End-of-the-world scare stories have the opposite effect: celebrated conservationist EJ Milner-Gulland accentuates the positive
22 November 2023
Professor Milner-Gulland, who leads three programmes at the Oxford Martin School, has been a conservationist for more than 30 years. But, she maintains, end-of-the-world scare stories will make people fear it is too late, there is nothing they can do, and they will bury their heads in the sand.
21 November 2023
The new study from researchers in the Department of Biology demonstrates that bumblebees are not able to avoid contaminated nectar, putting them at high risk of pesticide exposure and posing a threat to crop pollination.
10 November 2023
More than sixty years after it was last recorded, an expedition team has rediscovered an iconic, egg-laying mammal in one of the most unexplored regions of the world. Attenborough's long-beaked echidna, named after famed broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, was captured for the first time in photos and video footage using remote trail cameras set up in the Cyclops Mountains of Indonesia's Papua Province.
1 November 2023
The study by researchers in the Department of Biology also concluded that halting deforestation is the single most important mitigation measure Brazil can take towards net zero emissions by 2050 while preventing biodiversity loss.
1 November 2023
Professor Andy Hector (Department of Biology) describes a unique living resource, Wytham Woods, and how this contributes to the distinctive and immersive learning experience for students at Oxford.
25 October 2023
A new study led by researchers in the Department of Biology has demonstrated that bumblebees make choices while foraging to maximize the rate of energy return, i.e. the amount of nectar sugar collected each minute.
12 October 2023
Wine quality is notorious for varying from year to year, but what makes for a “good year”? A new study has found that weather plays a critically important role in determining wine quality. By analysing 70 years’ worth of wine critic scores from the Bordeaux wine region in relation to that year’s weather, the researchers showed that higher quality wine is made in years with warmer temperatures, higher winter rainfall, and earlier, shorter growing seasons—conditions that climate change is predicted to make more frequent.
New research finds that reducing antibiotic usage in animal feed is not enough to combat antibiotic resistance
6 October 2023
A new study led by the University of Oxford has found that natural evolution of antibiotic resistance genes has maintained resistance in bacteria despite a reduction in the use of antibiotics. The findings demonstrate the importance of understanding the regulatory evolution of resistance genes to strategically combat AMR. The study has been published in the Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME).
22 September 2023
Ahead of World Rivers Day (24 September), new research by the University of Oxford reveals that sewage discharge into rivers has a greater impact on water quality, and the animals and plants that live in rivers, than surrounding land use. This has strong implications for the state of UK rivers in light of the recent threats to weaken nutrient neutrality regulations for new housing developments. The findings have been published today in the journals Global Change Biology and Ecological Solutions and Evidence.
21 September 2023
An international group of scientists, including botanists at the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden, has issued an urgent call for coordinated action to save the iconic genus Rafflesia, which contains the world’s largest flowers. This follows a new study which found that most of the 42 species are severely threatened.
18 September 2023
One of the world’s biggest ecological experiments, co-led by the University of Oxford on the island of Borneo, has revealed that replanting logged tropical forests with diverse mixtures of seedlings can significantly accelerate their recovery. The findings, published today in the journal Science Advances, emphasise the importance of preserving biodiversity in pristine forests and restoring it in recovering logged forest.
12 September 2023
New research co-led by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU, Department of Biology) has revealed alarming data about dwindling lion populations in Africa, but gives new insight into conservation strategies.
11 September 2023
Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden and the Mathematical Institute have shown that the shape, size, and geometry of carnivorous pitcher plants determines the type of prey they trap. The results have been published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
From The Conversation: China makes developers pay compensation for their ecological impacts – here’s how this unique scheme works
10 September 2023
Professor EJ Milner-Gulland and other researchers from the Department of Biology/Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science explore how the ecological compensation system in China works.
1 September 2023
A feature article on the work of Dr Tin (Henry) Hung (Department of Biology) to save Dalbergia, the rosewood tree, which is severely threatened across all countries in its distribution range.
29 August 2023
Dr Egil Dröge, researcher in the Department of Biology, is sceptical of rumours that big cats are on the loose in Britain.
Researchers extract ancient DNA from a 2,900-year-old clay brick, revealing a time capsule of plant life
22 August 2023
University of Oxford researchers have contributed to the first successful extraction of ancient DNA from a 2,900 year-old clay brick. The analysis provides a fascinating insight into the diversity of plant species cultivated at that time and place, and could open the way to similar studies.
9 August 2023
A team including Oxford chemists has shown that influential reports of magnetic field effects on Drosophila (fruit fly) behaviour cannot be reproduced. Drosophila have been widely used as a model organism for studying the mechanism of the magnetic compass sense of migratory songbirds.
3 August 2023
Samuel Johhnson, DPhil student in Mathematical Biology in the Mathematical Institute, discusses how research from mathematicians, biologists and social scientists is helping us understand swarming and harness its power.
New study finds plastic pollution to be almost ubiquitous across coral reefs, mostly from fishing activities
13 July 2023
In the most comprehensive survey to date, researchers have revealed the scale of plastic pollution on coral reefs, even at great depths. These results, however, suggest promising strategies to better protect these biodiversity hotspots.