Category / BU research

Find out about Max Lowenstein’s research into denunciation

Dr Max Lowenstein, from the Law Department in the Business School, has a piece of research coming out in Criminology & Criminal Justice: An International Journal (rated A in the Excellence Research Australia journal ranking list) that explores the meaning of judicial denunciation. The article attempts to relate sentencing principle, policy and social theory to legal practice by comparing the perceptions of English and Danish lower Court judges when sentencing minor theft offenders. There is no coherent international academic agreement as to what judicial denunciation means. The qualitative data gathered by interviewing Danish and English judges commonly pointed to the ‘public condemnation of someone or something’ Oxford Dictionaries Online (World English). In other words, judges pointing out wrongful behavior in theft offenders during sentence summation and explaining how this impacts victims, themselves and wider society. Through a small comparison of judicial perceptions in two distinct legal cultures there were common hints provided as to what denunciation may mean and what it could achieve when applied to theft offenders. In England, the potentially negative repercussions of denouncing theft offenders in Court were the focus. As one English lay judge eloquently summed up;

‘There is little impact on hardened persistent theft offenders because they know full well what they have done is wrong. It is like water off a duck’s back to them. Public shaming only has an impact if the theft offender cares about what others think of him.’

 However, in Denmark, the potentially positive repercussions of denouncing theft offenders in Court were the focus. As one Danish professional judge confidently stated;

‘When you explain why conduct is unacceptable in society, particularly early on in a theft offender’s anti-social habits, it can act as an important wake up call.’

Sadly comparative qualitative data on judicial denunciation is very rare due to the significant challenges it presents to the researcher. Indeed this research comparing such an important element of the sentencing approach had never been attempted before. By gathering more data across legal cultures it may be possible to align our theoretical understandings of judicial denunciation with the common perceptions in legal practice across Europe and beyond. In this way, comparative academics can contribute to the continuing future globalization of criminal justice. Much more research on judicial denunciation can and should be done. In so doing, how public condemnation of wrongful behavior is commonly perceived by judges in relation to similar criminal offences across different legal cultures will begin to emerge.

Hello everybody!

I am Tiantian Zhang, the new Head of the Graduate School,  I started on 16 Jan and have enjoyed the first two weeks at BU! Just tell you a little bit about myself – I graduated from Liaoning University with a BSc in Environmental Biology and worked as a research scientist in the areas of Environmental Science for 5 years in China before obtaining a MPhil degree in Environmental Biology at Middlesex University and a PhD degree in Cryobiology at University of Bedfordshire. I worked as a post-doc and a senior research fellow before I was made Reader in 2003 and Professor in 2005. I was the Director of LIRANS Institute of Research in the Applied Natural Sciences at University of Bedfordshire before joining BU. My work at University of Bedfordshire also involved working closely with the Research Graduate School on developing frameworks for doctoral training and Personal Development Planning programs and other cross institutional initiatives.

My research interests are in the areas of cryopreservation of gametes and reproductive cells and its applications in biomedicine, conservation and animal reproduction. The work has mainly been focused on cryopreservation of reproductive cells and embryos of aquatic species, effect of cryopreservation on genome and metabolic activities of reproductive cells and fish stem cell culture development and cryopreservation. My research also included ecotoxicology studies using fish cell lines and other biological materials. My cryobiology research was funded by funding bodies such as  the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission. The outcome of my research has led to 129 publications and 86 conference presentation. I have supervised 15 research students to completion and is currently the Director of Studies of  6 PhD students.

I have enjoyed meeting many people during my first two weeks at BU and is looking forward to meeting  as many of you as possible in the near future! I am also looking forward to working with you all in taking the Graduate School forward.

See you soon!

Best wishes

Tiantian

Assessing societal impact of social work research

Edwin Van TeijingenREF logoJonathan Parker
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the new assessment method for publically funded research in universities. Its controversial new ‘impact’ element rates work based on evidence of social, economic or cultural benefits generated from it. But how easily can such things be quantified, particularly in applied academic subjects like social work?

Professors Jonathan Parker and Edwin van Teijlingen from Bournemouth University have addressed these questions in their paper ‘The Research Excellence Framework (REF): Assessing the Impact of Social Work Research on Society’, published in Practice: Social Work in Action.

They argue that ‘the framework raises doubts about whether it is possible to capture fully the impact of social work research at all, and social work itself for that matter’, and stress that some pathways need to be identified to do this.

In suggesting ways to evidence impact, such as primary evaluative research, Parker and Van Teijlingen also outline the stumbling blocks. There are data protection laws and the expense and time of tying up research evaluation with another research project.

The solution, they say, is for social work research to be built and undertaken in partnership with social care agencies; that impact is everybody’s concern and practitioners and those who use social work services and their carers have a role to play in its creation and identification.

Parker and Van Teijlingen acknowledge that the REF will promote critical-thinking, engage practitioners and address the challenges of public spending restraint, but express a deep-seated concern that this new method of assessment will mark a loss of ‘conceptual, theoretical and critical’ research.

Although assessing research through improved social, economic, health, and environmental aspects of life is unlikely to be questioned, Parker and Van Teijlingen strongly argue that it should not be the only set of research outcomes recognised.  They argue that if the REF approach becomes common currency, ‘society is likely to lose the deeper understandings and meanings that have permeated thinking and, no doubt practice and behaviour.’

Both firmly believe BU’s research programme designed to enhance social work practice through continuing professional education has changed practice and influenced policy, as well as numerous other benefits to culture, public services, health, environment and quality of life.

Read Parker and Van Teijlingen’s full paper.

TheHorseCourse – changing behaviour in prisoners

Dr Ann Hemingway from BU’s School of Health and Social Care is working with Dr Rosie Meek from the University of Southampton to work with prisons to deliver TheHorseCourse, where horses are used to challenge offending behaviour.

The horses are trained to give clear and unbiased feedback on mental and emotional self control. Tasks are progressive and challenging, requiring the participants to remain calm and focused… or lose the plot! 

Prisoners are coached to overcome frustration and failure by taking control over their thoughts and feelings. The horses provide both motivation and feedback, and reliably create positive change with even the most difficult individuals.

Initial findings are extremely positive, with participants showing results such as:

  • better self control
  • greater engagement with available education
  • confidence as learners
  • stronger focus on positive goals
  • hope

The horsemanship goal of the 7 sessions is to gain Parelli Level 1 accreditation, the more important goal is to have the skills to lead constructive and satisfying lives.

One of the participants has commented: “”I’ve been on anger management courses, alcohol courses, things like that – this is much different, you’re learning it physical, not mental if you know what I mean. It’s helped me more, without a doubt. I don’t like talking. …Normally, with other courses you’re in a group of people… you have to talk about your issues and things like that, but here you get it out in a different way, you’re doing physical things not just talking. I’ve been doing that since I was 6 years of age and it’s never worked. I learnt a lot about myself. I can actually do things. I always say I can’t but I can.”

‎”From the video based evaluation undertaken so far it is clear to me that this intervention shows real innovation and promise and may indeed have the potential to reduce reoffending. To date there has been no published longitudinal evaluation focused on this type of intervention. It is for this reason that we have committed to undertaking a pilot evaluation.” Dr Ann Hemingway, Bournemouth University, (Public Health Interventions)
 
Reliably changing behaviour in the most difficult prisoners, to donate please visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/thehorsecourse
 
Join TheHorseCourse Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/TheHorseCourse
 
Dr Ann Hemingway is also the course lead for BU’s MSc Public Health course (part-time and full-time options). Read more about the course to see how you could bring about positive changes in health promotion and influence policies to improve public health and wellbeing locally, nationally and internationally.
 
 

NEW IDEAS FOR KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

New ideas on how universities can improve knowledge transfer have been proposed following a six months project undertaken by JISC as part of a business and community engagement project.

 The search to find a better model for knowledge transfer stems from one simple practical problem: knowledge transfer is simply too inefficient as a process. The under-exploitation of the intellectual assets arising from universities has been widely reported.

 The new ideas are based on current innovation theory, modern social media tools and current thinking on market behaviour or motivation, to provide a more effective model of Knowledge Transfer; a model that is capable of delivering more with less.

 Recommended is a less proprietorial approach to knowledge transfer, and a new, open, technology-enabled approach which has potentially wide applicability across the sector.

 For more details click here.

The authors highlighted a number structural inefficiencies in current methods of knowledge transfer that manifest themselves in three pinch points that need to be cracked to increase successful knowledge transfer and IP exploitation:

  • · The project selection pinch point
  • · The business development pinch point
  • · The early-stage proof of concept pinch point

Proposed is a new knowledge transfer model based on the feasibility of:

  1. Building a virtual KT organisation that moves beyond the university is more skilled, more scalable and better engaged than physically co-located employees
  2. Funding it on a combination of external and incentivised or intrinsically motivated, resource
  3. Reducing transaction costs via a combination of social media and automation in order to extend the number of opportunities that the university can handle.

For a summary of what is proposed, see presentation on link above. Start the presentation at 26 minutes.

Grant writing workshops for BU Studentship Competition

To assist staff in preparing their applications for the internal PhD funding competition John Wakeford, Director of the Missenden Centre, is coming to BU to deliver 2 one day workshops on 31st January and 1st February.   There are only a small number of spaces remaining on each day so if you would like to come along please register here asap. 

The workshop will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm and it is an excellent chance to pick up some advice from John on bid writing in general as well as honing your application for the studentships.  The first 6 draft applications received by John will be reviewed as part of the day.  A copy of the draft programme of the day is below.

If you have any queries about the day please contact Susan Dowdle.

Draft programme

 9.15                Coffee and Registration

 9.30                Institutional context – information on the studentships and the support of the Graduate School. Questions.

                                    Prof Tiantian Zhang – new Head of Graduate School

                                    Dr Fiona Knight – Graduate School Manager

 10.00              Agenda sharing (participant introductions and identifying concerns and priorities to be covered).

 10.30              Introduction – National policy and recent developments. Questions and discussion.

 10.45              Coffee break

11.00              Reviewing good research bid.  Teams act as reviewers and prepare outline of comments.  Plenary feedback from John Wakeford and teams.

 12.00              What to do before applying.

 12.30              Lunch.  Groups discuss bidding narrative.

 13.15              Plenary discussion of points arising from narrative.

 13.30              Advising colleagues on draft applications.  Teams act as critical colleagues and prepare advice on drafts direct at different agencies.  Plenary feedback.     Questions and discussion.

 14.30              Coffee break

 14.45              Writing a good application.

 15.30              Reflecting after having an application turned down.

 16.00              Action planning: individual participants draw up plans for progressing own research.  Participants make suggestions to the university to help those bidding for funds.

 16.25              Evaluation

 16.30              Close

Using QR Codes in Higher Education workshop – Tuesday 31 January

David Hopkins and Milena Bobeva in The Business School will be running a workshop on experiences and good practice in the use of QR codes within higher education on Tuesday 31 January.

QR Codes, the 2D bar codes, are becoming the new norm for businesses to reach their customers and provide a fast user-friendly way to access relevant content online through the use of mobile technology.

The workshop is suitable for both people who are new to the QR-concept and those who have substantial experience and would like to build a network to extend the use of QR Codes in education through collaboration in joint projects.

David and Milena will be joined by other QR experts such as Andy Ramsden, of the University Campus Suffolk, to discuss the challenges and good practice in using the codes effectively. 

Find out more online on the workshop webpage and reserve your free ticket here.  

University KTP put forward for Best Partnership Award 2012

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is Europe’s leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. 

The KTP programme provides a Government grant to fund joint projects between businesses and universities.

A KTP between the company, Electronic Technicians Limited, based in Ferndown, and the School of Design, Engineering and Computing at Bournemouth University has been selected by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to be eligible to be nominated for the KTP Best Partnership Award in 2012. The best partnerships will be selected for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and each of these ‘finalists’ will go forward for consideration at the national level for the Best UK Partnership Award.

This is a significant achievement for the University. Out of approximately 1000 KTPs, only 270 are selected to enter the next round from which the Best KTP is chosen.

The KTP, undertaken on behalf of the University by Clive Hunt, Tim Reynolds and Gary Prior (Associate), involved transferring knowledge to the Company on improving its manufacturing business processes.  The exercise of reviewing those processes led to the major savings which enabled the Company to grow significantly in a declining market.

The Project gave the University a valuable insight into the challenges faced by local industry during a period of economic uncertainty. It also enabled the University to develop a significant range of new teaching materials and enhanced the relationships between business and the University.

We wish the Partnership every success in reaching the next round.  The award will be made at a TSB event to be held in the autumn of 2012.

If you require any further information on KTPs in general click here 

or contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer,.

BU’s Sarah Bate talks about developmental prosopagnosia at Birkbeck College

In September 2011 BU’s Dr Sarah Bate was invited to talk at a Face-Blindness Open Day at Birkbeck College.  The event was attended by people with prosopagnosia (face blindness) from all over the world and the media.  The other keynote speakers were big names in the face processing world: Brad Duchaine (Dartmouth College), Tim Valentine (Goldsmiths) and Martin Eimer (Birkbeck).

You can watch an excellent video of Sarah’s presentation here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdCMj7Yp6CU&feature=related

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) Consultancy Service

What is the Consultancy Service?

BUCRU has developed a consultancy service aimed at organisations that have an interest in health and wellbeing. Members of the team have many years experience of providing consultation services to the NHS, public bodies, charities and businesses. In addition to research projects we can also advise on audit projects, clinical evaluations, service evaluations and other areas where the collection and analysis of good quality data is important.

How can it help?

The service is flexible and tailored to the client’s requirements. Typically an initial meeting will involve finding out about the client’s needs and discussing the ways in which we can help. Our involvement could range from a single meeting to discuss a particular issue, through to conducting a project on behalf of the client.

Some examples are:

¨                  Advising on or conducting clinical trials, surveys, epidemiological studies, pilot and feasibility studies

¨                  Study design

¨                  Advice on sample size

¨                  Questionnaire design and validation

¨                  Outcome measures

¨                  Data collection and management

¨                  Statistical analysis and interpretation

¨                  Qualitative and mixed methods approaches

¨                  Design and evaluation of complex interventions such as found in medicine, psychology, nursing, physiotherapy and so on.

¨                  Managing and running studies

¨                  Advice on ethics and governance approval processes.

¨                  Involving patients and the public in research

¨                  Troubleshooting

How do I find out more?

For further information about, and access to, our consultancy service please contact:

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

Research within the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU)

In previous blogs we have described how BUCRU can help in developing grant applications. In this blog we describe some of the funded projects we are involved in.

BUCRU led research

Fatigue management in multiple sclerosis (MS):  We have just completed a multi-centre randomised trial of a cognitive behavioural approach to fatigue management in people with multiple sclerosis1. This project was funded by the MS Society (http://www.mssociety.org.uk).

Improving activity and wellbeing in people with MS: We are just starting a MS Society funded pilot study to look at the Nintendo Wii home gaming system as a method of helping people with MS increase their activity levels and wellbeing.

Systematic review of psychological interventions for people with MS: A small grant to update our existing Cochrane review2

BUCRU collaborative projects

IDvIP: A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) (http://www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/RfPB/Pages/home.aspx) funded project. This is a multi-centre trial comparing 2 methods of pain relief for women in labour; diamorphine and pethidine3. The Chief Investigator is a Consultant in one of the local hospitals and a member of the Bournemouth University Visiting Faculty. BUCRU staff were involved in the design of the study, applying for the grant, data management, statistical analysis and interpretation, and advice on project management.*

WEIGHTED: A small grant from the College of Emergency Medicine held by a local Consultant/ member of the Visiting Faculty. This study is about to start and aims to develop a robust method of estimating the weight of patients attending a hospital emergency department. Many patients require a weight dependent dose of potentially life saving medication, but are too ill to be actually weighed.  BUCRU were involved in designing the study and securing funding, and will be involved in ongoing advice on project and data management, statistical analysis and interpretation.

PEARLS: A large multi-centre trial of training maternity staff in assessing and repairing tears to the perineum acquired during labour and delievery4. This project is funded by the Health Foundation (http://www.health.org.uk) and run under the auspices of the Royal College of Midwives. BUCRU has been involved in data management, statistical analysis and interpretation.

PREVIEW: A pilot randomised trial comparing two methods of looking after tears to the perineum. The Chief Investigator is based in Birmingham, and the study is funded by the NIHR RfPB funding scheme. This study has recently started, and BUCRU was involved in the design of the study and the funding application. Further involvement will be in advising on project management, data management and statistical analysis.

Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship: (http://www.nihrtcc.nhs.uk). Award held by BU and won by a radiographer based at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. The project involves tracking and measuring spinal motion. The research may have important implications in diagnosing people with chronic lower back pain. BUCRU were involved in the study design and funding application, and 2 members of staff are supervisors for her PhD.

Contact us:

In the first instance please contact

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

 http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

1 Thomas, P.W., Thomas, S., Kersten, P., Jones, R., Nock, A., Slingsby, V., et al., 2010. Multi-centre parallel arm randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a group-based cognitive behavioural appoach to managing fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurology, 10:43

2 Thomas, P.W., Thomas, S., Hillier, C., Galvin, K., and Baker, R. (2006). Psychological interventions for multiple sclerosis. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Vol. Issue 1, pp. Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004431. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004431.pub2): John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

3 Wee, M.Y.K., Tuckey, J.P., Thomas, P., Burnard, S. 2011. The IDvIP Trial: A two-centre randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing intramuscular diamorphine and intramuscular pethidine for labour analgesia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 11: 51

4 Bick, D.E., Kettle, C., MacDonald, S., Thomas, P.W., Hill, R.K., Ismail, K.. 2010. PErineal Assessment and Repair Longitudinal Study (PEARLS): protocol for a matched pair cluster trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10:10.

TSB Planning to increase number of KTPs

KTP diagramEstablished in 1975, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is one of the world’s leading knowledge transfer mechanisms, which provides academics with the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses. The programme provides Government grants to fund joint projects with business or third sector organisations lasting from 6 months to 3 years.

Following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, the budget for new KTPs was reduced to £25m per annum. While this is sufficient to fund between 600 and 800  KTPs per annum, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is seeking other ways of funding additional KTPs. At a meeting between a number of universities, including Bournemouth University, and the TSB held on the 17th January, Debbie Buckley-Golder, the TSB’s Head of Knowledge Exchange said this additional funding is being sought from major charities and industry. While the £25m core funding will continue to be available on an any time, any topic basis, the new funding is likely to be targeted at particular subject areas with set response timescales.   Subject areas will driven by business needs and are likely to be published in March 2012.

The current success rates for KTP applications is above 80%, however, the grant rate for multiple KTPs from the same company is likely to be reduced. Due to the significantly larger impact, most KTPs (75%) will be granted for projects with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, to facilitate the continued involvement of large organisations, the TSB are investigating a reduced grant rate KTP where the organisation will fund most of the project but continue to receive support from the TSB, for example KTP Advisers and associate training.

Bournemouth University has been very successful in assisting businesses through the KTP programme, see article on this link.

If you require any further information on this meeting or KTPs in general please contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer, e-mail Peter Delgado.

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) Events and Services

BUCRU incorporates the Dorset Office of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service – South West (RDS-SW). This means that in addition to the support outlined in previous blogs, we can also provide access to the following:

RDS Grant application workshop.

This workshop is going to be held at Bournemouth University on the 29th February 2012 (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/grant_workshop.htm). Although the official deadline for applying has recently passed, it is worth contacting us to see if there are any remaining places. The workshop will also be held in other locations in the South-West region in the near future.

This is a one-day workshop for researchers who are developing proposals with the intention of applying for a grant. The workshop does not provide detailed training in research methodology; rather it more generally covers the full range of issues inherent in developing a successful grant application. It will be of relevance to researchers applying to any of the major health research funders, but particularly the NIHR funding schemes.

Researchers will need to send in advance the latest draft of their research proposal. As a minimum they should have a plan for a project but, ideally, a worked up proposal, perhaps even one that has been previously rejected. All proposals will receive detailed written feedback from the RDS team.

Topics include

  • The application as a marketing document, selling the topic, selling the method, and selling the team;
  • The balanced team;
  • Clarity of description and explanation;
  • Feasibility issues;
  • Identifying and avoiding potential pitfalls

 

RDS Residential Research Retreat

The Residential Research Retreat (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/rrr_home.htm) provides an opportunity for research teams to develop high quality health related research proposals suitable for submission to national peer-reviewed funding schemes. The aim of the Retreat is to provide the environment and support to promote rapid progress in developing proposals over a relatively short time period.

This Research Retreat is open to health professionals and academics working within the South West. Applications to attend the Retreat should be submitted by a team of three people with varied skills. Applications are reviewed competitively and places awarded to the most promising team proposals. The deadline for the next Research Retreat has passed, but it is anticipated that applications will be invited again later in the year.  

At the retreat participants are supported by a range of experts while developing their research proposal. They work intensively on their proposal, while learning how to maximise its chances for successfully securing a grant.

In addition, the Residential Research Retreat helps participants develop the key skills needed to conduct research in a clinical setting as well as nurturing presentation skills and giving them the confidence to tackle research problems. 

 

RDS Scientific Committee

The RDS Scientific Committee (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/scientific_committee.htm) provides an excellent opportunity for researchers in the south-west to obtain a critical review of a proposed grant application before it is sent to a funding body. The Committee brings the benefit of seeing the proposal with “fresh eyes”, replicating as far as possible the way the real funding committee will consider the application. Committee members include senior research consultants who have considerable experience of obtaining research funding, resulting in comprehensive comments and advice fed back.

Committee meetings take place approximately 9 times per year. To submit a study for review at the meeting, study paperwork must be provided to the Committee via BUCRU two weeks prior to the meeting date, and preferably a couple of months before the intended funding deadline.

 

Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research and Education (CoPMRE) Annual Symposium

In addition to events aimed at supporting the development of grant applications we also host an event geared towards dissemination. The CoPMRE Annual Symposium will be held on the 11th September 2012 at the Bournemouth University Talbot Campus. These successful annual conferences have been running for the past nine years and have featured themes such as ‘Professionalism and Collaboration’, ’Research Innovation’ and ‘Interprofessional Learning’. This year’s theme will be on using ‘Social media techniques in healthcare research and education’.  The conference is open to all healthcare professionals and academics.  More information will be posted on our website in due course and you will be able to register online nearer the time.  For further information on the symposium please contact Audrey Dixon, Conference Manager (adixon@bournemouth.ac.uk ).

Contact us: For further information about, and access to, the Grant applications workshop, the Residential Research Retreat and the Scientific Committee please contact:

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

Psychology Research Seminars

Thursday 19 January

Dr Martin Corley (University of Edinburgh) speaking on “To ‘er’ is human”

 Thursday 16 February

Dr Erik Reichle (University of Southampton) speaking on “E-Z Reader: A model of eye-movement control during reading”

 Thursday 15 March

Dr Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle University) speaking about behaviour change and health (title to be announced).

 All the seminars are held in room K101, Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus, and start at 4pm (lasting about an hour including discussion). They are free to attend and no pre-booking is required – just turn up on the day. Full details and abstracts can be found at: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/prc/seminars.html

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.