2013 news announcements

Entrepreneurial scientists scoop prize money at competition finals

Two teams of entrepreneurial researchers triumphed in a business plan competition for hypothetical biotechnology and environmental start-up companies on Monday.

4 Dec 2013

NERC announces the winner of its first photo and essay competition

The winners of NERC's inaugural short article and photography competition were announced at an awards ceremony in central London this evening.

2 Dec 2013

NERC supports growth with responsible environmental management in energy sector

NERC is funding research, skills and technologies, aimed at helping the oil and gas sector put environmental science at the heart of responsible management of our planet.

28 Nov 2013

Better modelling of tsunami zones could help insurance quotes

NERC grant awarded for improved modelling of tsunami risk.

25 Nov 2013

NERC signs MoU with global engineering consultancy Arup

NERC has this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global engineering and design company Arup in the first strategic partnership of its kind for the UK's largest funder of environmental science.

7 Nov 2013

NERC invests £100 million in environmental science doctoral training

The Minister for Universities & Science David Willetts today announced £100 million of new NERC investment in fifteen Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), which specialise in training environmental science PhD students.

4 Nov 2013

New Earth and marine science and technology centre

The British Geological Survey (BGS) and Heriot-Watt University are joining forces to create a new centre for Earth and marine science and technology.

31 Oct 2013

Archaeologists rediscover the lost home of the last Neanderthals

A record of Neanderthal archaeology, thought to be long lost, has been re-discovered by NERC-funded scientists working in the Channel Island of Jersey.

17 Oct 2013

Killer whales may have menopause so grandma can look after the kids

NERC has funded a new project to uncover why killer whales evolved a menopause.

17 Oct 2013

Iron in the Earth's core weakens before melting

New NERC-funded study gives insight into the unusual properties of Earth's core.

11 Oct 2013

Science Minister announces projects to monitor ocean currents

Science Minister David Willetts announces two major NERC-funded projects to monitor ocean currents.

9 Oct 2013

Royal Research Ship Discovery to be named by HRH The Princess Royal

HRH The Princess Royal will name the new RRS Discovery at NERC's National Oceanography Centre this week.

8 Oct 2013

Stress a key factor in causing bee colonies to fail

Extended periods of stress can cause bee colony failures, according to new research part-funded by NERC.

7 Oct 2013

Giant channels discovered beneath Antarctic ice shelf

NERC's BAS scientists help uncover ice channels that may help predict future of Antarctic ice sheet.

7 Oct 2013

Female flies keep mating within the family

NERC supported scientists show male fruit flies sleep around, but females stick with the same mate.

25 Sep 2013

New project may give insights into the evolution of human teeth

NERC has agreed to fund a project worth nearly £680,000 to investigate how teeth evolved in our earliest ancestors.

20 Sep 2013

Report highlights radical change needed to tackle avoidable food waste

A new report commissioned by the UK Global Food Security programme says radical change is needed to tackle avoidable food waste.

19 Sep 2013

British public split on nuclear power

Research councils show opposition to nuclear power in Britain has fallen since 2005.

19 Sep 2013

Undersea mountains provide crucial piece in climate prediction puzzle

NERC supported research shows undersea mountains are crucial in climate prediction.

19 Sep 2013

Achilles' heel of ice shelves is beneath the water, scientists reveal

NERC supported research reveals melting undersides of submerged ice shelves account for up to 90 per cent of ice loss in Antarctica.

16 Sep 2013

New research shows that the 'landslides season' is changing

NERC's British Geological Survey have shown that the number of landslides in the UK is increasing.

12 Sep 2013

Hottest days in some parts of Europe have warmed four times more than the global average

NERC supported research shows some of Europe's hottest days are four times warmer than the global average change since 1950.

11 Sep 2013

Jurassic jaws: How ancient crocodiles flourished during the age of the dinosaurs

NERC supported research has shown for the first time how crocodiles survived next to dinosaurs.

11 Sep 2013

Ambitious science mission sets off for Antarctica

A team of NERC-funded British scientists is making final preparations for an ambitious Antarctic science mission.

9 Sep 2013

Climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles

New research, part funded by NERC, shows that rising ocean temperatures will upset natural cycles of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and phosphorous.

9 Sep 2013

Study offers new insight into how cheetahs catch their prey

A new NERC supported research study has revealed that the cheetah matches and may even anticipate the escape tactics of different prey when hunting, rather than just relying on its speed and agility.

5 Sep 2013

NERC embraces European bioinformatics as key to integrating biological data with environmental science

NERC has joined BBSRC and MRC to support an agreement that will maximise the impact of Europe's bioscience research data.

4 Sep 2013

Researchers pinpoint when the First Dynasty of kings ruled early Egypt

Scientists have used the NERC Radiocarbon Facility to set a timeline for the first eight dynastic rulers of Egypt.

4 Sep 2013

Mega-canyon discovered beneath Greenland ice sheet

A previously unknown canyon, hidden beneath two kilometres of ice covering Greenland, has been discovered by a NERC-funded group of scientists.

30 Aug 2013

Robotic food helps scientists understand predators

NERC has recently awarded a research fellowship for the study of predator prey relationships, using robotic prey to lure predatory fish.

30 Aug 2013

European hunter-gatherers owned pigs as early as 4600BC

European hunter-gatherers acquired domesticated pigs from nearby farmers as early as 4600BC, according to new research part-funded by NERC.

27 Aug 2013

St Andrews ecologist wins photo prize

A NERC-funded researcher from the University of St Andrews, Dr Gavin Ballantyne, has won a prize in the British Ecological Society's annual photographic competition.

27 Aug 2013

Epic ocean voyages of baby corals revealed

Scientists, supported by NERC funding, have recreated the epic journeys of millimetre-sized baby coral across the world's oceans.

22 Aug 2013

Warming Antarctic seas likely to impact on krill habitats

New research from NERC's British Antarctic Survey shows that Antarctic krill numbers could be severely harmed by climate change.

22 Aug 2013

Alpha males don't have all the advantages, animal study shows

Physical dominance can give some wild animals the edge over their sexual rivals - but their weaker competitors have some breeding advantages too, a NERC supported study suggests.

22 Aug 2013

Human foot not as unique as originally thought

NERC supported research at the University of Liverpool has shown that the flexible human foot has more in common with the feet of other great apes than previously thought.

21 Aug 2013

Science spin-out adds colour to forest measurements

Carbomap, a spin-out company supported by NERC from its fundamental science beginnings, brings an 'MRI scanner for forests' to market.

20 Aug 2013

Beetles dish out tough love to curb greedy offspring, study finds

It's not quite Supernanny's naughty step, but the animal kingdom has developed its own hard-line strategy for dealing with badly behaved offspring, research funded by NERC suggests.

19 Aug 2013

Plants can change greenhouse gas emissions after warming

Different moorland plants can strongly influence climate warming effects on greenhouse gas emissions, according to a NERC-funded study.

19 Aug 2013

NERC supported research shows how females choose the 'right' sperm

NERC funded scientists reveal females select the 'right' sperm when faced with the risk of being fertilised by sperm from a different species.

16 Aug 2013

New web tool improves rapid ash cloud forecasts

A new web tool based on NERC-funded research could pave the way for better management of airspace during volcanic crises.

16 Aug 2013

Ancient mammal relatives cast light on recovery after mass extinction

NERC supported research shows ancient mammal relatives did not evolve new features after largest mass extinction on Earth.

15 Aug 2013

Bright birds make good mothers

A NERC supported study has shown that female blue tits with brightly coloured crowns are better mothers than duller birds.

13 Aug 2013

Wildflowers sown across Bristol to encourage insect life

Scientists, part-funded by NERC, are planting flower meadows in the city's parks, playing fields and schools in an attempt to improve the diversity and abundance of pollinating insects.

13 Aug 2013

Global investigation reveals true scale of ocean warming

New study with NERC's delivery partner, SAMS finds the world's marine systems are reacting to climate change more strongly than previously thought.

5 Aug 2013

'Insect soup' holds DNA key for monitoring biodiversity

New research, part-funded by NERC, shows how crushed insects can accelerate the monitoring and cataloguing of biodiversity.

5 Aug 2013

Bacteria hold the clues to trade-offs in financial investments and evolution

Scientists have found that bacteria have the potential to teach valuable investment lessons.

1 Aug 2013

Shifting patterns of temperature volatility in the climate system

Large parts of Europe and North America have experienced bigger swings in yearly temperatures in recent decades, according to a new study part-funded by NERC.

25 Jul 2013

Study reveals brown trout's tolerance to heavily polluted water

Scientists part-funded by NERC have found that brown trout can survive in the contaminated waters of the River Hayle in Cornwall.

24 Jul 2013

British forests still feel the impact of the 1976 drought

The drought caused by the blazing summer of 1976 caused permanent changes to British forests that are still evident today, researchers part-funded by NERC have discovered.

24 Jul 2013

NERC welcomes the UK's strategy for agricultural technologies

NERC welcomes the publication of the UK's strategy for agricultural technologies which was launched yesterday.

23 Jul 2013

Ground-breaking agri-science research showcased in new timeline

NERC and other research council investments in agri-science are showcased in a new timeline, published by RCUK to coincide with the government's agricultural technologies industrial strategy.

23 Jul 2013

Loss of African woodland may impact on climate, study reveals

Deforestation in parts of Africa could be reversed with changes to land use, a NERC-funded study suggests.

22 Jul 2013

Scientists discover new variability in iron supply to the oceans, with climate implications

The supply of dissolved iron to oceans around continental shelves has been found to be more variable by region than previously believed - with implications for future climate prediction.

19 Jul 2013

Bees under threat from bumblebee imports

Scientists call for stricter controls over bumblebee imports after research, part-funded by NERC, finds parasites in over three-quarters of imported colonies. 

18 Jul 2013

Fossil shows fish had sucker on its back

A 30 million year-old fossil has revealed how remoras - also called sharksuckers - evolved the sucker that enables them to stick to other fishes and 'hitch a ride'. 

17 Jul 2013

Latest research defines values which determine public acceptance of energy system change

The values and factors that influence people's decisions about whether to accept or reject changes to the energy system are revealed in a report published today.

16 Jul 2013

Manure was used by Europe's first farmers 8,000 years ago

A new study, funded by NERC, says Europe's first farmers used far more sophisticated practices than previously thought.

16 Jul 2013

Pentland Firth turbines could generate almost half of Scotland's electricity

Tidal turbines stretched across Pentland Firth, which separates the Orkney Islands from mainland Scotland, could generate up to 1·9 gigawatts of power.

10 Jul 2013

Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea level will increase over next 200 years

The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise will continue to increase over the next 200 years, say researchers.

10 Jul 2013

Birds outpace climate change to avoid extinction

A new study, supported by funding from the Natural Environment Research Council, has shed light on the potential of birds to survive in the face of climate change.

10 Jul 2013

New ship for UK marine science handed over to NERC

The new ship to serve the UK marine science community was yesterday (8 July 2013) handed over to NERC by its builder CNP Freire, SA in Vigo, Spain.

9 Jul 2013

Finding the Goldilocks sites to store CO2 underground

To implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) successfully, each underground repository will need careful appraisal based on its unique history and setting, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Bristol.

9 Jul 2013

Earthworms could help scientists 'dig' into past climates

A team of UK researchers believe earthworms could provide a window into past climates, allowing scientists to piece together the prevailing weather conditions thousands of years ago.

8 Jul 2013

Rocks can restore our climate... after 300,000 years

A study of a global warming event that happened 93 million years ago suggests that the Earth can recover from high carbon dioxide emissions faster than thought.

8 Jul 2013

Female scientists campaign for change in gender inequality in science

NERC-funded archaeological science PhD student, Julie Dunne of the University of Bristol, will today present 'Milking it' at London's Southbank as part of this year's Soapbox Science event.

5 Jul 2013

Evidence suggests Antarctic crabs could be native

A new study has cast doubt on the claim that crabs may have disappeared from Antarctica only to return due to warming seas.

5 Jul 2013

University of East Anglia research reveals true cost of farming to UK economy

The British landscape is not being used to its best advantage according to a new report from environmental economists from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

5 Jul 2013

Harvesting sustainable chemicals and energy at sea

New materials are helping to make mass cultivation of Europe's near-shore seaweeds a reality. It could reduce our dependency on crude oil.

3 Jul 2013

NERC funded professor wins 2013 Martha T Muse Prize

Professor Martin Siegert has been awarded the 2013 Muse Prize - the major international prize in Antarctic research - for his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history.

3 Jul 2013

CryoSat maps biggest ever flood beneath Antarctica

New observations from the European Space Agency's CryoSat satellite have identified a vast crater in Antarctica's icy surface.

2 Jul 2013

The quantum secret to alcohol reactions in space

Chemists have discovered that an 'impossible' reaction at cold temperatures actually occurs with vigour, which could change our understanding of how alcohols are formed and destroyed in space.

1 Jul 2013

RCUK welcomes announcement of government's investment plans for capital and infrastructure

Research Councils UK welcomes the further commitment that the government has given to science and research through the announcement of the government's capital and infrastructure investments from 2015.

28 Jun 2013

Flood Force film launched by Living With Environmental Change (LWEC)

A new film featuring NERC science has won the first ever LWEC short film competition.

28 Jun 2013

Shale gas resource figure released

NERC's British Geological Survey in association with Department of Energy & Climate Change has completed an estimate for the resource (gas-in-place) of shale gas in part of central Britain.

27 Jun 2013

NERC research centres among the world's top 100

NERC's British Antarctic Survey and National Oceanography Centre both feature among the world's top 100 Earth and environmental science institutions, according to a study by Nature Publishing Group.

20 Jun 2013

Older males make better fathers says new research on beetles

Mature males work harder and care less about female infidelity.

19 Jun 2013

Origins of 'The Hoff' crab revealed

The history of a new type of crab, nicknamed 'The Hoff' because of its hairy chest, which lives around hydrothermal vents deep beneath the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean, has been revealed for the first time.

19 Jun 2013

Treating infection may have sting in the tail, parasite study shows

Using drugs to treat an infection could allow other co-existing conditions to flourish, a study in wild animals has shown.

18 Jun 2013

Current affairs make life hard for stickleback dads

Male stickleback fish deserve extra praise this Father's Day, in light of findings by University of Leicester researchers.

14 Jun 2013

New appointments to the Natural Environment Research Council

David Willetts, minister for universities & science, has announced three new appointments and the reappointment of two members to the Natural Environment Research Council.

13 Jun 2013

Funding to help understand soil's key role in Global Food Security

Funders have joined forces to offer £4·5m for research into soil ecosystems and their impact on agriculture and food production.

12 Jun 2013

Billion-year-old water could hold clues to life on Earth and Mars

A UK-Canadian team of scientists has discovered ancient pockets of water, which have been isolated deep underground for billions of years and contain abundant chemicals known to support life.

16 May 2013

Plants use underground networks to warn of enemy attack

Plants use underground fungal networks to warn their neighbours of aphid attack, UK scientists have discovered.

10 May 2013

BIOMASS mission given go ahead to launch in 2020

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation Programme Board has today given the go-ahead for a new €400m Earth Observation mission.

7 May 2013

CryoSat-2 mission reveals major Arctic sea-ice loss

Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36% in the autumn and 9% in the winter between 2003 and 2012, a UK-led team of scientists has discovered.

13 Feb 2013

UK and USA collaborate in airborne climate science projects

In the first scientific collaboration of its kind, NERC and NASA scientists are using a robotic aircraft to gather high altitude atmospheric data.

25 Jan 2013

Innovations in soil science will grow the solutions to global food security

A new report highlights the importance of soil science in overcoming food and fuel crop shortages.

22 Jan 2013