Warwick Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Centre (WESIC) was officially launched on 15th October at an event held at the University of Warwick School of Life Sciences. PhD students, Postdocs and Academics from across the Faculty of Science came together to celebrate the new centre and discuss their research interests.
Professor Charles Sheppard awarded OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2014
Professor Charles Sheppard has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2014 for services to environmental conservation in the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The well-deserved award recognizes nearly 40 years of research in the Chagos Archipelago. During this time, Charles has facilitated studies by over 100 scientists and generated a large volume of publications. This scientific input led to the creation of the world's largest marine reserve, totaling more than 640,000 square kilometres (397,678 square miles), an area more than twice the size of the UK. The Chagos Archipelago has been designated as a fully no-take marine reserve and is of huge value to the Indian Ocean and its people.
In addition to working in the School of Life Sciences, Charles is Chairman of the Chagos Conservation Trust, and works for a range of UN, Governmental and aid agencies in tropical marine and coastal development issues. He advises several governments on marine and coastal management and science, including the UK Government on its tropical Overseas Territories. For 10 years he was also science adviser to the Commissioner in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the archipelago.
A complete ancient RNA genome: identification, reconstruction and evolutionary history of archaeological Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus
Oliver Smith, Alan Clapham, Pam Rose, Yuan Liu, Jun Wang & Robin G Allaby
The origins of many plant diseases appear to be recent and associated with the rise of domestication, the spread of agriculture or recent global movements of crops. Heterochronous approaches using recent and historical samples show that plant viruses exhibit highly variable and often rapid rates of molecular evolution. The accuracy of estimated evolution rates and age of origin can be greatly improved with the inclusion of older molecular data from archaeological material. Here the researchers present the first reconstruction of an archaeological RNA genome, which is of Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus (BSMV) isolated from barley grain ~750 years of age. Phylogenetic analysis of BSMV that includes this genome indicates the divergence of BSMV and its closest relative prior to this time, most likely around 2000 years ago.
Scientific Reports. Feb 2014