University of Exeter

Triple amputee Mark Ormrod 'humbled' by university honour

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A former Royal Marine from Plymouth, who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan, is set to have an honorary doctorate of laws conferred upon him.

Mark Ormrod says he is "humbled" after receiving a letter from the University of Exeter.

"You know some days when I wake up and things are going wrong, I think to myself ‘What did I do in a previous life that was so bad to make times in my life so challenging?’," he said.

"And then other days I wake up and I think to myself ‘I must have done a couple of good things in that previous life to get so lucky'."

In September, the triple amputee was awarded an honorary degree at Plymouth University.

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On the hoof: Project looks at horses helping mental health

Janine Jansen

BBC Spotlight

Researchers at the University of Exeter are looking at how connecting with horses can help improve mental health.

Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines with mental health problems such as PTSD are taking part in the study, which is being run for the NHS.

Researchers said it was hoped such therapy could become one alternative to prescribing anti-depressant drugs.

Man with horse

Frogs lives 'saved' by bacteria

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

Bacteria living on the skin of frogs could save them from a deadly virus, new research has suggested.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and ZSL's Institute of Zoology compared the bacteria living on frogs from groups with varying histories of ranavirus.

Ranavirus kills large numbers of European common frogs, the species most often seen in UK ponds.

It is one of many threats facing amphibians worldwide.

The scientists found populations with a history of outbreaks had a “distinct” skin microbiome, bacteria, when compared to those where no outbreaks had occurred.

Whether a population of frogs becomes diseased might depend on the species of bacteria living on their skin. Ranavirus is widespread, but its presence in the environment doesn’t necessarily mean frogs become diseased – there appears to be some other factor that determines this.

Dr Lewis CampbellUniversity of Exeter