clean up water from a Cornish tin mine, using algae to harvest the precious heavy metals and produce biofuel.

Cornwall’s mysterious Bluefin tuna dissected at Penryn Campus

Researchers from the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus have completed their post-mortem of a Bluefin tuna.

New report highlights 'significant and increasing' risks from extreme weather

University of Exeter researchers have played a crucial role in creating a comprehensive new report indicating that the global risk from extreme weather is set to intensify.

Reports identify areas where wildlife can survive in a changing climate

The University of Exeter has worked with Natural England on a project that helps to target conservation action.

Exeter researchers go to town with badgers and meerkats

A team of researchers from the University of Exeter will be heading to London on Friday to showcase their research on badgers and meerkats as part in the Great British Bioscience Festival. 

Dr Glücksman's Arctic Role

ESI researcher moderates a session on young people in the Arctic at a major international conference in Iceland.

Study reveals startling decline in European birds

Bird populations across Europe have experienced sharp declines over the past 30 years, with the majority of losses from the most common species, say researchers from the University of Exeter.

Citizens' Takeover of County Hall, Truro

The people of Cornwall get their chance to say what they would do if given the chance to run the county and shape its future.

The next generation: researchers and teachers strengthen links

Local school and college teachers and lecturers meet ESI researchers to discuss collaboration.

The ESI: in demand on the BBC again

Another ESI researcher has appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Shared Planet' with Monty Don.

ESI researchers pivotal in major world conference

Renewables researchers help bring the world's best together for major conference in India.

ESI hosts signing of major new funding deal for the region

ESI hosts signing of £200m Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Deal

Study identifies priority regions for conservation of iconic large marine animals

Oceanic fronts - areas where nutrients are drawn together resulting in foraging hotspots - should be priority regions for conservation efforts.

Two-minute tours of ESI research

ESI researchers take the opportunity to explain their work in no more than 120 seconds.

The ESI on the BBC, part two ...

The ESI's Director, Professor Kevin J Gaston, joined - among others - Monty Don and George Monbiot on BBC Radio 4's 'Shared Planet'.

The Environment Agency at the ESI

The ESI recently hosted meetings with Environment Agency (EA) colleagues to explore collaborative opportunities and improve understanding of each other’s work.

The ESI on the BBC

The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI)’s Politics contingent has been in demand on the BBC.

New research highlights impacts of light pollution on marine life

Newly-published research highlights the variety of impacts light pollution has on the marine environment.

Protected areas proven to conserve biodiversity

Protected areas such as nature reserves and national parks do conserve biodiversity and more action is needed to ensure safeguards are in place to preserve them, according to a new international study.

It’s all a front – scientists unravel the mystery of gannets’ feeding success

Researchers at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Exeter have combined two innovative technologies to probe the mystery of how seabirds locate food hotspots across vast tracts of ocean.

Cornish residents sought for study into environmental risks

Scientists at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus are seeking members of the public to help conduct research into how certain plants, animals and other environmental factors in and around homes are perceived by Cornish residents.

Research shows how buildings can better generate and retain energy

A PhD student has published new research into how improvements to Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BiPV) systems can mean more efficient, lower cost energy.

Royal visit to Hatchery gives an insight into lobster research

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow recently where he learnt about the charity’s pioneering research work with the University of Exeter. 

Cornwall team investigates potential for bacteria to boost Europe’s metal production

Cornwall could lead the way in developing green techniques to help European mining companies extract more scarce and valuable metals and significantly reduce their environmental impact.

Cornish winemakers could benefit from climate change study

The UK’s burgeoning winemaking industry will benefit from new research to assess climate change's impacts on Cornwall’s vineyards.

Penryn mathematicians help local magnet company attract international markets

A Falmouth company aims to beat off international competition by offering a more accurate method of characterising magnets for its global client base.

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.

Scary Science in the Square

Visitors to the University of Exeter’s annual Science in the Square event found out that while nature might sometimes seem scary, science can help make sense of terrifying phenomena as diverse as erupting volcanoes and intestinal parasites.

Large parks key to city success

Cities should feature compact development alongside large, contiguous green spaces to maximise benefits of urban ecosystems to humans, research led by the University of Exeter has concluded.

Subtropical Cornwall climate could mean exotic new crops

The subtropical weather in Cornwall means new exotic crops such as quinoa and Japanese persimmon are now more likely to succeed, according to a new technique.

Ocean fronts attract ocean wanderers – foraging gannets on the front line

Foraging seabirds use oceanic fronts as an efficient means to forage for food, according to an international study that could help safeguard the future of protected species.