Southern Cross University
  • Lismore, NSW, Australia
Recent publications
Aim As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues to evolve, the need to protect more vulnerable populations in society becomes more apparent. Studies are still emerging on how different population groups have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study explored the impact of COVID-19 for African migrants in New South Wales, Australia, and their coping strategies. Methods We employed inductive, exploratory qualitative interpretive research design using individual semi-structured in-depth interviews with 21 African migrants. Results COVID-19 lockdowns disrupted the African sense of community. Social isolation, financial insecurity due to joblessness, or reduced working hours led to stress, frustration, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and depression. On the other hand, COVID-19 lockdowns allowed for more family time, reflecting, and appreciating the gift of life and personal intellectual growth. Despite such challenges, there was much community support, especially from religious organisations. Support from government agencies was available, but access was hampered by misinformation, digital literacy, and immigration status. Holding on to religion and faith was a key coping mechanism, followed by indulging in self-care practices such as healthy eating, exercise, Yoga, meditation, sleep, and limited interaction with social media. Conclusion The COVID-19 lockdown disrupted the collectivist culture of African migrants and had untoward socioeconomic impacts that affected their wellbeing, many of which reflect an exacerbation of pre-existing inequities. To ensure that African migrant COVID-19–related health and wellbeing needs are met, the African migrant community must be actively involved in every facet of the NSW COVID-19 and other future outbreak response efforts.
Introduction The ability of teachers to organize classes and manage the behavior of their students is critical in achieving positive educational outcomes. The aim of this study was to explain the experiences of nursing faculty members in managing disruptive behaviors in the classroom. Methods The study adopted descriptive explanatory qualitative study design and provided an avenue to explain the experiences of nursing faculty members in managing disruptive behavior in the classroom Participants were included via the purposive sampling. In-depth and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The content analysis presented by Graneheim and Lundman was used to analyze the data. The present study utilized four strength criteria, including credibility, confirmability, transferability, and dependability. Results The finding were presented using five themes that emerged from 350 open codes, including managing disruptive behavior in the classroom, guiding the disruptive student, trying to increase learning, and making the class more interesting, setting the rules and regulations of the class with sub-categories. Conclusions Participants cited strategies that they enabled to understand the cause of misbehavior and implement strategies to modify students’ misbehaviors by creating a safe and healthy climate to nurture effective learning by students.
Secure environmental contexts are crucial for hominin interpretation and comparison. The discovery of a Denisovan individual and associated fauna at Tam Ngu Hao 2 (Cobra) Cave, Laos, dating back to 164–131 ka, allows for environmental comparisons between this (sub)tropical site and the Palearctic Denisovan sites of Denisova Cave (Russia) and Baishiya Karst Cave (China). Denisovans from northern latitudes foraged in a mix of forested and open landscapes, including tundra and steppe. Using stable isotope values from the Cobra Cave assemblage, we demonstrate that, despite the presence of nearby canopy forests, the Denisovan individual from Cobra Cave primarily consumed plants and/or animals from open forests and savannah. Using faunal evidence and proxy indicators of climates, results herein highlight a local expansion of rainforest at ~ 130 ka, raising questions about how Denisovans responded to this local climate change. Comparing the diet and habitat of the archaic hominin from Cobra Cave with those of early Homo sapiens from Tam Pà Ling Cave (46–43 ka), Laos, it appears that only our species was able to exploit rainforest resources.
Leaf oil terpenes vary categorically in many plant populations, leading to discrete phenotypes of adaptive and economic significance, but for most species, a genetic explanation for the concerted fluctuation in terpene chemistry remains unresolved. To uncover the genetic architecture underlying multi‐component terpene chemotypes in Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree), a genome‐wide association study was undertaken for 148 individuals representing all six recognised chemotypes. A number of single nucleotide polymorphisms in a genomic region of c . 400 kb explained large proportions of the variation in key monoterpenes of tea tree oil. The region contained a cluster of 10 monoterpene synthase genes, including four genes predicted to encode synthases for 1,8‐cineole, terpinolene, and the terpinen‐4‐ol precursor, sabinene hydrate. Chemotype‐dependent null alleles at some sites suggested structural variants within this gene cluster, providing a possible basis for linkage disequilibrium in this region. Genotyping in a separate domesticated population revealed that all alleles surrounding this gene cluster were fixed after artificial selection for a single chemotype. These observations indicate that a supergene accounts for chemotypes in M. alternifolia . A genetic model with three haplotypes, encompassing the four characterised monoterpene synthase genes, explained the six terpene chemotypes, and was consistent with available biparental cross‐segregation data.
Aims To evaluate the potential to enhance grain Selenium (Se) concentration in wheat through agronomic innovation practices and exploitation of existing genetic variation. Methods Grain samples from field experiments carried out as part of the EU projects Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE-CROPS), Healthy Minor Cereals (HMC) and Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) were analysed to identify the effects of wheat species/variety, fertiliser type and crop protection regime on grain yield, grain protein and selenium concentrations. Results Fertiliser type significantly affected grain Se concentration. In the NUE-CROPS and QLIF trials the use of farm-yard manure (FYM) resulted in significantly higher grain Se concentration when compared with mineral fertiliser applied at the same N input level. Similarly, in the HMC trial, FYM and cattle slurry resulted in a significantly higher grain Se concentration compared with biogas digestate and mineral fertiliser. In the QLIF trials, organic crop protection resulted in significantly higher grain Se concentration when compared with conventional crop protection. The NUE-CROPS and HMC trials detected significant differences between varieties of both common wheat (Triticum aestivum) and spelt (T. spelta). Correlation analyses across the trials identified a negative correlation between yield and grain Se concentration for spelt and positive correlation between plant height and Se concentration for both species. Conclusions Higher Se concentrations in the taller spelt varieties suggest that there is considerable potential to breed/select for high grain Se by exploiting traits/genetic variation present in older, traditional wheat species (e.g. spelt).
Pregnant women are at disproportionate risk of harm from contracting COVID‐19, but pregnant women in regional Australia have been less likely to be vaccinated than their non‐pregnant counterparts. This longitudinal research drew from social representations theory to investigate emerging social knowledge associated with the COVID‐19 virus and COVID‐19 vaccination concerning women and pregnancy in regional Australia: One wave of data collected at the start of the COVID‐19 vaccination rollout in June–August 2021 and another wave in January–February 2022. An online survey comprised risk and benefit scales and one of two‐word association tasks completed by 304 participants in Wave One ( M age = 38.75, SD = 12.63) and 20 women in Wave Two ( M age = 40.00, SD = 11.32). Mean scale scores suggest women considering pregnancy and pregnant women perceived themselves as at disproportionate risk of COVID‐19 and the AstraZeneca vaccine. Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) suggested a negative, emerging representational field associated with COVID‐19 vaccination. MDS, HCA and thematic analysis suggested emerging contradiction in women's social knowledge of women, pregnancy and COVID‐19 vaccination in Waves One and Two. These findings reflect how pregnant women navigated a rapidly evolving context of COVID‐19 and vaccination when vaccines became available.
Initial teacher education programs have been criticised for their failure to deliver classroom-ready graduates. Problems of concern for preservice teachers (PSTs) identified in the literature are insufficient time in the classroom, lack of confidence, inadequate pedagogical knowledge and a theory practice divide. This research examines a school–university partnership approach to science teacher education from the perspective of PSTs, school students, teachers and teacher educators where university tutorials were conducted in a school environment. This research is underpinned by practice architectures theory, it follows collaborative participatory action research methodology using mixed methods of data collection including surveys, interviews and focus groups. The research findings revealed how the program built on PSTs’ pedagogical knowledge and confidence and connected theory with practice. Teachers observed high level student engagement and students building on their prior science knowledge in innovative science lessons. The research provides rich data that illuminate aspects in this school–university partnership approach from a range of perspectives.
The habitat-forming Endangered ‘cauliflower’ soft coral Dendronephthya australis, endemic to South-east Australia, is in rapid decline. To aid future conservation strategies, it is vital to understand the fundamental biological processes of this species, particularly reproduction. This study describes the first records of sexual reproduction and asexual clonal replication, with observations both in aquaria and in the wild. We used a combination of observations including histological analyses of fresh specimens, and images of colonies in situ taken over 19 years, to investigate the reproductive cycle of D. australis. Mature oocytes and spermaries were found to develop within colonies during February/March, 2022. We subsequently closed the life cycle of D. australis from colonies spawned in aquaria, documenting all stages of embryogenesis and larval development through to polyp metamorphosis, and successfully transplanted juvenile colonies back into the field and documented their growth over six months to a maximum 435 polyps in size. We also document autonomous fragmentation events to provide accounts of asexual clonal propagation. These records confirm that D. australis is gonochoric and likely a broadcast spawning species that is also capable of utilising asexual reproduction by clonal replication. Observations of mature gametes support the hypothesis that spawning activity coincides with the seasonal increase in water temperature, and is likely to be a continuous phenomenon over 5 months of the year (November–March). These observations not only contribute to the knowledge base for this species, but also provide invaluable information on reproductive strategies that will support conservation efforts to assist the recovery of D. australis populations.
This article examines how the Australian family courts have considered parental gender affirmation when determining the best interests of children in post-separation parenting disputes under Part VII of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). It analyses three features of the jurisprudence which arguably challenge the acceptance of transgender and gender diverse (‘TGD’) families in Australian family law: the potential risk of harm to children, and the impacts on parenting capacity, from a parent affirming their gender; emphasis upon the uniqueness of parental gender affirmation as a childhood experience, with attendant risks to children from ‘public’ exposure; and the importance of language to the social affirmation of gender and for representing the perspectives and experiences of TGD parents and their children. The author argues that as more post-separation parenting disputes involving parental gender affirmation come before the Australian family courts, they will contribute to making TGD families more ‘visible’ in law, thereby promoting greater understanding of a family form that may still be labelled ‘ambiguous’, ‘novel’ or lacking an ‘established social or legal script’.
Background The Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL) are a source of nutrients and bioactive compounds in broiler diets. Some components of the BSFL may serve as a prebiotic or may impact the intestinal microbiota of the broilers by other modes of action, which in turn can affect the health and performance of broilers. Here, we investigate the impact of up to 20% BSFL in broiler diets on the diversity and composition of the broiler’s microbiota. Methods Four hundred broilers were fed five iso-nutritious experimental diets with increasing levels of BSFL meal reaching 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% in the finisher diets. Eight caecal content samples coming from each of the eight replicates per treatment were collected at two time points (day 21 and day 42) for DNA extraction and sequencing of the V3–V4 regions using Illumina MiSeq 2 × 300 bp pair-end sequencing with 341f and 805r primers. Analysis of variance and Spearman’s correlation were performed, while QIIME2, DADA2, and Calypso were used for data analysis. Results When broilers were 21 days of age, the abundance of two groups of sequence variants representing Enterococcus and unclassified Christensenellaceae was significantly lower ( p -value = 0.048 and p -value = 0.025, respectively) in the 20% BSFL group compared to the 0% BSFL group. There was no relevant alteration in the microbiota diversity at that stage. On day 42, the Spearman correlation analysis demonstrated that the sequence variants representing the genus Coprococcus showed a negative relationship with the BSFL inclusion levels ( p -value = 0.043). The sequence variants representing the genus Roseburia and Dehalobacterium demonstrated a positive relationship with the BSFL dietary inclusion ( p -value = 0.0069 and p -value = 0.0034, respectively). There was a reduction in the dissimilarity index (ANOSIM) caused by the 20% BSFL dietary inclusion. Conclusion The addition of up to 20% BSFL in broiler diets did not affect the overall caeca microbiota diversity or composition at day 21. On day 42, there was a reduction in the beta diversity caused by the 20% BSFL dietary inclusion. The abundance of the bacterial group Roseburia was increased by the BSFL dietary inclusion, and it may be beneficial to broiler immunity and performance.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating fungal disease that poses a significant threat to wheat production, causing substantial yield losses. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of wheat resistance to FHB is crucial for developing effective disease management strategies. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms of FHB resistance and the patterns of toxin accumulation in three wheat cultivars, Annong8455, Annong1589, and Sumai3, with different levels of resistance, ranging from low to high respectively, under natural field conditions. Samples were taken at three different grain-filling stages (5, 10, and 15 DPA) for gene expression analysis and phenotypic observation. Results found that toxin concentration was inversely correlated with varietal resistance but not correlated with disease phenotypes, indicating that toxin analysis is a more accurate measure of disease status in wheat ears and grains. Transcriptomic data showed that Sumai3 exhibited a stronger immune response during all stages of grain filling by upregulating genes involved in the active destruction of pathogens and removal of toxins. In contrast, Annong1589 showed a passive prevention of the spread of toxins into cells by the upregulation of genes involved in tyramine biosynthesis at the early stage (5 DPA), which may be involved in cell wall strengthening. Our study demonstrates the complexity of FHB resistance in wheat, with cultivars exhibiting unique and overlapping defense mechanisms, and highlights the importance of considering the temporal and spatial dynamics of gene expression in breeding programs for developing more resistant wheat cultivars.
Phytotoxicity following addition of hydrothermal-carbonised waste amendments (hydrochar) to soils is primarily attributed to toxic-organic compounds formed in hydrochars during hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC). However, factors influencing toxin formation in hydrochar and subsequent phytotoxicity have not been elucidated. Here, we investigated the effects of hydrochar feedstock and HTC temperature on phytotoxicity. Hydrochars from sawdust, rice straw, chicken manure, paunch-hair, pig manure, biosolids and digestate, produced at three HTC temperatures (170, 200 and 260 °C), were assessed for phytotoxicity using plant-bioassays, spectroscopy and wet-chemistry. Hydrochar had no effect on seed germination, but reduced (30 to 50%) or had no significant effect on wheat growth under limited nutrient supply. Importantly, under luxury-nutrient supply, hydrochars (170 and 200 °C) that reduced growth in limited-nutrient conditions had no significant effect, and only hydrochars produced at 260 °C consistently reduced (20 to 30%) growth. Elemental-analysis and fourier transform infrared spectra indicated an increase in potential toxic functional groups in hydrochars produced at high temperature (260 °C). This suggested that phytotoxicity was due to toxic organic compounds, and occurred at high temperature. Conversely, at low temperature (170 to 200 °C), apparent phytotoxicity in nutrient-limited conditions was not due to hydrochar toxins, but nutrient deficiency exacerbated by hydrochar-induced nutrient immobilisation. Feedstock-type had no significant effect on phytotoxicity. Findings provide new understanding of hydrochar-induced phytotoxicity. Fundamentally, hydrochars (170 to 200 °C) are potential soil-amendments, but nutrition regimes to offset nutrient-drawdown need consideration. Research to mitigate toxicity in hydrochar-260 °C is warranted.
The critical question of how sustainability and resilience can inform archival practice in regional communities is motivated by the experience of flooding in Lismore, Australia, which exposed the vulnerability of local archives to the effects of climate change and the limitations of local infrastructure. Regional historical societies and community organisations serve as a repository for the history of particular communities, preserving records, artefacts and other materials that document the unique stories and experiences of that place. Collections are independently curated and generally run by volunteers but poorly resourced with insufficient space. They are more likely to be subject to extreme weather events that disproportionately impact regional Australia compared to its cities. Regional collections fall outside national strategies for sustainability, digitisation or investment. Without urgent attention to the fate of regional archives, local heritage is under threat, and with it, an understanding of how that history contributes to the national past and the connection to place and community. This paper explores regional archives from the perspective of the local historical records of Lismore, Northern New South Wales, where flooding is a familiar experience that has reached a new intensity in recent years.
Which one of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return is better to use in different fields is the focus of current research. This paper analyzes the limitations and uniqueness of the use of NPV and IRR based on current research. The research topic of this paper is the relationship and difference between NPV and IRR. The research method of this paper is as follows: firstly, through the description of NPV and IRR respectively, then collect the data and examples used by NPV and IRR, secondly analyze the data and examples, and finally, this study found that in different situations, the use of IRR and NPV also has different advantages and disadvantages, and there is still a gap in the comparative analysis of the use of NPV and IRR in different situations. Therefore, this paper will supplement the gaps in the comparison of NPV, IRR and MIRR with an analysis.
Understanding the migratory patterns of large whales is of conservation importance, especially in identifying threats to specific populations. Migration ecology, including migratory destinations, movements and site fidelity for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) remain poorly studied in parts of the range of the Central America population, considered endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act. This study aimed to investigate the migratory destinations of humpback whales sighted at two study sites in Nicaragua, which are part of the Central America population. A ten-year photographic database of humpback whales observed off Nicaragua was combined with citizen science contributions and sightings from dedicated research programs. The resulting image collection was compared with available historical photo identifications and databases using an automated image recognition algorithm. This approach yielded 36 years of photographic identification totaling 431 recaptures in Nicaragua (2006-2008 and 2016-2021) and 2539 recaptures (1986-2020) in both feeding and breeding grounds of 176 unique individuals sighted in Nicaragua. Our results showed that photo-identified whales were recaptured between October and April in breeding grounds and year-round in feeding grounds between British Columbia and California, with peak recaptures between June and October. Our study provided first-time evidence on fine-scale site affinity of individual humpback whales within Nicaraguan waters and to other breeding and feeding grounds.
Our understanding of tree stem methane (CH4) emissions is evolving rapidly. Few studies have combined seasonal measurements of soil, water and tree stem CH4 emissions from forested wetlands, inhibiting our capacity to constrain the tree stem CH4 flux contribution to total wetland CH4 flux. Here we present annual data from a subtropical freshwater Melaleuca quinquenervia wetland forest, spanning an elevational topo-gradient (Lower, Transitional and Upper zones). Eight field-campaigns captured an annual hydrological flood-dry-flood cycle, measuring stem fluxes on 30 trees, from four stem heights, and up to 30 adjacent soil or water CH4 fluxes per campaign. Tree stem CH4 fluxes ranged several orders of magnitude between hydrological seasons and topo-gradient zones, spanning from small CH4 uptake to ~203 mmol m-2 d-1. Soil CH4 fluxes were similarly dynamic and shifted from maximal CH4 emission (saturated soil) to uptake (dry soil). In Lower and Transitional zones respectively, tree stem CH4 contribution to the net ecosystem flux was greatest during flooded conditions (49.9 and 70.2 %) but less important during dry periods (3.1 and 28.2 %). Minor tree stem emissions from the Upper elevation zone still offset the Upper zone CH4 soil sink capacity by ~51% during dry conditions. Water table height was the strongest driver of tree stem CH4 fluxes, however tree emissions peaked once the soil was inundated and did not increase with further water depth. This study highlights the importance of quantifying the wetland tree stem CH4 emissions pathway as an important and seasonally oscillating component of wetland CH4 budgets.
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4,872 members
Desirée Kozlowski
  • Faculty of Health
Susan Nancarrow
  • School of Health and Human Sciences
Matthew Leach
  • National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
Mahmudur Rahman
  • Southern Cross Plant Science
Matheus Carvalho
  • Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research
Southern Cross Drive, 4225, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Head of institution
Professor Adam Shoemaker
+61 2 6620 3000
+61 2 6620 3700