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The Chemistry department has been threatened, having knock on effects to other departments throughout the Environmental Sectors of the University. On 18th January 2019, students and lecturers alike came together to protest the proposed cuts that would see the entire chemistry department closed within the next three years. The general consensus remains that the anticipated loss of expert chemistry staff and the department as a whole would result in harm, as oppose to benefit for the university, and will have definitive negative impacts on Environmental-based courses. “We contribute to a lot of other courses; from Biology to Environmental Science. It’s…

In late 2018, the Fit Cymru Project at Bangor University saw the addition of new Solar PV panels on four of the universities buildings: Brambell, Thoday, Wheldon and Canolfan Brailsford. Since then, permission has also been granted to place additional panels on the library section next to the Grade 1 listed aspect of the main- arts building. Instillation is expected to begin over the Easter holiday period and staff are excited by the prospect of partaking in the creation of a low-carbon future for Wales. The funding came from a Welsh Government initiative to improve energy efficiency and lower overall…

Anglesey breathes a sigh of relief as plans are postponed to build the new Wylfa Power Station. In December of last year, the people of Anglesey engaged in a protest against the building of 100 new pylons across the island for the purpose of energy transfer from the Power Plant. Fortunately for the Islanders, the building has been postponed for the next 3 years following a funding deficit. We interviewed Bangor University’s own expert on Renewable Energies, Dr Paula Roberts (Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management), to gauge the situation, and give a broader overview of the idea of Nuclear energy:…

The Science Alliance Communication Workshop at Bangor University highlighted the crucial link between journalism and science, encouraging students to share their discoveries with the world, turning their actions into visible words that inspire. Simon Willcock, a senior lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University, organised and curated a workshop with the esteemed Environmental Journalist, Jeffery Barbee. Their first collaboration entailed the scaling of a 125m cliff to reach the ‘untouched’ forest of Mount Lico. The venture gained significant media attention and was a key turning point for Dr. Willcock with regards to his interactions with journalists: “A huge risk in…

Bangor University have been in placed in the Top 10 most sustainable universities for a second year running. Bangor came 8th worldwide and 7th in Europe, appearing alongside only three other British institutions in the Top 10 – University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent and Oxford. 719 universities from 81 countries were assessed in forming the Universitas Indonesia League Table, which highlights sustainability and environmental management at universities around the globe. Universities are judged on the following criteria: Setting & Infrastructure, Energy & Climate Change, Waste, Water, Transportation and Education & Research. Notably, Bangor achieved maximum marks for Education & Research…

Bangor University Primatology students were extremely lucky to have Matilda Brindle present a guest lecture on her PhD topic; Masturbation in Primates. Matilda is a PhD from University College London, Institute of Zoology, and is currently researching the evolution of auto-sexual behaviours (masturbation) in primates. Her previous project focused on the evolution of the penis bone (baculum), one of the most enigmatic structures in the animal kingdom. Matilda began the talk on why masturbation has become such a taboo subject. The history of masturbation reflects broad changes in society concerning ethics, sexuality and social attitudes. The bad stigma that surrounds…

Wombat faeces has baffled scientists for decades. The Australian marsupial passes cubed-shaped poo, and the only species of mammal to do so. Despite having a pretty normal shaped anus like other mammals, wombats do not pass normal shaped poo. Researchers revealed that the elasticity of their intestines help sculpt the faeces into cubes, the team compared wombat intestines to pig intestines by inserting a balloon and monitored variations of the stretching patterns. It was discovered that wombat faeces changed from liquid form into solid form in the last 25% of the intestines but the final 8% of the intestines varied…

NASA’s next mission involving the Mars rover will continue the hunt for life outside of earth. The 2020 mission will look for signs of ancient life in an ancient river delta. The rover is expected to launch during July 2020 and land on Mars during February 2021. The rover is hunting for signs of past life in the sediments of the Jezero crater, which used to house a 250m deep lake and a delta that flowed into the lake. The presence of the lake may have influenced and supported growth of life due to highly favourable abiotic conditions. River deltas…

Food supplies are finite and scientists are getting desperate on alternative food supplies for the human population. Human’s eating insects is nothing new, globally 2 billion people consume insects, this practice is called entomophagy. It is a common practice in Africa and is home to the richest diversity of edible insects with over 500 different species being consumed. From caterpillars to termites, locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and ants. The edible insect market is set to exceed £406m by 2023. For decades scientists have proposed insects as feed for animals but views on entomophagy differ vastly. Most edible insects are harvested…

Bangor University students have started a campaign against the proposed plans to close the Chemistry department in its entirety. The campaign, Bangor Needs Chemistry, has already amassed hundreds of likes on its Facebook page since it went live this morning. The page was set up by students in response to the proposals made by the University. The page founder, who wishes to remain Anonymous, said: “The Facebook page was set up to raise awareness to alumni and the local community. “The response we have had from alumni thus far has been sadness and a call to arms. They all remember…

The local community of Anglesey gather support in order to protest the National Grid application to erect 100 new pylons across the island. A plan to build power-lines across Anglesey from the proposed £12 BN Wylfa Newydd nuclear reactor has generated massive controversy. Residents feel that the new scheme would have a devastating effect, not only on the environment, but consequently on the tourist economy too. The ‘Anglesey Say No To Pylons’ group have been rigorously protesting to protect their Island from plans by the National Grid. Over 13,000 people have signed a petition against the proposal, although permission has…

We are always in rush. Rushing to lectures because we spent 5 too many minutes in bed. Rushing to the shops to scavenge for a cheap deal for dinner. Rushing to complete an assignment we left until the last minute. But how often is it that we just stop, take a moment and actually take in the environment around us? You would be amazed how much you can overlook when you’re rushing from place to place, busy in your own thoughts, not really paying attention to what is going on around you. Trees often go unnoticed in the urban landscape,…

On 18th October, two advocates from the environmental initiative named ‘Extinction Rebellion’ came to Treborth for the talk entitled ‘Climate Change: Heading for Extinction and What to Do About It’. Since then, Menai Bridge has experienced its first formal protest under the same initiative, with more to be expected. Set-up in 2016, Extinction Rebellion are a fast-growing network of around 5000 people across the UK who believe in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience in order to change government environmental policy. Using examples of the Indian Independence and Civil Rights movements in the US, the presentation at Treborth discussed the…

Slates General Food Store, Bridge Street, are acting to reduce plastic waste by enabling consumers to purchase every-day goods with ‘bring-your-own’ containers. Business owners Dan and Cherise began their packaging-free products line 3 weeks ago and the initiative has been met with enthusiastic responses from locals and students alike. For the past year, they have been providing ECOVER refill services to their clientele and are currently seriously engaging with the of supplying no-waste, plastic-free services. Dan was happy to talk and explain the logic behind the scheme: Can you explain why you decided to go plastic-free and why you think…

As part of its on-going commitment to sustainability, Bangor University is one of the signatories of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment and launched at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali. Bangor University is one of 40 global universities to have made this commitment. The University is already working to put sustainability and the wellbeing of future generations at the heart of its teaching, learning, research and innovation. Its BioComposites Centre is at the forefront of research, development and the commercial application of bio-based alternatives to synthetic materials in…

Scientific research is only at the beginning of understanding how climate change is going to affect aquatic organisms and how this will then affect entire marine ecosystems. Marine scientists have started to examine the effects of global warming and the reduction in seawater pH, known as ocean acidification. Studies undertaken by marine scientists from the School of Ocean Sciences has allowed for an appreciation that there are fundamental differences in the biological capacities of marine species, compensating for climate change. More specifically within crustaceans, a taxon that is usually regarded as tolerant to environmental change. It has been proven that…

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