University of New England (Australia)
  • Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Recent publications
Background Collisions in rugby union and sevens have a high injury incidence and burden, and are also associated with player and team performance. Understanding the frequency and intensity of these collisions is therefore important for coaches and practitioners to adequately prepare players for competition. The aim of this review is to synthesise the current literature to provide a summary of the collision frequencies and intensities for rugby union and rugby sevens based on video-based analysis and microtechnology. Methods A systematic search using key words was done on four different databases from 1 January 1990 to 1 September 2021 (PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science). Results Seventy-three studies were included in the final review, with fifty-eight studies focusing on rugby union, while fifteen studies explored rugby sevens. Of the included studies, four focused on training—three in rugby union and one in sevens, two focused on both training and match-play in rugby union and one in rugby sevens, while the remaining sixty-six studies explored collisions from match-play. The studies included, provincial, national, international, professional, experienced, novice and collegiate players. Most of the studies used video-based analysis (n = 37) to quantify collisions. In rugby union, on average a total of 22.0 (19.0–25.0) scrums, 116.2 (62.7–169.7) rucks, and 156.1 (121.2–191.0) tackles occur per match. In sevens, on average 1.8 (1.7–2.0) scrums, 4.8 (0–11.8) rucks and 14.1 (0–32.8) tackles occur per match. Conclusions This review showed more studies quantified collisions in matches compared to training. To ensure athletes are adequately prepared for match collision loads, training should be prescribed to meet the match demands. Per minute, rugby sevens players perform more tackles and ball carries into contact than rugby union players and forwards experienced more impacts and tackles than backs. Forwards also perform more very heavy impacts and severe impacts than backs in rugby union. To improve the relationship between matches and training, integrating both video-based analysis and microtechnology is recommended. The frequency and intensity of collisions in training and matches may lead to adaptations for a “collision-fit” player and lend itself to general training principles such as periodisation for optimum collision adaptation. Trial Registration PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020191112.
Background Selection of livestock based on their robustness or sensitivity to environmental variation could help improve the efficiency of production systems, particularly in the light of climate change. Genetic variation in robustness arises from genotype-by-environment (G × E) interactions, with genotypes performing differently when animals are raised in contrasted environments. Understanding the nature of this genetic variation is essential to implement strategies to improve robustness. In this study, our aim was to explore the genetics of robustness in Australian sheep to different growth environments using linear reaction norm models (RNM), with post-weaning weight records of 22,513 lambs and 60 k single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The use of scale-corrected genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) for the slope to account for scale-type G × E interactions was also investigated. Results Additive genetic variance was observed for the slope of the RNM, with genetic correlations between low- and high-growth environments indicating substantial re-ranking of genotypes (0.44–0.49). The genetic variance increased from low- to high-growth environments. The heritability of post-weaning body weight ranged from 0.28 to 0.39. The genetic correlation between intercept and slope of the reaction norm for post-weaning body weight was low to moderate when based on the estimated (co)variance components but was much higher when based on back-solved SNP effects. An initial analysis suggested that a region on chromosome 11 affected both the intercept and the slope, but when the GEBV for the slope were conditioned on the GEBV for the intercept to remove the effect of scale-type G × E interactions on SNP effects for robustness, a single genomic region on chromosome 7 was found to be associated with robustness. This region included genes previously associated with growth traits and disease susceptibility in livestock. Conclusions This study shows a significant genetic variation in the slope of RNM that could be used for selecting for increased robustness of sheep. Both scale-type and rank-type G × E interactions contributed to variation in the slope. The correction for scale effects of GEBV for the slope should be considered when analysing robustness using RNM. Overall, robustness appears to be a highly polygenic trait.
Background Women's empowerment constitutes an important aspect of the development agenda. Although it is highly contextual in nature, empowerment literature so far has focussed on identifying factors associated with empowerment, neglecting the importance of understanding which empowerment resources and agency dimensions are more important for whom and under what contexts. This is important, because we cannot talk of empowerment for those who are not in a disempowered condition or who do not value it. We examine the gender differences in the relative valuations of empowerment resources and decision-making areas across different farming systems, and examine the most valued empowerment resources. Methods Using a mixed methods approach, data on major household decisions, empowerment resources, and their relative importance were collected. Pairwise ranking methods were used to assess their gendered relative importance. Individual interviews using Ryff’s psychological well-being (PWB) items were conducted to obtain quantitative data on the key empowerment resource, which emerged as an important aspect of empowerment from the pairwise ranking exercises. Drawing on the empowerment framework and self-determination theory, we analysed the data. Results Our results show that the major empowerment resources and decision-makings that are valuable to men and women vary across gender and farming systems. In general, men place a greater importance on decisions about livestock, crop and finances. The women valued decisions regarding crop, livestock and social relations. Regarding empowerment resources, psychological well-being was found to be one of the most important resources, for women as well as men. Assessment of the basic psychological needs―autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relations―statistically yielded no significant differences between the gender groups. However, the effects of location and the intersection of location with gender were both found to be statistically significant, suggesting that being men and from Horo is associated with higher scores on self-acceptance and personal relation subscales. Conclusions We conclude that gender and location play important roles in forming contextual conditions for empowerment and agency implying that empowerment efforts need to consider both. More specifically, policies and intervention efforts to empower individuals or groups must begin by first building their psychological assets and consider contextual gendered perceptions of resources.
Sequestering atmospheric carbon in soils is considered a key climate change mitigation strategy and including cover crops into cropping systems is commonly promoted as a management change that can increase soil organic carbon (SOC). Projecting SOC changes under climate change when cover crops are integrated into a cropping system is important because climate is a key driver of SOC dynamics and projected changes in climate are uncertain. Further, projecting SOC changes can provide landholders with information on the risk associated with the use of cover crops to generate carbon credits considering the inherent uncertainty in SOC changes under a changing climate. The Agricultural Production SIMulator was used to simulate SOC and yields of a typical crop rotation, with and without a cow pea cover crop, at 204 sites in the Riverina region of Southern Australia. Sowing cover crops reduced crop yields and increased SOC relative to the crop rotation without cover crops. GHG emissions associated with indirect land use change due to reduced crop yields and N2O emissions from the cover crop meant that sowing cover crops was unlikely to provide climate change mitigation. The number of carbon credits generated by participating in the soil carbon method of the Australian government’s emissions reduction program varied greatly across the region with some sites not generating any credits. The implications of these results are discussed with respect to climate change mitigation and the risk of entering a SOC trading program when costs of compliance are high and the ability to generate carbon credits is uncertain.
Decarbonising tourism is an immeasurable challenge but increasingly recognised as inevitable. This has prompted vast developments in theoretical models by academics and indicators by peak bodies to explore the pathways. One limitation to the pathways is the lack of emission data. This research presents a framework integrating the principles of TSA with the National Greenhouse Accounts. Tourism emissions are estimated and examined by destinations, producing industries and visitor types. The framework is applied to destinations in the State of Queensland, Australia, to illustrate the types of results and insights that can be produced for decision-makers. Mitigation policies can then be tailored to the specific context of each destination, increasing effectiveness and ability to balance economic benefits with reducing emissions.
Rice is unique, in that yields are maximized when it is grown under ponded (or flooded) conditions. This however has implications for water use (an important consideration in water-scarce environments) and greenhouse gas emissions. This work aimed to provide precise predictions of the date when irrigated rice fields were ponded, on a per-field basis. Models were developed using Sentinel-2 data (with the advantage of inclusion of water-sensitive shortwave infrared bands) and Planet Fusion data (which provides daily, temporally consistent, cross-calibrated, gap-free data). Models were trained with data from both commercial farms and research sites in New South Wales, Australia, and over four growing seasons (harvest in 2018–2021). Predictions were tested on the 2022 harvest season, which included a variety of sowing and water management strategies. A time-series method was developed to provide models with features including satellite observations from before and after the date being classified (as ponded or non-ponded). Logistic regression models using time-series features produced mean absolute errors for ponding date prediction of 4.9 days using Sentinel-2 data, and 4.3 days using Planet Fusion data. The temporal frequency of the Planet Fusion data compensated for the lack of spectral bands relative to Sentinel-2.
Severe impacts of herbivorous and xylophagous insects are a frequent characteristic of tree canopy diebacks globally. Insects play many roles in forest ecosystems, although they are often not explicitly included in ecosystem models used to predict forest change or guide management. Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD) is a syndrome of eucalypt-canopy dieback associated with irruptions of lerp-building Psyllidae (Hemiptera) in south-eastern Australian forests. Research on BMAD has tended to focus on the role of a despotic honeyeater, the bell miner, Manorina melanophrys, rather than the management of psyllids. We reviewed the literature about the causes of BMAD, the role of bell miners, and the success of different management interventions designed to mitigate BMAD impacts. Excessive damage to eucalypt canopies by psyllids is the proximate cause of BMAD, with bell miners helping to maintain and expand psyllid infestations by excluding insectivorous birds. However, the link between bell miners and psyllid outbreaks is not entirely obligate, as both may be found in isolation. Various approaches have been used to manage BMAD, including removal of bell miners and understorey management using controlled burns and clearing, but these interventions have not been universally effective, suggesting that additional site-specific factors are critical drivers of bell miner occurrence and psyllid outbreaks. Based on a synthesis of past findings, we present a conceptual model incorporating all known or postulated factors that lead to BMAD. We also suggest three main strategic approaches to management: shrub reduction, bell miner removal, and landscape modification. However, many questions remain about the main drivers of bell miner occurrence and psyllid irruptions in eastern Australian forests, particularly in relation to the importance of forest and understorey type, environmental conditions, forest management, fire, and increasingly severe weather extremes. In addition to better understanding these factors, future studies should investigate the role of insect canopy species, including the parasitoids and hyperparasitoids of psyllids, and their interactions in different forest and understorey types under a range of environmental and management conditions and fire histories. We propose that the BMAD syndrome be broadened to include psyllid-mediated dieback in south-eastern Australian forests generally, both in areas with and without bell miners, to assist in adjusting management responses as needed to balance forest health and biodiversity outcomes with multiple forest uses on a site-by-site basis. We should not expect a one-size-fits-all solution to this complex multi-factorial dieback syndrome, and further field experiments and careful assessment of the impact of future management interventions (and controls) are needed.
China's remarkable economic progress over the past three decades has been complemented by massive energy consumption. Although coal has long been the primary energy source, the rise in crude oil use has been viewed as more contentious, because a large portion of crude oil is imported, whereas the economy is mostly self-sufficient in coal. We examine the role of R&D effort and self-sufficiency on China's oil import function from 1980 to 2020. Using the autoregressive distributed lag model, we find that the R&D effort raises oil imports in the long run. However, we find oil imports to be independent from self-sufficiency in the long run. We also find that China's accession to the World Trade Organization has significantly changed the cointegrating relationship in the oil import function. Our results suggest that the government should continue to incentivize energy-saving measures and fund research projects on renewable energy sources. Furthermore, deregulation in the oil market is quin-tessential to energy security and stable growth in the long run.
Flores represents a unique insular environment with an extensive record of Pleistocene fossil remains and stone artefacts. In the So'a Basin of central Flores these include endemic Stegodon, Komodo dragons, giant tortoises, rats, birds and hominins, and lithic artefacts that can be traced back to at least one million years ago (1 Ma). This comprehensive review presents important new data regarding the dating and faunal sequence of the So'a Basin, including the site of Mata Menge where Homo floresiensis-like fossils dating to approximately 0.7 Ma were discovered in 2014. By chemical fingerprinting key silicic tephra originating from local and distal eruptive sources we have now established basin-wide tephrostratigraphic correlations, and, together with new numerical ages, present an update of the chronostratigraphy of the So'a Basin, with major implications for the faunal sequence. These results show that a giant tortoise and the diminutive proboscidean Stegodon sondaari last occurred at the site of Tangi Talo ~1.3 Ma, and not 0.9 Ma as previously thought. We also present new data suggesting that the disappearance of giant tortoise and S. sondaari from the sedimentary record occurred before, and/or was coincident with, the earliest hominin arrival, as evidenced by the first records of lithic artefacts occurring directly below the 1 Ma Wolo Sege Tephra. Artefacts become common in the younger layers, associated with a distinct fauna characterized by the medium-sized Stegodon florensis and giant rat Hooijeromys nusatenggara. Furthermore, we describe a newly discovered terrace fill, which extends the faunal record of Stegodon in the So'a Basin to the Late Pleistocene. Our evidence also suggests that the paleoenvironment of the So'a Basin became drier around the time of the observed faunal transition and arrival of hominins on the island, which could be related to an astronomically-forced climate response at the onset of the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; ~1.25 Ma) leading to increased aridity and monsoonal intensity.
Mantle xenoliths from Santo Domingo, Ventura-Espíritu Santo and Durango volcanic fields (Mesa Central in Mexico) experienced low degrees of partial melting in the stability fields of garnet (⁓ 2%) and spinel peridotites (⁓ 2–4%), and interacted with hydrous alkaline melts possibly during the Basin and Range extensional tectonism since Late Oligocene. Enclosed and intergranular grains of monosulfide solid solution (mss) in Santo Domingo peridotites are residues after the extraction of 0.1–0.5 fractions of Ni-Cu-rich sulphide melt during mantle melting events. On the other hand, glo˜bular sulphides (pentlandite ± chalcopyrite) hosted in glass veinlets in the Ventura-Espíritu Santo and Durango peridotites crystallized from Ni-Cu-rich droplets of sulphide melt, immiscible in the Quaternary silicate magmas that brought the xenoliths to the surface. Rhenium-depletion model ages of these sulphide populations indicate that part of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) of the Oaxaquia terrane (beneath Santo Domingo and Ventura-Espíritu Santo) originated in the Archaean-Paleoproterozoic as the southernmost extension of the Laurentia craton, and was assembled with the Central terrane (beneath Durango) during the Grenville orogeny (⁓ 1.0 Ga). Early Palaeozoic (⁓ 500 Ma) model ages common to sulphides from the peridotite xenoliths of the three volcanic fields suggest that the Oaxaquia-Central composite block split away from North America during the Rodinia break-up and experienced the Pan-African-Brasiliano orogeny that led to Gondwana assembly. During the Cenozoic, the reactivation of translithospheric faults bounding this composite old SCLM provided preferential pathways for focusing the ascent of ore-productive magmas/fluids associated with the subduction-related metallogeny of the Pacific active margin of Mexico.
This study aimed to rank potential drivers of cow productivity and welfare in tropical smallholder dairy farms (SDFs) in Vietnam. Forty-one variables were collected from 32 SDFs located in four geographically diverse dairy regions, with eight SDFs per region. Twelve variables, including milk yield (MILK), percentages of milk fat (mFA), protein (mPR), dry matter (mDM), energy-corrected milk yield (ECM), heart girth (HG), body weight (BW), ECM per 100 kg BW (ECMbw), body condition score (BCS), panting score (PS), inseminations per conception (tAI), and milk electrical resistance (mRE) of cows, were fitted as outcome variables in the models. Twenty-one other variables describing farm altitude, housing condition, and diet for the cows, cow genotypes, and cow physiological stage were fitted as explanatory variables. Increased farm altitude was associated with increases in ECM and mRE and with decreases in PS and tAI ( P < 0.05). Increases in roof heights and percentage of shed side open were associated with increases in ECM, mFA, and mDM ( P < 0.05). Increased dry matter intake and dietary densities of dry matter and fat were associated with increased MILK, ECM, and ECMbw and decreased tAI ( P < 0.05). Increased dietary lignin density was associated with increased PS. Increased genetic proportion of Brown Swiss in the herd was associated with increased MILK, ECM, and ECMbw ( P < 0.05). Thus, to improve cow productivity and welfare in Vietnamese SDFs, the following interventions were identified for testing in future cause-effect experiments: increasing floor area per cow, roof heights, shed sides open, dry matter intake, dietary fat density, and the genetic proportion of Brown Swiss and decreasing dietary lignin density.
Automated sleep disorder detection is challenging because physiological symptoms can vary widely. These variations make it difficult to create effective sleep disorder detection models which support hu-man experts during diagnosis and treatment monitoring. From 2010 to 2021, authors of 95 scientific papers have taken up the challenge of automating sleep disorder detection. This paper provides an expert review of this work. We investigated whether digital technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide automated diagnosis support for sleep disorders. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines during the content discovery phase. We compared the performance of proposed sleep disorder detection methods, involving differ-ent datasets or signals. During the review, we found eight sleep disorders, of which sleep apnea and insomnia were the most studied. These disorders can be diagnosed using several kinds of biomedical signals, such as Electrocardiogram (ECG), Polysomnography (PSG), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Electromyogram (EMG), and snore sound. Subsequently, we established areas of commonality and distinctiveness. Common to all reviewed papers was that AI models were trained and tested with labelled physiological signals. Looking deeper, we discovered that 24 distinct algorithms were used for the detection task. The nature of these algorithms evolved, before 2017 only traditional Machine Learning (ML) was used. From 2018 onward, both ML and Deep Learning (DL) methods were used for sleep disorder detection. The strong emergence of DL algorithms has considerable implications for future detection systems because these algorithms demand significantly more data for training and testing when compared with ML. Based on our review results, we suggest that both type and amount of labelled data is crucial for the design of future sleep disorder detection systems because this will steer the choice of AI algorithm which establishes the desired decision support. As a guiding principle, more labelled data will help to represent the variations in symptoms. DL algorithms can extract information from these larger data quantities more effectively, therefore; we predict that the role of these algorithms will continue to expand.
Declining sow performance with increasing parity or an increase in the number of poorquality pigs potentially impacts on farm productivity. This study investigated the phenotypic and genetic background of the sow’s influence on (i) the number of pigs not meeting the industry standards (tail-enders) and (ii) changes in performance with parity. Data were available for 3592 sows and their litters (13,976 litters) from a pig production system in NSW, Australia. The mean, standard deviation (SD), and slope for trait values over time were estimated for the sow characteristic traits: number of born-alive (NBA) and stillborn (SB) piglets and body condition of sow recorded with a caliper (CAL), along with maternal effects on piglet performance, represented by: average piglet birth weight (APBW), number of weaned piglets (WEAN), and tail-enders (TEND). Traits were analyzed in ASReml 4.2, by using an animal model. The number of tail-enders produced by a sow is a heritable trait, with a heritability estimate of 0.14 ± 0.04. Sow characteristics and maternal effects on piglet performance expressed by mean and slope had similar heritability estimates, ranging from 0.10 ± 0.03 to 0.38 ± 0.05, whereas estimates for SD traits were generally not different from zero. The latter suggests individual variability in sow characteristics or maternal performance between parities is largely not genetic in origin. This study demonstrated that more attention is required to identify contributions to the problem of tail-enders, and that slope traits could potentially be useful in the breeding program to maximize lifetime performance.
As English forces struggled to bring Ireland under Crown control during the early modern period, all aspects of Irish culture and identity were seen as potentially subversive. Irish culture posed a threat to both the regime, and to the very identity and sanctity of English bodies in a foreign and hostile land. This paper will examine the role that food played in the political discourse of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Ireland. It will investigate how aspects of food, from infant feeding, to diet, dairying and cookery became a cause of concern for English colonial commentators. It will show how descriptions of foodways were used to cast the Irish as “savages,” but importantly, how they were also used to illustrate the “degeneration” of the Old English. Through the discussion of food commentators warned newcomers not to follow the fate of their predecessors; their bodies were not impenetrable, and through culinary contact, they too could be “undone.”
A moderate to high seroprevalence of exposure to Newcastle disease (NDV), avian metapneumovirus (aMPV), infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) has recently been reported in Ethiopia, but it is unclear to what extent these contribute to clinical cases of respiratory disease. This study investigated the presence of these pathogens in chickens exhibiting respiratory disease in two live markets in Addis Ababa. Markets were visited weekly for three months, and 18 chickens displaying respiratory clinical signs were acquired. Swab samples were taken from the choana, trachea, air sac and larynx for bacteriology and PCR tests targeting these five pathogens. PCR-positive samples were sequenced. All 18 chickens were PCR-positive for aMPV, 50% for each of Mg and NDV, 39% for IBV and 11% for ILTV. Infections with >3 pathogens were detected in 17 of 18 chickens. Potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus were found in 16 to 44% of chickens. IBV-positive samples were of the 793B genotype. The results associate the presence of these organisms with clinical respiratory disease and are consistent with recent serological investigations, indicating a high level of exposure to multiple respiratory pathogens.
Conventionally, the Staples Thesis constitutes a hypothesis about both the historical and the geographical particularity of the developmental trajectories of resource-dependent economies (Staples Theory) and a methodology that prioritizes contextual or local knowledge (Staples Method). Situating the Staples Thesis in the conceptual framework of regulation theory, this paper develops a spatial econometric model of the dynamics of resource-dependent economies that is sensitive to place-based contingency. This model is grounded in a conceptual framework that distinguishes between a productivity regime and a demand regime whose qualitative properties depend on the assemblage of governance, regulatory and institutional norms that determine the coherence of the relationship between the structure of production and consumption. Within the limits of data availability, a spatial extension of a reduced-form Kaldorian growth model is employed to empirically test Staples Theory by focusing on the differential impact of both the demand regime and the productivity regime on the relative economic performance of Western Australian localities over the course of the recent (2001–11) resource boom.
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Onoriode Coast
  • School of Environmental and Rural Science
Kim Usher
  • School of Health
Natasha Loi
  • School of Psychology
Syed Muhammad Fazal e Hasan
  • UNE Business School
Mark Perry
  • School of Law
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