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National Organic Month: Warwick Crop Centre's pioneering research into low-input farming

During National Organic Month, the University of Warwick's Crop Centre takes a pioneering stance in the realm of low-input farming, shedding light on the concept of 'organic farming.'

Press Release (1 September 2023)

Robocrop: The robot assistants helping farmers to increase productivity

The future of farming could involve robots– as farmers seek to address labour shortages and increase crop yields.

Warwick Crop Centre and WMG are working in close collaboration to combine their robotics expertise and plant science expertise to investigate how they can apply autonomous robotics to greenhouses and croppable fields.

Press Release (25 August 2023)

The sound of the underground: What noisy worms tell us about soil health

Researchers are listening to earthworms to monitor soil health, in what could be a major innovation for maintaining soil health. In the first study of its kind, scientists are using a technique called ecoacoustics to listen to the activity of earthworms and other invertebrates in the soil. The theory is that a noisy soil is a healthy soil – and that the sounds generated in soil can be recorded, measured and used to evaluate soil condition. Press release (14 July 2023)

Jackie was interviewed about the research by David Gregory-Kumar for BBC Midlands Today.
Watch the interview (16 July 2023)

Sun 16 Jul 2023, 15:13 | Tags: Press Release Faculty of Science Environment & Ecology

Historical medicine suggests a new way to use modern treatments

Combining honey and vinegar could be an old, yet new, way of treating persistent infections. The mixture of honey and vinegar, also known as oxymel, has been used as a medical treatment throughout history and now scientists have established that this combination could have modern applications in the treatment of wounds. New research by Dr Erin Connelly, Dr Freya Harrison and team, published in Microbiology, is the first comprehensive exploration of how the mixture could be applied to modern medicine and improve treatments for infections.
Press release (13 July 2023)

ENABLE workshop: Are the university learning environments as inclusive as we think?

Lecture theatre with studentsOn Friday 29 September 2023, the School of Life Sciences will be hosting a free workshop: "Are the university learning environments as inclusive as we think? An investigation from the awarding perspective".

Based on a thorough data analysis from recent years and first-hand practical experience, the workshop will identify existing reasons for lack of inclusivity and unbiased awarding in biological science and related degree streams.

The workshop participants, comprising academic leaders, teaching professionals and a diverse student community, will also provide on consensus recommendations on how to close existing awarding gaps for a more inclusive learning and teaching environment throughout the UK.

Consensus recommendations will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Find out more and register

University of Warwick Innovation Campus Growth Plan Takes a Step Forward

Plans to grow the University of Warwick Innovation Campus Stratford-upon-Avon at Wellesbourne have taken an important step forward. Stratford-on-Avon District Council has approved a plan to guide the long-term growth of the Campus.

Press release (4 July 2023)

Wed 05 Jul 2023, 16:26

Helping plants and bacteria work together reduces fertiliser need

Today, published in Microbiome, Dr Beatriz Lagunas and colleagues at the Universities of Warwick and Justus Liebig (Germany) have shown a new way to boost plant nutrient uptake and growth. This could reduce the need for fertilisers, an input to agriculture which can be harmful for the environment. Fertilisers can run into waterways, or get broken down by microbes in the soil, releasing the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

Press release (3 July 2023)

The first British Baked Beans could be on the breakfast menu thanks to University of Warwick research

Professor Eric Holub, a plant scientist at Warwick Crop Centre, has developed Haricot bean varieties which can be sown in early May and harvested as a dry grain before mid-September, matching the UK's warmer months. Until now, it has been impossible for farmers to grow the haricot variety used for baked beans in the UK because they are incompatible with the climate.

Press Release (16 June 2023)

The story was also on BBC Breakfast. Watch it on iPlayer (from 22m 30s)

Faculty Post Doc Prizes awarded to Amol Bhandare and Richard Guillionneau

Each year, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (SEM) funds a prize for the best Warwick-affiliated research output from an Early Career Researcher (ECR). Each department nominates a winner out of the applications received after a judging process as determined by the Faculty. This year the School of Life Sciences has awarded two prizes:

  • Dr Amol Bhandare
  • Dr Richard Guillioneau

The Panel recognised the scientific excellence of the research published in these outputs and the leading roles that both researchers had taken in conceiving and undertaking the research.

Find out more

Fri 16 Jun 2023, 13:52 | Tags: Faculty of Science Environment & Ecology Neuroscience

New discovery stops bacterial virus contamination

A new discovery by Dr Antonia Sagona and colleagues could help stop bacteria being contaminated with viruses, reducing disruption and decreasing costs in industry and research.

Press Release (18 April 2023)

One of the Best Universities for Work Experience

We are thrilled to announce that the University of Warwick has been ranked 12th Best University for Work Experience by RateMyPlacement, in their inaugural Best University for Work Experience table.

The School of Life Sciences is proud of the work we do to support our students in accessing and engaging with quality work experience opportunities, from internships to yearlong placements.

Mineli, BSc Biomedical Science with Placement Year, currently on placement at Pfizer says:

“The University has been really helpful in providing a variety of resources that help students find work experience opportunities. Particularly within the School of Life Sciences, there are weekly 'Careers round-ups' which all students receive. These detail the latest updates and opportunities that companies are advertising - whether that be internship, placement of research opportunities.

The Careers and Placements team are dedicated to ensuring students can maximise their chances of securing a placement as well. They ensure students have access to mock interviews as well as providing useful feedback on applications.

The combination of all these services and resources has allowed Warwick students, myself included, to have the best possible chances of securing our ideal work experience, gaining a competitive advantage when entering the job market.“

Tue 11 Apr 2023, 17:20 | Tags: Study

Honorary Fellow

MurrayProfessor Murray Grant has been re-elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellows have made contributions to knowledge at the highest levels in their different fields and across disciplinary boundaries. Find out more

Can super-speedy plant cells feed a growing population?

Joe McKennaDr Joe Mckenna has been awarded a BBSRC Discovery Fellowship of £535,000 to investigate actin – a natural molecule contained in plant cells – to see whether it can be engineered to move faster and so grow bigger plants with more biomass.

Press release (21 March 2023)

Thu 23 Mar 2023, 10:40 | Tags: Plant & Agricultural Bioscience Cells & Development

Increase homegrown fruit and veg and add £0.5bn to the economy say scientists – as we reel from supermarket shortages

As the UK reels from recent fruit and vegetable shortages, scientists are advising how to increase homegrown produce – benefitting the economy and the environment.

Press release (9 March 2023)

Thu 09 Mar 2023, 13:57

Two domestications for grapes

Professor Robin Allaby gives his perspective in Science, on the evolutionary events that led to grape domestication. The article made the front cover.
Read the paper (3 March 2023)

Growing British - Professor Napier on Radio 4

On Thursday 2 March, Professor Richard Napier was featured on the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme talking about a new green paper “Growing British” he helped to create. It’s a strategy highlighting how to increase fruit and veg production in the UK. Listen (from 1:14).

Find out more

Thu 02 Mar 2023, 10:42 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

A “zinc” in the armour: could metal help combat common superbug?

A new study has shown that zinc plays a key role in a hospital superbug, that doctors struggle to treat due to its resistance to antibiotics.

Press Release (15 February 2023)

Bacteria communicate like us – and we could use this to help address antibiotic resistance

Like the neurons firing in human brains, bacteria use electricity to communicate and respond to environmental cues. Now, researchers have discovered a way to control this electrical signalling in bacteria, to better understand resistance to antibiotics.

In the study published in Advanced Science, Dr Munehiro and colleagues, report a major step forward in regulating bacterial electric signals with light.

Press Release (13 February 2023)

Earthquakes in Turkey & Syria

Our thoughts are with staff and students affected by the devastating earthquake that has hit Turkey and Syria. People have asked about how they can respond to this; various charitable organisations are coordinating humanitarian efforts that you can contribute to e.g. The Red Cross

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support, or if you have any concerns about someone else.  Students can contact the Wellbeing & Student Support Services team via the wellbeing portal or by calling 024 7657 5570, access bereavement support from the Chaplaincy, or speak to their personal tutor.  Staff can access support through the Staff Wellbeing Hub, by contacting the Employee Assistance Programme, or accessing bereavement support from the Chaplaincy.  

Tue 07 Feb 2023, 09:40

New study into Tuberculosis membrane molecules will aid drug delivery

Chelsea Brown, a PhD student with Professor Phill Stansfeld and Dr Liz Fullam, has published a first author paper on tackling Tuberculosis (TB) by modelling mycobacterial membranes.

TB rivals covid-19 as the biggest infectious disease killer of humans, claiming millions of lives each year. Now, ground-breaking research from the Universities of Warwick and Toulouse has identified a new method to help tackle this global issue.
Press Release (30 January 2023)

Mon 06 Feb 2023, 14:22 | Tags: Microbiology & Infectious Disease

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