• 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.
    • Automaticity and the development of categorisation in preschool children: Understanding the importance of play

      Owen, Kay; University of Derby (2017-05)
      Categorisation is the process by which items, behaviours and events are compartmentalised according to their defining attributes or properties. This may be based on simple perceptual similarities or on more complex conceptual webs. Whatever their selection criteria, categories expedite inferential capabilities, facilitating behavioural predictions and subsequently enabling response. Categorisation waives conscious effort whilst preserving that which is salient and as such, provides a highly efficient means of delineating and organising information within semantic memory. An ability to categorise is therefore fundamental to an individual’s capacity to understand the world and a necessary precursor to academic achievement. This thesis comprises a series of studies that were devised in order to investigate categorisational development in children. Study 1 involved the development of a theoretically and practically valid testing mechanism. A sample of 159 children, aged 30-50 months, participated in a series of investigations aimed at establishing the impact of test format and presentation dimensionality on categorisation performance. As a result of this, a new test battery was devised which enabled more fine grain differentiation than had been possible with the tests used by previous researchers. The battery measured four different aspects of preschool children’s categorisational abilities -categorising according to shape; according to colour; when presented with drawings of items, and when presented with the same items in the form of toys. Results found that children’s ability to categorise differed significantly according to their sex, socio-economic background and the dimensionality of the item. Study 2 utilised the same battery with 190 participants from demographically diverse cohorts. Significant differences were found between high and low socio-economic groups and between boys and girls. A Mixed- Factorial ANOVA, with a post-hoc Bonferroni demonstrated a main effect of sex; a main effect of cohort and an interaction between sex and cohort. A Kruskal-Wallis Test also showed age to be significant, confirming the findings of previous researchers concerning a developmental trajectory. However, it also found that relatively sophisticated conceptual webs emerge earlier than had previously been thought. Whilst the results from Study 2 had demonstrated relative homogeneity amongst socio-economic groups, it was noted that participants from the most disadvantaged neighbourhood performed better than those from the other low socio-economic cohort. As the two Nurseries employed different approaches, with one offering a formal curriculum and the other emphasising child-led play, it was decided that the final study would focus on categorical development in these two cohorts. The final study therefore investigated conceptual development during 96 participants’ first twelve weeks of nursery education. Forty-eight participants were drawn from a Community Nursery with a strong emphasis on child-led play and 48 were drawn from a Nursery attached to a Primary School, where the emphasis was on more formalised learning. Children’s categorisational abilities were measured during their first week in Nursery using the test battery devised for Study 1. They were then re-tested using a matched battery twelve weeks later. Change scores were calculated and analysed using a series of one-way ANOVAs. As anticipated, all participants made gains but the children who had participated in play made significantly greater gains in three out of the four measures. It is thus asserted that play is a key conducer in cognitive development and a causal executant in establishing rudimentary automaticity and, as such, should be the polestar of preschool education. This is particularly important for boys from low socio-economic backgrounds who face contiguous disadvantage. Therefore, this research demonstrates that memory-based research with young children should be conducted with toys and objects, rather than images, and that the link between social and educational stratification has its roots in early childhood and is best addressed through the provision of high-quality play opportunities.
    • 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 cognitive and personality differences of supernatural belief.

      Schofield, Malcolm B.; University of Derby (2017-12-20)
      This thesis set out to meet the following aim and objectives: Aim: Examine cognition and personality of people who hold different types of supernatural belief. Objective 1: Create and validate a new scale to measure supernatural belief. Objective 2: Create and test a new model of supernatural belief based on cognition and personality. This would potentially test two hypotheses: the Cognitive Deficits Hypothesis and the Psychodynamics Functions Hypothesis. This was accomplished by conducting four studies. Studies one and two created and validated the new Belief in the Supernatural Scale (BitSS), a 44 item scale with the following five factors: ‘mental and psychic phenomena’, ‘religious belief’, ‘psychokinesis’, ‘supernatural entities’, and ‘common paranormal perceptions’. Cognition and personality would be looked at within the context of four different types of believer: ‘believers’, ‘paranormal believers’, ‘sceptics’ and ‘religious believers’. Study three revealed two profiles relating to cognition: ‘reflective thinkers’ and ‘intuitive believers’. The reflective profile was more likely to contain ‘sceptics’ and ‘believers’, and least likely to contain ‘paranormal believers’. The intuitive group was more likely to contain ‘religious believers’ and ‘believers’. The final study looked at personality alongside cognition and revealed ‘sensitive and abstract thinkers’ and ‘reflective metacognitive dogmatists’ profiles. The ‘sensitive and abstract thinkers’ were least likely to contain ‘sceptics’ and ‘religious believers’ and most likely to contain ‘believers’ and ‘paranormal believers’. The ‘reflective metacognitive dogmatists’ were most likely to contain ‘religious believers’ and ‘believers’ and least likely to contain ‘paranormal believers’. Following this analysis, Structural Equation Modelling was used to test seven different models of personality, cognition and belief. Studies one and two indicated a clear separation of religious and paranormal belief within the new scale, and that spiritual belief overlaps between the two. The scale developed was reliable and valid, and accurately reflected the concept of supernatural belief and enabled the measurement of religious and paranormal belief, where the overlaps were acknowledged whilst still being separate beliefs. Studies three and four found the ‘sceptics’ and ‘religious believers’ have remarkably similar profiles, indicating that the religious beliefs themselves may have been cognitively ring-fenced off in some way. The ‘paranormal believers’ however were not reflective thinkers and were not metacognitively active, indicating that they were not aware that they were not thinking critically or analytically. The Structural Equation Model showed that schizotypy was the main predictor of belief. The relationship between belief and cognition was more complex; it was dependent on what type of belief was active. Paranormal belief required a more intuitive thinking style to be present, whereas religious belief could withstand a reflective mind set. This thesis develops a new scale that measures supernatural belief provides a unique contribution to knowledge by establishing a model of cognition, personality and belief.
    • 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.
    • A comparison of methods of quantifying and assessing the behaviour and welfare of Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus):

      Bentley, Ruth H; University of Derby (2018)
      The maintenance of both the psychological and physiological health of captive animals is a key priority of modern zoos. Recognising that characteristics of the captive environment have the potential to decrease animal welfare, methods for quantifying and assessing welfare have been developed as part of the process for improving animal welfare. Traditionally, observations of animal behaviour and quantifying time budgets in relation to those of the animals’ wild counterparts have been utilised to assess animal welfare. Hormonal assays have also been implemented to quantify the physiological stress response of animals in captivity and identify the extent of stress being experienced. Each of these methods focuses on a different indicator of animal welfare, is quantified in different ways and provides a different perspective on the welfare of the animals. Given the limited time and financial budgets available to zoos and animal carers, identifying the most appropriate method of welfare assessment would be advantageous in helping to secure the best possible health of captive animals and to maximise their value in captivity. This thesis implemented both behavioural observations and hormonal assays to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology, and make recommendations for future research. The study involved a group of four Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) housed at Twycross Zoo. Behavioural observations involved continuous group sampling and the development of an ethogram to record a comprehensive account of orangutan activity over the course of a 12 week enrichment programme. Simultaneous to these observations, faecal samples were collected from each orangutan and processed via Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) to quantify levels of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCM) in each sample. While recognising the recent developments in ecological analytical methods, the capacity for extending network analysis beyond the application to social networks, and its use as a welfare assessment tool were explored. Behavioural and space-use networks were developed using data from a second study of the orangutans housed at Twycross Zoo. The flexibility of network analysis in visually representing different data types allowed for the intuitive representation of complex behavioural data. Further research investigated the use of network metrics in providing deeper insights into animal behaviour and space use patterns. In addition, bipartite networks were assessed for their potential to detect and show patterns in the relationships between two sets of behavioural data. Each of the methods used had a number of strengths and weaknesses, but importantly each contributed a different perspective in the assessment of behaviour patterns and welfare, suggesting that an integrated approach to behaviour studies utilising several methods would be ideal. Cost and logistic constraints make this unlikely in most cases. However, the thesis ends with a look to the future and the recognition that the current rapid development of technology for use in animal behaviour studies, coupled with equally rapid development of analytical techniques, may help to dramatically increase the amount of information gained from the average animal behaviour study in the future. Such improvements have never been more urgent, with the requirement for understanding animal behaviour in light of current extinction rates within the context of habitat destruction and climate change. It is hoped that this thesis will make a contribution to improving future animal behaviour and welfare studies by providing an assessment of both traditional methods of study as well as demonstrating the use and potential of new ways of applying network analysis within such studies.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Development of the Numeracy Apprehension Scale for Children Aged 4-7 Years: Qualitative Exploration of Associated Factors and Quantitative Testing

      Petronzi, Dominic; Staples, Paul; Sheffield, David; Hunt, Thomas E.; Fitton-Wilde, Sandra; University of Derby (2018-02-02)
      Previous psychological literature has shown mathematics anxiety in older populations to have an association with many factors, including an adverse effect on task performance. However, the origins of mathematics anxiety have, until recently, received limited attention. It is now accepted that this anxiety is rooted within the early educational years, but research has not explored the associated factors in the first formal years of schooling. Based on previous focus groups with children aged 4-7 years, ‘numeracy apprehension’ is suggested in this body of work, as the foundation phase of negative emotions and experiences, in which mathematics anxiety can develop. Building on this research, the first piece of research utilized 2 interviews and 5 focus groups to obtain insight from parents (n=7), teachers (n=9) and mathematics experts (n=2), to explore how children experience numeracy and their observations of children’s attitudes and responses. Thematic and content analysis uncovered a range of factors that characterised children’s numeracy experiences. These included: stigma and peer comparisons; the difficulty of numeracy and persistent failure; a low sense of ability; feelings of inadequacy; peer evaluation; transference of teacher anxieties; the right or wrong nature of numeracy; parental influences; dependence on peers; avoidance and children being aware of a hierarchy based on numeracy performance. Key themes reflected the focus group findings of children aged 4-7 years. This contributed to an item pool for study 2, to produce a first iteration of the Numeracy Apprehension Scale (NAS) that described day-to-day numeracy lesson situations. This 44-item measure was implemented with 307 children aged 4-7 years, across 4 schools in the U.K. Exploratory factor analysis led to a 26-item iteration of the NAS, with a 2-factor structure of Prospective Numeracy Task Apprehension and On-line Number Apprehension, which related to, for example, observation and evaluation anxiety, worry and teacher anxiety. The results suggested that mathematics anxiety may stem from the initial development of numeracy apprehension and is based on consistent negative experiences throughout an educational career. The 26-item iteration of the NAS was further validated in study 3 with 163 children aged 4-7 years, across 2 schools in the U.K. The construct validity of the scale was tested by comparing scale scores against numeracy performance on a numeracy task to determine whether a relationship between scale and numeracy task scores was evident. Exploratory factor analysis was again conducted and resulted in the current 19-item iteration of the NAS that related to a single factor of On-line Number Apprehension. This related to the experience of an entire numeracy lesson, from first walking in to completing a task and was associated with, for example, explaining an answer to the teacher, making mistakes and getting work wrong. A significant negative correlation was observed between the NAS and numeracy performance scores, suggesting that apprehensive children demonstrate a performance deficit early in education and that the NAS has the potential to be a reliable assessment of children’s numeracy apprehension. This empirical reinforces that the early years of education are the origins of mathematics anxiety, in the form of numeracy apprehension.
    • Doing it the best way that we can :

      Phillips, Elly; University of Derby (2012)
    • The effect of cognitive and emotion-based processes on the Iowa Gambling Task

      Simonovic, Boban; University of Derby (2018)
      Real life decision-making depends on a complex interplay between cognitive and emotion-based processes. Damasio (1994) developed the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH) arguing that emotion-based processes guide decision-making by directing individuals towards alternatives that have been previously ‘marked’ as positive or guide them away from the negative options. The primarily used test-bed of the emotion-based learning is Iowa Gambling Task (IGT, Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994). The SMH makes three assumptions about the IGT behaviour: (a) somatic markers have a negative connotation and bias decision-making covertly in the absence of explicit knowledge, (b) there is a limited role for cognitive procesesing during IGT performance, especially during the initial stages of the task, and (c) anticipatory somatic markers guide decision-choices away from the bad options as participants are able to anticipate the good and the bad options. This thesis tested the SMH using a combination of psychophysiological methods (Eye-tracking, Pupillometry, Heart Rate and Blood Pressure measurements), behavioural measurements and psychometric measures of individual differences in combination with the IGT. The systematic review, meta-analyses and the experiments described in this Thesis explored the validity of these assumptions and found that they are not accurately manifested in behaviour during IGT performance. A novel methodology not previously employed was used to capture somatic markers through pupillary responses. Explicit learning was also assessed by the eye-tracking methodology in testing IGT performance in normal conditions and under stress. The results from the first two experiments indicated that explicit processing and knowledge about the task are more critical factors during the early stages of the game than previously suggested. Although there were some indicators of the existence of somatic markers, it was found that cognitive reflection, conscious awareness and increased cognitive processing occurred early in the game and guided behaviour on IGT. The results from the final experiment revealed that IGT performance in healthy individuals is not always optimal; stress levels impaired performance whereby a lack of, or insufficient cognitive processing early in the game may create a somatic signal that interferes with IGT performance. Furthermore, attentional processing, cognitive reflection and conscious awareness can be disrupted by stress resulting in non-optimal decision-making strategies that consequently interfere with performance on the IGT. Taken together, these results challenge the basic premises of the SMH and could be best explained within the dual-process framework (e.g., Brevers, Bechara, Cleeremans, & Noel, 2013). If somatic markers do not play a significant role in learning IGT than the task needs to be re-evaluated and caution is warranted when the IGT is used as a diagnostic tool to measure decision-making deficits in clinical populations.
    • The effects of weaponry and mating experience on the level and outcome of agonistic interactions in male field crickets, gryllus bimaculatus (orthoptera: gryllidae)

      Gee, David; University of Derby (2019-02-15)
      Abstract A wide variety of factors are predicted to influence the intensity and outcome of agonistic interactions in animals, including the resource holding potential of the opponents and the nature and value of the resource over which the individuals are competing. Field crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) have been used extensively as model organisms with which to study animal contests, but relatively few studies have examined the effect of mandible size or structure, or the level of contact with females on the intensity and outcome of agonistic interactions. To do so was the aim of the present thesis, using Gryllus bimaculatus as the study species. The first finding of this study was that there is a significant degree of sexual dimorphism for anterior components of the anatomy in G. bimaculatus. The mandibles, head and pronotum of male crickets were all relatively larger than those of females. This indicates that these traits may be acted upon by intrasexual selection. In many animal species that show sexual dimorphism, a trade-off in development sees enhanced weapon growth at the expense of testes size, but no such relationship was seen in this species. A comparison of the mandible structure of males that either won or lost at flaring and or wrestling showed that a relatively wider mandible span was a significant predictor of success during mandible displays. It was also found that specific components of tooth structure, namely the length of the incisor and length to distal tip, were significantly associated with victory at the jaw flaring stage. This is the first time that mandible shape has been shown to affect fight outcome in the Gryllidae, and also the first confirmed identification of a visual cue component of fighting behaviour. Despite the effectiveness of their weapons in fighting, body mass is a primary predictor of victory in combat between G. bimaculatus males, with the greater the degree of asymmetry in weight the more likely the heavier fighter will win. However, a study of fighting behaviour between asymmetrically matched opponents found that even males who were out-weighed by 40% were still likely to escalate the fight to grappling. Furthermore, males who were able to fend off their larger opponent in their first clash were significantly more likely to win their overall encounter. This hyper-aggressive response may therefore represent an adaptive mechanism to extreme odds and is worthy of further study. Female contact is known to be a significant promoter of male aggression and fighting enthusiasm, and mate guarding aggression is well documented in G. bimaculatus. A recreation of two contradictory studies, including one which concluded that mating makes males lose fights, highlighted that female contact after spermatophore transfer can overcome the loser effect and cause a male to re-engage with a previously dominant opponent. Fighting behaviour in this species is therefore highly flexible and factors affecting the outcome of contests are complex. There is much scope for further studies on this topic.
    • The electrophysiological correlates of maths anxety: Exploring the role of gamma activity

      Batashvili, Michael; University of Derby (2016-03)
      This thesis set out to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of maths anxiety (MA). Research has shown that those with high MA (HMA) tend to have poorer accuracy and increased reaction time on maths based tasks and that high maths anxious individuals avoid situations where they might have to use maths. This can impact on their future by restricting their degree or job prospects. Previous research has identified the behavioural cognitive and psychological effects of MA and recently studies have begun to examine the associated underlying mechanisms in the brain. Chapter one outlines the background MA behavioural and measurement research before evaluating the neurophysiological methods used in cognitive neuroscience and the use of electroencephalography (EEG) in chapter two. Chapter three continues by outlining previous research concerning the neurophysiological processing of maths and number before evaluating relevant neurophysiological research concerning MA. Four experimental studies are conducted, exploring the neurophysiological underpinnings of MA research using EEG. Each of these recruits 30 participants and measures of electro-cortical (Event Related Potentials (ERPs), Global Field Power, Frequency etc.) and questionnaire measures are implemented. The first study aimed to identify whether the behavioural effects of MA (poorer accuracy and increased reaction time) are consistent with ERP differences (component amplitude and latency differences) in the brain and to understand why these effects are experienced. This revealed no significant comparisons between ERP components and behavioural responses involving low and high maths anxious individuals, but this may have been due to the lack of an anxious response by using a verification task, rather than requiring calculation. Study two introduces the measurement of gamma activity as a neurophysiological measure of anxiety and threat processing and brings three core areas of anxiety research together: Previous studies outline high anxiety in connection with gamma modulation, also showing gamma band activity is associated with the amygdala and finally, that the amygdala is responsible for the processing of threat perception and anxiety. This research has not been brought together when studying MA. Results produced similar ERP findings to the previous study but the introduction of gamma activity into the research provided the first differences between high and low MA (LMA) groups, showing significantly greater gamma activity levels in HMA individuals. However, this study only used numerically-based tasks, thus the third study implemented a non-numerical condition to act as a control. Study three replicates the findings showing a reduced level of gamma activity in high MA individuals for the non-numerical based task, however, this was also reduced for the simple maths task. It was theorised that it is more likely to be the initial threat perception that represents the anxious response and gamma activity increases. To test this and remove any working memory demands, the fourth study implements the presentation of single digit observation (using single digit numbers and letters). Even though there was no demand on working memory, high maths anxious participants displayed similar levels of gamma activity as low maths anxious individuals during letter observation. However, they had significantly greater levels during the observation of number. Findings suggest that HMA individuals may not only struggle with the processing of maths stimuli, but may have a threat-related response to the simple observation of numerical stimuli. This implies that HMA individuals consistently apply an avoidance technique due to a threat response associated with increased levels of gamma activity. The findings of the each study are finally discussed in terms of their contribution to the neurophysiological underpinnings of MA, the first exploration of this using gamma activity, future research and the extent that number anxiety may act as a precursor or sine qua non to MA.
    • Epistemology, theory and Jung: Towards an analytical sport psychology

      Sheffield, David; Cowen, Andrew; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-07-22)
      Sport psychology has historically adopted a positivist and post-positivist conceptualization of science at the expense of systematic engagement with epistemology itself (Whaley & Krane, 2011). In this thesis it will be argued that positivist orthodoxy does not hold a monopoly over the idea of science, and that future theoretical developments within sport psychology will require more systematic engagement with epistemology. In order to explore this proposition, the thesis examines the epistemology developed in C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology, an approach which has been generally overlooked within the sport psychology literature. In addition, more recent epistemological developments within psychology are considered with respect to current and future theorising within sport psychology. The thesis is a “desktop study” comprising of 8 chapters. The introduction (chapter 1) outlines how the current crisis within psychological science is epistemological, not methodological, in nature. Chapter 2 identifies key foundational challenges to sport psychology based on positivism; and introduces C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology which developed out of the rejection of a positivist conceptualization of science. Chapter 3 introduces aspects of a new epistemological framework (i.e., unconsciousness~consciousness; the psyche as a process) based on the work of Jung and identifies points of convergence between these contributions and more recent theorising. Chapter 4 considers the implications of analytical psychology with respect to momentum in sports. An original theoretical account of psychological momentum is outlined, based on libido theory (Jung, 1960), and the implications are considered with respect to current literature within sport psychology. Chapter 5 considers more recent developments in psychology (i.e., cybernetic systems paradigm, idiographic science) which have important parallels with analytical psychology, and which have important implications for the future of sport psychology as a science. Chapter 6 outlines an original theoretical perspective with respect to our understanding of performance variation in sport (Cowen, Nesti, & Cheetham, 2014), based on epistemological and theoretical developments outlined in the preceding chapters. Chapter 7 considers the implications of the epistemology outlined in the thesis with respect to current and future theorising in sport psychology. The central theme of this chapter is temporality, which, it is argued is necessarily an axiomatic component of future theoretical work, in order to overcome the foundational problems associated with a positivist conceptualisation of science. In the final concluding chapter (Chapter 8) it is proposed that the provisional epistemological criteria outlined in the thesis (i.e., subject~object, conceptual integration, being~becoming, teleology, temporality) offers a basis on which an analytical sport psychology could be developed. With respect to sport psychology, these criteria suggest that future developments should focus more on understanding performance variation itself rather than prioritising the study of psychological constructs, or objectivist representations, associated with performance. It is concluded that the “personal equation” – the creativity, judgement, intuition and/or insight of the researcher - represents an important component of the process of knowledge construction; which in turn necessitates collaboration as a necessary counterpoint to individual subjectivity. Taken together, this thesis suggests that analytical psychology, despite historically sitting outside of psychological science, can make an important contribution to the future of sport psychology as a scientific discipline.
    • How men experience, understand, and describe masculinity: A phenomenological psychological analysis and photovoice exploration.

      Earnshaw, Deborah; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-04-17)
      This thesis is an examination of how men describe and experience masculinity. Psychological and sociological research has suggested that masculinity is malleable (Smiler, 2006), there are different versions or pluralities of masculinity (Connell 1995) and can be context-dependent (Gilbert & Gilbert, 2017). Often however hegemonic masculinity is considered the only type of masculinity, and is not flexible, especially when discussed on a social level (Cuthbert, 2015). Based on the researcher’s cultural, social and historical knowledge and understanding, masculinity is very different for people and so is understood, demonstrated and experienced in various ways. This research employed an unstructured interview design, incorporating photovoice, with five participants overall where each participant, except one, was interviewed twice. The first interview was researcher-led, with images provided by the researcher to be the focus for the participant. The second interview was participant-led, with the images provided by the participant to represent what they considered to be masculine or represented masculinity in their everyday life. The data collected was analysed using a combination of phenomenological methods; Descriptive Phenomenological Psychology (Giorgi, 2009) and Hermeneutic Phenomenology (van Manen, 2016). The thesis is presented in two halves. The first is researcher-led and draws on hermeneutic psychology and presents three themes were found from the first interviews: Hegemonic Masculinity with Traditional Masculinity, Characteristics and Non-Conformity; Societal Influence with Culture, Image and Media; and Feminism and Women. The second part of the thesis is participant-led, and draws out the descriptive phenomenological aspects by presenting each individual’s interaction with their chosen images and their ensuing descriptions of masculinity illustrated by them. Themes in this context are individually related rather than demonstrated through a cross-case analysis. Findings demonstrated masculinity as an individual identity, with a social expectation of how men should behave and portray themselves. The way it is perceived, understood, experienced and described is different for each person, as was demonstrated here with the participants’ second interviews. Future research should consider expanding research to include more on everyday factors, such as the use and influence of social media, the projection of masculinity throughout a man’s life, and how men and women both aid in the creation and maintenance of masculinity.
    • The impact of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) on quality of life: exploration, measurement and intervention.

      Williams, Sophie; University of Derby (2016)
      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders amongst women, estimated to affect one out of 10 women. Symptoms include infertility, obesity, alopecia, acne, hirsutism and menstrual irregularities. Women with the syndrome are also more likely to experience co-morbid physical and psychological conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, endometrial cancer and also depression and anxiety. PCOS has also been found to have a negative impact on quality of life. This thesis aimed to further understanding, and improve quality of life of women with PCOS in the UK. To achieve this, the thesis aimed to investigate and identify how women with PCOS in the UK perceive and define their quality of life and to further understanding of the day-to-day experience of living with PCOS. Moreover, in order to measure quality of life, it aimed to develop and validate a UK disease-specific quality of life measure for women with PCOS. It also aimed to identify, develop and test a pilot intervention to increase quality of life in women with PCOS. To achieve these aims a mixed-methods approach was taken employing a variety of data generation and collection methods including: photovoice, online Skype™ interviews; LimeSurvey and Qualtrics. The findings of this thesis emphasise that PCOS has a negative impact on quality of life; encompassing psychological, social, environmental, and physical domains of quality of life. Women with PCOS who experienced the symptoms of infertility, hirsutism, weight, alopecia, skin discolouration, skin tags and mood swings had significantly lower scores of overall quality of life than those women who did not experience the symptoms. In addition, those women with PCOS who had a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression had reduced quality of life. The dissemination of these findings will enable health care professionals to better understand the experience of living with PCOS and its impact on quality of life. Moreover, this thesis identifies many areas for future research which will enable a better understanding of the impact of PCOS on quality of life. Finally, this thesis makes recommendations for clinical practice which include improvement of support from health care professionals for women with PCOS in order to help them better manage their symptoms, and therefore improve their overall quality of life.
    • 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.