News

Thursday, 16 April 2015 08:59

ed turner 180px

'Logging cuts the functional importance of invertebrates in tropical rainforest'

Article by Dr Ed Turner et al., in Nature Communications 6, Article number: 6836.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7836

Published 13 April 2015

Invertebrates are dominant species in primary tropical rainforests, where their abundance and diversity contributes to the functioning and resilience of these globally important ecosystems. However, more than one-third of tropical forests have been logged, with dramatic impacts on rainforest biodiversity that may disrupt key ecosystem processes. We find that the contribution of invertebrates to three ecosystem processes operating at three trophic levels (litter decomposition, seed predation and removal, and invertebrate predation) is reduced by up to one-half following logging. These changes are associated with decreased abundance of key functional groups of termites, ants, beetles and earthworms, and an increase in the abundance of small mammals, amphibians and insectivorous birds in logged relative to primary forest. Our results suggest that ecosystem processes themselves have considerable resilience to logging, but the consistent decline of invertebrate functional importance is indicative of a human-induced shift in how these ecological processes operate in tropical rainforests.

Read the whole article.

   

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 12:51

Madingley Hall butterflies 200px

Report highlights biodiversity of Madingley Hall gardens

Cambridge BioBlitz 2014 was held on 28 June in the grounds of Madingley Hall, home of the Institute of Continuing Education. The results are now in, with the event recording over 380 species of plants and animals!

Read the full report on BioBlitz 2014 (PDF, 202 KB)

Ed Turner, Teaching Officer in Biological Sciences at the Institute of Continuing Education, said: "This amazing number of species demonstrates how much hidden biodiversity can be found in the UK countryside. This is only a snap-shot of the total number of species that are probably in the area around Madingley. I think this result shows how much there is to be excited about wildlife in the UK and I hope the event will encourage more people to learn about local natural history."

Roz Wade, Education and Outreach Officer at the Museum of Zoology, said: "Despite the patchy weather, the event was well-attended by members of the public and experts, with almost 300 people coming to help along to help! This event really shows how much can be achieved in a short space of time when an enthusiastic team of people are involved. The next Cambridge BioBlitz event will be held at the Botanic Garden on the 12 June 2015 and more details will posted soon on the University Museum of Zoology website. We hope to see you there!"

The event was coordinated by the University Museum of Zoology, the Institute of Continuing Education and the University of Cambridge Public Engagement team.

Find out more about BioBlitz 2014

   

Friday, 10 April 2015 12:22

SusanOosthuizen_new_180x180px

'Re-evaluating maps of the Domesday population densities: a case study from the Cambridgeshire fenland'

Paper by Dr Susan Oosthuizen, Medieval Settlement Research 29: 1 – 10.

Published 2014

Proffessor Sir Clifford Darby's county, regional and national maps of a range of data drawn from the Domesday Book revolutionised scholarship on the social and economic history of the late Anglo-Saxon England (e,g,, 1935, 1936a, 1936b, 1971, 1977). While this paper does not seek to challenge Darby's general conclusions, a case study re-examination of the inter-relationship between population density and physical geography in the Cambridgeshire fenland in 1086 suggests the regional usefulness of methodological adjustments to his mapping. It indicates that the population density of the peat and silt fens in the late eleventh century may have been significantly higher than that shown in Darby's original maps, with implications for the contemporary social and economic history of eastern England.

   

Friday, 20 March 2015 14:26

SRA 2star 2015 200px

Madingley Hall achieves Sustainable Restaurant 2 Star Rating

We are delighted to announce that ICE's headquarters, Madingley Hall, has recently been awarded 2 stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. This award recognises the ongoing work of our catering team to produce local, seasonal and ethically sourced meals.

To achieve this accolade the Hall underwent a stringent audit, judged across 14 different categories. These included: sourcing local and seasonal produce, fish, ethical meat, dairy and Fairtrade; community engagement; healthy eating; and responsible marketing and environmental initiatives incorporating water saving, supply chain, waste management and energy efficiency.

The Sustainable Restaurants Association (SRA) operates a Sustainability Rating system which helps diners to identify establishments that match their own sustainability criteria. Restaurants are graded One, Two or Three Star ‘sustainability champions’ according to the results of the audit. The SRA is a not-for-profit organisation headed up by leading Chef Raymond Blanc as President. It has over 4,000 members in the UK all united in their commitment to sustainability.

Madingley Hall is home to the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, as well as being a leading conference venue. It provides in the region of 150 meals per day to students, conference clients and other guests. The Hall offers low carbon meals and uses locally grown organic bread from Cobs Bakery in Cambridge and Havensfield Free Range Eggs from Suffolk.

In addition to the SRA award, Madingley Hall is also the first venue in Cambridge to sign up for the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge. As a result the Hall promises to only service MSC-certified fish at grade 2 or lower. Paul Wright, Catering Manager says:

"Madingley Hall is pleased and proud to have won our 2 star award and to support the Sustainable Fish Cities bid. We hope to champion further sustainability issues across Cambridge in the coming months and years."

 

   

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 13:24

BarbedWire 200px

British Academy grant for ICE Archaeologist

Dr Gilly Carr, Senior Lecturer and Academic Director in Archaeology at ICE, and Principal Investigator on the grant, has been awarded a British Academy grant in collaboration with Professor Marek Jasinski of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim.

The project, ‘A tale of two camps’, will enable excavations to take place in 2015 at a WWII forced labour camp in Jersey (Lager Wick) and a prison camp in Norway (SS-Strafgefangenenlager Falstad). The project asks what archaeology can contribute to knowledge lost, buried or deliberately destroyed regarding Nazi camps, and seeks to discover what we can add to what we already know about the everyday lives of those interned.

Both Carr and Jasinski hope that their work will raise the profile of the heritage value of such sites, many of which have been lost since the war. A pilot excavation was carried out at both sites in 2014 with promising results, and now, on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, the time is right for full-scale excavations.

"The 2014 trial excavations were very exciting", says Gilly Carr. "The excavations in Jersey focused on the area of some of the former barrack blocks of the camp, and revealed the presence of building materials and barbed wire. Although the camp was razed to the ground with nothing left to see, it was interesting to see what still survived.

"The ability of archaeology to reveal Nazi crimes is very satisfying. Our excavations at Falstad prison camp focused on the camp’s rubbish pits. Over 1,000 items were found in 5 days, revealing the everyday life of prisoners at the site. My favourite artefacts included the meal dish of a prisoner, complete with his initials scratched into the side, and a set of bars which fitted over a nearby window from the main building of the camp, a building which still survives today as the education centre.

"I feel tremendously privileged to be involved in such cutting edge archaeology at these important sites and I look forward to passing on the results of fieldwork to my students next year in my Conflict Archaeology course for Diploma students. Archaeology has such an important role to play in raising awareness about, and revealing, hidden or destroyed pasts. These excavations and others like them mean that our source of knowledge about Nazi camps will not disappear with the passing of the last former inmates. In this anniversary year, such work has an added poignancy."

Excavations in Jersey will begin at the end of March 2015 and those in Norway will take place during the summer.

Further information

Lager Wick project website

A daily blog was kept during the 2014 season of excavation at both sites and can be followed again in 2015:

Lager Wick excavation blog

Falstad excavation blog

 

   

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Madingley Hall Open Day 2014 200px

Book now for our annual Open Day at Madingley Hall on 2 April 2015

Join us for our annual Open Day on Thursday 2 April 2015, at our home, Madingley Hall. This celebration of continuing education will feature more than 50 free events running throughout the day.

  • Talks and taster sessions with top University experts
  • Special offers on selected courses if you enrol on the day
  • Tours of the historic Hall and Gardens
  • Family-friendly activities, including a nature trail
  • Accommodation available at the Hall

View the Open Day programme and book your place today to attend a talk or tour.

What our 2014 visitors said about the event

On 17 April 2014 we welcomed more than 600 people to our Open Day. Here is a selection of their comments from the day:

"The whole day was extremely well organised and most enjoyable"

"A variety of stimulating talks by enthusiastic and knowledgeable speakers"

"Very helpful staff"

"Talks by enthusiastic experts in beautiful surroundings"

"Delicious hot lunch!"

"A very pleasant, enjoyable and informative day."

View a selection of photos from the 2014 event

Contact us

If you have any questions about the day, please email us at enquiries@ice.cam.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1223 746222.

 

   

Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:01

DrRebecca Lingwood180

Instabilities of the von Kármán Boundary Layer

Article by R. J. Lingwood and P. Henrik Alfredsson, in Appl. Mech. Rev. 67(3), 030803 (May 01, 2015) (13 pages)
Paper No: AMR-14-1075;

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4029605 

Published February 2015.

You can read the article on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers website.

   

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 10:44

SarahBurton 200px

New bursaries for teachers

We are pleased to announce that we are offering bursaries of £1,750 per annum to teachers applying to study for our part-time MSt in Advanced Subject Teaching in 2015-17.

The fund is designed to support teachers looking to carry out research aimed at improving teaching and learning in their school or college. Preference will be given to teachers from UK state-funded schools or colleges who do not have financial support.

Course Director Dr Nigel Kettley explains:

“The MSt is a unique course in that it allows teachers to simultaneously deepen their subject knowledge, improve their pedagogical skills and learn the methods necessary to conduct classroom-based research. It aims to both improve the quality of teachers’ professional practice and enhance pupils’ classroom experience. The new bursary is a valuable contribution to making the MSt accessible to the widest possible range of teachers.”

About the MSt in Advanced Subject Teaching

The MSt in Advanced Subject Teaching has been designed specifically for English and History teachers. Drawing on world-leading research at the University of Cambridge, it is unique in focusing on subject expertise as well as teaching methods.

Course participants choose an aspect of their subject which they would like to explore further or perhaps tackle for the first time. They then study it both academically and pedagogically, so that their new knowledge and skills can be put to effective use in the classroom.

The programme provides a two-year, part-time route to a full University of Cambridge Master’s degree. It is taught through a blend of short, intensive study blocks in Cambridge and online support – making it accessible to teachers across the UK and beyond.

The programme was launched in 2012 and has already begun to make an impact on the profession. In the words of one student:

“It’s the kind of degree that allows full-time teachers to study at the highest level while maintaining a full-time job. It’s a course that enhances your pedagogic practice as well as your subject knowledge. I’ve found that everything I’m studying, I’m applying in the classroom.”

Further information

The deadline for bursary and course applications is 7 April 2015.

Apply online: www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-ast

Contact: Sue Brignell on 01223 760862 or sue.brignell@ice.cam.ac.uk

   

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 13:48

GillyCarrHolocaustMemorialAddress 200px

ICE archaeologist delivers Holocaust Memorial Day address in Jersey

On 27 January, ICE archaeologist Dr Gilly Carr delivered the 2015 Holocaust Memorial Day public address in Jersey, speaking on the theme of 'Keeping the memory alive'.

Dr Carr explains the context of her address:

"When the Holocaust is remembered in the Channel Islands, one of the key groups islanders think about, in addition to the islands' Jews and forced and slave labourers, is the political prisoners. These are the c.250 people who were deported to more than 100 different Nazi prisons and concentration camps for committing offences against the occupying authorities.

"Drawing on unpublished testimonies written to claim compensation in the mid-1960s, my public address focused on their experiences in prisons and camps. These testimonies form the subject of the book I am currently writing, which will be titled Testimonies of Nazi persecution from the Channel Islands (publisher: Bloomsbury Academic).

"In my speech, I examined the way that Channel Islanders supported each other during their ordeal, forgetting inter-island rivalry, and fought to keep each other alive. I spoke about the ongoing fight to keep that memory alive in the decades after the war, exploring how Islanders helped each other claim compensation from the Germans in the mid-1960s. This year I was privileged to be involved in both Guernsey and Jersey's Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies.

"For the first time, these testimonies which I had given to island families in the last year, were revealed to a wider audience. Their content was devastating, moving and shocking; and their impact, when read by the children of those deported during the inter-faith service, was palpable.
It's at times like this when the fruits of research can have the most impact on a community. I feel privileged to have been involved in such an important occasion."

Download the full text of Dr Carr's address (PDF file, 24 KB)

News reports of the service

Jersey remembers victims of the Holocaust (ITV News)

Jersey wreaths laid for 21 victims of Nazis (BBC News)

Holocaust victims remembered in Jersey (Jersey Evening Post)

   

Monday, 02 February 2015 10:28

DrRebecca Lingwood180

Global linear instability of the rotating-disk flow investigated through simulations

Article by E. Applequist, P. Schlatter and R. J. Lingwood, in J. Fluid Mech. (2015), vol. 765, pp. 612-631.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2015.2 

Published February 2015.

You can download the article on the Cambridge Journals website.

   

Page 1 of 24