Nature is out of balance

2016.06.30The food chain is in a mess and, by all accounts, this will challenge a number of species in the future. A major international study with the participation of Aarhus University shows that the food chain is disintegrating due to climate change.

Flotte resultater ved FNU-ansøgninger

2016.06.24Institut for Bioscience har netop landet seks projekter ved den seneste ansøgningsrunde ved Det frie Forskningsråd, Natur og Univers (FNU).

Aarhus University professor tells John Kerry about climate change in the Arctic

2016.06.22U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saw with his own eyes how the Arctic is being particularly affected by global warming when Professor Søren Rysgaard, Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, showed the world’s most influential foreign minister changes in Ilulissat Icefjord.

New strategic plan is ready

2016.06.14The Department of Bioscience has a unique academic range and is one of the largest departments of biology in Europe. The strategy for the period 2016-2020 shows who we are and where we are heading.

Pressemeddelelse: Medie-fejl om forskerfyring

2016.06.06I de seneste dage har en række medier viderebragt fejlagtige oplysninger om, at en forsker ved Aarhus Universitet skulle være blevet afskediget. Dette er ikke korrekt.

Færre gæs med hagl i kroppen

2016.05.31Antallet af kortnæbbede gæs med hagl i kroppen i Norge og Danmark er faldet siden 1990’erne, viser ny undersøgelse. Nyt notat fra DCE peger på, at det skyldes bedre jagtvaner.

Gammel guldmine sviner mindre

2016.05.31Den lukkede guldmine i Nalunaq i Grønland ser ikke ud til at forurene miljøet yderligere, viser ny rapport.

Marsvin er konstant på jagt

2016.05.31Marsvinet hører til blandt havets mest effektive rovdyr, viser et nyt studie.

Aarhus Universitet til Folkemødet på Bornholm

2016.05.31Forskningsskibet Aurora danner igen i år rammen om Aarhus Universitets deltagelse i Folkemødet på Bornholm. Mød blandt andet den amerikanske ambassadør Rufus Gifford, eller uddannelses- og forskningsminister Ulla Tørnæs (V), når AU er vært for en række debatter om uddannelse og forskning.

Photo credit Fjord og Bælt Centeret, Kerteminde

New study shows that extreme hunting by porpoises makes them vulnerable to disturbance

2016.05.30In a new Current Biology paper, post doc Danuta Wisniewska shows that one of the smallest and most widely distributed marine mammals, the harbour porpoise, lives on an energetic knife-edge. Scientists have long puzzled over how these 1.5 m / 50kg echolocating predators can eat enough to survive in cold waters which are normally the domain of large whales that can keep warm more efficiently. Tagging studies suggested that porpoises ate infrequently but this didn't match up with the small fish found in the stomachs of stranded animals. In the new study, miniature computers were attached to porpoises using suction cups to record both their echolocation sounds and the echoes coming back from prey. By analysing the echoes, Danuta Wisniewska, Professor Peter T. Madsen and senior scientist Jonas Teilman from Bioscience were able to measure how often porpoises tried to catch fish, as well as the size of the fish, and whether the fish escaped. The study shows that porpoises hunt small (< 5 cm) fish continuously day and night capturing as many as 3000 per day. A success rate of over 90% means that porpoises are amongst the most successful known hunters. The study also involved colleagues from SDU, Scotland and Germany and was funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation to understand how increasing development of the seas around northern Europe may be impacting porpoises. Harbour porpoises share these seas with dense ship traffic, fisheries, oil production and a growing array of wind and tide turbines. Although the tiny fish targeted by porpoises are not of interest in commercial fisheries, porpoises are frequently by-caught in fishing gear and this is a major threat to some populations. However, recent studies have also shown that porpoises may be affected by noise from boats, underwater construction and oil exploration.

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