Our mission is to ensure science is accessible and that our research is relevant to society.
Research and Knowledge Exchange within the School of Science and Environment is at the core of what we do, ensuring society benefits from our translational and applied research, and that our undergraduate students benefit from research informed teaching. The Degree Courses we deliver and the knowledge exchange we undertake therefore embody the range and reach of our impactful research.
Research within the school focuses on ‘Sustainable Futures’ and ‘Human Health and Wellbeing’; Areas of Challenge outlined in the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy (2020-2025). We also actively engage in other research areas and encourage blue skies thinking.
To ensure the continued delivery of high quality and impactful research at the University of Worcester we have invested significantly over the last decade to enhance our research facilities. Find out more here.
The Sustainable Environments Research Group led by Dr Alan Dixon brings together colleagues whose research benefits people and the planet. ‘Sustainable Environments’ encapsulates any situation where there is potential for environmental impacts to be mitigated and for environmental benefits to be achieved. Research is across five thematic areas: 1) Food security, 2) Sustainable livelihoods, 3) River Science and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle surveys, 4) Conservation and management of habitats and species, and 5) Sustainable places.
The Worcester Biomedical Research Group led by Dr Steven Coles aims to promote multidisciplinary biomedical science research at the University of Worcester. The group has forged collaborations with local NHS organisations and other academic institutions with the aim of addressing some major health issues of our time with a particular focus on cancer (leukaemia), cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and infectious diseases.
Members of the Pollen and Aerobiology Research Group focus primarily on three research areas: 1) Human health and allergen exposure, which includes pollen forecasting and palynology in relation to crime scenes and honey characterization, 2) Plant health & food security, focussing on the dispersal of plant pathogens and invasive species, and 3) Atmospheric processes, which includes the detection of bioaerosols using eDNA and state-of-the-art lasers.
The Molecular Plant and Microbial Biosciences Research Unit carries out both fundamental and translational research in the field of plant and microbial biosciences. They are interested in answering the following fundamental questions; how do obligate pathogens such as downy mildews (Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, Hpa and Peronospora vicia f.sp. pisi, Pvp) coordinate their attack to overcome the plants’ defence? What is the basis of their host specificity? Do they synchronize their physiological and metabolic activity with their hosts? Can we carry out reverse genetics to reveal the role of pathogenicity and developmental genes?
Since 1995 the School has also been the home of Pollen Forecasting in the UK, for which pollen and fungal spore forecasts are produced in conjunction with the Met Office on a daily basis.
To ensure our research is impactful and makes a difference, colleagues from across the School take many different approaches in sharing the outcomes of their research, including publishing in peer-reviewed journals, books, and conference proceedings, via online events e.g., webinars, and through public community engagement. Within the School we are committed to delivering a Research Seminar Series, and actively contribute to the College Research Seminar Series. We also engage directly with growers, farmers, health practitioners etc to enhance the implementation of our research findings and secure positive outcomes.
All staff upload their research outputs onto WRaP, the University’s research repository. You can also find out more about our colleagues in the School by visiting the Staff Profile pages.
- Muhwenimana, V., Follett, E., Maddock, Ian, and Wilson, C.A.M.E (2023) Field-based monitoring of instream leaky barrier backwater and storage during storm events. Journal of Hydrology, 622 (Part A). p. 129744. ISSN 0022-1694.
- Apangu, Godfrey, Frisk, Carl, Adams-Groom, Beverley, Petch, Geoffrey, Hanson, Mary and Skjøth, C. (2023) Using qPCR and microscopy to assess the impact of harvesting and weather conditions on the relationship between Alternaria alternata and Alternaria spp. spores in rural and urban atmospheres. International Journal of Biometeorology. ISSN 1432-1254.
- Tör, M., Wood, T., Webb, A., Göl, D. and McDowell, J. M. (2023) Recent developments in plant-downy mildew interactions. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. pp. 42-50. ISSN Print: 1084-9521; Online: 1096-3634.
- Frisk, Carl, Adams-Groom, Beverley and Smith, Matt (2023) Isolating the species element in grass pollen allergy: A review. Science of the Total Environment, 883 (163661). ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026.
Santos, H.O., May, Theresa and Bueno, Allain (2023) Eating more sardines instead of fish oil supplementation: Beyond omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a matrix of nutrients with cardiovascular benefits. Frontiers in Nutrition. ISSN 2296-861X.
Frisk, Carl, Apangu, Godfrey, Petch, Geoffrey, Creer, Simon, Hanson, Mary, Adams-Groom, Beverley and Skjøth, Carsten (2023) Microscale pollen release and dispersal patterns in flowering grass populations. Science of the Total Environment, 880 (163345). ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026.
Shu, P., Zhang, Z., Wu, Y., Chen, Y., Li, K., Deng, H., Zhang, J., Zhang, X., Wang, J., Liu, Z., Xie, Y., Du, K., Li, M., Bouzayen, M., Hong, Yiguo, Zhang, Y. and Liu, M. (2023) A comprehensive metabolic map reveals major quality regulations in red-flesh kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis). New Phytologist. ISSN 1469-8137.
Mateos Fierro, Zeus, Garratt, Michael P. D., Fountain, Michelle T., Ashbrook, Kate and Westbury, Duncan (2023) The potential of wildflower strips to enhance pollination services in sweet cherry orchards grown under polytunnels. Journal of Applied Ecology. ISSN 1365-2664.
Avelar, C.R., Nunes, B.V.C., Sassaki, B.S., Vasconcelos, M.S., Oliveira, L.P.M., Lyra, A.C., Bueno, Allain and Jesus, R.P. (2023) Efficacy of silymarin in patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – The Siliver trial: a study protocol for a randomized controlled clinical trial. Trials, 24 (177). ISSN 1745-6215.
Cortes, D.M., Boulhosa, R.S.S.B., Paz, C.L.S.L., Cunha, C.M., Oliveira, L.P.M., Lyra, A.C., Bueno, Allain and Jesus, R.P. (2023) Handgrip strength is associated with 12 months survival in male patients suffering with advanced chronic liver disease. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. ISSN Print: 0952-3871 Electronic: 1365-277X.
Postgraduate Research Students
A key priority of the School is to increase the number of Post Graduate Research (PGR) students. To help achieve this, the University of Worcester is keen to encourage the development of our research through PGR studies, including fully funded studentship opportunities (usually three-year, full-time doctoral research studentships). When available, information about these opportunities is advertised on the University’s PhD Studentships page, but also on www.findaphd.com.
We also welcome and encourage applications from Self-funded students to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees across a range of disciplines. If interested in this route please contact the relevant Research Group lead, but if you are unsure who to contact, please message Dr Fleur Visser, the School’s MPhil/PhD Course Leader.
The University of Worcester runs a scheme for Visiting Researchers and we encourage approaches from researchers who will complement and therefore add value to our existing research programmes. To find out more and express an interest, please contact Dr Duncan Westbury who is the School’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator.
Research for businesses and the community
We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with businesses and the community to help ensure our research continues to be informed and shaped by those benefitting from our research. For example, we are currently working with the Environment Agency to assess soil erosion on farmland using Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (drones), and in conjunction with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), how habitat preferences of bumblebees can be determined using multi-scale remote sensing data.