Tag Archives: Nature

Humanity and nature are not separate – we must see them as one to fix the climate crisis

Heather Alberro is Associate Lecturer/PhD Candidate in Political Ecology, Nottingham Trent University.

“My work revolves around all things relating to the human-animal-nature relationship and its radical reconfiguration along harmonious/anti-anthropocentric lines. Specific disciplines of focus include radical environmental politics, environmental sociology, green utopian studies, environmental ethics, posthumanist studies, and sustainability.”

It’s not easy to make landscape a place: you have to feel it

Fiona Stafford is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford and tutorial fellow at Somerville College. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She works on literature of the Romantic period, especially Austen, Burns, Clare, Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge, and on their literary influences on modern poetry. Her research interests also include late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century culture; Irish and Scottish literature (post 1700); Archipelagic literature and art; Place and Nature Writing (old and new); Trees, Flowers and their cultural history; Environmental Humanities; literature and the visual arts.

Her most recent book is ‘The Brief Life of Flowers’ (2018). Like her acclaimed book, ‘The Long, Long Life of Trees’ (2016), it draws on first hand observation, literature, art, folklore, mythology, cultural history, natural science, botany, history of medicine.

Considering the Human Condition

“At the core of my practice are concerns as to how humankind comes to terms with mortality: by unearthing the unseen, making the invisible visible. Part of that process is about being open about impairment, and working to empower others through creativity to find a voice with which to challenge stigma. Ultimately my work is underpinned by themes of fragility and resilience, a shared and positive sense of survival in the face of chronic health conditions, and the politics and myths surrounding disability.”

Rachel Gadsden is a British artist who is exhibited internationally and who works across the mainstream and disability art sectors, presenting cross-cultural visual dialogues that consider the most profound notions of what it is to be human.

Can plants think? They could one day force us to change our definition of intelligence

Stuart Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry, University of Westminster. His main interest is in the relationships between plant cell wall biochemistry, plant cell wall mechanical behaviour and plant physiology. His main research interest is how plants manipulate the chemical components of their cell walls in order to control their structural properties allowing cell expansion to occur in a controlled and regulated fashion.

Plants can tell time even without a brain – here’s how

Mark Greenwood is a PhD researcher in cellular biology at Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is interested in how cells work together to create useful systems. In his PhD in James Locke’s group, he is using a mixture of experiments and theory to understand how cells interact to keep track of the time of day. They found that the circadian clock in individual cells of Arabidopsis thaliana can use local cell-to-cell signalling to agree on the time. He now hopes to further this work towards an understanding that may inform growth strategies in the field.

James Locke is Research Group Leader in Systems Biology, University of Cambridge. During his PhD James used an iterative process of experiment and theory to propose a new feedback loop in the plant circadian (24-hour) clock. For this work he was awarded the Promega Young Geneticist of the Year award (2007). Since 2012 he has been a group leader at the Sainsbury laboratory investigating gene expression dynamics in microbial and plant systems. He was awarded the Merrimack-CSB2 Prize in Systems Biology in 2013.

We may just have solved the great mystery of why drops splash

“I am interested in the flow of liquids and gases at very small scales (so-called microfluidics) where experimental analysis is often impossible. Using mathematical modelling and computational simulation can then provides unique insight into such flows.
Much of my research has concerned the dynamics of liquid drops – how they merge, form and interact with solid surfaces (do they splash?).”

James Sprittles is Assistant Professor in Mathematics, University of Warwick.

The Maths of Life and Death

Dr Kit Yates is a Senior Lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath. His job consists of taking real-world phenomena and uncovering the mathematical truths that lie behind them. He extracts the common patterns that underlie these processes and communicates them. He works in applications as diverse as embryonic disease, the patterns on eggshells and the devastating swarming of locust plagues – teasing out the mathematical connections in the process.

95% of the Universe is missing

Professor Malcolm Fairbairn is a member of the Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology Research Group, Kings College London. His research lies at the boundary between cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics. In particular, he is interested in dark matter, dark energy, cosmological inflation and particle astrophysics. He has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant running from 2015-2020 to study dark matter and particle physics in the early Universe.

On Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Brian Clegg is an English science writer. He is the author of popular science books on topics including light, infinity, quantum entanglement and surviving the impact of climate change, and biographies of Roger Bacon and Eadweard Muybridge. In this exclusive interview he discusses ideas relating to his latest book, ‘Dark Matter & Dark Energy: The Hidden 95% of the Universe’.