• Factors modifying welfare in captive lioned-tailed mazaques (Macaca silenus)

      Smith, Tessa E.; Skyner, Lindsay J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2006-07)
      The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is endangered due to habitat destruction with less than 3500 individuals remaining in isolated fragments of South-West India. Lion-tailed macaques do not reproduce readily in captivity and captive breeding may be relied upon for future conservation. Poor welfare can have negative effects on reproduction so it is important that lion-tailed macaque welfare is examined in captive groups. The aims of this thesis were to understand certain aspects of lion-tailed macaque welfare (behaviour and HPA physiology) in captive populations, with the view to making suggestions for management to promote the species' welfare and reproduction. Behaviour (188 hours), urine (n=133) and faecal samples (n=294) were collected from 38 lion-tailed macaques housed in four groups at the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo), Bristol Zoological Gardens, Assiniboine Park Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park. The study successfully developed and validated assays to detect cortisol in lion-tailed macaque urine and faeces. The assays were then subsequently used to explore behaviour and HPA activity in these endangered primates. The institution in which the individuals were housed and basic life history parameters (age and sex) were explored to further understand the interplay between behaviour and physiology. Social relationships were assessed by measuring proximity (inter-individual distances and time spent in "arms-reach"). Finally the effect of visitors on behaviour, HPA activity and enclosure use was explored. There was significant variation between institutions in behaviour and HPA activity but not proximity. The age of lion-tailed macaques modified their behaviour, but not their HPA activity or proximity. The sex of lion-tailed macaques did not modify behaviour, HPA activity or proximity. The effect of visitors on lion-tailed macaques in the current study is not clear and confirms previous research on the visitor effect on captive primates. It can be concluded from this research that lion-tailed macaques are sensitive to the environment in which they are housed, indicating factors which may have negative effects on their captive breeding rates and ability to cope with habitat fragmentation for population's in-situ. The study has highlighted the need for each captive and wild group of lion-tailed macaques to be considered and monitored separately with regard to welfare and breeding.
    • Farmers’ Interest in Agricultural Technology and Organic Farming: Implications for AD Adoption and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (Macrothink Institute, 2015)
      We identify the factors that attract UK farmers towards a given technology, their interest in agricultural technology and their practice of organic farming. The implications of this on the adoption of anaerobic digestion (AD) in the UK and sustainable agriculture are also discussed. Farmers were contacted by means of online survey, aided by yellow pages directory, Natural England directory, Twitter and electronic mail. A total of 283 farmers participated in the survey. The Chi square test was used to check for relationships between the variables measured at 95% confidence level (p<.05). Relationship strength was measured by means of Cramer’s V and Phi values. The results showed several significant relationships among variables, including relationship between interests in agricultural technology and gender, level of education, and farm size; between knowledge of what AD is and gender, level of education and farm size; between interest in AD and age; between willingness to invest in AD if it improved soil properties and farm ownership; and between organic farming practice and age, farm type and farm size. Results also showed a significant presence of female farmers, young farmers (< 30 years old), high level of education among UK farmers, and low level of organic farming practice. Areas for future research and recommendations based on the results are presented in the conclusion.
    • Farmers’ perception of soil: Implications for soil conservation and sustainable agriculture in the UK

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (European Centre for Research, Training and Development (ECRTD), UK., 2015-09-01)
      We identify UK farmers' perception of soil, awareness of soil in terms of how they describe it, their awareness of its benefits other than for crop production,their familiarity with soil conservation and their opinions on soil protection and the value of organic fertilizers. Data were collected with the aid of social media using both Twitter and electronic mail to deistribute a survey link to farmers,UK yellow pages, Natural England directory and Twitter were used to search for farms. Data were analysed using SPSS and Wordle. Results showed that farmers' describe soils in abstract, scientific, physical attribute and functional terms. Awareness of soil benefits other than crop production was significantly related to age, and farm ownership. Educational level was significantly related to familiarity with soil conservation and opinion on whether soil should be protected like other natural resources. The implications of these results for soil conservation and sustainable agriculture are discussed and used as the basis for policy recommendations.
    • Female clustering in cockroach aggregations – a case of social niche construction?

      Stanley, Christina R.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Liddiard Williams, H.; University of Chester, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University (Wiley, 2018-07-18)
      Individuals in groups can suffer costs through interactions with adversarial or unknown conspecifics. Social niche construction allows individuals to buffer such potential costs by only engaging in preferred associations. This may be particularly beneficial in insect aggregations, which are often large and highly fluid. However, little is known regarding the structuring of such aggregations. Here we use social network analyses to test for fine-scale social structure in resting aggregations of the sub-social cockroach Diploptera punctata and to explore the social pressures that contribute towards such structure. We showed that females were significantly more gregarious than males and formed the core of the proximity network, thus demonstrating a higher level of social integration. This fine-scale structure is likely to result from females displacing males; females initiated most displacements whilst males received the majority. We explain this behaviour in terms of social niche construction by showing that females received significantly fewer approaches and investigations at more female-biased local sex ratios. We therefore suggest that female social clustering occurs in this, and presumably other, species to reduce potential costs associated with male harassment. This demonstrates how social niche construction can lead to higher level social structure; we suggest this approach could be used across a range of species in order to improve our understanding of the evolution of sociality.
    • The first female Fellows and the status of women in the Geological Society

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Geological Society, 2009-08-01)
    • The first lady geologist, or collector par excellence?

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Blackwell Science, 2001-09)
      This article discusses 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.
    • Folate supplementation reduces serum Hsp70 levels in patients with type 2 diabetes

      Hunter-Lavin, Claire; Hudson, Peter R.; Mukhergee, Sagarika; Davies, Gareth K.; Williams, Clive P.; Harvey, John N.; Child, David F.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; University College Chester (Cell Stress Society International, 2004-10)
      Type 2 diabetes patients are subject to oxidative stress as a result of hyperglycemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of the antioxidant folic acid, previously shown to reduce homocysteine levels, would reduce circulating levels of Hsp70 while improving the condition of type 2 diabetes patients with microalbuminuria. Plasma homocysteine fell from pretreatment values of 12.9 to 10.3 μM (P < 0.0001). The urine albumin-creatinine ratio fell from 12.4 to 10.4 mg/mM (P = 0.38). Pretreatment Hsp70 levels were higher in patients not taking insulin (5.32 ng/mL) compared with those on insulin (2.44 ng/mL) (P = 0.012). Folic acid supplementation resulted in a significant fall in Hsp70 (5.32 to 2.05 ng/mL) (P = 0.004). There was no change in Hsp70 in those receiving insulin. Folic acid supplementation in non–insulin-treated type 2 diabetes patients, therefore, resulted in a fall in Hsp70, reflecting an improvement in oxidative stress. The data shows that improvement in homocysteine status can lead to a reduction in Hsp70, indicating the possibility of its use as a marker for severity of disease.
    • Food transfers in immature wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

      Nowell, Angela A.; Fletcher, Alison W.; University of Chester (Springer Verlag, 2006-10)
      This article discusses how the transfer of food items between primates serves an informative purpose in addition to supplementing the diet of immature individuals. Food transfers amongst immature western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), at Mbeli Bai, Republic of Congo weew observed.
    • Forgotten women in an extinct Saurian (man's) world

      Turner, Susan; Burek, Cynthia V.; Moody, Richard T. J.; Monash University ; University of Chester ; Kingston University (Geological Society, 2010-10-01)
      This book chapter discusses some forty women who made major contributions to the study of fossil vertebrates, especially reptilian taxonomy, by specializing in the dinosaurs and related ‘saurians’. Most who were involved over the first 150 years were not professional palaeontologists but instead wives, daughters and pure (and usually unpaid) amateurs.
    • The Functionality of “Ogi” – a fermented cereal gruel made in Nigeria, in the Management of Gastrointestinal Disease

      Pickles, Neil; Weili, Li; Olayanju, Adetokunbo T (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-04)
      Fermentation is an ancient food processing technique which has over the years had significant impact on food availability, production, economy and health. Fermented corn, ‘ogi’, is a popular meal in South and West African countries and is also traditionally administered to people, especially children, during the incidence of diarrhoea as it is believed to enhance gut health. Various authors have supported the advantageous health functions of fermented corn but have focussed on the possible health benefits that may be derived from the action of the fermentation organisms by investigating their probiotic potentials. Furthermore, in vivo studies have investigated effective functionality of fermented foods and where studies have suggested positive effect of the fermented food intervention, the component of the complex food matrix that may be responsible is often unknown. Though hypothesised, there has been little information on the possible effects of the end products of the fermentation on gut health. Therefore, this thesis aimed to explore the functionality potentials for ‘ogi’, to enhance gut health by investigating the mechanisms through which it may be able to confer the health benefits when consumed. An independent meta-analysis was undertaken to explore and review the analysis of the effectiveness of fermented foods to significantly reduce the duration of diarrhoea. The first experimental study was a comparison between spontaneously fermented vs controlled method of ‘ogi’ production with the aim to explore the possibility of achieving similar end products. The probiotic potential of fermentation organisms and antimicrobial effect of fermentation organisms against E. coli were also investigated. Colonic short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are known to enhance immune function in the gut. The second experimental study explored the production of SCFAs in fermented corn with the theory that fermented corn may be a dietary source of SCFA and may produce a comparable effect in the gut as the colonic SCFA. It is established that one of the functions of endogenously synthesised nitric oxide (NO) in the body is to enhance immune functions. Therefore, the potential for ‘ogi’ to enhance immune response in the gut by being a dietary source of Nitric Oxide (NO) was explored in the third experimental study. The outcomes of this thesis suggest that it may not be possible to mimic the exact spontaneous fermentation process in a controlled setting. Weissella confuse, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast isolated from spontaneously fermented corn using 16S rRNA sequencing. The isolated organisms along with Lactobacillus plantarum were used as starter culture for controlled fermentation. There was a significant difference between the end products of both fermentations. All organisms except W. confuse showed probiotic potential. Acetate was produced during both fermentations but butyrate was produced during spontaneous fermentation only. There was however higher concentration of NO in controlled fermented corn than spontaneous fermentation with nitrate values of 30.54 µM and 23.21 µM and nitrite values of 17.50 µM and 10.11 µM respectively. These suggest that fermented corn may have probiotic potential and may be able to further enhance immune health in the gut by being a dietary source of SCFAs and NO.
    • Further notes on a statistical method for use when investigating differences in sexual dimorphism: A discussion paper

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for the Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1997-06-07)
      A statistical method for use when investigating sexual dimorphism is described which is a development of that proposed by Lewis (1995). This development is new and remains to be fully tested. It is presented here by way of seeking constructive criticism.
    • Genetic analysis of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile): Implications for phylogenetic placement and conservation strategies

      McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Robinson, Louise A. (University of Chester, 2011-11)
      Classified as critically endangered since 1994, the Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile) is an endemic species estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Known to locals of Trinidad as the ‘Pawi’ this bird has been the subject of substantial hunting pressures and much of the species habitat has been destroyed through deforestation. Although officially protected since 1958, occasional recreational hunting of this elusive species still occurs. Due to difficulties locating and capturing the species, no genetic research has previously been performed using samples obtained from Trinidad. All previous research studies have been conducted using biological materials obtained from captive birds outside Trinidad and island data has never been obtained or compared. The genetic diversity of the remaining population was therefore examined through the investigation of mitochondrial haplotypes, pairwise comparison and SNP analysis. With the intention of assisting the protection of this endangered species by the location of remaining areas of habitation, methods of genetic identification were established for the Trinidad Piping guan utilising non-invasive feather samples. Species specific primers were created in the regions of the ND2 and cyt b genes of the mitochondrial genome to identify Pipile pipile. Species detection was further verified with the use of PCR-RFLP of the same gene regions digested with BsaXI, EcoRV and BsrDI. This combined approach allowed the separation of closely related taxa based on single inter-species SNPs. Confirmation of species identification was subsequently performed through the use of forensically informative nucleotide sequencing. The established methodologies were used in the current study to correct the classification of a UK breeding population of Piping guans thought to be Pipile pipile and to identify Trinidad field samples. These detection methods have implications for ecological studies through the location of populations from trace evidence collected in the field. In addition this method could be used to assist Trinidadian police forces in the identification of bushmeats or simply act as a deterrent to hunters. The sequence data obtained in the present study were also used to re-assess the phylogeny of Piping guans. As genetic sequence from a true island bird was previously unstudied, differences between phylogenies created using non-island and island bird data sets were examined. Combined analysis was performed on 1884bp of the ND2 and cyt b genes and placement of Trinidad Piping guan was found to differ from that which has been previously published.
    • The genetics and evolution of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan Pipile pipile, synonym Aburria pipile.

      McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Grass, Amelia (University of Chester, 2018-02)
      The Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile synonym Aburria pipile (Jaquin, 1784) is the only endemic Cracid on the island of Trinidad. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered and is considered to be in ‘on-going decline’ by the IUCN, BirdLife International and Cracid Specialist Group. This study aims to examine aspects of genetic variation and the evolution of the mitochondrial genome in the Trinidad Piping Guan utilising, for the first time, samples collected from individuals in the wild and reference specimens of the genus Pipile sourced from museum collections. In this study the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan was sequenced for the first time. Analysis of intra-specific variation of wild Trinidad Piping Guan individuals using single nucleotide polymorphisms demonstrates extremely limited variation within the genes of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear gene intron sequences. Limited variation within this population is consistent with both historical and contemporary contractions of populations within a restricted island system, which may have serious implications for the future of this species in terms of both genetic diversity and conservation management. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan enabled placement of the genus Pipile within the Galliforme evolutionary tree for the first time, and subsequently places the genus within the broader context of the Aves class. Mito-genomic analysis confirms that the Cracids are one of the basal Galliforme clades, and sister taxa to the Megapodidae. Phylogenetic placement of the Pipile genus is basal to that of the Crax species within the Cracidae family, indicative of an earlier evolutionary origin of the Piping Guans. The inclusion of the Trinidad Piping Guan, in the avian evolutionary tree using the whole mitochondrial genomes expands the current genetic phylogeny of the Cracid family, yielding a better understanding of evolutionary relationships among the Galliforme order and the diversification of modern avian lineages. This study has established novel molecular techniques for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA in historical specimens of the genus Pipile from museum reference collections. The analysis of inter-specific relationships within the genus Pipile has clarified the evolutionary and biogeographic relationships between the Piping Guan species. Additionally, the Trinidad Piping Guan is genetically defined for the first time as an evolutionarily significant unit, which represents a unique evolutionary pathway within this important genus in a closed island system on the island of Trinidad.
    • Geoconservation and geodiversity: What? Who? Where? - and why should I care?

      Nicholls, Keith H.; Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Institute of Civil Engineering Publishing, 2015-08-31)
      Whilst "geoconservation" is a relatively new sub-discipline in academic geology and earth science departments, this presentation argues that an appreciation of our 'geodiversity' is an important but often overlooked element of the background to development work. For practising engineering geologists or geotechnical engineers, taking up a role in one of the formal geoconservation bodies (be it a local geoconservation group, a Trust or a Geopark) can be a useful networking tool, can offer increased geological awareness and be a source of beneficial continuing Professional development (CPD)). However, the value of geoconservation needs to be brought to a wider audience, since at the moment threats to elements of geological natural heritage are only addressed when important geological landscapes are threatened by development (such as have been seen at Siccar Point and at Wenlock Edge in recent months). Because geodiversity is only rarely fully considered in the planning process, it can be difficult to differentiate between genuine local concern, and irrational "Nimbyism". It is time that those of us working in the geotechnical industry who have backgrounds in geology, drive forward an agenda that establishes our geological heritage as a cause for consern alongside ecology and archaeology. Failure to do so reflects badly on us as individuals and as an industry.
    • A Geoconservation perspective on the trace fossil record associated with the end – Ordovician mass extinction and glaciation in the Welsh Basin

      Burek, Cynthia; Hosie, Lottie; Nicholls, Keith H. (University of Chester, 2019-03-24)
      In this thesis I have illustrated the value of our geological heritage and geodiversity by focussing on a particular detailed aspect of the geological and palaeontological record, i.e. the trace fossil record associated with the end Ordovician (Hirnantian) global glaciation and extinction episode. The major elements of this work that are new are: • a significantly improved understanding of the nature of the soft sediment deformation, and in particular the role of “debrites” as basal landslide decollements in the Lower Palaozic Llangrannog rock succession of West Wales, • a much more detailed description of the trace fossil ichnocoenose present in the Llangrannog succession than has previously been published • an improved understanding of the nature of the ecological perturbation associated with the Hirnantian (Late Ordovician) Glacial “ice-house”, and the apparent role of an opportunistic soft body fauna in filling ecological niches vacated as a consequence of the associated extinction. • Considerable thought has been given to the question of how to value abiotic nature, and it is argued that the methods of conservation valuation associated with “Geosystem services” and in particular “Natural Capital” hold considerable potential for the Geoconservation community to engage with the public and with policy makers. • As a direct result of this research, two formal proposals have been put forward for new RIGS sites, together with a new geological SSSI.
    • Geodiversity Action Plans – A method to facilitate, structure, inform and record action for geodiversity.

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Dunlop, Lesley; Larwood, Jonathan G.; University of Chester; Northumbria University, Natural England (Elsevier, 2017-12-15)
      Geodiversity Action Plans are used widely within the United Kingdom to inform and record action for geodiversity and geoconservation. They encompass both site-based audit and conservation with a wider perspective on geodiversity resources available in an agreed area (such as geological sites, museum collections and building stones) with ambitions to present and communicate, influence policy and practice, and to secure resources in relation to geodiversity. Geodiversity Action Plans (GAPs) are used particularly at local and company level to focus and highlight the work needed to be carried out and a as key mechanism to facilitate and support the delivery of the overarching UK Geodiversity Action Plan (UKGAP). Importantly, GAPs cross cut interests and are multidisciplinary. Although they are mainly a UK tool for geoconservation the principles and approach are easily transferred and could be duplicated in other countries.
    • Geodiversity trail: Walking through the past on the university's Chester campus

      Stillwell, Nicholas; Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2007-07-01)
      This book illustrates the geodiversity trail on the University of Chester's Chester campus.
    • GORDON, Maria Matilda (nee Ogilvie: 1846-1939)

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004-06-01)
      This dictionary entry discusses the life and work of Dame Maria Matilda Ogilvie Gordon (1864-1939).
    • Gorillas continue to thrive

      Fletcher, Alison W.; Uwingeli, Prosper; Fawcett, Katie; University College Chester (Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, 2005)