Research News

£2 million to improve rehabilitation of older people after hospital discharge

Researchers have received £2 million of funding to conduct a five year national study looking at how rehabilitation can be improved for older people with frailty following discharge from hospital.

Top social scientist boosts Exeter’s research excellence

One of the UK’s leading social scientists is joining the University of Exeter from her previous post as Chief Executive of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).

Republicans less likely to be critical about Obamacare when reminded about their own medical needs

US Republican voters are less likely to be critical about the performance of the controversial “Obamacare” health reforms when they are reminded about their own medical needs, new research shows.

Remarkable history of Exeter City FC seen in new exhibition

Rarely-seen pictures will tell the remarkable story of Exeter City FC at a new exhibition dedicated to the club’s unique history.

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.

Can online therapy reduce distress in dementia carers?

A new study is inviting people who care for someone with dementia to help investigate whether an online therapy can help carers cope with feeling of stress, anxiety or depression.

Tropical rainstorms and a wobbly rope bridge in the cloudy treetops at the Eden Project’s new Weather Maker

Visitors to the Eden Project can now trek across an aerial rope bridge, shelter from tropical rain and travel through clouds thanks to the opening of a thrilling new rainforest walkway.

Impact of wobbly bridges and sky-scrapers on human health to be tested in government-funded research centre

The impact of vibrations from very tall buildings and wobbly bridges and floors on people’s health and wellbeing is to be researched in a new £7.2 million government-funded national research facility.

Extensive ice cap once covered sub-antarctic island of South Georgia

A new study reveals the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia – famous for its wildlife – was covered by a massive ice cap during the last ice age.

Exeter scientist wins prestigious dementia prize

University of Exeter researcher Dr Katie Lunnon has won the Early Career Investigator of the Year Award at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2017.

Soft coral species exhibit strikingly different patterns of connectivity around the British Isles

The evolution of land animals has been shaped by barriers such as oceans and mountains which have divided them and sent them down different genetic paths. 

More South West firms to use space technology and science thanks to new funding

Small businesses will be able to exploit the technology developed for space exploration thanks to a new project led by the University of Exeter funded by the UK Space Agency. 

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.

Celebrating 10 years of European Research Council funding

The University of Exeter will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the European Research Council (ERC) with a celebratory public event at the Streatham Campus.

Project tackling barriers to Higher Education receives £500,000 funding boost

A pioneering new project which seeks to tackle potential barriers faced by students with vocational qualifications when they enter higher education, has received a significant funding boost.

Diabetes expert wins top international scientific award

A world expert in diabetes will deliver a lecture presented as the top international science award by Diabetes UK.

Scientists develop calculators to help clinicians decide on best diabetes treatments

People with diabetes could benefit from digital ‘risk calculators’ in the future that help healthcare professionals prescribe the best combination of medicine for each person. 

Exeter subjects ranked amongst the global best

Both science and humanities subjects at the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the very best in the world, according to an influential global league table.

Blueberry concentrate improves brain function in older people

Drinking concentrated blueberry juice improves brain function in older people, according to research by the University of Exeter.

Ancient peoples shaped Amazon rainforest

The Amazon rainforest was shaped by ancient people who lived there, new research reveals.

Virtual reality training for ‘safety-critical’ jobs

New virtual reality training could help prevent accidents in “safety-critical” industries like the NHS, aviation, the military and nuclear power.

World expert in brain function adds to Exeter’s research excellence

A world expert in measuring brain function will give his first lecture at the University of Exeter.

Exploring the economic value of trees’ social and environmental benefits

The social and environmental outputs of woodlands play a much broader role in the economy than is often recognised, according to a new Research Report by the University of Exeter for the Forestry Commission.

Biggest ever archive of children’s writing created to help experts assess language skills

Experts will collect the most extensive archive to date of children’s school work as part of a major project seeking to track how the way they use language changes as they get older.

Caledonian forests threatened by climatic change

Efforts to conserve the remaining fragments of the great Forest of Caledon in Scotland may be doomed to fail unless a new strategy is rapidly adopted, new research suggests.

Scientists reveal core genes involved in honey bee immunity

An international team of researchers has identified a core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites.

New research could trigger revolution in computer electronics manufacturing

A pioneering new technique to produce cutting-edge, versatile microchips could revolutionize the speed, efficiency and capability of the next generation of computers.

Declining Arctic sea ice does influence European weather – but is not a cause of colder winters

The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice through climate change is unlikely to lead to more severe winter weather across Northern Europe, new research has shown.

Banded mongooses go to war over sex and territory

Gang warfare is not unique to humans – banded mongooses do it too.

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.

Latest funding call announced for GW4 research communities

GW4 Alliance has announced the latest funding opportunity for collaborative research communities across its four universities.

Exeter helps protect Myanmar marine life

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

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.

Researchfish – a 100 per cent submission

The Researchfish submission closed on Thursday 16 March.

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.

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.

Queen awards Exeter academics in New Year’s Honours

Three outstanding academics at the University of Exeter have been recognised with prestigious awards in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

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.

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.

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.

Science behind lightning strikes right note in festive family event hosted at the University of Exeter

Families from across the South West were given a dazzling flash of inspiration and entertainment during a special festive treat, organised jointly by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the University of Exeter.

Commuter-led project to cut congestion set to move into second gear

The first stage of a commuter-driven initiative designed to help reduce traffic congestion has revealed some fascinating results, organisers have said.

Fungal biology research award 2016

Professor Nick Talbot FRS was awarded the Fungal Biology Research Award 2016 by the British Mycological Society. The award was made in recognition of his outstanding original contributions to fungal biology research.

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.