University of Otago
  • Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Recent publications
New rock dredge samples supply key information to establish the tectonic and geological framework of the northern two‐thirds of the 95% submerged Zealandia continent. The R/V Investigator voyage IN2016T01 to the Fairway Ridge, Coral Sea, obtained poorly sorted poly‐lithologic pebbly to cobbly sandstones, well sorted fine grained sandstones, mudstones, bioclastic limestones, and basaltic lavas. Post‐cruise analytical work comprised petrography, whole rock geochemical and Sr and Nd isotopic analyses, and U‐Pb zircon, Rb‐Sr, and Ar‐Ar geochronology. A Fairway Ridge cobbly sandstone has a ∼95 Ma (early Late Cretaceous) depositional age; two biotite granite cobbles are 111 ± 1 and 128 ± 1 Ma in age, and some volcanic pebbles are also likely Early Cretaceous. Fairway Ridge basalts have intraplate alkaline chemistry and are of Late Eocene age (∼40–36 Ma). By analogy with South Zealandia, we interpret strong positive continental magnetic anomalies of North Zealandia to mainly result from Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic intraplate basalts, many of them controlled by rifting. A new basement geological map of North Zealandia shows the position of the Mesozoic Gondwana magmatic arc axis (Median Batholith) and other major geological units. This study completes onland and offshore reconnaissance geological mapping of the entire 5 Mkm ² Zealandia continent.
Current clinical tests for Parkinson’s disease (PD) provide insufficient diagnostic accuracy leading to an urgent need for improved diagnostic biomarkers. As microRNAs (miRNAs) are promising biomarkers of various diseases, including PD, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of biofluid miRNAs in PD. All studies reporting data on miRNAs expression in PD patients compared to controls were included. Gene targets and significant pathways associated with miRNAs expressed in more than 3 biofluid studies with the same direction of change were analyzed using target prediction and enrichment analysis. A bivariate model was used to calculate sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratio. While miR-24-3p and miR-214-3p were the most reported miRNA (7 each), miR-331-5p was found to be consistently up regulated in 4 different biofluids. Importantly, miR-19b-3p, miR-24-3p, miR-146a-5p, and miR-221-3p were reported in multiple studies without conflicting directions of change in serum and bioinformatic analysis found the targets of these miRNAs to be associated with pathways important in PD pathology. Of the 102 studies from the systematic review, 15 studies reported sensitivity and specificity data on combinations of miRNAs and were pooled for meta-analysis. Studies (17) reporting sensitivity and specificity data on single microRNA were pooled in a separate meta-analysis. Meta-analysis of the combinations of miRNAs (15 studies) showed that biofluid miRNAs can discriminate between PD patients and controls with good diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity = 0.82, 95% CI 0.76–0.87; specificity = 0.80, 95% CI 0.74–0.84; AUC = 0.87, 95% CI 0.83–0.89). However, we found multiple studies included more males with PD than any other group therefore possibly introducing a sex-related selection bias. Overall, our study captures key miRNAs which may represent a point of focus for future studies and the development of diagnostic panels whilst also highlighting the importance of appropriate study design to develop representative biomarker panels for the diagnosis of PD.
Introduction Oral language skills are associated with children’s later self-regulation and academic skills; in turn, self-regulation in early childhood predicts successful functioning later in life. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the separate and combined effectiveness of an oral language intervention (Enhancing Rich Conversations, ENRICH) and a self-regulation intervention (Enhancing Neurocognitive Growth with the Aid of Games and Exercise, ENGAGE) with early childhood teachers and parents for children’s oral language, self-regulation and academic functioning. Methods and analysis The Kia Tīmata Pai (Best Start) study is a cluster randomised controlled trial with teachers and children in approximately 140 early childhood centres in New Zealand. Centres are randomly assigned to receive either oral language intervention only (ENRICH), self-regulation intervention only (ENGAGE), both interventions (ENRICH+ENGAGE) or an active control condition. Teachers’ and parents’ practices and children’s oral language and self-regulation development are assessed at baseline at age 1.5 years and approximately every 9 months to age 5, and academic performance at age 6. Teacher–child interactions will also be videotaped each year in a subset of the centres. Children’s brain and behaviour development and parent–child interactions will be assessed every 6 months to age 6 years in a subgroup of volunteers. Ethics and dissemination The Kia Tīmata Pai trial and the two substudies (Video Project; Brain and Behaviour Development) have been approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health; H20/116), and reviewed for cultural responsiveness by: the Ngāi Tahu Research Committee (University of Otago), the Māori Advisory Group (University of Auckland, Liggins Institute) and an internal cultural advisory group. Results will be disseminated in international and national peer-reviewed academic journals and communicated to local, national and international organisations serving early childhood teachers, parents and young children. Data will be available via communication with the corresponding author. Trial registration number ACTRN12621000845831.
Aims To measure the independent consequences of community‐level armed conflict beatings on alcohol use disorders (AUD) among males in Nepal during and after the 2000–2006 conflict. Design A population‐representative panel study from Nepal, with precise measures of community‐level violent events and subsequent individual‐level AUD in males. Females were not included because of low AUD prevalence. Setting Chitwan, Nepal. Participants Four thousand eight hundred seventy‐six males from 151 neighborhoods, systematically selected and representative of Western Chitwan. All residents aged 15–59 were eligible (response rate 93%). Measurements Measures of beatings in the community during the conflict (2000–2006), including the date and distance away, were gathered through neighborhood reports, geo‐location and official resources, then linked to respondents' life histories of AUD (collected in 2016–2018) using the Nepal‐specific Composite International Diagnostic Interview with life history calendar. Beatings nearby predict the subsequent onset of AUD during and after the armed conflict. Data were analyzed in 2021–2022. Findings Cohort‐specific, discrete‐time models revealed that within the youngest cohort (born 1992–2001), those living in neighborhoods where armed conflict beatings occurred were more likely to develop AUD compared with those in other neighborhoods (odds ratio = 1.66; 95% confidence interval = 1.02–2.71). In this cohort, a multilevel matching analysis designed to simulate a randomized trial showed the post‐conflict incidence of AUD for those living in neighborhoods with any armed conflict beatings was 9.5% compared with 5.3% in the matched sample with no beatings. Conclusions Among male children living in Chitwan, Nepal during the 2000–2006 armed conflict, living in a neighborhood where armed conflict beatings occurred is associated with increased odds of developing subsequent alcohol use disorder. This association was independent of personal exposure to beatings and other mental disorders.
In the event of excessive damage to bone tissue, the self-healing process alone is not sufficient to restore bone integrity. 3D printing, as an advanced additive manufacturing technology, can create implantable bone scaffolds with accurate geometry and internal architecture, facilitating bone regeneration. This study aims to develop and optimise hydroxyapatite- polyethylene glycol diacrylate (HA-PEGDA) hydrogel inks for extrusion 3D printing of bone tissue scaffolds. Different concentrations of HA were mixed with PEGDA, and further incorporated with pluronic F127 (PF127) as a sacrificial carrier. PF127 provided good distribution of HA nanoparticle within the scaffolds and improved the rheological requirements of HA-PEGDA inks for extrusion 3D printing without significant reduction in the HA content after its removal. Higher printing pressures and printing rates were needed to generate the same strand diameter when using a higher HA content compared to a lower HA content. Scaffolds with excellent shape fidelity up to 75-layers and high resolution (~ 200 µm) with uniform strands were fabricated. Increasing the HA content enhanced the compression strength and decreased the swelling degree and degradation rate of 3D printed HA-PEGDA scaffolds. In addition, the incorporation of HA improved the adhesion and proliferation of human bone mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) onto the scaffolds. 3D printed scaffolds with 2 wt% HA promoted osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs as confirmed by the expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium deposition. Altogether, the developed HA-PEGDA hydrogel ink has promising potential as a scaffold material for bone tissue regeneration, with excellent shape fidelity and the ability to promote osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs.
Males and females of a species may differ in external appearance or other features. Sexual dimorphism often relates to mating behavior, via male-male competition for access to females (through direct fighting and/or indirect display), female choice of mates, or sexual conflict. In many mammals, skulls and teeth often display sexual dimorphism. Cetaceans show extraordinary variation in their dentition, and because teeth are often preserved, the evolutionary origins of these morphological novelties can be tracked in the fossil record. Sexual dimorphism has been proposed in several fossil cetaceans (i.e., pakicetids, protocetids, fossil beaked whales) and some odontocetes (notably Odobenocetops ), and mainly inferred from differences in tooth size, skull dimensions, and thickening of skull bones. Within modern taxa, unusual differences in the dentition between the sexes have been observed in deep-diving beaked whales and arctic narwhals, the unicorns of the sea. Mandibular tusks in beaked whales are unusual because they erupt only in males, erupt only at sexual maturity, and protrude outside the mouth rather than projecting into the oral cavity. In beaked whales, the tusk-like dentition seems to have a minimal role in feeding, and functions as weapons or displays for intrasexual (e.g., male-male combat) and intersexual (e.g., female mate choice) competition, and possibly for female harassment by males seeking to mate. In narwhals, the long and spiralled left tusk commonly only erupts in males and is presumed to play a prominent role in male-male fighting or displays for female mate choice. Except for narwhals and beaked whales, sexual dimorphism in skull and dental structures is not prominent in cetaceans. However, we still do not know whether functional aspects such as enamel structure and thickness, mechanical properties, and chemical composition of dental tissues may vary between males and females.
The results of the long-term gradient magnetic measurements performed in the southwest part of Baikal as supplementing the experiment on deep-water monitoring of the electric field vertical component, can be applied to study the deep geoelectric section. Baikal cannot be approximated by a two-dimensional model in the region under study. Therefore, a three-dimensional geoelectric model of the lake and adjacent territories was constructed based on the existing geological and geophysical data. However, these data are insufficient for the region where our observations are carried out. Refinement of the section upper part based on the magnetic field gradients on long bases has been performed using the neural network inversion method. Then, proceeding from the obtained basic model, alternative models were developed, which reflect the known hypotheses about the structure of the deep part of the Baikal rift section: mantle diapir and asthenospheric upwelling. The phase differences between the base-averaged field gradient and the field itself at the base site, as well as the phase differences on the ends of this base, as the most noise-proof gradient functions, are calculated for them. Based on comparison of the experimental and model frequency curves, it is concluded that the mantle diapir model fits best the experimental data, at least, in the southwest part of the Baikal rift zone.
It is well established that non‐native fish can become invasive and outcompete and displace native fish populations. However, little research has explored the potential benefits that non‐native fish may provide to native fish populations. To address this information gap, we examined how the availability of non‐native perch ( Perca fluviatilis ) as prey could benefit populations of the endemic longfin eel ( Anguilla dieffenbachii ) and the native shortfin eel ( Anguilla australis ) in two neighbouring open‐water wetlands in the Rakatu‐Redcliff wetland complex in the Southland region of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Redcliff wetland fish community comprised native fish only, while the Rakatu wetland comprised native fish and non‐native perch. We compared the size, condition, population density, population size structure and diet of eels in these wetlands. While eels were not necessarily larger or better conditioned in Rakatu wetland, their population density was three times higher than the Redcliff wetland, with young‐of‐the‐year perch comprising ca. 40% of their diet. Furthermore, juvenile eel density was four times lower in Redcliff wetland, suggesting that cannibalism may occur at this site to support the existing eel population. Based on our findings, we suggest that freshwater managers consider the predator–prey dynamics of both native and non‐native fish before removing non‐native species, to avoid unintended negative consequences for native predatory fish species.
The “paradox of the great speciators” has puzzled evolutionary biologists for over half a century. A great speciator requires excellent dispersal propensity to explain its occurrence on multiple islands, but reduced dispersal ability to explain its high number of subspecies. A rapid reduction in dispersal ability is often invoked to solve this apparent paradox, but a proximate mechanism has not been identified yet. Here, we explored the role of six genes linked to migration and animal personality differences ( CREB1 , CLOCK , ADCYAP1 , NPAS2 , DRD4 , and SERT ) in 20 South Pacific populations of silvereye ( Zosterops lateralis ) that range from highly sedentary to partially migratory, to determine if genetic variation is associated with dispersal propensity and migration. We detected genetic associations in three of the six genes: (i) in a partial migrant population, migrant individuals had longer microsatellite alleles at the CLOCK gene compared to resident individuals from the same population; (ii) CREB1 displayed longer average microsatellite allele lengths in recently colonized island populations (<200 years), compared to evolutionarily older populations. Bayesian broken stick regression models supported a reduction in CREB1 length with time since colonization; and (iii) like CREB1 , DRD4 showed differences in polymorphisms between recent and old colonizations but a larger sample is needed to confirm. ADCYAP1 , SERT, and NPAS2 were variable but that variation was not associated with dispersal propensity. The association of genetic variants at three genes with migration and dispersal ability in silvereyes provides the impetus for further exploration of genetic mechanisms underlying dispersal shifts, and the prospect of resolving a long‐running evolutionary paradox through a genetic lens.
The potential effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on the teaching of anatomy are unclear. We explore the hypothetical situation of human body donors being replaced by AI human body simulations and reflect on two separate ethical concerns: first, whether it is permissible to replace donors with AI human body simulations in the dissection room when the consequences of doing so are unclear, and second, the overarching ethical significance of AI use in anatomy education. To do this, we highlight the key benefits of student exposure to the dissection room and body donors, including nontechnical, discipline‐independent skills, awareness and interaction with applied bioethics, and professional identity formation. We suggest that the uniqueness of the dissection room experience and the importance of the key benefits accompanying this exposure outweigh the potential and so far unknown benefits of AI technology in this space. Further, the lack of engagement with bioethical principles that are intimately intertwined with the dissection room experience may have repercussions for future healthcare professional development. We argue that interaction with body donors must be protected and maintained and not replaced with AI human body donor simulations. Any move away from this foundation of anatomy education requires scrutiny. In light of the possible adoption of AI technologies into anatomy teaching, it is necessary that medical educators reflect on the dictum that the practice of healthcare, and anatomy, is a uniquely human endeavor.
Positive psychology is a growing global research field of psychology that has flourished in the last two decades. Positive psychology suggests that the positive human future depends not only on minimising inextricable suffering but also on focusing on personal growth, well-being, and flourishing. Researchers in positive psychology have focused their investigations on topics such as well-being, happiness, optimism, humour, positive emotions, and character strengths that broadly relate to quality of life research. This chapter aims to provide a review of developments in positive psychology and presents an overview of the development of positive psychology, specifically in tourism research. First, a link is made to the central theme of the handbook by exploring how positive psychology as a domain of inquiry links to the broader world of quality of life research. This discussion is followed by a general examination of the historical development of positive psychology as a research field and the discussion of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being as the core focus of positive psychology research. A brief overview of recent developments in positive psychology and tourism research, positive tourism research, is then presented. A discussion of positive tourism studies relating to tourists and their experiences, host communities, and tourism workers is provided for the readers. Ideas for the future development of positive tourism research are outlined.
The design of organisations is a complex and laborious task. It is the subject of recent studies, which define models to automatically perform this task. However, existing models constrain the space of possible solutions by requiring a priori definitions of organisational roles and usually are not suitable for planning resource use. This paper presents GoOrg, a model that uses as input a set of goals and a set of available agents to generate different arrangements of organisational structures made up of synthesised organisational positions. The most distinguishing characteristics of GoOrg are the use of organisational positions instead of roles and that positions are automatically synthesised rather than required as a priori defined inputs. These characteristics facilitate the parametrisation, the use for resource planning and the chance of finding feasible solutions. This paper also introduces two model extensions, which define processes and constraints that illustrate how GoOrg suits different domains. Among aspects that surround an organisation design, this paper discusses models’ input, agents’ abstractions and resource planning.
Low bioavailability of the vital element iron (Fe) limits primary production in large regions of the Southern Ocean, thus impacting phytoplankton community structures. Primary productivity seems to be particularly sensitive to the reduced form of iron (Fe(II)), which is thought to be the most readily bioavailable redox form of Fe in the ocean. Here, we investigated the impact of temperature (3 °C, 5 °C and 7 °C) and Fe(II) additions (+ 5 nM) on growth of two Southern Ocean phytoplankton species Fragilariopsis cylindrus and Phaeocystis antarctica in coastal and open ocean water. At all tested temperatures, growth rates of P. antarctica were significantly higher with added iron, compared to the treatments without added iron in both waters. Temperature only had a significant effect on the growth rate of this species when it was raised to 7 °C in all treatments. For F. cylindrus, growth rates only significantly increased with iron addition at 7 °C in both water types. Temperature did not affect the growth rate of F. cylindrus except for a significant reduction without iron addition at 7 °C in coastal water. These results highlight the complex interactions between Fe bioavailability and temperature on Southern Ocean phytoplankton growth. Thus, certain Southern Ocean phytoplankton species may have higher growth rates in regions of the ocean that will warm the most and possibly experience greater Fe supply under future climate conditions, such as coastal regions. This may result in changes in phytoplankton community structures with implications for carbon sequestration efficiency under future climate conditions.
Background Theoretical models of alcohol use posit that individuals consume alcohol to ameliorate negative affect or to heighten positive affect. It is important, however, to consider the influence of factors that may determine an individual's tendency to consume excessive amounts of alcohol under positive and negative circumstances. Thus, the current study examined a large sample of young adults to clarify whether positive and negative affect predict total alcohol consumption on drinking days and whether facets of impulsivity moderate these relationships. Methods Six‐hundred ninety‐three young adults ( M age = 19.71 years, SD = 2.04; female = 62.9%) completed the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) scales at baseline followed by daily measures of positive and negative affect and self‐reported alcohol use for 13 days. Generalized linear mixed models were specified to assess the role of pre‐consumption affect on total drinks consumed across drinking days and to determine the moderating effect of each BIS/BAS subscale. Results Participants were significantly more likely to drink in greater quantities on occasions preceded by higher positive affect but not negative affect. While fun‐seeking positively predicted total drinks consumed, there were no significant interaction effects between the BIS/BAS subscales and affect on total drinks consumed. Conclusions These findings challenge existing affect regulation models and have implications for ecological momentary interventions aimed at addressing hazardous drinking behaviors.
In present study, sodium alginate biodegradable films containing different concentrations of resveratrol (RES: 0.002% and 0.004%) or thymol (THY: 0.5% and 1%) and their combinations were prepared, and evaluated for their effects on spoilage‐related microbial profile, lipid oxidation, sensory properties, and protective effects against Listeria monocytogenes in beef mortadella sausage during 40 days storage at 4°C. The release rate of phenolic compounds was determined by the Folin–Ciocalteu test. To assess the shelf life of the product, changes in total viable count (TVC), lactic acid bacteria count (LAB), psychrotrophic bacteria count (PTC), pH levels, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels, and sensory characteristics (taste, color, odor, and overall acceptability) were evaluated. For the sensory evaluation, a panel of 70 semi‐trained judges was selected according to their initial performance. Samples wrapped with sodium alginate films containing 1% THY (alone or combined with different concentrations of RES) exhibited lower bacterial counts compared to other experimental groups at the end of the storage period (6.01–6.35 vs. 6.71–8.17 log 10 CFU/g for TVC, 5.37–5.83 vs. 6.07–7.11 log 10 CFU/g for LAB, 5.08–5.18 vs. 5.40–7.23 log 10 CFU/g for PTC, and 6.53–6.92 vs. 7.23–9.01 log 10 CFU/g for inoculated L. monocytogenes ). Sodium alginate films containing the combination of 0.004% RES and different concentrations of THY showed higher antioxidant effects than other experimental groups (TBARS values of 1.68–1.99 vs. 2.23–3.80 mg MDA/kg sample). The sodium alginate film containing 0.004% RES + 1% THY exhibited the highest antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and highest sensory scores among all treatments. These findings highlight the potential application of the sodium alginate film containing a combination of RES and THY as an active packaging material with natural preservatives in the meat products industry. This application can effectively extend the shelf life and enhance the microbial safety of clean‐label cooked sausages during refrigerated storage.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.
9,532 members
Ramakrishnan Mani
  • School of Physiotherapy
Cheryl Anne Wilson
  • Clothing and Textile Sciences
Sunyoung Ma
  • Department of Oral Rehabilitation
Robert Siebers
  • Department of Medicine (Wellington)
Thomas Mattern
  • Department of Zoology
PO Box 56, 9054, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Head of institution
Professor Harlene Hayne