• 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, 2019-04-29)
      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, 2005-04-11)
      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 a no-take reserve on mangrove fish assemblages: incorporating seascape 2 connectivity

      Marley, Guy; Deacon, Amy; Phillip, Dawn; Lawrence, Andrew; University of the West Indies; Trinidad & Tobago; University of Chester
      No-take reserves (NTRs) have been effective at conserving fish assemblages in tropical systems such as coral reefs, but have rarely been evaluated in turbid tropical estuaries. The present study evaluated the effect of a mangrove NTR on the conservation of juvenile fish abundance, commercial fish biomass and biodiversity at the assemblage level, and the abundance of juveniles, target and non-target adults at the family level. The evaluation incorporated one aspect of seascape connectivity, namely proximity to the sea, or in this case, the Gulf of Paria. Linear mixed models showed that the NTR had a positive effect only on species richness at the assemblage level. However, juvenile fish abundance, commercial fish biomass, taxonomic distinctness and functional diversity were not enhanced in the NTR. The inclusion of connectivity in these models still failed to identify any positive effects of the NTR at the assemblage level. Yet, there were significant benefits to juvenile fish abundance for 5 of 7 families, and for 1 family of non-target adults. Possible explanations for the limited success of the NTR for fish assemblages include failing to account for the ecology of fish species in NTR design, the drawbacks of ‘inside−outside’ (of the NTR) experimental designs and the fact that fishing does not always impact non-target species. It is important to recognise that mangrove NTRs do not necessarily benefit fish assemblages as a whole, but that finer-scale assessments of specific families may reveal some of the proclaimed benefits of NTRs in tropical estuaries.
    • The effects of allogrooming and social network position on behavioural indicators of stress in female lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus)

      Yates, Kerrie; Stanley, Christina R.; Bettridge, Caroline; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester; Bangor University (Elsevier, 2022-08-28)
      Allogrooming serves an important social function in primates and confers short term benefits such as parasite removal and stress-relief. There is currently mixed evidence as to the immediate impact of allogrooming on an individual’s stress levels, which may be influenced by their role in the grooming dyad, position in their social network, or their relationship with their grooming partner. In this study of seven captive adult female lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in a mixed sex group at Chester Zoo, UK, we found evidence to support a tension-reduction function of allogrooming. Focal animal sampling showed that the duration of self-directed behaviour (SDB), which indicates moderate to high levels of stress, was significantly lower in the five-minute period following allogrooming than the five-minute minute period preceding it for both recipients and groomers. However, when compared to match-control periods, both SDB rates and durations were significantly lower across all individuals in the five-minute period both before and after allogrooming, indicating that although allogrooming reduces stress, it is also more likely to occur when individuals are already in a relatively relaxed state. The rate and duration of SDB post-grooming did not correlate with the strength of a dyad’s bond (based on proximity). This suggests that it is the act of allogrooming itself, rather than the identity of the partner, that reduces stress for both parties. Analysis of the proximity network highlighted a clear cost to social integration; node strength, a measure of the number and strength of an individual’s direct relationships, positively correlated with the duration of self-directed behaviour, suggesting that more gregarious individuals may experience higher levels of stress. These findings add to the growing body of literature that examines the effect of the individual social environment on primate stress levels, and also highlight the need to further investigate the link between social integration and the stress experienced by group-living animals.
    • 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, 2018-03-12)
      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, 2016-12-31)
      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, 2007-04-18)
    • 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.
    • Evaluation of the Feasibility, Reliability, and Repeatability of Welfare Indicators in Free-Roaming Horses: A Pilot Study.

      Harley, Jessica J.; Stack, J. David; Braid, Helen; McLennan, Krista M.; Stanley, Christina; University of Chester; University of Liverpool
      Validated assessment protocols have been developed to quantify welfare states for intensively managed sport, pleasure, and working horses. There are few protocols for extensively managed or free-roaming populations. Here, we trialed welfare indicators to ascertain their feasibility, reliability, and repeatability using free-roaming Carneddau Mountain ponies as an example population. The project involved (1) the identification of animal and resource-based measures of welfare from both the literature and discussion with an expert group; (2) testing the feasibility and repeatability of a modified body condition score and mobility score on 34 free-roaming and conservation grazing Carneddau Mountain ponies; and (3) testing a prototype welfare assessment template comprising 12 animal-based and 6 resource-based welfare indicators, with a total of 20 questions, on 35 free-roaming Carneddau Mountain ponies to quantify inter-assessor reliability and repeatability. This pilot study revealed that many of the indicators were successfully repeatable and had good levels of inter-assessor reliability. Some of the indicators could not be verified for reliability due to low/absent occurrence. The results indicated that many animal and resource-based indicators commonly used in intensively managed equine settings could be measured in-range with minor modifications. This study is an initial step toward validating a much-needed tool for the welfare assessment of free-roaming and conservation grazing ponies.
    • Even better by disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (1997-04-30)
    • 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, 2008-03-04)
      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.
    • Experimental taphonomy of fish bone from warm and cold water species: Testing the effects of amino acid composition on collagen breakdown in modern fish bone using thermal maturation experiments

      Harvey, Virginia L.; Wogelius, Roy A.; Manning, Phillip L.; Buckley, Michael; University of Manchester (Elsevier, 2021-01-12)
      Decay experiments have the potential to provide useful analogues in the interpretation of archaeological remains. Previous studies have focused on how physical properties or processing methods can influence fish bone distributions within archaeological sites. However, the means by which intrinsic chemical properties of fish bone, such as baseline collagen type I [‘collagen (I)’] chemistry, may affect both biomolecule and whole bone degradation has not been the focus of any prior study. The variation of facies and resulting impact on taphonomy is not a new concept, but an understanding of the discrete relationship between temperature and the breakdown of collagen (I) in bone material has not been well explored. Here, modern fish bone powder is subjected to differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and water-immersed heat experiments. This is to test whether taxa with less thermally stable collagen (I) configurations, such as cold-water species with reduced proline and hydroxyproline concentrations (Pro+Hyp), will generate collagen breakdown products (TOC and TN) more rapidly than those with more thermally stable arrangements, such as warm-water fish with typically increased Pro+Hyp. Our results show that bone collagen (I) in the cold-water fish species in this study (cod and herring with lower Pro+Hyp concentrations) display significantly increased decomposition rates than collagen (I) from the warm-water fishes in this study (amberjack and tilapia with higher Pro+Hyp concentrations), given the same experimental conditions (heating in water at 75 °C for up to eight days). Initial reaction rate estimates, based on TOC and TN product concentrations, suggest that cod bone (15.6% Pro+Hyp) reacts ~9 times faster than tilapia bone (20.3% Pro+Hyp). We suggest that the primary influencer of collagen (I) stability in bone is the concentration of Pro+Hyp residues and not a function of physical bone structure. Our results suggest that a reduction in collagen (I) stability is likely to lead to a decrease in whole bone stability following deposition, due to the intimate association between organic and inorganic phases of bone. Therefore, species composition based upon bone remains may vary in archaeological and palaeontological sites, as a function of the thermal stability of collagen (I).
    • 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, 2018-04-01)
      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.