Category / REF Subjects

The ocean colour scene: How plant pigmentation changes in response to nutrient levels

A diatom

Recent research has suggested ocean nutrient levels are affected by human activities. But what does mean for tiny single-celled marine plants at the base of the food chain?  Can they adapt when faced with decreased nutrient levels, or do they simply die? And what impact will this have on the rest of the food chain?

These are some of the big questions currently being asked by environmental scientists at Bournemouth University.

A new researcher in the department, Dr Daniel Franklin, has just published A coccolithophorea study on cell productivity under nutrient-restricted conditions, examining two important single-celled marine plants (a coccolithophore and a diatom).

The study is in response to growing concerns that the rise in ocean temperatures will restrict nutrient supplies to the marine plants at the base of the food chain.

Dr Daniel Franklin commented: “As the surface ocean warms, we know there will be an increase in stratification, whereby a warm skin of water lies over a colder, denser layer, which might restrict nutrient supply from the deeper water to shallow water and result in decreased productivity.”

The study just published in Limnology and Oceanography examined growth of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, often found in the subtropical open ocean, and the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana which is often found in coastal seas.

“We showed that E. huxleyi cells adapt to declining nutrients in order to wait for more nutrients, and don’t die” said Dr. Franklin. “T. pseudonana, however, which is known to grow quickly in response to increased nutrients, did not adapt, and quickly died. These two types of response reflect the ecology of the two organisms in their natural habitat.”

But in addition to understanding how sensitive cells are to nutrient changes, these findings could inform how we measure ocean productivity in the future.

“Measuring the amount of photosynthetic pigments, mainly chlorophyll, is how we assess phytoplankton productivity on the macro-scale. We measure pigments from satellites. As part of this work we have been looking at how pigments alter during cell decline so that we can refine our understanding of how productivity can be measured at the macro-scale,” said Dr. Franklin.

Satellite data

The full paper, entitled ‘Identification of senescence and death in Emiliania huxleyi and Thalassiosira pseudonana: Cell staining, chlorophyll alterations, and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) metabolism’ can be viewed through the Limnology and Oceanography website.

Radio heritage digitised and available on the British Universities Film & Video Council website

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Professor Hugh Chignell who has worked with London Broadcasting Company’s independent radio news archive to digitalise over 8,000 tapes, creating a live history account which is now available on the British Universities Film and Video Council’s website: http://radio.bufvc.ac.uk/lbc/

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svdm_2f4V24

Research into public health and tourism strategies

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Dr Heather Hartwell (School of Tourism and School of Health and Social Care) who describes unique research facilitating strategic direction for public health, in alignment with tourism strategies, aimed at creating conversation and collaboration

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8DM9zKU1c

Workshop on Evolving Predictive Systems

Workshop on Evolving Predictive Systems

co-located with the 12th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving From Nature (PPSN-2012)

September 1-5, 2012

Taormina, Italy

In recent years, the data mining scientific community witnessed a very strong demand for predictive systems that will be able to evolve and adapt. The range of tasks fulfilled by evolving predictive systems is very broad and covering many different application areas. Despite the high number of publications dealing with applications, there are still unaddressed pressing issues of evolving predictive systems design and development, such as complexity analysis, ensemble architectures and meta-learning. This workshop is devoted to the discussion of robust, context aware and easy-to-use evolving predictive systems, which improve, adapt and possibly maintain themselves within their respective environments and constraints.  Contributions presenting recent work on ensemble systems, complexity analysis and meta-learning are particularly welcome.

The workshop addresses people from the scientific IT community who are active in the research domain of data-driven systems capable to adapt to changing situations and environments. The considered approaches can include evolutionary algorithms, other nature-inspired methods or heuristic approaches. Special focus will be put on research dealing with ensemble architectures, as well as with complexity issues (size, form and interpretation of the solution formula, time and algorithm complexity) and meta-learning incorporation.

Researchers are invited to submit original work as papers of not more than 10 pages. Authors are encouraged to submit their papers in LaTeX. Papers must be submitted in Springer Verlag’s LNCS style.

Topics of interest

Topics that are in the area of interest of the workshop include, but are not limited to:

•             Advanced Modelling Techniques for Evolving Predictive Systems
•             Evolving Predictive Ensembles
•             Complexity Analysis for Evolving Predictive Systems
•             Advanced Adaptation Mechanisms
•             Meta-learning
•             Applications

Important Dates

Submission of Papers: 2 April 2012

Notification of Acceptance: 1 June 2012

Camera-Ready submission of Papers: 20 June 2012

Early Registration Deadline: 25 June 2012

Conference: 1-5 September 2012

Papers are submitted by direct email to mailto:atsakonas@bournemouth.ac.uk

Organization Committee

Bogdan Gabrys, Bournemouth University, UK, bgabrys@bournemouth.ac.uk

Athanasios Tsakonas, Bournemouth University, UK, atsakonas@bournemouth.ac.uk

Mailing address: Bournemouth University, Poole House, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK

Green Economy and sustainability workshop yesterday

GREEN ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABILITY – post presentation notes

FUSION – smarter way of working, many have already been working in this way. Research informs education; education (students) may be subjects of research and co-producers; both may inspire PP. PP can influence research, be subject of research and feeds back into education.

THEME – offers excitement and sharing which could enhance all aspects of the fusion triangle through collaboration across disciplines

POINTS FROM GROUP DISCUSSION/FLIP CHARTS

ACT NOW to seize window of opportunity. The language for Rio+20 in 2012 reinforces the terms ‘Green economy’. Negotiations leading to Rio are underway with the argument being that the way to sustainable development is to put green growth at the heart of economic development strategies while at the same time reducing pollution and green house gasses, maintaining biodiversity and reducing inefficient use of natural resources. The time to get material out and seek to influence is now.

INTER-DISCIPLINARY research/perspectives are required to address SD and develop solutions. There are gaps in the literature in a number of areas. Perhaps a future session might articulate the current gaps?

THINK PIECES might be developed to get out externally but as a starting point this might be used internally to enable the group to learn about the diversity of perspectives within the group. Need a way to share these that is internal ‘Google docs’ might be useful. Need something to support collaborative working either asynchronous but preferably synchronous.

FUTURE EVENTS and collaborations

  • Forums – opportunities for collaboration and sharing
  • Importance of tangible outputs
  • Paper writing sessions – focused collaborative working where paper is drafted by end
  • Book – collection of chapters but with caveat about impact
  • Edited volume of papers

STICK IT COMMENTS ideas and areas of interest:

  • Use the database of GKE interest people, augment it with thought pieces and make it available
  • BU – cross school collaboration with community lead projects = impact at grass roots level e.g. DECC bid with energy saving; TT Dorchester.
  • Short policy papers supported by a new cornerstone text (e.g. Blueprint for a Green Economy or Our Common Future
  • Green health issues – how can this link?
  • Sustainable Tourism/ Eco tourism
  • Recognition of value of nature capital in leisure
  • Renewable energy
  • Green consumer profile
  • Green Lifestyle
  • Green supply chain
  • Resilience of Green Economy
  • Human Behaviour and cooperation (in terms of climate change scenarios
  • Motivational behaviour
  • Impacts of ‘Greentec’ (Social Environmental Economic)
  • Social justice
  • Leadership for SD
  • Systemic thinking/futures thinking – envisioning alternative lifestyles
  • Contradictions and challenges within greener economy and economic growth

Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work

Professional judgement, communication and critical reflection are vital aspects of a social worker’s role and a new book, ‘Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work’, aims to empower post-qualifying students to develop these skills.

The front cover of 'Critical Thinking and Professional Judgement for Social Work'Author Lynne Rutter from the Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University explains more about professional learning, a new way of thinking and her own research.

“I am intrigued by the psychology associated with learning. It is obviously an emotional and very personal experience, especially for qualified practitioners, but it should also be an empowering experience.

“For me, professional higher education is about developing more complex thinking which has practical, reflective, personal, moral, as well as objective, conceptual and theoretical aspects. All these aspects are part of professional reasoning and judgement and ultimately professional understanding and knowledge, and so are equally important.

“My journey has led me to understand that there is a productive and empowering synergy here if no one aspect is privileged over the others and if a professional perspective becomes a focus. These were very important elements within the professional doctorate which made it very meaningful and useful for my own practice. The book brings much of this work together and aims to highlight and develop the complex thinking associated with professional learning as a key part of developing confidence and authority in a professional role.”

Order a copy of ‘Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work’.

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is the first application of its kind to transport users around a virtual prehistoric landscape, exploring the magnificent and internationally important monument, Stonehenge.

The application was developed by Bournemouth University archaeologists, using new field data gathered during their work with colleagues from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.  Google Under-the-Earth works by adding layers of archaeological information to Google Earth technology.Snapshot of the 360 degree view from the Stone Circle

The unique visual experience lets users interact with the past like never before. Highlights include taking a visit to the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls, a trip inside a prehistoric house and the opportunity to see reconstructions of Bluestonehenge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue and of the great timber monument called the Southern Circle, as they would have looked more than four thousand years ago.

 

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Google Research Awards, a program which fosters relationships between Google and the academic world as Google fulfils its mission to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’

But this fabulous educational and cultural tool does not end with Stonehenge. Archaeological scientist Dr Kate Welham, project leader at Bournemouth University, explained that it is the start of something much bigger.

“It is envisaged that Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge could be the start of a new layer in Google Earth. Many of the world’s great archaeological sites could be added, incorporating details of centuries’ worth of excavations as well as technical data from geophysical and remote sensing surveys in the last 20 years,” she said.

Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, said: “The National Trust cares for over 2000 acres of the Stonehenge Landscape. Seeing Beneath Stonehenge offers exciting and innovative ways for people to explore that landscape. It will allow people across the globe, many of whom may never otherwise have the chance to visit the sites, to share in the thrill of the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Riverside team and to appreciate the remarkable achievements of the people who built and used the monuments.”

You can download the application from the Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge site. The tool is easy to use and requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission (Digital Agenda), reads BU research, but…

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, made her annual set piece speech at the Media Forum in Avignon, France on 19 November: Who feeds the artist?

Speaking of economic reward: if that is the aim of our current copyright system, we’re failing here too. [then follows a paragraph summarising the BU studies in the area, but without reference] 1000 euros a month is not much to live off. Often less than the minimum wage. But most artists, and not only the young ones at the early stages of their career, have to do so. Half the fine artists in the UK, half the “professional” authors in Germany, and, I am told, an incredible 97.5% of one of the biggest collecting society’s members in Europe, receive less than that paltry payment of 1000 euros a month for their copyright works. Of course, the best-paid in this sector earn a lot, and well done to them. But at the bottom of the pyramid are a whole mass of people who need independent means or a second job just to survive.

[before indicating a change in policy direction] Let’s not wait for a financial crisis in the creative sector to happen to finally adopt the right tools to tackle it.

The data is clearly from:

AUTHORS’ EARNINGS FROM COPYRIGHT AND NON-COPYRIGHT SOURCES: A SURVEY OF 25,000 BRITISH AND GERMAN WRITERS (ALCS Study 2007) http://www.cippm.org.uk/alcs_study.html

COPYRIGHT CONTRACTS AND EARNINGS OF VISUAL CREATORS: A SURVEY OF 5,800 BRITISH DESIGNERS, FINE ARTISTS, ILLUSTRATORS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS (DACS Study 2011) http://www.cippm.org.uk/publications/dacs-report.html

A possible source is my contribution to a Hearing in the European Parliament last June. http://www.cippm.org.uk/news/2011/jun/ne001-future-of-copyright-in-the-digital-era.html

So there is a challenge… I could blog: “European Commission Vice-President reads BU research”.

But no source is cited. Did our studies matter? Is there a causal link to a change in the direction of copyright policy?

In REF terms, was there Impact of research?

Howard Davis publishes in the highly rated journal – Public Law

Dr Howard Davis, from the Law Department in the Business School, has a piece coming out in Public Law (A* in the Excellence Research Australia journal ranking list) on the right to an open hearing in the context of mental health law. Courts and tribunals dealing with the affairs of those with serious mental health problems normally conduct their affairs in private with no access of the public or the media. This is to protect confidentiality and privacy. But private hearings go against the fundamental principle of open justice. The article explores recent developments in which mental health tribunals (which deal with questions whether someone detained in a mental hospital ought to be released) and the Court of Protection (whose concerns include sorting out the property etc of those unable to look after themselves) have both allowed some degree of publicity to their proceedings. In the tribunal case it was a patient who had been detained in Broadmore for 23 years who successfully sort a public hearing in order, he hoped, to publicise his position and his criticisms of the regime. In the COP case the application came from the media. The patient is a renowned pianist who is also autistic and there is signicant public interest in his position. The media had a limited right to publicise information gleaned from the proceedings.

Consumer behaviour in virtual worlds

A prestigious journal has awarded two Bournemouth University (BU) academics the ‘Best Paper’ accolade for their work in the largely unstudied domain of consumer behaviour in digital virtual spaces, including video games, virtual communities and the web.

‘Concepts and practices of digital virtual consumption’, by BU’s Dr Janice Denegri-Knottand Dr Mike Molesworth, was among the most downloaded work published by Consumption Markets and Culture last year.

The paper examines digital virtual consumption (such as owning luxury cars in a video game), the relationship it has within the real material world and the appeal of consumption that is deprived of a material, physically tangible form.

Flying planes in a computer gameDenegri-Knott and Molesworth think of consumption on spaces like eBay, Amazon and World of Warcraft as somewhere between the consumers’ imagination and material consumption, and believe it is charged with transformative potential for its users.

Consumers can fulfil all sorts of daydreams, such as finding a designer dress on eBay, or performing the fantasy of being a powerful wizard. They don’t just look and ask ‘what might it be like’, but may ‘try on’ being an entrepreneur, someone with wealth, a collector, a trader, an advertiser, a criminal, a hero, a warrior, or many other ways of being.

Their roles are enhanced as the scripts available to them expand and can be tested within relatively small timescales. The digital virtual individual may be an avid collector one year, a warrior hero the next, and a successful entrepreneur the year after that. The video game player may be a successful criminal one week and a racing driver the next.

Denegri-Knott and Molesworth believe more emphasis is needed on the relationship between the virtual realm and the real-world and, as digital virtual consumption is largely unstudied, they propose an integrative view for further research.

“The paper was written in the spirit of mapping out potential avenues for research, and also to give us some kind of conceptual frame to make sense of consumption in emerging digital virtual spaces,” said Dr Denegri-Knott.  “We now have a body of work that looks at the way in which users consume through eBay, from which we have been able to draw some insights on the acceleration of consumer desire and the problems this creates. We now would like to develop the theme of transformative potential in digital virtual consumption; that is to see how consumers make sense of their experiences and how they integrate these into their everyday lives.”

The pair are also now researching the experience of owning digital virtual goods, in particular the ways in which consumers become attached to certain goods, and how they maintain their preferential stature.

Dr Denegri-Knott concluded: “We were both delighted and surprised to hear that our paper was so well received by the readers of the journal and by the judging panel.  This is a real achievement for the Emerging Consumer Cultures Group (ECCG).”

Find out how BU research is helping councils improve the delivery of the Olympics and Paralympics

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Dr Richard Shipway who discusses the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and how his research has been used by local councils to improve the delivery of the games in the area.

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page!

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy_B4Nbzvv4