• Antioxidant, Anticancer and Antimicrobial, Effects of Rubia cordifolia Aqueous Root Extract

      Barlow, R; Barnes, D; Campbell, A; Nigam, PS; Owusu-Apenten, Richard K.; University of Chester, University of Ulster (Sciencedomain international, 2015-11-10)
      Aims: To evaluate the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of Rubia cordifolia root extracts, to test anticancer activity against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines, and to evaluate antimicrobial activity of the same extract versus six Gram-positive and negative bacteria. Study Design: In vitro. Place of Study and Duration: School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, July 2014-Sept 2015. Methodology: TAC was tested using ABTS, DPPH, FRAP and Folin assays and values were expressed as mg-gallic acid equivalents per 100 g (GAE/100 g) of sample. Anticancer properties were examined against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines using Sulforhodamine B assay. Antimicrobial activity was examined using a disk diffusion assay with three Gram-positive (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus) and three Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi) bacteria. Results: TAC of dry extracts of Rubia cordifolia ranged from 523±43 to 4513±208 (mg GAE mg/100 g) depending on the method of analysis, ABTS> FRAP> Folin > DPPH methods. R. cordifolia dry extract showed cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231 with IC50 = 44 µg/ml or 5.1µM GAE. No antimicrobial activity was observed against the three Gram-positive, or three Gram-negative bacterial species using the water extract or R. cordifolia. Conclusion: R. cordifolia aqueous extract possess high total antioxidant capacity but values depend on the method of analysis. R. cordifolia extract inhibits MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells proliferation but nil anti-bacterial activity was observed for three Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacterial strains tested.
    • Application of immunological methods for the detection of species adulteration in dairy products

      Hurley, Ian P.; Ireland, H. Elyse; Coleman, Robert C.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester (Wiley, 2004)
      A number of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) have been developed for the detection of milk adulteration in dairy products. Target antigens have been caseins, lactoglobulins, immunoglobulins and other whey proteins. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have been used in a variety of formats including direct, indirect, competitive and sandwich ELISAs. ELISAs have been successfully applied to the detection of cows' milk adulteration of sheep, goat and buffalo milk. Goat milk adulteration of sheep milk has also been detected. A number of ELISAs have also been applied to cheese. It is recommended that ELISA should be used in combination with PCR to ensure compliance with current legislation.
    • Approaching the problem of defining 'health' and 'disease' from the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001-09)
      Concepts of 'health' and 'disease' are of fundamental importance to ethical considerations regarding medical provision. Yet the terms have no clearly agreed definitions. In fact, the difficulty of defining health has led to most attention being given to defining disease instead. Here, two schools of thought have arisen: the 'naturalist' which argues that disease is an objective entity in itself and the 'normativist' which gives emphasis to the subjective nature of disease experience differing between cultures and through history. Respectively, these two schools characterize quantitative (or functional) and qualitative (or evaluative) views of disease. Although both schools offer important insights, they are essentially at odds. This poster outlines an approach that seeks to find a basis for a meeting (if not a unification) of these schools by adopting ideas and approaches from evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine. From the perspective of reproductive fitness, the question of whether health and disease can be said to exist as biological entities is addressed and the idea that all that matters is reproductivity is considered. It is suggested that attitudes regarding certain biological entities, such as physical or physiological states, serve adaptive functions. The suggestion is then made that, although open to social and cultural influence, attitudes towards and qualitative definitions of health and disease also have biological bases. Thus, it may be argued that evaluative definitions of disease have functional (evolutionary) bases, thereby linking the naturalist and normativist schools of thought. Important in this linkage, however, is acceptance of ideas from evolutionary psychology. The only discipline that currently unites the study of health and disease with that of evolutionary biology (including evolutionary psychology) is Darwinian medicine. It is within this discipline that new theoretical and evidence-based understanding of 'health' and 'disease' is likely to prove fruitful – in particular, in giving 'health' appropriately weighted attention.
    • Arabinoxylans: Bioactivities in Relation to Their Molecular Structure

      Li, Weili; Zhang, Zhengxiao; Smith, Christopher J.; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University (Bentham Science, 2017-03-09)
      Arabinoxylans are a group of compounds with a basic structure consisting of a xylose backbone with arabinose side chains. Variations in structure occur as a result of variations in the xylose chain length, the ratio of arabinose to xylose and the introduction of alternative side-chains. This allows for an enormous potential range of structures. Arabinoxylans are major components of the cell walls of cereals. They have been reported to have numerous health benefits. This chapter presents a systematic description of the molecular features of arabinoxylans and relates these to the different extraction technologies used to obtain them. The proposal, that their immune modulation activity is related to their molecular weight and structure, is presented. Results demonstrating the effects of various arabinoxylans in various in vitro immunological tests are discussed.
    • Archibald Geikie: His influence on and support for the roles of female geologists

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Geological Society of London, 2018)
      This chapter explores the interaction between Archibald Geikie and female geologists in their many different roles and within the social context of his life time (1835-1924). The roles adopted by female geologists altered around 1875 due to a change in the educational and legal background. Geikie’s attitude to female fieldwork and research publications changes through time too. His life is divided up into 5 different stages according to his influence. Case studies of both single and married women are explored looking at the influence and interaction they had with Archibald Geikie. They include Maria Ogilvie Gordon, Catherine Raisin, Annie Greenly, Gertrude Elles, Ethel Skeat and Ethel Wood. Was one female role more acceptable to him than others? Geikie seems to accept most of the roles they undertook and he supported them wherever he could.
    • Aspartame in conjunction with carbohydrate reduces insulin levels during endurance exercise

      Siegler, Jason; Howell, Keith; Vince, Rebecca; Bray, James W.; Towlson, Chris; Peart, Daniel; Mellor, Duane; Atkin, Stephen; University of Western Sydney ; University of York ; University of Hull ; University of Hull ; University of Hull ; University of Hull ; University of Chester ; University of York (2012-08-01)
      As most sport drinks contain some form of non-nutritive sweetener (e.g. aspartame), and with the variation in blood glucose regulation and insulin secretion reportedly associated with aspartame, a further understanding of the effects on insulin and blood glucose regulation during exercise is warranted. Therefore, the aim of this preliminary study was to profile the insulin and blood glucose responses in healthy individuals after aspartame and carbohydrate ingestion during rest and exercise. Each participant completed four trials under the same conditions (45 min rest + 60 min self-paced intense exercise) differing only in their fluid intake: 1) carbohydrate (2% maltodextrin and 5% sucrose (C)); 2) 0.04% aspartame with 2% maltodextrin and 5% sucrose (CA)); 3) water (W); and 4) aspartame (0.04% aspartame with 2% maltodextrin (A)). Insulin levels dropped significantly for CA versus C alone (43%) between pre-exercise and 30 min, while W and A insulin levels did not differ between these time points. Aspartame with carbohydrate significantly lowered insulin levels during exercise versus carbohydrate alone.
    • Assessing efficacy of cardiac rehabilitation exercise therapy in heart failure patients

      Leslie, Rosalind (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      Background: Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is considered routine practice for patients following an acute cardiac event or surgical intervention. Although there is a seemingly strong evidence base supporting it for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), provision in the UK remains poor for this patient group. In addition, data for CHF patients reported in key CR reviews and meta-analyses are not a true representation of the UKs CHF population. The transferability of current evidence into actual practice settings in the UK therefore remains incongruous. Rationale and aims: Study outcomes have typically included an increase in VO2 peak/ VO2 max, a decrease in natriuretic peptides, improved left ventricular function and improved health related quality of life (QoL). Access to facilities and equipment, such as cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment is limited in the UK for the majority of CR services thus an alternative means of assessment and exercise prescription is required. The recommended alternative for testing CHF patients is the six-minute walk test (6MWT); this requires a given space and a full practice test, the latter which adds to valuable clinical and staff time available. Methods: The first set of studies of this thesis therefore investigated two adapted assessment procedures for use with CHF patients: i. the use of a shorter practice walk test of two minutes vs six minutes prior to a 6MWT and ii. the use of the space saving Chester step test with an adapted lower step height protocol to accommodate the anticipated lower fitness in CHF (4-inch vs 6-inch). Having determined a more practical and efficient means of assessing exercise capacity in CHF patients, this thesis then used the 6MWT to evaluate the efficacy of a typically recommended 12-week programme (for the UK) of exercise-based rehabilitation. It was the aim of this PhD to also combine the use of the Chester step test with cardiopulmonary measures as a corresponding physiological outcome in a sub-sample of participants; however due to resource problems, only validation of the low-step protocol was possible. In the main intervention study, the efficacy of a 12-week course of supervised moderate intensity exercise in CHF patients (ejection fraction <44%, NYHA class II to III) was then evaluated. For purposes of evaluating safety and recovery of any acute myocardial stress induced by exercise in CHF, a sub-group study was performed to evaluate the influence of an acute exercise session on two-day post-exercise levels of circulating NT-proBNP. Results: In this current suite of studies, participants were more representative of the UK CHF population than typically reported in the current evidence. Their profile involved a median age of 76 ± 16 years (mean: 67 years and range: 30 to 84 years). 98% of whom were prescribed beta-blockers, 66% were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and 98% had two or more co-morbidities. Study 1 (Chapter 3a) verified the efficacy of a two-minute practice walk in comparison to the recommended six-minute practice walk prior to performing a baseline 6MWT in patients with CHF. Study 2 (Chapter 3b) demonstrated that a 4-inch Chester step test is a reliable assessment when space is an issue, but the criterion validity of the actual oxygen costs at each stage compared with those estimated in healthy populations were significantly lower than recommended estimations from healthy populations. Study 3 (Chapter 4) revealed individual variability in the acute response of NT-proBNP release to exercise that is worthy of further study. However the NT-proBNP data overall did not suggest a need for ‘rest days’ between exercise training sessions. The main intervention study (Study 4, Chapter 5) demonstrated a significant improvement in 6MWT performance responses, compared with control, where an increased walking distance of 25 m (p < .0001) was coupled with a reduction in heart-rate-walking speed index (T1 16.3 ± 7.3 vs T2 15.3 ± 8.7 beats per 10 walked; p < .0001). Perceptually, patients were walking faster for the same rating of perceived exertion (RPE 12 to 13). This improved aerobic functioning coincided with an improved NYHA class (T1 2.3 ± .5 vs T2 1.8 ± .6; p < .0001); however there was no change in resting NT-proBNP levels after 12 weeks. Patients in the “control group” who then went on to be offered the same 12-week intervention achieved similar outcomes, but delaying their commencement of an exercise programme by 12 weeks negatively impacted on participation uptake. Key findings and conclusions: These results have demonstrated that exercise training in CHF can lead to an improvement in both physical and perceived functioning (NYHA class). In light of some previous studies showing decreases in BNP following an exercise programme and others like this one showing no change, further questions are raised about the effect of different types and doses of activity being offered to CHF patients and the responsiveness to training of different types of patients (disease severity and demographics). The nature of the cross-over design of this study revealed that delayed commencement of exercise negatively affects participation uptake by patients, which supports current UK standards in aiming for early referral to CR.
    • Assessing Risk Factors for Reproductive Failure and Associated Welfare Impacts in Elephants in European Zoos

      Hartley, Matt; University of Chester (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2016-08-02)
      Reproductive failure in elephants is thought to be caused or influenced by a range of factors such as obesity, infectious disease, husbandry, facilities, stress, behaviour, maternal experience, herd size and social grouping. Due to the low reproductive activity of the small zoo elephant population, scientific study into the relative importance of these factors is limited. This study takes an epidemiological approach using risk analysis methodologies to collate information from expert opinion, data set analysis and a targeted questionnaire to identify and assess a range of physical, behavioural and husbandry based risk factors, which may affect reproductive success in elephants housed in European Zoos. Much of our knowledge on reproduction in zoo elephant populations originates from North America where there are significant differences in herd structure, management practices, climate and mean age. By combining multiple sources of evidence including a large survey of reproduction in the European elephant population and eliciting expert opinion from scientists, zoo managers, veterinarians and keepers working with European zoo elephants in a structured, transparent and scientifically recognised process it has been possible to identify the most important causes of reproductive failure and assess the influence of a range of potential confounding factors. Important causes of reproductive failure included lack of access to a compatible bull, herd stability and compatibility, allomothering or maternal experience, management practices at parturition and the impact of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus. This work is to be used in the development of evidence-based elephant management and welfare recommendations and highlights priority areas for further research.
    • Assessment of strength and power responses to resistance exercise in young and middle-aged trained males

      Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin; Fernandes, John (University of Chester, 2018-08-31)
      Little is known about the muscle function capabilities of trained middle-aged males and how they differ to younger counterparts. Accordingly, the overall aim of the research documented in this thesis was to compare the acute muscle function responses to resistance exercise in middle-aged and young resistance trained males. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the intra- and inter-day reliability of an ecologically valid device (FitroDyne rotary encoder) for measuring upper and lower-body muscle function during three popular multi-jointed resistance training exercises (bench press, squat, and bent-over-row), and confirmed that it was capable of detecting moderate changes in muscle function across a range of submaximal loads. In the second study (Chapter 4) the load-velocity and load-power relationships were investigated during the same exercises among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 y) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 y) resistance trained males, and it emerged that, despite their regular training, the middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and peak powers at all external loads as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Study three (Chapter 5) proceeded to compare the internal (heart rate (HR), OMNI-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and sRPE) and external (peak velocity and power and volume load) loads experienced during high volume squatting exercise, and the fatigue responses among nine young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine middle-aged (age 39.9 ± 6.2 years) resistance trained males. The findings highlighted that internal, but not certain markers of external (peak power and volume load), load responses can be monitored during exercise in a like manner between these age groups. Moreover, compared to young resistance trained males, middle-aged males can expect greater decrements in peak power after lower-limb resistance exercise. In the final study (Chapter 6), the time-course of recovery in nine trained young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine trained (39.9 ± 6.2 years) and nine untrained (44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males after high volume lower-body resistance (muscle damaging) exercise was investigated. Of practical importance, it emerged that compared to the young males, the trained middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile, the implication of which is the need for trained middle-aged males to adopt strategies to enhance their recovery. Furthermore, both middle-aged groups experienced similar symptoms of muscle-damage, albeit the untrained group demonstrated greater losses in peak power at low and high external loads. For the first time, the current research has determined that middle-aged males, despite regular resistance training, are subject to losses in peak velocity and power output across a range external loads, compared to young males. When undergoing lower-body resistance training to ameliorate these decrements, applied practitioners can use internal load markers and peak velocity, but not peak power or volume load, to monitor trained young and middle-aged males alike. Furthermore, the muscle damage response (24 to 72 h), and losses in peak power (0 to 72 h), after lower-body resistance exercise are greater in trained middle-aged than young males. Consequently, future research should seek to corroborate these observations in upper-body exercise and determine the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. nutritional intake) to enhance recovery in middle-aged males.
    • The assessment of total energy expenditure during a 14-day ‘in-season’ period of professional rugby league players using the Doubly Labelled Water method

      Morehen, James C.; Bradley, Warren J.; Clarke, Jon; Twist, Craig; Hambly, Catherine; Speakman, John R.; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University; Widnes Vikings Rugby League; University of Chester; University of Aberdeen (Human Kinetics, 2016-10)
      Rugby League is a high-intensity collision sport competed over 80-minutes. Training loads are monitored to maximise recovery and assist in the design of nutritional strategies although no data are available on the Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) of players. We therefore assessed Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and TEE in six Super-League players over two consecutive weeks in-season including one-game per week. Fasted RMR was assessed followed by a baseline urine sample before oral administration of a bolus dose of hydrogen (deuterium 2H) and oxygen (18O) stable isotopes in the form of water (2H218O). Every 24 hours thereafter, players provided urine for analysis of TEE via DLW method. Individual training-load was quantified using session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and data were analysed using magnitude-based inferences. There were unclear differences in RMR between forwards and backs (7.7 ± 0.5 cf. 8.0 ± 0.3 MJ, respectively). Indirect calorimetry produced RMR values most likely lower than predictive equations (7.9 ± 0.4 cf. 9.2 ± 0.4 MJ, respectively). A most likely increase in TEE from week-1 to -2 was observed (17.9 ± 2.1 cf. 24.2 ± 3.4 MJ) explained by a most likely increase in weekly sRPE (432 ± 19 cf. 555 ± 22 AU), respectively. The difference in TEE between forwards and backs was unclear (21.6 ± 4.2 cf. 20.5 ± 4.9 MJ, respectively). We report greater TEE than previously reported in rugby that could be explained by the ability of DLW to account for all match and training-related activities that contributes to TEE.
    • Associations between selected training stress measures and fitness changes in male soccer players

      Rabbani, Alireza; Kargarfard, M; Castagna, C; Clemente, F; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2019)
      Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of accumulated Global Positioning System (GPS)-accelerometer-based and heart rate (HR)-based training metrics to changes in high-intensity intermittent running capacity during an in-season phase in professional soccer players. Method: Eleven male professional players (mean ± SD, age: 27.2 ± 4.5 years) performed the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) before and after a five-week in-season training phase, and the final velocity (VIFT) was considered as players’ high-intensity intermittent running capacity. During all sessions, Edwards’ training impulse (Edwards’ TRIMP), Banister’s TRIMP, Z5 TRIMP, training duration, total distance covered, New Body Load (NBL), high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 14.4 km•h-1), and very high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 19.8 km•h-1) were recorded. Results: The players’ VIFT showed a most likely moderate improvement (+4.3%, 90% confidence limits [3.1; 5.5%], effect size ES, 0.70 [0.51; 0.89]). Accumulated NBL, Banister’s TRIMP and Edwards’ TRIMP showed large associations (r = 0.51 to 0.54) with changes in VIFT. Very large relationship was also observed between accumulated Z5 TRIMP (r= 0.72) with changes in VIFT. Large-to-nearly perfect within-individual relationships were observed between NBL and some of the other training metrics (i.e., Edwards’ TRIMP, Banister’s TRIMP, training duration, and total distance) in 10 out of 11 players. Conclusions: HR-based training metrics can be used to monitor high-intensity intermittent running capacity changes in professional soccer players. The dose-response relationship is also largely detected using accelerometer-based metrics (i.e., NBL) to track changes in high-intensity intermittent running capacity of professional soccer players.
    • Autologous chondrocyte implantation-derived synovial fluids display distinct responder and non-responder proteomic profiles

      Hulme, Charlotte H.; Wilson, Emma L.; Peffers, Mandy J.; Roberts, Sally; Simpson, Deborah M.; Richardson, James B.; Gallacher, Pete; Wright, Karina T.; Keele University; Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital; University of Chester; University of Liverpool (BioMed Central, 2017-06-30)
      Background Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) can be used in the treatment of focal cartilage injuries to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis (OA). However, we are yet to understand fully why some individuals do not respond well to this intervention. Identification of a reliable and accurate biomarker panel that can predict which patients are likely to respond well to ACI is needed in order to assign the patient to the most appropriate therapy. This study aimed to compare the baseline and mid-treatment proteomic profiles of synovial fluids (SFs) obtained from responders and non-responders to ACI. Methods SFs were derived from 14 ACI responders (mean Lysholm improvement of 33 (17–54)) and 13 non-responders (mean Lysholm decrease of 14 (4–46)) at the two stages of surgery (cartilage harvest and chondrocyte implantation). Label-free proteome profiling of dynamically compressed SFs was used to identify predictive markers of ACI success or failure and to investigate the biological pathways involved in the clinical response to ACI. Results Only 1 protein displayed a ≥2.0-fold differential abundance in the preclinical SF of ACI responders versus non-responders. However, there is a marked difference between these two groups with regard to their proteome shift in response to cartilage harvest, with 24 and 92 proteins showing ≥2.0-fold differential abundance between Stages I and II in responders and non-responders, respectively. Proteomic data has been uploaded to ProteomeXchange (identifier: PXD005220). We have validated two biologically relevant protein changes associated with this response, demonstrating that matrix metalloproteinase 1 was prominently elevated and S100 calcium binding protein A13 was reduced in response to cartilage harvest in non-responders. Conclusions The differential proteomic response to cartilage harvest noted in responders versus non-responders is completely novel. Our analyses suggest several pathways which appear to be altered in non-responders that are worthy of further investigation to elucidate the mechanisms of ACI failure. These protein changes highlight many putative biomarkers that may have potential for prediction of ACI treatment success.
    • The BACPR standards and core components for cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation 2012

      Jones, Jenni; Buckley, John P.; Furze, Gill; Doherty, Patrick; Speck, Linda; Connolly, Susan; Hinton, Sally; British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation ; University of Chester ; British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation ; British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, 2012)
      This booklet sets out the seven core standards that patients, health care professionals, and commissioners should expect from a high quality cardiac rehabilitation programme.
    • Baseball: Myths and modernization

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004)
      This book chapter discusses the processes behind the development of baseball and in particular, the myth that baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in 1839.
    • Beetroot supplementation improves the physiological responses to incline walking

      Waldron, Mark; Waldron, Luke; Lawlor, Craig; Gray, Adrian; Highton, Jamie M.; St Mary's University; University of New England; Medical Education Centre Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; University of Chester (Springer, 2018-03-15)
      Purpose: We investigated the effects of an acute 24-h nitrate-rich beetroot juice supplement (BR) on the energy cost, exercise efficiency and blood pressure responses to intermittent walking at different gradients. Methods: In a double-blind, cross-over design, eight participants were provided with a total of 350 ml of nitrate-rich (~20.5 mmol nitrate) BR or placebo (PLA) across 24-h before completing intermittent walking at 3 km/h on treadmill at gradients of 1%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%. Results: Resting mean arterial pressure (MAP) was ~4.1% lower after BR (93 vs. 89 mmHg; P = 0.001), as well as during exercise (102 vs. 99 mmHg; P = 0.011) and recovery (97 vs. 94 mmHg; P = 0.001). Exercising (1227 vs. 1129 ml/min P < 0.001) and end-stage (1404 vs. 1249 ml/min; P = 0.002) oxygen uptake (𝑉O2) was lower in BR compared to PLA, which was accompanied by an average reduction in phase II 𝑉 ̇O2 amplitude (1067 vs. 940 ml/min; P = 0.025). Similarly, recovery 𝑉O2 (509 vs. 458 ml/min; P = 0.001) was lower in BR. Whole-blood potassium concentration increased from pre-post exercise in PLA (4.1 ± 0.3 vs. 4.5 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.013) but not BR (4.1 ± 0.31 vs. 4.3 ± 0.2 mmol/L; P = 0.188). Conclusions: Energy cost of exercise, recovery of 𝑉O2, MAP and blood markers were ameliorated after BR. Previously reported mechanisms explain these findings, which are more noticeable during less efficient walking at steep gradients (15-20%). These findings have practical implications for hill-walkers.
    • Behavioural and physiological adaptations to low-temperature environments in the common frog, Rana temporaria

      Muir, Anna P.; Biek, Roman; Mable, Barbara K.; University of Chester; University of Glasgow (BioMed Central, 2014-05-23)
      Background: Extreme environments can impose strong ecological and evolutionary pressures at a local level. Ectotherms are particularly sensitive to low-temperature environments, which can result in a reduced activity period, slowed physiological processes and increased exposure to sub-zero temperatures. The aim of this study was to assess the behavioural and physiological responses that facilitate survival in low-temperature environments. In particular, we asked: 1) do high-altitude common frog (Rana temporaria) adults extend the time available for larval growth by breeding at lower temperatures than low-altitude individuals?; and 2) do tadpoles sampled from high-altitude sites differ physiologically from those from low-altitude sites, in terms of routine metabolic rate (RMR) and freeze tolerance? Breeding date was assessed as the first day of spawn observation and local temperature recorded for five, paired high- and low-altitude R. temporaria breeding sites in Scotland. Spawn was collected and tadpoles raised in a common laboratory environment, where RMR was measured as oxygen consumed using a closed respiratory tube system. Freeze tolerance was measured as survival following slow cooling to the point when all container water had frozen. Results: We found that breeding did not occur below 5°C at any site and there was no significant relationship between breeding temperature and altitude, leading to a delay in spawning of five days for every 100 m increase in altitude. The relationship between altitude and RMR varied by mountain but was lower for individuals sampled from high- than low-altitude sites within the three mountains with the highest high-altitude sites (≥900 m). In contrast, individuals sampled from low-altitudes survived freezing significantly better than those from high-altitudes, across all mountains. Conclusions: Our results suggest that adults at high-altitude do not show behavioural adaptations in terms of breeding at lower temperatures. However, tadpoles appear to have the potential to adapt physiologically to surviving at high-altitude via reduced RMR but without an increase in freeze tolerance. Therefore, survival at high-altitude may be facilitated by physiological mechanisms that permit faster growth rates, allowing completion of larval development within a shorter time period, alleviating the need for adaptations that extend the time available for larval growth.
    • Behavioural development in wild Western lowland gorillas (gorilla gorilla gorilla)

      Fletcher, Alison W.; Nowell, Angela A. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-02)
      Behavioural development has received little attention in primates, despite having important influences on infant mortality, interbirth intervals, and therefore, growth of populations. Gorillas have long developmental periods, exhibit strong maternal bonds and integrate into intricate social systems, making them an ideal species in which to investigate non-human primate development. Gorillas exist across a range of habitats, and differences in behaviour, both within and between species reflect socioecological differences, for example, in the availability and distribution of food. Consequently, by using gorillas as a model, opportunities also exist to investigate environmental constraints on the development of independence. This study provides the first detailed analysis, with reference to ecological factors, of the development of behavioural skills and relationships in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Behavioural development of western lowland gorillas is then compared with published accounts of development in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) to determine the extent to which differing ecology influences behaviour. The study was conducted at Mbeli Bai in the Republic of Congo, a large, marshy clearing, visited by gorillas predominantly for feeding purposes. Data were collected using scan, focal, all-occurrence and ad libitum sampling methods from 58 gorillas below 8 years of age. Spatial relationships, suckling, and the nature of interactions involving immature individuals were analysed. The distribution of time between different behaviours by immatures, and the development of independent feeding and travelling behaviour was also investigated, and all were tested for differences as a result of immature age, sex and social group, or the mother's parity. Towards the end of infancy, individuals showed competent feeding behaviour in the bai. However, western lowland gorillas were not weaned until the juvenile period, and until this time, close association was common between mothers and offspring. With increasing independence from the mother there was limited investment in relationships with other individuals, and instead, a greater emphasis was placed on developing skills through play, alloparenting and agonistic interactions. When results were compared with those of mountain gorillas, there was evidence of increased investment in relationships, particularly with the silverback, by immature mountain gorillas, which was assumed to reflect lower rates of natal dispersal by mountain gorillas, and the greater likelihood that relationships with individuals in the natal group could prove useful in the future. Suckling and close proximity to the mother continued until later ages in western lowland gorillas, resulting in clear differences between them mountain gorillas in the duration of investment by mothers. More frugivorous western lowland gorillas required increased levels of investment by the mother before independence could be achieved, demonstrating the effect that resource availability can have on behavioural development in species where resources are widely and unpredictably dispersed.
    • BENETT, Etheldred Anna Maria (1776-1845)

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004)
      This dictionary entry the life and career of the British geologist Etheldred Benett (1776-1845), one of the first female geologists and and expert on the early history of Wiltshire geology.