Now showing items 21-40 of 5396

    • The influence of pH and fluid dynamics on the antibacterial efficacy of 45S5 Bioglass Short title: Antibacterial efficacy of 45S5 Bioglass

      Begum, Saima; Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Worthington, Tony; Martin, Richard; Aston University (IOP Publishing, 2016-02-02)
      In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the potential antibacterial properties that bioactive glasses may possess. However, there have been several conflicting reports on the antibacterial efficacy of 45S5 Bioglass®. Various mechanisms regarding its mode of action have been proposed, such as changes in the environmental pH, increased osmotic pressure, and 'needle-like' sharp glass debris which could potentially damage prokaryotic cell walls and thus inactivate bacteria. In this current study, a systematic investigation was undertaken on the antibacterial efficacy of 45S5 Bioglass® on Escherichia coli NCTC 10538 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCO 6538 under a range of clinically relevant scenarios including varying Bioglass® concentration, direct and indirect contact between Bioglass® and microorganisms, static and shaking incubation conditions, elevated and neutralised pH environments. The results demonstrated that, under elevated pH conditions, Bioglass® particles have no antibacterial effect on S. aureus while a concentration dependent antibacterial effect against E. coli was observed. However, the antibacterial activity ceased when the pH of the media was neutralised. The results of this current study, therefore, suggest that the mechanism of antibacterial activity of Bioglass® is associated with changes in the environmental pH; an environment that is less likely to occur in vivo due to buffering of the system.
    • Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Become Antiangiogenic When Chondrogenically or Osteogenically Differentiated: Implications for Bone and Cartilage Tissue Engineering

      Bara, Jennifer; Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Roberts, Sally; McCarthy, Helen E.; Humphrey, Emma; AO Institute, Davos, Switzerland; Aston University; Keele University
      Osteochondral tissue repair requires formation of vascularized bone and avascular cartilage. Mesenchymal stem cells stimulate angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo but it is not known if these proangiogenic properties change as a result of chondrogenic or osteogenic differentiation. We investigated the angiogenic/antiangiogenic properties of equine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (eBMSCs) before and after differentiation in vitro. Conditioned media from chondrogenic and osteogenic cell pellets and undifferentiated cells was applied to endothelial tube formation assays using Matrigel. Additionally, the cell secretome was analysed using LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry and screened for angiogenesis and neurogenesis-related factors using protein arrays. Endothelial tube-like formation was supported by conditioned media from undifferentiated eBMSCs. Conversely, chondrogenic and osteogenic conditioned media was antiangiogenic as shown by significantly decreased length of endothelial tube-like structures and degree of branching compared to controls. Undifferentiated cells produced higher levels of angiogenesis-related proteins compared to chondrogenic and osteogenic pellets. In summary, eBMSCs produce an array of angiogenesis-related proteins and support angiogenesis in vitro via a paracrine mechanism. However, when these cells are differentiated chondrogenically or osteogenically, they produce a soluble factor(s) that inhibits angiogenesis. With respect to osteochondral tissue engineering, this may be beneficial for avascular articular cartilage formation but unfavourable for bone formation where a vascularized tissue is desired.
    • CD271-selected mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue enhance cartilage repair and are less angiogenic than plastic adherent mesenchymal stem cells

      Kohli, Nupur; Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Uchida, Kenzo; Aston University, University of Chester, University of Fukui (Nature, 2019-02-28)
      CD271 is a marker of bone marrow MSCs with enhanced differentiation capacity for bone or cartilage repair. However, the nature of CD271+ MSCs from adipose tissue (AT) is less well understood. Here, we investigated the differentiation, wound healing and angiogenic capacity of plastic adherent MSCs (PA MSCs) versus CD271+ MSCs from AT. There was no difference in the extent to which PA MSCs and CD271+ MSCs formed osteoblasts, adipocytes or chondrocytes in vitro. In contrast, CD271+ MSCs transplanted into athymic rats significantly enhanced osteochondral wound healing with reduced vascularisation in the repair tissue compared to PA MSCs and control animals; there was little histological evidence of mature articular cartilage formation in all animals. Conditioned medium from CD271+ MSC cultures was less angiogenic than PA MSC conditioned medium, and had little effect on endothelial cell migration or endothelial tubule formation in vitro. The low angiogenic activity of CD271+ MSCs and improved early stage tissue repair of osteochondral lesions when transplanted, along with a comparable differentiation capacity along mesenchymal lineages when induced, suggests that these selected cells are a better candidate than PA MSCs for the repair of cartilaginous tissue.
    • An In Vitro Comparison of the Incorporation, Growth, and Chondrogenic Potential of Human Bone Marrow versus Adipose Tissue Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Clinically Relevant Cell Scaffolds Used for Cartilage Repair

      Kohli, Nupur; Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Wright, Karina T.; Sammons, Rachel L.; Jeys, Lee; Snow, Martyn
      Aim: To compare the incorporation, growth, and chondrogenic potential of bone marrow (BM) and adipose tissue (AT) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in scaffolds used for cartilage repair. Methods: Human BM and AT MSCs were isolated, culture expanded, and characterised using standard protocols, then seeded into 2 different scaffolds, Chondro-Gide or Alpha Chondro Shield. Cell adhesion, incorporation, and viable cell growth were assessed microscopically and following calcein AM/ethidium homodimer (Live/Dead) staining. Cell-seeded scaffolds were treated with chondrogenic inducers for 28 days. Extracellular matrix deposition and soluble glycosaminoglycan (GAG) release into the culture medium was measured at day 28 by histology/immunohistochemistry and dimethylmethylene blue assay, respectively. Results: A greater number of viable MSCs from either source adhered and incorporated into Chondro-Gide than into Alpha Chondro Shield. In both cell scaffolds, this incorporation represented less than 2% of the cells that were seeded. There was a marked proliferation of BM MSCs, but not AT MSCs, in Chondro-Gide. MSCs from both sources underwent chondrogenic differentiation following induction. However, cartilaginous extracellular matrix deposition was most marked in Chondro-Gide seeded with BM MSCs. Soluble GAG secretion increased in chondrogenic versus control conditions. There was no marked difference in GAG secretion by MSCs from either cell source. Conclusion: Chondro-Gide and Alpha Chondro Shield were permissive to the incorporation and chondrogenic differentiation of human BM and AT MSCs. Chondro-Gide seeded with BM MSCs demonstrated the greatest increase in MSC number and deposition of a cartilaginous tissue.
    • Comparison of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Isolated From Murine Adipose Tissue and Bone Marrow in the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

      Takahashi, Ai; Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Uchida, Kenzo; Matsumine, Akihiko; University of Chester, University of Fukui (SAGE, 2018-05-10)
      The use of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) transplantation to repair the injured spinal cord has shown consistent benefits in preclinical models. However, the low survival rate of grafted MSC is one of the most important problems. In the injured spinal cord, transplanted cells are exposed to hypoxic conditions and exposed to nutritional deficiency caused by poor vascular supply. Also, the transplanted MSCs face cytotoxic stressors that cause cell death. The aim of this study was to compare adipose-derived MSCs (AD-MSCs) and bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) isolated from individual C57BL6/J mice in relation to: (i) cellular characteristics, (ii) tolerance to hypoxia, oxidative stress and serum-free conditions, and (iii) cellular survival rates after transplantation. AD-MSCs and BM-MSCs exhibited a similar cell surface marker profile, but expressed different levels of growth factors and cytokines. To research their relative stress tolerance, both types of stromal cells were incubated at 20.5% O2 or 1.0% O2 for 7 days. Results showed that AD-MSCs were more proliferative with greater culture viability under these hypoxic conditions than BM-MSCs. The MSCs were also incubated under H2O2-induced oxidative stress and in serum-free culture medium to induce stress. AD-MSCs were better able to tolerate these stress conditions than BMMSCs; similarly when transplanted into the spinal cord injury region in vivo, AD-MSCs demonstrated a higher survival rate post transplantation Furthermore, this increased AD-MSC survival post transplantation was associated with preservation of axons and enhanced vascularization, as delineated by increases in anti-gamma isotype of protein kinase C and CD31 immunoreactivity, compared with the BM-MSC transplanted group. Hence, our results indicate that AD-MSCs are an attractive alternative to BM-MSCs for the treatment of severe spinal cord injury. However, it should be noted that the motor function was equally improved following moderate spinal cord injury in both groups, but with no significant improvement seen unfortunately following severe spinal cord injury in either group
    • Canine mesenchymal stem cells are neurotrophic and angiogenic: An in vitro assessment of their paracrine activity.

      Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Al Delfi, Ibtesam; Aston University, University of Chester, Veterinary Tissue Bank Ltd (Elsevier, 2016-09-19)
      Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been used in cell replacement therapies for connective tissue damage, but also can stimulate wound healing through paracrine activity. In order to further understand the potential use of MSCs to treat dogs with neurological disorders, this study examined the paracrine action of adipose-derived canine MSCs on neuronal and endothelial cell models. The culture-expanded MSCs exhibited a MSC phenotype according to plastic adherence, cell morphology, CD profiling and differentiation potential along mesenchymal lineages. Treating the SH-SY5Y neuronal cell line with serum-free MSC culture-conditioned medium (MSC CM) significantly increased SH-SY5Y cell proliferation (P <0.01), neurite outgrowth (P = 0.0055) and immunopositivity for the neuronal marker βIII-tubulin (P = 0.0002). Treatment of the EA.hy926 endothelial cell line with MSC CM significantly increased the rate of wound closure in endothelial cell scratch wound assays (P = 0.0409), which was associated with significantly increased endothelial cell proliferation (P <0.05) and migration (P = 0.0001). Furthermore, canine MSC CM induced endothelial tubule formation in EA.hy926 cells in a soluble basement membrane matrix. Hence, this study has demonstrated that adipose-derived canine MSC CM stimulated neuronal and endothelial cells probably through the paracrine activity of MSC-secreted factors. This supports the use of canine MSC transplants or their secreted products in the clinical treatment of dogs with neurological disorders and provides some insight into possible mechanisms of action.
    • The management of continuing professional development in General Further Education Colleges when intentionally aiming to improve Ofsted inspection from an ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ grading to ‘good’.

      Flanda, Wilfrid, T (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2018-09)
      The area of teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) is in the spotlight. This study considers the range of CPD opportunities that are implemented for teachers in General Further Education Colleges (GFECs) following an “inadequate” or “requires improvement” Ofsted inspection in order to achieve a future grading of “good”. The study draws on specific theoretical insights from the literature concerned with teacher professional development in the Further Education (FE) sector. In doing so, the study evaluates the spectrum of CPD models that were on offer within eleven GFECs that took part in the study by using a constant comparative approach. Using data generated from the eleven GFECs and also Kennedy’s (2014b) framework of CPD models as a lens for analysis, I identified five CPD models, which I then classified in relation to their top-down or developmental approach, and also the extent to which the activities identified underpinned professional autonomy and transformative practice. Using CPD as the point of analysis, the study investigates eleven GFECs, and whether the approach taken by the various colleges, prioritises individual or collective development. It then goes on to examine the contribution of resources, roles and responsibilities of individuals and teams within the particular context in which they operated. The findings generated from this study argue that continuous improvement is the result of a change in culture that is initiated by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and middle managers, and the success of this cultural change hinges on a series of mechanisms that support the achievement of “higher standards” in teaching and learning.
    • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

      Okour, Sarah (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-12)
      Political, social and demographic change has resulted in a search for new techniques for building public trust and reconciling relationships between the Muslim community and others in society. In this study, extremism and social cohesion have been chosen as potential new aims for the PR industry. This study assesses whether political PR can be diverted from its role in spin doctoring towards new cultural and social functions. My argument is that political public relations can be used as a tool for social integration with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK. This research distinguishes between two issues. The first connects with political PR within a political communication background, which relates to politicians, election campaigns, news management, and their relationship with the media. The second issue is that political PR can be reconsidered from a corporate perspective, one that endorses the use of PR in challenging political environments. My study places emphasis on the second issue. It applies a triangulating methodology based on using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions. A sample of seven UK public relations academics evaluated the current communication policies for their effectiveness, explained how political PR could help, and gave their recommendations. In addition, seven NGOs in Britain described their work, the problems they encountered, and their concerns. A lack of social integration and the continuing rise of extremism were repeatedly explained in terms of stereotyping, marginalisation, and counter-productive techniques. The results suggest that a change in political PR is possible and should be encouraged to intervene in fighting against radicalisation, extremism, and enhancing social cohesion. They also show a lack of PR support for NGOs. More broadly, my findings move the field of inclusivity forward by working on a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down model of communication. The best answer for sustaining long-term community relationships was improved communication and engagement, inclusive messages and campaigns, and the Muslim community remaining open to others in society.
    • The Role of Free Translation in Rendering the Collocational Phrases of the Quranic Text into English

      Ali, Abdalati (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07)
      The following thesis presents an investigation into the problems of rendering the Arabic collocational phrases in the Quran into English. The research reveals that literal translation may sometimes deform the meaning of the collocations found in the source text, while free translation is able to convey a better sense of their implicit meaning. The thesis studies three translations of the Quran – those of Muhammad Pickthall (1930), Abdullah Ali (1934) and Al-Hilali and Khan (1974) – and undertakes an in-depth comparison of their translations of a selection of collocations. It explores the advantages and disadvantages of the methods adopted by the translators with the aid of the Quranic exegeses of Al-Tabari (839-923 CE), Al-Razi (544-604 CE), Al-Qurtubi (1214-1273 CE), and Ibn Kathir (1300-1373), and relevant works by prominent Muslim theologians such as AlDamaghany (1007-1085: 1983) and Ibn Al-Jawzy (510-597: 1987), as well as a number of established Arabic-English dictionaries, such as the Arabic-English Dictionary of Quranic Usage (DAEQU) (Abdel-Haleem and Badwi,2008), the Dictionary of the Contemporary Arabic Language (DCAL) (Omar,2008) ,and the Lisān Al-Arab (DLA) ( Ibn Manzur,1955). This research is the first of its kind to examine collocations in the Quran from the perspective of translation theory. It adopts the methodology of Peter Newmark’s (1988) semantic and communicative translation theory and James Dickins’ exegetic translation model (2002). The application of these theoretical approaches is intended to act as a guide for future translators of the Quran, particularly when faced with the problem of providing English translations of collocations that successfully convey the implicit meaning of the Arabic text. In addition, it recommends the use of some translation techniques suggested by Newmark (1995) and Vinay and Darbelnet (1958: 1995), such as paraphrases, footnotes, transpositions, cultural borrowing, additions, compensation and descriptive equivalents, which give the target readers a broader contextual knowledge and provide them with the tools they need to grasp the deeper meanings of these collocations.
    • The Development and Growth of Tissues Derived From Cranial Neural Crest and Primitive Mesoderm Is Dependent on the Ligation Status of Retinoic Acid Receptor γ: Evidence That Retinoic Acid Receptor γ Functions to Maintain stem/progenitor Cells in the Absence of Retinoic Acid

      Johnson, William Eustace Basil; Wai, Htoo Aung; Aston University (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, 2015-02-15)
      Retinoic acid (RA) signaling is important to normal development. However, the function of the different RA receptors (RARs)--RARα, RARβ, and RARγ--is as yet unclear. We have used wild-type and transgenic zebrafish to examine the role of RARγ. Treatment of zebrafish embryos with an RARγ-specific agonist reduced somite formation and axial length, which was associated with a loss of hoxb13a expression and less-clear alterations in hoxc11a or myoD expression. Treatment with the RARγ agonist also disrupted formation of tissues arising from cranial neural crest, including cranial bones and anterior neural ganglia. There was a loss of Sox 9-immunopositive neural crest stem/progenitor cells in the same anterior regions. Pectoral fin outgrowth was blocked by RARγ agonist treatment. However, there was no loss of Tbx-5-immunopositive lateral plate mesodermal stem/progenitor cells and the block was reversed by agonist washout or by cotreatment with an RARγ antagonist. Regeneration of the caudal fin was also blocked by RARγ agonist treatment, which was associated with a loss of canonical Wnt signaling. This regenerative response was restored by agonist washout or cotreatment with the RARγ antagonist. These findings suggest that RARγ plays an essential role in maintaining stem/progenitor cells during embryonic development and tissue regeneration when the receptor is in its nonligated state.
    • Prologue: Language Challenges in the 21st Century

      Birney, Megan; Roessel, Janin; Hansen, Karolina; Rakic, Tamara; University of Lancaster
      As immigration and mobility increases, so do interactions between people from different linguistic backgrounds. Yet while linguistic diversity offers many benefits, it also comes with a number of challenges. In seven empirical articles and one commentary, this Special Issue addresses some of the most significant language challenges facing researchers in the 21st century: the power language has to form and perpetuate stereotypes, the contribution language makes to intersectional identities, and the role of language in shaping intergroup relations. By presenting work that aims to shed light on some of these issues, the goal of this Special Issue is to (a) highlight language as integral to social processes and (b) inspire researchers to address the challenges we face. To keep pace with the world’s constantly evolving linguistic landscape, it is essential that we make progress toward harnessing language’s power in ways that benefit 21st century globalized societies.
    • Where Are You From? An Investigation into the Intersectionality of Accent Strength and Nationality Status on Perceptions of Non-native Speakers in Britain

      Birney, Megan E.; Rabinovich, Anna; Morton, Thomas A.; University of Copenhagen
      We explore how interpersonal and intergroup perceptions are affected by a non-native speaker’s accent strength and the status of their home country. When nationality information was absent (Study 1), natives who heard a strong (vs. weak) accent rated the speaker as warmer but immigrants as a group as more threatening. This result was replicated when the speaker’s nationality was familiar (Study 2) but in this study, country status further shaped accent-based perceptions: the strong (vs. weak) accented speaker evoked more positive interpersonal perceptions when her country status was low, but more negative intergroup perceptions when her country status was high. When the status of the speaker’s nationality was manipulated (Study 3), we replicated the interpersonal perceptions found in Study 1 and the intergroup perceptions found in Study 2. Findings support a holistic approach to investigating perceptions of non-native speakers: one that considers nationality as well as accent strength.
    • Shifting Models of Energy Companies towards Green Economy in Europe

      Fernandez, Rosa M; University of Chester
      The traditional model of European energy company has been characterised by big entities that usually play a relatively important role as national champions in terms of market share, assets value, vertical integration, political influence and employment volumes, among other factors. However, last decade has seen how these big dinosaurs are losing market power in favour of new actors. On one side Russian and Chinese competitors have started showing interest in the Western European energy sector, and they are developing purchasing strategies to acquire part of the business in different countries, taking advantage of the vulnerable financial position that many of these companies suffer. On the other side having been unable to change their business models away from the focus on fossil fuels into the renewable energies sector has made traditional companies lose market share in favour of a new model of companies, smaller in terms of assets but quite focused on a market segment with a privileged institutional support, particularly thanks to the European Union targets for 2020 on renewable energy. This chapter uses the framework of green economy as the one that approaches macroeconomic issues through innovative ways, promoting green investments through the most adequate regulatory measures, and considering green energy as one of the sectors where these investments should be focused. Bearing this in mind, the chapter will try to point out the existing constraints to reach the new model of development (sustainable development, as promoted by a green economy) and also the barriers that energy companies impose themselves through old fashioned strategies that do not take into consideration the wider demands from a much larger group of stakeholders in a changing society. It will also address the changing governance framework caused by recent political events such as Brexit and the shifting EU institutional discourse towards 2030 targets.
    • Retention of cardiac rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic A joint position statement from the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) British Heart Foundation (BHF)

      Dawkes, Susan; Hughes, Sally; Ray, Simon; Nichols, Simon; Hinton, Sally; Roberts, Ceri; Butler, Thomas; Delal, Hayes; Docherty, Patrick; University of York/National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation
      The British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR), the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have issued a joint position statement ‘Retention of cardiac rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic’.
    • Should you be using mobile technologies in teaching? Applying a pedagogical framework

      France, Derek; orcid: 0000-0001-6874-6800; Lee, Rebecca; Maclachlan, John; McPhee, Siobhán R (Informa UK Limited, 2020-06-10)
    • Trade Barriers

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Springer Nature, 2020-09-30)
      A basic definition of trade barriers could be ‘all factors that influence the amount of goods and services shipped across international borders’ (Feenstra and Taylor, 2017a). This definition is quite neutral, and it needs to be understood that the word ‘barrier’ has a negative connotation, which means that a trade barrier would be any instrument that limits or restrict trade between countries, as opposed to free trade. It is generally accepted that free trade is good for productivity and economic growth, but it is also true that most countries apply some sort of trade restriction, for different reasons.
    • The value of embedded secondary-care-based psychology services in rheumatology: an exemplar for long-term conditions

      Barnes, Theresa; Taylor, Lou; Eost-Telling, Charlotte; Joy, Thomas; Countess of Chester Hospital; University of Chester; University of Chester; Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (Royal College of Physicians, 2020-02-29)
      Rheumatoid arthritis is an exemplar long term condition, complicated by pain, disability, co-morbidities and long term medication use. It has significant effects on mobility, work performance, social role, sexual function and relationships. It is commonly associated with fatigue and mood disturbance as a result of complex interactions of physical (disease related) and psychosocial factors. NICE guidance recommends the availability of psychological support for these patients. We have implemented a psychology service for our patients with chronic rheumatological conditions. This study was set up to capture the value of this service.
    • Open Carboniferous Limestone pavement grike microclimates in Great Britain and Ireland: understanding the present to inform the future

      Burek, Cynthia; Hosie, Lottie; Geary, Matt; York, Peter, J. (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2020-04)
      Limestone pavements are a distinctive and irreplaceable geodiversity feature, in which are found crevices known as grikes. These grikes provide a distinct microclimate conferring a more stable temperature, higher relative humidity, lower light intensity and lower air speed than can be found in the regional climate. This stability of microclimate has resulted in an equally distinctive community of flora and fauna, adapted to a forest floor but found in an often otherwise barren landscape. This thesis documents the long-term study of the properties of the limestone pavement grike in order to identify the extent to which the microclimate may sustain its distinctive biodiversity, to provide recommendations for future research which may lead to more effective management. Over a five-year study, recordings of temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and samples of invertebrate biodiversity were collected from five limestone pavements situated in the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria in Great Britain, and The Burren in the Republic of Ireland. An extensive description of the grike microclimate was undertaken using the data collected to understand the extent of the microclimate stability of the grike and the conditions for variation in the grike microclimate. Further insights into the grike microclimate were gained through simulation techniques more commonly used in engineering, to explore the effects of air flowing over a grike, the light from the sun entering the grike and regression analysis to simulate the temperature within the grike in the present and projected for the future. This study has indicated that although the whole of the grike confers a degree of microclimatic stability, it is made up of a less stable upper zone and a more stable lower zone. The instability of the upper zone is hypothesised to result from the extent to which the majority of light and external air can enter the grike, whereas the stability of the lower zone may be governed by the thermal stability of the limestone surrounding it. Based on this zonation and the projections for the grike temperature, it is hypothesised that climate change will have the most substantial effects in the upper grike zone where species obligated to this area could be most heavily impacted. This study recommends a range of areas in which research may be employed so that the limestone pavement habitat may be successfully managed in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
    • The quest for collaborative ministry: an investigation into an elusive practice in the Church in Wales

      Adams, Stephen, A. (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07)
      Over at least fifty years, the Church in Wales (in common with the Church of England) has repeatedly called for the establishment of collaborative ministry (between clergy and between clergy and laity) both as a theological necessity and to respond to changing patterns of parochial organisation. The need to make these repeated exhortations implies that implementation has been at best patchy. My own experience, together with an Appreciative Inquiry approach to interviews with nine experienced clergy indicates that the culture of the institution is problematic concerning collaborative practices – particularly about the exercise of power. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology, I locate my participants’ narratives within the framework of their habitus, the field of the Church in Wales, and the symbolic capital of individuals and groups. I argue that the Church in Wales defaults to unhelpful hierarchical or managerial notions of ministry and mission that too often set clergy and laity at odds with one another. I examine practices of teamwork that create inclusion, psychological safety, and that are grounded in social models of the Trinity. Such appropriation, in my assessment, establishes the groundwork for effective collaborative practice and underpins the human flourishing that is at the heart of the gospel.
    • The importance of long-term genetic monitoring of reintroduced populations: inbreeding in the natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita)

      Muir, Anna P; orcid: 0000-0002-6896-6915; Phillips, Susanna; Geary, Matt; email: m.geary@chester.ac.uk; Allmark, Matthew; Bennett, Sarah; Norman, Kim; Ball, Rachel J; Peters, Catherine; University of Chester; Cheshire Wildlife Trust; Eni UK Ltd (British Herpetological Society, 2020-07-31)
      Genetic monitoring is an important, but frequently lacking, component of management actions to support long-term persistence in reintroduced populations. Populations that remain small, due to demographic processes and genetic diversity, are more likely to experience a second extinction event. The natterjack toad (Epidelea calamita) is legally protected in Britain and was the subject of a reintroduction programme in the 1990s. However, subsequent genetic assessment has been mostly lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of two reintroduced populations of natterjack toads in order to inform conservation management. Adults were sampled and nine microsatellites amplified to assess neutral genetic variation within each site and for comparison with the source population. Inbreeding was observed at the reintroduction sites, as evidenced by high FIS values (0.43 and 0.72), low observed compared to expected heterozygosities, and significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Observed heterozygosity is currently lower in the reintroduction sites than it was in the source population at the time of the reintroductions (Red Rocks: 0.15±0.20; Talacre: 0.12±0.20; Ainsdale (source): 0.29). Evidence for a bottleneck was not found, although this is likely a result of sampling overlapping generations. No within-site population structuring was observed. Such low genetic diversity has not previously been recorded in any natterjack population. Genetic rescue, combined with pool creation, is the most viable option for safeguarding the species at these sites into the future. Our work highlights the importance of ongoing genetic monitoring, in collaboration with conservation organisations, to support conservation management.