Welcome to UDORA, the University of Derby Online Research Archive.

UDORA is the institutional repository of research produced by staff at the University of Derby, and an archive of our completed doctoral theses.

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  • Key skills and training needs of the D2N2 low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector

    Paterson, Fred; Baranova, Polina; Neary, Siobhan; Hanson, Jill; Clarke, Lewis; Wond, Tracey; Lee, Amanda; Gill, Judith; Gallotta, Bruno; Eisen, Matthew; Nesterova, Iana; University of Derby; D2N2; European Union Social Fund (University of Derby, 2018-07)
    Low Carbon is one of eight priority business sectors identified in the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan (2014 – 2023). In January 2018, Learndirect (on behalf of the LEP) commissioned Derby Business School to research the key skills required by the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector in D2N2; map existing training provision for the sector and establish the needs of key sector supply chains. The research finds that many of the key issues and challenges for businesses that supply LCEGS identified in previous reports remain. Suggests, surprisingly, that as many as 1 in 4 firms are doing business in the sector; with 1 in 20 firms deriving more than 80% of their turnover from LCEGS. Estimates the number of LCEGS suppliers in 5 key sectors to demonstrate where skills provision could be targeted. Highlights the variety of skills needed in different sectors and some of the issues, gaps and challenges facing skills providers. Proposes that pro-environmental suppliers and innovators should be identified in each priority sector and the current and future skills needs relevant to each sector established. The report concludes that much of the business activity currently categorised as Low Carbon sector can be re-framed as pro-environmental innovation in existing traditional sectors.
  • Competitiveness through responsible supply chains and resource efficiency: a regional outlook

    Baranova, Polina; Paterson, Fred; University of Derby; East Midlands Chamber (University of Derby, 2018-02)
    This report describes an independent analysis by the University of Derby Business School (DBS) of surveys conducted by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce (EMCC) in 2017 and 2015. Whilst the surveys were part of the EMCC’s routine quarterly engagement with local businesses that dealt with a range of traditional business interests, this analysis focuses upon a series of questions that addressed companies’ awareness and engagement with resource efficiency and the degree to which they supply and benefit from low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS). Respondents to the EMCC survey were evenly balanced across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and the three major cities therein. Similarly, there was a good balance between SMEs and larger businesses represented in the survey sample. The study shows that the number of businesses supplying low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) across the East Midlands is growing - with 24% of companies surveyed by EMCC in 2017 deriving some degree of turnover from LCEGS, compared with 16% in 2015. 12% of businesses surveyed generated more than 20% of their turnover from LCEGS in 2017, compared with only 8% of business in this category in 2015. According to the survey data, micro and small sized businesses have shown the greatest growth in LCEGS sector activity between 2015-2017. Both these categories of businesses show a significant increase in the number of businesses generating a proportion of their turnover from LCEGS (8.8% and 9.1% respectively). On the other hand, slightly more medium-sized businesses in 2017 said they derived no turnover from LCEGS (81.4%) compared with 2015 (79.7%). Whilst none of the large businesses in the sample generated their entire turnover from LCEGS in 2017, they increased the proportion of their LCEGS turnover in the 20-49% and 50-79% categories (by 9.6% and 6.1% respectively). Countering this trend, however, was a 2.6% decrease in large businesses deriving 80-100% of turnover from LCEGS. The three top manufacturing sectors in the region by contribution to the LCEGS sector in both 2015 and 2017 samples are: construction, engineering & manufacturing and the energy and water supply sectors. The top three services sectors across the region, by their contribution to the LCEGS sector are: professional services, transport and logistics, and retail sectors. Compared with other key sectors in the region, the construction sector alongside energy and water services derive the largest proportion of turnover from LCEGS. However, engineering & manufacture, transport & logistics, retail and professional services companies are all showing significant growth in LCEGS business. On average, in 2017 manufacturing sector companies generated more annual turnover from LCEGS than companies operating in the services sector. This is a 20% improvement on 2015 figures, which indicate that over the last two years more and more regional businesses in the manufacturing sectors successfully supply LCEGS. Businesses operating in the various services sector are significantly lagging behind this trend with little increase in the supply of low carbon environmental services over the last two years.
  • Do office workers adjust their chairs? End-user knowledge, use and barriers to chair adjustment.

    Underwood, Diana; Sims, Ruth; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2019-02-15)
    A quantitative field study measured end-user availability, knowledge and use levels of adjustable office chair functions in Korea-based office workers, together with their perceived barriers towards making adjustments. Fifty-one English-speaking workers were interviewed and surveyed in a related design. Results showed that of the number of adjustable functions available on their office chair (M = 5.39, SD = 2.3), participants knew fewer than half of them (M = 2.51, SD = 1.52) and used even less (M = 1.86, SD = 1.21). Fifty-three percent of participants knew two or less and 73% had used only two or less. Ten percent had used none. Results suggested physical needs (such as increased comfort or postural change) were a strong driver for previous chair adjustment behavior. Perceived cognitive barriers played a more significant role in limiting chair adjustment knowledge and use than physical or organizational barriers. Highly adjustable office chairs have the possibility of satisfying the adjustment needs of most end-users. However, adjustable chair functions need to be both available and known in order to be used.
  • Life history, environment and extinction of the scallop Carolinapecten eboreus (Conrad) in the Plio-Pleistocene of the U.S. eastern seaboard.

    Johnson, Andrew L. A.; Valentine, Annemarie M.; Leng, Melanie J.; Schöne, Bernd R.; Sloane, Hilary J.; University of Derby; Nottingham Trent University; British Geological Survey; University of Mainz (SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), 2019-02-01)
    Plio-Pleistocene mass extinction of marine bivalves on the U.S. eastern seaboard has been attributed to declines in temperature and primary production. We investigate the relationship of growth rate in the scallop Carolinapecten eboreus to variation in these parameters to determine which contributed to its extinction. We use ontogenetic profiles of shell d18O to estimate growth rate and seasonal temperature, microgrowth-increment data to validate d18O-based figures for growth rate, and shell d13C to supplement assemblage evidence of production. Postlarval growth started in the spring/summer in individuals from the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain but in the autumn/winter in some from the Gulf Coastal Plain. Growth rate typically declined with age and was usually higher in summer than winter. Many individuals died in winter but the largest forms typically died in spring, possibly on spawning for the first time. No individuals lived longer than two years and some grew exceedingly fast overall, up to 60% more rapidly than any other scallop species (, 145.7 mm in a year). Faster growth was generally achieved by secreting more rather than larger microgrowth increments. Some very fast-growing individuals lived in settings of high production and low temperature. No individuals grew slowly under high production whereas most if not all grew slowly under ‘average’ production and low temperature. In that the rapid growth evidently enabled by high production would have afforded protection from predators, Plio-Pleistocene decline in production was probably contributory to the extinction of C. eboreus. However, the negative impact of low temperature on growth under ‘average’ production suggests that temperature decline played some part.
  • Polymerase chain reaction detection of avipox and avian papillomavirus in naturally infected wild birds: comparisons of blood, swab and tissue samples

    Williams, Richard A. J.; Escudero Duch, Clara; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Benítez, Laura; Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain; Natural Sciences, Saint Louis University, Madrid, Spain; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (Taylor & Francis Group, 2014-03-04)
    Avian poxvirus (avipox) is widely reported from avian species, causing cutaneous or mucosal lesions. Mortality rates of up to 100% are recorded in some hosts. Three major avipox clades are recognized. Several diagnostic techniques have been reported, with molecular techniques used only recently. Avipox has been reported from 278 different avian species, but only 111 of these involved sequence and/or strain identification. Collecting samples from wild birds is challenging as only few wild bird individuals or species may be symptomatic. Also, sampling regimes are tightly regulated and the most efficient sampling method, whole bird collection, is ethically challenging. In this study, three alternative sampling techniques (blood, cutaneous swabs and tissue biopsies) from symptomatic wild birds were examined. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect avipoxvirus and avian papillomavirus (which also induces cutaneous lesions in birds). Four out of 14 tissue samples were positive but all 29 blood samples and 22 swab samples were negative for papillomavirus. All 29 blood samples were negative but 6/22 swabs and 9/14 tissue samples were avipox-positive. The difference between the numbers of positives generated from tissue samples and from swabs was not significant. The difference in the avipox-positive specimens in paired swab (4/6) and tissue samples (6/6) was also not significant. These results therefore do not show the superiority of swab or tissue samples over each other. However, both swab (6/22) and tissue (8/9) samples yielded significantly more avipox-positive cases than blood samples, which are therefore not recommended for sampling these viruses.

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