Reporter 441, 25 October 1999


In the news

Puns a plenty in the papers this week about the research work of biology student James Gordon. The Daily Telegraph, Times, Daily Star, Yorkshire Evening Post, BBC World Service and BBC Radio Leeds all featured James, who plays elephant noises with a didgeridoo.
"In Africa, elephants trample farmers fields," he said. "The idea is to reproduce sounds warning them away from certain areas." And the best pun? 'Trunk call to reverse charges' from the Star, though Leeds Student (which broke the original story) was highly commended with 'Elephant talk is easy to didgeridoo'.
Our very own elephant man was also one of a trio of University stories in the Sunday Times. The paper also covered the work of transport studies in developing an automatic speed-limiting device for cars. The system identifies the car's location by satellite and applies the brakes if necessary. The Sunday Times also made reference to business, management and computing courses at Leeds, in a piece about company recruitment strategies.

Professor Ed Stentiford's quest for perfect compost was highlighted in the Independent on Sunday. The civil engineering research was first featured in the Reporter.
Professor Stentiford told the IoS: "I'm hopeless at making garden compost. Give me 100 tonnes then I'm OK, but half a bucketful is a different matter."

Last week's Reporter front page story about the latest research project being carried out by Professor Roger Gosden was picked up by the Daily Mail, Yorkshire Post and the Yorkshire Evening Post. The team is working to develop a novel type of female contraceptive, which the Mail said "could be injected like a vaccine".

The University continued to score highly in the latest series of Guardian league tables. Leeds was placed fifth in the overall research funding rankings. Agriculture and forestry, English, sociology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medicine and nursing were also highly placed in the individual subject guides.

Potatoes and plastics also made headlines after the Reporter featured the work of Professor Tony Johnson in chemistry. The London Evening Standard, Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post all carried Professor Johnson's research aimed at developing plastics that will rot away using starch. "We're making a substance that mimics nature," Professor Johnson told the YP. "Bugs and creepy crawlies will eat it, turning it into compost just like cabbage."

Word continues to spread about Professor Tony Wren's work on bus scheduling, featured in Reporter 436. The Chicago Transit Authority has sought his advice on 'bus-bunching' - its primary source of passenger complaints.

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