Leeds University

In the Media

September 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Dr John Marsham, from the School of Earth and Environment, was quoted in phys.org, to discuss how the EU-funded Dynamics Aerosols Clouds and Climate in West Africa (DACCIWA) project has, for the first time, investigated the impacts of natural and manmade emissions on the West African atmosphere.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-09-scientists-track-west-african-pollution.html#jCp

April 2016

Modelling the maths behind wave motion to aid sea rescues

A mathematical model developed at the University of Leeds could make it possible to design safer versions of the ‘fast ships’ used in many vital offshore operations. Project lead Professor Onno Bokhove, from the University’s School of Mathematics, said: “Describing mathematically the complex behaviour of waves and their interaction with fast ships and then incorporating all of this into a robust computer model has been very challenging. We’re delighted to have provided further proof of how advanced mathematics can have real-world applications that help save money and safeguard lives.” Read the full article here.    

March 2016

Scientists and policymakers plan for rising sea levels

Zac Taylor, who is studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds, writes on the rising sea levels in Tampa Bay, Florida. Taylor discusses the latest technology testing the rising sea levels, how this data is used and how people in the public and private sectors are coming together to meet the challenges raised by climate change.  You can read his full article here.

February 2016

Improving rainfall and flooding predictions
The University of Leeds is a partner in a new research project to improve our understanding of rainfall and flood predictions in Scotland. Scientists from the University will work alongside the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Scottish Water and the Met Office. For more information, click here.

January 2016

Jim McQuaid on local radio and BBC talking about the need to keep rivers clean
water@leeds’ Dr Jim McQuaid recently appeared on BBC Look North, following the floods throughout Yorkshire. He spoke about the need to keep our rivers clean and the impact this would have on river flooding for the future.
He also appeared on local BBC Radio.
You can listen to his interview here.

December 2015

BBC weatherman Paul Hudson interviews UoL academics
Paul Hudson, the BBC weatherman for Yorkshire, paid a visit to the UoL campus to interview various academics for his Sunday weather show which was broadcast on 12th December 2015.
A photo of him with water@leeds’ Jim McQuaid can be seen here.

October 2015

NERC funding for Climate research
The University of Leeds has been awarded £3 million by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to shed light on why the climate is warming at an uneven rate with pronounced pauses and surges.
The project, which will be led by water@leeds’ Professor Piers Forster is funded via NERC’s new ‘highlight topics’ – one of the research council’s new ways of funding strategic research.
Professor Forster said: “It is exciting that the University of Leeds is leading a UK-wide project to make better prediction of global temperature changes over 10-year periods. The research we are proposing is at the cutting edge of climate science and will help ensure the UK remains world-leading.”
Read more here.

September 2015

Offshore wind farms could be more risky for gannets than previously thought
Offshore wind farms which are to be built in waters around the UK could pose a greater threat to protected populations of gannets than previously thought, research led by the University of Leeds says. Professor Keith Hamer, of the School of Biology, oversaw the study: read the article here.

No rain means no rice
Cambodia’s rice farmers have already lost two harvests due to the scarcity of rain. Prof Douglas Parker (School of Earth and Environment) discusses possible causes in a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post.

Ocean life triggers ice formation in clouds
Dr Theo Wilson (Earth & Environment) discussed cloud formation in a Nature podcast, following a new research paper he co-authored. The study found that organic waste from life in the oceans, which is ejected into the atmosphere along with sea spray from breaking waves, stimulates cloud droplets to freeze into ice particles.

August 2015

Extreme Weather events could cause more frequent global food shocks, a study by the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience reports. Prof Tim Benton, professor of population ecology at the University of Leeds and co-author of the report, said that the compound effects of climate change and rising demand from a growing population could create a “very frightening” situation. Read the article here.

Risk of air pollution over West African megacities scientist warn
Research by the University of Leeds warns the increasing air pollution over the cities of West Africa will impact on meteorology, regional climate and human health.

CLA Game Fair at Harewood House
Roger Ratcliffe visited the Upland Hydrology Group stand, which was co-organised with water@leeds, at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House in early August and then wrote a piece in the Yorkshire Post "Good riddance to the treacly mire". In the piece, he talks about improvements to the paths on Black Hill.

July 2015

Cool summer of 2013 boosted Arctic sea ice
The volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third after the summer of 2013 as unusually cool air temperatures prevented the ice from melting. Co-author Andy Shepherd is featured in a number of press articles from Science News to The Mail Online. Read the press release here.  

The omega-shaped jet stream responsible for Europe’s heatwave

Dr John Marsham and Alex Roberts talk about the omega-shaped jet stream which explains the recent hot weather and electrical storms experienced in the UK. Read the article here.

Age is no barrier to damselflies romance

Dr Christopher Hassall found that advancing age did not reduce damselflies’ chances of mating. Mating also did not shorten their lifespans. To read the article in the Express, click here. For the press release, click here.

June 2015

Learning lessons of the 1995 drought

Dr Gordon Mitchell talks about the development of drought resilience since 1995 and highlights the challenges ahead in an article featured in the Yorkshire Post. Read the article here

May 2015

Handwashing in multi-bed wards 'more critical' than for single rooms 

A study by Dr Marco-Felipe King and Professor Cath Noakes that shows the design of some hospital wards makes it even more important to have good hand hygiene, is reported in Nursing Times.

A study, carried out by University of Leeds’ Institute of Public Health and Environmental Engineering, found multi-bed wards were more likely to have contaminated surfaces, which then increased the risk of infections being spread by clinicians working in these areas, compared to single occupancy wards. Read more here.

Facts about climate change

One of the myths, that the Antarctic sea ice is decreasing, is challenged by Professor Andy Shepherd in an article in The Guardian, after satellite data shows Antarctic sea ice extended further than ever recorded during the last southern winter. Read more here.

April 2015

A female Lake Oku clawed frog at the London Zoo. Photograph: Ben Tapley/ZSL

Fairytale frog: London Zoo breeds bizarre amphibian for the first time

A recent article in The Guardian describes how PhD student, Thomas Doherty-Bone, contributed to a captive breeding programme for an unusual and threatened amphibian - the Lake Oku clawed frog.

The story of how conservationists achieved the goal began in 2008 when intrepid student, Thomas Doherty-Bone – armed with a grant from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – headed to Cameroon to study the country’s unique amphibians. Several weeks later – including mulitiple interminable bus rides and an unplanned stay in the hospital for salmonella – Doherty-Bone returned to the UK with a piece of unusual baggage: Lake Oku clawed frogs. Read more here. 

Xeros uses beads to wash dirty clothes

A University of Leeds spin-out, Xeros, is featured in an article on the This is Money website, detailing how the company has grown.

Extract from article:
"A British technology firm has given a whole new meaning to the phrase dry cleaning by inventing a waterless washing machine.

Xeros Technology grew out of Leeds University, but has seen its kit exported all across the US." Read more here.

Hot water could help stop the spread of invasive species

New research, led by Lucy Anderson and Dr Alison Dunn from the University of Leeds and the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), has discovered that hot water may be the key to stopping the spread of invasive species.

The article, on the Passion for Fresh Ideas website, talks about how the research shows that a simple change to routine for fishermen and canoeists could reduce the amount of invasive species such as killer shrimp, zebra mussel and floating pennywort that are being brought to our shores. Read more here.

March 2015

Two of water@leeds' REF2014 impact case studies have been highlighted in an editorial in Nature this week.


Extract from this week's Nature editorial:

"One university research group, for example, developed a model and database to quantify pollution of urban water sources. It also analysed peatland drainage systems to work out how to reduce water discolouration by dissolved organic carbon. The outputs of this research helped to improve water quality and the performance of the water industry." Read more here.

Gammurus pair by Alison Dunn

Cannibalism in freshwater shrimp

Dr. Alison Dunn has recently been in the media for her work looking at cannibalism in freshwater shrimp in Northern Ireland.

Extract from University of Leeds press release:
" Dr Alison Dunn, Reader in Evolutionary Biology in the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: “Cannibalism is actually fairly common in nature. Our work is the first study to ask if cannibalism is affected by being parasitised.”  You can read more here.

Treating toilet waste in Bangladesh

water(at)leeds' Dr Miller Alonso Camargo- Valero is part of a University of Leeds led project in Bangladesh working on ways to treat toilet waste in rural areas and use it to develop safe, nutritious compost for food crops.

The teams work, part of the Value at the End of the Sanitation Value-Chain (VESV) project, was recently featured on the Guardian website. Read more here. 

February 2015

Research into the reasons behind the Greenland icesheet melt.

Dr Jim McQuaid and Professor Liane G. Benning recently appeared on Paul Hudson's BBC Weathershow on Radio York to talk about their upcoming trip to the polar ice fields to look at what is making the Greenland Icesheet melt.

Also featured in this show is PhD student Stefanie Lutz in Svalbard who talked about her first experience of field work training in the snowy North.  Read more here.

January 2015

Ice cap sliding into the ocean

Professor Andrew Shepherd and Dr Mal McMillan from the University of Leeds' Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) , recently published a paper detailing their findings of the thinning of one of the remote Artic ice caps, which has featured online by the European Space Agency (ESA). 

Extract from UoL website:

"The findings show that over the last two decades, ice loss from the south-east region of Austfonna, located in the Svalbard archipelago, has increased significantly. In this time, ice flow has accelerated to speeds of several kilometres per year, and ice thinning has spread more than 50km inland – to within 10km of the summit. Read more here.

China's continuing water shortage issues 

A recent study by water(at)leeds' Martin Tillotson and the University of East Anglia's Dabo Guan, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses the problems that China may have fulfilling its water needs.

The journal article has been referenced on various media outlets, including Bloomberg online. Read more about this here.

How to make a cloud on BBC Wild Weather programme

In December Dr Jim McQuaid appeared on the BBC One programme Wild Weather with Richard Hammond. In this particular episode Richard Hammond investigates the role water plays in the weather. He tries to weigh a cloud, finds out how rain could crush a car and starts an avalanche and Dr Jim McQuaid joins him to demonstrate how to build an indoor cloud.

Read more about the Wild Weather series here.