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In Pictures: 2016 highlights

Posted on 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:

Drones were used to discover more about the social lives of killer whales as part of research that could help protect the species. Dr Dan Franks, at the Department of Biology, and collaborators, have so far analysed hundreds of hours of video of killer whale family groups, observing their relationships during fleeting glimpses as the whales surface for breath. They found female killer whales who survive after menopause pass on crucial information which helps their family members to find food during hard times. Read the full story here:

Working with the British Film Institute (BFI) in the year the world celebrated Shakespeare's 400th birthday, Professor Judith Buchanan, at the Department of English and Related Literature, provided voiceovers for ten silent films in 'Play On!: Shakespeare in Silent Film', alongside a score composed and played by musicians at Shakespeare’s Globe. The DVD brings back into circulation a collection of silent Shakespeare films from archives not previously available to public audiences. Read the full story here:

A fashion show hosted by the University and featuring American Vogue editor Anna Wintour raised more than £30,000 for two charities supporting refugees.  The event, organised by HARD Magazine, a fashion publication at the University, showcased the designs of students from universities across the region and featured talks from Anna Wintour and Guardian editor Katharine Viner. Read the full story here:

Dr Robert Marchant, from the University of York’s Environment Department, and collaborators, charted more than 1,000 years of Tanzanian environmental history using sediments extracted from a peat bog. Research results showed that the forest ecosystem remains stable - the same as it was more than 1,000 years go.  Results suggested that climate change has not yet impacted on the forest, but the shrinking size of the forest is largely due to human activity. Read the full story here:

Could York have once been home to a Roman amphitheatre? As part of the York Festival of Ideas, archaeologists asked competing teams to use their knowledge of the city to come up with some ideas of where the city’s mysterious amphitheatre might lie. It is a place where gladiators fought, rebels were executed and possibly where the VI Legion was addressed by their Emperor. Read the full story here:

Researchers demonstrates that a series of crude doodles and drawings discovered in the margins of a medieval manuscript were probably made by children. Dr Deborah Thorpe, from the Centre for Medieval Studies, enlisted the help of child psychologists to identify the drawings – written in the pages of a 14th Century book which originally came from a Franciscan convent in Naples. The drawings depict a horse or cow, a human figure and possible images of the devil.  Read the full story here:

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region.  Three aircrafts, carrying sophisticated instruments to collect atmospheric data, were used to track air pollution from the big coastal cities of Accra, Abidjan, Lomé and Cotonou, as it streams inland reaching the forests and the Sahara. Read the full story here:

Tim Peake at work in the International Space Station

British astronaut Tim Peake greeted more than 400 students across 80 schools at the University as part of the UK Space Agency’s Schools Conferences. The UK Space Agency invested £3 million in the biggest education and outreach initiative ever undertaken for an ESA astronaut. The curriculum-linked projects included scientific experiments, coding challenges, family shows, creative writing and more. Read the full article here:

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