Research News

New national circular economy coordinators announced

First investment of a £30m initiative supporting the UK’s transition to a circular economy

Art created by people living with dementia displayed in Exeter

Banners created by people living with dementia who worked with a trio of well-known artists will be on display in Exeter until the end of March.

World-leading plastics research team collect Queen’s Anniversary prize

Prince Charles has awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education to a team at the University of Exeter.

Jet stream not getting ‘wavier’ despite Arctic warming

Rapid Arctic warming has not led to a “wavier” jet stream around the mid-latitudes in recent decades, pioneering new research has shown.

Nine new staff join Global Systems Institute

A University of Exeter research institute has been boosted by the arrival of nine new staff.

Male doctoral graduates more likely to have a full-time, permanent job than their female counterparts, study shows

Male doctoral graduates are more likely to get a permanent job compared to their female counterparts, a new study shows.

£152,000 grant to investigate brain processes linked to diabetes

A grant of £152,000 will allow researchers to investigate how manipulating specific brain cells can impact the body’s response to changes in blood sugar levels, which may help uncover the processes involved in diabetes.

Researchers to investigate impact of shame on doctors, medical students and patients as part of major new study

Patients, doctors and medical students will share their experiences of shame as part of a new project that aims to understand the impact that the emotion has on healthcare.

South American volcano shows potential signs of instability, research shows

One of South America’s most prominent volcanoes is producing early signals of potential instability, new research has shown.

Trial finds benefits to people and wildlife from beavers living wild in English countryside

A major five-year study into the impacts of beavers on the English countryside has concluded that the water-living mammals can bring measurable benefits to people and wildlife.

Stress in small children separated from their parents may alter genes

Experts in the emotional needs of small children say increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in babies and small children who are separated from their parents could have a long-term genetic impact.

Sugar levels in UK soft drinks lowered following government levy

The government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy has resulted in soft drinks manufacturers lowering sugar levels in their drinks

Build-up of brain proteins affects genes in Alzheimer’s disease

New research has shed fresh light on how the build-up of two proteins in the brain might affect the activity of genes involved in Alzheimer’s disease.

University of Exeter wins £4 million extension for health and housing project

The University of Exeter has announced that it has been awarded £4 million in further funding to continue with a project researching technology, health and housing in Cornwall.

Exeter in global initiative to use wearables to revolutionise dementia detection

The University of Exeter is part of a global initiative to revolutionise the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Testosterone levels affect risk of metabolic disease and cancers

Having genetically higher testosterone levels increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in women, while reducing the risk in men. Higher testosterone levels also increase the risks of breast and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.

Power of older people could save villages

Older people could hold the key to revitalising rural communities, researchers say.

People power key to new wildlife havens

People power will be the driving force behind new wildlife havens in three Cornish towns.

Beach clean data could boost science

Beach cleans can provide vital information on plastic pollution, researchers say.

Ceremony marks handover of Exeter’s new VSimulators facility

Distinguished guests have gathered to participate in a special ceremony, to mark the handover of a new building that will house the University of Exeter’s pioneering VSimulators experimental facility.

Anxiety-suffering sons of the gentry suffered from emotional turmoil, letters show

Younger sons of the gentry faced so much emotional turmoil from having to make their own way in the world they suffered from anxiety, research shows.

£1.2 million USA grant to investigate psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease

Funding expected to total £1.2 million ($1,566,874) over four years from the USA’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help Exeter academics advance understanding about the underlying biological mechanisms leading to some people with Alzheimer’s disease developing psychosis.

Fundraising campaign hits target one year early

£60 million raised to support students and research at Exeter

Research into ecosystem-based solutions to climate change receives philanthropic support

A project exploring how carbon capture and storage can help limit global warming to a 1.5°C temperature rise has received philanthropic funding from American organisation, One Earth. 

$55,000 grant supports research into healthy oceans

A project to help more accurately measure the health of our oceans has been supported with a grant from the Simons Foundation.

Genetics professor in top 100 inspirational women in healthcare leadership

A University of Exeter genetics researcher has been recognised in the top 100 inspirational women in healthcare.

Climate scientist receives prestigious ERC funding award

One of the University of Exeter’s most talented climate researchers has received a significant funding boost from the European Research Council (ERC), it has been announced.

Zoo improvements should benefit all animals

Zoo improvements should benefit all animals and include a wide range of “enrichment” techniques, researchers say.

Tougher start could help captive-bred game birds

Tougher early lives could help captive-bred game birds develop survival skills for adulthood in the wild, new research suggests.

Shortness of breath and cough increase as first symptom of lung cancer

GPs are being urged to consider shortness of breath and cough as potential predictors of lung cancer, after a study found they were becoming more common as the first symptom in diagnosis.

Cutting road transport pollution could help plants grow

Cutting emissions of particular gases could improve conditions for plants, allowing them to grow faster and capture more carbon, new research suggests.

Turtle tracking reveals key feeding grounds

Loggerhead turtles feed in the same places year after year – meaning key locations should be protected, researchers say.

Autoimmunity may explain why an important immune system is absent in many bacteria

New findings from University of Exeter researchers reveal how bacterial immune systems can be harmful for their hosts and explain why they are not found in many bacteria.

Offering hope to Amish families affected by genetic disorders

A landmark translational research project called the Windows of Hope project, led by researchers from the University of Exeter, has defined more than 150 different genetic disorders in North American Anabaptist (Amish/Mennonite) communities.

New technique to study molecules and materials on quantum simulator discovered

A new technique to study the properties of molecules and materials on a quantum simulator has been discovered.

Perception of when its acceptable to sacrifice one person to save a larger group led by cultural differences, research shows

Cultural differences play a pivotal role in how people in different parts of the world perceive when it is acceptable to sacrifice one person to save a larger group, new research has shown.

Poor mental health “both cause and effect” of school exclusion

Children with mental health needs require urgent support from primary school onwards to avoid exclusion, which can be both cause and effect of poor mental health, new research concludes.

Arctic sea ice can’t ‘bounce back’

Arctic sea ice cannot “quickly bounce back” if climate change causes it to melt, new research suggests.

Medicine co-director in top 100 inspirational women in healthcare leadership

A cancer researcher who heads up the medicine programme has been recognised in the top 100 inspirational women in healthcare.

Strongly ‘handed’ squirrels less good at learning

Squirrels that strongly favour their left or right side are less good at learning, new research suggests.

Reconnecting with nature key for sustainability

People who live in more built up areas and spend less free-time in nature are also less likely to take actions that benefit the environment, such as recycling, buying eco-friendly products, and environmental volunteering.

Exeter researcher finalist in Blavatnik Awards

A University of Exeter researcher has won recognition in the 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.

Exeter-based tech company named in global top 10 VR experiences of 2019

A virtual reality simulation developed near Exeter has made a global list of top 10 VR experiences for 2019.

Climate change increases the risk of wildfires confirms new review

Human-induced climate change promotes the conditions on which wildfires depend, increasing their likelihood - according to a review of research on global climate change and wildfire risk published today.

Atlantic circulation collapse could cut British crop farming

Crop production in Britain will fall dramatically if climate change causes the collapse of a vital pattern of ocean currents, new research suggests

Plant life expanding in the Everest region

Plant life is expanding in the area around Mount Everest, and across the Himalayan region, new research shows.

Highlighting women’s achievements makes them want to be the boss, research shows

Highlighting female achievements in the workplace makes capable women significantly more likely to want to be the boss, a study shows.

MBE for inspiring Exeter professor dedicated to improving patient care

An active GP and professor of general practice and primary care at the University of Exeter Medical School has been honoured with an MBE in the New Year’s 2020 Honours List.

London Aquarium captures rare fish choir sounds in a first for underwater recording

The extraordinary sounds of fish communicating to one another has been captured for the first time in the UK at SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

Hospital action to reduce length of ward stay can be effective

Hospital-led efforts to reduce the amount of time older people spend on wards before being allowed home can be effective, reducing length of stay in hospital by more than three days in some areas.

Researcher wins award for pet therapy board game aimed at care home staff

A researcher has won an award for a quirky approach to sharing knowledge on the benefits and challenges of pet therapy in care homes.

Edible insects: Mealworms on your menu?

Cricket brownies and “chocolate chirp cookies” were served at a meeting about the future of edible insects.

Motor neurone disease linked to cholesterol imbalance in cells

Scientists have developed a new theory on the underlying cause of motor neurone disease, which could lead to more accurate diagnosis for patients and new treatments.

Two Exeter papers in top 100 for global attention

Two academic papers from Exeter have made the top 100 most-discussed papers in the world this year.

University of Exeter academic’s work named as “book of the year” by Time magazine

A poignant and timely story that addresses the current global refugee crisis, written by a University of Exeter academic, has been named as one of the “Best Children’s Books of the Year” by Time Magazine.

USA Alzheimer’s research charity founder awarded honorary degree

A physician and scientist who founded both a national Alzheimer’s research non-profit in the USA and one of the country’s first Alzheimer’s disease clinics has received an honorary degree from the University of Exeter.

Top medical journal editor awarded honorary degree

The editor of the Lancet Neurology, the world’s leading publication in clinical neurology and brain health, has been awarded an honorary degree at the University of Exeter.

It could take a century to hit the latest official university access targets

The Higher Education Policy Institute has published a new report on access to higher education which shows that, at the current rate of progress, it will take 96 years to hit the Office for Students’s targets for access to highly-selective universities.

Brexit positions drive voter attention at least as much as party loyalties, study shows

Voters find information from politicians more “interesting” if they have the same views on Brexit – even if they don’t represent the party they normally support, a study shows.

Killer whale grandmothers boost survival of calves

Post-menopausal killer whale grandmothers improve the chances of survival for their calves, new research has found.

Secrets of orangutan ‘language’ revealed

“Climb on me”, “climb on you” and “resume play” are among the requests wild orangutans make to each other, researchers say.

PenARC researcher wins prestigious £200,000 Fellowship

A University of Exeter healthcare researcher has secured a prestigious £200,000 Post-Doctoral fellowship after a highly competitive selection process.

Close friends help macaques survive

Close friendships improve the survival chances of rhesus macaques, new research shows.

Researchers find new evidence that a fungus can be hard to find

A team of experts have discovered that a common fungus that infects humans can not only predict an imminent attack from the immune system, it will even change its appearance to hide from it.

£1.25 million boost puts Exeter at cutting-edge of genomics

A new, state-of-the-art genome sequencing platform will put Exeter on the cutting edge of research into the genomic basis of health and disease.

Pioneering research gives fresh insight into one of the pivotal building blocks of life

The quest to better understand how genomic information is read has taken a new step forward, thanks to pioneering new research.

Major new arts project celebrates one of Britain’s most ‘unnatural’ and polluted rivers

A small, polluted British river will be celebrated through a major new arts project which aims to explore its complex natural ecology, industrial history and continuing impact of those who live near it.

Higher education staff support new legal duty for universities to prevent and respond effectively to sexual violence and harassment, study shows

Higher education staff are in favour of new legal duties for universities to prevent and respond effectively to sexual violence and harassment on campus, according to a new study.

Newly appointed Mireille Gillings Fellows will develop future women leaders in health science

The University of Exeter has appointed three Mireille Gillings Professorial Fellows in Health Innovation.

Alcohol tolerance may have saved our ancestors from extinction

The ability to process alcohol may have saved humanity’s ancestors from extinction, a new book suggests.

Experts find first archaeological evidence of Christianity in Bahrain

Experts have found the first archaeological evidence showing Christianity was practised in Bahrain, a discovery which sheds light on a missing part of the country’s history.

Global carbon emissions increase but rate has slowed

Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas and oil use worldwide.

Humans closer to seeing though the eyes of animals

Humans are now closer to seeing through the eyes of animals, thanks to an innovative software framework developed by researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter.

Scientists crack 60-year-old mystery of Sun’s magnetic waves

A ground-breaking new discovery of why the Sun’s magnetic waves strengthen and grow as they emerge from its surface could help to solve the mystery of how the corona of the Sun maintains its multi-million degree temperatures.

First-of-a-kind electro-optical device provides solution to faster and more energy efficient computing memories and processors

The first-ever integrated nanoscale device programmable with either photons or electrons has been developed by scientists in Prof Harish Bhaskaran’s research group at the University of Oxford - in collaboration with researchers at the universities of Münster and Exeter. 

Sounds of the past give new hope for coral reef restoration

Young fish can be drawn to degraded coral reefs by loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy reefs, according to new research published today in Nature Communications.

Animals could help humans monitor oceans

Sharks, penguins, turtles and other seagoing species could help humans monitor the oceans by transmitting oceanographic information from electronic tags.

Blast from the Past: Edwardian doctors feared winter election would leave Parliament empty and destroy health of candidates

Political parties fighting for votes in the forthcoming General Election may be worried winter weather could put off supporters from coming out to cast their vote – but a century ago doctors were more concerned a December election would leave Parliament empty.

Nine climate tipping points now “active”, warn scientists

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”, a group of leading scientists have warned.

Unique sledge dogs helped the Inuit thrive in the North American Arctic

A unique group of dogs helped the Inuit conquer the tough terrain of the North American Arctic, major new analysis of the remains of hundreds of animals shows.

New partnership will help experts discover more about the history of Devon’s most illustrious family

A new partnership between the University of Exeter and Powderham Castle will help experts to continue to discover more about Devon’s most illustrious family.

Meeting the challenges facing fisheries climate risk insurance

Insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

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.

Exeter research centre named key collaborator by World Health Organisation

The University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health has been designated as a Collaborating Centre by the World Health Organization.

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 of Exeter 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.