News in 2012

  • New Life Sciences building site receives its first visitors 17 December 2012 Fully equipped with hard hats, steel-capped boots and high-viz vests, two groups from the School of Biological Sciences were the first visitors to have an opportunity for a guided tour of the new Life Sciences building site.
  • NERC internships awarded to Bristol biologists 13 December 2012 NERC internships awarded to Bristol biologists
  • New edition of GARNish now available 10 December 2012 'Spotlight' falls on Plant Science at Bristol in this month's "GARNish"
  • Long Service Award 10 December 2012 Steve Martin receives Long Service Award
  • Six new lecturers start in Biological Sciences 3 December 2012 All six of our new academic positions in Biological Sciences have now started. We are delighted have them here in Bristol and very much looking forward to working with them in the future.
  • Study will help genetic understanding of dangerous new viruses 13 November 2012 Scientists studying the genes and proteins of human cells infected with a common cold virus have identified a new gene identification technique that could increase the genetic information we hold on animals by around 70 to 80 per cent.
  • Unique plants in Bristol 8 November 2012 Planet Earth podcast: how conservationists are using science to help protect rare plants found only in Bristol's Avon Gorge.
  • Shortage of plant disease experts threatens tree and crop health 7 November 2012 Plant pathology has been lost completely or greatly reduced at 11 universities and colleges while fewer than half the institutions which teach biology, agriculture or forestry offer courses in plant pathology, according to a recently published report led by University of Bristol academics
  • New study sheds light on how and when vision evolved 6 November 2012 Opsins, the light-sensitive proteins key to vision, may have evolved earlier and undergone fewer genetic changes than previously believed, according to a new study from the National University of Ireland Maynooth and the University of Bristol published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) .
  • How a fish 'broke' a law of physics 6 November 2012 Silvery fish such as herring, sardine and sprat are "breaking" a basic law of physics, according to new research from the University of Bristol published in Nature Photonics.
  • Bristol researchers help reveal the true magic of mushrooms 16 October 2012 Adaptable Button Mushroom Serves Up Biomass-Degrading Genes Critical to Managing the Planet’s Carbon Stores
  • Bristol Professor elected President of British Society of Plant Pathology 15 October 2012 Professor Gary Foster of the School of Biological Sciences has been elected as the next President of the British Society of Plant Pathology.
  • Dr Marc Holderied invited to teach on UNEP EUROBATS Capacity building workshop 21 August 2012 Dr Marc Holderied has been invited to teach on a UNEP EUROBATS Capacity building workshop for bat monitoring in Jordan this month.
  • Holy bat detector! Ecologists develop first Europe-wide bat ID tool 13 August 2012 Just as differences in song can be used to distinguish one bird species from another, the pips and squeaks bats use to find prey can be used to identify different species of bat. Now, for the first time, a team of ecologists, including Professor Gareth Jones from the University of Bristol, have developed a Europe-wide tool capable of identifying bats from their echolocation calls.
  • Bristol marine biologist explains how fish find home 30 July 2012 At the International Coral Reef Symposium, a major international conference in Cairns attended by 2,500 delegates, Dr Steve Simpson of the School of Biological Sciences joined an expert panel to brief the world's media on fish behaviour and population connectivity.
  • NERC funding for research in Biological Sciences 18 July 2012 Gareth Jones, Stephen Harris and Emma Stone received £559,705 from NERC for a project on ‘Experimental approaches to determine the impacts of light pollution: field studies on bats and insects’.
  • BBC News web site highlights the value of species distribution modelling for bat conservation 28 June 2012 Research carried out at the University of Bristol predicted that suitable areas for one of the rarest UK mammal species, the grey long-eared bat, are found in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales
  • Scientists struggle with mathematical details 26 June 2012 Many people remember struggling with maths at school, but few of us would expect that professional scientists suffer from a similar problem in their daily work. A new study by biologists at the University of Bristol shows that scientists tend to overlook their colleagues’ research if it is packed full of mathematical equations.
  • Level 1 students assist with barn owl conservation 20 June 2012 As part of the first year unit ‘Diversity of Life’, students complete a practical class with Gareth Jones identifying prey remains in barn owl pellets.
  • Blowing in the wind: how hidden flower features are crucial for bees 29 May 2012 As gardeners get busy filling tubs and borders with colourful bedding plants, scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge have discovered more about what makes flowers attractive to bees rather than humans.
  • Bristol Researchers to gain from BBSRC’s £250 million investment in UK Biosciences. 25 May 2012 Researchers within the School of Biological Sciences are set to gain from the BBSRC’s recent announcement that it is to invest £250 million in UK Bioscience.
  • How plants chill out 23 May 2012 Plants elongate their stems when grown at high temperature to facilitate the cooling of their leaves, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in Current Biology. Understanding why plants alter their architecture in response to heat is important as increasing global temperatures pose a threat to future food production.
  • Global Change Biology highlights bat research 21 May 2012 The leading journal in biodiversity conservation – Global Change Biology –currently highlights two papers on bats led by researchers in the School.
  • Research on avian conflicts showcased in special Science issue 21 May 2012 A special issue of Science has been published considering the deep evolutionary roots of violent confrontation, exploring the importance of war in our history and examining how such conflicts are mediated and thus enable peaceful coexistence. The issue focuses on human behaviour but contains an article showcasing the parallels established in non-human animals by the extensive research of Andy Radford on intergroup conflicts and intragroup affiliation in cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoes.
  • Fascination of Plants Day 17 May 2012 The importance of having plants on our planet will be in the spotlight when thousands of plant scientists, botanists, farmers and gardeners from around the world come together to share their Fascination of Plants.
  • Let’s get moving: Unravelling how locomotion starts 16 May 2012 Scientists at the University of Bristol have shed new light on one of the great unanswered questions of neuroscience: how the brain initiates rhythmic movements like walking, running and swimming.
  • The importance of collaboration to future wheat yield increase: 4 May 2012 Bristol researcher discusses the importance of academic and industrial collaboration to future wheat yield increase:
  • Courtship in the cricket world 1 May 2012 Everyone wants to present themselves in the best light - especially when it comes to finding a partner. Some rely on supplying honest information about their attributes while others exaggerate for good effect. A new study by researchers at the University of Bristol, published in PNAS, has discovered how male crickets could use similar tactics to attract a mate.
  • Houston and McNamara become FRSs 20 April 2012 The Royal Society is the UK's Academy of Science and being elected a Fellow is recognition of research excellence of the highest order. Alasdair Houston, of the School of Biological Sciences, and his long time collaborator in the School of Mathematics, John McNamara, this year both join that elite group who can put the letters 'FRS' after their name.
  • Bristol researchers solve 70 year old mystery 17 April 2012 Chemists and biologists from the University of Bristol have finally cracked one of the longest standing chemical mysteries. In a paper published today in PNAS, the team demonstrate exactly how an unusual class of compounds known as tropolones are synthesised in fungi.
  • Scientists turn the spotlight on Bristol’s insect life this spring 11 April 2012 More than 100 parks, gardens, allotments, cemeteries and other natural and man-made habitats across Bristol will be studied by scientists from the University of Bristol this spring as part of the next phase of a three year, £1.3 million research project examining how bees, flies and other pollinating insects are affected by urbanization.
  • Professor hands over the reins of leading international journal 11 April 2012 Professor Gary Foster of the School of Biological Sciences will be stepping down at the end of 2012 after 13 years as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Plant Pathology, the journal he launched in 2000 as a joint venture by the British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP) and Wiley.
  • Vomiting caterpillars weigh up costs and benefits of group living 9 April 2012 A type of caterpillar which defends itself by regurgitating on its predators is less likely to do so when in groups than when alone, a new study by researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Liverpool has found. Such reluctance is sufficient to cancel out the benefits of being in a group.
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Macroevolution 14 March 2012 The Schools of Earth and Biological Sciences wish to recruit an exceptional individual with internationally recognised expertise in the broad field of macroevolution.
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Macroevolution 14 March 2012 The schools of Earth and Biological Sciences wish to recruit an exceptional individual with internationally recognised expertise in the broad field of macroevolution.
  • A test of the senses in the search for a shoal mate 9 March 2012 Young coral reef fish use sounds, smells and visual cues to find their nursery grounds, according to new research from the University of Bristol, published today in Ecology.
  • Nigel Franks is 'Out of Control' 7 March 2012 Watch Horizon on BBC2 on Tuesday 13th March at 9pm to see Nigel Franks and footage from Bristol's Ant Lab
  • Farm ‘weeds’ have crucial role in sustainable agriculture 24 February 2012 Plants often regarded as common weeds such as thistles, buttercups and clover could be critical in safe guarding fragile food webs on UK farms according to Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
  • Natural products success 23 February 2012 PhD student Khomaizon Abdul Kadir Pahirulzaman (Myzone) returned from the Zing conference on Natural Products Synthesis and Biosynthesis with a prize for her poster "Efficient production of natural products in Aspergillus oryzae".
  • High definition polarization vision discovered in cuttlefish 21 February 2012 Cuttlefish have the most acute polarization vision yet found in any animal, researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered by showing them movies on a modified LCD computer screen to test their eyesight.
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