Global warming and the resulting increase in flooding is expected to send more microplastic pollution into the sea, according to research at the University of Brighton.
Rivers deliver more microplastics into the oceans than any other source and Karolina Skalska, PhD researcher in the University’s Centre for Aquatic Environments, is investigating which flow rates will produce the most pollution.
She said: “It is very important that we understand this process as it is predicted that, due to climate change, we can expect floods of greater frequency and magnitude. This could result in a large increase to the amount of microplastics that enter the seas and pose a risk to the already vulnerable ecosystems.”
Karolina’s research was presented to MPs at the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for Britain finals at Westminster, a contest which aims to “raise the profile of Britain’s early-stage researchers”. Read More →
The School of Environment and Technology staff really go the extra mile for their colleagues and students. Over two stormy days several members of the school’s academic and technical team braved high winds and rain to learn the ins and outs of emergency first aid response in the wilderness. The setting was Wood Mills Nature Reserve near Henfield in West Sussex. The team battled the elements to get to grips with handling severed limbs, cardiac arrests, seizures, head injuries and even paper cuts. Academic life, in all its forms, can get messy.
I was once told in an interview I conducted for an assignment that research is constant in every part of your life and have come to understand that it can become a lifestyle as much as it is a job. The reality of the vast number of hours required to develop, conduct and analyse research became very apparent in the earlier stages of this project.
As with many parts of the placement; I learned that no plan survives or works the first time around. Designing and implementing a methodology with which to conduct representative and accurate research was by far the biggest culprit for siphoning my time throughout this project. I would say that the implementation of the experimental design was the greatest challenge as the time it takes to alter and finetune some of the setups were labours and time consuming. A specific example was deciding how we would quantify the amount of sediment and microplastics were being transported at each hydrograph.
By consulting my supervisors and doing a bit more reading we decided on designing a fixed bed system by gluing sediment to wooden boards so that the only material being transported is from our samples. Though it was a challenge it came with the benefit of giving me not only a great level of insight into the nuances of conducting scientifically relevant and accurate research; but it also enforced my ability to think critically and to solve problems. Read More →
University of Brighton researchers are contributing to an installation and programme of events that provide an insight into experiences of care for older people.
The programme of talks, films and workshops at Fabrica in Brighton – entitled ‘Intensive Care’ – accompanies ‘Care(less)’, a virtual reality installation produced by British artist Lindsay Seers with input from Brighton academics lead by Dr Lizzie Ward. Its aim is to highlight and explore our relationship with caring.
The events taking place as part of ‘Intensive Care’ include a discussion called ‘Conversation Piece – Feminism and Care’ on Wednesday 23 October, led by University of Brighton doctoral candidate Elona Hoover of the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics.
The first winners of the Professor Huw Taylor Prize – named in honour of the late Emeritus Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of Brighton – were announced at a ceremony in Vienna.
The prize, which recognises ‘exceptional scientific contribution to provide water or sanitation solutions in emergency and developing settings’, was launched at the International Water Association’s 20th biannual Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM) symposium.
There were two winners of the inaugural award: Professor Taylor himself – in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the health-related water microbiology science field and to the HRWM specialist group – and Imperial College London research student Laura Braun.
Professor Martin Smith introduces our new geology subject area students to working in the field with a trip to Telscombe Cliffs.
“After two days of welcome to university information for new Geology, Physical Geography and Geology and Earth and Ocean Science students, we headed out to Telscombe Cliffs to actually experience some earth science and coastal oceanography. Braving the wind and (luckily) less rain, 30 students and staff investigated how the cliffs record slices of earth history.
We started with periglacial weathering and soil processes at the cliff top. Then we climbed down the steps to the beach to look at the sedimentation of the ancient (Cretaceous) ocean floor recorded in the chalk and flint, including a wide range of fossils – brachiopods, sea urchins and sponges all had a starring role.We then looked at the record of post-depositional tectonic events in faults, fractures and flint-filled mineral veins. Finally, we walked along the water line and found evidence of modern change in the coastal environment, from plastic pollution to the reduction in the water table and the shift of freshwater spring discharge to below sea level. Read More →
Dr Mary Geary, senior lecturer in Human Geography, introduces our new Geography students to working in the field with a trip to Cuckmere Haven.
“There’s nothing like a charabanc full of slightly soggy staff and new students heading off to the coast to kickstart the new academic year. As part of our introductory welcome week here in the School of Environment and Technology the Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences teams always take our fresh intake of first year undergraduates off to visit one of Sussex’s most iconic landscapes – the Seven Sisters, viewed from the estuary of the River Cuckmere in Cuckmere Haven. Read More →