Karolina with MP Greg Clark

Climate change will flush more plastics into the sea

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

Dr James Ebdon accepts the award on behalf of Professor Huw Taylor

An honour for Professor Huw Taylor

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.

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Rising sea levels threaten the South East

Rising sea levels and extreme weather events (storm surges, intense rainfall) are threatening to overwhelm coastal defences in the UK, according to research at the University of Brighton.

Dr Ward recently was interviewed for a BBC South East ‘Inside Out’ programme which focused on the threat to homes close to cliffs at Cuckmere Haven near Seaford.

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Explore your options through Clearing

Good luck to everyone getting their A-Level results today!

If it doesn’t go to plan or you’ve had a change of heart about what you want do next, Clearing is a chance to change direction and make new plans.

If you need help navigating your way through the Clearing process, check out our handy online guide and see which courses you can still apply for. You can also call our Clearing hotline on 01273 644000 which is open now, and has extended hours from 7am to 7pm on results day.

If you’ve not yet visited the University of Brighton we have Clearing open days on Saturday 17th and Tuesday 20th August. You’ll be able to take a tour of the campus where you will be studying, get advice about accommodation, take part in a Q&A with academic staff and chat to students. Find out more about visiting us.

If you’re navigating big choices and big changes, we say: stay curious, explore, and trust yourself. The best journeys don’t always follow a map.

 

Geology student rocks the judges

University of Brighton student Mary Harrow has received national recognition for her hard work and commitment to geology studies.

The second-year Geology BSc(Hons) student was one of only ten university students from around the country to receive an Institute of Quarrying (IQ) National Students Award.

The geologists-of-the-future were nominated by their universities for their “continuous hard work and passion towards their course, as well as demonstrating strong potential for a successful career in the mineral extractives industry”.

Winners received certificates acknowledging their achievement plus two years free student membership of IQ. Read More

Sun, Sea and Science?

Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world,  formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.

Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.

“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”

Brighton scientists unlocking the secrets of Stonehenge

University of Brighton academics are helping solve the mystery of where the ancient stones at Stonehenge originate.

Different theories have been debated by archaeologists and geologists for more than 100 years and now English Heritage, which manages the prehistoric site in Wiltshire, is hoping chemical analysis and comparisons by the Brighton scientists will unlock the puzzle.

The origins of the smaller ‘bluestones’ at the centre of the monument have been traced to Pembrokeshire in west Wales. This latest research focusses on the large sarsen stones that make up the main stone circle and inner sarsen horseshoe.

In 2018, the Brighton team analysed the chemistry of the sarsen uprights at the monument. This latest research involved chemical analysis of the sarsen lintel stones that sit across the top of these uprights. The non-invasive procedure used a portable spectrometer that can identify chemical concentrations of a range of elements.

Professor David Nash, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Physical Geography, said: “We have now analysed the chemistry of all the sarsen stones and will be comparing the data against the chemistry of areas of sarsens from across southern England. Read More

Green Growth Platform hits new heights

More than 300 jobs have been created and 70 new products launched with support from a University of Brighton green business organisation.


The figures were released as the University’s Green Growth Platform received a progress report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Platform’s original funder.

HEFCE said the Platform had “met or exceeded” all of its objectives, set out when it was launched in 2014.

Zoë Osmond, Director of Green Growth Platform, said: “We are delighted to have successfully delivered on all of the targets agreed with our original funder over the first five years of the Green Growth Platform.

“Since launch in 2014 we have seen over 1,000 green-focused companies join our network, with more than a quarter of these taking up our intensive innovation, business support or skills services.”

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Celebrating International Women’s Day

At the University of Brighton, we are proud to have an extraordinarily talented staff and student community – and we are committed to equality of opportunity.

To mark International Women’s Day this year – we invited some of our students and staff to tell us about the women who inspire them. Look out for Hattie Corke, Geography BSc(Hons)