Research News

Hidden relationship between Spain’s finest women writers uncovered by Exeter expert

The hidden close relationship between two of Spain’s finest women writers has been brought to life through letters uncovered by a University of Exeter expert.

People with cystic fibrosis ‘should get exercise plans’

People with cystic fibrosis could benefit from being prescribed personalised exercise plans by healthcare professionals, according to experts at the University of Exeter.

Exeter doctor wins prestigious diabetes research award

A University of Exeter researcher has just been awarded nearly £800,000 to find out why Type 1 diabetes develops in babies.

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

Warming seawaters threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support.

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.

Pioneering Spanish women remembered through new plaques in Madrid

Pioneering women in pre-civil war Spain are being remembered for the first time through new public memorials in Madrid thanks to a University of Exeter academic.

App combines latest research to help users curb food cravings

Experts are seeking volunteers to test a research-based app that aims to help users curb cravings for unhealthy foods and lose weight.

First comprehensive legal guide for cyber behaviour published by University of Exeter expert

The first comprehensive guide covering the legal rules of behaviour in cyberspace, which will be used by governments around the world, has been published by a University of Exeter academic.

Listening to music can improve unconscious attitudes towards other cultures

Listening to five minutes of West African or Indian pop music can give the listener more positive attitudes towards those cultures, research from the Universities of Oxford and Exeter has found.

Tough early life makes wild animals live longer

Growing up in tough conditions can make wild animals live longer, new research suggests.

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.

University of Exeter launches its largest ever fundraising Campaign

The University of Exeter has launched its most ambitious philanthropic Campaign to date to reinforce its position as one of the leading research institutions worldwide.

Celebrity divorce lawyer backs research to help strengthen couple relationships

Prominent divorce lawyer Baroness Shackleton is funding new University of Exeter research which could help uncover the secret of finding life-long love.

Hundreds of ancient earthworks built in the Amazon

The Amazonian rainforest was transformed over two thousand years ago by people who built hundreds of large, mysterious earthworks.

Real Game of Thrones brought anarchy to the UK, experts find

England’s first civil war, a real Game of Thrones power struggle between two cousins, brought anarchy to the UK in the twelfth century AD.

Increasing water table in agricultural peatland could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions

Increasing the water table could help to slow down global warming, boost crop yields and preserve peat soils, according to a new study.

New drive to tackle deadly global disease

The University of Exeter is part of a pan-European partnership worth almost 30 million Euros to improve the prevention and management of Diabetic Kidney Disease.

LED lighting could have major impact on wildlife

LED street lighting can be tailored to reduce its impacts on the environment, according to new research by the University of Exeter.

Nobel Laureates to deliver keynote speeches at Living Systems Institute Opening International Symposium

Two Nobel Laureates will deliver keynote speeches at a prestigious international scientific symposium celebrating the opening of the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute (LSI).

Emoticons help gauge school happiness level in young children

A new questionnaire based on emoticon-style facial expressions could help teachers and others who work with children as young as four to engage them on their happiness levels in the classroom.

Predator threat boosts friendships among guppies

Danger from predators causes animals to form stronger friendships, according to new research.

Low level of oxygen in Earth’s middle ages delayed evolution for two billion years

A low level of atmospheric oxygen in Earth’s middle ages held back evolution for two billion years, raising fresh questions about the origins of life on this planet.

Legal training for aid workers to help protect migrant children from exploitation

Aid workers in refugee camps and shelters in Greece are receiving legal training to help keep migrant children safe thanks to an expert from the University of Exeter.

New genes for height revealed in global study of 700,000 people

83 new genetic variants that strongly influence human height have been discovered in a study.

‘Mirror game’ test could secure early detection of schizophrenia, study shows

Virtual reality could hold the key to unlocking an affordable, reliable and effective device to provide early diagnosis and management of schizophrenia.

Climate change scientists should think more about sex

Urgent need to check how males and females respond differently to ocean acidification.

Antibiotics can boost bacterial reproduction

The growth of bacteria can be stimulated by antibiotics, scientists at the University of Exeter have discovered.

Role of terrestrial biosphere in counteracting climate change may have been underestimated

Research suggests the capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to absorb carbon dioxide may have been underestimated in past calculations due to certain land-use changes not being fully taken into account.

New translation opens a window into the world of the ‘father of genetics’

For decades the “father of genetics” Gregor Mendel has been portrayed as living an isolated, monk-like existence, cut off from society.

Rare footage of mother and baby beavers in the River Otter

Public invited to take part in a national survey on whether beavers should be reintroduced permanently into Britain

New research to act as a catalyst to help GPs diagnose cancer

A revolutionary Cancer Research UK-funded project will investigate ways of bringing new and improved cancer diagnostic tests to GPs.

Defining massacres as ‘a holocaust’ diminishes Nazi persecution of the Jews

Labelling mass killing and massacres as a “holocaust” risks downplaying the scale of the Nazi plan to eradicate the Jews and Roma (gypsies), a leading expert on the holocaust says.

‘Great West’ region can make the UK a global leader, say Vice-Chancellors and industry leaders

South West England and South East Wales can recapture the ambitious vision of Isambard Kingdom Brunel as a hyper-connected, smart and specialist region, MPs have heard.

Exeter Law Professor Addresses NATO Secretary-General and North Atlantic Council on Cyber Law

On 19 January, Professor Mike Schmitt spoke on international law of cyber operation to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, and the North Atlantic Council (NAC).

Forests ‘held their breath’ during global warming hiatus, research shows

Global forest ecosystems, widely considered to act as the lungs of the planet, ‘held their breath’ during the most recent occurrence of a warming hiatus, new research has shown.

Mammal testing could be cut by moth larvae

The number of mammals used in animal testing could be cut dramatically and replaced with moth larvae.

Breakthrough by Exeter cell biologists

We all need contacts – how organelles hug in cells

GW4 joins industry partners to develop ‘first of its kind’ supercomputer

GW4 Alliance, together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office, has been awarded £3m by EPSRC to deliver a new Tier 2 high performance computing (HPC) service for UK-based scientists.

Prehistoric mega-lake sediment offers key insight into how inland regions responded to ‘super-greenhouse’ event

Sediment found at the site of one of the largest lakes in Earth’s history could provide a fascinating new insight into how inland regions responded to global climate change millions of years ago.

Why hospital antibiotic management strategies do little to curb resistance

With an alarming growth in antibiotic resistance and doctors increasingly having to resort to last-chance antibiotics to save patients, is there a better way for hospitals to manage antibiotic treatment regimens?

Research shows driving factors behind changes between local and global carbon cycles

Research has provided a fascinating insight in the quest to determine whether temperature or water availability is the most influential factor in determining the success of global, land-based carbon sinks.

Intensive animal production may boost flu pandemic threat

Mass livestock production is driving molecular changes in diseases that could lead to human pandemics, according to an expert from the University of Exeter.

App trains people not to reach for chocolate and alcohol

Psychologists devise brain-training game to help you lose weight.

Exeter research helps protect loggerhead turtles

A long-running research and conservation project is helping save an at-risk species of turtle.

Mother-daughter conflict between killer whales can explain the evolution of menopause

An international research team have found that mother-daughter conflict can explain why killer whales are one of only three known species of mammal, including humans, to go through the menopause.

Mutations responsible for cleft palate and related birth defects identified

Study of Amish and Saudi Arabian families finds mutations in HYAL2 gene that impact development.

No silver bullet to beating obesity, study finds

New research challenges previous findings that any single aspect of diet or lifestyle can be targeted to reduce the risk of obesity in adults with a high genetic risk of putting on weight.

Climate change has mixed effects on migratory geese

Climate change improves the breeding chances of migratory geese in the Arctic – but puts mother geese at more risk of death, according to a new study.

Dry January: Ketamine trial could help free Devon man from alcoholism

Just two months ago, Marcus was drinking up to seven bottles of wine a night and regularly blacking out, sometimes finding himself in police custody.

Using ‘fire to fight fire’ to combat disease, including cancer, could make it worse, tests show

A treatment billed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against disease, including cancer, could back-fire and make the disease fitter and more damaging, new research has found.

People power stopped early attempts to ruin fun of the pub

Interfering politicians once tried to restrict drinkers to spending just an hour in the pub and to close locals at just 9pm, new research shows.

Gut microorganisms affect our physiology

Researchers have found evidence that could shed new light on the complex community of trillions of microorganisms living in all our guts, and how they interact with our bodies.

Family squabbles over Christmas? Re-playing arguments in detail may be the best way to cope with them.

Re-playing an argument in your head and recalling what happened in detail can be therapeutic and prevent you getting quarrels out of proportion, or becoming depressed and anxious as a result.

Ash dieback: Insect threat to fungus-resistant trees

Ash trees which can resist the killer dieback fungus may be more vulnerable to attacks by insects, according to new research.

Teachers and support staff lack training to tackle “taboo” of self-harm in schools

The majority of teachers and support staff lack the time and training they need to support students who self-harm, according to a new report co-led by the University of Exeter.

Government plans to tackle gender pay only superficial, experts warn

New regulations requiring companies to report pay gaps between men and women are potentially “superficial” and will not necessarily tackle the complex reasons why females still have lower salaries.

Experts secure £5m to protect the South West’s natural capital

A partnership of three research institutions, led by the University of Exeter, has secured a £5m award to help protect the beautiful natural resources and the jobs dependent on them in the South West.

Mass insect migrations in UK skies

As Britain voted for Brexit amid furious debate over migration, trillions of migrants were coming and going, unseen by all but the sharpest eyes.

Male bumblebees leave home without looking back

Male bumblebees leave home and fly away without looking back, making no effort to remember the location of the nest, researchers at the University of Exeter have found.

Experts given £4m to tackle world’s most pressing health problems

Historians, literary scholars, social scientists and medical experts will work together to tackle some of the world’s most pressing public health issues as part of a new £4m research centre at the University of Exeter.

Internet data could boost conservation

Businesses routinely use internet data to learn about customers and increase profits – and similar techniques could be used to boost conservation.

Enrichment activities to encourage children to study science, technology and mathematics have no impact on results

Enrichment activities to encourage pupils to study science and technology subjects have made no difference to their performance in mathematics exams, new research shows.

University of Exeter Business School retains status as one of the world’s elite institutions

The University of Exeter Business School has retained its status as one of the world’s elite institutions.

Ground-breaking production method could accelerate worldwide ‘graphene revolution’

Ground-breaking production method could accelerate worldwide ‘graphene revolution’

Exeter research wins Elsevier Atlas prize

A University of Exeter research paper on using mobile phones to manage disease outbreaks has won a prestigious prize.

Longest-living animal gives climate change clues

A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has demonstrated the vital role oceans play in the planet’s changing climate.

Exeter statistician wins prestigious 2016 Lloyd’s Science of Risk award

A rising research star from the University of Exeter has secured a coveted national award, for his innovative work on more accurately simulating natural hazards, such as windstorms and flooding.

Yo-yo dieting might cause extra weight gain

Repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the person to store more fat for future shortages, new research suggests.

New mothers preoccupied with their problems can find it more difficult to respond to their babies

Mothers who have repetitive and self-focused negative thoughts about their own problems can have poorer-quality relationships with their babies, new research from the University of Exeter shows.

Beach litter study finds rise in polystyrene foam, balloons and fishing nets

Researchers from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory have studied the findings from beach litter surveys carried out over a ten year period.

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.

Vital vaccine could “reduce burden” of dengue disease in hardest-hit regions

The first licensed vaccine for the potentially life-threatening dengue virus should only be used in moderate-to high impacted regions, new research has predicted.

Exeter’s New Living Systems Institute hosts ‘Global Conversation’

The pioneering and world-leading research conducted at the University of Exeter’s state-of-the-art Living Systems Institute (LSI) will form the basis of the latest high-profile Global Conversation event.

Thousands could benefit from greater use of revolutionary stroke treatment

Almost 10,000 UK stroke patients a year could benefit from a new procedure, according to research presented today at the UK Stroke Forum Conference in Liverpool.

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.

New project aims to strengthen creative and cultural economy in South West England and South East Wales

A new project to broker partnerships between the arts and humanities sector and universities in South West England and South East Wales to generate economic growth has received funding.

‘Minimal’ shoes may reduce running injuries

Runners who wear trainers with no cushioning and land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel put significantly less demand on their bodies, new research suggests.

New research in Malawi will help to secure raw materials for green technologies.

Pioneering new insights into why high concentrations of some of the most rare and desirable natural elements - vital for the production of vital environmental, digital and security technologies – have been revealed.

Nearly £6 million for patient-centred research facility

An Exeter research facility which puts people at its heart has received nearly £6 million in funding over the next five years.

Victorian beard craze inspired false ‘mechanical’ whiskers

Today they are a male fashion accessory, adored by hipsters and spurned by clean-shaven creatives. But in the 19th century, men associated beards and whiskers with manliness, strength and even male beauty.

Universities unite with industry to foster next generation researchers

The University of Exeter is part of a newly awarded £19 million doctorial training partnership programme with industry leaders.

Treasures of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum on show at creative writing event

Clothing and objects from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum’s collections rarely seen by the public will be on show at an event to inspire creative writing in Exeter.

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.

New report recommends measures to improve dementia care

Enabling people with dementia to maintain control of the decisions surrounding their care is key to avoiding isolation, according to a new report by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Microplastics’ Impact on Human Health Needs “Urgent Research,” says leading expert

One of the world’s foremost marine pollution experts has welcomed today’s (Monday) announcement that there will be a Government review into the impact of microplastics on human health.

Exeter experts join global response to climate change health crisis

Experts at the University of Exeter will join forces with 15 other organisations worldwide to drive action on climate change given potential “catastrophic risk to human health”.

Even physicists are "afraid" of mathematics

Physicists avoid highly mathematical work despite being trained in advanced mathematics, new research suggests.

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.

The Prince of Wales praises work of University of Exeter farming experts

The Prince of Wales has praised the work of University of Exeter experts to help support small family farms.

First UK assessment of underwater noise published

The first assessment of underwater noise in the UK marine environment has been carried out by a research partnership including the University of Exeter.

New partnership between Exeter and the Center for Whale Research

The Vice Chancellor met with Professor Darren Croft and Dr Deborah Giles at the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Islands USA to talk about the work they have been doing.

Award-winning cartoonist joins experts to discuss dementia care and support

Experts in dementia and those affected by the emotional experience of having a loved one with the condition will join an award-winning cartoonist to discuss the care and support available for those with memory loss at an event today.

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.

Hundreds of bat deaths at wind farms could be prevented, finds new research

Hundreds of bat deaths at on-shore windfarms in the UK could be prevented by better risk assessments and simple changes to the operation of turbines.

Bees use multiple cues in hunt for pollen

Bees use a variety of senses and memory of previous experiences when deciding where to forage for pollen, research by the University of Exeter suggests.

New Medical School Pro-Vice Chancellor now in post

Globally-renowned dementia and ageing expert Professor Clive Ballard is now in post as the new Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter Medical School.

Large-scale study reveals new insights into coral and symbiotic algae partnership

A large-scale study of Caribbean coral has yielded discoveries on the pairing process between an endangered coral and the microscopic symbiotic algae they rely on for survival.

Soil could become a significant source of carbon dioxide, experts warn

If people continue using and changing land over the next century in the same way they currently do, soils will have limited potential to counter the effect of climate change. 

Exhibition: Life at Exeter City FC captured by top photographer

Many aspects of match day life at Exeter City Football Club are brought to life in a new exhibition at St James Park.

Call for government investment to strengthen advanced engineering and digital innovation industries

South West England and South East Wales can lead the UK and compete with the world in the areas of advanced engineering and digital innovation, and has called for targeted government investment in these areas.

Forgotten language found in poems uncovered by a University of Exeter expert

Moving poetry in now forgotten Lancashire regional dialects written generations ago is being uncovered by a University of Exeter academic.

Research reveals that ‘Singapore’ approach to teaching maths can work in UK classrooms

Mastery – an approach to teaching maths commonly used in East Asian countries – can significantly benefit children in UK schools, a University of Exeter academic has found.

Food supply – not ‘live fast, die young’ mentality – makes male crickets chirpy

Shedding a few pounds might be a good strategy in the human dating game, but for crickets the opposite is true.

Dracula was based on medical reports of ‘real’ vampires

Vampires, immortalised in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, were born out of real-life accounts of vampires gathered by doctors and surgeons, academic research has revealed.

Iceland's crowd sourced constitution, the anarchist take

The disconnect between voters and politicians has been cited as the cause of many current challenges in modern politics, from Brexit to the growth in support for extremist views around Europe.

New warning over spread of ash dieback

The ash dieback fungus could spread more quickly and affect more trees than previously expected, according to research at the University of Exeter.

Take advantage of evolution in malaria fight, scientists say

Scientists could harness the power of evolution to stop mosquitoes spreading malaria, according to new research by the University of Exeter and the University of California, Berkeley.

New Exeter Clinical Trials Unit boost to health research

The University of Exeter’s new dedicated unit to facilitate and conduct clinical trials in health research will officially launch next month.

No evidence climate change boosts coffee plant disease

Fears that climate change is promoting a fungal disease which can devastate coffee crops may be unfounded, research by the University of Exeter suggests.

Prestigious prize enables scholar to tell the story of English Romanticism

A University of Exeter academic has won a prestigious prize which will allow her to write a major cultural history of the emergence of English Romanticism.