Silent witnesses: how an ice age was written in the trees

27 Feb 2018

What connects a series of volcanic eruptions and severe summer cooling with a century of pandemics, human migration and the rise and fall of civilisations? Tree rings, says Ulf Büntgen, who leads Cambridge’s first dedicated tree-ring laboratory in the Department of Geography.

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Illuminating the hidden kingdom of the truffle

12 Feb 2018

Truffles are one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, and also one of the most mysterious. Now, with the help of a 170-year-old ‘living laboratory’, and a dog called Lucy, researchers hope to unearth new understanding of the secret life of these underground delicacies.

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‘Keep it local’ approach to protecting the rainforest can be more effective than government schemes

12 Sep 2017

Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research. In some cases in the Amazon rainforest, grassroots initiatives can be even more effective at protecting this vital ecosystem. This is particularly important due to widespread political resistance to hand over control over forests and other natural resources to local communities.

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Opinion: Are universities ready for a new kind of science?

06 Jun 2017

Is the knowledge and scholarship that universities produce relevant to the problems the world faces? In a new essay co-authored with an international group of researchers, Dr Bhaskar Vira of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and the Department of Geography argues that in order for science to best serve society and the planet, universities and researchers need to adjust their focus and take responsibility for institutional innovation in five key areas. 

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Going green: why don't we all do it?

10 Jun 2016

From wind turbines and solar photovoltaics to grey water recycling and electric vehicles, technology is making it ever easier for us to be green – yet many of us are not. Now, Cambridge researchers are discovering that our personalities and communities have a major impact on our environmental decisions, opening up new ways to ‘nudge’ us into saving energy and carbon.

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Waterworld: can we learn to live with flooding?

03 Jun 2016

Flash floods, burst riverbanks, overflowing drains, contaminants leaching into waterways: some of the disruptive, damaging and hazardous consequences of having too much rain. But can cities be designed and adapted to live more flexibly with water – to treat it as friend rather than foe?



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