• The effect of rainfall upon the behaviour and use of under-road culverts in four amphibian species

      Gleeson, Timothy; Petrovan, Silviu; Muir, Anna P.; University of Chester (Oxford Academic, 29/04/2019)
      Habitat fragmentation and road mortalities are major contributors towards declines in amphibian populations. This has seen the introduction of culverts, passages that run under roads and provide safe passage for amphibians. Research investigating the effects of rainfall upon amphibian culvert use is limited. This study, conducted at Frankfield Loch in Glasgow, assesses how time elapsed since rainfall influences migration behaviour and the use of culverts across four different species; common toads (Bufo bufo), common frogs (Rana temporaria and newts, a group composed of smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) and palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Analysis of images taken by a custom made, time lapse camera found that significantly fewer common toads (r = 0.148, n = 468, p = 0.001) and common frogs (r = −0.175, n = 106, p = 0.037) used the culvert as time since rainfall increased. This may have been caused by the culvert not maintaining wet enough conditions for amphi- bians. The study also found that more newts (r = 0.272, n = 92, p = 0.004) and common toads (r = 0.531, n = 19, p = 0.010) were using the culvert to move away from Frankfield Loch as time since rainfall increased. An increase in juvenile newts was also observed as time since rainfall increased (r = 0.214, n = 92, p = 0.020). This may have been caused by a decrease in baro- metric pressure, which follows a decrease in rainfall, acting as a cue for migration and juvenile dispersal. The study recom- mends careful consideration of the design of each culvert, incorporating species-specific preferences and the requirements of juveniles. The study also suggests that where possible the culvert should be designed to hold water for longer.
    • The effects of a high carbohydrate diet on cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) during a period of increase exercise workload amongst Olympic and ironman triathletes

      Costa, Ricardo J. S.; Jones, G. E.; Coleman, Robert C.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Williams, John H. H. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2005)
      This article discusses a study of the effects of a 6-day high carbohydrate (H-CHO) diet on salivary cortisol and IgA during a period of increased exercise workload with thirty-two competitively trained male triathletes.
    • Effects of dissociated glucocorticoids on OPG and RANKL in osteoblastic cells

      Humphrey, E. L.; Williams, John H. H.; Davie, Michael W. J.; Marshall, Michael J.; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry ; University College Chester ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry (Elsevier, 2006-05)
      This article demonstrates that dexamethasone, prednisolone, deflazacort and the dissociated glucocorticoids, RU24858, RU40066, RU24782, AL438-F1 and ZK216348 significantly inhibit osteoprotegerin (OPG) production in two human osteoblastic cell lines (MG63 and hFOB).
    • Effects of transportation, transport medium and re-housing on Xenopus laevis (Daudin)

      Holmes, Andrew M.; Emmans, Christopher J.; Coleman, Robert C.; Smith, Tessa E.; Hosie, Charlotte A.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 12/03/2018)
      Understanding the immediate and longer-term effects of transportation and re-housing in a laboratory species is crucial in order to refine the transfer process, enable the optimal introduction of new animals to a novel environment and to provide a sufficient acclimatisation period before usage. Whilst consideration of animal welfare in most model vertebrate species has received attention, little quantitative evidence exists for the optimal care of the common laboratory amphibian Xenopus laevis. Techniques for the non-invasive welfare assessment of amphibians are also limited and here a non-invasive physiological assay was developed to investigate the impacts of transportation, transport medium and re-housing on X. laevis. First the impacts of transportation and transport medium (water, damp sponge or damp sphagnum moss) were investigated. Transportation caused an increase in waterborne corticosterone regardless of transport medium. Frogs transported in damp sphagnum moss also had a greater decrease in body mass in comparison to frogs not transported, suggesting that this is the least suitable transport medium for X. laevis. Next the prolonged impacts of transportation and re-housing were investigated. Frogs were transported between research facilities with different housing protocols. Samples were collected prior to and immediately following transportation, as well as 1 day, 7 days and 35 days after re-housing. Water-borne corticosterone increased following transportation and remained high for at least 7 days, decreasing to baseline levels by 35 days. Body mass decreased following transportation and remained lower than baseline levels across the entire 35 day observation period. These findings suggest the process of transportation and re-housing is stressful in this species. Together these findings have important relevance for both improving animal welfare and ensuring optimal and efficient scientific research.
    • Emily Dix, palaeobotanist - a promising career cut short

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Blackwell, 2005-07)
      This article discusses the life and career of British palaeobotanist Emily Dix (1904-1972).
    • Endocrinology and Behaviour: A stress-free approach to improving animal welfare

      Smith, Tessa E.; University of Chester (Society for Endocrinology, 2016-12)
      Following implementation of the UK Animal Procedures Scientific Act (1986) there has been a plethora of research combining endocrine titres with behavioural measures to address applied questions in the field of animal welfare science. The goal of these studies has been to measure and optimize animal welfare. An eloquent example is the reduced welfare observed in collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) as indicated by high glucocorticoid (GC) levels and negative judgment bias in behavioural tests. The latter is associated with space restriction but alleviated by the provision of enrichment. Good animal welfare is essential not only from an ethical standpoint but also to ensure valid scientific outcomes. Animals with good welfare produce more reliable, biologically valid, robust, repeatable scientific data compared to their counterparts with poorer welfare. ‘Happy’ animals live longer, can be used repeatedly and need replacing less often. This leads to a ‘reduction’ of animal use and satisfaction of one of the 3Rs: the guiding principles for the use of animals in research2.
    • England's first soil trail

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2005)
      This article discusses the creation of a soil trail in Delamere Forest in Cheshire. The trail has eight different acid types in a small area and is used as a teaching resource by forensic biology students at University College Chester.
    • ESD - The Extra-curricular dimention

      Lipscombe, Bryan P. (The Environment Association for Universities and Colleges, 18/04/2007)
    • Evaluation of heat shock protein 70 as a biomarker of environmental stress in Fucus serratus and Lemna minor

      Ireland, H. Elyse; Harding, Steve J.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Jones, Michael; Smith, Christopher J.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2004-03)
      Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are known to be induced in response to short-term stress. The present study aimed to evaluate the potential of Hsp70 as a biomarker of stress produced by increased temperature, osmotic pressure, and exposure to cadmium and sodium chloride in marine macroalgae and fresh water plant species. An indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (IC-ELISA) was developed with a working range of 0.025-10 μg ml-1 using a monoclonal antibody raised against purified Hsp70 of Phaseolus aureus (mung bean). Fucus serratus (toothed wrack), Chondrus crispus (Stackhouse or Carrageen moss), Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce) and Lemna minor (common duckweed) sample extracts were stressed for up to 24 h and then tested in the IC-ELISA. The presence of Hsp70 and cross-reactivity of the monoclonal antibody was confirmed by Western blot. The heat shock response was confirmed in each species using a 2-h 42°C treatment. Following heat shock, Hsp70 concentrations increased to a peak at 2 h (F. serratus) or 4 h (L. minor), after which concentrations decreased. Osmotic and cadmium stresses also resulted in elevated Hsp70 concentrations in samples of F. serratus and L. minor when compared with unstressed controls. In both, osmotic and metal stress, the production of Hsp70 increased to a maximum and subsequently decreased as the stressor levels increased. Results suggest that Hsp70 IC-ELISA could potentially be applied to the detection of stress in these aquatic species, although it would probably be most effective when used in conjunction with other measurements to provide a stressor-specific biomarker profile or fingerprint.
    • Even better by disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (30/04/1997)
    • Evidence that zoo visitors influence HPA activity in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyii rufiventris)

      Davis, Nicolas; Schaffner, Colleen; Smith, Tessa E.; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2005-02)
      This article discusses the relationship between visitor numbers to a zoo and activity in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis of the animals.
    • Evolution and human behaviour: Darwinian perspectives on human nature

      Cartwright, John H.; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
      This book discusses the key theoretical principles of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology and demonstrates how they explain the ways in which humans think and behave.
    • Exploring the role of the extra-curricular sphere in higher education for sustainable development in the United Kingdom

      Lipscombe, Bryan P.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2008-08)
      This article discusses the extra-curricular sphere as a useful area for the advancement of education for sustainable development (ESD) work in higher education (HE). A postal questionnaire survey of UK universities and an ongoing case study ascertained practice in the UK HE sphere.
    • Extra-curricular education for sustainable development (ESD) interventions in UK universities

      Lipscombe, Bryan P.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Potter, Jacqueline; Ribchester, Chris; Degg, Martin; University of Chester (Environmental Education Association of South Africa, 2007)
    • Extraction, identification and biological activities of saponins in sea cucumber Pearsonothuria graeffei

      Khattaba, Rafat A.; Elbandy, Mohamed; Lawrence, Andrew J.; Paget, Tim; Rae-Rho, Jung; Binnasera, Yaser S.; Alih, Imran; Taibah University; Suez Canal University; Jizan University; Alarish University; University of Chester; Sunderland University; Kunsan National University; Central University, New Delhi (Bentham Science, 01/04/2018)
      Secondary metabolism in marine organisms produced a diversity of biological important natural compounds which are unpresented in terrestrial species. Sea cucumbers belong to the invertebrate Echinodermata and are famous for their nutraceutical, medical and food values. They are known for possession triterpenoid glycosides (saponins) with various ecological roles. The current work aimed to separate, identify and test various biological activities (anti-bacterial, antifungal, antileishmanial and anticancer properties) of saponins produced by the holothurian Pearsonothuria graeffei from the Red Sea, Egypt.
    • 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., 01/09/2015)
      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.