Brown trout in our rivers are in danger of being poisoned by a toxin produced in the watercress farming industry, according to new research at the University of Brighton.
Penethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) potentially is leaching into water courses and researchers are concerned the toxin can kill trout embryos and cause deformities.
Dr Neil Crooks, from the University’s Centre for Aquatic Environments, who led the research said: “Results show the need to accurately quantify and monitor environmental levels of PEITC in the environment.”
Dr Crooks, with Asa White, a PhD student, and Centre colleagues Dr Angelo Pernetta and Professor Chris Joyce, Professor of Ecology, looked into the sources of PEITC.
University of Brighton research has discovered high levels of plastic-based microfibres in Chichester Harbour.
Dr Corina Ciocan’s study revealed there were 10,000 microfibres per litre in the top layer of the harbour’s seawater – and one study shows these same fibres are harmful to fish and this may impact on the foodchain.
University of Brighton researchers have carried out the world’s first study into microplastics in the brain of a crustacean species.
The research – conducted by University graduate Hannah Parker, Dr Neil Crooks, Dr Angelo Pernetta – showed that ingested microplastics remained in the brain of the velvet swimming crab at more consistent levels than in other areas such as the stomach and gills.
The presence of microplastics in the brain has possible implications for a range of behaviours in the crab, including predator avoidance, foraging and reproduction. Read More →
Non-native parrots can cause substantial damage and threaten native biodiversity, although impacts vary strongly depending on where these parrots have been introduced, according to new pan-European research involving a University of Brighton scientist.
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.
They also tried scattering different smells including chilli to deter the rhinos from danger areas. Read More →
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 →
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).
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”.
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.
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.