University of Highlands and Islands

Thurso, United Kingdom

University of Highlands and Islands

Thurso, United Kingdom
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Rolin C.,University of Highlands and Islands | Inkster R.,University of Highlands and Islands | Laing J.,University of Highlands and Islands | McEvoy L.,University of Highlands and Islands
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2017

The meristem of the kelps Laminaria digitata and Saccharina latissima is located at the base of the blade, growth can therefore continue when the distal blade is lost due to erosion or harvesting. The aim of the study was to determine the regrowth potential of cultivated kelp in the Shetland Islands (UK) to assess feasibility of harvesting twice in one growing season. Laminaria digitata and S. latissima grown on longlines at sea were sampled between March and August, and harvested either at the stipe (whole) or 10 cm above the stipe-blade transition zone (partial) May–August. Image analysis was used to estimate blade length, width, area and fouled area. S. latissima increased in length more than L. digitata between March and August, and in August, while whole S. latissima experienced a net loss in length, partially cut blades had a net increase. Whole blades significantly increased in length for both species but only partially cut S. latissima significantly regrew. In late summer, severe biofouling by tunicates made up 12 and 27% of the biomass at two sites. Interestingly, S. latissima was less fouled than L. digitata. Consequently, S. latissima shows the greatest potential for the application of partial cutting to improve cultivated biomass yields. However, the period for regrowth is limited by low yields in early spring and blade degradation in late summer. In order to optimise biomass yields, further understanding is needed on the abiotic and biotic factors that control growth and biofouling on natural and farmed seaweed. © 2017 The Author(s)

Nall C.R.,University of Highlands and Islands | Schlappy M.-L.,University of Highlands and Islands | Guerin A.J.,Northumbria University
Biofouling | Year: 2017

Wave energy devices are novel structures in the marine environment and, as such, provide a unique habitat for biofouling organisms. In this study, destructive scrape samples and photoquadrats were used to characterise the temperate epibenthic community present on prototypes of the Pelamis wave energy converter. The biofouling observed was extensive and diverse with 115 taxa recorded including four non-native species. Vertical zonation was identified on the sides of the device, with an algae-dominated shallow subtidal area and a deeper area characterised by a high proportion of suspension-feeding invertebrates. Differences in species composition and biomass were also observed between devices, along the length of the device and between sampling dates. This research provides an insight into the variation of biofouling assemblages on a wave energy device as well as the potential technical and ecological implications associated with biofouling on marine renewable energy structures. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Consuegra S.,University of Swansea | John E.,University of Swansea | Verspoor E.,University of Highlands and Islands | de Leaniz C.G.,University of Swansea
Genetics Selection Evolution | Year: 2015

Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is frequently used in population genetic studies and is usually considered as a neutral marker. However, given the functional importance of the proteins encoded by the mitochondrial genome, and the prominent role of mitochondria in cellular energy production, the assumption of neutrality is increasingly being questioned. Results: We tested for evidence of selection on the mitochondrial genome of the Atlantic salmon, which is a locally adapted and widely farmed species and is distributed across a large latitudinal cline. We analysed 20 independent regions of the salmon mtDNA that represented nine genes (ND1, ND2, ND3, COX1, COX2, ATP6, ND4, ND5, and CYTB). These 20 mtDNA regions were sequenced using a 454 approach from samples collected across the entire European range of this species. We found evidence of positive selection at the ND1, ND3 and ND4 genes, which is supported by at least two different codon-based methods and also by differences in the chemical properties of the amino acids involved. The geographical distribution of some of the mutations indicated to be under selection was not random, and some mutations were private to artic populations. We discuss the possibility that selection acting on the Atlantic salmon mtDNA genome might be related to the need for increased metabolic efficiency at low temperatures. Conclusions: The analysis of sequences representing nine mitochondrial genes that are involved in the OXPHOS pathway revealed signatures of positive selection in the mitochondrial genome of the Atlantic salmon. The properties of the amino acids involved suggest that some of the mutations that were identified to be under positive selection might have functional implications, possibly in relation to metabolic efficiency. Experimental evidence, and better understanding of regional phylogeographic structuring, are needed to clarify the potential role of selection acting on the mitochondrial genome of Atlantic salmon and other locally adapted fishes. © 2015 Consuegra et al.

Bourret V.,Laval University | Kent M.P.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Primmer C.R.,University of Turku | Vasemagi A.,University of Turku | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is one of the most extensively studied fish species in the world due to its significance in aquaculture, fisheries and ongoing conservation efforts to protect declining populations. Yet, limited genomic resources have hampered our understanding of genetic architecture in the species and the genetic basis of adaptation to the wide range of natural and artificial environments it occupies. In this study, we describe the development of a medium-density Atlantic salmon single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array based on expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and genomic sequencing. The array was used in the most extensive assessment of population genetic structure performed to date in this species. A total of 6176 informative SNPs were successfully genotyped in 38 anadromous and freshwater wild populations distributed across the species natural range. Principal component analysis clearly differentiated European and North American populations, and within Europe, three major regional genetic groups were identified for the first time in a single analysis. We assessed the potential for the array to disentangle neutral and putative adaptive divergence of SNP allele frequencies across populations and among regional groups. In Europe, secondary contact zones were identified between major clusters where endogenous and exogenous barriers could be associated, rendering the interpretation of environmental influence on potentially adaptive divergence equivocal. A small number of markers highly divergent in allele frequencies (outliers) were observed between (multiple) freshwater and anadromous populations, between northern and southern latitudes, and when comparing Baltic populations to all others. We also discuss the potential future applications of the SNP array for conservation, management and aquaculture. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Connelly J.,University of Highlands and Islands | Kirk A.,University of Strathclyde | Masthoff J.,University of Aberdeen | Macrury S.,University of Highlands and Islands
Diabetic Medicine | Year: 2013

Introduction: With increasing evidence available on the importance of physical activity in the management of Type 2 diabetes, there has been an increase in technology-based interventions. This review provides a systematic and descriptive assessment of the effectiveness of technology to promote physical activity in people with Type 2 diabetes. For this review, technology included mobile phones and text messages, websites, CD-ROMs and computer-learning-based technology, and excluded telephone calls. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted to retrieve articles from January 2001 to March 2013 using the following databases: the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and PubMed. Articles had to describe an intervention that used technology to promote physical activity in people with Type 2 diabetes. A methodological quality assessment of the studies was conducted and data synthesis was performed. Results: In total, 15 articles were eligible for review: web-based (9), mobile phone (3), CD-ROM (2) and computer based (1). All studies found an increase in physical activity but only nine were significant. The use of a personal coach, logbooks and reinforcement strategies such as phone calls and email counselling were found to be effective components for behaviour change. No studies were ranked as low in terms of methodological quality. Conclusions: Technology-based interventions to promote physical activity are effective; using further methods to promote participant adherence is associated with greater benefit. Further research should look into strategies to enhance adherence and sustainability in order to increase the effectiveness of technology-based physical activity intervention in diabetes care. © 2013 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2013 Diabetes UK.

McKendrick D.R.A.,Dr Grays Hospital | McKendrick D.R.A.,University of Aberdeen | Cumming G.P.,University of Aberdeen | Cumming G.P.,Dr Grays Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Medical Internet Research | Year: 2012

Background: Most consider Twitter as a tool purely for social networking. However, it has been used extensively as a tool for online discussion at nonmedical and medical conferences, and the academic benefits of this tool have been reported. Most anesthetists still have yet to adopt this new educational tool. There is only one previously published report of the use of Twitter by anesthetists at an anesthetic conference. This paper extends that work. Objective: We report the uptake and growth in the use of Twitter, a microblogging tool, at an anesthetic conference and review the potential use of Twitter as an educational tool for anesthetists. Methods: A unique Twitter hashtag (#WSM12) was created and promoted by the organizers of the Winter Scientific Meeting held by The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) in London in January 2012. Twitter activity was compared with Twitter activity previously reported for the AAGBI Annual Conference (September 2011 in Edinburgh). All tweets posted were categorized according to the person making the tweet and the purpose for which they were being used. The categories were determined from a literature review. Results: A total of 227 tweets were posted under the #WSM12 hashtag representing a 530% increase over the previously reported anesthetic conference. Sixteen people joined the Twitter stream by using this hashtag (300% increase). Excellent agreement (κ = 0.924) was seen in the classification of tweets across the 11 categories. Delegates primarily tweeted to create and disseminate notes and learning points (55%), describe which session was attended, undertake discussions, encourage speakers, and for social reasons. In addition, the conference organizers, trade exhibitors, speakers, and anesthetists who did not attend the conference all contributed to the Twitter stream. The combined total number of followers of those who actively tweeted represented a potential audience of 3603 people. Conclusions: This report demonstrates an increase in uptake and growth in the use of Twitter at an anesthetic conference and the review illustrates the opportunities and benefits for medical education in the future.

Woolf D.K.,University of Highlands and Islands | Goddijn-Murphy L.,University of Highlands and Islands
European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP | Year: 2012

A number of geochemical processes are dependent on bubbles primarily produced by "whitecapping" breaking waves, notably primary marine aerosol production, bubble-mediated gas exchange and the renewal of the organically rich surface marine microlayer. It is convenient to predict the magnitude of these processes through a "whitecap method" that then requires whitecap coverage to be measured or predicted. Whitecap coverage is difficult to define and harder to measure. There is adequate evidence that whitecap coverage (and thus by implication, the processes driven by it) do not simply depend on wind speed. Typically whitecap coverage may vary by a factor of two either side of a geometric mean for a given wind speed in response to changes in sea state. Both parametric and relatively direct methods of retrieving whitecap coverage require further development. © 2012 European Space Agency.

Annamalai A.S.K.,University of Highlands and Islands | Yang C.,University of Plymouth | Yang C.,South China University of Technology
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2015

The purpose of this research is to provide an insight into the effect of different parameters on the autopilot design. Various independent parameters of three autopilots namely, proportional integral derivative, linear quadratic regulator and model predictive controller are analyzed and evaluated to obtain optimum performance. Further these optimal parameters are employed in a controller design which is integrated with a Kalman filter and an interval Kalman filter based navigation system and a line of sight based guidance system. Overall performance of the autopilots with the optimum parameters are presented in a tabular form to enable easier comparison and to serve as a benchmark to tune autopilot parameters of an uninhabited surface vehicles. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Nall C.R.,University of Highlands and Islands | Guerin A.J.,Northumbria University | Elizabeth J.,Scottish Association for Marine Science
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2015

In this study, we compiled existing records of fouling marine non-native species in Scotland, and created a national checklist of these species. We then targeted a selection of these species (excluding those that could not be reliably identified) in a rapid assessment survey of 27 harbours in the north of Scotland. Collation of existing records revealed that 23 fouling marine non-native species were known to be present in Scotland. The geographic distribution of these records was not uniform, and they were largely underrepresented in the north and east of mainland Scotland, likely as result of lack of survey effort. In the rapid assessment survey of north Scotland, 9 out of 18 targeted species were found: Austrominius modestus (Darwin, 1854); Botrylloides violaceus Oka, 1927; Caprella mutica Schurin, 1935; Codium fragile fragile (Suringar) Hariot, 1889; Corella eumyota Traustedt, 1882; Heterosiphonia japonica Yendo, 1920; Neosiphonia harveyi (Bailey) Kim, Choi, Guiry and Saunders, 2001; Schizoporella japonica Ortmann, 1890; and Tricellaria inopinata d'Hondt and Occhipinti Ambrogi, 1985. The non-native bryozoan Bugula simplex Hincks, 1886, which was not targeted, was also found, and this constituted the first confirmed Scottish record. The surveys provided 60 new records and extended the northward national range for most of the species found. The number of fouling non-native species in the surveyed harbours was positively associated with the presence of floating structures and vessel activity indices. Our study presents an overview of the current status of fouling marine non-native species in Scotland, and the results of the first comprehensive survey of these species in the north of Scotland. The latter provides a baseline dataset for monitoring future changes, which may occur as a result of the development of the wave and tidal energy industry in the north of Scotland. The wave and tidal energy industry has the potential to facilitate the invasion of fouling marine non-native species through the provision of habitat and by increasing vector activity. © 2015 The Author(s).

Medek M.,University of Highlands and Islands
Rekreace a Ochrana Prirody - Sbornik Prispevku | Year: 2010

The paper briefly introduces history of interpretation and uses reveals its potential for conservation management, regional development and lifelong education. Systematic approach to interpretation based on interpretation planning in identified as the key factor of successful and effective interpretation delivery. The paper introduces 3 methods of interpretation planning and focuses on 5M model introduced by Lisa Brochu. Application of theoretical principles is demonstrated on examples from UK and the Czech Republic.

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