Friday, November 13, 2015

90% of global seabird population have consumed plastic

Photograph: Chris Jordan/Midway:
Our litter and waste has reached a new level of disbelief with a new study showing that upto 90% of seabirds will have ingested plastic items they have mistaken for food.  A report in the Guardian has highlighted their work link.  Their results can be seen in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

We still haven’t learnt as our production of platics in the past 11 years exceeds the amount produced since it was first produced  in the 1950s.But something is being done and new a new collection boom is hoping to start removing larger material soon.

You can help right now by picking up litter that will find its way eventually into the sea.

Posted: Nick Gray
Twitter @Nickgraytcd

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Close Wild-Relative Of Sweet Potato Is Discovered by Oxford Tea

The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food is an interdisciplinary programme of research and policy engagement concerning all aspects of the food system, based at the University of Oxford. Link

 Ipomoea lactifera Wood & Scotland
a new endemic species of

 from Bolivia characteristic of humid
forest on the Andean foothills.
 Photo credit to Robert Scotland.
As part of an ongoing monographic study of the genus Ipomoea (morning glories) that contains the domesticated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) Robert Scotland and John Wood from the Department of Plant Sciences have recently described 18 new species of morning glory from Bolivia with one species, Ipomoea lactifera, identified as a close wild-relative of sweet potato. This newly discovered relative may have implications for the conservation of the sweet potato crop as a genetic resource. 

Further details of the project can be found at and the publication can be accessed at