Pheasants at risk on unfamiliar ground
Pheasants are most likely to be killed by predators on unfamiliar ground, new research shows.
Could ketamine stop problematic gambling? New study investigates
Researchers at the University of Exeter are seeking participants to investigate the effect of ketamine on gambling addictions.
£2.4million to fund largest-ever trial of ketamine-assisted therapy for alcohol disorder
A new £2.4 million phase III trial delivered across seven NHS sites across the UK will investigate whether ketamine-assisted therapy could help alcoholics stay off alcohol for longer.
New research finds that social group values are most readable in the way we write
Linguistic style can offer a clearer insight into the value and principles of a social group compared to what they say about themselves.
Female monkeys ‘actively reduce’ social network as they age
Female rhesus macaques “actively reduce” their social networks and prioritise friends and family as they get older, new research shows.
Primate study ties importance of social environment to molecular markers of age in the brain
As people age, maintaining a positive and predictable social environment becomes more and more important.
Children motivated by morality rather than social norms when it comes to the question of eating animals
Concenrs over animal welfare the chief driver of children's attitudes to meat-eating
Bumblebees revisit favourite flowers as sun sets
As the sun sets, bumblebees revisit "profitable" flowers they encountered during the day, new research suggests.
Positive childhood experiences of blue spaces linked to better adult well-being
New study concludes that adults with better mental health are more likely to report spending time around coastal waters, rivers and lakes as children.
Family ties give animals reasons to 'help or harm' as they age
The structure of family groups gives animals an incentive to help or harm their social group as they age, new research shows.
Bees use patterns – not just colours – to find flowers
Honeybees rely heavily on flower patterns when searching for food, new research shows.
Research reveals potentially life-changing impact of internet forums on those in remission from opioid use disorder
Active participation in internet forums has the potential to provide life-changing social benefits and wellbeing for people who are in remission from opioid use disorder
New website helps people consider ‘‘what can blue do for you?’’
A new website has been launched to help connect people with blue spaces at home, especially those with experience of mental health conditions.
£850,000 NIHR funding for new Exeter bipolar research
More than £850,000 from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) will fund University of Exeter research into treatment for people living with bipolar, aimed at developing new talking therapies.
Breakthrough in understanding why we struggle to recognise the faces of people from different racial backgrounds
Cognitive Psychologists at the University of Exeter believe they have discovered the answer to a 60-year-old question as to why people find it more difficult to recognise faces from visually distinct racial backgrounds than they do their own.
Swans sacrifice rest to squabble
Swans give up resting time to fight over the best feeding spots, new research shows.
Who wants to be a billionaire? Most don’t – which is good news for the planet
A new study busts the long-held economic belief that humans are all motivated to want more and more, which could have important implications for sustainability policies.
Satellites and drones can help save pollinators
Satellites and drones can provide key information to protect pollinators, researchers say.
Asking for ideas boosts collective action
Members of minority groups can boost collective action by seeking the ideas and perspectives of fellow group members, new research shows.
South West survey to boost Pacific plastic project
People in the South West of England can help researchers tackle plastic pollution locally – and thousands of miles away – by completing a short survey.
Switching social identities happens seamlessly
People can switch seamlessly between different social identities, new research shows.
Medical equality undermined by mistaken male doctors
Progress on gender equality in the medical profession could be hampered by male doctors who overestimate female representation, researchers say.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy benefits people with depression through promoting self-kindness
New research shows that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can help promote self-kindness in people with a history of depression.
Exeter professor named among most influential women in psychedelics
University of Exeter Professor Celia Morgan has been named as one of the 16 most influential women shaping the future of psychedelics, by global news publication Insider.
More research needed into negative effects of loneliness, say experts
A new report has highlighted where more research is needed into the negative effects of loneliness on the UK’s population.
Hurricane may have caused 'accelerated ageing' among monkeys
Monkeys that survived a major hurricane show signs of "accelerated ageing", according to new research.
Zoo enrichment could go further
Zoos and aquariums could improve the lives of a wider range of their animals, new research suggests.
New project to provide evidence on hormone therapy for transgender people
A new project will provide transgender people with evidence-based information on what to expect when undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT).
Ketamine and psychological therapy helped severe alcoholics abstain for longer in trial
People with severe alcohol disorder were able to stay off alcohol for longer when they were treated with low doses of ketamine combined with psychological therapy in a clinical trial.
Pheasants lose their cool after fighting
Pheasants' heads cool rapidly as they prepare to fight – then heat up afterwards, new research shows.
Ketamine therapy swiftly reduces depression and suicidal thoughts
Ketamine therapy has a swift short-term effect on reducing symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a review of all the available evidence.
Wise old elephants keep the young calm
Male elephants are more aggressive when fewer older males are present, new research suggests.
Streetwise bees cut corners to find food
Bumblebees waste no time enjoying the beauty of flowers – instead learning the bare minimum about where to land and find food, new research shows.
MOU will assess NHS readiness to treat addiction with ketamine-assisted therapy
A newly-signed agreement between the University of Exeter, Devon Partnership NHS Trust and Awakn Life Sciences lays down the foundations for assessing NHS readiness for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.
Could outdoor experiences help people with schizophrenia or psychosis?
With World Mental Health Day on 10 October, researchers at University of Exeter are calling for participants to take part in two studies investigating whether outdoor experiences can help people with schizophrenia or psychosis.
Exeter in global top 100 for psychology
The University of Exeter has ranked in the top 100 in the world for psychology in the latest influential rankings.
Trial tests new technique to manage mood swings within Bipolar Disorder
Researchers have conducted a new trial to identify how an existing psychological therapy can be adapted to help people cope with and manage frequent Bipolar mood swings.
New evidence of menopause in killer whales
Scientists have found new evidence of menopause in killer whales – raising fascinating questions about how and why it evolved.
Conservation an ‘oversight’ in zoo research
Conservation is being neglected compared to other areas of research when investigating animal social networks in zoos, new research has shown.
Zoo amphibians were on display while humans were locked away
While the UK was in lockdown, certain species of captive amphibians became more visible, a new study suggests.
£3.7 million for Exeter to develop student wellbeing approach for higher education sector
New research by the University of Exeter and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will evaluate and establish the best model to support student wellbeing across the university sector.
Childhood trauma can make people like morphine more
People who have experienced childhood trauma get a more pleasurable "high" from morphine, new research suggests.
Drone footage reveals social secrets of killer whales
Killer whales have complex social structures including close "friendships", according to a new study that used drones to film the animals.
Junk food game helps people eat less and lose weight
Using a brain-training app helps people eat less junk food and lose weight, new research suggests.
Scent trails could boost elephant conservation
Travelling elephants pay close attention to scent trails of dung and urine left by other elephants, new research shows.
Zoo YouTube videos prioritise entertainment over education
YouTube channels run by zoos focus on entertainment over education, according to a new study.
Friendly pelicans breed better
Captive pelicans that are free to choose their own friendships are more likely to breed successfully on repeated occasions, new research suggests.
Some meat eaters disgusted by meat
Some meat eaters feel disgusted by meat, according to a new study.
Large bumblebees start work earlier
Larger bumblebees are more likely to go out foraging in the low light of dawn, new research shows.
Women 'risk' grey hair to feel authentic
Many women "risk" allowing natural grey hair to show in order to feel authentic, a new study shows.
Fostered flamingos just as friendly
Flamingo chicks raised by foster parents from another flamingo species develop normally, scientists say.
Monkeys made more friends after hurricane
Monkeys formed more friendships and became more tolerant of each other after their island was devastated by a hurricane, new research shows.
A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating
Pheasants fall into two groups in terms of how they find their way around – and the different types prefer slightly different habitats, new research shows.
Changes in writing style provide clues to group identity
Small changes to people's writing style can reveal which social group they "belong to" at a given moment, new research shows.
Tropical paper wasps babysit for neighbours
Wasps provide crucial support to their extended families by babysitting at neighbouring nests, according to new research by a team of biologists from the universities of Bristol, Exeter and UCL published today [15 February] in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Birds living in natural habits can help inform captive care
Bird species that live in their natural habitats can help zoos learn how to manage those in captivity, according to a new review.
Preventing loneliness among children of depressed mothers may help prevent adolescent suicidality
Children of mothers experiencing depressive symptoms are more at risk, as adolescents, of experiencing suicidal thoughts and attempting suicide.
Guppies have varying levels of self-control
Just like humans trying to stick to New Year's resolutions, guppies have varying levels of self-control, a new study shows.
Big bumblebees learn locations of best flowers
Big bumblebees take time to learn the locations of the best flowers, new research shows.
Squirrels need good neighbours
Living beside familiar neighbours boosts a squirrel's chances of survival and successful breeding, new research shows.
Scientists predict 'optimal' stress levels
Scientists have created an evolutionary model to predict how animals should react in stressful situations.
Call for 'debt driving licence'
People borrowing money for the first time should only be given small amounts until they have proved their competence, a new study says.
Mountain gorillas are good neighbours – up to a point
Mountain gorilla groups are friendly to familiar neighbours – provided they stay out of "core" parts of their territory – new research shows.
Feeling misunderstood boosts support for Brexit
Feeling misunderstood by other groups makes people more likely to support separatist causes like Brexit and Scottish independence, new research suggests.
Old males vital to elephant societies
Old male elephants play a key role in leading all-male groups, new research suggests.
Swans reserve aggression for each other
Swans display more aggression to fellow swans than other birds, new research shows.
Trial tests whether cannabidiol could help treat cannabis use disorder
Prescription medication of cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) is safe for daily use in treating cannabis use disorder, and could help people to cut down on cannabis use, according to an initial randomised controlled trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
Gorilla relationships limited in large groups
Mountain gorillas that live in oversized groups may have to limit the number of strong social relationships they form, new research suggests.
Educators at museums, zoos and aquariums boost learning
Educators at informal science learning sites such as science museums, zoos and aquariums promote interest and learning among visitors of all ages, new research has found.
Research to reveal the evolutionary reasons why we get by with a little help from our friends
The quest to discover why friendship plays such a pivotal role in social and mental well-being has been given a significant boost, it has been announced.
Concerns over police head injuries
Head injuries may be worryingly common among police officers, according to a new pilot study led by the University of Exeter.
Gender bias kept alive by people who think it’s dead
Workplace gender bias is being kept alive by people who think it’s no longer an issue, new research suggests.
‘Matador’ guppies trick predators
Trinidadian guppies behave like matadors, focusing a predator’s point of attack before dodging away at the last moment, new research shows.
Pinker flamingos more aggressive
Bright pink flamingos are more aggressive than paler rivals when fighting over food, new research shows.
Age, gender and culture ‘predict loneliness’
Young people, men and people in “individualistic” societies report higher levels of loneliness, according to a large-scale global study.
Celebrating Prestigious Athena SWAN Awards
Two prestigious Athena SWAN awards have just been granted to three University of Exeter departments to recognise their commitment to gender equality.
Online treatment to help young people tackle depression, anxiety and worry
An online treatment proven to prevent anxiety and depression in young people is set to become available to the NHS and other mental health services worldwide.
Aphantasia clears the way for a scientific career path
People with low or no visual imagery are more likely to work in scientific and mathematical industries than creative sectors, according to new research.
‘Ethnic spaces’ make minority US students feel at home
“Ethnic spaces” at US universities make students from underrepresented minority groups feel a greater sense of belonging and engagement with their university, new research suggests.
Flamingos form firm friendships
Flamingos form friendships that last for years, new research shows.
Zoo improvements should benefit all animals
Zoo improvements should benefit all animals and include a wide range of “enrichment” techniques, researchers say.
Tougher start could help captive-bred game birds
Tougher early lives could help captive-bred game birds develop survival skills for adulthood in the wild, new research suggests.
Strongly ‘handed’ squirrels less good at learning
Squirrels that strongly favour their left or right side are less good at learning, new research suggests.
Killer whale grandmothers boost survival of calves
Post-menopausal killer whale grandmothers improve the chances of survival for their calves, new research has found.
Close friends help macaques survive
Close friendships improve the survival chances of rhesus macaques, new research shows.
Leadership’s in the blood for tiny fish
Leadership during cooperation runs in the family for tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies, new research shows.
Body language key to zoo animal welfare
Watching the behaviour and body language of zoo animals could be the key to understanding and improving their welfare, new research suggests.
Zoo animal research skewed towards ‘popular’ species
Research on zoo animals focuses more on “familiar” species like gorillas and chimpanzees than less well known ones like the waxy monkey frog, scientists say.
Flamingos tickled pink by revamped exhibit
Flamingos at the Oakland Zoo are at their flamboyant best thanks to scientists at the University of Exeter.
Tickets available for free, family-friendly weekend event in Bude
A spectacular weekend of sound, light, music and art will bring together regional and international artists to explore the connection between coastal living and wellbeing.
The middle aged are lonelier than older and younger people
Middle-aged people are lonelier than older adults and young people, new research suggests.
Empathy for perpetrators helps explain victim blaming in sexual harassment
Men’s empathy for other men who sexually harass women may help explain why they are more likely to blame victims, new research suggests.
Best male biathletes ‘more attractive’
Top male biathletes are more attractive to the opposite sex, according to a new study by scientists at the universities of Exeter and Bristol.
Flamingo expert wins zoo research award
A University of Exeter scientist has won a gold award for his research into the nocturnal behaviour of flamingos.
Online brain game helps you eat less meat
If you want to live a healthier life and help save the planet then the science points to eating less meat.
Psychologists target root cause of soil erosion
Psychologists might hold the key to reducing soil erosion that wrecks pasture land belonging to the Maasai tribe in Tanzania.
Some songbird nests are especially vulnerable to magpie predation
A new study has revealed a range of factors that cause a variation in predation by magpies on farmland songbirds.
Call for artists for commission on how coastlines benefit mental health
Artists are being invited to bid for a commission to take part in an innovative project that will combine science and the arts to explore mental health, starting at the Cornish coast.
Nutritional supplements cannot prevent depression, research shows
A daily intake of nutritional supplements won’t help stave off the onset of depression, a new study has revealed.
MDMA users more empathetic than other drug users
Long-term MDMA users have higher levels of empathy than cannabis and other drugs users, new research suggests.
Being kind to yourself has mental and physical benefits, research shows
Taking time to think kind thoughts about yourself and loved ones has psychological and physical benefits, new research suggests.
What do coffee, work-outs and a vivid imagination have to do with bipolar disorder?
Drinking tea or coffee, exercising and imagining events are things that most of us do sometimes, but they might tell us more about how people with bipolar disorder can manage their condition.
Exeter psychologist receives prestigious award for Research in Traumatic Brain Injury
A leading Clinical Neuropsychologist from the University of Exeter has received a prestigious award for his work.
The mental health pros and cons of minority spaces in the workplace
Dr Christopher Begeny, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Exeter, writes for the Conversation UK
‘Hangxiety’ higher in shy people
Very shy people are more likely to suffer “hangxiety” – anxiety during a hangover – than their extrovert friends, new research shows.
Female vets still face discrimination
Female vets still face discrimination, a new study has revealed.
‘Boost confidence and motivation to stop vets quitting’
Employers and employees must work together to tackle issues of confidence and motivation, as a new report from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) reveals day-to-day experiences in the workplace are the biggest drivers for burnout and exit from the veterinary profession.
Female volunteers needed for stress study
Researchers at the University of Exeter are looking for volunteers to help them explore whether assigning a more positive meaning to a stressful event can reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.
Health services must address multiple conditions in dementia care
Most people living with dementia also have at least one other health condition, and health services need to adapt to optimise their health and quality of life, a new study concludes.
Theresa May on ‘glass cliff’ as prime minister
Theresa May was put on a “glass cliff” when she became UK prime minister after the Brexit vote, a leading researcher says.
Brett Kavanaugh: why Republican women may be willing to overlook sexual assault allegations
Mental Well-Being Related to Better Brain Health in Older Adults
A positive sense of mental well-being is related to better brain health among older adults, according to a new report issued today by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) and involving University of Exeter research.
MPs to consider brain injury report
MPs will consider a report by scientists on the services available to people with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
App to understand and improve the mental health of young people
Teenagers’ attachment to their smart phones is being harnessed to prevent anxiety and depression and improve wellbeing.
‘I just don’t fancy drinking’ – Exeter study helping alcoholics
“I suppose I’d say I was high-functioning but still a problem drinker. I drank in the evenings and although I wasn’t in trouble with the police, or going broke, or getting ill, if you drink at that level, it takes a toll.”
16-24 year olds are the loneliest age group, according to new BBC Radio 4 survey
BBC Radio 4 has today announced the results of The Loneliness Experiment, a nationwide survey conducted by BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind in collaboration with Wellcome Collection. It is the largest survey into the issue of loneliness to date.
Dog intelligence ‘not exceptional’
People who think dogs are exceptionally intelligent are barking up the wrong tree, new research shows.
One foot in the grave for pheasants that favour a side
Pheasants that more strongly favoured one foot over the other die younger than those that don’t, new research suggests.
Study reveals night-time habits of captive flamingos
What do captive flamingos do at night, when their zoo or wildlife park is closed?
Beluga whales and narwhals go through menopause
Scientists have discovered that beluga whales and narwhals go through the menopause.
Therapy that helps people with dementia maintain lifestyles rolled out
A technique that helps people with dementia see satisfying progress in achieving everyday goals that help them live their lives is now being rolled out.
Guppies change their eye colour to deter rivals
Tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies turn their eyes black to warn other fish when they are feeling aggressive, new research shows.
Stories to help children cope
An educational psychologist has created stories to help children deal with issues such as anxiety and depression.
Goal conflict linked to psychological distress
Being torn about which personal goals to pursue is associated with symptoms of psychological distress, new research shows.
Exhibition highlights tales and imagery of life with dementia
A public exhibition will feature poems, cartoons and images created by well-known artists working with people with dementia.
Volunteers needed for caffeine and mood study
The links between caffeine, physical activity and mood will be examined by a new University of Exeter study.
Research reveals key factors to support quality of life in dementia
A robust research analysis has identified what factors can be targeted to support people to live as well as possible with dementia.
Hungry birds as climate change drives food ‘mismatch’
Warmer springs create a “mismatch” where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows.
World Bipolar Day: University working on new treatments
Exeter experts are working on new treatments for Bipolar Disorders this World Bipolar Day (30 March).
Check offenders for history of head injuries, experts say
Offenders should be routinely checked for signs of past head injuries, researchers say.
Grey squirrels beat reds in ‘battle of wits’
Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the UK, new research says.
BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind launches loneliness survey
A new survey about people’s experiences of loneliness launches today on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind.
Bipolar mood swings trial recruiting participants
People who have bipolar or cyclothymic disorder and live in Devon are being recruited for a scientific study.
Dominant male pheasants learn faster
Dominant male pheasants learn faster than their downtrodden rivals, new research shows.
Ex-forces personnel needed for study
The University of Exeter is inviting Armed Forces veterans who were deployed to a combat zone during their career to take part in a research study.
Brain food: How to eat well for a healthy brain in later life
A new international report gives the clearest evidence to date on the impact of diet on brain health in older adults.
Over-60s needed for memory study
People aged over 60 who suffer minor memory problems are needed for a new study at the University of Exeter.
Gut instinct makes animals appear clever
Animals, including humans, can make surprisingly good decisions just based on the food in their stomach, new research suggests.
Animals shield their families from a harsh world
Animals living in volatile habitats can gain major evolutionary benefits by shielding their families from the changing environment, new research suggests.
Children think farm animals deserve same treatment as pets
Children differ dramatically from adults in their moral views on animals, new research shows.
New research finds that social group values are most readable in the way we write
Linguistic style can offer a clearer insight into the value and principles of a social group compared to what they say about themselves.
The benefits of zoos to society and local communities are largely underestimated by the wider population
The impact of zoos on society is largely underestimated
The benefits of zoos to society and local communities are largely underestimated by the wider population, new research shows.
Researchers found zoos have a unique platform to engage visitors with important messages that contribute to human health and wellbeing and sustainability.
Zoos and aquariums are some of the most popular tourist attractions, with an estimated 700 million visitors globally each year.
The value of zoos to nature conservation and applied animal science is well understood, but the new study says zoos also have an important role to play in how human society thinks of, and cares about, the natural world, which is not widely known.
As part of the study, researchers conducted an in-depth review of the work of zoos, specifically relating to how they fulfil their four key aims - conservation, education, recreation and research – and how each aim has “added value” in representing the benefits of zoos to society.
The online presence of zoos, the publications they generate, and the activities that they support outside of the zoo, were also analysed by researchers.
Researchers say that integrating zoos as a resource for human health, and educating visitors on biodiversity, conservation, planetary health, human wellbeing and sustainable living, and enabling a pro-conservation behaviour change within the wider society, will enhance the role of zoos further.
“A zoo is more than a place of entertainment and a collection of animals. Zoos allow us to experience nature and are a great resource for understanding more about conservation, biodiversity and sustainability, bringing many positive benefits to human mental health and wellbeing,” said Dr Paul Rose, Lecturer at the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour and Psychology at The University of Exeter.
“We need places of conservation, such as zoos, to provide us with the education and understanding about the natural world, and for us to be educated, the aims of the zoos need to incorporate increased and meaningful engagement with society and local communities.”
The research found there is still more work to be done and there are many questions for scientists and zoo personnel to explore, as well as evaluating the effect of educational messages, and if the messages are making an impact to human behaviour towards planetary health and sustainability.
The paper, written by the University of Exeter, University of Winchester, University of Birmingham, Sparsholt College Hampshire and Dublin Zoo, is published in MDPI Open Access Journals, is entitled: “The Societal Value of the Modern Zoo: A Commentary on How Zoos Can Positively Impact on Human Populations Locally and Globally.”
Date: 26 January 2023