Tagged / SciTech

Prestigious Visiting Professorship at Oxford

Congratulation to BU’s Prof. Tiantian Zhang who has been awarded at Visiting Professorship at the University of Oxford.  Her research area is cryopreservation of biological materials for medical applications.  Tiantian is now affiliated with the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research, which is the University of Oxford’s first overseas centre for advanced physical and engineering science research.

Well done!

Prof Edwin van Teijlingen

Ageing & Dementia Research Centre

In the spirit of Dementia Awareness Week (20th-26th May), we would like to talk to you about Bournemouth University’s Ageing & Dementia Research Centre (ADRC).

850,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living with dementia. Almost 5% of those over 65 in the UK have recorded prevalence of the disorder.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or strokes. Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss or difficulties with problem solving or language.

The ADRC is led by Professor Jane Murphy and Professor Jan Weiner, supported by staff and students from the Faculty for Health & Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Technology.

The centre’s research is significantly impacting theory, education and professional practice around dementia. The extensive lists of researchers who are part of the project aim to collate expertise to develop person-centred research which will improve the lives of people with dementia and their families.

Research can be categorised by three broad titles: ‘Developing Ageing & Dementia Friendly Environments’, ‘Nutrition & Wellbeing’ and ‘Activity & Social Inclusion’. Each topic builds on a wealth of research knowledge and projects already taking place at BU.

For example, under ‘Activity & Social Inclusion’, research intervention and evaluations are driving innovative best practice in health promotion and social care delivery, enabling carers and families to support those with dementia.

To hear from Professor Jane Murphy about her research and experience at the recent ‘Charity Impact Networking Day’ follow this link.

Follow the ADRC on twitter here.

Contact ADRC:

Email: ADRC@bournemouth.ac.uk
Telephone: 01202 962536

SciTech PGR Aishah Selamat awarded with UK Data Service Data Impact Fellowship Award

In September 2017, the UK Data Service (UKDS) announced the appointment of its second Data Impact Fellows for 2017-2018. Aishah Selamat from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Creative Department, was amongst the selected researchers from the United Kingdom universities.

An open competition for Ph.D. and post-doctoral researchers, the UKDS Data Impact Fellows programme is outlined to support the usage of UKDS data (and its resources) from the new generation of scholars. Each year, UKDS received high qualities of applications, making the selection a tougher job for the judges.

Aishah Selamat is BU first PGR to be awarded the competitive UK Data Service Impact Fellowship Award. The value of £2000 grant would provide Aishah Selamat the opportunities to carry out impactful public engagements, cover the course of her article publication or participate in an international conference. Over the course of two years, Aishah Selamat role as UKDS Data Impact Fellow includes blogs contribution to UKDS blog, develop an impactful case study contribution and becomes a data citation practitioner.

Read Aishah’s first blog post contribution on UKDS here.

PGR supervisory team consist of Dr. Simant Prakoonwit, Dr. Reza Sahandi & Dr. Wajid Khan

 

Dig for…eco toilets!

Over the last week, the ‘Sustainable Green Toilet Project’ has begun in Kenya, where excavations have been completed and foundations are now being built. Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) is working alongside ACEF (Akamba Children’s Education Fund) charity volunteers and BU students to build the new toilet facility for 800 school children who attend and live at the Brainhouse Academy, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The newer, cleaner toilet facilities will feature a bio digester energy recovery system producing biogas for the school and liquid fertiliser. Innovative research will also be investigated into at this location, including utilising energy from microbial life forms to generate electricity.  Katie and the students  will be travelling to Kenya in March this year to continue to work on the project.  Their work is part of the re-designed Wessex Portal  http://www.wessexportal.co.uk/

If you would like to know more about the project and keep up to date with any progress, then follow our blog via: www.wessexportal.co.uk or contact Katie Thompson on thompsonk@bournemouth.ac.uk or Genoveva Esteban gesteban@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Fusion Investment Funding helps to expand our conservation research in northern Sumatra

A series of Fusion Investment Funds since 2013 has enabled Amanda Korstjens and Ross Hill (Department of Life & Environmental Sciences) to develop a multi-stakeholder network in Sumatra and the UK, and establish a multi-cultural learning platform which provides BU staff and students with unique access to research, professional practice and education opportunities in tropical ecology and conservation. This began with an emphasis on primates, however further Fusion Investment Funding over 2015-16 has enabled us to expand this to include the critically endangered Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), focusing on human-wildlife conflicts and mitigation, and thus broadening the scope, sphere of influence and practical applications of the network and its learning platform.

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Human-elephant conflict is a major issue in northern Sumatra resulting from habitat loss and fragmentation. A key factor that decides the potential for conservation and for mitigating Human-elephant conflict is the availability of suitable habitat, and therefore it is critical to determine how elephants are responding to the degradation and rapid loss of their habitat. In order to do this, we need to have a better understanding of their home ranging, habitat use patterns and foraging strategies to understand their response to habitat change. We also need to understand the perception and values of local communities, and to identify positive means of providing support to help balance human-elephant relationships. An opportunity related to this is the potential for ecotourism development in the region. Ecotourism is a sustainable, non-invasive form of nature-based tourism that focuses primarily on educative experiences for visitors and direct economic benefit for local people. This FIF funded Staff Mobility Network project involved funding for Ross Hill, Amanda Korstjens and Susanna Curtin to visit Sumatra to establish a new collaborative network for Human-elephant conflict mitigation work, and to publicise our work via workshops and international conferences.

We made a highly successful two-week visit to Indonesia during January 2016. We held meetings with the Head of International Affairs at both Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, and University Sumatra Utara in Medan, to cement institutional relations and start the process of establishing a Memorandum of Agreement between our universities. Such was the level of support and interest from Syiah Kuala University that we also met both the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs (Dr Sofyan) and Rector (Prof Rizal), and after our visit they posted a very positive report on social media (click here).

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We also visited the regional offices of HAkA (Hutan, Alam dan Lingkungan Aceh) in Langsa, in order to establish a working relationship and research plan for elephant habitat modelling and mitigation of human-elephant conflict. We met with Rudi Putra (Chief Conservationist) and Tezar Pahlevie (Regional Manager) to identify a field site and protocol for elephant tracking by GPS collar, and were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Conservation Response Unit field site at Serbajadi, Aceh Timor. This was attended by dignitaries including the District (Aceh Timor) and/or Provincial (Aceh) Heads of Forestry, Conservation, Police, Military, Public Prosecution, and the Mayor. This event received considerable local coverage in the media (and through social media), helping to establish BU at the centre of activities and generating considerable good will. We have established this field area as the focal study site for our developing human-elephant conflict project, and our post-doctoral researcher (Gaius Wilson) is there now beginning the process of data collection.

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In addition to putting in place the network and working relationships for our elephant project, we also met with our collaborators at the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme (SOCP), including Ian Singleton (Director of Conservation) and Matthew Nowak (Director of Biodiversity Monitoring) to discuss research plans for our PhD and MRes students. We also made a successful field reconnaissance visit at our Sikundur field site, travelling up the Besilang River into primary rainforest to establish the potential of extending primate research into undisturbed forest. In Medan we visited the SOCP orang-utan quarantine and rehabilitation centre (The Sanctuary), meeting with Jess McKelson, the Quarantine Director and Project Manager of the Orang-utan Haven and Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, establishing possibilities for both research and professional practice student placements.

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Finally, we also visited the tourist area of Bukit Lawang to experience the role that tourism currently plays in orang-utan conservation to identify possibilities for an eco-tourism approach. We visited key sites and interviewed Zefri Chandra, Operations Manager of the only eco-lodge in the area, to gain an understanding of the difficulties and wider context of fulfilling an eco-tourism ethos in an environment where surrounding lodges and even the visiting foreign tourists do not particularly uphold or value this approach.

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A second successful visit to Sumatra took place during June 2016, with a mostly educational focus, but tying in with the research and conservation practice aims of the learning platform. A previous research blog describes this international field trip (click here). Also during this visit to Sumatra, as a separate activity to the under-graduate field course, I was able to receive training from Graham Usher (SOCP) in the flying and configuration of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for remote surveying of field sites at a landscape scale. This was part of the two-way knowledge exchange at the heart of the learning platform that this and previous FIF SMN awards have helped to establish.

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In order to publicise our conservation research work at Sikundur, Amanda Korstjens attended the joint meeting of the International Primatological Society and the American Society of Primatologists, in Chicago, during August 21-27, 2016. She presented a poster on the LEAP project which was well received. For a brief report on the IPS-ASP conference, click here).

Please contact us if you would like to know any more information about our work in northern Sumatra, relating to primates, elephants, human-wildlife conflict or eco-tourism. Further information can be found on our LEAP project website (http://go-leap.wix.com/home).

Hello from Matt Bentley: Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Science & Technology

It is now two weeks since I joined BU. First, I would like to say thank you for the extremely warm welcome I have received from everyone I have met. For me it is both a privilege and pleasure to have become part of such a vibrant team.

As some of you will know, I am a marine scientist and have research interests in reproduction of marine invertebrates and aquatic invasive species. I have joined BU from Newcastle University where I had been Director of the Dove Marine Laboratory and Acting Head of School of Marine Science and Technology.

I have been fortunate to have joined Bournemouth at a time when it is embracing its Fusion agenda and at the beginning of the next REF cycle looking forwards to 2020. This makes us well placed to drive forward our research, alongside delivering excellence in learning and teaching and engagement with business and industry.

As a passionate teacher, I recognise the importance of maintaining a close relationship between research and teaching and will work closely with the other Deputy Dean, Keith Phalp to ensure this happens.

Delivering our research innovation into the wider community, whether to industry, business or society for the benefit of all will see BU grow in reputation both nationally and globally. I look forward to working with you to increase both the volume and quality of our research through strategic research and in discovery science.

I hope to meet more of you in the very near future.

Best wishes, Matt

Psychology PGR student Simon Ferneyhough wins Santander Award and BPS Postgraduate Study Visit grant

Congratulations to Simon Ferneyhough, second year PhD student in Psychology (SciTech), for obtaining funding from both the Santander Mobility Award scheme (£1000) and the British Psychological Society Postgraduate Study Visit scheme (£400).  In combination, these funds will be used to support a two week research placement at the University of the Balearic Islands, working with long-standing laboratory collaborator and newly appointed Visiting Professor in Psychology, Dr. Fabrice Parmentier.

Simon’s PhD research examines the impact of normal cognitive ageing on a specific aspect of working memory performance known as feature binding: the ability to integrate different features of objects and events (e.g., colour, shape, sound, location) into unified episodic representations. While existing research indicates that we will all face decline in feature binding performance as we get older, not all types of feature binding seem to decline equally – memory for objects in locations, for instance, appears to be particularly impaired; while memory for an object’s intrinsic features (such as colour and shape) appears to be relatively preserved.  Simon will use the visit to collaboratively develop a paradigm widely used in the auditory distraction literature to study auditory-spatial feature binding (that between a sound object and its location in space) across younger and older adult samples.

Simon’s PhD is supervised by Dr.Jane Elsley (Psychology) and Dr. Andrew Johnson (Psychology).

ApSci PhD student wins Santander award

Many congratulations to Kyle Waters from Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, for winning a grant of £2,500 from the BU Graduate School Santander Mobility Wards towards a competitive internship at the prestigious American Museum of Natural History in New York. Kyle will be working in the Biological Anthropology Department of the museum with its vast collection of human skeletal remains, an experience that will directly benefit his doctoral research on ‘Differential mortality and morbidity– a bioarchaeological approach to childhood in Roman Britain’. Supervisor Professor Holger Schutkowski says: ‘This is a lifetime opportunity and I am delighted for Kyle to have secured Santander funds.’