University of Gloucestershire
  • Cheltenham, ENG, United Kingdom
Recent publications
The concept of shared decision-making (SDM) has emerged as a key component in the return to play interface as a hallmark of good practice that is athlete focused and allows greater engagement from the athlete. SDM is an appealing, well-intentioned framework that would seemingly lend itself to effectively being implemented. However, in this editorial, we have identified concerns surrounding the social complexities of elite sports and the difficulties of truly applying this concept in practice. In what follows, we explain the dynamics associated, discuss the importance of context when considering the efficacy of this practice and lastly offer what we see as certain key issues that might impede effective SDM.
Chronological markers in fluvial sediments can provide useful information on geomorphic response to historic catchment disturbance, and help explain historic channel morphodynamics. We concentrate on the River Nent catchment in Northern England, which was heavily impacted by lead and zinc mining in the 18th and 19th centuries. We date a 2 m deep profile of fine (<2mm) floodplain sediments using ore extraction records, covering the period 1845 to 1913, based on a significant correlation between zinc concentrations and zinc-ore extraction (r = 0.78, n = 27; p < 0.01). These dates were constrained with a basal OSL date of 2.7 ± 0.3 ka (Agemin to Agemean 1.4–3.0 ka) and existing lichenometric dates for surface gravels. Earliest lead contaminated sediments at the base of the profile most likely resulted from Roman mining operations within the catchment. Local mine-worker population statistics were used to simulate pre-1845 lead ore extraction; where above-average peaks in lead concentration, recorded at the 125–130 cm, 105–110 cm and 95–100 cm horizons, were linked to respective peaks in lead ore extraction in 1825, 1850 and 1866. Estimates of historic sediment delivery volumes at a 0.062 km² sink site at Blagill, approximately 6.5 km downstream of the headwaters to the Nent, were estimated through coupling the chronological markers with accumulated sediment thickness and reach area. Sediment delivery was seen to be strongly enhanced by phases of metal mining, with peaks between 1800 and 1825 reflecting the final stages of lead mining, and later between 1892 and 1895, reflecting the peak extraction of zinc. Although lag times between ore extraction peaks and sediment delivery to the Blagill site introduce uncertainty to the proposed chronology, we conclude that where good local mining statistics are available, our approach provides a useful alternative or may be used in conjunction with other commonly used methodologies.
Quantitative relationships between mire plant assemblages and environmental variables have been investigated widely in Europe and North America, but hitherto insufficiently addressed in the East Asian monsoon region. In this study, the plant assemblages of 274 plots along hydrological gradients in five peatlands from the Changbai Mountains region, Northeast China were investigated during the growing seasons (from May to October) from 2014 to 2016. Seven environmental variables of surface water including depth to water table (DWT), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) were measured. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that DWT was the principal environmental variable determining the plant assemblages. A transfer function for inferring DWT based on plant assemblages was developed and refined using four models. The transfer function was shown to have strong predictive power following thorough statistical and ecological tests. When the plant assemblages-based transfer function was applied to a 41 cm peat sequence from Laobaishan bog in the Changbai Mountains region, the reconstructed DWTs were essentially consistent, in the trend and vital details of mire surface wetness, with those inferred from a testate amoebae-transfer function, which has been verified to be robust for reconstructing water table in peatlands in the same region. This study suggests that the mire plant assemblages-based transfer function has great potential for quantitative reconstruction of past mire surface wetness, and allows for further research into palaeoclimatology, palaeohydrology and palaeoecology in the East Asian monsoon region using multi-proxy methods.
Many studies have attempted to identify the perceptual underpinnings of developmental prosopagnosia (DP). The majority have focused on whether holistic and configural processing mechanisms are impaired in DP. However, previous work suggests that there is substantial heterogeneity in holistic and configural processing within the DP population; further, there is disagreement as to whether any deficits are face-specific or reflect a broader perceptual deficit. This study used a data-driven approach to examine whether there are systematic patterns of variability in DP that reflect different underpinning perceptual deficits. A group of individuals with DP (N = 37) completed a cognitive battery measuring holistic/configural and featural processing in faces and non-face objects. A two-stage cluster analysis on data from the Cambridge Face Perception Test identified two subgroups of DPs. Across several tasks, the first subgroup (N = 21) showed typical patterns of holistic/configural processing (measured via inversion effects); the second (N = 16) was characterised by reduced or abolished inversion effects compared to age-matched control participants (N = 91). The subgroups did not differ on tasks measuring upright face matching, object matching, non-face holistic processing, or composite effects. These findings indicate two separable pathways to face recognition impairment, one characterised by impaired configural processing and the other potentially by impaired featural processing. Comparisons to control participants provide some preliminary evidence that the deficit in featural processing may extend to some non-face stimuli. Our results demonstrate the utility of examining both the variability between and consistency across individuals with DP as a means of illuminating our understanding of face recognition in typical and atypical populations.
This chapter explores Intimate Partner Abuse, a pattern of violence and maltreatment that is still popularly considered a natural output of intimate relationships that are volatile or have deteriorated. Intimate Partner Homicide is often characterised as the result of arguing taken too far, where the fatal outcome was accidental, passionate, or merely reckless. The chapter explores the nature of power and control referred to as coercive control or intimate terrorism. These significantly linked to male perpetrators and female victims, though it is also observed in same sex relationships and some female to male relationships. Femicide is estimated to have killed 87 000 women in 2017 (UNODC, 2019). The interrelationship and factors which influence these subjects and how behaviours can be related to a predictable homicide timeline are discussed.
Training for both sporting and military performance is common practice within army trainee populations, although it is currently unknown what effect this combination of training methods may have on the physical attributes required for overall physical preparedness. This study examined the effects of sport-specific training on general fitness in a professional military population. Four hundred and twenty-three Greek male army cadets completed a 12-week training regimen involving standard physical training (callisthenics, strength and endurance running exercises) and either general military training (GMT) or sport military training (SMT). A series of physical tests took place before and after the training period: a mile run, pull-ups, 50 m swim and an obstacle course run. Both the GMT and SMT groups showed significant (p < 0.001) improvements in all physical tests. However, the SMT group produced significantly greater improvements in all four tests (pull-ups [p < 0.001], 50 m swim [p < 0.05], obstacle course [p < 0.01] and mile run [p < 0.01]) compared to the GMT group. Furthermore, different types of SMT (e.g. rock climbing and track sprinting) achieved greater improvements (p < 0.001–0.01) in certain physical tests when compared to other forms of SMT (e.g. Pankration, Fencing). These results indicate that cadets undertaking concurrent participation in general and sport military training are overall better prepared for physical performance than their counterparts who undertake only general military training. Military conditioning personnel should be aware of the positive interplay between general and sports specific training in forming a preparation strategy designed for physical performance.
Millimetre wave (mmWave) communications, that is, 30 to 300 GHz, have intermittent short‐range transmissions, so the use of reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) seems to be a promising solution to extend its coverage. However, optimizing phase shifts (PSs) of both mmWave base station (BS) and RIS to maximize the received spectral efficiency at the intended receiver seems challenging due to massive antenna elements usage. In this paper, an online learning approach is proposed to address this problem, where it is considered a two‐phase multi‐armed bandit (MAB) game. In the first phase, the PS vector of the mmWave BS is adjusted, and based on it, the PS vector of the RIS is calibrated in the second phase and vice versa over the time horizon. The minimax optimal stochastic strategy (MOSS) MAB algorithm is utilized to implement the proposed two‐phase MAB approach efficiently. Furthermore, to relax the problem of estimating the channel state information (CSI) of both mmWave BS and RIS, codebook‐based PSs are considered. Finally, numerical analysis confirms the superior performance of the proposed scheme against the optimal performance under different scenarios.
Recently, video streaming services consumption has grown massively and is foreseen to increase even more in the future. The tremendous traffic usage has negatively impacted the network’s quality of service due to network congestion and end-to-end customers’ satisfaction represented by the quality of experience, especially during evening peak hours. This paper introduces an intelligent multimedia framework that aims to optimise the network’s quality of service and users’ quality of experience by taking into account the integration of Software-Defined Networking and Reinforcement Learning, which enables exploring, learning, and exploiting potential paths for video streaming flows. Moreover, an objective study was conducted to assess video streaming for various realistic network environments and under low and high traffic loads to obtain two quality of experience metrics; video multimethod assessment fusion and structural similarity index measure. The experimental results validate the effectiveness of the proposed solution strategy, which demonstrated better viewing quality by achieving better customers’ quality of experience, higher throughput and lower data loss compared with the currently existing solutions.
This mixed methods study aimed to investigate weight cutting practices of female taekwon-do athletes internationally and explore their experiences of “making weight.” A survey of weight loss practices and eating behaviors was completed by 103 taekwon-do athletes from 12 countries, which illustrated that 72.5% of athletes engage in both acute and chronic weight loss practices prior to competition and that there were higher levels of disordered eating within this athletic population than nonweight cutting athletes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five international-level competitors; thematic analysis of the interviews identified that the women in general felt weight cutting was “horrible—but worth it” and the women believed that (a) weight cutting is unpleasant, difficult, and challenging; and (b) weight cutting provides a competitive advantage. The implications of this study are that weight cutting is widespread among high-level competitive female taekwon-do athletes and this is unlikely to change given the perceived advantages. Efforts are needed to make sure that the women are knowledgeable of the risks and are provided with safe and effective means of making weight.
Purpose Measurement of medial gastrocnemius (MG) tendon length using ultrasonography (US) requires the muscle–tendon junction (MTJ) to be located. Previously, the MG MTJ has been tracked from different proximo-distal locations near the MTJ, which could influence estimates of tendon length change due to the different characteristics of the aponeurosis and tendon. We used US to evaluate the effect of tracking point location on MG MTJ displacement during maximal and submaximal (10, 20 and 30% of the non-injured maximal) isometric plantar flexion contractions. Methods Displacement behaviour of MTJ was tracked from (1) the exact MTJ; and (2) from an insertion point of a muscle fascicle on the aponeurosis 1.3 ± 0.6 cm proximal to the MTJ, in both limbs of patients with unilateral Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) ( n = 22, 4 females, 42 ± 9 years, 177 ± 9 cm, 79 ± 10 kg). Results In the non-injured limb, displacement (1.3 ± 0.5 cm vs. 1.1 ± 0.6 cm) and strain (6.7 ± 2.8% vs. 5.8 ± 3.3%) during maximal voluntary contraction were larger when tracking a point on the aponeurosis than when tracking the MTJ (both p < 0.001). The same was true for all contraction levels, and both limbs. Conclusion Tracking a point on the aponeurosis consistently exaggerates estimates of tendon displacement, and the magnitude of this effect is contraction intensity-dependent. When quantifying displacement and strain of the Achilles tendon, the MTJ should be tracked directly, rather than tracking a surrogate point proximal to the MTJ. The latter method includes part of the aponeurosis, which due to its relative compliance, artificially increases estimates of MTJ displacement and strain.
Much previous research has problematized the use of a binary urban–rural distinction to describe human settlement patterns in and around cities. Peri-urban zones, on the edge of urban settlements, are important both in the sheer magnitude of human population and in terms of being home to vulnerable populations with high rates of poverty. This Perspective presents a framework that conceptualizes rural–urban transition through the prism of shifts in natural, engineered and institutional infrastructure to explain the processes of rapid change and the dip in service provision often found in peri-urban areas in the Global South. We draw on examples related to the provision of water and sanitation to illustrate the theory and discuss its implications for future research on the peri-urban. A research agenda is set out that emphasizes the importance of studying early warning signs of service dips using systems theory concepts such as flickering and critical slowing down. Through such approaches, research can better predict and explain what we call peri-urban turbulence and inform the development of mitigation strategies to reduce the vulnerabilities that peri-urban residents too often face during periods of rural–urban transition. The simplicity of the urban–rural divide for research hides and blurs many complexities of human settlements and natural ecosystems. This perspective examines the peri-urban landscape and provisions of service that take place across this frontier.
Although white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) are common in captivity, few behavioral studies have been conducted and there is seemingly no research for immersive exhibits where potential for visitor effects is high. Moreover, little information exists on possible effects of weather and temperature on rhino outside their native range. Here we analyze 14,501 observations of rhino in a drive-through enclosure. Data were collected by researchers (n = 12,160 datapoints) and keepers (n = 2341 datapoints) over a 4-month period. We aimed to: (1) quantify behavior using detailed researcher-collected data and contemporaneous but ad hoc keeper-collected data; (2) compare datasets statistically; (3) establish effects of visitors, temperature, and weather on behavior; and (4) assess the influence of visitors on similarity of researcher/keeper datasets. Activity budgets were similar to the wild and the single previous study from a traditional (nondrive-through) enclosure. There was some discrepancy in activity budgets between researcher and keeper data due to significant differences in recorded frequency of two rare behaviors (horn rub; social interaction) and two behaviors that could be easily confused (grazing vs. standing with head-down): recording of other behaviors matched well. Weather and temperature affected behavior, with rhino becoming more sedentary (-locomotion, grazing; +resting, standing, and sedentary eating of hay) on hot/sunny days compared to cool/wet days. The number of visitor vehicles had a fairly negligible effect but resting was lower on busy days, possibly as vigilance increased. The match between researcher/keeper datasets was lowest when visitor numbers were high, suggesting visitors might affect keeper ability to accurately record behavior.
Human ezrin protein interacts with SARS-CoV S endodomain and restrict the virus fusion, entry, and their early events of infection. In general, their binding strength and their structural stability determines their entry into the host cells. However, the binding affinity of these two endodomains with the ezrin protein has been elusive due to a paucity of knowledge on the 3D structure. This study modelled the endodomains of both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 and then docked these models with human ezrin protein. This study establishes that the modelled endodomains of both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-Cov-2 consisted of three disulphide bridges for self-stabilization. Protein-protein docking listed four salt bridges with a higher buried surface area between ezrin-SARS-CoV-1 endodomain compared to that of ezrin-SARS-CoV-2 with six salt bridges with lower buried surface area. Molecular simulation of the ezrin-SARS-CoV-1 endodomain showed better structural stability with lower Root Mean Square Deviation score compared to that of ezrin-SARS-CoV-2 endodomain due to the substitution of Alanine with Cysteine residue. Protein-ligand docking studies confirmed better ezrin-drug interaction for quercetin, minocycline, calcifediol, calcitriol, selamectin, Ivermectin and ergocalciferol. However, protein-ligand simulation confirmed strong drug-protein interaction during simulation for all the above-listed drugs except for ergocalciferol which could not establish its interaction with the protein during simulation. Strong drug binding within the active site pocket therefore restricts the interaction of viral endodomain and simultaneously stabilizes the ezrin protein. Furthermore, the higher stability between the ezrin after their interaction with the drug moiety could restrict the virus fusion and the infection. This study provides a basis for further development of these drug molecules to clinical trials aiming to identify potential drug molecules which can treat covid-19 infection.
Gamification’s adoption in the enterprise today is on the rise and provides benefits such as customer loyalty and increased employee engagement. In this article, the use of gamification in the enterprise is assessed in seeking to understand how fully gamified systems differ from related concepts such as toys, playful designs, and serious games. Given the increasing interest in enterprise gamification, it is useful to evaluate how it has evolved and its acceptance via a multidisciplinary lens. It is also critical to assess frameworks and approaches applied in understanding the trend. The current article concludes that a value-oriented approach is needed for a more comprehensive understanding of enterprise gamification acceptance and users’ experience, particularly in today’s workforce that is largely dominated by millennials.
This article sets out the problems with the e-book market and the origins and work to date of #ebooksos, a librarian-led campaign for a fairer e-book market for libraries. While many of the issues identified predated the Covid-19 pandemic, the rapid pivot to remote teaching and learning and the subsequent change in working cultures it precipitated brought these issues to a head. The article is primarily about the academic context as the authors are academic librarians, but the e-book library crisis applies to all sectors and the #ebooksos campaign aims to represent them all. While it is recognized that change will take time, as with related change in areas such as open access and the movement of journals from print to online, this underlines, rather than diminishes, the need for the campaign to keep highlighting the problems and to work with colleagues and stakeholders to deliver an approach to e-books that is equitable and sustainable. The #ebooksos campaign is in its infancy and thus this article presents a snapshot of a work in progress at the vanguard of librarianship and information work.
The relationship between digital technologies and the circular economy, both characterised as disruptive, is attracting increasing attention in company boardrooms, policy and pressure groups and in academic communities. Nevertheless, studies to date highlight a lack of understanding of how digital technologies enable organisations to improve their resource flows and value creation to promote the circular economy. This article looks to address this gap in the academic literature by an examination of if and how a small number of organisations are using digital technologies to support their sustainability objectives and circular economy initiatives. The research approach is inductive, using questionnaires and interviews with IT professionals employed in a range of organisations. The article concludes that where organisations are pursuing circular economy initiatives, the connection with digital technology deployment is not evident, even though a more general association with sustainability is. Digital technologies are bringing about greater efficiencies, improved processes and better data management, which are supporting and enabling sustainability objectives, but a more direct linkage with the circular economy will require clearer use cases of how specific digital technologies can progress the circular economy, both within organisations and across the supply chain. Enhanced information systems that facilitate the reporting and analysis of the operational performance of circular economy activities against set objectives will also be needed.
Food waste remains an ongoing problem in hotel operations, and changing employees’ behaviour is key to tackling this issue. Analysing the influences on employees’ working practices can help to drive pro-environmental behaviour changes that reduce food waste, thus supporting the UN’s SDG 12: ensuring responsible consumption and production patterns. This study used the theory of planned behaviour as its theoretical framework and empirical data generated through participant observation, analysis of organisational documents, and semi-structured interviews in luxury hotels to examine waste drivers among employees. The findings suggest that hotel workers adopt a rational rather than moral lens toward food waste. Moreover, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control strongly influence intentions to perform pro-environmental behaviours. Positive attitudes and strong subjective norms propel employees toward pro-environmental behaviours while a lack of perceived control acts as a constraining force.
Commonly we see large within-age-group variations in physique, including body mass, stature, and percentages of predicted adult height, which suggests that age-specified training loads are flawed. Aims were to investigate how maturation impacts training load and neuromuscular response within academy soccer and to provide recommendations for practitioners. Fifty-five male soccer players (age 14.5 ± 1.2 years; stature 172 ± 10 cm; body mass 59.8 ± 10 kg; 94.1 ± 1.8% predicted adult height) reported differential ratings of perceived exertion (AU) across a season. Neuromuscular performance (countermovement jump, reactive strength index, absolute and relative leg stiffness) was measured at three time points across the season. Perceived exertion and neuromuscular performance were examined using linear mixed modelling, supplemented with non-clinical magnitude-based decisions. Analysis indicates every 5% increase in maturity status results in players perceiving overall session intensity 6.9 AU lower and 13.9 AU lower for a 10% maturity shift. Both 5% and 10% changes in maturity most likely resulted in higher countermovement jump, with likely to very likely differences observed for RSI and ABS. Maturity substantially influences neuro-muscular performance over the season. Therefore, maturity-specific load prescription may prevent significant within age-group differences in accumulated load, possibly reducing injury risk and/or burnout. ARTICLE HISTORY
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Jonathan Hughes
  • School of Sport & Exercise
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  • School of Natural & Social Sciences
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  • School of Natural & Social Sciences
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  • School of Sport & Exercise
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  • Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI)
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