University of Tasmania
  • Hobart, TAS, Australia
Recent publications
Deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) have exhibited excellent feature extraction and detail reconstruction capabilities for single image super-resolution (SISR). Nevertheless, most previous DCNN-based methods do not fully utilize the complementary strengths between feature maps, channels, and pixels. Therefore, it hinders the ability of DCNNs to represent abundant features. To tackle the aforementioned issues, we present a Cascaded Visual Attention Network for SISR called CVANet, which simulates the visual attention mechanism of the human eyes to focus on the reconstruction process of details. Specifically, we first designed a trainable feature attention module (FAM) for feature-level attention learning. Afterward, we introduce a channel attention module (CAM) to reinforce feature maps under channel-level attention learning. Meanwhile, we propose a pixel attention module (PAM) that adaptively selects representative features from the previous layers, which are utilized to generate a high-resolution image. Satisfactory, our CVANet can effectively improve the resolution of images by exploring the feature representation capabilities of different modules and the visual perception properties of the human eyes. Extensive experiments with different methods on four benchmarks demonstrate that our CVANet outperforms the state-of-the-art (SOTA) methods in subjective visual perception, PSNR, and SSIM. The code will be made available
The consequences of biological invasions and habitat degradation for native biodiversity depend on how species cope with the individual and synergetic challenges these processes present. To assess the impact of anthropogenic land‐use on the food web architecture of an invaded community, we examine the diets of nine native and two highly invasive mammal species at different trophic levels, inhabiting different land‐uses across six biogeographic regions in Tasmania, Australia. We use two complementary methods, environmental DNA metabarcoding analysis (eDNA) of faeces and stable isotope analysis (SIA) of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) in whole blood, to account for the high interindividual and temporal variability in the diets of multiple species simultaneously. eDNA showed regionalisation in the diet of smaller species, with land‐use further defining dietary taxa within each region. SIA revealed that bioregion and land‐use influence the δ ¹³ C values of all carnivore species and omnivores, whereas the δ ¹⁵ N values of these species are influenced only by land‐use and not bioregion. Including multiple species showed that native rats are changing their diet in response to the presence of invasive rats, an impact that would have otherwise been attributed to land‐use. Our findings demonstrate that human activities and invasive species are moulding the diets of invaded communities, raising questions about the potential impacts that dietary modifications will have on the life‐history traits and the evolutionary consequences these modifications might have on the survival of native species. This highlights the urgency of including human activities in ecological studies and the importance of targeting multispecies assemblages to gain a better understanding of synergetic impacts on native biodiversity.
This Article Collection brings together 8 papers, whose authors have contributed to the development of the model for mathematical connections originally proposed by Businskas (2008) and extended the model to Extended Theory of Mathematical Connections (ETMC; Rodríguez-Nieto, Moll, et al., 2022). The papers in the Collection provide comprehensive empirical support for the validity of ETMC and its potential to investigate the associations between a teacher’s mathematical knowledge for teaching a concept and their ability to establish connections in teaching that concept (Hatisaru, 2023; Mhlolo, 2013).
To quantify the tracking of apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels from childhood and adolescence and compare the tracking of apoB with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Google Scholar was performed in October 2023 (PROSPERO protocol: CRD42022298663). Cohort studies that measured tracking of apoB from childhood/adolescence (< 19 years) with a minimum follow-up of 1 year, using tracking estimates such as correlation coefficients or tracking coefficients, were eligible. Pooled correlations were estimated using random-effects meta-analysis. Risk of bias was assessed with a review-specific tool. Ten studies of eight unique cohorts involving 4677 participants met the inclusion criteria. Tracking of apoB was observed (pooled r = 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.53–0.71; I² = 96%) with no significant sources of heterogeneity identified. Data from five cohorts with tracking data for both lipids showed the degree of tracking was similar for apoB (pooled r = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.55–0.63) and LDL cholesterol (pooled r = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.47–0.68). Study risk of bias was moderate, mostly due to attrition and insufficient reporting. Conclusion: ApoB levels track strongly from childhood, but do not surpass LDL cholesterol in this regard. While there is strong evidence that apoB is more effective at predicting ASCVD risk than LDL cholesterol in adults, there is currently insufficient evidence to support its increased utility in pediatric settings. This also applies to tracking data, where more comprehensive data are required. What is known: • Apolipoprotein B is a known cause of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. • Apolipoprotein B levels are not typically measured in pediatric settings, where low-density lipoprotein cholesterol remains the primary lipid screening measure. What is new: • This meta-analysis of 10 studies showed apolipoprotein B levels tracked strongly from childhood but did not exceed low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in this regard. • More comprehensive tracking data are needed to provide sufficient evidence for increased utility of apolipoprotein B in pediatric settings.
Background Failure rates on medical specialist final summative examinations in Australia are high, regardless of speciality. Examination failure can have detrimental psycho-social, financial and job security effects on the trainee, while delays in completion of training adversely impacts workforce growth and health outcomes for the community. The study aimed to explore the preparation factors that contribute to ophthalmology trainee success in their final summative examination. Methods Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 29 participants via telephone or Zoom with ophthalmology trainees and Fellows. To be eligible, interviewees had to have sat the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Advanced Clinical Examination (RACE) within the past five years or were providing supervision to trainees preparing for RACE. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results Examination success was underpinned by six themes relating to preparation: (i) ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail’, which related to development and adherence to a study plan; (ii) ‘It takes a village’ encompassed trainees establishing and activating personal and professional supports; (iii) ‘Get to know your opponent’, which encompassed developing an understanding of the examination construct, format and requirements; (iv) ‘There is no substitute for hard work’, which related to intensive study over a period of 12–18 months; (v) ‘Keep pace with the herd’, which referred to benchmarking preparation efforts and progress against peers; and (vi) ‘Don’t jump the gun’, which related to ensuring readiness to sit. Conclusions Maximising medical specialist examination pass rates is in the best interest of trainees, training Colleges, health care systems and communities. Recognising and facilitating preparation approaches that foster success in final summative examinations are the collective responsibility of trainees, specialist training Colleges, training networks and health systems. Trainees need to plan for examination success, be self-determined to commit to intensive study over an extended time period and be realistic about their readiness to sit.
Maternal educational attainment (MEA) shapes offspring health through multiple potential pathways. Differential DNA methylation may provide a mechanistic understanding of these long-term associations. We aimed to quantify the associations of MEA with offspring DNA methylation levels at birth, in childhood and in adolescence. Using 37 studies from high-income countries, we performed meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) to quantify the associations of completed years of MEA at the time of pregnancy with offspring DNA methylation levels at birth (n = 9 881), in childhood (n = 2 017), and adolescence (n = 2 740), adjusting for relevant covariates. MEA was found to be associated with DNA methylation at 473 cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites at birth, one in childhood, and four in adolescence. We observed enrichment for findings from previous EWAS on maternal folate, vitamin-B12 concentrations, maternal smoking, and pre-pregnancy BMI. The associations were directionally consistent with MEA being inversely associated with behaviours including smoking and BMI. Our findings form a bridge between socio-economic factors and biology and highlight potential pathways underlying effects of maternal education. The results broaden our understanding of bio-social associations linked to differential DNA methylation in multiple early stages of life. The data generated also offers an important resource to help a more precise understanding of the social determinants of health.
Nonhuman primates (NHPs) are valuable models for studying healthspan, including frailty development. Frailty metrics in people centers on functional measures, including usual gait speed which can be predictive of all‐cause mortality. This concept that physical competencies are able to prognosticate an individual's health trajectory over chronologic aging is well‐accepted and has led to refinements in how physical function is evaluated, and include measures of strength and power along with walking speed. NHP studies of aging require evaluation of physical function, which can be difficult in field and research settings. We compared stair climb velocity to usual walking speed in 28 peri‐geriatric to geriatric NHPs, as incorporating a climbing obstacle integrates multiple components of physical function: isolated leg and back strength, proprioception, balance, and range of motion. We find that stair climbing speed was reliable between observers, and whether timing was in‐person take from video capture. The stair climb rates were 50% more associated with chronological age than walking speed ( R = −0.68 vs. −0.45) and only stair climbing speeds were retained as predictive of age when walking speed and bodyweight were included in multivariate models (overall R ² = 0.44; p < 0.0001). When comparing young (10−16 years) versus geriatric (16−29 years) stair climbing speed was significantly different ( p < 0.001), while walking speeds only tended to be slower ( p = 0.12) suggesting that the additional challenge of a stair climb better unmasks subclinical frailty development that usual walking speed.
Objective To assess Australian and New Zealand emergency clinicians' attitudes towards the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in emergency medicine. Methods We undertook a qualitative interview‐based study based on grounded theory. Participants were recruited through ED internal mailing lists, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Bulletin, and the research teams' personal networks. Interviews were transcribed, coded and themes presented. Results Twenty‐five interviews were conducted between July 2021 and May 2022. Thematic saturation was achieved after 22 interviews. Most participants were from either Western Australia (52%) or Victoria (16%) and were consultants (96%). More participants reported feeling optimistic (10/25) than neutral (6/25), pessimistic (2/25) or mixed (7/25) towards the use of AI in the ED. A minority expressed scepticism regarding the feasibility or value of implementing AI into the ED. Multiple potential risks and ethical issues were discussed by participants including skill loss from overreliance on AI, algorithmic bias, patient privacy and concerns over liability. Participants also discussed perceived inadequacies in existing information technology systems. Participants felt that AI technologies would be used as decision support tools and not replace the roles of emergency clinicians. Participants were not concerned about the impact of AI on their job security. Most (17/25) participants thought that AI would impact emergency medicine within the next 10 years. Conclusions Emergency clinicians interviewed were generally optimistic about the use of AI in emergency medicine, so long as it is used as a decision support tool and they maintain the ability to override its recommendations.
Importance Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) begins in early life, the extent to which blood pressure (BP) at different life stages contributes to CVD is unclear. Objective To determine the relative contribution of BP at different life stages across the early-life course from infancy to young adulthood with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). Design, setting, and participants The analyses were performed in 2022 using data gathered from July 1989 through January 2018 within the Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project, a randomized, infancy-onset cohort of 534 participants coupled with annual BP (from age 7 months to 20 years), biennial IMT measurements (from ages 13 to 19 years), who were followed up with again at age 26 years. Exposures BP measured from infancy (aged 7 to 13 months), preschool (2 to 5 years), childhood (6 to 12 years), adolescence (13 to 17 years), and young adulthood (18 to 26 years). Main outcomes and measures Primary outcomes were carotid IMT measured in young adulthood at age 26 years. Bayesian relevant life-course exposure models assessed the relative contribution of BP at each life stage. Results Systolic BP at each life stage contributed to the association with young adulthood carotid IMT (infancy: relative weight, 25.3%; 95% credible interval [CrI], 3.6-45.8; preschool childhood: relative weight, 27.0%; 95% CrI, 3.3-57.1; childhood: relative weight, 18.0%; 95% CrI, 0.5-40.0; adolescence: relative weight, 13.5%; 95% CrI, 0.4-37.1; and young adulthood: relative weight, 16.2%; 95% CrI, 1.6-46.1). A 1-SD (at single life-stage) higher systolic BP accumulated across the life course was associated with a higher carotid IMT (0.02 mm; 95% CrI, 0.01-0.03). The findings for carotid IMT were replicated in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study that assessed systolic BP from childhood and carotid IMT in adulthood (33 to 45 years). Conclusion and relevance In this cohort study, a life-course approach indicated that accumulation of risk exposure to BP levels at all life stages contributed to adulthood carotid IMT. Of those, the contribution attributed to each observed life stage was approximately equal. These results support prevention efforts that achieve and maintain normal BP levels across the life course, starting in infancy.
Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) systems are disrupting how research is conducted across a wide range of disciplines. Many journals have decided not to allow these tools to be co-authors for the purposes of publication, but rather they must be acknowledged by authors as having been utilised in the writing process. Furthermore, due to the hallucinations that these models sometimes produce, authors are to review what is generated and recognise that they hold it to be true and accurate. To date, there has been varying research conducted on the accuracy of GenAI systems and their production of written text. However, new functions that allow GenAI systems to produce coding for constructing tools in computer programming languages highlights a new area that warrants investigation. Therefore, this article puts forth an account of using ChatGPT 3.5 to construct coding to be utilised for a Latent Dirichlet Allocation Topic Model (LDA-TM) for use in a Systematic Literature Review. This is hoped to address three elements of using ChatGPT 3.5 for coding: code review, error resolution, and scripting new code. The code will be aimed at designating an appropriate Hyper-parameter for the Random State for use in the LDA-TM. Within this context, this article will discuss the advantages and drawbacks of utilising this new tool and what it means for researchers who wish to augment their work with computer programming-based applications. To the authors knowledge, this is the first time this has been discussed within the context of the research being conducted.
In recognition memory, the variance of the target distribution is almost universally found to be greater than that of the lure distribution. However, these estimates commonly come from long-term memory paradigms where words are used as stimuli. Two exceptions to this rule have found evidence for greater lure variability: a short-term memory task (Yotsumoto et al., Memory & Cognition, 36 , 282–294 2008) and in an eyewitness memory paradigm (Wixted et al., Cognitive Psychology, 105 , 81–114 2018). In the present work, we conducted a series of recognition memory experiments using different stimulus (faces vs. words) along with different paradigms (long-term vs. short-term paradigms) to evaluate whether either of these conditions would result in greater variability in lure items. Greater target variability was observed across stimulus types and memory paradigms. This suggests that factors other than stimuli and retention interval might be responsible for cases where variability is less for targets than lures.
Mapping the Earth has been a project lasting millennia and in this chapter we begin by reference to cartographic and chorographic techniques that are part of that geographical imperative. We refer to struggles related to scale, projection, and abstraction and to their resolution in perspective and descriptive painting styles in works by the likes of Vermeer and Canaletto. We note how those pictorial developments began to inform more instrumental forms of topographical depiction that became increasingly prevalent as European powers turned to accelerated imperial expansion. We acknowledge how, at the same time, those who governed and those employed by them after education in elite public schools and universities were influenced by British and Scottish political and aesthetic philosophies and by discourses about associationism. On that basis, we consider how, as part of cycles of knowledge accumulation and transmission, the surveyors who mapped and depicted new colonies used both cartographic and chorographic techniques. In the process, they produced apparently objective spatial representations of settler colonies in the making and subjective views of landscapes, species, and habitats and of people emplaced in or displaced from them. George Prideaux Harris (1775–1810), George William Evans (1780–1852), and George Frankland (1800–1838) exemplify those practices.
In this chapter, we position our work in the geohumanities, a field in which people apply transdisciplinary perspectives and multimethodological approaches to engage with meanings of place. We consider the intellectual contexts that shaped Van Diemen’s Land in the first half of the nineteenth century. We refer to the importance of land and landscape depiction and comment on how such depiction was one element of vast and ambitious cycles of knowledge accumulation and transmission. It was by means of such cycles that the outer margins of settler colonies came to be used in the empire’s heartland to consolidate moral claims about divine rights to civilise and impose certain understandings of progress on others. At least some of those moral claims were to be found in writings that were centrally concerned to show how ideas and experiences were associated in the mind and shaped how people perceived and might understand the world. Such ideas were often embedded in larger and widely regarded philosophies that combined aesthetic and political reasoning and focused on how imagination, beauty, sublimity, truth, nature, virtue, and worth could aid the progress of individuals, societies, and nations. Mapping those ideas here provides the foundations for the balance of the book.
This chapter provides reflections about how work on Vandemonian imaginings might reverberate beyond its colonial boundaries; cautiously, we are looking to spatial and temporal horizons. What happened in Van Diemen’s Land between 1803 and the mid-1850s mattered then at multiple scales and across complex aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, and geopolitical networks of empire. We have considered the significance of the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which our seven protagonists worked. We have shown how they engaged with a prevailing spirit and intellectual framework—the association of ideas—as they mapped space, beheld new landscapes, and helped shape the colony. In 1855, at the end of the period with which we have been concerned, Vandemonians successfully petitioned Queen Victoria to change the colony’s name to Tasmania. But even with sustained attempts to bring into being a pastoral, picturesque, and morally uplifting life that had been initially designed in the heartlands of empire, Van Diemen’s Land was—and this settled space arguably remains—an unsettled place. Thus, what happened in the past also matters now as all of us grapple with the legacies of imperialism and settler colonialism and the aesthetic and geographical resources that they deployed.
In this chapter, we examine how Mary Morton Allport (1806–1895) and Louisa Ann Meredith (1812–1895) made home place. For over half a century, both lived in Van Diemen’s Land where they were respected for their creative outputs. Both had established reputations before emigrating. They subscribed to the ideals of true womanhood, distinguished themselves in scientific pursuits in or for learned societies and public debates, and worked in ways that may have been harder to achieve had they remained in Britain. Both embraced the idea that women provided the domesticating hands of empire, set the tone for civilised life in settler-colonies, and were indispensable> > companions to the men on whom they were legally dependent. Within those societal and personal confines, they forged their own paths and followed their own passions. Finally, both women embodied an understanding of associationist principles pertaining to taste, landscape, and place, including home in its most domestic sense. Their works are distinctive and were and remain important to Vandemonian imaginings because, by making home place, they rounded out a set of imperial agendas in picturesque and romantic depictions and associated ideas.
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15,111 members
Phillip Melton
  • Menzies Research Institute
Lawrence Bryan Bonney
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
James Sharman
  • Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Sarah Andrewartha
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
Saliu Balogun
  • Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Locked Bag 1322, School of Health Sciences, 7250, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Head of institution
Professor Rufus Black
+61 3 6226 2999