Southern Cross University of Australia

www.scu.edu.au
Lismore, Australia

Southern Cross University is a research intensive Australian public university. Campuses are located on the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia and southern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It also operates The Hotel School Sydney in partnership with Mulpha Australia. Close to 15,000 students are enrolled at Southern Cross University, studying on campus and via distance education. International students come from 80 countries to study onshore and it collaborates with institutions offshore in Singapore, China, Uzbekistan and New Zealand.Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are delivered through seven academic schools and Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. The University also operates SCU College delivering two-year associate degrees.In the Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 Report, Southern Cross University achieved “well above world standard” in six fields of research including geochemistry, zoology, crop and pasture production and forestry science.Southern Cross University offers courses in arts, education, social science, business, tourism, law, health, indigenous studies, and environmental science. It introduced civil engineering in 2013. Wikipedia.

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Benkendorff K.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Marine Drugs | Year: 2013

The predatory marine gastropod Dicathais orbita has been the subject of a significant amount of biological and chemical research over the past five decades. Natural products research on D. orbita includes the isolation and identification of brominated indoles and choline esters as precursors of Tyrian purple, as well as the synthesis of structural analogues, bioactivity testing, biodistributional and biosynthetic studies. Here I also report on how well these compounds conform to Lipinski's rule of five for druglikeness and their predicted receptor binding and enzyme inhibitor activity. The composition of mycosporine-like amino acids, fatty acids and sterols has also been described in the egg masses of D. orbita. The combination of bioactive compounds produced by D. orbita is of interest for further studies in chemical ecology, as well as for future nutraceutical development. Biological insights into the life history of this species, as well as ongoing research on the gene expression, microbial symbionts and biosynthetic capabilities, should facilitate sustainable production of the bioactive compounds. Knowledge of the phylogeny of D. orbita provides an excellent platform for novel research into the evolution of brominated secondary metabolites in marine molluscs. The range of polarities in the brominated indoles produced by D. orbita has also provided an effective model system used to develop a new method for biodistributional studies. The well characterized suite of chemical reactions that generate Tyrian purple, coupled with an in depth knowledge of the ecology, anatomy and genetics of D. orbita provide a good foundation for ongoing natural products research. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI.


Young M.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Addiction Research and Theory | Year: 2013

In this essay I examine the relationship between commercial gambling, framed as one example of global capitalist development, and the ways in which western societies respond to the social harms this activity produces. As a starting point, I historically locate a concern with risky gambling as a manifestation of the societal desire to categorise and control statistically deviant populations. I then critically examine the pathological gambler category and the prevalence surveys that have proliferated in recent times to define and populate it. Even on their own terms, these studies are seriously flawed, yet surprisingly tend to go unchallenged. This apparent contradiction may be explained by interpreting prevalence studies as a necessary precondition for the reproduction of the gambling industries. Prevalence studies serve as an epistemological device for the perpetuation of social categories that, through the transfer of risk from producers to consumers, allow for the reproduction of the gambling industries both discursively and economically. In their place, I propose a broader research agenda that challenges the conceptual and policy space explicitly and implicitly circumscribed by prevalence research. I conclude with a reflexive call for a re-evaluation of the role of the academy within this system one that is increasingly fraught with political expediency and moral jeopardy. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.


Vanclay J.K.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2011

As part of its program of 'Excellence in Research for Australia' (ERA), the Australian Research Council ranked journals into four categories (A*, A, B, and C) in preparation for their performance evaluation of Australian universities. The ranking is important because it likely to have a major impact on publication choices and research dissemination in Australia. The ranking is problematic because it is evident that some disciplines have been treated very differently than others. This paper reveals weaknesses in the ERA journal ranking and highlights the poor correlation between ERA rankings and other acknowledged metrics of journal standing. It highlights the need for a reasonable representation of journals ranked as A* in each scientific discipline. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Vanclay J.K.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Scientometrics | Year: 2012

A review of Garfield's journal impact factor and its specific implementation as the Thomson Reuters impact factor reveals several weaknesses in this commonly-used indicator of journal standing. Key limitations include the mismatch between citing and cited documents, the deceptive display of three decimals that belies the real precision, and the absence of confidence intervals. These are minor issues that are easily amended and should be corrected, but more substantive improvements are needed. There are indications that the scientific community seeks and needs better certification of journal procedures to improve the quality of published science. Comprehensive certification of editorial and review procedures could help ensure adequate procedures to detect duplicate and fraudulent submissions. © 2011 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.


Vanclay J.K.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2013

Analysis of 131 publications during 2006-2007 by staff of the School of Environmental Science and Management at Southern Cross University reveals that the journal impact factor, article length and type (i.e., article or review), and journal self-citations affect the citations accrued to 2012. Authors seeking to be well cited should aim to write comprehensive and substantial review articles, and submit them to journals with a high impact factor which has previously carried articles on the topic. Nonetheless, strategic placement of articles is complementary to, and no substitute for careful crafting of good quality research. Evidence remains equivocal regarding the contribution of an author's prior publication success (h-index) and of open-access journals. © 2012.


Gilleard W.L.,Southern Cross University of Australia
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2013

Background: A longitudinal repeated measures design over pregnancy and post-birth, with a control group would provide insight into the mechanical adaptations of the body under conditions of changing load during a common female human lifespan condition, while minimizing the influences of inter human differences. The objective was to investigate systematic changes in the range of motion for the pelvic and thoracic segments of the spine, the motion between these segments (thoracolumbar spine) and temporospatial characteristics of step width, stride length and velocity during walking as pregnancy progresses and post-birth.Methods: Nine pregnant women were investigated when walking along a walkway at a self-selected velocity using an 8 camera motion analysis system on four occasions throughout pregnancy and once post birth. A control group of twelve non-pregnant nulliparous women were tested on three occasions over the same time period. The existence of linear trends for change was investigated.Results: As pregnancy progresses there was a significant linear trend for increase in step width (p = 0.05) and a significant linear trend for decrease in stride length (p = 0.05). Concurrently there was a significant linear trend for decrease in the range of motion of the pelvic segment (p = 0.03) and thoracolumbar spine (p = 0.01) about a vertical axis (side to side rotation), and the pelvic segment (p = 0.04) range of motion around an anterio-posterior axis (side tilt). Post-birth, step width readapted whereas pelvic (p = 0.02) and thoracic (p < 0.001) segment flexion-extension range of motion decreased and increased respectively. The magnitude of all changes was greater than that accounted for with natural variability with re testing.Conclusions: As pregnancy progressed and post-birth there were significant linear trends seen in biomechanical changes when walking at a self-determined natural speed that were greater than that accounted for by natural variability with repeated testing. Not all adaptations were resolved by eight weeks post birth. © 2013 Gilleard; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Reichelt-Brushett A.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Oceanography | Year: 2012

Mining is an important contribution to the economy of many developing tropical regions. Many sites of mining interest in the tropics have island geographies and potentially limited land area. While the limited land area may drive consideration of tailings disposal to the ocean, it is important to recognize that local communities depend on the ocean as a major supplier of dietary protein. Impact assessment of tailings disposal to the ocean is usually limited by budgets and time frames that result in a limited capacity to understand longer-term risks to food chains and marine ecosystems, including the interactions between deeper-and shallower-water ecosystems. This article reviews three factors-tailing characterization, ecotoxicology, and bioaccumulation/biomagnifications-in relation to the current application of these methods to risk assessment of submarine tailings disposal (STD), and it identifies ways to improve current practices. A decision-tree approach has been developed specific to STD risk assessment for implementation at the pre-proposal stage of a project. This decision tree highlights the urgent need for development and application of suitable and relevant risk assessment tools for tropical marine environments and identifies opportunities for intergovernmental standards for risk assessment of marine disposal of mine tailings within the framework of the Coral Triangle Initiative. © 2012 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.


Woinarski J.C.Z.,Charles Darwin University | Harrison P.L.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

The highly distinctive and mostly endemic Australian land mammal fauna has suffered an extraordinary rate of extinction (>10% of the 273 endemic terrestrial species) over the last ∼200 y: in comparison, only one native land mammal from continental North America became extinct since European settlement. A further 21% of Australian endemic land mammal species are now assessed to be threatened, indicating that the rate of loss (of one to two extinctions per decade) is likely to continue. Australia's marine mammals have fared better overall, but status assessment for them is seriously impeded by lack of information. Much of the loss of Australian land mammal fauna (particularly in the vast deserts and tropical savannas) has been in areas that are remote from human population centers and recognized as relatively unmodified at global scale. In contrast to general patterns of extinction on other continents where the main cause is habitat loss, hunting, and impacts of human development, particularly in areas of high and increasing human population pressures, the loss of Australian land mammals is most likely due primarily to predation by introduced species, particularly the feral cat, Felis catus, and European red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and changed fire regimes. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Krishnan S G.,Southern Cross University of Australia
PloS one | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia.RESULTS: We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts). Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection.CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.


Henry R.J.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Plant Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2010

The potential of plants to replace fossil oil was evaluated by considering the scale of production required, the area of land needed and the types of plants available. High yielding crops (50 tonnes/ha) that have a high conversion efficiency (75%) would require a global land footprint of around 100 million ha to replace current (2008) oil consumption. Lower yielding or less convertible plants would require a larger land footprint. Domestication of new species as dedicated energy crops may be necessary. A systematic analysis of higher plants and their current and potential uses is presented. Plant biotechnology provides tools to improve the prospects of replacing oil with plant-derived biomass by increasing the amount of biomass produced per unit area of land and improving the composition of the biomass to increase the efficiency of conversion to biofuel and biomaterials. Options for the production of high value coproducts and the expression of processing aids such as enzymes in the plant may add further value to plants as bioenergy resources. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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