Research News

Study finds crime-cutting benefits of therapy when combined with cash handouts

Spending $500 for therapy and a small cash payment helped reduce crime and violence by half among some of the most troubled young men in West Africa, a new study has found.

'Democracy' governs mass jackdaw take-offs

Jackdaws use a "democratic" process to decide when to leave their roosts en masse, new research shows.

Children who play adventurously have better mental health, research finds

Children who spend more time playing adventurously have lower symptoms of anxiety and depression, and were happier over the first Covid-19 lockdown, according to new research.

'Traffic calming' boosts breeding on coral reefs

Coral reef fish breed more successfully if motorboat noise is reduced, new research shows.

Satellites and drones can help save pollinators

Satellites and drones can provide key information to protect pollinators, researchers say.

University of Exeter’s Q-Step centre helping to plug shortages of graduates able to analyse data, evaluation shows

The University of Exeter’s Q-Step centre is helping to tackle the national shortage of graduates with the skills to use data to better understand society, an evaluation shows.

Uncovering hidden cultures in workplaces can help make businesses more inclusive, according to social mobility expert

Companies should introduce ways of uncovering informal hidden cultures to create more inclusive workplaces, a social mobility expert has told parliamentarians.

Scallops swim into illuminated fishing pots

Scallops are drawn to illuminated fishing pots like moths to a flame, new research shows.

Deep ocean warming as climate changes

Much of the "excess heat" stored in the subtropical North Atlantic is in the deep ocean (below 700m), new research suggests.

Track which political parties represent your views with new online tool

A new online tool helps people to see how closely their views match with policies of political parties around the UK.

Pioneering research facility receives funding boost to achieve net zero

A pioneering new research facility, designed to solve some of the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time, has received a near £1 million funding boost to achieve “Net Zero” status.

Asking for ideas boosts collective action

Members of minority groups can boost collective action by seeking the ideas and perspectives of fellow group members, new research shows.

Sea turtle success stories along African east coast – but thousands still dying

Conservation of sea turtles along Africa's east coast has made good progress – but tens of thousands still die each year due to human activity, researchers say.

New exhibition shows stories of parents navigating work and family life in Exeter

Families in Exeter navigating the challenges and joy of working alongside bringing up children have told their stories as part of a new exhibition.

Exeter extreme medicine experts deliver £890,000 in life-saving medical aid to Ukraine

Global experts in delivering medical training for people working in remote environments have galvanised more than £645,000 worth of life-saving medical supplies to the frontline of the Ukrainian war zone.

Peru "pinger" trial deters dolphins but not whales

A trial of underwater sound devices called pingers reduced the number of dolphins caught in fishing nets – but did not deter humpback whales.

First detailed academic study of East African maritime traditions shows changes in boatbuilding

The first detailed academic study of East African maritime traditions shows changes in boatbuilding techniques but the continuing use of wooden vessels by fishers.

Research ship delves into ocean history

A research ship is taking seabed samples from the North Sea and North Atlantic to find out what the oceans were like before major changes caused by humans.

AI set to transform science and engineering in Canada

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to transform how science and engineering is conducted and funded in Canada, bringing both tremendous opportunities and risks, according to a new expert panel report from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA).

Research unlocks personalised care in type 2 diabetes

Moving away from a “one-size fits all” care regime has the potential to transform care for people with type 2 diabetes, a University of Dundee study has shown.

Major new study will investigate impact of innovative orchestra performances which use dance, drama and film

A major new study will analyse the impact of ‘theatrical’ performances by British orchestras, which use dance, acting and film, and are attracting new audiences.

Historic graffiti made by soldiers sheds light on Africa maritime heritage, study shows

Historic graffiti of ships carved in an African fort were drawn by soldiers on guard duty watching the sea, University of Exeter experts believe.

Smartline shortlisted for the Housing Heroes Awards 2022

Ground-breaking Cornwall-based research project Smartline and Coastline housing have been shortlisted for the Housing Heroes Award 2022 the under the ‘Best company health and wellbeing initiative category’.

Efforts to take fake news and misinformation in Africa must take account of the continent’s unique “pavement media”, study shows

The spread of fake news through “pavement media” in Africa means the continent needs unique techniques to tackle the spread of misinformation, a new study says.

Immigration rules mean reforms to give domestic workers access to the minimum wage will be hard to enforce, study says

Reforms to remove legal exemptions to give live-in domestic workers access to the minimum wage are an important step against the devaluation of this work but will be difficult to enforce because of Britain’s immigration rules, a new study says.

Experts to establish new archive of Kurdistan’s culture, history and politics

An international team of experts are establishing a major new archive of Kurdistan’s culture, history and politics.

Internet use during pandemic linked to increased mental health risks for young and middle-aged men

Using the internet frequently during the height of the pandemic has been linked to poorer mental health for young and middle-aged men - but not for women of the same age, a new study has found.

GW4 Generator Award: Seven collaborative research communities awarded £125k funding

Projects exploring the circular economy in building construction, net zero transport systems, and antibiotic-resistance genes are among seven research communities awarded £125,000 in GW4 Alliance funding.

Parks and green spaces of England and Wales valued at £25.6 billion a year

Parks and green spaces provide around £25.6 billion of ‘welfare value’ to the health and wellbeing of adults in England and Wales each year, according to a ground-breaking new tool that calculates the economic value of outdoor recreational spaces.

Resilience of ecosystems can be measured from space

A natural habitat's ability to withstand and recover from damage can be empirically monitored from space.

Pandemic left hospitality workers more vulnerable to conflict from customers and less able to challenge managers over safety due to financial insecurity, study shows

Hospitality workers felt less able to challenge and negotiate bad practice or unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study shows.

Loneliness leads to higher risk of future unemployment, study finds

Experiencing loneliness appears to lead to a higher risk of future unemployment, according to new research.

Origin of complex cells started without oxygen

The origin of complex cells started without oxygen, new research suggests.

Cut emissions "starting now" – Global Carbon Project experts

The Global Carbon Project has published its full analysis for 2021, reinforcing the need for rapid emissions cuts.

Lighting Up Artificial Neural Networks

A team of international scientists have performed difficult machine learning computations using a nano-scale device, named an “optomemristor”.

UK wildlife watchers welcome "ecological refugees"

Wildlife watchers generally welcome species that have arrived in the UK due to climate change, new research suggests.

Supporting staff to improve the lives of those living with dementia in care homes

A study to evaluate a care home dementia training programme that could improve the lives of the most vulnerable people with dementia in the UK has begun as part of the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research (NIHR) National Priorities Programme (NPP).

Newly connected datasets track how exposure to green space impacts health

A new data cohort, funded by the NIHR Public Health Research programme, can for the first time link national green/blue space data with electronic health records for over a decade.

Online lockdown outdoor science lessons boosted teachers’ skills, study shows

Online outdoor science lessons run during the pandemic helped to engage children with the subject and boosted teachers’ skills, analysis suggests.

Professor Mark Kermode and Carol Morley are the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum’s first patrons

Leading film critic Mark Kermode and acclaimed filmmaker Carol Morley are the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum’s first patrons.

Protected areas don’t always boost biodiversity

Protected areas such as national parks have a "mixed impact" on wildlife, according to the largest ever global study of their effects.

Researchers discover drug-resistant environmental mould is capable of infecting people

A new study led by Imperial College London, working with the University of Exeter, finds that drug-resistant mould is spreading from the environment and infecting susceptible people’s lungs. 

Scientists solve key exoplanet questions through Hubble observations

The quest to solve some of the most crucial mysteries surrounding the atmospheres of planets far outsider the solar system has taken a significant step forward

Multi-million funding for new 'terrestrial blue economy' research

A pioneering new research project, designed to unlock the true potential of sustainable shrimp production in the UK using renewable energy technology, has received a multi-million pound funding boost.

Landmark new technology to improve efficiency of sewer system surveys

A new AI tool is set to improve the efficiency of surveying sewerage systems and has the potential to benefit the entire water industry. 

Blockchain to play a key part in ensuring copyright laws can be used for 3D printing

Blockchain technology will soon be able to be applied within items produced by 3D printers thanks to pioneering work by experts.

Fertility support for people with variations in sex characteristics overlooked by medics, report shows

An over-medicalised approach to support for adults with variations in sex characteristics means their emotional and psychological needs are being overlooked, a new report shows.

Protected areas don’t always boost biodiversity

Protected areas such as national parks have a "mixed impact" on wildlife, according to the largest ever global study of their effects.

University spin-out company aiming to treat degenerative disease announces funding

A biotech company which aims to harness University of Exeter research to develop new therapeutics to stop the progression of degenerative diseases has received new seed financing. 

'Whup' and 'grumble' calls reveal secrets of humpback whales

Sounds made by humpback whales – including a previously unknown call – have given researchers a glimpse of their lives in the high seas.

Experts develop new ways of visualising ancient small objects by combining technologies from archaeological research, computer graphics and video game development

Experts have developed new ways of visually representing ancient objects such as stone tools and fossils developing technologies currently only used in video games and computer graphics.

New research calls to scrap the smoking prevention/cessation binary when addressing the issue of tobacco use among young adults

A complex array of smoking behaviours and identities among young adults explains why public health initiatives around smoking prevention and cessation are not working for this age group, according to latest research led by Dr Ria Poole at the University of Exeter.

Close bond between two of Spain’s finest female writers brought to life in new stage show

The close bond between two of Spain’s finest female writers will be brought to live in a major new London stage show.

Blockchain has potential to redefine democracy and can support electoral law, an expert has said

Blockchain has the potential to redefine politics and support new electoral law, an expert has said.

Children think farm animals deserve same treatment as pets

Children differ dramatically from adults in their moral views on animals, new research shows.

Surfer science supports seawater study

Seawater samples taken from a surfboard have helped scientists understand microscopic life in the waves, new research shows.

Selective breeding sustainably protects honey bees from Varroa mite

A new breed of honey bees provides a major advance in the global fight against the parasitic Varroa mite, new research shows.

Exeter academic warns of ‘funding issue’ over government’s ambitious tree planting plans

A senior Exeter academic has warned that the government will fail to meet its ambitious tree planting targets without “major and rapid changes” to how the scheme is financed and run.

Spoken descriptions of new technologies provoke more positive attitudes than written ones

People react more positively to new technologies when hearing spoken descriptions of them than when the identical information is written down, a new study finds.

Major research effort to save future of European peatlands

A five-year, £3.7m research project involving scientists from the UK and across Europe will assess the risk that climate change poses to peatlands, and improve methods of managing these important ecosystems.

African network protects key turtle sites

A network of West African Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covers key sites used by green turtles, new research shows.

New research highlights “significant gap” in evidence about effectiveness of relationship education programmes

Educators should have not have ‘high’ confidence in the quality of existing relationship education programmes because there is a lack of robust evaluation, experts have warned.

Exeter partners with National Grid on innovation projects to help deliver Net Zero

The University of Exeter is part of a pivotal new partnership that will help decarbonise the electricity system in Great Britain and accelerate progress towards Net Zero.

Verbal aggression towards women CEOs a result of ‘out of group’ gender bias

Female CEOs face more aggressive questioning from male analysts during earnings conference calls, a new study reveals.

 

Recent reforms are not enough to tackle kleptocracy, new report examining complex web of Kazakhstan property ownership says

Experts have criticised inadequate legislation, failures by the National Crime Agency, and “flawed” legal judgements which led to the dismissal of a high-profile case against the relatives of Kazakhstan’s autocratic first president.

Low Psychological resilience predicts future high blood sugars in type 1 diabetes

New research from the University of Exeter and University of Brighton indicates that people who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are more likely to manage their condition successfully if they have high levels of psychological resilience.

Does living a simpler life mean a happier and healthier life? New TV series co-designed by GW4 experts aims to find out

Could living a simpler life with no modern comforts, cut off from the modern world be better for us?

Radical new Urdu female writers using poetry to call for changes to gender roles in Pakistan, major new study shows

Radical new female writers and performers are transforming Urdu from being a “genteel” language and using their work to call for changes to gender roles in Pakistan, a major new study shows.

Remote Indian Ocean reefs bounce back quickly after bleaching

Coral reefs in remote or protected areas can recover quickly after mass coral bleaching events, new research shows.

Migration across South America led to intensive farming methods spreading across the region, study shows

Human migration from South America back into Mesoamerica thousands of years ago led to the spread of intensive farming methods across the region, according to a new study.

Outstanding Exeter diabetes nurse wins prestigious leadership scholarship

An internationally renowned diabetes research nurse has been awarded a prestigious Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship.

South West survey to boost Pacific plastic project

People in the South West of England can help researchers tackle plastic pollution locally – and thousands of miles away – by completing a short survey.

Modern animal life could have origins in delta

The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, new research suggests.

Sounds of nature benefit mental health and promote environmental protection

The sounds of nature could help us recover from mental fatigue

Switching social identities happens seamlessly

People can switch seamlessly between different social identities, new research shows.

Hundreds of experts sign declaration denouncing religious ideology driving Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Hundreds of experts have signed a declaration renouncing the religious ideology driving Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

New hub for the best evidence about promoting good health will help inform new policy

A new hub that aims to present best evidence available on promoting good health will help inform new policy across the world.

Urgent action ‘critical’ to tackling NHS carbon emissions and reaching 2040 net zero target

The NHS and its suppliers have been urged to systemically adopt circular economy practices to stand any chance of meeting the government’s commitment to achieve a net zero NHS by 2040.

Group exercise has long-term positive impacts for over-65s with mobility limitations

Positive results from a major study into the effectiveness of a community-based group exercise programme designed for people aged 65 and over with mobility limitations. 

Medical equality undermined by mistaken male doctors

Progress on gender equality in the medical profession could be hampered by male doctors who overestimate female representation, researchers say.

Repeal of the Human Rights Act would 'wind the constitutional clock back to the 1990s', experts warn

The proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act would “wind the constitutional clock back to the 1990s” and is “particularly unwise” now because of the actions of Russia in Ukraine, experts have warned.

Help needed for major new study on labour shortages and skills crisis in the farming and horticultural industry

A major new study will shed light on the labour and skills shortages responsible for the staffing crisis in the farming and horticultural industry.

New shoe helps older women stay active

Researchers and a shoe manufacturer have joined forces to create shoes to help older women stay active and keep playing sport.

Researchers aim to discover how viruses communicate

The different "languages" used by viruses will be investigated by a new research project at the University of Exeter.

Pivotal technique harnesses cutting-edge AI capabilities to model and map the natural environment

Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that harnesses the cutting-edge capabilities of AI to model and map the natural environment in intricate detail. 

Coronavirus remembrance and memorials should not be led by the Government, new report argues

Events to mark the coronavirus pandemic should not be led by the Government, and must not depersonalise loss, a new report argues.

New toolkit aids discovery of mineral deposits crucial to ‘green economy’ transition.

Scientists have developed a new toolkit for the discovery of mineral deposits crucial to our transition to a ‘green economy’. 

Voles cut grass to watch flying predators

A tiny rodent trims tall grasses so it can watch the skies for flying predators, new research shows.

New targets could help public sector use more local food, according to new report

The public sector can strengthen local supply chains and help local producers access them.

 

Half century of protection pays off for sea turtles

Green turtle numbers continue to rise on a group of islands where the species has now been protected for more than 50 years, new research shows.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy benefits people with depression through promoting self-kindness

New research shows that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can help promote self-kindness in people with a history of depression.

Lady Mireille Gillings to Open Neuroimaging Centre

Global business leader and philanthropist Lady Mireille Gillings, PhD, will officially open the cutting-edge new imaging centre which bears her name on International Women’s Day (March 8).

Laws governing weddings are outdated and too restrictive in contemporary society, new research shows

Current laws governing weddings are too outdated and restrictive and do not reflect the diversity of faith and beliefs in modern society, a new report from experts at the Universities of Warwick and Exeter highlights.

Amazon rainforest losing resilience

The Amazon rainforest is becoming less resilient – raising the risk of widespread dieback, new research shows.

Increasing frequency of El Niño events expected by 2040

Global weather fluctuations called El Niño events are likely to become more frequent by 2040, a new study shows.

Differentiated integration can foster fairer cooperation between EU nations but should be subject to constraints

Allowing European nations to integrate into the EU in flexible ways can foster fairer cooperation – but it should be subject to certain constraints, a new study argues.

Exeter and Potsdam agree 'tipping points' partnership

The University of Exeter and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have signed an agreement to jointly investigate climate change tipping points.

Female chimpanzees avoid humans

Female chimpanzees are less likely than males to go near villages and farmland used by humans, new research shows.

Mental health impact of Covid still being felt, study finds

The deterioration in people’s mental health linked to Covid-19 is showing no sign of returning to pre-pandemic levels, a new study finds.

Whole-genome sequencing reveals new secrets about killer fungus

New research from the University of Exeter reports largest ever whole-genome sequencing project for the potentially fatal yeast infection Candida glabrata from hospitals across Scotland

Experts mark centenary of key election battle crucial for survival of Cornish liberalism

Experts are marking the centenary of a key South West political battle which proved crucial for Liberalism to survive in Cornwall.

Major new study will show how widening inequalities in education and employment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will impact children’s life prospects

A major new study will show how widening inequalities in education and employment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will impact children’s life prospects.

Plastic labelling needs 'sustainability scale'

Labelling of plastic products needs a drastic overhaul including a new "sustainability scale" to help consumers, researchers say.

IPCC report highlights need for climate action and adaptation

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the need stop carbon emissions and adapt to "unavoidable risks", according to one of its Lead Authors.

Racing looks through eyes of horses to help deliver improved safety at all British jump courses

Racing at Stratford Upon Avon on 14 March will mark the start of a new era over jumps in Britain as obstacles begin turning white as part of a welfare-driven project to develop new ways to help make hurdle and fence design safer.

Bid to protect "blue food" revolution

Scientists have developed a new way to identify and reduce the impact of chemicals and diseases in global aquaculture (fish farming).

Celebrate Cornish innovation past and present at exciting St Piran’s Day event

Cornwall’s unique heritage and identity will be celebrated at a special St Piran’s Day event which marks innovation in the county.

New documentary tells the story of the “Red River” – the powerful symbol of Cornish identity

A new documentary by a University of Exeter expert celebrates the unique Cornish Red River – a powerful symbol of the county’s identity.

Over two thirds of UK social scientists warn their academic freedom is under threat, new study shows

Academics have said their freedom is under threat with evidence suggesting one of the reasons for this concern is the effect of internationalisation including risks associated with the rising influence of authoritarian states such as China.

Hubble detects exotic water cycle and metal clouds in a hot Jupiter exoplanet atmosphere

Scientists have explored the nightside hemisphere of an enormous planet, far outside our solar system for the first time – revealing metal clouds and rain made of liquid gems. 

Step back in time to explore Exeter with characters living through the city’s most dramatic moments

A colourful cast of characters living through Exeter’s most dramatic moments are bringing the city’s history to life thanks to new research.

Exeter professor named among most influential women in psychedelics

University of Exeter Professor Celia Morgan has been named as one of the 16 most influential women shaping the future of psychedelics, by global news publication Insider. 

Zoo visits focused on sound give visitors new perspectives on the lives of animals, study suggests

Encouraging zoo visitors to focus on sounds as much as sights can help them feel a sense of connection with the lives of animals, a study indicates.

Sexual orientation linked to choice of transport to work

Men and women in same-sex couples are more likely to commute by public transport and less likely to drive to work than those in different-sex couples, according to a new study.

More research needed into negative effects of loneliness, say experts

A new report has highlighted where more research is needed into the negative effects of loneliness on the UK’s population.

Covid tip of iceberg for farmer mental health, new research shows

Farmers’ mental health was already at a critical point prior to Covid-19, which widened existing cracks in support according to new research.

Researchers win Medical Research Foundation’s Changing Policy and Practice Award

Two University of Exeter researchers have won a prestigious award, to help fund work to improve the accuracy of genetic testing in epilepsy.

'Freeze or flee' reactions run in fish families

Families of fish tend to share similar reactions to stressful situations, new research shows.

Decolonise research to save heritage threatened by climate change

Climate change threatens to destroy invaluable heritage sites and traditions in marginalised countries – but empowering local people is key to adaptation, according to a new study.

UK biodiversity renewal project to revive nature and communities receives £10 million investment

Researchers at the University of Exeter have received £10 million to investigate and tackle biodiversity loss in the UK through partnerships and community action.

African Heritage Sites threatened by coastal flooding and erosion as sea-level rise accelerates

Important heritage sites on the African coast classed as having “outstanding and universal value” are threatened by flooding and erosion because of the climate emergency, a new study warns.

Research aims to improve sleep for people with dementia

Two new research programmes are helping find new ways to support people with dementia who experience problems with sleep.

Omicron BA.2 predicted through Exeter professor’s mathematical modelling

An Exeter professor’s mathematical modelling was recently successful in predicting the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant.

Waiting over five hours at A&E increases risk of death

Patients made to wait longer than five hours at A&E face an increased risk of death within 30 days, a new study shows.

Three Exeter researchers win Discovery Fellowships

Three University of Exeter researchers have been awarded prestigious Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Discovery Fellowships.

New butterfly-inspired museum installation highlights LGBTQ+ voices

 A new installation inspired by butterflies showcases LGBTQ+ responses to objects at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.

Gabon provides blueprint for protecting oceans

Gabon's network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provides a blueprint that could be used in many other countries, experts say.

COP26 deal sparks hope for positive tipping points

The Breakthrough Agenda agreed at COP26 could help trigger positive tipping points to tackle the climate crisis, researchers say.

Hurricane may have caused 'accelerated ageing' among monkeys

Monkeys that survived a major hurricane show signs of "accelerated ageing", according to new research.

How do pathogens learn to be pathogens: partnerships between microbes leading to human disease

New research discovered that the fungus Rhizopus fights back against soil predators and human immune cells by partnering with a bacteria called Ralstonia in a two way partnership.

Legal “sunset clauses” should be used to limit use of covid certificates to current pandemic

“Sunset clauses” should be introduced into relevant legislation to limit the use of coronavirus certificates to just the current pandemic and not beyond, a study warns.

Exeter biologists investigate smallest propeller on earth

University of Exeter scientists have discovered new information about the tiny propellers used by single-cell organisms called archaea.

Fact checks on COVID-19 misperceptions are effective initially but do not stick over time

As the COVID-19 global epidemic persists, misinformation continues to circulate widely. Journalists and public health officials continue to struggle to debunk these false and misleading claims.

Construction 4.0 technologies key to improving sustainability of sector

Technologies forming part of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ can improve the economic and environmental sustainability of an industry that contributes around 11% of all global carbon emissions, a new study shows.

New research sheds light on dramatic criminal trials of authors in 17th century France

A major new study has explored the dramatic criminal trials of authors accused of subversion in 17th century France.

Scouse musician living with dementia writes song for research project

A Scouse musician who has dementia has written an uplifting song to help support others living with the condition, as part of a major research project. 

Councils urged to sign 'motion for the ocean'

UK councils are being urged to sign a "motion for the ocean" – pledging to engage with citizens to promote ocean recovery.

Can beetroot juice help keep our brains sharp in later life? New study investigates

An innovative clinical trial will investigate how drinking beetroot juice impacts brain function in older adults, via the bacteria that live in our mouths. 

Social sciences to play vital role in meeting UK’s net zero goals

The UK’s journey to net zero by 2050 is set to be bolstered by the social sciences, thanks to a major new investment from ESRC.

Experts warn of the increasing overmedicalisation of death, call for radical rethink of how society cares for dying people

Health and social systems around the world are failing to give appropriate, compassionate care to people who are dying and their families.