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

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

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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Looking forward to a summer of research

I’m undertaking a six-week funded internship as part of the Santander Summer Research Scheme as a 2nd year Environmental Sciences undergraduate student at the University of Brighton. I entered university with a clear idea of what I’d like to achieve; which in the long term is to do impactful research especially relating to rivers and water issues. The advertisement for the summer research position immediately caught my attention as a fantastic opportunity to gain experience as a researcher working alongside the skilled and experienced staff from the universities Centre for Aquatic Environments. Not only does the position offer me invaluable experience which will aid in my long-term goal of undertaking a PhD, but it also expands on what I’ve been taught so far in my undergraduate modules. I felt entirely grateful and privileged to be offered the position following the application and interview process. In part I was relieved in receiving the offer as this will undoubtedly be a great step forward to furthering my academic career. Read More

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

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Midterm Conference April 2019

I am a doctoral candidate at the School of Environment and Technology (SET). My doctoral research project is supervised by Dr Paul Gilchrist, Dr Mary Gearey and Professor Andrew Church who are all part of the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (SECP) and the Centre for Aquatic Environments research groups, which I am also affiliated with.

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