How drones and sirens can help save the rhino

University of Brighton researchers have found new ways to help save white rhinoceros from illegal poaching – using drones and sirens.

They investigated the most effective ways of deterring rhinos from danger areas such as near perimeter fences where poachers often operate and spent six months on a South African game reserve testing the most effective way of persuading the animals to move to safer areas.

Poaching, fuelled by the international trade in horn, has caused the deaths of over 1,000 white and black rhinoceros per year between 2013 and 2017 and South Africa alone lost 5,476 rhinoceros to poaching between 2006 and 2016.

Lead researcher Samuel Penny, PhD student and lecturer in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, exposed a population of southern white rhinos to drones, sirens and the sound of a swarm of bees to see which best encouraged them to move.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They also tried scattering different smells including chilli to deter the rhinos from danger areas. Read More

National appointment for Brighton professor

Matteo Santin, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Tissue Regeneration, has been appointed a member of the science and technology strategic advisory board of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity.

The group, which held its first meeting on 2 July, chaired by Lord Filkin CBE, aims to identify “the most effective ways to increase healthspan and democratise access to the ‘longevity dividend’ for citizens”. Read More

How the garden snail could help solve the antibiotics crisis

A Brighton scientist has made a breakthrough in the search for new antibiotics – courtesy of the common garden snail.

Dr Sarah Pitt, taken by Simon Dack

Researchers have suspected that snail mucus contains antibacterial properties but the University of Brighton’s Dr Sarah Pitt has conclusively identified proteins that could directly lead to the development of an antibiotic cream to treat deep burn wounds, and an aerosol for lung infections suffered regularly by patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Read More

Caroline Lucas set for University nature conference

MP Caroline Lucas is among the speakers at a University of Brighton symposium that will explore the benefits of connecting children and teenagers in the UK with local nature.

The Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion will give a talk entitled ‘Young People and the Natural World: The Art of Paying Attention’ on the first day of the event. She will make the case that “connecting young people with nature is not only vital for their wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of the planet as well”.

The two-day conference – ‘Connecting children and teenagers with local nature: UK research showcase and networking event’ – is co-organised by the University of Brighton’s Dr Rachel White and Royal Holloway’s Dr Deborah Harvey.

It will be held at the University of Brighton’s City Campus on 17 and 18 June and is an opportunity for academics, researchers, environment professionals, educators and students from across the UK to network and share findings.

Other speakers include delegates from WWF, Earthwatch Europe, Natural England and the South Downs National Park.

The focus of the symposium is Read More

Dawn Scott 2017 BBC shoot

Why we’re running out of time to reduce climate change

A University of Brighton expert in mammal ecology and conservation has warned that we must act immediately to reduce the effects of climate change.

Professor Dawn Scott, who has featured on BBC nature programmes such as Springwatch and Winterwatch, shared her thoughts on climate change in the latest episode of the University of Brighton’s ‘Catching Up With…’ podcast series.

Read More

BMC ecology image competition winner

We are really proud of student William Mills, Ecology and Conservation MSci, who has been announced as one of the winners in the BMC Ecology Image Competition.

His photograph entitled ‘Meadow Brown and solitary bee’ was the winner in the Community, Population and Macroecology category in the global competition judged by Professor Zhigang Jiang from the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Read More

Just like wine, humans can be better with age

A Brighton scientist who helped develop anti-ageing compounds based on those found in red wine and chocolate is to explain how close we are to alleviating and preventing old age degenerative diseases.

Professor Lizzy Ostler, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Chemical Biology in our school, and a member of the University of Brighton’s Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease, is giving her inaugural lecture on 20 March.

Read More

Taking a stand against cancer

Two University of Brighton scientists are joining a pop-up stand in Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre on Friday (1 Feb) as part of events to mark next Monday’s (4 Feb) World Cancer Day.

Marta Falcinelli, PhD researcher in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (PABS), is passionate about fighting the disease and will be talking to members of the public at the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) event.

Marta joined the University’s Stress & Cancer group in 2016, fulfilling her ambition: “I have always been intrigued by science and at university I started to be very interested in molecular biology and scientific investigation, dreaming to perform experiments and work in a lab.

Read More