Grahamstown, South Africa

Rhodes University

www.ru.ac.za
Grahamstown, South Africa

Rhodes University is a public research university located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, established in 1904. It is the province's oldest university, and is one of the four universities in the province. It is the fifth or sixth oldest South African university in continuous operation, being preceded by the University of the Free State , University of Witwatersrand , Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town . Rhodes was founded in 1904 as Rhodes University College, named after Cecil Rhodes, through a grant from the Rhodes Trust. It became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1918 before becoming an independent university in 1951.The university has an enrolment of over 7,000 students, approximately 3,000 of whom live on campus in several residences located on campus while the remaining students take residence in digs or in their own homes in town. Wikipedia.

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Mack J.,Rhodes University
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2017

The use of cyclic polyene perimeter-model approaches, such as Gouterman's four-orbital model and Michl's perimeter model, to analyze trends in the electronic structures and optical properties of expanded, contracted, and isomeric porphyrins is described with an emphasis on the use of magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) spectroscopy to validate the results of TD-DFT calculations. Trends in the electronic structures and optical properties of isomeric porphyrins are examined by comparing the properties of porphycenes, corrphycenes, hemiporphycenes, isoporphycenes, N-confused and neoconfused porphyrins, and norroles, whereas those of ring-contracted porphyrins are examined by comparing the properties of subporphyrins, triphyrins, and vacataporphyrins. The ring-expanded compounds that are examined include cyclo[n]pyrroles, [22]pentaphyrins(1.1.1.1.1), sapphyrins, smaragdyrins, isosmaragdyrins, orangarins, ozaphyrins, [26]hexaphyrins(1.1.1.1.1.1), rubyrins, rosarins, amethyrins, isoamethyrins, bronzaphyrins, and doubly N-confused hexaphyrins. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 2.89M | Year: 2014

The project Media, Conflict and Democratisation investigates the role of traditional media and ICTs in conflicts that accompany and follow transitions to democracy. Our research focuses on three major arenas of contentious politics in emerging democracies: constitutional conflicts, accountability conflicts and election conflicts. We argue that the media cannot be sufficiently understood in isolation, but have to be seen as part of an arena of public contestation that is occupied by multiple actors, each of which thriving to dominate the interpretations and outcomes of ongoing conflicts. Thus, the project aims to investigate The way in which traditional media in emerging democracies portray conflicts and whether media coverage contributes to the polarisation or moderation of divisions The diffusion of conflict messages through new ICTs; The role perceptions, ethics and working practices of journalists in conflict situations; The communication behaviour of conflict parties governments, political leaders, civil society groups during conflicts and how communications heightens or ameliorates tensions The empirical research will be carried out in four emerging democracies: Serbia, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. These countries were chosen because their political development is of great significance for the respective geographical region in which they are located. All four countries have experienced severe democratisation conflicts, but represent distinct contexts that help to understand how cultural, political and social factors shape the role of the media in democratisation conflicts. The project will closely work together with relevant stakeholders to develop recommendations for communication interventions that help to prevent conflicts and provide strategies for effective conflict management and conflict resolution. In particular, we will provide knowledge and skills as to how ICT tools can be used for effective communication management during conflicts


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 605.74K | Year: 2015

The project Compressive Imaging in Radio Interferometry (CIRI) aims to bring new advances for interferometric imaging with next-generation radio telescopes, together with theoretical and algorithmic evolutions in generic compressive imaging. Radio Interferometry (RI) allows observations of the sky at otherwise inaccessible angular resolutions and sensitivities, providing unique information for astrophysics and cosmology. New telescopes are being designed, such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), whose science goals range from astrobiology and strong field gravity, to the probe of early epochs in the Universe when the first stars formed. These instruments will target orders of magnitudes of improvement in resolution and sensitivity. In this context, they will have to cope with extremely large data sets. Associated imaging techniques thus literally need to be re-invented over the next few years. The emerging theory of compressive sampling (CS) represents a significant evolution in sampling theory. It demonstrates that signals with sparse representations may be recovered from sub-Nyquist sampling through adequate iterative algorithms. CIRI will build on the theoretical and algorithmic versatility of CS and leverage new advanced sparsity and sampling concepts to define, from acquisition to reconstruction, next-generation CS techniques for ultra-high resolution wide-band RI imaging and calibration techniques. The new techniques, and the associated fast algorithms capable of handling extremely large data sets on multi-core computing architectures, will be validated on simulated and real data. Astronomical imaging is not only a target, but also an essential means to trigger novel generic developments in signal processing. CIRI indeed aims to provide significant advances for compressive imaging thereby reinforcing the CS revolution, which finds applications all over science and technology, in particular in biomedical imaging. CIRI is thus expected to impact science, economy, and society by developing new imaging technologies essential to support forthcoming challenges in astronomy, and by delivering a new class of compressive imaging algorithms that can in turn be transferred to many applications, starting with biomedical imaging.


Lignocellulose is a complex substrate which requires a variety of enzymes, acting in synergy, for its complete hydrolysis. These synergistic interactions between different enzymes have been investigated in order to design optimal combinations and ratios of enzymes for different lignocellulosic substrates that have been subjected to different pretreatments. This review examines the enzymes required to degrade various components of lignocellulose and the impact of pretreatments on the lignocellulose components and the enzymes required for degradation. Many factors affect the enzymes and the optimisation of the hydrolysis process, such as enzyme ratios, substrate loadings, enzyme loadings, inhibitors, adsorption and surfactants. Consideration is also given to the calculation of degrees of synergy and yield. A model is further proposed for the optimisation of enzyme combinations based on a selection of individual or commercial enzyme mixtures. The main area for further study is the effect of and interaction between different hemicellulases on complex substrates. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Lu H.,Nanjing University | Lu H.,Hangzhou Normal University | MacK J.,Rhodes University | Yang Y.,Nanjing University | Shen Z.,Nanjing University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

This review focuses on classifying different types of long wavelength absorbing BODIPY dyes based on the wide range of structural modification methods that have been adopted, and on tabulating their spectral and photophysical properties. The structure-property relationships are analyzed in depth with reference to molecular modeling calculations, so that the effectiveness of the different structural modification strategies for shifting the main BODIPY spectral bands to longer wavelengths can be readily compared, along with their effects on the fluorescence quantum yield (ΦF) values. This should facilitate the future rational design of red/NIR region BODIPY dyes for a wide range of different applications. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Nyokong T.,Rhodes University
Structure and Bonding | Year: 2010

This chapter discusses the electronic absorption spectra and electrochemistry of phthalocyanine complexes which are redshifted to ∼730 nm and beyond. These are mainly manganese phthalocyanine derivatives and phthalocyanines containing sulfur substituents. The chapter concentrates mainly on the work done during the last 10 years. There are 96 references quoted and three detailed tables on the electronic absorption spectra, redox potentials, and analytes that are electrocatalyzed using manganese and titanium phthalocyanine complexes. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010.


The 40th anniversary of the initial development of the Pitman rainfall-runoff (developed in South Africa and widely applied throughout southern Africa) approximately coincides with the end of the IAHS PUB programme and the start of a new decade focussing on hydrological change (Panta Rhei) and society. The paper reviews the developments and applications of the Pitman model in the context of the appropriate outcomes of PUB and the proposed future directions of Panta Rhei. The focus of development of the Pitman model has been dominated by practical applications, while PUB was largely dominated by science issues. While some of the PUB principles have been applied with the Pitman model, there are others that are deemed inappropriate for practical modelling and others that would almost certainly benefit the Pitman model applications in the future. The paper includes discussions of the model structure, input data, parameters and output evaluations - all in the context of uncertainty. The capabilities of the model to address societal development impacts are also discussed and a brief example of an uncertainty approach to applying the model is provided. The conclusions are that some developments of the Pitman model anticipated more recent international developments, while others have not been ignored even if further efforts are required to effectively implement them. Perhaps the largest gap in applying uncertainty principles in practice is how to use them in water resources decision making. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Bailey T.L.,University of Queensland | MacHanick P.,Rhodes University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

Genome-wide binding data from transcription factor ChIP-seq experiments is the best source of information for inferring the relative DNA-binding affinity of these proteins in vivo. However, standard motif enrichment analysis and motif discovery approaches sometimes fail to correctly identify the binding motif for the ChIP-ed factor. To overcome this problem, we propose 'central motif enrichment analysis' (CMEA), which is based on the observation that the positional distribution of binding sites matching the direct-binding motif tends to be unimodal, well centered and maximal in the precise center of the ChIP-seq peak regions. We describe a novel visualization and statistical analysis tool-CentriMo-that identifies the region of maximum central enrichment in a set of ChIP-seq peak regions and displays the positional distributions of predicted sites. Using CentriMo for motif enrichment analysis, we provide evidence that one transcription factor (Nanog) has different binding affinity in vivo than in vitro, that another binds DNA cooperatively (E2f1), and confirm the in vivo affinity of NFIC, rescuing a difficult ChIP-seq data set. In another data set, CentriMo strongly suggests that there is no evidence of direct DNA binding by the ChIP-ed factor (Smad1). CentriMo is now part of the MEME Suite software package available at http://meme.nbcr.net. All data and output files presented here are available at: http://research.imb.uq.edu.au/t.bailey/sd/Bailey2011a. © 2012 The Author(s).


In 2001 Marc Prensky coined the phrase 'digital natives' to refer to the new generation of students who have grown up surrounded by technology. His companion papers spurred large amounts of research, debating changes that are required to curricula and pedagogical models to cater for the changes in the student population. This article reports on a study conducted in 2009 of more than 290 first year students at two South African universities. In this study, students were asked about their access to and use of technology. The results portrayed a heterogeneous student population, with varying levels of access to and use of most technologies. One of Prensky's key features of a digital native is their excitement with Web 2.0 based technologies. Participants in this study however, appear not to use such technologies, and to not be interested in using them in their studies. One tool that students had high levels of access to (98.1%), and use of is the mobile phone. Out of all uses of technology surveyed, tasks involving the mobile phone were ranked in the top two positions. Also when asked to rank different uses of technology particularly for their studies, three of the top five uses relied on a mobile phone. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 62.13K | Year: 2015

The oceans are not warming evenly and those areas that are warming fastest are becoming the worlds natural laboratories for research to increase scientific understanding, knowledge and tools to allow us to adapt wisely, efficiently and effectively in order to meet the challenges of a warming environment. Such hotspots occur in all regions of the globe, from polar to tropical, and affect developed and developing countries. However, poor coastal communities in low-income countries are those where the impact will be felt most acutely, and where impacts of climate change are most likely to exacerbate existing inequalities and social tension. There are no simple, conventional solutions to addressing adaptation to climate change in poor communities. Practical experience and scientific information from these areas is limited and there is an urgent need to improve and test the theories that underpins existing efforts. This project will develop an innovative rapid approach to integrate and apply global scientific and local information and knowledge. The approach will be applied in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries affected by a marine hotspot and will work as a case study for applying to other global hotspots. At its core is an expert workshop, which will bring together a multi-disciplinary team of world-leading researchers with experience from climate change adaptation on the larger, global-scale, regional experts and specialists with detailed knowledge of the hotspot area, and community representatives who can provide a rich local understanding, knowledge and context. Together they will identify key areas of environmental change and their likely consequences for local populations. They will explore adaptive solutions, develop recommendations for future action to minimize societal impacts on low-income communities in the hotspot region, and most use experiences and information from this participatory process to develop and test current theories for developing climate change adaptation strategies. The scientific insights generated by the research will be included in a synthesis paper, and in dissemination/awareness materials targeting the local audience. While this project will not be able to test current theories by implementation, it will provide a valuable opportunity for intensive discussion and exchange on adaptive solutions between experts in the theory and coastal stakeholders who are intimately familiar with their own circumstances and needs. The outcomes from the project will therefore enrich current understanding of adaptation and adaptive capacity and generate proposals for revising it where necessary.

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