Case studies

Many Cornish businesses benefited from participation in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Research Programme. These case studies detail some of the exciting research undertaken by Cornwall’s researchers and their collaborators. All of these projects were funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), under its Convergence funding for Cornwall.

Biodiversity and conservation

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Behavioural reproductive barriers in crickets

University of Exeter
Understanding how species interact and the implications for genetic exchange between species.
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Climate change and the affect on marine vertebrates of the Cornish coast

University of Exeter
Exploring how marine vertebrate biology may be affected by climate change.
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Responses to decreased food resources in insects

University of Exeter
Examining if populations of insects in Cornwall show different patterns of adaptation to those elsewhere in Europe.
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Understanding climate change and the mating behaviour of insects

University of Exeter
Examining how insects cope with environmental change.
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Understanding foraging behaviour in badgers

University of Exeter
Examining the development of individual and group level foraging specialisations in badgers.
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Understanding the evolutionary maternal responses of the milkweed bug

University of Exeter
Examining how insects evolve in response to ecological change.
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Climate change and low carbon economic development

Building a sustainable future for Cornwall’s farmers

University of Exeter
Investigating the practicalities of anaerobic digestion.
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Climate change communication in Cornwall

University of Exeter
Helping Cornish SMEs understand the wider cultural and physical impacts of climate change.
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Critical metals for the low carbon economy

University of Exeter
Exploring the critical metals in Cornwall.
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Designing an intelligent, fast acquisition remote sensing system for subsea applications

Plymouth University
Working to develop a new sensing system for marine surveyors.
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Generating ecological knowledge through visual arts collaborations around the Cornish seabed

Falmouth University
Using contemporary art to play with different ways of looking at the Cornish seabed.
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Helping to drive the marine renewable energy industry

University of Exeter
Investigating underwater noise in Falmouth Bay.
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Leading the way in understanding light pollution

University of Exeter
Investigating the environmental impact of light pollution.
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Storytelling to promote pro-environmental behaviour

Falmouth University
Exploring the potential to increase pro-environmental behaviour in Cornwall’s business community through storytelling.
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Thermal imaging to explore building defects

Plymouth University
Exploring the application of thermography to existing dwellings in both the private and rented sector.
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Understanding and improving the sustainability of Cornwall’s Brassica crops

University of Exeter
Understanding the environmental pressures that maintain diversity.
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Visualising climate change in the Tamar Valley

University of Exeter
Working with the National Trust to help the Tamar Valley community better understand the effects of climate change.
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Digital economy

Advances in accident scene investigation

University of Exeter
Using laser scanning and 3D-modelling techniques for accident scene investigation.
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Cognitively enabled built environments

Falmouth University
Exploring sustainability in the built environment.
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Falmouth's role in Britain's maritime history

Falmouth University
Research into Falmouth's maritime heritage is helping develop Cornwall's Maritime Museum.
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Investigating a link between sun exposure and health

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Working with the Met Office to look at sun exposure during pregnancy and infancy and its effect later on in childhood.
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Unlocking the landscape using located media

Falmouth University
Helping a Cornish company develop a smartphone product.
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Eco-town and sustainable communities

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Community care - making decisions in Cornwall

University of Exeter
Researching community care.
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Community sustainability in Cornwall

University of Exeter
Exploring the conditions for community sustainability in Cornwall.
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Delivering zero carbon homes in Cornwall

Plymouth University
Investigating whether self-build housing is suitable for the delivery of zero carbon homes.
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Understanding the health benefits of different local environments

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
How do people use different spaces in their local environment for different aspects of health and happiness?
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Understanding the links between housing and health

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Examining the role that building practices and occupant behaviour can have on the development of diseases.
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Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Low carbon vehicles: energy, emissions and behaviour

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
ECEHH PhD student Shukru Esmene looks at the implementation of electric vehicle usage in Cornwall
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Managing antenatal pelvic girdle pain

Plymouth University
Reducing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.
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Researching the UKs most efficient diving bird

University of Exeter
Researching the foraging behaviour of European Shags in the Isles of Scilly.
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The contemporary issue of sustainable tourism

Falmouth University
Developing innovative local community-based scenarios and solutions for sustainable tourism.
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Health and wellbeing

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Exploring a cellular and molecular link between radon and skin cancer

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
An in vitro investigation into the effects of radon and ultraviolet radiation on human skin and lung cells.
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Exploring a link between child health and coastal environments

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Researching the impact ‘blue’ space environments on children’s health and wellbeing.
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Exploring storytelling, children and the natural environment

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Philip Waters is looking at the use of narrative as a means to engage children playfully in the natural environment.
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Investigating perceptions of consuming UK shellfish

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Researching people’s perceptions of the benefits and risks of eating shellfish.
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How communities create behaviour change

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
How communities have improved their wellbeing.
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Using positional innovation in the health and wellbeing sector

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Establishing original ways of identifying new groups of customers for health and wellbeing services.
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Valuing ecosystem services

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
Identifying the benefits derived from ecosystem services on the Isles of Scilly.
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Key sectors

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Coastal cliff erosion in Cornwall

Plymouth University
Understanding and quantifying cliff erosion rates along the Cornish coast.
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Exploring the role of design in biodiversity conservation

Falmouth University
Exploring innovative design applications that build on knowledge regarding the colonisation of man-made surfaces by intertidal species.
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Developing a Port Sustainability Management System

Plymouth University
Making ports in Cornwall and Devon more sustainable.
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Investigating artificial soils at the Eden Project

Plymouth University
Working with the Eden Project to investigate artificial soils.
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Poetry and the archive: history, story, community

Falmouth University
Looking at correspondence between Boulton and Watt Mining Company founders and the mine manager.
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Reducing offending and recidivism in Cornwall

Plymouth University
Investigating whether assigning offenders to different alcohol preventive programs reduces their rate of offending.
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Technological development in mineral processing

University of Exeter
Improving energy efficiency in mining.
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The resilience of fishing communities in Cornwall

Plymouth University
Understanding the resilience of Cornish fishing communities.
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Understanding the move to a low carbon economy

University of Exeter
Evaluating a community's transformation to a low-carbon economy.
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Understanding sustainability in the Cornwall lobster fishery

University of Exeter
Working with the National Lobster Hatchery to assess stock enhancement.
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