Friday, 18 January 2013

Seeds, snow and scientific papers

The car park at CEH's HQ in Wallingford, Oxfordshire is slowly beginning to fill with snow this morning as the predictions of snow across the country come true. As the snow falls outside, I'm catching up on new scientific papers involving CEH staff. One in particular has caught my attention. It's a new paper in PLOS One by Dr Moritz von der Lippe from the Technische Universitat Berlin and colleagues including Prof James Bullock of CEH and Dr Matthias Wichmann of the University of Potsdam, a CEH Fellow. It reports on a recent study of seed dispersal by vehicles and the experiments were carried out in our car park, albeit in rather warmer times!

You can read the seed dispersal study here - it's an open access paper. Planet Earth Online has written a nice news story about the work, referring to the "glamorous location" of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology car park!

The CEH car park at Wallingford, a glamorous
location for scientific research?

James and Matthias collaborated on another seed dispersal study a few years back, with an experiment focusing on how far two wild plant seeds might be dispersed by attachment to hikers’ boots. You can read the CEH news story about that here.

Barnaby Smith

Additional information

Staff page of Professor James Bullock at CEH

CEH seed dispersal research

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Filming at CEH's met site in Wallingford

The recent wet weather means the New Year has got off to a busy start for the CEH Press Office, with several requests from media organisations to interview our hydrologists. On the TV side, Sky, BBC and ITV have all been in touch.

Professor Alan Jenkins of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology was interviewed on January 2 2013 by Sky News (pictured). He spoke about the dramatic transformation from drought to flood seen in the UK in 2012. The interview took place on the meteorological site at CEH's Wallingford, Oxfordshire headquarters. You can watch the interview on the Sky News website.

David Shukman, the BBC's Science editor, also interviewed Prof Jenkins today, Thursday 3 January, for broadcast later today.

Today, also, the Met Office announced (provisional figures) that 2012 was the second wettest year in the UK national record dating back to 1910, and just a few millimetres short of the record set in 2000. It was the wettest year recorded in England however. Just for interest, the aforementioned CEH met site recorded 820mm of precipitation in 2012, the wettest year in a 51-year series (since 1962).

Update Friday 4 January 2013

What is causing Britain's volatile rainfall patterns? Watch the BBC News video featuring Alan Jenkins of CEH and Andrew McKenzie of British Geological Survey.

The video is also part of the BBC News at Ten broadcast available on iPlayer until later today (4 Jan 2013).

BBC Science Editor David Shukman (right) interviews Prof Alan Jenkins