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Using environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis to explore aerial pollen communities and identify links to hay fever

Using environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis to explore aerial pollen communities and identify links to hay fever

Bioaerosols consist of biota such as pollen, fungal spores, bacteria and viruses and include plant allergens that negatively affect human health. Almost a quarter of people display allergic reactions to combinations of tree and grass pollen causing symptoms ranging from hay fever to asthma, with associated socio-economic costs to society and health services. Identifying pollen […]

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Understanding long term climate and atmospheric composition change over Antarctica

Understanding long term climate and atmospheric composition change over Antarctica

Air bubbles trapped in the ice of the Earth’s cold regions provide a unique, fascinating and long term record of atmospheric composition. Ice-core records of reactive gases are a relatively recent innovation, and potentially offer constraints on aspects of the past ~10000 years where there is little consensus (or investigation) with climate models. In this […]

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Understanding coastal vulnerability in an uncertain world

Understanding coastal vulnerability in an uncertain world

Sea-level rise and enhanced storminess, driven by climate change, is greatly increasing coastal vulnerability and the impacts of coastal recession worldwide. Although coastal cliffs provide valuable natural protection, they also present rockfall and landslide hazards; thus, understanding the processes involved in coastal recession is vital in order to implement appropriate sustainable management strategies to carefully […]

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The impact of trace metal contaminants on environmental and animal health: a multi-disciplinary approach

The Impact of Trace Metal Contaminants on Environmental and Animal Health A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

This project will explore the mobilisation and bioaccumulation of heavy metal contaminants from historic mine waste from old mine sites in Wales, and their impact on wildlife health. This is a unique, interdisciplinary project involving environmental geochemistry, ecology, plant science and animal health, involving colleagues at the University of Nottingham, the Natural History Museum, and […]

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The impact of piscivorous birds on freshwater fisheries

The impact of piscivorous birds on freshwater fisheries

Many freshwater fisheries of ecological and economic importance are in decline, while populations of piscivorous (fish-eating) birds such as goosanders and cormorants are increasing. This has led to growing pressure from the angling community to control numbers of these birds, and it also poses a challenge to the designation and management of protected riverine areas […]

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Testing climatic causes of historical plague outbreaks using experimental microbiology and palaeobiogeographical modelling

Testing climatic causes of historical plague outbreaks using experimental microbiology and palaeobiogeographical modelling

Climate change poses many risks to human health and historical insights can enhance understanding of human vulnerabilities and inform potential consequences of future climate change on the spread of disease. This project aims to establish the climatic niche of bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis); in its own right and relative to its insect vectors, specifically using […]

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Rip current and density driven dispersal of nearshore contaminants

Rip current and density driven dispersal of nearshore contaminants

Scientific background: Rip currents interact with density-driven freshwater plumes along the coast to mix and disperse contaminants from fluvial discharge into the shelf-sea where they impact the environment. The ability to predict the transport of these contaminants would greatly assist in the compliance and regulation of water quality directives along the coast. Tighter coupling between […]

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Reconstructing 2000 years of hydrological change in Africa – implications for future climate scenarios

Reconstructing 2000 years of hydrological change in Africa – implications for future climate scenarios

Tropical lakes systems provide vital ecosystem services to some of Earth’s fastest growing and most vulnerable human populations, but in response to climatic and anthropogenic pressure, the latter caused by land-use changes, lakes are under threat from shifts in water balance. There is an urgent need for regional climate information from tropical regions to allow […]

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