Latest News

Mutation hotspot in the desert

Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a giant mutation hotspot within the genome of a diabetes-prone rodent.

The sand rat Psammomys obesus, native to deserts of North Africa and the Middle East, eats low carbohydrate plants but is prone to obesity and type II diabetes if given normal food. It was long thought that this was because sand rats are missing a key switch gene, called Pdx1, which in humans controls the levels of insulin.

Two top wins for Zoology in the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research awards

We are delighted to announce that two zoology projects have won in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor says: “I have been deeply impressed by the quality of the public engagement with research projects submitted for this year’s awards. The breadth and diversity of the activities taking place show how seriously the University takes its commitment to public engagement.”


Congratulations to Professor Sir Charles Godfray

We are delighted to announce that Professor Charles Godfray, FRS, Hope Professor of Zoology, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, and Fellow of Jesus College, has been knighted for services to scientific research and for scientific advice to government.

New project led by Oxford University’s Zoology Department to study the community ecology of the African mosquito vectors of malaria

The Open Philanthropy Project recently announced the award of a $17M grant to the Target Malaria consortium to assist it develop and prepare for the potential deployment of gene drive technologies in mosquitoes to help eliminate malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Deployment will only occur if it is feasible, ethical, safe, approved by the regulatory authorities, and supported by the affected communities. The grant will support a number of critical research programmes complementary to existing Target Malaria activities.

Earning a living in a changing climate – the plant perspective

Researchers have found that plants are resorting to dramatic strategies in order to survive deteriorating environmental conditions. These strategies enable the species to survive less favourable environments, but not to thrive under them.