Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2016

Getting ready to go… cassava virus hunting!

Katherine Tomlinson from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol Cabot Institute, is spending three months in Uganda looking at the cassava brown streak virus. This virus dramatically reduces available food for local people and Katherine will be finding out how research on this plant is translating between the lab and the field.  Follow this blog series for regular updates.
It’s just three days until I set off on my trip to Uganda, where I’ll complete an internship with the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge. I’ll be working for three months with their Communications team to learn how research is translated between the lab and the field.  I am currently a BBSRC South West DTP PhD student at the University of Bristol, researching how cassava brown streak disease viruses spoil cassava tubers and dramatically reduce available food for local people.
Image above shows Katherine inspecting cassava plants for cassava brown streak disease symptoms i…

From the depths of a PhD to the heights of the Royal Society: my first month…

Back in autumn 2015 I applied for an RCUK Policy Internship. At first I was hesitant. Would it mean time lost in data collection for my PhD? Would I fall behind? And would it actually be useful for me beyond the PhD?

Well, the internship is only three months long, and due to it being RCUK-funded I get an extra three months added onto my PhD deadline. So no time lost!  Another thing that swayed me was the opportunity to broaden my horizons and gain lots of skills that I wouldn’t  have had the opportunity to gain while slogging away at the PhD.

Coming from an AHRC-funded PhD, I had the choice of internships with a whole host of organisations including the British Museum, British Library, the Society of Biology, Government Office for Science (GO-Science) and the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). With my interests in archaeology (geophysics, soil science, geochemistry), agriculture, new technologies, the environment, and the role of strong independent science advic…

Why we need to tackle the growing mountain of 'digital waste'

We are very aware of waste in our lives today, from the culture of recycling to the email signatures that urge us not to print them off. But as more and more aspects of life become reliant on digital technology, have we stopped to consider the new potential avenues of waste that are being generated? It’s not just about the energy and resources used by our devices – the services we run over the cloud can generate “digital waste” of their own.

Current approaches to reducing energy use focus on improving the hardware: better datacentre energy management, improved electronics that provide more processing power for less energy, and compression techniques that mean images, videos and other files use less bandwidth as they are transmitted across networks. Our research, rather than focusing on making individual system components more efficient, seeks to understand the impact of any particular digital service – one delivered via a website or through the internet – and re-designing the softwar…