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Thought Leadership

The Underworld and Halloween

George Alexander Gazis is Assistant Professor in Greek Literature in the Department of Classics and Ancient History. He is interested in the function of mortality and the afterlife in the Homeric Epics and early Lyric. On Halloween we explore how these ancient understandings resonate with the festivities which now take place on 31st October.
Odysseus and the Underworld

Exploring the Victorian Occult

As Halloween approaches, we talk to Dr Efram Sera-Shriar, Associate Director of Research for the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, International, at Durham. His research explores the study of the occult and its intersection with the sciences. He is the lead organiser for Beyond the Veil: Cross-Cultural & Interdisciplinary Studies of Horror, Gothic, and the Occult in the Nineteenth Century, taking place on Halloween, 31 October.
Apparition during palm reading from 1869

Three reasons why strong perfumes give you a headache

Humans can smell over 1 trillion odours. But no two people will react in quite the same way to the same smell. Professor Amanda Ellison from our Department of Psychology explains why.
A woman holding her head with a painful expression her face

Celebrating the life of a former lecturer with an award-winning choir

On Monday 24 October, the Soweto Gospel Choir will be performing at Durham Cathedral in memory of our former lecturer Ruth First. Emeritus Professor Mike Thompson from our School of Modern Languages and Cultures has been reflecting on her life and the importance of her work.
An image of the Soweto Gospel Choir on the right and Ruth First on the left

Tracking harp seals in Canada

Dr James Grecian was part of the final episode of Frozen Planet II where he talks about the migration of harp seals.
Dr James Grecian in a helicopter and on the right an image of a seal.

Where have we gone wrong in our battle against teacher shortages?

Beng Huat See from our Evidence Centre for Education looks at the chronic issue of teachers shortages and how to fix it.
Teacher shortages

Somalia: Puntland state port is getting a revamp - this is key to its future

Professor Jutta Bakonyi, in our School of Government and International Affairs, and Dr May Darwich, of the University of Birmingham, say the modernisation of the port is critical for Puntland to ensure it keeps a significant position within the fragmented political landscape of Somalia.
Aerial view of a cargo ship full of shipping containers

Heritage protection in a humanitarian crisis

After Kathmandu was hit by the Gorkha Earthquake in April 2015, a team from Durham University’s UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage was invited by the Government of Nepal and UNESCO to assess damaged historic monuments.
Image showing post-disaster training exercise with first responders

Understanding a century of global fascination with Tutankhamun: In conversation with Professor Christina Riggs

Professor Christina Riggs, Department of History, is a renowned expert on ancient Egypt and the Tutankhamun excavation. As the world marks 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, we chat to Christina about her research expertise and how visual culture, such as photography, has been at the heart of a century of global fascination.
Image of Tutankhamun

Mitigating the impact of air pollution on dementia and brain health: Setting the policy agenda

Professor Brian Castellani from our Department of Sociology is the Director of InSPIRE, a research consortium focused on the links between air pollution and brain health. Here, together with InSPIRE colleagues Dr Suzanne Bartington (Birmingham University) and Professor Stefan Reis (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Brian discusses why air quality strategies should include benefits on brain health.
Image showing people crossing a busy city street

London marathon: what to eat before, during and after the race

Thousands of people take part in the London Marathon every year, with many more attempting to run the 26.2 mile distance in marathons across the world. Dr Lindsay Macnaughton from our Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences talks us through some effective fuelling strategies.
Marathon runners during a race

Songbirds with unique colours are more likely to be traded as pets – new research

Dr Rebecca Senior from our Department of Biosciences shares her new research on uniquely coloured songbirds and how they could become extinct as a result of pet trade.
Coloured birds