Southern Cross University
  • Lismore, NSW, Australia
Recent publications
Coral larvae usually settle as solitary individuals but sometimes also in aggregations, especially when settlement sites are limited. Fusion of coral individuals can consist of different group sizes with varying numbers of adjacent coral spat. However, little is known about the performance of coral individuals in different group sizes, especially during the early post-settlement phase, where high mortality usually occurs. Here, we investigated the performance of Acropora verweyi juveniles in varying group sizes of fused coral spat. Specifically, we examined the survival and growth rate of coral individuals, with four group size levels: solitary spat, 2, 3–5, 6–9, and 10–28-spat group size, over 21 weeks post-settlement. The highest survival was detected in the 6–9 spat group size followed by the 3–5 and 10–28 group sizes, with lower survival in the 2-spat group size and solitary spat. Overall, 7.4% of the 338 coral individuals reared in ex-situ hatchery conditions survived up to the last monitoring at 21 weeks. At 15 weeks post-settlement, the mean surface areas of solitary and 2-spat group sizes were five- to eight-fold smaller than in larger fused coral individuals. However, there were no significant differences between the percent growth changes among the coral group sizes. The present study suggests that fused coral spat of larger group sizes can immediately gain size, but not necessarily have higher growth rates within the first 15 weeks post-settlement. Results also revealed that fusions of at least six A. verweyi spat had higher survival than small fused individuals and solitary spat, at least in the first few months after settlement. The advantage of such fusions, especially in larger group sizes, may offer an enhanced survival for coral spat during the critical period of early post-settlement. This outcome provides potential advantages for coral restoration using sexual production of larvae.
Tree regrowth plots are often utilised to reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) as well as providing shade for cattle. However, unfenced tree regrowth plots have been found to make limited improvements in soil health in grazing lands. To better inform land management decisions, the impact of an unfenced tree regrowth on soil erosion rates and soil properties was analysed for an improved (i.e., sown with introduced species) cattle pasture in Eastern Australia. Soil cores were collected to 20 cm depth for two paired transects: one with improved pasture and a tree plot, and one consisting only of improved pasture. Samples were analysed for soil organic carbon and soil properties and soil erosion rates were determined using the diffusion and migration model (DMM) and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Maximum DMM erosion rates were similar for the two transects at 2.7 (tree plot) and 2.3 (pasture) t.ha⁻¹.yr⁻¹, with the tree plot not having a statistically significant effect. RUSLE erosion rates showed less similarity for the transects at 5.58 (pasture) and 3.08 (tree plot) t.ha⁻¹.yr⁻¹. SOC was lower within the tree plot compared to the rest of the transect, while it was significantly higher in the pasture than the tree plot transect (4.93% compared to 3.72%). To examine if the tree plot is buffering against higher erosion caused by this, the RUSLE cover factor was substituted for that of the pasture transect. However, no such effect was observed. Overall, the tree plot had no significant effect on SOC and erosion in this improved pasture grazing system. This has implications for the design of tree plots and their location, which is significant due to their perceived role in regenerative agriculture practices.
Coastal regions in tropical countries encompass a diverse set of highly productive ecosystems with underlying acid sulfate (AS) soil materials. Muthurajawela Marsh is a tropical, saline, peat bog on the western coast of Sri Lanka and is known to contain AS soil materials. It is a critically important coastal wetland ecosystem and provides a multitude of benefits and services to the surrounding environment and the people in the area. At present, the AS soil materials in the marsh are at risk of exposure due to development activities in the surrounding areas. In this study, net acidity (NA) was quantified using an acid base accounting approach which includes retained acidity (RA) in addition to actual and potential sulfidic acidity (AA and PSA). The NA and the other soil characteristics were investigated in three soil profiles down to 1.5 m, along a north–south transect. All sites contained hypersulfidic soil materials as confirmed by field pH (pHF) > 4, field oxidation pH (pHFOX) < 4 and sulfide content > 0.01%. Net acidity values ranged from 23 to 4000 mol H+ t-1which was above the recommended management requirement value for peat and medium clay soils (i.e. 18 and 36 mol H+ t−1). At the northern site (S1), PSA was the main contributor to the NA, indicating future risk if the site were to become exposed to air. Both AA and RA were major contributing fractions at the middle (S2) and southern (S3) sites, with a possible imminent acidity discharge. All sites lack inherent buffering capacity, consequently, acidity can be released from the oxidation of the AS soil materials leading to the potential impact on the marsh ecosystem. The findings of this study indicate that human activities should be carefully managed to minimize the hazards that can occur due to exposing AS soils in the marsh.
Young people who are placed in out-of-home care are amongst the most vulnerable in our community. Removed from or rejected by their families, they must learn to live with carers who may be strangers. They may have experienced the trauma of abuse or neglect. Post care, they may experience further social isolation and marginalisation due to limited social capital. These challenges are compounded for queer young people placed in out-of-home care. This study adopted a case study approach to explore the lived experience of two young adults growing up queer in and out of out-of-home care in Australia. Our investigation was framed by two complementary theoretical frameworks. The first, a model of minority stress, is informed by queer perspectives and enabled an exploration into the adverse impact of enduring stigma and prejudice associated with homophobia and transphobia on young people’s capacity to thrive. The model of social capital was then employed to inform an analysis of relationships between queer young people in out-of-home care and trustworthy adults. The findings suggest that queer young people growing up in out-of-home care experience minoritised stress, with lasting negative implications. The presence however, of trustworthy adults who challenge dominant heteronormative assumptions and work to support queer young people can be experienced as stabilising and restorative.
Accurately tracing the sources and fate of excess PO4³⁻ in waterways is necessary for sustainable catchment management. The natural abundance isotopic composition of O in PO4³⁻ (δ¹⁸OP) is a promising tracer of point source pollution, but its ability to track diffuse agricultural pollution is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that δ¹⁸OP could distinguish between agricultural PO4³⁻ sources by measuring the integrated δ¹⁸OP composition and P speciation of contrasting inorganic fertilisers (compound vs rock) and soil textures (sand, loam, clay) in southwestern Australia. δ¹⁸OP composition differed between the three soil textures sampled across six livestock farms: sandy soils had lower overall δ¹⁸OP values (21 ± 1‰) than the loams (23 ± 1‰), which corresponded with a smaller, but more readily leachable, PO4³⁻ pool. Fertilisers had greater δ¹⁸OP variability (∼8‰), with fluctuations due to type and manufacturing year. Consequently, catchment ‘agricultural soil leaching’ δ¹⁸OP signatures could span from 18 to 25‰ depending on both fertiliser type and timing (lag between application and leaching). These findings emphasise the potential of δ¹⁸OP to untangle soil-fertiliser P dynamics under controlled conditions, but that its use to trace catchment-scale agricultural PO4³⁻ losses is limited by uncertainties in soil biological P cycling and its associated isotopic fractionation.
Many smallholder tree growers in developing countries and those advising them, hold a view that if they plant trees a market will materialize when the time is right. However, despite strong international demand for timber and potential for smallholders to supply this demand, this ‘Field of Dreams’ approach, i.e. if you grow it, buyers will come, is not generally a sound strategy. In this study, we aimed to identify the conditions that enable the development of viable timber value chains around smallholder tree growers in developing countries. We reviewed literature on the integration of small-scale producers into value chains, smallholder tree growing, and smallholder commercial forestry to identify conditions, and used four case studies in the Asia-Pacific Region to understand how these influence outcomes for smallholder tree growers in different settings. This analysis provided a basis for recommendations for policymakers and advising agencies on how to support timber value chains for smallholder tree growers. These included deeper understanding of biophysical suitability of locations for tree growing, smallholder capabilities and interests, and provision of clear land tenure, infrastructure, and streamlined regulations sympathetic to smallscale timber operations. Tree growing can generate financial value for smallholders in regions with high human population density, quality road networks and proximity to processing markets and ports. Careful policy design is required to make it ‘fit for purpose’ at local levels, as conditions vary widely even within a single country. This can identify catalytic interventions and work with existing or near-term market drivers and simplified regulations in the value chain to generate benefits for smallholders.
The FIAT paradigm (Grimmer et al., 2021) is a novel method of eliciting ‘Aha’ moments for incorrect solutions to anagrams in the laboratory, i.e. false insights. There exist many documented reports of psychotic symptoms accompanying strong feelings of ‘Aha!’ (Feyaerts, Henriksen, Vanheule, Myin-Germeys, & Sass, 2021; Mishara, 2010; Tulver, Kaup, Laukkonen, & Aru, 2021), suggesting that the newly developed FIAT could reveal whether people who have more false insights are more prone to psychosis and delusional belief. To test this possibility, we recruited 200 participants to take an adapted version of the FIAT and complete measures of thinking style and psychosis proneness. We found no association between experimentally induced false insights and measures of Schizotypy, Need for Cognition, Jumping to Conclusions, Aberrant Salience, Faith in Intuition, or the Cognitive Reflection Task. We conclude that experiencing false insights might not be constrained to any particular type of person, but rather, may arise for anyone under the right circumstances.
Background For many allied health disciplines, pre-professional clinical education takes place in student-led, on-campus clinic environments. In these environments, pre-professional students undertake patient care under the supervision of qualified health professionals. Literature exploring the benefits of the student-led clinical learning environment is limited and little is known about the role student-led clinics play in preparing pre-professional osteopathy students for professional practice. Aim To explore the perceptions of osteopathy clinical educators about the role of the student-led clinic at Victoria University (VU) in preparing pre-professional students for professional practice. Methods A qualitative collective case study methodology was utilised to explore clinical educator perceptions. Individual interviews were conducted with clinical educators employed in the university osteopathy clinic. Interview questions were framed around the Capabilities for Osteopathic Practice which set the Australian osteopathy practice standards. Data were assessed by two of the authors using thematic analysis. Results Nine clinical educators out of 31 employed at the university clinic (29%) agreed to participate. Qualitative analysis generated three themes: perceptions of the student-led clinic (SLC) as a learning environment; clinical educator perception of their role in the SLC; and, challenges to and of the SLC environment. Conclusions Clinical educators perceived that the student-led osteopathy clinical learning environment develops pre-professional learners to meet some, but not all, of the capabilities for professional practice as an osteopath in Australia. The environment may be improved through faculty development, fostering a proactive learning approach, addressing system-based issues, and providing opportunities to interact with other health professions.
While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older people has been recognized, there is limited understanding of its impact on older trans and gender diverse people who often have different experiences of care and support than the general population. This article examines older trans and gender diverse people's experience of social support during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on a comparative mixed method survey administered in Australia and the United Kingdom. Using a non-probability sample of 84 participants who were connected to social media and service organizations in the United Kingdom and Australia, we found some commonalities and differences between experiences in these countries. Some participants were isolated, including almost 1 in 5 participants who said that they did not have someone they could call upon in an emergency. However, participants had rich networks of friends, partners, and family members. Religious organizations and the community also played an important role. Friends were reported as the main emergency contacts and as the main people to whom support is provided. This research supports previous findings that friends of trans and gender diverse people play an important role in well-being.
Recognising rape and other sexual and gender-based violence as forms of, rather than being peripheral to, international crimes has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront the impacts of, and motivation for, crimes committed against women, in particular in the context of war. However, the prevailing silence about women who commit crimes has stagnated the recognition of the diverse roles that women play in war, including being directly involved in the commission of (most serious) crimes. This study attempted to challenge some of the dominant positionalities on women in war by conducting a critical discourse analysis of the relevant legal court material relating to the high-profile cases of Biljana Plavšić at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Pauline Nyiramasuhuko at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Our findings indicate that it is necessary to recognise a multiplicity of personal, social, cultural and situational factors that might influence women’s exercise of agency and women’s propensity to engage in violence, including violence committed against other women. Consequently, law’s gender neutrality is little more than gender blindness if it does not take account of the social, cultural and personal embodiment of gender practices, including in crime.
Aim To describe Australian registered nurses' awareness, and implementation of reasonable adjustments within their practice when caring for people with intellectual disability and/or autism. Additionally, the association between key demographic, workforce, and respondent variables and familiarity of the term and regularity of use was explored. Design Cross‐sectional survey. Methods Survey data were collected between August and October 2020 using an online survey tool. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results Familiarity of the concept of reasonable adjustments was relatively low, compared to respondents who report applying adjustments when caring for people with intellectual disability and/or autism. Higher levels of confidence, comfort, and knowledge when caring for this cohort were associated with greater awareness and application of reasonable adjustments. Conclusion A higher volume, and diversity in type of, nursing education related to care for people with intellectual disability and/or autism is indicated.
Communication via email has expanded dramatically in recent decades due to its cost-effectiveness, convenience, speed, and utility for a variety of contexts, including social, scientific, cultural, political, authentication, and advertising applications. Spam is an email sent to a large number of individuals or organizations without the recipient's desire or request. It is increasingly becoming a harmful part of email traffic and can negatively affect the usability of email systems. Such emails consume network bandwidth as well as storage space, causing email systems to slow down, wasting time and effort scanning and eliminating enormous amounts of useless information. Spam is also used for distributing offensive and harmful content on the Internet. The objective of the current study was to develop a new method for email spam detection with high accuracy and a low error rate. There are several methods to recognize, detect, filter, categorize, and delete spam emails, and almost the majority of the proposed methods have some extent of error rate. None of the spam detection techniques, despite the optimizations performed, have been effective alone. A step in text mining and message classification is feature selection, and one of the best approaches for feature selection is the use of metaheuristic algorithms. This article introduces a new method for detecting spam using the Horse herd metaheuristic Optimization Algorithm (HOA). First, the continuous HOA was transformed into a discrete algorithm. The inputs of the resulting algorithm then became opposition-based and then converted to multiobjective. Finally, it was used for spam detection, which is a discrete and multiobjective problem. The evaluation results indicate that the proposed method performs better compared to other methods such as K-nearest neighbours-grey wolf optimisation, K-nearest neighbours, multilayer perceptron, support vector machine, and Naive Bayesian. The results show that the new multiobjective opposition-based binary horse herd optimizer, running on the UCI data set, has been more successful in the average selection size and classification accuracy compared with other standard metaheuristic methods. According to the findings, the proposed algorithm is substantially more accurate in detecting spam emails in the data set in comparison with other similar algorithms, and it shows lower computational complexity.
Aims: The aim of the study was to explore whether, and how, professional nurse educator identity is co-constructed by a community of practice. Design: A critical participatory action research (PAR) methodology was used as it extends the principles of action research by seeking purposeful and sustainable social change that recognizes participants as researchers and generators of knowledge. Methods: Twenty-two sector-based nurse educators employed as either nurse educators or clinical nurse educators participated in the critical PAR. Multiple methods of data generation were pursued in a cyclic and sequential manner consistent in an action research process. Three distinct phases of the research across 2015-2017 involved the generation of data before, during and after the establishment of a nurse educator community of practice. A social constructionist lens of analysis was used to explore the social and relational outcomes. The COREQ checklist was used to appraise the study report. Results: A sustained period of community of practice engagement enhanced the participants' relationships and shifted their perceived professional identities towards being validated nurse educators with a stronger collective sense of their roles. Conclusion: For this group of nurse educators, participation in the research resulted in collective meaning-making, praxis, knowledge generation and the co-construction of their professional identities.
Einkorn ( Triticum monococcum L.) can be applied as a model species for cereal genomic studies due to its small genome size and high level of polymorphism. The in vitro somatic tissue culture protocol in einkorn was significantly improved recently, however the in vitro androgenesis remained an unresolved research topic. Five different pre-treatments were compared to study the effects of stress pre-treatments on the efficiency of androgenesis in two einkorn genotypes. The long cold pre-treatment (2 weeks, 4 °C) of donor tillers increased significantly the number of microspore derived embryo-like structures (ELS). Green and albino plantlets were regenerated from these structures. The ploidy level of microspore-derived green plantlet was determined as haploid by flow cytometric analyses. This is the first report published on the successful androgenesis induction (ELS production) and green- and albino plantlet regeneration in in vitro anther culture of the recalcitrant einkorn wheat ( Triticum monococcum L.).
Estuaries play an important role in regulating nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes to the atmosphere, but little is known about how catchment land-use changes influence benthic N2O cycling. We measured seasonal benthic N2O fluxes and constructed N2O budgets in three sub-tropical estuaries draining catchments with contrasting levels of land-use intensity. Benthic habitats were a net N2O sink in the minimally impacted Noosa River Estuary (-287 nmol m-2 h-1) and a net source of N2O in the highly impacted Brisbane River Estuary (126 nmol m-2 h-1). Vegetated habitats can act as an important sink of N2O with uptakes of -286 and -35 nmol m-2 h-1 in the Noosa and Maroochy River Estuaries, respectively. Benthic N2O fluxes were significantly correlated with benthic NO3- fluxes, suggesting NO3- availability was an important control on benthic N2O fluxes. Combining benthic flux data with surface water N2O emissions measurements showed that increased benthic N2O fluxes helped drive increasing water-air N2O emissions over the land-use intensity gradient. Overall, our results show that land-use driven changes to both the diversity and sediment composition of benthic habitats play an important role in regulating N2O dynamics in estuarine ecosystems. This highlights that both sediment quality and nitrogen loading need to be considered in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the coastal ecosystems.
In this article we evaluate micro-history as a method for investigating the meaning of stigma, shame and family secrets through generations. We present micro-histories of two Australian soldiers who developed mental illness years after serving in World War 1 and were committed to a psychiatric hospital where they died. Data were drawn from publicly available records and interviews with family members. The contrasting stories held by the families of each man illustrate the transmission of stigma and secrets through families. We explore possible reasons for the differences between the families related to the wider literature on stigma and mental health and show why the family stories people present should be considered social constructions rather than facts. We also address ethical issues that arose during the research, and which have relevance for researchers investigating sensitive or potentially stigmatising topics.
Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) is a method that can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and counteract ocean acidification through the dissolution of alkaline minerals. Currently, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the dissolution of different minerals suitable for OAE in natural seawater. Of particular importance is to understand how much alkaline mineral can be dissolved before secondary precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) occurs, since secondary CaCO3 precipitation reduces the atmospheric CO2 uptake potential of OAE. Using two types of mineral proposed for OAE, quick lime (CaO) and hydrated lime (Ca(OH)2), we show that both (<63 µm of diameter) dissolved in seawater within a few hours. No CaCO3 precipitation occurred at a saturation state (ΩA) of ∼5, but CaCO3 precipitation in the form of aragonite occurred above an ΩA value of 7. This limit is lower than expected for typical pseudo-homogeneous precipitation, i.e. in the presence of colloids and organic matter. Secondary precipitation at low ΩA (∼ 7) was the result of heterogeneous precipitation onto mineral surfaces, most likely onto the added CaO and Ca(OH)2 particles. Most importantly, runaway CaCO3 precipitation was observed, a condition where significantly more total alkalinity (TA) was removed than initially added. Such runaway precipitation could reduce the OAE CO2 uptake efficiency from ∼ 0.8 mol of CO2 per mole of added TA down to 0.1 mol of CO2 per mole of TA. Runaway precipitation appears to be avoidable by dilution below the critical ΩA threshold of 5, ideally within hours of the mineral additions to minimise initial CaCO3 precipitation. Finally, OAE simulations suggest that for the same ΩA threshold, the amount of TA that can be added to seawater would be more than 3 times higher at 5 ∘C than at 30 ∘C. The maximum TA addition could also be increased by equilibrating the seawater to atmospheric CO2 levels (i.e. to a pCO2 of ∼ 416 µatm) during addition. This would allow for more TA to be added in seawater without inducing CaCO3 precipitation, using OAE at its CO2 removal potential.
Significant changes to mental health policy have positioned consumers of mental health services as active participants in all aspects of service design and delivery, leading to the development and expansion of consumer workforce roles (Experts by Experience [EBE]). Negative attitudes of health professions pose a major limitation to the success of these positions. EBE involvement in mental health education has shown favourable outcomes, particularly enhancing more positive attitudes. Unfortunately, these positions remain limited in number and scope and have largely been supported by individual clinical academic champions (allies). This article presents findings from a qualitative study, involving individual interviews that explored the experiences and perceptions of allies who supported the implementation of academic positions for EBE. Data were analysed thematically. "Making it happen" was the overarching theme identified. It comprised the sub-themes: strategic or opportunistic?; developing an argument; using evidence; showing what EBE bring; getting buy-in and utilising existing relationships. The articulation of these processes provides a useful guide to other allies interested in supporting the implementation of these positions. The implementation of further positions will ultimately improve the attitudes of other health professionals towards Expert by Experience roles.
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4,529 members
Desirée Kozlowski
  • Faculty of Health
Scott Lamont
  • School of Health and Human Sciences
Susan Nancarrow
  • School of Health and Human Sciences
Matthew Leach
  • National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
Mahmudur Rahman
  • Southern Cross Plant Science
Southern Cross Drive, 4225, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Head of institution
Professor Adam Shoemaker
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+61 2 6620 3700