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Features

In these features, we highlight some of the diverse work being undertaken at the University.

In Pictures: 2016 highlights

Posted on Sunday 18 December 2016

It has been a busy and exciting year for research and events at York, so we are taking a look back at a few of the highlights. From whales and elephants, to silent Shakespeare plays and Tim Peake, our researchers have made fascinating discoveries and taken part in many public engagement events. View a selection of our most popular stories of 2016 here and visit our news pages for more:


Spotlight: ‘Tis the season to celebrate medieval colours

Posted on Friday 16 December 2016

Madeline Salzman, a Master’s student at the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies, discusses how the colour red became a focus of festive celebrations.


In Pictures: The ‘outdoor lab’ that sheds new light on creation of ancient artefacts

Posted on Thursday 1 December 2016

It has been a busy year for the York Experimental Archaeological Research (YEAR) Centre, with a diverse range of experiments, including the manufacture of Mesolithic headdresses, making and shooting bows from arrows, and replicating the cooking of ancient foods in clay pots!


Five things you should know about a supermoon

Posted on Monday 14 November 2016

The University of York’s Astronomy and Space Science Outreach Support Officer, Adam Shore, outlines the top five things we should know about the November 2016 supermoon.


Five things about Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

Posted on Tuesday 8 November 2016

Indian music legend, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, performed at the University of York's Scenic Stage alongside Tabla musician Gurdain Rayatt on Monday, 7 November.


In Pictures: Tackling contaminated waters in Vanuatu

Posted on Friday 4 November 2016

In the tropical climate of the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu, rural communities are coming to terms with one of the biggest natural disasters in its history. Cyclones are not uncommon to the region, but Tropical Cyclone Pam, which hit the island in 2015, resulted in unprecedented damage and injuries.


Watch out this Halloween for a monster celebrating its 200th birthday

Posted on Thursday 27 October 2016

If you are taking part in trick-or-treating this Halloween, you are bound to bump into a very familiar monster representing a character that has captured people’s imaginations for 200 years. PhD student, Anna Mercer, tells us more about the 'waking dreams' that inspired a literary masterpiece.


Iceland’s glacier landscape comes top in environment photo competition

Posted on Tuesday 18 October 2016

To celebrate the opening of the University of York’s new Department of Environment Building and its season of public lectures, researchers opened a photography competition for staff and students with the aim of capturing some of the world’s most striking landscapes, animals, and global communities.


In Pictures: Survival of ancient fishing practices on Brazilian coast

Posted on Tuesday 23 August 2016

Archaeologists at the University of York, supported by Newton funding, have been working with coastal communities in Brazil to understand how they are using pre-Columbian fishing practices to sustain their way of life.


In Pictures: The changing landscapes of East Africa

Posted on Friday 19 August 2016

The fast emerging economies of East Africa are changing land use across the region with significant impacts on stores of carbon and water flows. Areas of agricultural wealth, varied wildlife, and cultural heritage, are evolving rapidly and in some cases cease to exist.


Spotlight: The literary collaboration that unleashed a monster

Posted on Thursday 18 August 2016

PhD student Anna Mercer, from the University of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, discusses the evidence behind one of the most intriguing creative collaborations of the past two centuries.


Fly like a bird or grow a virtual plant with York Interactive Media students

Posted on Wednesday 17 August 2016

Students studying Interactive Media at the University of York have showcased new digital games, based on Leap Motion technology, at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television’s Luma Festival.


Turkey’s coup nightmare

Posted on Friday 22 July 2016

Professor Gulcin Ozkan reflects on recent events in Turkey.


Question Time comes from York tonight

Posted on Thursday 16 June 2016

York hosts Question Time, BBC One’s political debate programme, on Thursday 16 June.


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2006 - 2010

Parched earth. Photo: Flickr/Spaceamoeba
Hong Kong's 1960s water shortages provide 21st century lesson

Posted on Friday 16 July 2010

The way Hong Kong coped with a chronic water shortage in the 1960s provides important lessons for a world dealing with global warming, according to research by Dr David Clayton in the Department of History.


6th Avenue and 30 Street, John Sloan 1908. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Landscape art and the urbanisation of the United States

Posted on Wednesday 3 March 2010

The relationship between the urbanisation of the United States in the mid to late 19th Century and the landscape art of the period is the focus of research by Professor David Peters Corbett of the Department of History of Art.


Oil palm fruit thumbnail
Balancing the effects of palm oil production

Posted on Wednesday 13 January 2010

A new project led by the University of York aims to reduce biodiversity losses linked to palm oil production in tropical agricultural landscapes.


The magnetic building blocks of nanotechnology
The magnetic building blocks of nanotechnology

Posted on Monday 16 November 2009

Research in the Department of Physics is revealing the properties of some promising building blocks for nanotechnology.


Udzungwa Red Colobus monkey
Protecting forest in Tanzania

Posted on Thursday 10 September 2009

A research partnership with a theme park aims to help conserve a forest in Tanzania and educate children and adults both there and in the UK.


Graveyard photo: GothPhil
Understanding our concept of death

Posted on Wednesday 12 August 2009

At first glance, the answer to the question “when does somebody die?” might appear to have a straightforward answer. However, scientific advances have made this one of the central ethical challenges facing medicine.


Radio photo: gyst
Using artificial intelligence to improve wireless communications

Posted on Friday 12 June 2009

The University of York is leading an international consortium that aims to revolutionise communications systems by giving them artificial intelligence.


Coalminer Photo: capn madd matt
Understanding how communities preserve their heritage

Posted on Thursday 16 April 2009

Research that documents the recent history of a West Yorkshire community is challenging preconceptions of what heritage is and how it should be preserved.


Mobile Phone Photo: Milica Sekulic
Developing the next generation of mobile phones

Posted on Thursday 5 March 2009

Making it possible to make a telephone call on the move using a pocket-sized device and at an affordable price is a relatively recent technological achievement but consumers already expect far more from their mobile phone.


Coins in a hand
200 years of women’s financial influence

Posted on Thursday 15 January 2009

The role of women as investors and managers of their finances is the focus of research by Professor Josephine Maltby in The York Management School.


A doctor in a mask
Unmasking the truth about clear conversation

Posted on Friday 12 December 2008

The effect of face coverings on how people speak and how they are understood is the subject of research in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science.


A water droplet
War on water poverty

Posted on Sunday 26 October 2008

The problem of 'water poverty' in England and Wales is the focus of investigation by a group of researchers from the University's Department of Social Policy and Social Work.


Keira Knightley in The Duchess
How to be an eighteenth-century duchess

Posted on Friday 26 September 2008

"Would an eighteenth-century gentleman wink? What’s a strong eighteenth-century swear word? Who were the Whigs anyway?" These were just a few of the questions York historian Dr Hannah Greig faced as historical advisor to The Duchess.


Row of houses Photo: Dominic
Housing quality for disabled children

Posted on Tuesday 26 August 2008

Policy makers need to give greater priority to the housing needs of disabled children, according to research undertaken by Dr Bryony Beresford from the University's Social Policy Research Unit.


Asian Longhorn beetle
A sound way to stop alien invasions

Posted on Sunday 4 May 2008

Alien invasive insect species (such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle) are being detected in a project that uses computing technology to study animal sounds (computational bioacoustics). Globalisation of trade is increasing the incidence of invasive pests in the UK, and in other countries around the world, often causing significant economic damage.


Nursing shark feeding: image by Richard Ling
How marine predators 'walk' to find food

Posted on Friday 4 April 2008

The natural world is unpredictable, so how can we ever hope to exploit it sustainably? This question forms a major area of study in the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA), a multi-disciplinary centre which studies complexity science. Complexity science uses mathematics and computational modelling to study the behaviour of systems across diverse scales and applications.


Manicule from the front cover of Used Books
Renaissance scholar puts his finger on the manicule

Posted on Tuesday 4 March 2008

We have all seen it and we all know what it means — but what is it called? The ‘hand with pointing finger’ symbol has been used for centuries to point us to places, to sell us things and to draw our eyes to important messages.


Empty swings (c) TopDrawerSausage
The diverse experiences of families in poverty in England

Posted on Monday 4 February 2008

Families in low-income households in Britain suffer daily hardships, research by staff in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and the NSPCC has revealed.


Cod fishing on the Grand Banks ca. 1840
The unnatural history of the sea

Posted on Monday 3 December 2007

While today’s fishing industry is ruthlessly efficient, intense exploitation of the seas began not in the modern era, nor even with the dawn of industrialisation, but in the eleventh century in medieval Europe. This long and colourful history of commercial fishing and hunting is explored by Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, in his book The Unnatural History of the Sea: The Past and Future of Humanity and Fishing.


Business men - photo by squacco
Pay comparison between Britain’s public and private sectors: Ethnic, educated and ambitious? Go public, young man!

Posted on Monday 3 September 2007

A comparison of pay in the public and private sectors in Britain reveals considerable benefits for experienced and highly skilled men working in the public sector, particularly those from an ethnic minority.


Aerosol collector at top of tower - Eric Achterberg (NOC, Southampton). LaRoche (IFM-GEOMAR)
Atlantic island Observatory

Posted on Tuesday 3 April 2007

A new University research centre to monitor gases in the atmosphere has been set up in Cape Verde, the collection of islands in the North East Atlantic Ocean, about 300 km off the North African coast.


Skeleton image
Medicine's heroes and villains

Posted on Thursday 1 February 2007

For more than 2,300 years, doctors have relied on their patients' faith in their ability to cure, faith that was misplaced, argues Anniversary Professor History David Wootton in his controversial book, Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates.


A tower equipped for measuring gases above a tall forest canopy
The breathing forest

Posted on Sunday 1 October 2006

It is difficult to accept that something as solid and unyielding as a tree is mostly made out of fresh air. Uproot a tree, pull it to bits, and you will discover that over half of the tree is carbon - sucked from the air as carbon dioxide. Forests not only store this carbon in the trees tissues, but also in the soils they develop, giving them their greener-than-green reputation as key players in the carbon cycle and our fight against global warming.


Bolton Book of Hours page
Reconciliation and family values: How the Bolton Book of Hours helped to calm the storm of rebellion in medieval York

Posted on Tuesday 1 August 2006

A turbulent period in York's history, which included the execution of its Archbishop, underlies the text and images in the rare and richly illuminated medieval manuscript the Bolton Book of Hours, owned by York Minster Library. It is the subject of a new interdisciplinary study by Dr Sarah Rees Jones and Professor Felicity Riddy of the Centre for Medieval Studies.


A cemetery
York academics' study of the 20th century way of death reveals changing attitudes to mortality

Posted on Thursday 1 June 2006

Death is inexorably linked to history and culture, and the ritual and customs of death and burials provide a valuable insight into society. Emergency measures during the Second World War, and post-war changing attitudes saw England's death culture run counter to the Victorian trends still existing earlier in the century.


Earth from space image courtesy of NASA
Challenging climate change

Posted on Monday 1 May 2006

With the physical devastation and human tragedy caused by recent climatic events, the new York Institute of Tropical Ecosystem Dynamics (KITE) is a timely initiative to plot way s in which the world can manage the impact of climate change through a better understanding of land use and conservation.


Statue of Constantine the Great
Celebrating the Roman emperor whose story began in York

Posted on Saturday 1 April 2006

Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor responsible for promoting Christianity and arguably the most influential figure in the growth of the Church, is the focus of a major international exhibition in York at the Yorkshire Museum until 29 October 2006.


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