Webinar review: Marine Litter

On Thursday 25 May 2023, members of TU Environment Research Group joined the Yorkshire Geological Society’s webinar featuring Professor Richard Thompson who gave a fascinating account of the global environmental challenges surrounding plastic litter. Professor Thompson OBE FRS was the first to coin the term microplastics in 2004 (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1094559) and he continues to dedicate his career to researching microplastics in the environment, their impact on marine biota, and identifying sustainable solutions to this increasingly urgent issue. For more on Richard and his research, please see his University of Plymouth staff page at https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/richard-thompson.

External speaker: Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott

The Centre for Biodiscovery was pleased to welcome Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott OBE to the National Horizons Centre. Prof. Lappin-Scott gave a talk detailing her journey from early career researcher to professor (and beyond!). As Hilary is from Middlesbrough her story resonated with many of the team. We were inspired to hear of how she became the first female professor at Exeter University and how she has used her subject knowledge and position to help highlight issues of inclusivity within the sciences. Hilary then met specifically with our microbiology based researcher to offer advice to them. We hope to welcome Hilary back to the NHC soon.

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Looking for stalagmites

Recently, one of our PhD students – Fatai Ilesanmi has been on field trip.. Nigeria Field Expedition in the month of March and April 2023 

Nigeria National Geographic expedition phase 1. This is a caving expedition to identify and map stalagmite-bearing caves in Nigeria (initial reconnaissance expedition). 

The photograph shows Fatai exploring Itankpini cave and looking for stalagmites in hiding entrances


Climate change monitoring

One year has now past since Dr Gillian Taylor was involved in the installation of a weather station at Fort Magna. It is not just a weather station but also monitors ground chemistry to help us understand seasonal changes. The data has been fascinating and watch this space for updates on conference presentations later in the year..


Not content with one weather stations, in April 2023, the team also installed a similar system, provided by Van Walt across the Vindolanda site, monitoring more chemistry, more conditions and importantly watching those anaerobic areas very carefully, as we all know by now, the anaerobic conditions are important for the preservation of artefacts.

There are two other blogs posts, whom have written about the adventures of putting in the new system, so enjoy the link