A growing collection of doctoral theses produced by University of Derby researchers. The collection comprises titles digitised from print holdings and items first submitted electronically from 2013.

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  • Developing a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Treatment Programme Designed to Promote Hopefulness and Self-Esteem in Mental Health Service Users Recently Diagnosed with a Psychotic Illness: A Pilot Study to Explore Service-Users’ Experiences of Accessibility, Engagement and Efficacy

    Townend, Michael; Strickland-Hodge, Barry; Pearson, Daniel James (University of DerbyLeicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, 2020-11)
    Background This study sits within a wider research agenda, the aim of which is to develop a novel psychological therapy programme designed to target hopelessness and compromised self-esteem in young people recently diagnosed with a psychotic illness. The aspiration is to develop a programme that is experienced as accessible and engaging and perceived to be of value. It is anticipated that that process will progress through several stages and a number of iterations. The primary objectives of this specific piece of research were to undertake a first piloting of the Therapy Programme, gather evaluative feedback from participant-service users, and fine-tune the approach. The secondary objective was to explore the perceived value of the programme with regard to ‘proof of concept’. Method The research design combined the methodological rigour of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis with a mixed-methods focus on data, underpinned by the philosophical paradigm of critical realism. Quantitative data was collected through the completion of outcome measures pre, during and post-therapy. Qualitative data was gathered through the facilitation of semi-structured feedback interviews with participant-service-users shortly after the completion of each of their Therapy Programmes. Participants were followed-up at 2 years from the commencement of their therapy to ascertain the subsequent trajectory of their lives and to explore reflections on their experiences of the programme from a perspective of temporal distance. Findings Eight Early Psychosis Service clients were recruited to receive the Therapy Programme. Three withdrew from the therapy. Another completed the Programme, but failed to complete all of the research requirements. One completer-participant experienced a psychotic relapse shortly before the end of therapy. The principal purposes of the research were the elicitation of critical reflections on the Therapy Programme and meaningful recommendations for its improvement. There was some evidence of reticence amongst participants regarding the expression of critical statements. Where more critical observations were expressed, they focussed primarily on the relative balance and chronological ordering of different elements. The consensus recommendation was for the ‘pure’ elements of the approach, including direct attention to the cognitive-constructs of hope and self-esteem, to proceed the consideration of more applied goals. There was a strong collective recommendation to allocate more attention to addressing unhelpful illness narratives. A Participant Handbook, written as a resource for those involved in the therapy, was positively received with regard to design. Participants, however, recommended significant change to the complexity of its content. Of the four completer-participants, three showed substantial improvements in reported hope, self-esteem and wellbeing over the period in which the therapy was delivered. Those gains were sustained at follow-up. The participant who experienced a psychotic relapse showed limited improvements on all measures at the end of the treatment period, but had progressed significantly at follow-up. In each case, reported scores on the outcome measures were supported by substantial success in negotiated life-goals. Participant feedback regarding the programme, post-therapy and at follow-up, was generally very positive, with all participants identifying causal connections between the therapy, achievement of therapy and life goals, and subsequent improved outcome scores. Limitations To accommodate a priority focus of qualitative data, participant numbers were small and there was no access to normative or comparative data for the service user population. The limitations of the sample size were compounded by a high rate of attrition. The delay to follow-up introduced additional confounding variables. As a consequence of the study-design, therefore, quantitative data can only be regarded as providing indicative evidence of reported improvements across the measures of wellbeing. It cannot be said to evidence a causal connection between therapy and identified improvements or to support statements regarding the efficacy of the approach. Finally, although participants were recruited explicitly to be collaborators in the evaluation and betterment of the Therapy Programme, reflections appeared to be somewhat biased towards a validation of the approach and critical evaluations, although present, were limited. The credibility of these observations is, further, undermined by the design-decision to have the therapist conduct the post-therapy feedback interviews. Conclusions The primary objective of the research was to generate meaningful recommendations for the improvement of the Therapy Programme. That purpose was achieved. The secondary objective was to consider the programme with regard to ‘proof of concept’. Subject to the limitations detailed above, the level of improvement reported over the period in which the therapy was offered, together with the fact that those gains had not been lost at follow-up, tentatively supports an argument for further development of the programme.
  • The influence of caffeine expectancies on simulated soccer performance and perceptual states

    Hooton, Andy; Sheffield, David; Higgins, Matthew; Shabir, Akbar (University of DerbyThe University of Derby, School of Human Sciences, 2020-10)
    Caffeine (CAF) is the most widely consumed ergogenic substance in sport and has been reported to improve various attributes associated with successful soccer performance including, endurance capacity, gross motor skill performance and cognitions. These benefits are typically ascribed to pharmacological mechanisms (i.e. central nervous and peripheral tissue stimulation). However, the psychological and perceptual permutations that are associated with CAF expectancies are largely unaddressed in most experimental designs but could be as important as CAF pharmacology in understanding if/how CAF elicits an ergogenic response on sport performance. As the consumption of pharmacologically active CAF may not be necessary in observing a CAF associated ergogenic response, this body of work may prove beneficial to individuals suffering from pre-existing health concerns (e.g. hypertension, genetic polymorphisms, depression, insomnia etc.), CAF habituation, and those participating in late evening sports competitions whereby CAF consumption may impair sleep quality/duration. The main aim of this thesis is to evaluate and explore the psychobiological effects of expectancies associated with oral CAF consumption on various facets of simulated soccer performance and perceptual states. This was achieved via completion of the following objectives: (1) conducting a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to literature exploring the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise (A) and cognitive performance (B) (2) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on high-intensity intermittent endurance capacity, reaction time and soccer skill proficiency (3) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on perceptual fatigue and mood states (4) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on subjective perceptions using the double-dissociation design but in particular the mixed methods approach (Brooks et al., 2015). There remains a severe under representation of the mixed methods design in the literature pertaining to the phenomenon of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise, and cognitive performance. The mixed methods design and associated triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data is fundamental to validly compare CAF’s psychological versus pharmacological impetus. Prior to this thesis, only two other studies (Beedie et al., 2006; Duncan et al., 2009) implemented the mixed methods design, with neither providing a rigorous account of methodological decisions, researcher reflexivity, and/or evidence of applying an epistemological framework. These factors were incorporated within the current thesis and improved the quality of data collection, analysis, and reflection. The results of our, novel, meta-analyses demonstrated that all studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise performance displayed a beneficial effect (p=0.01) with an overall moderate effect size (Cohen’s d (ES): 0.40) observed. In contrast, no significant effect was observed for studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance (p=0.142) with a small effect size (ES=0.1) observed. Though, due to significant methodological heterogeneity associated with studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance, any associated implications here should be taken with caution. Experimental study 1 explored the influence of CAF expectancies on facets of simulated soccer performance (e.g. exercise capacity, reaction time and passing ability (LSPT)) and perceptual states via utilisation of a mixed-methods approach and double-dissociation design. Exercise capacity was greater (p<0.05) for CAF psychology (given placebo (PLA)/told CAF) (623 ± 117 s) versus pharmacology (given CAF/told PLA) (578 ± 99 s) with all participants running longer during psychology. This benefit appeared to be driven by CAF expectancies and reductions in perceptual effort. Interestingly, positive perceptions for told CAF conditions appeared to impair BATAK performance via potential CAF over reliance. In contrast, negative perceptions possibly facilitated BATAK performance via augmented conscious effort. A similar trend to BATAK was observed for LSPT performance. Following the completion of experimental study 1 it became apparent that the techniques used to modulate expectancies across experimental conditions (i.e. told PLA/CAF groups) here or any other study with a primary aim of exploring the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and/or cognitive performance, require validation. This was the premise of experimental study 2. No meaningful findings were observed from baseline to post-intervention across any outcome measure during experimental study 2. This lack of effect may be related to environmental factors, whereby individuals completed trials in classrooms and/or a home cinema, prior to lectures/seminars and/or social interactions, respectively. In contrast, participants in experimental study 1 were administered the appropriate expectancy modulating techniques after they had perceived to consume PLA or CAF within an environment that necessitated an immediate importance for CAF (e.g. prior to exercise performance). In summary, the novelty and original contribution of the current body of research entails: completion of a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and cognitive performance; assessment of the influence CAF expectancies may have on simulated soccer performance; the implementation of a mixed methods approach and double dissociation design; an in depth rationale, description and set of instructions for the utilisation of the mixed methods approach in any future research, including the use of an epistemological framework; a summary of ecological factors that are fundamental in understanding the phenomenon of CAF expectancies across sport and exercise performance. With respect of the main findings from the experimental data contained in this thesis: the benefits associated with CAF expectancies may better suit tasks that entail lesser cognitive/skill specific attributes but greater gross motor function (e.g. cycling, weightlifting, running etc.) and this is likely due to reduced perceptual effort. Moreover, future studies aiming to validate expectancy modulating techniques or generally assessing expectancies should provide a greater immediate importance for CAF and this may be achieved by replicating environmental and/or psychosocial conditions associated with sport performance (e.g. the utilisation of a performance measure) and the perception for CAF consumption.
  • Behavioural and metabolic responses of the freshwater mussels Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum to environmental stimuli with a focus on food and light availability

    Ramsey, Andrew; Huck, Maren; Mehra, Aradhana; Zapitis, Charitos (University of Derby, 2020-07-05)
    Benthic invertebrates play a crucial role in sediment mixing, nutrient cycling, and oxygen fluxes in benthic ecosystems. Despite the broad global distribution and high abundance of unionid mussels in both lentic and lotic ecosystems, the role of their locomotion behaviour and metabolic activity on the aforementioned processes remain understudied. In this thesis, Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum were exposed to a range of Chlorella vulgaris concentrations between 0.5 and 20.0 mg Ash Free Dry Mass (AFDM) l-1 at 11.0, 15.0 and 19.0 ± 1.0 °C in laboratory experiments. Unionid behaviours were recorded by time-lapse photography. Mussel locomotion probability and duration, opening behaviour, posterior tip movement and the position in relation to the light source were extracted image and video analysis. The diel rhythm was assessed as well as the responses to the light intensity at ~230, 450 and 1200 lux on a horizontal light gradient. The oxygen consumption (OC) during digestion was quantified at 0.05, 6.0 and 12.0 mg of AFDM of Chlorella vulgaris l-1 at 19.0 ± 1.0 °C. The locomotion probability was significantly higher for A. anatina, compared to U. pictorum, increased with increasing temperature (lower for 11.0 ± 1.0 °C), and decreased with increasing algal concentrations. Locomotion duration decreased with the increasing algal concentration in both species, with U. pictorum showing a shorter locomotion duration than A. anatina. Valve opening peaked at algal concentrations of 3.0 mg l-1. A contrasting locomotion pattern was recorded between the two species with A. anatina crawling on the sediment and U. pictorum breaking through the sediment with is umbo covered. Both species showed a significantly higher probability of locomotion in the absence of light and a decreasing locomotion path distance with the increasing light intensity. The specimens which moved towards the light source covered a longer distance than those which moved away. Additionally, A. anatina showed a net movement towards the light source while all activities were recorded in the absence of light. Digestion significantly contributed to unionid metabolism in both species. In addition, the mean OC rate per dry soft-tissue mass (DM) increased with the algal concentration, with A. anatina showing a significantly higher rate. In A. anatina OC DM-1 decreased with the increasing DM. The findings are discussed in the context of eutrophication, unionid bioremediation potential, and the development of species-specific remediation models. A conceptual model developed demonstrates the ecological interactions between unionids and their environment in lentic systems.
  • The cryptic and transboundary nature of ghost gear in the Maldivian Archipelago

    Sweet, Michael; Huck, Maren; Beaumont, Nel; Stelfox, Martin (University of Derby, 2019-06-11)
    Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), more commonly referred to as ghost gear, is a global issue that impacts many marine organisms worldwide. In the Maldivian archipelago a large number of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are found entangled in these nets (more commonly referred to as ghost nets) each year. However, the origin of these nets or turtles are unknown considering fishing with the use of nets is restricted to the bait fisheries within the exclusive economic zone of the Maldives. Therefore, ghost gear has a transboundary and cryptic nature, making it difficult to assess the environmental impact and origin of the gear. This thesis aimed to develop new tools and techniques which could be utilised to examine these unknowns. I revealed in a literature review (Chapter 1) that research in ghost gear entanglements amongst marine megafauna are predominantly focussed in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. However, Indian, Arctic and southern Oceans are far less studied. Additionally, the majority of strategies to tackle ghost gear were centred around curative measures, such as ghost gear retrieval. I advise that future solutions, best practices and research should favour preventative rather than curative methods in ghost gear management and research. Statistical classifies (Chapter 2) were built in R to predict the probability of a net entangling a turtle. It was highlighted that nets with larger mesh sizes and the absence of floats were major gear characteristics that increased the likelihood of turtle entanglement. In addition, the time of year was an important variable with a higher chance of turtle entanglements in nets found during the northeast monsoon (November – April). Unfortunately, grouping of the nets by fisheries was not possible, beyond a broad classification. This was likely a result of the wide variety of nets used in the region. However, gill and trawl nets were recognised as high-risk fisheries. Regardless of the difficulties of assigning an origin of the nets, I was able to estimate the scale of the problem. Between 3,400 and 12,200 turtles could have become entangled in ghost nets over the 51-month study period, meaning this region has the highest turtle entanglement rate in ghost nets worldwide (0.17). Nesting and sightings of free-swimming individuals are rare and therefore the majority of entangled turtles do not originate from the Maldives. To discover the source population of these entangled olive ridleys we utilised a mixed stock analyses of mtDNA from samples of turtles entangled in nets in the Maldives (n = 38) and compared them to nesting stocks from published literature (Sri Lanka, east India and northern Australia). We were able to fill in data gaps in phylogenetics by including samples from previously undescribed nesting populations, such as those in Oman and improved resolution by including longer sequences from east India in our analyses (Chapter 3). Results suggest that the majority of entangled olive ridleys originate from east Indian (73%) and Sri Lankan (23%) genetic stocks when no population estimates were included in model design. This meant we could estimate the impact of ghost nets on these populations. Recorded ghost net entanglements may impact yearly recruitment of east Indian populations by 0.48% however a staggering 41% of the Sri Lankan population are thought to be negatively affected by the drifting nets. I then attempted to age ghost gear found drifting in the Maldives, and provided additional evidence to locate possible sites of origin. Percentage cover of biofouling communities and capitulum length of the goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) provided the most robust metrics to estimate minimum drift times (Chapter 4). Lagrangian simulations (forced by Ocean Surface Current Analyses Realtime OSCAR) could then be utilised to backtrack drifting ghost gear to a putative origin. This analysis highlighted that the origin of these nets overlapped with purse seine (predominantly from Spain and France) and gill net fisheries operating in the area. Moreover, the models show that some of the nets originate close to the Indian and Sri Lanka shorelines, suggesting that small scale artisanal fisheries may provide additional high risk, contributing to ghost nets drifting into the Maldives and entangling turtles. In summary it is hoped that this thesis advances our knowledge on ghost gear significantly. Moreover, this thesis provides the information and tools necessary for the Olive Ridley Project (a British registered charity, tackling this issue face on), along with other stakeholders (government and non-government) in order to better manage resources and combat the ghost gear issue within the Indian Ocean.
  • Multiprocessor System-on-Chips based Wireless Sensor Network Energy Optimization

    Panneerselvam, John; Xue, Yong; Ali, Haider (University of DerbyDepartment of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics, 2020-10-08)
    Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is an integrated part of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) used to monitor the physical or environmental conditions without human intervention. In WSN one of the major challenges is energy consumption reduction both at the sensor nodes and network levels. High energy consumption not only causes an increased carbon footprint but also limits the lifetime (LT) of the network. Network-on-Chip (NoC) based Multiprocessor System-on-Chips (MPSoCs) are becoming the de-facto computing platform for computationally extensive real-time applications in IoT due to their high performance and exceptional quality-of-service. In this thesis a task scheduling problem is investigated using MPSoCs architecture for tasks with precedence and deadline constraints in order to minimize the processing energy consumption while guaranteeing the timing constraints. Moreover, energy-aware nodes clustering is also performed to reduce the transmission energy consumption of the sensor nodes. Three distinct problems for energy optimization are investigated given as follows: First, a contention-aware energy-efficient static scheduling using NoC based heterogeneous MPSoC is performed for real-time tasks with an individual deadline and precedence constraints. An offline meta-heuristic based contention-aware energy-efficient task scheduling is developed that performs task ordering, mapping, and voltage assignment in an integrated manner. Compared to state-of-the-art scheduling our proposed algorithm significantly improves the energy-efficiency. Second, an energy-aware scheduling is investigated for a set of tasks with precedence constraints deploying Voltage Frequency Island (VFI) based heterogeneous NoC-MPSoCs. A novel population based algorithm called ARSH-FATI is developed that can dynamically switch between explorative and exploitative search modes at run-time. ARSH-FATI performance is superior to the existing task schedulers developed for homogeneous VFI-NoC-MPSoCs. Third, the transmission energy consumption of the sensor nodes in WSN is reduced by developing ARSH-FATI based Cluster Head Selection (ARSH-FATI-CHS) algorithm integrated with a heuristic called Novel Ranked Based Clustering (NRC). In cluster formation parameters such as residual energy, distance parameters, and workload on CHs are considered to improve LT of the network. The results prove that ARSH-FATI-CHS outperforms other state-of-the-art clustering algorithms in terms of LT.
  • COMPARING THE ACUTE EFFECTS OF WARM-UP STRATEGIES USING FREE-WEIGHT AND VARIABLE RESISTANCE ON STRENGTH AND POWER PERFORMANCE

    Kay, Tony; Blazevich, Tony; Giakas, Giannis; Hooton, Andy; Akehurst, Sally; Mina, Minas A. (University of DerbyCollege of Science and Engineering, 2020-09-08)
    Warm-up routines are typically designed to precondition the neuromuscular system for enhanced performance and reduced injury risk during subsequent high-intensity physical activities, including during strength training. As such, identifying an effective warm-up routine to augment muscular performance is of clear importance to strength (and other) coaches and athletes. Incorporating variable resistance (VR) via the use of chains or elastic bands during strength training alters the loading characteristics during exercises to impose a greater mechanical stimulus, however the impact of VR on subsequent free-weight exercise performance is unknown. Therefore, the aims of this thesis were to examine the acute effects of conditioning VR exercise compared to free-weight resistance (FWR) exercise on subsequent one-repetition maximum (1-RM) back squat and countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) height performance after the performance of a comprehensive, test-specific warm-up, and to examine possible alterations to mechanics and neuromuscular activity underpinning any changes. Techniques including 3D motion analysis, electromyography (EMG) and ground reaction force measurement were used in three studies on recreationally active volunteers experienced in squatting and jumping. In Study 1, significantly greater 1-RM squat-lift load (6.2 ± 5.0%; p < 0.01) and mean eccentric-phase knee extensor EMG amplitude (32.2 ± 6.7%; p < 0.01) were found after the chain-loaded resistance (CLR) warm-up, where an increasing load is applied as the subject raises their body with the load, compared to the FWR condition. However, no statistical differences (p > 0.05) were detected in concentric phase EMG, knee angular velocity or peak knee flexion angle. Thus, performing a CLR warm-up enhanced subsequent free-weight 1-RM performance without kinematic changes; these data were considered to indicate a real 1-RM increase as the mechanics of the lift were not influenced. Study 2 followed an identical methodological design, however elastic bands were used to provide an inexpensive, portable, easily-implemented, and therefore more practical method of altering the load-time characteristics of the squat lift through VR. Significantly greater 1-RM squat load (7.7 ± 6.2%; p < 0.01) with lower peak and mean eccentric (16–19%; p < 0.05) and concentric (12–21%; p < 0.05) knee angular velocities were found after the elastic band (EB) warm-up compared to the FWR condition. As EB resistance evoked greater mean improvements in squat performance than the CLR used in Study 1, the influence of FWR and EB squat exercises following a comprehensive warm-up were compared using a more functional, CMJ, task at different post-exercise time points (i.e. 30 s, 4 min, 8 min, and 12 min) (Study 3). No changes in any variable were found after the FWR warm-up (p > 0.05). However, statistical (p < 0.05) and practically-meaningful increases were detected in CMJ height (5.3-6.5%), net impulse (2.7-3.3%), take-off velocity (2.7-3.8%), peak power (4.4-5.9%), kinetic (7.1-7.2%) and potential (5.4-6.7%) energy, peak normalised rate of force development (12.9-19.1%), peak concentric knee angular velocities (3.1-4.1%) and mean concentric vastus lateralis (VL) EMG activity (27.5-33.4%) at all time points after the EB warm-up condition. Thus, when a complete CMJ-specific warm-up was provided, FWR squat had no additional effect on CMJ performance however the alteration of the squat lift force-time characteristics using EB led to a substantial CMJ enhancement. The findings from the present series of studies have important implications for research study design as the warm-up imposed and the resistive modality selected appear to influence subsequent movement performances, i.e. 1-RM back squat or CMJ performances. In previous studies, standardised (or no) warm-up protocols imposed before the baseline testing have been associated with subsequent enhancements in squat lift and CMJ performances following conditioning contractions, although it is unclear whether this is a consequence of acute neuromuscular alteration relating to the conditioning contractions or to the warm-up itself. Collectively, the present findings, show that physical performance can be enhanced in at least some conditions by application of conditioning contractions even after completion of a comprehensive, test-specific warm-up, which have important practical implications in the formulation of pre-performance warm-up routines where maximal force production is an important goal.
  • Small business transition towards degrowth

    Nesterova, Iana (University of Derby, 2020-09-03)
    This work focuses on the relationship between small firms and degrowth. It aims to contribute to the understanding of what production by small firms should entail for a degrowth society and economy to be possible. It is proposed that for small firms to transition towards degrowth and consequently become part thereof, small firms should become degrowth businesses. This work proposes a framework of degrowth business informed by empirical insights derived from seven cases of small firms in England. The study claims that while small firms may indeed be suitable for degrowth, this entails transformation of their business on multiple levels, including worldviews of individuals involved. Moreover, it is claimed that in transition towards degrowth, small firms are likely to face barriers. It is concluded that to transition towards degrowth, transformation of small firms into degrowth businesses is not sufficient. For degrowth society and economy to be possible, these efforts must be supplemented by a larger societal transformation involving multiple agents and structures. This work’s contribution is theoretical in terms of advancing understanding of degrowth business and production by firms for degrowth, and practical since the framework developed aims to be useful for firms, policy-makers and in education.
  • The Enosis Method: An Alternative Mixed Method to Analyse Qualitative Information

    Fakis, Apostolos (University of DerbyUniversity Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation TrustDerby Clinical Trials Support Unit, 2020-06-24)
  • Conspiracy Theories, MIllennialism, and the Nation: Understanding the collective voice in improvisational millennialism

    Henry, Phil; Weller, Paul; Wilson, Andrew Fergus (University of DerbyLaw and Social Science, University of Derby, 2020-07-10)
    The following critical appraisal presents eight interlinked works that apply and extend Michael Barkun’s (2003) concept of ‘improvisational millennialism’. This body of work demonstrates that, as Barkun suggests, the concept is widely applicable to the online communities in which stigmatized knowledge is widely accepted. Moreover, it extends the definition to consider how improvisational millennialism provides ill-defined or dispossessed communities a means of articulating a collective relationship to historical time as well as a crude means of shoring up basic assumptions of group membership. Mythical pasts and millennial expectation provide the opportunity for shared eschatological orientation whilst the dualism of conspiracy theories demarcates between the communities and their outsiders. This critical review demonstrates how the journal articles and book chapters collected in the appendices provide specific examples of the application and extension of improvisational millennialism. The examples chosen are varied but a persistent theme drawn out through analysis is the role that national cultures – official and official – are articulated through improvisational millennialism. The examples include consideration of how the depiction of millennial beliefs in the mass media contribute to national cultural constructs but more typically focus on the use of improvisational millennialism in online communities. Of the latter, the greater number of examples are concerned with improvisational millennialism within the neo-fascist milieu. Mobilised by conspiracy theories with apocalyptic subtexts, the far right reliance on improvisational millennialism demonstrates the implicit danger of the increased incursion of stigmatized knowledge into the cultural mainstream. This critical review serves to show that despite being typified by a syncretic bricolage of unconnected ideas and traditions, improvisational millennialism is reflective of both social and political realities.
  • Competition and collaboration in the extractive industries in a world of resource scarcity using a Game theory approach

    Yekini, Sina; Baranova, Polina; Crowther, Shahla Seifi (University of Derby, 2020-07-20)
    Sustainability has become one of the most important issues for businesses, governments and society at large. Increasingly, it features in all planning for future activity. The topic is under much debate as to what it actually is and how it can be achieved, but it is completely certain that the resources of the planet are fixed in quantity, and once used, cannot be reused except through being reused in one form or another. This is particularly true of the mineral resources of the planet. These are finite in quantity, and once fully extracted, extra quantities are no longer available for future use. In this thesis, it is argued that the remaining mineral resources are diminishing significantly and heading towards extinction. Once mined and consumed, they are no longer available for future use other than what can be recycled and reused. What is becoming important therefore – both for the present and for future sustainability – is not the extraction of minerals, but their distribution. Future scarcity means that best use must be made of what exists, as sustainability depends upon this, and best use is defined in this thesis as utility rather than economic value, and this must be considered at a global level rather than a national level. This thesis investigates the alternative methods of achieving the global distribution of these mineral resources and proposes an optimum solution. It does so by showing the efficacy of Game theory for such strategic decision-making, and by developing the theory with some extensions pertinent to the environment being described, before performing the necessary mathematical manipulations to evaluate this environment, and then applying this to real world data. The findings are supported by using linear programming and sensitivity analysis, and by using real world data. Application of the results obtained would raise a number of problems with market regulations and with the geopolitical situation, and these also are explored at length. In achieving this research, the main contribution of this thesis is through identifying the new environment and the extending of Game theory into this environment and in developing the necessary extensions. Previous research has only proposed methods to deal with this, but never actually developed and tested any model; therefore, this model itself, is a contribution. An additional contribution has been made through the application of those extensions into the practical global arena, and in the consideration of the role of regulation in the management of the market for resources in a way which is effective globally rather than locally. Essentially, this is through an understanding of the dichotomy between competition and collaboration, where this thesis argues that the conventional economic mode does not work to best results. Therefore, this thesis adds to the discourse through the understanding of the importance of the depletion and finiteness of raw materials and their use for the present and the future, in order to achieve and maintain sustainability.
  • The Meiji Legacy: Gardens and Parks of Japan and Britain, 1850-1914

    Elliott, Paul; Neuhaus, Tom; Schoppler, Luke (University of Derby, 2020-07-10)
    Meiji era (1868-1912) politics cast a legacy which extended beyond the Far Eastern nation. This thesis explores the relationship between Japan and Britain during this period, in relation to the cultural exchange of ideas around garden and park design. In contrast to previous studies which have emphasised Japanese style as consumed in Britain, it compares both Japanese and British appropriations of their respective native garden styles underlining the considerable interdependent factors in their developments that have been previously under-emphasised. Furthermore, it includes analysis of public Japanese gardens which have been under-represented in previous work that has tended to focus excessively on aristocratic gardens. The thesis research has utilised published works, archive collections and the large amount of digital material now available in order to systematically identify and examine park and garden sites in both nations which had foreign garden elements infused within them. By analysing such sources, the gardens, people and motivating factors in their creation are revealed. This study argues that there was a significant process of cultural exchange between Japan and Europe during the closed era or sakoku. The Asiatic Society of Japan and Japan Society of London were crucial in the transmission of elements of Japanese-style gardening to Britain as analysis of their members, their activities and publications demonstrates. In addition, the Edo/Meiji era gardening knowledge of self-styled experts in Japan known as niwashi strongly informed influential works on the subject such as Josiah Conder’s Landscape Gardening in Japan (1893), which in turn shaped how these gardens were understood in Britain. Another key finding was that King Edward VII played an important part in encouraging the adoption of Japanese gardening ideas amongst the British aristocracy and forging a strong relationship with Japanese royalty. This was cemented by the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 with political motivation also crucial in shaping the design of gardens at the Japan-British Exhibition 1910. This thesis argues that in all British-Japanese style gardens, authenticity was ultimately unachievable despite a variety of steps taken by their creators such as employing Japanese gardeners. Furthermore, the study concludes that the extent of European elements in Japanese parks and gardens has been exaggerated in previous analyses. This thesis demonstrates how Meiji politics affected garden styles inside and outside of Japan stemming from sustained interaction with foreign nations, modernisation and a reaction against European imperialism. A rich study of the Meiji legacy to garden design, this thesis suggests that Japanese imperialism was successful in counteracting European advances and changing initial European perceptions of Japan as Oriental. This has significantly added ground-breaking new knowledge to the subject. This interdisciplinary research draws from a range of ideas and methods from fields including history, geography, horticulture, politics, cultural and Japanese studies providing a rich and interwoven examination of the factors involved in the formation of the relationship between Japan and Britain from its beginnings in the sixteenth century.
  • Alternative methods for assessing habitat quality in freshwater systems

    Sweet, Michael; Ramsey, Andrew; Brys, Rein; Mauvisseau, Quentin (University of DerbyAquatic Research Facility, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, 2020-06-03)
    “Water, water, everywhere…”. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, freshwater representing 2.5% of it, and only 1% being accessible. Due, largely to a number of anthropogenic activities (pollution, habitats modification) coupled with the impacts of climate change, a dramatic decline in biodiversity is occurring across all earth’s ecosystems. Surprisingly, freshwater ecosystems receive considerably less attention than many other habitats and therefore, effective biodiversity monitoring programs are urgently needed to assess the health and state of the endangered and threatened species in these aquatic systems. Further, current techniques utilised to survey freshwater ecosystems are often considered ineffective, invasive, time consuming and biased. As a result, the implementation of molecular-based detection tools are attractive options as they are often shown to be more sensitive and cost effective. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) detection is one such molecular tool which is showing promising results, due to its high reliability, sensitivity and non-invasiveness characters. However, recent studies have highlighted potential limitations associated with eDNA-based detection. Such limitations may lead to a decrease in the confidence of this method. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the use of eDNA-based detection across a number of species and a number of systems, all as a proxy of habitat quality. Stringent laboratory practices and validation guidelines were adhered to, allowing for reliable quality assessments of newly designed eDNA assays outlined in this thesis. Moreover, distinct controlled mesocosm experiments allowed the investigation of critical factors, part of the sampling method or analysis processes leading to an optimisation of eDNA collection and decreasing the rates of false negative results. Several comparison between traditional monitoring techniques and the novel assays were also performed aiding in the confidence of these new methods. Interestingly, the results obtained in this thesis shows a similar efficiency between traditional and eDNA-based methods for monitoring invasive species, but a higher efficiency of eDNA detection when detecting rare or low abundant organisms (i.e. those that are endangered or threatened). Furthermore, this thesis reports an extreme example where a species was found at a number of locations within a stretch of a river, yet undetected with the eDNA assay. In this chapter eDNA detection was only possible when I utilised ddPCR rather than qPCR (the more standard technique for assessing eDNA in any given system). Overall, eDNA detection was found to be an effective tool for assessing the presence of invasive and/or endangered species, increasing theknowledge on their distribution and the impact of future management plans. In this thesis, chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are organised as case studies, aiming to highlight benefits and limitations of species-specific detection using eDNA.
  • Creative ageing: participation, connection & flourishing. A mixed-methods research study exploring experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a systematic review of literature and focus groups with older people

    Bradfield, E. (University of Derby, 2020)
    Background: A rapidly increasing ageing population has significant consequences for the demography, health and wellbeing of our society. Participatory arts programmes and activities can contribute to health promotion in later life, by providing community-based, non-clinical opportunities for meaningful engagement and interaction. To date, academic research studies have mainly focused on people living with dementia and have investigated the benefits of therapeutic and / or musical interventions. However, little research has been conducted with healthy older people participating in other arts’ domains such as the visual arts or been approached through a creative ageing lens. Creative ageing is an inherently interdisciplinary field of enquiry, which sits at the intersection of arts and health and social gerontology and places emphasis on the role of creative engagement in enhancing personal growth, creativity and building social connections in later life. Aims: This thesis uses a mixed-methods approach to explore experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a study of literature and focus-group conversations. The study considers existing theory within social gerontology, arts and health and the creative ageing movement in a conceptual review, providing the context that underpins the thesis. A mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to examine the published evidence on the effect of participatory arts on wellbeing, quality of life and cognitive function and to explore distinctions between engagement in different arts domains and levels of participation. A two stage focus group study aims to investigate whether themes developed from the review resonate with older people’s own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation in the arts in later life. Methods: The study employs a multi-stance approach to data collection and analysis, through a mixed-methods methodology which draws on the traditions of pragmatism and phenomenography. First, a conceptual review explores key concepts in social gerontology, definitions of arts and health and approaches to ageing, including the burgeoning field of creative ageing, providing the theoretical context for the thesis. Next, a mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to identify relevant qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies of the effect of participatory arts engagement in later life and older people’s subjective experiences of engagement. Quantitative results from studies in the review are analysed through an exploratory meta-analysis of the topic of subjective wellbeing and through narrative analysis, categorised by wellbeing and cognitive function domains for clarity. To employ creative methods in the analysis, as this is a study about arts engagement, qualitative findings are analysed using thematic and I-poem analysis, which places emphasis on the older people’s voice. The qualitative and quantitative analyses are then integrated to provide a combined evidence synthesis of experiences and effects of participatory arts engagement in later life. A two-stage focus group study is then carried out to explore whether the themes developed from the review resonated with participants’ own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation. The first stage of the study involves three focus group sessions with groups of older people, which took place at three locations in Cambridge. Themes from the review were used as the stimulus for conversation and provide the structure for analysis. The findings are further scrutinised using Seligman’s (2011) PERMA model of wellbeing (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement) as a framework, focusing on the elements of wellbeing which contribute to a meaningful life. Stage two of the study examines barriers to participation with a more socioeconomically diverse sample of older people. This stage involves two additional focus groups which were held in Peterborough and Wisbech. Findings are re-analysed in light of the second study and identifies both barriers and facilitators to participation in the arts. Systematic reviews play an integral role in the production of research knowledge. However, review reports often remain in academia, without the findings being shared with relevant stakeholders. By further examining the systematic review findings through focus group interviews with older people, this thesis may help to close the gap between research and practice. Additionally, enabling groups of older people to discuss the findings meant that the study could be contextualised in contemporary group settings, increasing the quality and relevance of the review and reflecting participants’ voice. Concepts developed during the analysis are discussed in the final chapter and presented in a conceptual framework of creative ageing. Findings: The mixed-methods systematic review identified 33 relevant studies which investigated the effects of participation in dance, visual arts, creative writing and theatre on wellbeing, quality of life and / or cognitive function for healthy older people. Quantitative analysis produced as part of the systematic review process showed statistically significant improvements to some aspects of wellbeing following engagement in dance and visual arts activities, and enhanced cognitive function in the domains of general intellectual ability and attention after participation in different art forms. The exploratory meta-analysis showed an overall combined effect size of g=0.18 indicating the effect of dance on enhanced subjective wellbeing. Qualitative findings were developed into five themes: making and creating; connections and communities; identity; the ‘feel good’ factor; and body, mind & soul. Additionally, I-poem analysis revealed an association between positive emotion and participation in dance and a poem titled ‘I feel happy when I’m dancing’ was produced as a creative output. Findings from the review were shared in a two-stage focus group study. In the first stage of the focus group study, three supplementary themes were developed to those identified above: engagement as ritual; emotion and engagement; and ikigai. In stage two, an iteration of the theme of engagement as ritual was developed into spiritual resonance: engagement as ritual, along with a further theme around transitions of ageing. These themes elucidate the role of the arts and cultural engagement in supporting people to remain active and involved in their communities in later life and which may provide a ‘reason for being’. The study also allowed a connection to be made between the ritual of engagement in the arts and the sense of belonging felt by bringing people together creatively, in addition to the potentially detrimental effect of non-participation on subjective wellbeing. Transitions of ageing provides evidence for the role of creative engagement in challenging perceptions of ageing and enabling opportunities to explore a new sense of self in later life. In the second stage of the focus study, barriers to participation were categorised as: infrastructure, situational and dispositional barriers, as well as factors which might facilitate participation, classified as: intra-personal, inter-personal and external factors. Infrastructure barriers emphasised the need for accessible transport links which enable older people to access arts and cultural activities, particularly in more rural areas. Personal circumstances including finance and relationship status were highlighted as situational barriers preventing participation, while dispositional factors including low levels of selfefficacy and literacy may inhibit engagement. Findings also explicated factors which may provide solutions that improve access and inclusivity for older people wishing to participate in the arts, including offering taster sessions, befriending schemes and reducing financial and access restrictions. Finally, a conceptual model was developed which highlighted three key interwoven concepts of creative ageing: participation, connection and flourishing. Conclusions: This thesis substantiates existing evidence on the potential role of creative engagement in enhancing quality of life, promoting social connectedness and thus reducing loneliness in later life. It also contributes to the mixed-methods’ paradigm discourse through its innovative use of a creative method within the systematic review and the multiple-stance approach to the thesis. The study contributes new knowledge by establishing a meaningful association between creative ageing and human flourishing and provides evidence for the need for more accessible community-based arts activities which encourage older people to participate and develop positive connections. Factors which might inhibit or encourage participation should be considered in the design of creative programmes to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive to a diverse range of older people. In conclusion, creative engagement may contribute to developing more resilient, creative and healthier communities within which our ageing population are enabled to flourish. With an established evidence base on the benefits of participating in the performing arts, including dance for promoting subjective wellbeing, there is now an opportunity for us to expand our perceptions and understanding of creativity in later life through further research which embraces a broader definition of creative ageing.
  • A conceptual framework for countering emergent systemic novelty in the critical national infrastructure

    Sheader, Christopher (University of Derby, 2020-05-05)
    The Defence and Security sector within Her Majesty’s Government (and beyond) undertakes significant development programmes that augment the Critical National Infrastructure. The Critical National Infrastructure is a collective term for those facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes, necessary for a country to function and upon which daily life depends (CPNI, 2019). Significant programme issues have been observed repeatedly within the study context – perhaps not surprising given the complex adaptive system in which it exists. Upon being commissioned by the organisation to explore and develop an intervention to reduce failures/enhance programme success, the notion of novelty emerged. It is this novelty across systems in the study context that is explored in this thesis taking the form of a Participatory Action Research Project, this thesis reviews the key literature and develops a multi-disciplinary Conceptual Framework—Countering Systemic Novelty (CSN). CSN incorporates across four theoretical areas: (1) The nature of Complex Adaptive Systems; (2) the notion of Novelty as an emergent phenomenon; (3) Understanding the Context, (4) and the level of System Response. The thesis then explores whether CSN can augment the overall capability of the system to respond to the emergence of Novelty and propose a mechanism for the delivery of the intervention into this system. The investigation is guided theoretically by both holism and pragmatism; it sits within a philosophy that sees actors as being part of the system and is takes a constructivist perspective to the research. Both the encompassing philosophy and the research are supported by the key principles of coevolution’ and ‘Requisite Variety’ that run throughout the evolution of this Practitioner Project. The research is based on a multi-round study, using the Delphi Technique, which examined the ‘Validity and Applicability’ of CSN with a senior expert panel drawn from the operational context, specifically programme and risk management. The results of the study were assessed using two ‘Thesis indicators’ and found the expert panel agreed that CSN was both valid and applicable. For Validity TI-1 Agreement Tendency achieved 91% and TI-2 Degree of Consensus achieved 86%. For Applicability, TI-1 Agreement Tendency achieved 92% and TI- 2 Degree of Consensus achieved 79%. The study confirms that CSN is a valid and applicable approach to help counter emergent Novelty in the defence and security sector and, as a result, system capability would improve following its adoption. It also confirms that CSN can be used to inform differing interventions, including discrete development programmes; as additions to existing programmes or as targeted intervention in the event of emergent threat.
  • Transnationalism and migration: the concept of home in post-communist Albanian diasporas

    Huw, Davies; Burstow, Robert; Vaqari, Dashamir Dr. (University of Derby, 2020-04-20)
    This practice-based research aims to present the concept of home in post-Communist Albanian diasporas, particularly focussing on linking home to particular places, multiple homes, loss of home, how an old home transfers to a new home and the creation of a new home, as well as how such concepts can be represented in a body of creative practice. The research introduces the historical causes of Albanian migration, especially highlighting migration after the fall of Communism in order to understand in depth the causes of the most dramatic mass migration in modern Albanian history. The context of Albanian art is also considered: first through Socialist Realist art, which was widely practiced during the Communist regime, and played a significant role in transforming the concept of home and Albanian identity. Secondly, through contemporary art after the fall of Communism, where I focus on some artists whose work is relevant to my subject matter. Interviews have been conducted to investigate the ways in which these Albanian contemporary artists have dealt with the concept of home. Transnationalism is discussed and analysed from the perspective of contemporary Albanian migration in terms of the political, economic and socio-cultural aspects. Furthermore, theorising the concept of home has led to a focus in my practical work on the physical space, social relationships and positive emotional attachments. My art practice takes the form of a series of oil paintings which are a reaction to and build upon this theoretical and practical basis. The paintings are described and analysed as research outputs considering how technical aspects such as shape, size, composition, and colour are used and experimented with to investigate transnationalism and the concept of home. Following discussion of exhibitions of the body of work, it is concluded that art practice is a suitable medium to respond to and open debate on such turbulent personal and emotional contemporary issues.
  • An evaluation of a specialist service model for treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): application of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines for BDD (NICE, 2006).

    Stalmeisters, Dzintra; Townend, Michael; Govender, ANUSHA (University of Derby, 2020-02)
    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is still poorly recognised with a dearth of research into treatment. This is the only known study to date to evaluate the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommended treatment for BDD in clinical practice as well as providing qualitative data of both patients and clinicians (NICE, 2006). The study aims to evaluate current recommended treatments for Body Dysmorphic Disorder utilised in a specialist service for BDD. In addition the study elicits the experiences of patients receiving treatment and the clinicians providing the treatment. This provides a basis to assess if refinements are to be made to treatment protocols for BDD in this specialist service. A mixed methods approach was employed with quantitative data from patients treated for BDD collated from the Trust’s database and examined with intention to treat analysis. Thematic Analysis (TA) was used to analyse data from semi-structured interviews conducted with clinical staff and patients to elicit their experiences of respectively providing and receiving treatment. The clinical data indicated impairment in patients’ functioning plus high risks and substance misuse. Treatment outcomes of NICE recommended CBT and medication (Selective Serotonergic Reuptake Inhibitors and augmentation) produced significant improvements in BDD symptoms in patients with severe symptoms at baseline. Patients also showed significant improvements in depression and overall functioning. However despite improvements symptoms were not completely eliminated and one group treated by the service (Level 6 outpatients) showed minimal to no improvement on all symptom measures. Both clinician and patient participants expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of sufficient knowledge and expertise for treating BDD. Both groups also placed high value on the therapeutic relationship. However clinicians interviewed indicated a higher dissatisfaction with current treatment options for BDD than patients. The experiences of patients provided a different perspective to the findings in the quantitative phase. Their view of improvements was based on their functioning and overall quality of life. Clinicians’ perspectives provided insight into other options for treatment which are lacking and could provide substantial support for current recommendations. Given the evidence base for recommended treatments is still limited, it is essential to include qualitative data in evaluating effectiveness of treatment and in developing services that respond to patient needs and choice.
  • Effects of the graphene on the mechanical properties of fibre reinforced polymer - a numerical and experimental study

    Lu, Yiling; Dean, Angela; Pawlik, Marzena (University of Derby, 2019-11)
    Mechanical properties of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) are greatly affected by interphase between fibre and matrix. Coating fibre with nanofillers, i.e. graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) or carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has suggested improving the interphase properties. Although the interphase is of small thickness, it plays an important role. Quantitative characterisation of the interphase region using an experimental technique such as nanoindentation, dynamic mechanical mapping remains challenging. More recently, computational modelling has become an alternative way to study the effects of interphase on CFRP properties. Simulation work of CFRP reinforced with nanofillers mainly focuses on CNTs grown on the fibre surface called fuzzy fibre reinforced polymers. Modelling work on the effects of GNPs on CFRP properties is rather limited. This project aims to study numerically and experimentally the effects of the nano-reinforced interphase on mechanical properties of CFRP. A multiscale model was developed to study the effects of the GNPs reinforced interphase on the elastic properties of CFRP laminate. The effective material properties of the reinforced interphase were determined by considering transversely isotropic features of GNPs and various orientation. The presence of GNPs in the interphase enhances the elastic properties of CFRP lamina, and the enhancement depends on its volume fraction. The incorporation of randomly orientated GNPs in the interphase increased longitudinal and transverse lamina moduli by 5 and 12 % respectively. While aligned GNPs in the interphase yielded less improvement. The present multiscale modelling was able to reproduce experimental measurements for GNPs reinforced CFRP laminates well. The multiscale model was also proven successful in predicting fuzzy fibre reinforced polymer. Moreover, the interphase properties were inversely quantified by combining with the multiscale model with some standard material testing. A two-step optimisation process was proposed, which involved the microscale and macroscale modelling. Based on the experimental data on flexural modulus, the lamina properties were derived at macroscale modelling, which were later used to determine the interphase properties from the optimisation at the microscale. The GNPs reinforced interphase modulus was 129.1 GPa which is significantly higher than epoxy coated carbon fibre of 60.51 GPa. In the experiment, a simple spraying technique was proposed to introduce GNPs and CNTs into the CFRP. Carbon fibre prepreg was sprayed with a nanofillers-ethanol solution using an airbrush. The extremely low volume fraction of nanofillers introduced between prepreg plies caused a noticeable improvement in mechanical properties, i.e. 7% increase in strain energy release. For the first time, the GNPs-ethanol-epoxy solution was sprayed directly on the carbon fibre fabric. Resultant nano-reinforced interphase created on fibre surface showed moderate improvement in samples flexural properties. In conclusion, a multiscale modelling framework was developed and tested. The GNPs reinforced interphase improved the mechanical properties of CFRP. This enhancement depended on the orientation and volume fraction of GNPs in the interphase. Spraying was a cost-effective method to introduce nanofillers in CFRP and showed huge potential for the scale-up manufacturing process. In a combination of multiscale framework and optimisation process, the nanofillers reinforced interphase was for the first time determined. This framework could be used to optimise the development process of new fibre-reinforced composites.
  • Developing protocols and methods to predictably induce ex situ broadcast coral spawning and increase post settlement survivorship.

    Sweet, Michael; Bulling, Mark; Guest, James; Craggs, Jamie (University of Derby, 2020-04-22)
    The production of broadcast spawning gamete material ex situ has great potential in developing areas for coral research and/or to support initiatives aimed at rebuilding damaged reefs utilising sexually produced spat. Current effectiveness of such restoration practises are limited due to the high mortality rates post settlement and therefore methods aimed at increasing survival, and therefore productivity, are required and vital in order to further support upscaling of such practices. Therefore, this thesis focuses on developing methodology to predictably induce broadcast reef building corals to spawn ex situ and investigate ways to maximise post settlement survivorship. Acquisition of broodstock for any ex situ breeding project is essential. Chapter two describes the methodology designed and implemented in order for me to carry out long distance transportation (a journey time of ~34 hrs) of large (16-37 cm) gravid Acropora hyacinthus (Dana, 1846) colonies from fringing reefs south of Singapore to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London. Collection was purposefully timed to occur just before the predicted annual mass spawning event and on the day of transportation 12 of the 14 genotypes contained large visible oocytes, which spawned ex situ within the same lunar month as those in the wild. A closed system mesocosm aquarium was designed at the same time, as described in chapter 3 that utilises microprocessor technology to accurately replicate environmental conditions associated with stimulating broadcast spawning events (photoperiod, seasonal solar irradiance, lunar cycles and seasonal temperature) from two synchronous spawning locations, Singapore and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coupled with appropriate coral husbandry, four species (A. hyacinthus, Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg 1834), Acropora tenuis (Dana 1846) and Acropora microclados (Ehrenberg 1834)) completed full gametogenic cycles and spawned in a fully closed artificial ex situ environment (in synchrony with the wild). The effects of spawning broadcast corals ex situ is currently unknown, therefore following gamete release embryological development stages of three acroporids (A. millepora, A. tenuis and Acropora anthocercis (Brook 1893)) was assessed utilising scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy techniques (Chapter 4). No abnormal developmental effects (as result of the ex situ environment) were observed, but the study built on previous works to provide increased detail of fertilisation and early cell stages. Reef building corals typically undergo a type III survival curve in their early life stages, with high mortality rates during early ontogeny. Increased post settlement survival can occur due to size mediated multi-genotype settlement aggregations and species hybridisation. These two factors were empirically tested (Chapter 5) in pure and interspecific hybrid crosses of A. millepora and Acropora anthocercis. Increased survival, and to a lesser extent growth, were observed in post settlement entities with >2 genotypes compared with single genotype primary polyps and in interspecific hybrid crosses compared to pure species crosses, highlighting the role of hybridisation vigour. Reef herbivory may enhance coral settlement and recruitment success however the influence of herbivory size classes on survival benefits are not ubiquitous. In order to assess the positive role that microherbivory may contribute to maximising coral survival and growth ex situ two species, the Tuxedo sea urchin, Mespilia globulus (Linnaeus, 1758) and the reef building coral, A. millepora, were co-cultured at varying densities. Increasing density of microherbivory significantly enhanced coral survival and growth, highlighting this as a potentially beneficial practise in improving productivity of coral produced via sexual reproduction. Finally closing the life cycle of a target organism marks an important milestone in any ex situ breeding programme or aquaculture method. Chapter 7 describes the production of the first F2 generation of A. millepora in a fully closed aquarium environment. In summary, it is therefore hoped this thesis will, in part, make a contribution to coral sexual reproductive research and the important work of reef restoration, particularly in light of the global decline in coral reef ecosystems.
  • Accountancy graduates' employability: narrowing the gap between employers' expectations and students' perceptions - the role of H.E.

    Lawson, Alison; Neary, Siobhan; Anastasiou, Efimia Filothei (University of DerbyThe American College of Greece - Deree College, 2020-01-31)
    The purpose of this research was to examine the necessary employability skills accountancy graduates are required to possess by exploring employers’ and students’ perceptions, against the backdrop of the prolonged financial crisis in Greece since 2009, and record-high graduate unemployment rates. From this, the study sought to understand how the two groups saw graduate student employability being developed as part of an accountancy and finance degree programme, and their transferability to the workplace. A focal point of concern in the study, was that of the value of an accounting and finance degree in relation to employability, which has never been fully investigated. The research adopted an interpretive qualitative approach. Thematic analysis was used to interpret data obtained from interviewing 30 students with an accounting and finance background from four different universities situated in Athens and Piraeus, and a sample of 12 employers across a wide range of industries (including the Big-4). The findings of this study provide support that employability, more for employers and less for students, was influenced by a variety of personal attributes and situational contextual factors, and was not simply about possessing certain generic skills which has so vastly dominated literature over the past years. To that end, a reframing of the factors that enhance accountancy graduate employability has been proposed, drawing from on a number of conceptual models in the existing literature and by the findings of the study. The study also contributes to the growing discussions regarding the general role of higher education in developing the necessary skills and attributes accounting graduates will require for the profession. Twenty percent of the student cohort were working in a relevant accountancy position at the time of the interview, and the analysis of the results shows that there were marked differences in the cohort’s perceptions, between students and those that had graduated and were in a working position. This suggests that a longitudinal qualitative research study could be a sound basis for future research in order to explore whether the working environment influences the perceptions of students as they transition into their job roles resulting in their opinions changing.
  • Transforming a Research Concept into Commercial Practice: Addressing the ‘Hurdles’ of Single-Species eDNA-based Detection

    Sweet, Michael; Robinson, Louise; Burian, Alfred; Troth, Christopher (University of Derby, 2020-01-15)
    The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for measuring and monitoring biodiversity has been identified as a novel molecular based method to complement more commonly utilised traditional ecological sampling techniques. It is a time and cost-efficient technique, which is rapidly advancing due to the capabilities of low eDNA detection levels. As the efficiency of the technique has increased, commercial organisations and end-users have gained a greater interest in its application. Despite this, the technique is currently only commercially available from a select few service providers. In the UK, the main target species for commercial scale eDNA-based detection is the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Interest has now been sparked for the development of eDNA assays to detect various other species, both for use as a regulated informative tool and a conservation aid. However, many recent studies have highlighted various limitations associated with the use of eDNA-based detection and this appears to be hampering commercialisation of this tool. eDNA-based detection methods remain relatively underdeveloped and un-validated for use as reliable and accurate widespread monitoring programs and other such applications. Here, the so called ‘hurdles’ associated with the development and validation of eDNA-based methods and its use as a fully available commercial service are reviewed and addressed, in order to develop and validate a commercially applicable eDNA assay for the endangered white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, as a target organism. When designing novel species-specific assays, detailed validation steps need to be undertaken, ensuring they perform under various conditions, habitats, and which sampling methods should be utilised. Currently, more traditional methods used to asses populations of white-clawed crayfish (such as trapping and hand searching) are becoming increasingly more difficult to undertake as the species become rarer and populations more fragmented. Such techniques are therefore expensive (with regard to time spent surveying) and often result in low probability of detection. A new species-specific qPCR assay to detect white-clawed crayfish was developed and tested under various conditions both ex-situ (laboratory and mesocosms) and in-situ (ponds and rivers) to explore the optimum sampling strategy giving the most reliable results. Experiments were also conducted on a wider scale to determine the impact of DNA degradation and seasonal influence on eDNA persistence. Interestingly, this thesis illustrates that sample collection choice is not simple, and the ‘best’ methodology was shown to vary between habitat type. This indicates that great care should be taken when designing any such assays and implementing them in the field. Furthermore, this study highlights that a ‘standard operating procedure’ for eDNA-based detection in the commercial sector may not be possible and this will have to be explored on an assay by assay basis. Alongside case studies from real-world application of the technique, recommendations are made on how this novel eDNA assay can be used for the commercial practice of white-clawed crayfish assessment.

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