• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • Grike-roclimates

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Legg, Colin; Chester College of Higher Education (English Nature, 1999-07)
      This journal article discusses data collected at two north Wales sites that demonstrates that the direction of grikes makes a significant difference on the biodiversity of limestone pavements.
    • Head imaging and craniometry: A historical note on a base line error

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (College of Radiographers, 1995-07)
      This journal article discusses the work of Lysholm, Reid, and von Ihering in standarding patient positioning during radiological examination of the skull.
    • Heat shock proteins form part of a danger signal cascade in response to lipopolysaccharide and GroEL

      Davies, Emma L.; Bacelar, Maria M. F. V. G.; Marshall, Michael J.; Johnson, E.; Wardle, T. D.; Andrew, Sarah M.; Williams, John H. H.; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; Charles Salt Centre, The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry ; Spinal Studies, The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry ; Countess of Chester Hospital ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (Wiley, 2006-05-26)
      An increasing number of cell types, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), have been demonstrated to release heat shock proteins (Hsps). This paper investigates further the hypothesis that Hsps are danger signals. PBMCs and Jurkat cells released Hsp70 (0·22 and 0·7 ng/106 cells, respectively) into medium over 24 h at 37°C. Release of Hsp70 was stimulated 10-fold by GroEL (P < 0·001) and more than threefold by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (P < 0·001). Although Hsp60 could be detected in the medium of cells cultured at 37°C for 24 h, the low rates of release were due probably to cell damage. Significant release of Hsp60 was observed when Jurkat cells were exposed to GroEL (2·88 ng/106 cells) or LPS (1·40 ng/106 cells). The data are consistent with the hypothesis that Hsp70 and Hsp60 are part of a danger signalling cascade in response to bacterial infection.
    • Helpers influence on territory use and maintenance in Alpine marmot groups

      Pasquaretta, Cristian; Busia, Laura; Ferrari, Caterina; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Reale, Denis; von Hardenberg, Achaz; University of Pavia, Universiteé du Quebec a Montreal, Gran Paradiso National Park (2015-04-22)
      In social mammals, territory size and shape vary according to the number and strength of neighbour individuals competing for resources. Two main theories have been proposed to explain this variability: the Group Augmentation (GA) and the realized Resource Holding Potential (rRHP) hypotheses. The first states that the outcome of the interactions among groups depends on the total number of individuals in the group while the second states that only the number of animals directly involved in intergroup competition determines this outcome. We collected data on space use of individually tagged Alpine marmots ( Marmota marmota), a cooperative breeding species that overlaps part of its territory with neighbouring groups. In accordance with the rRHP hypothesis, we found that groups having higher proportion of helpers, rather than higher total number of individuals, had lower percentage of the territory overlapping with neighbouring groups and a larger area available for individual exclusive use.
    • Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus nest sites on the Isle of Mull are associated with habitat mosaics and constrained by topography

      Geary, Matthew; Haworth, Paul F.; Fielding, Alan H.; University of Chester; Haworth Conservation Ltd. (Taylor & Francis, 2018-02-07)
      Capsule: Hen Harrier on the Isle of Mull, UK, are associated with habitat mosaics consisting of moorland, scrub and forestry but avoid grazed land, suggesting that forested habitats could be managed sympathetically for Hen Harrier in the future should the current UK population increase. Aims: To use distribution modelling to investigate nesting habitat associations using a long term dataset for Hen Harrier on Mull. Methods: We develop area-interaction models using a LASSO penalty to explore the distribution of 102 Hen Harrier nest sites in relation to habitat and topography. Our model is then successfully validated in tests using data for 70 nest sites from subsequent years. Results: Our model is effective in predicting suitable areas for Hen Harrier nest sites and indicates that Hen Harriers on Mull are found in habitat mosaics below 200 m asl. Hen Harrier nest intensity is positively associated with increasing proportions of moorland and scrub, open canopy forestry and closed canopy forestry. Nest intensity is negatively associated with increasing proportions of grazed land. Conclusion: Hen Harrier avoid grazed areas but are relatively tolerant of other habitat combinations. These findings are supported by previous observations of Hen Harrier habitat use and have implications for the recovery of some Hen Harrier SPA populations and future forest management. Open canopy forest and forest mosaics could potentially be incorporated into landscape-scale conservation plans for Hen Harriers using the population in Mull as an example.