Research News

Free online genomic medicine and research course

A new free online course led by the University of Exeter describes translational genomic studies in Amish families affected by genetic conditions, to define the benefits of community genetics as a field of medicine.

Growing length of manifestos casts new light on electioneering history

From a modest 150 words to the length of a children’s book – the number of words used by politicians in their election manifestos has grown substantially in the past century, new research shows.

University of Exeter’s world-leading plastics research wins Queen’s Anniversary Prize

The University Exeter of has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for the pivotal role it has played to expose the devastating effect that plastics pollution has on the health of humans and wildlife.

University experts feature in prestigious ranking of world’s most influential scientists

Leading climate, environment and health academics from the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the world’s most influential researchers, according to a prestigious new ranking.

Leadership’s in the blood for tiny fish

Leadership during cooperation runs in the family for tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies, new research shows.

Attomarker technology being showcased at London Science Museum

Attomarker, a pioneering spin-out company based at the University of Exeter, is featured in an exhibition at the Science Museum in London.

Jackdaw mobs flip from chaos to order as they grow

Chaotic mobs of jackdaws suddenly get organised once enough birds join in, new research shows.

Animal Free Research Centre of Excellence launched at Exeter

Animal Free Research UK has recognised a researcher at the University of Exeter as among the best in the country in developing and training researchers in an alternative approach to using animals in laboratory research.

Lung disease expert to join Exeter fungal centre

A leading expert on how fungal diseases affect human lungs will join the University of Exeter next year.

Countries and cities show significant response to climate change, report suggests

According to the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, which includes the University of Exeter, countries and cities are responding to the growing threat that global warming poses.

Leading professors join Exeter’s ground-breaking diabetes research team

Two world-leading professors are joining the University of Exeter Medical School as part of a £6 million expansion in diabetes research.

Prestigious diabetes fellowship awarded to outstanding female scientist

A rising research star at the University of Exeter Medical School has been awarded the illustrious Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship.

Body language key to zoo animal welfare

Watching the behaviour and body language of zoo animals could be the key to understanding and improving their welfare, new research suggests

Alzheimer’s amyloid build-up affects certain parts of brain cells more than others in mice.

A protein that is linked with Alzheimer’s Disease has been found to be more likely to affect certain parts of brain cells that send messages than other parts of the cells.

Severity of earthquake impact may change with the seasons, study shows

The devastating impact caused by earthquakes on the local communities and environment could differ in severity depending on the season, a pioneering new study on two historic earthquakes in Kazakhstan has suggested.

Experts unite to improve dementia research

Data scientists, artificial intelligence experts and clinicians are among a range of professionals invited to join a new national network to find innovative ways of conducting dementia research and care.

DE-STRESS Project shortlisted for Mind Media Award

A series of items about antidepressant use on Radio 4s PM programme featuring a collaborative project between the universities of Exeter and Plymouth, has been shortlisted for an award at the Mind Mental Health awards

University of Exeter academic wins prestigious research prize

A University of Exeter academic has been awarded the prestigious Fleming Prize by the Microbiology Society.

One hundred letters sent to Thomas Hardy made public for the first time

Thomas Hardy’s position as one of Britain’s preeminent writers meant he received thousands of letters from fans, friends and members of the public to express their admiration or enlist his support.

Pioneering new ‘smart needle’ could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that can detect and diagnose one of the most common types of cancer within seconds - using light.

Showcasing Cornwall’s marine tech pioneers

A capacity audience attended the Marine Tech Transformers event on 1st November, hosted by Marine-i at Heartlands, Pool. 

SETsquared ranked global #1 university business incubator for third time

The SETsquared Partnership has been ranked the global number one university business incubator for the third consecutive time by UBI Global.

Consequences of gentrification for LGBTQ+ communities explored at London event

The increasing gentrification of urban areas is leading to a loss of queer spaces across the world. Now the impact of the “disappearing city” on LGBTQ+ communities will be highlighted at a unique event which will show how it has made dating and sex increasingly secretive.

Higher earning “elite” political lobbyists overstate their own achievements, study shows

“Elite”, high-earning political lobbyists are more likely to overstate their achievements, a new study shows.

Scientists should have sex and gender on the brain

Thinking about sex and gender would help scientists improve their research, a new article published today argues.

“Big data” for life sciences – A human protein co-regulation map reveals new insights into protein functions

Proteins are key molecules in living cells. They are responsible for nearly every task of cellular life and are essential for the maintenance of the structure, function, and regulation of tissues and organs in the human body.

£2.2 million collaboration to enhance quality of life in care homes

The University of Exeter is collaborating in a £2.2 million project to improve how researchers and health and social care services can use data to improve the care and quality of life for care home residents, families and staff.

Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon

Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential.

Millions of seabirds rely on discarded fish

Millions of scavenging seabirds survive on fish discarded by North Sea fishing vessels, new research shows.

Conservative Party divisions contributed to the failure of Brexit negotiations, new study shows

Divisions in the Conservative Party allowed the European Union to set the agenda during Brexit negotiations, a new study shows.

Zoo animal research skewed towards ‘popular’ species

Research on zoo animals focuses more on “familiar” species like gorillas and chimpanzees than less well known ones like the waxy monkey frog, scientists say.

Exeter scientist up for award alongside Greta Thunberg

An Exeter scientist has been nominated for a climate communication award – alongside environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Britain mapped in verse by major 2019 arts project

Thousands of writers have been inspired by Britain’s diverse landscape and heritage to produce new poems as part of one of the year’s most successful arts projects, drawing to its conclusion this week.

Public blame accidents on drivers more than their automated cars when both make mistakes, study shows

The public are more likely to blame accidents involving semi-autonomous cars on driver - rather than machine - error, a new study has found.

Climate change could drive British crop farming north and west

Unchecked climate change could drive Britain’s crop growing north and west, leaving the east and south east unable to support crop growing, new research suggests

Both Remainers and Leavers willing to let MPs disrupt the constitution to get the Brexit they want, survey shows

With Brexit once again in limbo, new research shows that Remainers and Leavers are both willing to disrupt Britain’s unwritten constitution to get the Brexit outcome they want.

£18.5 million boost for South West biosciences

PhD training across the biosciences has received a massive boost thanks to a £18.5 million funding award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation) to the University of Bristol-led South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP). 

New B-Lines to put the buzz back into Cornwall

An ambitious new plan for helping our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects is being launched today by Buglife, the University of Exeter and Cornwall Council.

Exeter expert receives prestigious Turing AI Fellowship

A leading applied mathematician at the University of Exeter has been awarded a prestigious AI Fellowship from UK Research and Innovation, it has been announced.

Advance in search for new Clostridioides difficile vaccine

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the hunt for a new vaccine for killer hospital bug Clostridioides difficile (C. diff).

Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

Many of Europe’s peatlands are currently the driest they have been in the last 1,000 years, new research shows.

Evolving alongside other bacteria keeps hospital bug potent

Bacteria that evolve in natural environments – rather than laboratory tests – may become resistant to phage treatments without losing their virulence, new research shows.

Fish more tolerant than expected to low oxygen events

Fish may be more tolerant than previously thought to periods of low oxygen in the oceans, new research shows.

Bean tree plan to protect Amazon

Amazon deforestation could be slowed by planting bean trees that would keep soils fertile and help smallholders make a living.

Fertiliser scheme could solve Mexico’s seaweed problem

Mexico’s tourist beaches could be cleared of rotting seaweed by a new scheme to turn it into fertiliser and fuel.

Henry VIII’s marital troubles may have influenced other splits, newly-discovered documents show

Newly-discovered documents show Henry VIII’s legendary marital troubles may have led to other copy-cat splits around the country.

Construction begins on £10 million Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre

Work is now under way to construct a cutting-edge new imaging centre expected to rapidly accelerate dementia research and improve healthcare.

Professor Claire Dunlop conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

A University of Exeter expert has been made a fellow of the prestigious Academy of Social Sciences for her research on regulatory design and policy evaluation.

‘Great West’ can lead world in tackling climate change

The ‘Great West’ can lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change.

New partnership will help to protect and celebrate the South West’s historic treasures

A new partnership between the University of Exeter and the South West Heritage Trust is furthering research and access into the region’s remarkable heritage. 

Britain’s laws are harming businesses operating in space, experts warn

Britain’s laws are harming hi-tech companies who want to operate in the burgeoning space industry, experts have warned.

Award for Exeter’s support for researchers

The University of Exeter’s support and development of researchers has been recognised by an international award. 

Indonesia under ‘blanket of smoke’ amid wildfires

Indonesia is under a “blanket of smoke” amid wildfires that threaten humans, wildlife and the global climate, researchers say.

Exeter experts to play key role in ‘game-changing’ tidal energy project for Channel regions

Renewable Energy experts from the University of Exeter will play a pivotal role in a new “game-changing” tidal energy project, it has been confirmed.

Religion now plays an “explicit and institutionalised” role in US foreign policy-making, new research shows

Faith is increasingly used to advance the interests and values of the United States around the world, according to a new book by Dr Gregorio Bettiza from the University of Exeter.

Bid to reconstruct richness of prehistoric oceans

Scientists are reconstructing the world’s “pristine” prehistoric oceans.

Social prescribing – who does it work for and why?

In a time when people are living longer, but with more complex healthcare needs, GPs are increasingly using social prescribing to help manage conditions.

University of Exeter historian’s role in major new BBC series on World War Two

A University of Exeter expert has played a key role in the creation of a major new BBC TV series which depicts the impact of World War Two on families living across Europe.

Scientists ‘must be allowed to cry’ about destruction of nature

Scientists witnessing the destruction of the natural world must be supported and “allowed to cry”, researchers say.

Coveted awards recognise Exeter’s commitment to gender equality

Prestigious Athena SWAN awards have just been granted to two University of Exeter departments to recognise their commitment to gender equality.

New international project will investigate hidden costs of floods communities

The University of Exeter will lead an international project to investigate the hidden impact of adaptation measures designed to protect flood-prone communities worldwide.

Project launched to study artificial lighting at night from space

Citizen scientists are being urged to help shine a light on one of the most significant, yet often neglected, environmental issues by using photos taken from space.

Crohn’s disease study identifies genetic variant with potential to personalise treatment

The largest study ever to look at why an expensive and commonly–used group of drugs fails some patients with Crohn’s disease has identified a genetic marker which could individualise drug treatment.

University gains £1.2 million funding to battle Anti-Microbial Resistance

The University of Exeter has received a substantial £1.2 million of funding to further understanding into antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Autopsy reveals Sidmouth fatberg’s dirty secrets

Household cooking fats and hygiene products played a pivotal role in the formation of the giant fatberg found lurking under a Devon seaside town, scientists have revealed.

Domestic violence and abuse: how NIHR research is helping families in the South West

Research shows that only half of children affected by domestic violence and abuse are known to social services and only 42 per cent receive support from a specialist abuse service.

Flamingos tickled pink by revamped exhibit

Flamingos at the Oakland Zoo are at their flamboyant best thanks to scientists at the University of Exeter.

Mob mentality rules jackdaw flocks

Jackdaws are more likely to join a mob to drive off predators if lots of their fellow birds are up for the fight, new research shows.

World-leading stem cell researcher appointed new Director of Living Systems Institute

One of the world’s most influential and renowned stem cell researchers has been appointed as the new Director of the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute.

New research finds coastal living linked with better mental health

Living close to the sea could support better mental health in England’s poorest urban communities, finds a new study published today in the journal Health and Place.

Leading dementia research charity funds vital equipment at the University of Exeter

Alzheimer’s Research UK has committed nearly £30,000 to support pioneering dementia research at the University of Exeter.

Alumni fund research into mitigating impacts of sport and leisure in the marine environment

Scientists know that light, litter and noise are all major stressors on marine life but we don’t yet have a full understanding of their combined and comparative effects on the environment. However this is set to change thanks to two Exeter alumni. 

New calculator will help clinicians diagnose diabetes more accurately

A new calculator developed by the University of Exeter will help clinicians classify whether a patient has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, ensuring they get the best treatment and reducing complications.

Basking sharks exhibit different diving behaviour depending on the season, a new study shows

Tracking the world’s second-largest shark species has revealed that it moves to different depths depending on the time of year.

Exeter climate expert plays pivotal role in stark IPCC report

A world-leading climate scientist from the University of Exeter has played a pivotal role in the latest Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Jackdaws learn from each other about ‘dangerous’ humans

Jackdaws can learn from each other to identify “dangerous” humans, new research shows.

Wanted: five volunteers to join scientific research mission to Antarctica

The search is on for five passionate individuals to travel to Earth’s most remote continent and join Antarctic Scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams, from the University of Exeter, on a first-of-its-kind scientific research mission in December.

Celebration of major new partnership between the University of Exeter and Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

Experts from the University of Exeter and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) are celebrating the start of a major new partnership.

Diving birds follow each other when fishing

Diving seabirds watch each other to work out when to dive, new research shows.

Parental involvement plays key role in children’s academic attainment, research shows

New research has shown how parental engagement has a positive effect on a child’s academic attainment – regardless of age or socio-economic status.

New study to explore the history of sexual violence in South Africa

A major new study will explore the history of sexual violence of South Africa, drawing on the voices of women.

Exeter receives substantial funding boost for business growth

The University of Exeter has received an £800,000 funding boost to create a vibrant and innovative ‘Enterprise Zone’, it has been announced.

Voters expect much more from political parties who win decisive election victories

Voters expect much more from politicians when the media describes them as having won a decisive electoral victory, research shows.

Inter-microbial warfare may help overcome fungal infection

A new £2.7 million research programme will investigate whether a ‘nanoweapon’ could be deployed in the global battle against deadly fungal infections.

Discovery of rare Roman cattle bones sheds new light on ancient farming

The “incredibly rare” discovery of Roman cattle bones by archaeologists has shed new light on how ancient farmers butchered and sold meat.

Scanning the lens of the eye could predict type 2 diabetes and prediabetes

New research shows that specialist measuring of the lens in the eye can predict patients with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (also known as prediabetes, a condition that often leads to full blown type 2 diabetes).

Survey launches to improve continence in children with disabilities

A survey for parents, carers, and health professionals has launched to assess how the NHS manages continence for children with disabilities or special educational needs.

Pioneering University of Exeter research nominated for higher education “Oscars”

Two pioneering University of Exeter research projects which will help bring about major reforms to divorce law and improve lives for people with dementia in care homes have been nominated for prestigious awards.

New films bring forgotten lives of women in Franco’s Spain to life for a new generation

The lives of remarkable women whose impact on history was curtailed by Spain’s Franco dictatorship will be recreated for a new generation thanks to a major new historical project.

The “pathobiome” – a new understanding of disease

Cefas and University of Exeter scientists have presented a novel concept describing the complex microbial interactions that lead to disease in plants, animals and humans.  

Drama and impact of cricket captured by Kia Oval’s first Poet-in-Residence

The beauty and history of cricket – a game which has captivated the country this summer - will be captured in verse by the Kia Oval’s first Poet-in-Residence.

Young Researcher Award for diabetes and pregnancy specialist

An academic specialising in diabetes and pregnancy has been recognised with an international award.

Double success for Professor Sabina Leonelli

Professor Leonelli has been elected to the International Academy of Philosophy of Sciences and the European Philosophy of Science Association.

New research warns incentives to plead guilty can undermine the right to a fair trial

New research suggests that the right to a fair trial can be undermined by benefits associated with pleading guilty, and that such benefits are putting pressure on vulnerable defendants to admit to crimes they did not commit.

Exeter retains top 150 global position in latest rankings

The University of Exeter has retained its place in the top 150 universities worldwide in the latest influential league table.

Genetics Society awards for two Exeter Academics

Two academics at the University of Exeter are set to receive prestigious awards from the Genetics Society.

When should NHS contact patients over faulty genes?

The NHS and health services worldwide need to develop policies on when patients should be “re-contacted” about faulty genes, as the current lack of guidance creates a dilemma for health services, experts have warned.

University of Exeter and BMT partner up to enhance technical excellence

University of Exeter and BMT are celebrating the signing of a new collaboration agreement. 

Snack tax may be more effective than a sugary drink tax to tackle obesity

Research involving the University of Exeter Medical School finds that the effect of taxing high sugar snacks is double that seen for a similar price increase on sugar sweetened drinks.

Genetic factors influencing adult obesity take effect in early childhood

Body mass index (BMI) in infants, children and adults is influenced by different genetic factors that change as we age, according to a major new study.

The Argument for Sexual Selection in Bacteria

Sexual selection can sometimes explain phenomena that natural selection alone cannot, and some bacteria could also exhibit sexual selection, researchers at the University of Exeter argue.

European Research Council funding success for Exeter academics

Two researchers from the University of Exeter are celebrating after receiving a significant funding boost from the European Research Council (ERC).

Major new study tracing the history of psychiatry will show roots of today’s global mental health

A major new study of the history of psychiatry will show how efforts to create a “global standard” for mental health has left a lasting legacy on the treatment offered today.

Rising research star receives prestigious ERC funding award

A rising research star at the University of Exeter has received a significant funding boost from the European Research Council (ERC), it has been announced.

Babies’ own genes influence when they are born

Large genetic study involving data from Exeter mothers and babies reveals new insights into pregnancy duration and the timing of delivery.

Iconic folk song "Widecombe Fair” didn’t originate from Devon village, new book reveals

The quest to discover the true origins behind one of the most quintessentially English folk songs has taken a new, surprise twist.

Impact of climate change on global banana yields revealed

Climate change could negatively impact banana cultivation in some of the world’s most important producing and exporting countries, a study has revealed.

Major fungal research centre moves to Exeter

A top research centre focussed on tackling fungal diseases has relocated to the University of Exeter.

More exciting opportunities to celebrate Exeter City Football Club’s incredible history announced

An exciting series of exhibitions, films and events celebrating the incredible history of Exeter City Football Club has been announced.

Giving people a “digital identity” could leave them vulnerable to discrimination, experts warn

Global efforts to give millions of people missing key paper documents such as birth certificates a digital identity could leave them vulnerable to persecution or discrimination, a new study warns.

Exeter Science Park businesses soar with support from global number one incubator

Award-winning business support provider, SETsquared Exeter has helped to raise significant investment for its growing client base in Exeter as part of the World-leading SETsquared Partnership.

The middle aged are lonelier than older and younger people

Middle-aged people are lonelier than older adults and young people, new research suggests.

DHGE and University of Exeter to deliver online programmes in nutrition, recovery and rehabilitation

Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE) has joined forces with the University of Exeter to transform workforce development and empower staff to educate patients on nutrition, rehabilitation and recovery.

Empathy for perpetrators helps explain victim blaming in sexual harassment

Men’s empathy for other men who sexually harass women may help explain why they are more likely to blame victims, new research suggests.

WW1 prisoners of war ran their own cinemas in German camps, records show

British World War One prisoners of war established and ran their own cinemas while held by the Germans – even watching films regularly with their captors, new research shows.

Exeter retains position amongst world’s best universities in influential ranking

The University of Exeter has retained its position as one of the best universities in the world, according to the latest influential rankings.

Leatherback turtle spotted off Cornwall

A leatherback turtle has been spotted off the coast of Cornwall – the first confirmed sighting of a live leatherback in UK waters this year.

Too much inequality impedes support for public goods, according to research published in Nature

Too much inequality in society can result in a damaging lack of support for public goods and services, which could disadvantage the rich as well as the poor, according to new research from the University of Exeter Business School, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) and Harvard University.

Learn how to avoid fast fashion at Cornish events this month

Experts working to help find ways to stop Britain’s fast fashion addiction will share their findings at a new exhibition touring Cornwall this month.

New technique can show links between prey and microplastics

A brand new method has been developed to investigate links between top predator diets and the amount of microplastic they consume through their prey, offering potential insights into the exposure of animals in the ocean and on land to microplastics.

Work placements undertaken whilst at university can improve job prospects – but quality of supervision matters

Thousands of university students are spending the summer doing work placements and internships and this is likely to see them return with more professionalism and improved self-belief, according to an expert from the University of Exeter Business School. 

Rainforests can only absorb CO2 as long as nutrient stores last

How much carbon dioxide can tropical rainforests absorb?