Norman Moles on snow covered hill

Brighton researchers to help industrial mineral venture in Scottish Highlands

Dr Norman Moles, who for twenty years has been a geology lecturer at the University of Brighton, has secured substantial funding from Enterprise UK to appoint a University of Brighton-based research associate to assist a company extracting a mineral resource in central Scotland.

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Liliana Smith

What I’ve found

We talked to Liliana Smith who is studying Geology BSc(Hons) to hear about her experience of uni so far..

“I just like how friendly everyone is, it’s so rare that you go somewhere and everyone is friendly. No matter who you end up talking to, whether they’re on your course, a lecturer, an academic or staff from elsewhere, people out in the city… everyone wants you to well and is really supportive. It’s not a specific Brighton Uni thing, it’s a Brighton thing. 

Uni is more about independence and doing it yourself. I think I’ve become more confident, more independent – everyone says that, but you definitely do notice it. I was quite nervous, but now I’ll just come and talk to anyone. 

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Air quality station with Dr Kevin Wyche

Coronavirus ‘shifting the balance of chemistry’ in the air

Fewer cars on the streets and planes in the sky may be reducing some harmful pollutants – but it’s possibly increasing the levels of others, according to the University of Brighton’s Dr Kevin Wyche.Dr Kevin Wyche

Amidst speculation the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a ‘green recovery’, Dr Wyche, Principal Lecturer in Atmospheric Science, says data from the university’s Advanced Air Quality research station proves the situation is a lot more complicated than that.

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How Jacqueline switched from tube train driver to top scientist

A Brighton graduate who started work life as a tube train driver has been made a Fellow of one of the world’s most prestigious science programmes.

Jacqueline Campbell graduated with an Earth and Ocean Sciences degree from the University of Brighton’s School of Environment and Technology in 2016 and later won a PhD studentship at UCL where she is studying planetary science.

She has now been appointed one of just 22 Fellows on the Schmidt Science Fellows programme which aims “to give the world’s best aspiring scientific minds a broader perspective, the ability to engage in an interdisciplinary way, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact in society”. It encourages emerging scientists to develop novel solutions to society’s challenges and to become “scientific and societal thought leaders and accelerate ground-breaking discoveries”. Read More

donated safety equipment

University donates safety equipment to NHS Trusts

The University of Brighton has donated face visors, half face respirators, safety glasses, disposable gloves, aprons, hand sanitizer to healthcare providers throughout Sussex.

Dr James Ebdon, Head of the university’s Environment and Public Health Research and Enterprise Group, said: “This was the result of an urgent request, and we didn’t hesitate to respond. This is a national emergency and it is important that we do what we can to help – wherever and however possible.”

Scientists and staff in the university’s School of Environment and Technology (SET) and the Schools of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science (PABS), joined forces to draw up an inventory of key supplies prior to the period of lockdown and so were swift to respond when the requests started arriving.

Dr Ebdon said: “Getting this equipment dispatched to three separate local NHS Trusts was a collective effort by our technical staff including Magda Grove, Pete Lyons, Jack Barker (from SET) and Cinzia Dedi, Bertie Berterelli, Joe Hawthorne (from PABS) and Kirsty Smallbone (Head of the Schools of Environment and Technology and Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science).

Kirsty said: “This was a great effort and I want to thank everyone concerned. We want to help the NHS as much as we can.”

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

Podcast: Catching up with Dr Nick McGlynn

In the latest University of Brighton podcast Geography lecturer Dr Nick McGlynn discusses his research into LGBTQ communities in both rural and urban areas.

He also discusses his ongoing Bear Space project, the attraction of Brighton and his high energy teaching style.

Listen to the podcast by clicking ‘play’ in the link below. Alternatively, most of the interview is transcribed on this page.

You can listen to all of our podcasts by searching ‘University of Brighton’ in Spotify, Apple and many more podcast apps.

Enjoy the podcast. Read More

Male student carrying out research in the river basin room

Living a researcher’s life on placement

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

Photo of Elena Hoover

A new look at care

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 topics that will be covered include compassionate resistance, radical care and autonomising care as a collective practice.

Looking ahead to the event, Elona said: “I think this discussion is important because it emphasises the ethical and political nature of care as a set of ideas and practices. Read More