Skip to main content

Top 5 things to see at the University of Bristol tent at the Festival of Nature

Image credit: Bhagesh Sachania
When I was told I would be coordinating all the marketing materials for the University of Bristol stands at the Festival of Nature, I was quite excited. Being a nature lover, I knew the job would fit me well. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the amazing things that our researchers have been working on and will be showing off at this year’s festival. I am really pleased to be involved in helping them to showcase their nature-based research and I hope you all enjoy the experience when you come and visit us.

Here are my top five things to look out for when you visit the University of Bristol tent:

H1N1 flu virus

1. Explore how your genes might help you to fight the flu


Who knew that your genetics can determine how well you can fight off the flu? At this stall you will find some biologists and veterinary scientists who will be showing you how your immune system has to keep up with ever-evolving viruses in order to keep your body free from infection. Expect to get involved in a ‘war’ between the viruses and the immune system…who’s going to win?

2. Discover the underground world of roots


Roots. Those long straggly things attached to the bottom of plants. What are they good for? These small structures are actually very clever and extremely vital to life on earth. Visit our biologists at this stand to find out how extraordinary this plant part is and get up close to the root systems to see how they interact with the soil and help bind it together to prevent soil erosion.

3. Learn about Bristol’s hidden river history


Did you know that Bristol has a hidden river running right through the city centre? Nope, neither did I! The Frome River used to flow where the Hippodrome is now, but it became so polluted that we buried it! Join our environmental historians for a hands-on journey around Bristol’s rivers and discover why Bristol’s hidden river history is so important in shaping our lives.

An ammonite.  These would have been found in Bristol
under water when CO2 levels were at similar levels to
 today.  Image credit: Alex Lucas.

4. Have your say on our uncertain world


At the end of 2015, Paris will be hosting the COP21 – a huge international conference to try to agree a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. The aim will be to keep global warming below 2°C. At our Uncertain World stall, you will meet Cabot Institute scientists who study Earth’s past climate. They know from their research that sea level was much higher in the past when carbon dioxide levels were at similar levels as today. So what’s in store for our world and what are the uncertainties in our future? We will tell you what we know and what we don’t know and we would love to get you to write or draw your feelings and concerns on our uncertainty wall so that we can send a big Bristol message to Paris for the COP21.

5. Hear a family friendly story about climate change


If you do anything at the Festival of Nature this year, please do try and catch the Cabot Institute’s Dr James Norman who will be telling a story about climate change in the Talks Tent at 2.15 pm on the Saturday. This is not your average storyteller, this is a man who is passionate about what he talks about and will use his kids storybooks to ask – are we ever really going to change how we behave? James will take you through an amusing adventure via monsters, story books and kites stuck in trees to try and answer the question “if not now, when?”

The University of Bristol tent will be based in Millennium Square on Bristol Harbourside from Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 June. It’s free to attend our tent and talks. For more information about our tent and activities, visit our website here.

We look forward to seeing you soon!
---------------------------------------------
This blog has been reproduced with kind permission from the Festival of Nature news page.

This blog has been written by Amanda Woodman-Hardy, Communications Officer at the University of Bristol.  Follow @Enviro_Mand.
Amanda Woodman-Hardy

Popular posts from this blog

Powering the economy through the engine of Smart Local Energy Systems

How can the Government best retain key skills and re-skill and up-skill the UK workforce to support the recovery and sustainable growth? This summer the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) requested submission of inputs on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. The below thoughts were submitted to the BEIS inquiry as part of input under the EnergyREV project . However, there are points raised here that, in the editing and summing up process of the submission, were cut out, hence, this blog on how the UK could power economic recovery through Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES). 1. Introduction: Factors, principles, and implications In order to transition to a sustainable and flourishing economy from our (post-)COVID reality, we must acknowledge and address the factors that shape the current economic conditions. I suggest to state the impact of such factors through a set of driving principles for the UK’s post-COVID strategy. These factors are briefly explained belo

Farming in the Páramos of Boyacá: industrialisation and delimitation in Aquitania

Labourers harvest ‘cebolla larga’ onion in Aquitania. Image credit: Lauren Blake. In October and November 2019 Caboteer  Dr Lauren Blake  spent time in Boyacá, Colombia, on a six-week fieldtrip to find out about key socio-environmental conflicts and the impacts on the inhabitants of the páramos, as part of the historical and cultural component of her research project, POR EL Páramo . Background information about the research can be found in the earlier blog on the project website . Descending down the hill in the bus from El Crucero, the pungent smell of cebolla larga onion begins to invade my nose. The surrounding land transforms into plots of uniform rows of onion tops at various stages of growth, some mostly brown soil with shoots poking out along the ridges, others long, bushy and green. Sandwiched between the cloud settled atop the mountainous páramos and the vast, dark blue-green Lake Tota, all I can see and all I can smell is onion production. Sprinklers are scattered around, dr

IncrEdible! How to save money and reduce waste

The new academic year is a chance to get to grips with managing your student loan and kitchen cupboards. Over lockdown the UK wasted a third less food than we usually would. This is brilliant, as normally over 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is wasted from UK homes every year. For students, it’s even higher. The average cost of food waste per student per week is approximately £5.25 - that's about £273 per year !  It’s not just our bank accounts that are affected by food waste – it’s our planet too. The process of growing, making, distributing, storing and cooking our food uses masses of energy, fuel and water. It generates 30% of the world’s CO₂ greenhouse gas emissions. The same amount of CO₂ as 4.6 million return flights from London to Perth, Australia! So it makes sense to keep as much food out of the bin as possible, start wasting less and saving more.  Start the new term with some food waste busting, budget cutting, environment loving habits! Here’s five easy ways to reduce