Research News - 2011

Epic journeys of turtles revealed

The epic ocean-spanning journeys of the gigantic leatherback turtle in the South Atlantic have been revealed for the first time thanks to groundbreaking research using satellite tracking.

The sea, the sea

The University of Exeter is involved in the first major archaeological study focusing on the sea rather than a piece of land.

More than 100 PhD funding awards for 2011 entry

The University of Exeter is offering more than 100 funding awards for PhD students to show its commitment to developing the next generation of researchers.

Researchers contribute to NICE revised decision on availability of Alzheimer’s drugs

A review of research evidence has played a pivotal role in the decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to extend the availability of donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine for Alzheimer’s disease.

Exeter academic honoured for role in advancement of science

Professor John Dupré, the Director of Egenis at the University of Exeter has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

How has the Bible shaped the environment?

On Monday 24 January the presentation of a research project which will address questions, like how might the Bible be positively engaged in reshaping Christian theology and ethics concerning the environment, will be given at the at the Chapter House, Exeter Cathedral.

The public sector of the future

The University of Exeter is involved in one of the largest comparative public administration research project ever undertaken.

Opposites may attract, but they aren’t better parents

A study by experts at the University of Exeter has revealed that couples with similar personalities make much better parents than those with different dispositions – at least in the world of zebra finches.

Ants ecosystem role is ‘key’

Research by the University of Exeter has revealed that ants have a big impact on their local environment as a result of their activity as ‘ecosystem engineers’ and predators.

University of Exeter academic leads €1 million research project on food prices

Professor Steve McCorriston from the University of Exeter Business School will be leading a €1 million research project on factors determining food prices throughout the EU.

New funds for cultural history project

Southall is a large suburb of west London which has been a place of migration for diasporic communities, most particularly those of South Asian origin.

£406,828 for research on performance archives

Researchers at the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter have been awarded a £406,828 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for research into live art and performance archives.

University's magnificent seven research experts

Seven University of Exeter professors have been chosen as expert panel members for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Exeter research helps explain mystery of ocean sediment

New research by an international team of researchers has revealed the previously unidentified role that fish play in the production of sediments in the world's oceans.

‘Stupid strategies’ could be best for the genes

Blindly copying what your parents did – no matter how stupid it may seem – could be the best strategy for the long-term success of your genes, according to research by the Universities of Exeter and Bristol.

Brazil continues to celebrate after Carnival

The popular world view of Brazil may be triggered by thoughts of spectacular Carnivals and skilled footballers, yet the country is also determined to be regarded as a major global power.

Research informs new government policy on hill farming

Funding of up to £26 million to support hill farmers and help some of England’s rural communities to thrive was unveiled by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Rt Hon Caroline Spelman.

Bible’s Buried Secrets

In a challenging three-part TV series on BBC 2 Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Biblical Scholar and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter presents series of documentaries.

Business School creates new network of international experts in tourism and well-being

The Business School Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research (CSLTR) recently held a two day event bringing together experts from around the world.

West Antarctic ice sheet ‘could be more stable than thought’

Whether global warming may cause the giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet to melt and raise sea-levels by several metres is one of the most contested debates in climate science.

Improving rugby for the next generation of grand slam winners

As the Six Nations comes to an end, a research project is under way to see how changing rugby’s rules at the junior level could help develop the next generation of grand slam winners.

A return to the Arctic for Exeter scientist

A scientist from the University of Exeter is preparing to brave sub-zero conditions as she returns to the Arctic to carry out research on how climate change is affecting the region.

Research shows not only the fittest survive

Darwin’s notion that only the fittest survive has been called into question by new research published in Nature.

Transformation of Europe's Armed Forces

The transformation of Europe’s armed forces is the subject of a new book by Professor Anthony King from the University of Exeter. 

Climate experts join international health conference

Climate and health experts from the Met Office and the University of Exeter will be heading to Africa for a conference to help fight life-threatening diseases across the continent.

Caterpillars aren’t so bird brained after all

Caterpillars that masquerade as twigs to avoid becoming a bird’s dinner are actually using clever behavioural strategies to outwit their predators, according to a new study.

Crime and the rise of modern America

Nowhere celebrates its criminals like America. In books and on film, in fact and in fiction criminals sell.

PhD student scoops prestigious European award

Einar Svansson, a University of Exeter Business School student, has won a prestigious European award for research he conducted about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

Evolutionary biologist honoured with Royal Society award

An expert in evolutionary biology at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus has been honoured with a prestigious award which recognises her outstanding research achievement and potential.

Honorary Fellowship recognises commitment to American Studies

A prestigious Honorary Fellowship has been awarded to University of Exeter Professor Helen Taylor for her sustained contribution to American Studies. 

150 birthday celebrations for Indian poet and playwright

The 150th birthday of the renowned Indian poet, playwright, philosopher and artist Rabindranath Tagore is being marked through a programme of dance and theatre.

Music conflict and transformation

The role of music in conflict and post conflict scenarios in places such as Sarajevo or Sierra Leone will be explored at a sociology conference on the 9th and 10th May. 

University pond reveals hidden history of fungi

Researchers at the University of Exeter have uncovered a ‘missing link’ in the fungal tree of life after analysing samples taken from the university’s pond.

Africa’s sea turtles need passports for protection

Research by experts at the University of Exeter has led to calls to create an international marine park to protect sea turtles.

Heritage at risk

Government spending cuts and rushed legislation within the cultural heritage sector are leading to a “devastating” loss of vital expertise, and to human activity that has the potential to “destroy” heritage irreparably, a new report by the British Academy has revealed. 

Benefits of the natural environment investigated using virtual natural environments

The benefits of the natural environment can be investigated using virtual natural environments, sowing the seeds for the development of virtual solutions to some health problems.

University receives generous support from Santander

The UK arm of Santander, the Spanish banking group, has generously pledged a further £315,000 in support for the University of Exeter, bringing its total funding for the organisation to close to half a million pounds.

Plath in Devon

Devon seen through words, writing and literature forms part of a project called WordQuest Devon involving the development of a series of free public lectures on literary themes.

Looking on the bright side

Farming has a viable future in the South West according to a recent survey of the farming community at the Devon County Show.

Shaping the future of global energy policy

A leading academic at the University of Exeter has played a central role in compiling a report which could be vital for global efforts to tackle climate change.

World Premiere made possible via unique partnership

In a time of financial austerity, leading to reduced investment in the Arts, the University of Exeter has taken an innovative approach to the challenge of getting experimental playwriting commissioned and performed on stage.

Is big better in farming?

Are small family farms essential to the character of Britain? This was one of the questions posed at a recent meeting of the Family Farmers Association (FFA), held at Westminster.

The future of manufacturing comes to Exeter

A £2.6 million facility at the University of Exeter is set to become a leading centre for a manufacturing technique which could revolutionise the way things are made.

The novel in a time of climate change

The past five years have seen a significant increase in novels focusing on climate change. 

Healthy planet, healthy people?

A major new research project will examine how policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could impact human health, it has been announced today.

New research analyses role of border tax adjustments in climate change mitigation

A new study undertaken by researchers at the University of Exeter and the International Monetary Fund explores the interactions between climate change and international trade and, in particular, how they are best resolved.

New research discovers ‘unexpected’ innovation

New research by the University of Exeter Business School, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Exchange Fellowship has uncovered some surprising new insights into innovation across the UK.

‘Lost’ bats found breeding on Scilly

A University of Exeter biologist has discovered a ‘lost’ species of bat breeding on the Isles of Scilly.

Climate change disasters could be predicted

Climate change disasters, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest or collapse of the Atlantic overturning circulation, could be predicted according to University of Exeter research.

Student wins national prize for sea turtle study

A Cornwall Campus-based University of Exeter student has won a national prize for his research.

Exeter study brings brain-like computing a step closer to reality

The development of ‘brain-like’ computers has taken a major step forward today with the publication of research led by the University of Exeter.

Exeter study reveals US turtles’ movements

A University of Exeter team has monitored the movements of an entire sub-population of marine turtles for the first time.

South West shops support repair research

Shops from across the South West have helped a University of Exeter research team uncover the creativity and community spirit at the heart of the region’s small-scale repair industries.

Report reveals value of nature to UK economy

The University of Exeter has contributed to research that reveals that nature is worth billions of pounds to the UK economy.

Past environments and the sustainable future in Cornwall

Recent concerns about floods, drought, energy efficiency and sustainable land use have brought communities together to devise strategies to cope with environmental change.

Research reveals new secret weapon for Le Tour

Winning margins in the Tour de France can be tight – last year just 39 seconds separated the top two riders after more than 90 hours in the saddle.

Chocolate research shapes the future of gift shopping

Manufacturing and retail could get a boost from a newly-developed 3D chocolate printer.

Invisibility cloak to be unveiled with new research

Becoming invisible with the swish of a cloak as in J K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels could soon be a reality with a £4.5 million research project.

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.

Decline in species shows climate change warnings not exaggerated

One in 10 species could face extinction by the year 2100 if current climate change impacts continue.

UK scientists tackle food security

The Universities of Exeter and Bristol, in partnership with Rothamsted Research are joining forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: how can we feed a growing population?

University of Exeter receives additional Grand Challenges Explorations funding

The University of Exeter announced today that it will receive additional funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

History of Science in the South West

The submarine telegraph cable is one of the iconic technologies of the 19th century.

Exeter student inspired by Polar explorer ancestry

University of Exeter student Rebecca Rixon has shared the first findings of her research on the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet.

Exeter academic contributes to new TV series on Islam

A University of Exeter academic, who is an expert on Islam, has contributed to the new television series ‘The Life of Muhammad’ currently being broadcast on BBC Two.

Study shows small-scale fisheries’ impact on marine life

Small-scale fisheries could pose a more serious threat to marine life than previously thought.

Expert in Arabic Studies honoured by British Academy

Professor Dionisius A Agius of the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies has been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

Exeter scientists grow plants with friendly fungi

The lack of rainfall and higher-than-average temperatures in spring 2011 were predicted to hit harvests, leading to higher food prices.

Roman civilisation travelled further than history books tell us

A University of Exeter archaeologist’s research has uncovered the largest Roman settlement ever found in Devon.

Research reveals how butterflies copy their neighbours to fool birds

The mystery of how a butterfly has changed its wing patterns to mimic neighbouring species and avoid being eaten by birds has been solved by a team of scientists.

International team to use Hubble Space Telescope to answer key astronomy questions

An international team of scientists led by the University of Exeter is aiming to answer some of the biggest questions facing astronomy today.

Creative industries in £16million funding boost

The University of Exeter is to play a key part in a new Knowledge Exchange Hub which has been established to boost the region’s creative economy.

Education under the microscope at major international event

International education experts from 40 different countries will be meeting at the largest educational conference of its kind in Europe. 

Females choose mates for their personalities, study shows

Adventurous females choose mates with similar personalities, regardless of the male’s appearance and other assets, according to research led by the University of Exeter.

Top of class for primary teacher training

The University of Exeter is the best in the country for primary teacher training according to the Good Teacher Training Guide 2011.

Re-emergence of salmon in the Thames ‘not from restocking’ say Exeter academics

The recent returns of Atlantic salmon in the Thames are more likely to be a result of fish straying from nearby rivers rather than a consequence of expensive restocking efforts, according to new research by the University of Exeter.

Engineers find leaky pipes with Artificial Intelligence

University of Exeter engineers have pioneered new methods for detecting leaky pipes and identifying flood risks with technologies normally used for computer game graphics and Artificial Intelligence.

Exeter leads the way in the history of medicine

The Oxford Handbook of The History of Medicine is the first large scale review of the field to be published in over twenty years. 

Pupils taught to love grammar get better results

Teaching grammar to pupils ‘playfully’ improves their writing capabilities substantially, groundbreaking University of Exeter research has shown.

Counter terrorism research published

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack, an expert in counter-terrorism from the University of Exeter has published a book Countering al Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership.

Scientists simulate seashells’ structures

Scientists have successfully created synthetic crystals whose structures and properties mimic those of naturally-occurring biominerals such as seashells.

Inaugural awards seek student and staff nominations

Staff and students are being urged to submit their nominations for the first Exeter Impact Awards.

Exeter academic explains chemical ‘risk list’

A University of Exeter academic has spoken about the many chemical elements we rely on that are at risk.

Exeter academics contribute to local literary festival

A fashionable coastal town in Devon is hosting a literary festival from 16 – 18 September, to celebrate great literature, support and showcase new talent, and promote reading and writing. 

Golding centenary celebrations in home county

The centenary of the birth of Cornwall’s most famous literary son, the author William Golding, will be marked by a major international conference at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus, Penryn 16 – 18 September. 

University invites businesses to the future of manufacturing

Businesses that are producing prototypes and developing products can now benefit from a pioneering £2.6 million facility at the University of Exeter.

Exeter student sheds new light on social life of bats

Ecologists are getting a unique and unexpected insight into the private lives of bats thanks to a University of Exeter PhD student.

Exeter celebrates 25 years of leading children’s health and exercise research

The University of Exeter is marking a quarter of a century of leading research into children’s health and wellbeing by hosting the world’s biggest and most prestigious paediatric exercise and health conference.

Exeter physicist advances early universe theory

Research by a University of Exeter astrophysicist has helped to explain how the first stars and galaxies formed.

‘Heat-proof’ eggs help turtles cope with hot beaches

Sea turtles face an uncertain future as a warming climate threatens to reduce their reproductive viability.

Visiting the past at Calstock Roman Fort

The opportunity for the public to learn more about Calstock Roman Fort in Cornwall will be possible on Saturday 8 and 15 October in the form of special open days. 

Minister of State for Universities and Science visits Exeter

Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts MP visited the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus on Monday 26 September.

Britain’s wildlife will benefit from better coastal structures

Plants and animals that live on Britain’s coasts could benefit from changes to the way coastal structures such as seawalls, breakwaters, rock armour and jetties are designed and built.

Blue of every hue

The compelling story of indigo, the world’s oldest, most magical and best-loved dye has been brought to life by an Honorary Research Fellow from the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. 

Study finds decline in dolphins around Cornish coast

The number of bottlenose dolphins around Cornwall’s coast could be declining according to a new study by the University of Exeter and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Events celebrate shared experiences of place

A day of eclectic events will mark the culmination of a major project on how people relate to the places where they live, or have lived in the past and the journeys between them, real and imagined.

Could football give homeless men a health kick?

Playing street football two or three times a week could halve the risk of early death in homeless men.

New buildings will be safer in the heat thanks to climate change study

New buildings should be safer in hot weather, thanks to research led by the University of Exeter.

£19 million research centre on RD&E site receives go ahead

A £19 million research centre at the RD&E Wonford site has been given the green light by city planners.

Is chivalry the norm for insects?

The long-standing consensus of why insects stick together after mating has been turned on its head by scientists from the University of Exeter.

Low carbon project scoops national award

It was recently announced that the ‘Clear About Carbon’ project involving academics from the University of Exeter Business School is a joint winner of the 2011 European Social Fund (ESF) Sustainable Development Specialist Project Leader Awards.

Exeter leads search for intelligent computer

The University of Exeter will lead the search for an intelligent computer when it hosts the 2011 Loebner Prize on Wednesday 19 October.

Global partnership for South West clinical trials

Clinical trials and research centres across the South West have come together to form a partnership with Quintiles, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical service organisation, to create the Peninsula Prime Site.

Clustered hurricanes reduce impact on ecosystems

New research has found that hurricane activity is 'clustered' rather than random, which has important long-term implications for coastal ecosystems and human population. 

UK scientists come together to help feed the 7 billion

The Universities of Exeter and Bristol, in partnership with Rothamsted Research have officially joined forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: how can we sustainably feed a growing population?

Falmouth set to host wave energy test site

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) and The Crown Estate have signed a lease to create FabTest, a new wave energy ‘nursery’ test site in Falmouth Bay on the south coast of Cornwall.

Exeter Impact Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for the inaugural Exeter Impact Awards has been announced.

Training in 'concrete thinking' can be self-help treatment for depression

New research provides the first evidence that depression can be treated by only targeting an individual’s style of thinking through repeated mental exercises in an approach called cognitive bias modification.

Limited options for meeting 2°C warming target, warn climate change experts

We will only achieve the target of limiting global warming to safe levels if carbon dioxide emissions begin to fall within the next two decades and eventually decrease to zero.

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.

Scientists defuse the Vietnam time bomb

A key mechanism by which a bacterial pathogen causes the deadly tropical disease melioidosis has been discovered by an international team, including a University of Exeter scientist.

Exeter study inspires new brain injuries interest group

Research by a University of Exeter psychologist has inspired a group of charities and pressure groups to establish a new consortium, focused on the effects of brain injuries.

Surgeons perform better with eye movement training

Surgeons can learn their skills more quickly if they are taught how to control their eye movements.

Research shows high food inflation mean poorest families hardest hit this Christmas

High food prices are driving overall inflation in the UK and hitting the pockets of the poorest in the country hardest over the Christmas period, research from the University of Exeter Business School and Nottingham University has shown.

Trauma drug first for civilian ambulance service

A drug currently used to reduce bleeding in operating theatres and in trauma in the armed forces is set to be used by a civilian ambulance service for the first time.

Unique art-science experiment conducted in Cornwall and Iceland

A new book – Six Days in Iceland – is the result of collaboration between a poet and Geography staff and students at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus.

Female fish choose attractive friends to avoid attention

Scientists have observed a strategy for females to avoid unwanted male attention: choosing more attractive friends.

Short walk cuts chocolate consumption in half

A 15-minute walk can cut snacking on chocolate at work by half, according to research by the University of Exeter.

First Exeter Impact Awards – winners announced

During a glittering ceremony last night in the Great Hall, the winners of the inaugural University of Exeter Impact Awards were revealed.

A study of corporate directing - 25 years on

Corporate directing in the UK has radically changed over the last 24 years yet some board conduct, such as the persistent under-representation of women on boards, has only changed marginally, a unique series of ESRC-funded studies reveals.

World-class biosciences building

Biologists can now visit any aquatic environment in the world, without leaving Exeter.

University and Geological Survey join together in a critical alliance

In response to growing unease over supply of critical metals for high-tech manufacturing and green technologies, the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the University of Exeter have agreed to join forces in a new initiative to improve research capability in this vital area.

What is the real meaning of Christmas?

There are thousands of stories in the Bible and a visual artist in Exeter is currently on a 30-year mission to paint the whole lot.

Academic shortlisted for major history award

University of Exeter historian Dr James Mark’s book: The Unfinished Revolution Making Sense of the Communist Past has been shortlisted for the prestigious Longman History Today prize.