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Nicola O'Byrne

Characterizing behaviour of gases in shale reservoirs

Characterizing behaviour of gases in shale reservoirs 400 x 400 px

With increasing energy prices and advances in drilling and hydraulic rock fracturing (‘fracking’) technology, shale gas has radically changed the energy landscape over the world. However, knowledge on how the gases are trapped within the rock, adsorbed on its surface, dissolved in the pore spaces waters and released after fracking are all poorly constrained. An […]

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Characterisation of iron bioavailability from African soils

Characterisation of iron bioavailability from African soils 400 x 400 px

We have recently found convincing evidence that soil dust contamination of food is an important (non-haem) dietary source of iron in several sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In rural Malawi, composite diet analysis of two villages and calculated food composition data were compared against iron biomarkers. Measured iron intake was greater than calculated intake, and highly […]

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Changing patterns of insect migration studied with a network of weather radars

Changing patterns of insect migration studied with a network of weather radars 400 x 400 px

Long-range insect migration occurs on an enormous scale and provides huge costs and benefits to agricultural ecosystems. Insect population dynamics and migration phenology are both strongly influenced by climate, and thus patterns of insect migration are likely to be highly responsive to global environmental change. It is vitally important to understand such changes if we […]

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Causes and consequences of immune variation in rodents

Causes and consequences of immune variation in rodents 400 x 400 px

The norm is to be exposed to a wide range of infectious organisms and most wild animals are infected with a wide range of parasites. Yet in modern societies we humans are infected with relatively few parasites and as a consequence the hygiene hypothesis suggests we are developing autoimmune diseases and allergies. Laboratory mice are […]

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Behaviour, morphology and genetics of cichlid fish undergoing ecological speciation

Behaviour, morphology and genetics of cichlid fish undergoing ecological speciation 400 x 400 px

We are seeking a PhD student to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, based at Bangor University, with collaborators in the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge. The project will focus on characterizing behavioural, physiological and morphological traits of cichlid fishes under laboratory conditions. These fish have been bred in the research aquarium at Bangor, […]

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Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the last greenhouse

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the last greenhouse 400 x 400 px

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that evidence for global warming is unequivocal and is very likely anthropogenic in origin. However, climate change is not solely anthropogenic and throughout the majority of the Phanerozoic the Earth has been a greenhouse world. Deciphering the climate system and the first order relationship between climate and […]

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Atmosphere-biosphere interactions: UV, ozone and the Earth system

Atmosphere-biosphere interactions UV, ozone and the Earth system 400 x 400 px

Good environmental policy has to be founded on high-quality environmental science, but delivering the research needed by policy makers can be a challenge. The Montreal protocol is widely held to be the most successful global environmental agreement of all time, but policy-makers, in the UN and around the world, find it hard to define just […]

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Whole genome metagenomics to determine land use effects on soil ecosystem services

Whole genome metagenomics to determine land use effects on soil ecosystem services 400 x 400 px

Alongside being a media for plant growth soils provide many other essential ecosystem services, such as: storing carbon, regulating greenhouse gases, recycling nutrients, buffering pollutants and purifying waters. Many of these services are carried out by microorganisms yet there are uncertainties as to how biodiversity itself contributes to soil service provision. With increasing pressures on […]

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Understanding population declines in Afro-Palearctic migrant birds

Understanding population declines in Afro-Palearctic migrant birds 400 x 400 px

The decline of Afro-Palearctic migrant bird populations is a major challenge facing European biodiversity. Avian population trends are important indicators of environmental change and used by the UK government to measure ‘quality of life’, so reversing these declines is high on scientific and political agendas. Migrants are more vulnerable to environmental change than residents because […]

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