News in 2009

  • Christmas dinners depend on control of plant diseases worldwide 16 December 2009 Spare a thought this Christmas for how plant diseases caused by pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses could affect your celebrations.
  • Tick Top 30 November 2009 At a recent joint meeting in Dublin of the Irish Society for Parasitology  and the British Association for Veterinary Parasitology, the first prize for best research talk by a postgraduate student was won by Faith Smith for her presentation: Prevalence and distribution of ticks on dogs in the UK.
  • Bristol student team triumphs at MIT 13 November 2009 An interdisciplinary team of students from the University of Bristol went head-to-head with 111 other teams at a prestigious international competition in the field of synthetic biology – and came away with a gold medal and a prize for Best Model.
  • Public Engagement Ambassadors 10 November 2009 Michael Pocock and Chris Thorogood from the School of Biological Sciences were recently awarded bursaries to attend Bristol's Communicate conference as Public Engagement Ambassadors. These highly competitive bursaries gave Michael and Chris the opportunity to contribute, as scientists, to setting the agenda for the communication of science and environmental issues to the public.
  • Mantis shrimps could show us the way to a better DVD 25 October 2009 The remarkable eyes of a marine crustacean could inspire the next generation of DVD and CD players, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in Nature Photonics.
  • Major breakthrough could lead to new antibiotics for human use 14 October 2009 The means to fully understand and exploit a type of fungus that could form the basis of a new class of antibiotics has been developed by researchers at the University of Bristol. With certain strains of bacteria becoming resistant to existing drugs, there is a growing need to find new sources of antibiotics.
  • Professor Steve Morris 17 August 2009 The School is shocked and deeply saddened to report the death of Professor Steve Morris. We lose a colleague and friend, a passionate teacher and researcher; science loses a world expert on the physiological adaptations of animals to extreme environments. He leaves behind his wife, Maria, and three children; our thoughts and wishes are with them.
  • NERC grant awarded to sequence the Senecio genome 30 July 2009 Professor Simon Hiscock and Dr Matthew Hegarty (now at IBERS), in collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Oxford (Dmitry Filatov) and St. Andrews (Richard Abbott) have been awarded a research grant of nearly £1.1 million by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to carry out the first extensive evolutionary genetic analysis of the genome of Senecio, a plant genus that includes the invasive alien Oxford ragwort.
  • Conservation Physiology highlighted in New Scientist 27 July 2009 Work on land crabs of Christmas Island by Professor Steve Morris, Dr Ute Postel and Lucy Turner of the Integrative & Environmental Physiology Lab, together with Professor Simon Webster (Bangor) was selected for highlight by New Scientist.
  • School pupils help scientists research 'alien' moths damaging conker trees 14 July 2009 More than 900 school pupils from across the region will be helping Bristol University scientists this week when they find out if their 'alien has been zapped'.
  • Street lighting disturbs commuting bats 29 June 2009 New research published in Current Biology gives the first evidence of a negative effect of light pollution on the commuting behaviour of a threatened bat species.
  • New Research Fellows for Biological Sciences 6 June 2009 Nick Roberts has been awarded a BBSRC Research Fellowship to start in October. Gavin Thomas has been awarded a NERC Fellowship and will start in the New Year.
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistantship in Evolutionary Biology available 7 May 2009 This research will combine ecological and quantitative genetic studies of natural populations to test population genetic models of limits to adaptation at range margins.
  • Postgraduate Student awarded the Acorn Ecology Prize 21 April 2009 Congratulations to Emma Stone, a postgraduate student in the School of Biological Sciences, who was awarded the Acorn Ecology Prize for the best student presentation at the Easter Conference of the Mammal Society at the University of Winchester.
  • Planning green light for Biological Sciences and Mathematics 8 April 2009 Bristol City Council has given the go ahead to plans for £80 million-worth of new research and teaching accommodation for Biological Sciences and Mathematics.
  • The Art of Camouflage 6 April 2009 Professor Innes Cuthill presents a slideshow on The Art of Camouflage.
  • Further changes to development proposals for New Building for Biological Sciences 17 March 2009 The proposed development is to be built on part of the old Children's Hospital site on the corner of St Michael's Hill and Tyndall Avenue. It will create over £80 million-worth of education and research facilities and laboratories for the Biological Sciences and Mathematics departments.
  • National Science and Engineering Week 2009 11 March 2009 Our web of life: Nature relies on us and we rely on nature
  • Recent Research from the Ant Lab 19 February 2009 What people can learn from how social animals make collective decisions
  • Strategic double NERC Open CASE award success with local water industry partner 11 February 2009 Strengthening multi-disciplinary research collaborations between Biological and Geographical Sciences, and industry partner Wessex Water
  • New BBSRC Grant awarded to Professor Keith Edwards and Dr Gary Barker to sequence the wheat genome 26 January 2009 Keith Edwards, Professor of Cereal Functional Genomics and Dr Gary Barker in the School of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with researchers at Liverpool University and the John Innes Centre, have been awarded £1.7 million by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to carry out an extensive genetic analysis of the wheat genome.
  • Conference success in Kenya 19 January 2009 Organized by Professor Steve Morris together with Dr André Vosloo (University KwaZulu-Natal, S. Africa) the MARA 2008 conference, "Molecules to Migration: Pressures of Life"; took >300 delegates to the Maasai Mara National Reserve for a week-long meeting and facilitated the attendance of 23 indigenous African colleagues.
  • New NERC Grant awarded to Dr Jon Bridle 8 January 2009 Dr Jon Bridle has been awarded a NERC grant entitled "Testing limits to adaptation: when and why does adaptation fail in response to ecological change?".
  • Spookfish uses mirrors for eyes 8 January 2009 A remarkable new discovery by Professor Julian Partridge and his colleagues shows the four-eyed spookfish to be the first vertebrate ever found to use mirrors, rather than lenses, to focus light in its eyes. The research will be published this month in Current Biology.
  • 100 Important Questions for Plant Science 7 January 2009 What are the most important questions in plant science that can be addressed by the current generation of researchers?
  • Student's paper makes the front cover of prestigious journal 6 January 2009 A paper by Angharad (Harry) Jones, whose PhD was supervised by Dr Colin Lazarus and Dr Claire Grierson, features this week on the front cover of Nature Cell Biology. Harry's work has shown for the first time that the growth of root hair cells requires the sustained delivery of the growth regulator, auxin, by neighbouring cells.