Research News

Commonly prescribed heartburn drug linked to Pneumonia in Older Adults

Researchers at the University of Exeter have found a statistical link between pneumonia in older people and a group of medicines commonly used to neutralise stomach acid in people with heartburn or stomach ulcers. Although Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)  are still a valuable group of medicines, research is indicating that PPIs are not as completely safe for older people as previously thought.

Exeter social scientists honoured by Academy

Three leading social scientists from the University of Exeter have been bestowed with a prestigious Fellowship from the Academy of Social Sciences.

Scientists create innovative new ‘green’ concrete using graphene

A new greener, stronger and more durable concrete that is made using the wonder-material graphene could revolutionise the construction industry.

Pub-goers invited to raise a pint to science in Exeter

Experts from the University of Exeter will bring their research out of the laboratory and into city watering holes, as the world’s largest festival of public science talks arrive in Exeter.

Multiple sclerosis may be linked to sheep disease toxin

Exposure to a toxin primarily found in sheep could be linked to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans, new research suggests.

Hungry birds as climate change drives food ‘mismatch’

Warmer springs create a “mismatch” where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows.

£1m toolkit to calculate economic value of urban greenspace

£1m is being invested in an online toolkit designed to empower cities and developers to accurately assess the multiple benefits of green infrastructure, so as to make informed policy and business decisions. 

Wartime hospital past of Exeter landmark building commemorated

The First World War hospital past of one of Exeter’s landmark buildings and the contribution of doctors and nurses who worked there will be commemorated.

Exeter University launches trail-blazing maternity scheme: six months leave on full pay from first day at work

New mums at the University of Exeter will be entitled to six months maternity leave on full pay from the day they start work in one of the most generous parental leave packages in the public sector.

£10M donation for Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre, medical research and leadership programmes

Gift from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation is the single largest received by the University of Exeter.

Job hunters drop ties with supportive colleagues

People considering quitting their jobs stop supporting current colleagues because they no longer feel they need to do favours for them, research shows.

Exeter professor honoured by Chinese university

A leading Exeter academic has been appointed as Honorary Professor at Tianjin University in China.

Crowded urban areas have fewer songbirds per person

People in crowded urban areas – especially poor areas – see fewer songbirds such as tits and finches, and more potential “nuisance” birds, such as pigeons, magpies and gulls, new research shows.

Viruses can evolve in parallel in related species

Viruses are more likely to evolve in similar ways in related species – raising the risk that they will “jump” from one species to another, new research shows.

Britain’s security experts want increased defence spending, new survey shows

Britain’s future military commanders and staff officers want the Government to increase defence spending, new research shows.

Fossil study sheds light on ancient butterfly wing colours

Pioneering new research has given an illuminating new insight into the metallic, iridescent colours found on the earliest known ancestors of moths and butterflies, which habited the earth almost 200 million years ago.

Droughts mean fewer flowers for bees

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

Conflict in outer space will happen: legal experts

Space and military law experts from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined forces to take the lead on understanding how our Earth-bound laws will be applied in times of armed conflict in outer space.

Gene that Makes Humans Eat More Sugar Can Also Lower Body Fat

Scientists have known since 2013 that a version of the gene FGF21 makes us consume more carbohydrates.

Fish have ears, so man-made noise threatens their survival

An ‘acoustic fog’ from motorboat noise, underwater construction and other man-made marine sounds can threaten the survival of fish.

Weight loss is an important predictor of cancer

Unintended weight loss is the second highest risk factor for some forms of cancer, concludes the first robust research analysis to examine the association.

Geoengineering risks losers as well as winners for climate and wildfire risks

Artificially altering the climate system to limit global warming to 1.5C could increase the risks of wildfires in some areas, new research suggests.

Exeter partners with Dementias Platform UK

The University of Exeter Medical School has been confirmed as a full partner of Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a partnership of leading universities and prominent industry names striving for better research in dementia.

Coral bleaching threatens the diversity of reef fish

New research shows that coral bleaching not only whitewashes corals, but can also reduce the variety of fish occupying these highly-valued ecosystems.

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

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

Inaugural Cornwall School Mining Games hailed a success

Cornish school children were given a fascinating insight into the county’s rich mining heritage when they took part in a recent special competition.

The University of Exeter renews agreement with the University of South Florida (USF)

The University of Exeter and the University of South Florida (USF) renewed agreements for collaboration in Education and Research during recent meetings in Florida.

Exeter experts sing praises of glorious mud

Mud provides precious habitats, a buffer against rising sea levels and a host of other benefits, according to two University of Exeter researchers.

Exeter and Geneva strengthen collaborative partnership

To celebrate, and further extend, the strong relationship of staff within the University of Exeter and the University of Geneva, the two universities are jointly launching a new seed fund to support developing research links.

270 million visits made to English coastlines each year

Research has revealed for the first time that around 271 million recreational visits are made to marine and coastal environments in England.

Student entrepreneurs cutting food miles and plastic waste with veg bag scheme

Student entrepreneurs are transforming the way their friends shop and eat – as well as helping to cut plastic waste and food miles – by growing and selling their own vegetables.

Work to highlight Perranporth’s mining history wins at the first Cornwall Heritage Awards

Work by archaeologists and historians to highlight Perranporth’s incredible mining history has been honoured at the first Cornwall Heritage Awards.

Climate change could raise food insecurity risk

Weather extremes caused by climate change could raise the risk of food shortages in many countries, new research suggests.

World Bipolar Day: University working on new treatments

Exeter experts are working on new treatments for Bipolar Disorders this World Bipolar Day (30 March).

Five Exeter academics awarded British Academy funding

Five University of Exeter academics have been awarded prestigious funding from the British Academy, the national body for the humanities and social sciences.

Dolphins tear up nets as fish numbers fall

Fishing nets suffer six times more damage when dolphins are around – and overfishing is forcing dolphins and fishermen ever closer together, new research shows.

Public invited to play detective and join exciting new hunt for the Easter bunny

The public can play detective and help experts solve the mystery of the origins of the Easter bunny as part of a different kind of Easter hunt this year.

Single-use plastics turned into giant turtle sculpture by students

A group of University of Exeter students have constructed a giant plastic turtle on campus to promote plastic use awareness.

Parts of the Amazon thought uninhabited were actually home to up to a million people

Parts of the Amazon previously thought to have been almost uninhabited were really home to thriving populations of up to a million people, new research shows.

When sound waves do the twist – backwards!

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time how ‘twisted’ sound waves from a rotating source can produce negative frequencies - akin to turning back time.

Graduate cycles from Exeter to Andorra in honour of friend

A graduate from the University of Exeter is set to cycle from Exeter to Andorra on March 27, 2018.

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.

Professor Isabelle Baraffe appointed to Science and Technology Facilities Council

Professor Isabelle Baraffe has been appointed as a new member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, it has been confirmed.

Exeter gets two Entrepreneurs in Residence

The University of Exeter now has two Entrepreneurs in Residence, appointed as part of a new Royal Society scheme.

Forum to address future world water challenges

UK’s largest consortium of water researchers will welcome business, NGO and government leaders to discuss water security

School children unpick genetic riddle in University labs

Pupils from schools across the Westcountry used genetic processes commonly seen in TV crime dramas to help solve the mystery of who sabotaged Devon’s very own Bake Off.

Breakthrough could aid development of bee-friendly pesticides

Efforts to create pesticides that are not toxic to bees have been boosted by a scientific breakthrough.

Exeter students to take part in 12-hour Sport Relief football match

A group of six first-year theology students from the University of Exeter are set to play against eight celebrities, led by Robbie Savage, to raise money for Sport Relief.

Teenagers more likely to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit because they are less able to make mature decisions

Teenagers are more likely to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit because they are less able to make mature decisions, new research shows.

Exeter to train more of Tomorrow’s Doctors

The Government has granted permission for the University of Exeter Medical School to train an additional 88 Medicine students each year, in a major boost to the South West.

Extreme cold winter weather conditions, such as ‘Beast from the East’, can be linked to solar cycle

Periods of extreme cold winter weather and perilous snowfall could be linked to the solar cycle, pioneering new research has shown.

All-female crew to sail Pacific on plastics research mission

An all-female crew including sailors, scientists and film-makers will cross the north Pacific later this year to study plastic pollution.

Self-employed happier at work – despite long hours and more uncertainty

New research has identified a key ingredient to securing a happy and fulfilling career - working for yourself.

Experience trumps youth among jumping fish

Tiny jumping fish can leap further as they get older, new research shows.

Exeter ranked amongst top 50 most international universities

The University of Exeter has been recognised as one of the most international universities in the world.

Fussy eating prevents mongoose family feuds

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

Exeter scientists pay tribute to Stephen Hawking

Scientists from the University of Exeter have paid tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died.

University of Exeter research to inform billions of pounds of future government spending

University of Exeter expertise will be used by the Government to inform all major new public spending projects after academics helped to create new decision-making guidelines for politicians and civil servants.

Camborne School of Mines students to host 40th International Mining Games

The next generation of miners are making final preparations ahead of the International Mining Games, to be held in Cornwall.

The Female Romantic poets who used opium for its “tranquilising power”

In the Romantic period, a generation of women writers were also habitual users of opium, and wrote extolling its “calming” properties in their writing, new research has found.

Great, great grandson of Emmeline Pankhurst and leading female entrepreneurs help mark International Women’s Day

The great, great grandson of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and leading female entrepreneurs will help mark International Women’s Day and the launch of a new organisation to promote female achievement in Cornwall.

Students help Falmouth achieve Plastic Free Status

Falmouth Marine Conservation Group, which is led by two University of Exeter students, has helped the Cornish town achieve Plastic Free Community Status.

Tudor and Stuart women spent more time making money than caring for their families, new research shows

Tudor and Stuart women spent more time making money than caring for their families and were regularly employed in physically demanding jobs, according to major new research.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

There is no shortage of inspirational and high-achieving women working here at Exeter - including award-winning scientists, one of the army’s first helicopter pilots and a chef who has cooked for the Queen.

World-leading microbiologist appointed as Exeter’s new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact)

One of the world’s foremost microbiologists has been appointed as Exeter's new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact).

Camborne School of Mines Trust funds more than £200,000 of scholarships

The Camborne School of Mines Trust has generously bestowed more than £200,000 to support students embarking on the first steps towards forging a successful mining career.

Renewable Energy Students Visit Parliament

Renewable Energy Engineering students from the University of Exeter met with three Government ministers as part of a special fact-finding trip to the House of Commons.

University of Exeter’s FAME project, led by Prof Fayyaz Memon, wins India-UK Water Quality award

A pioneering project designed to develop new and affordable treatments for complex emerging contaminants has secured a prestigious award.

University of Exeter Business School leads Russell Group with launch of two new Degree Apprenticeships

The University of Exeter Business School has launched two new Degree Apprenticeships, and is the first member of the prestigious Russell Group to launch both level 6 and level 7 qualifications in leadership and management.

Future Energy Systems conference highlights female leaders in energy system change

A high-profile conference will showcase the work of inspirational women across the energy  sector, to mark international Women’s Day.

Oxygen loss could be a huge issue for oceans

A major study into an ancient climate change event that affected a significant percentage of Earth’s oceans has brought into sharp focus a lesser-known villain in global warming: oxygen depletion. 

PhD student wins Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film

A PhD student from the University of Exeter and the London Film School has been awarded an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Brain Awareness Week to bring neuroscience to the masses

Members of the public are being invited to the University of Exeter to learn more about the marvels of the human brain as part of Brain Awareness Week.

Medicine student volunteers help hospital weather storm

Exeter’s Medicine students stepped up to volunteer in a wide range of support roles to help staff at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital to continue delivering high quality patient care over the severe weather period.

Women remain dramatically unrepresented in the British film industry, major new study shows

Women remain dramatically unrepresented in the British film industry, according to a major new study which shows there has been little change in the number of female directors or cinematographers in the past decade.

Mums-to-be can exercise in warm weather and use saunas without getting too hot

Pregnant women can safely exercise in warm weather and take short hot baths or saunas without risking critical elevations in body temperature that could harm their unborn child, a review has found.

Story by Exeter writer is actress’s book at bedtime

Actress Emily Watson has chosen a children’s book by Exeter creative-writing lecturer Dr O’Shea-Meddour as the Cbeebies bedtime story.

Exoplanet atmosphere observed in more detail than ever before

An international team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b.

New poetry inspired by Cornish author William Golding revealed on World Book Day

New poems by a University of Exeter expert – revealed on World Book Day - were inspired by the works of Cornish author William Golding and discoveries about the lives of Neanderthal communities.

Action-packed week for Exeter apprentices

Apprentices at the University of Exeter will take part in a series of events during National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March 2018).

Winston Churchill’s affair revealed by forgotten testimony

Winston Churchill had a short affair with the dazzling socialite Lady Doris Castlerosse in the 1930s, according to his former private secretary, research has found.

Launch of pioneering initiative to develop the next generation of Exeter’s data scientists

The official launch has taken place of a pioneering alliance to develop Exeter’s next generation of data scientists.

Exeter researcher awarded honorary doctorate

A University of Exeter researcher will receive an honorary doctorate from a leading Dutch university.

New ranking puts Exeter subjects amongst the very best worldwide

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

Stunning footage shows how drones can boost turtle conservation

Drones are changing the face of turtle research and conservation, a new study shows.

Apprenticeship awards for University of Exeter

Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter have been boosted by two prizes at the Exeter College Apprentice and Employer Awards.

Check offenders for history of head injuries, experts say

Offenders should be routinely checked for signs of past head injuries, researchers say.

Sea swimming increases ailments

People who spend time in the sea are more likely to experience stomach bugs, ear aches and other types of illness than those who do not.

Fireworks, dancing and music on campus to mark Chinese New Year

Thousands of people will mark Chinese New Year at the University of Exeter with fireworks, dancing and dragons.

SETsquared partnership ranked as world’s top business incubator

The SETsquared partnership has been ranked as the world’s leading business incubator for its outstanding contribution to developing the next generation of UK tech entrepreneurs.

Road map to improve dementia research by 2025

A new Alzheimer’s Society roadmap has outlined the steps that must be taken on dementia prevention, diagnosis, intervention and care by 2025.

Exeter Energy Policy expert plays leading role in key national renewables report

National Audit Office report examines low-carbon heating of homes and businesses and the Renewable Heat Incentive

Priests of ancient faith threatened with extinction share their traditions for future generations

The leaders of an ancient religion threatened with extinction by conflict in the Middle East have allowed their highly complex water-based rituals to be recorded by outsiders for the first time.

Pioneering research into the family tree of today’s horses sheds new light on the origins of the species.

The earliest known domesticated horses are not at the root of today’s modern breed’s family tree, as had previously been thought, new research has shown.

First evidence that marine top predators are exposed to microplastics via their prey

Microplastics can transfer up the food chain from fish to top predators, such as seals, new research shows.

Lecturer from Camborne School of Mines secures prestigious award

Dr Hannah Hughes, a Lecturer in Exploration and Mining Geology, has been awarded the William Smith Fund for 2018 from the Geological Society of London.

Conflict between males and females could replace evolution of new species

New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonising habitats.

Grey squirrels beat reds in ‘battle of wits’

Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the UK, new research says.

Research offers new insight into workings of building blocks of life

Pioneering new research could offer a fascinating new insight into how genomic information is read.

Innuendo and pointing suspicion in news coverage can fuel conspiracy theories, research shows

Innuendo and hinting at fake information in news coverage is enough to fuel belief in conspiracy theories, new research shows.

Biodiversity loss raises risk of ‘extinction cascades’

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of “extinction cascades”, where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions. 

Exeter alumni pass 60,000-hour volunteering target

Former students have spent more than 60,000 hours volunteering at the University of Exeter – beating a target with two years to spare.

Newspaper small ads used by Victorians for their equivalent of ‘texting’

150 years before the advent of ‘texting’, the small ads of the Evening Standard were used by Victorian lovers to send each other illicit messages, beg forgiveness and arrange trysts.

BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind launches loneliness survey

A new survey about people’s experiences of loneliness launches today on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind.

Sex tips for Victorians: Men with broad noses make passionate husbands

The Victorians may have a reputation for prudery, but new research shows that 19th Century manuals contained explicit sex and flirtation advice.

Dominant male pheasants learn faster

Dominant male pheasants learn faster than their downtrodden rivals, new research shows.

Pimavanserin: relief from psychosis in dementia, without devastating side-effects

A new kind of antipsychotic has been found to relieve terrifying and disturbing symptoms suffered by millions of people with Alzheimer’s disease worldwide.

Exeter Scoops Prestigious National Award from the Career Development Institute

A student training programme has won the Innovative and Impactful Employer Engagement Activity award at CDI’s prestigious UK career awards.