Stirling, United Kingdom

University of Stirling

www.stir.ac.uk
Stirling, United Kingdom

The University of Stirling is a campus university founded by Royal charter in 1967, on the Airthrey Estate in Stirling, Scotland. Stirling University is a plate glass university, along with Heriot-Watt University and the University of Strathclyde. These increased the number of universities in Scotland from four to eight. Stirling was however the only completely new institution of its kind established in Scotland since the University of Edinburgh was founded in 1582.The campus was selected from a shortlist of competing sites that also included Dumfries, Inverness, Ayr, Falkirk, Perth and Cumbernauld. The report's author, Lord Robbins, was later appointed the University's first Chancellor in 1968. Wikipedia.

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Little A.C.,University of Stirling
Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2013

Steroid sex hormones are responsible for some of the differences between men and women. In this article, I review evidence that steroid sex hormones impact on visual processing. Given prominent sex-differences, I focus on three topics for sex hormone effects for which there is most research available: 1. Preference and mate choice, 2. Emotion and recognition, and 3. Cerebral/perceptual asymmetries and visual-spatial abilities. For each topic, researchers have examined sex hormones and visual processing using various methods. I review indirect evidence addressing variation according to: menstrual cycle phase, pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. I further address studies of variation in testosterone and a measure of prenatal testosterone, 2D:4D, on visual processing. The most conclusive evidence, however, comes from experiments. Studies in which hormones are administrated are discussed. Overall, many studies demonstrate that sex steroids are associated with visual processing. However, findings are sometimes inconsistent, differences in methodology make strong comparisons between studies difficult, and we generally know more about activational than organizational effects. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Phillips W.A.,University of Stirling
Brain and Cognition | Year: 2017

Evidence for the hypothesis that input to the apical tufts of neocortical pyramidal cells plays a central role in cognition by amplifying their responses to feedforward input is reviewed. Apical tufts are electrically remote from the soma, and their inputs come from diverse sources including direct feedback from higher cortical regions, indirect feedback via the thalamus, and long-range lateral connections both within and between cortical regions. This suggests that input to tuft dendrites may amplify the cell's response to basal inputs that they receive via layer 4 and which have synapses closer to the soma. ERP data supporting this inference is noted. Intracellular studies of apical amplification (AA) and of disamplification by inhibitory interneurons targeted only at tufts are reviewed. Cognitive processes that have been related to them by computational, electrophysiological, and psychopathological studies are then outlined. These processes include: figure-ground segregation and Gestalt grouping; contextual disambiguation in perception and sentence comprehension; priming; winner-take-all competition; attention and working memory; setting the level of consciousness; cognitive control; and learning. It is argued that theories in cognitive neuroscience should not assume that all neurons function as integrate-and-fire point processors, but should use the capabilities of cells with distinct sites of integration for driving and modulatory inputs. Potentially ‘unifying’ theories that depend upon these capabilities are reviewed. It is concluded that evolution of the primitives of AA and disamplification in neocortex may have extended cognitive capabilities beyond those built from the long-established primitives of excitation, inhibition, and disinhibition. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2016

DIAPHORA serves as a European research and training platform for collaborative research on the nature of philosophical problems, their resilience and the sources of persistent divergence of expert opinion about them, and their relation to conflicts in the practical sphere. More specifically, DIAPHORAs 3 principal research objectives are (A) to diagnose what makes philosophical problems so resilient and to clarify to what extent the sustained lack of convergence in philosophy can successfully be explained by the hardness of its problems; (B) to explain why the tendency has not been towards a general agnosticism about candidate solutions, but rather towards divergence, and to identify features of philosophical method that allow for such persistent peer disagreement; and (C) to explore whether the dynamics of philosophical debate, despite the subjects highly theoretical nature, bears important and instructive resemblances to the dynamics of debates about more practical matters and their political and socio-economical antecedents and hence whether philosophical problems and their attempted resolution can illuminate, and be illuminated by, the procedural and methodological difficulties besetting strategies for the adjudication of public affairs, thereby determining what philosophical thought might contribute to society at large. DIAPHORA joins 7 leading European research centres in philosophy, and 5 partner organisations, 3 of which from the non-academic sector, in the fields of international conflict management, mediation and policy-making, as well as the analysis of social conflict and cultural diversity. It undertakes to provide 14 Early Stage Researchers with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the demands of top-level research within its remit, as well as professional complementary skills training in both the academic and non-academic sectors, with the goal of widening their potential societal contributions and improving their individual career prospects.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 395.14K | Year: 2017

The UK aquaculture sector contributes around £600 million to a UK seafood industry worth at £6.3 billion in 2016. The UK seafood market is complex and includes large added value through wild fish imports, and both wild and farmed seafood exports. Within the UK the aquaculture sector in England, Wales and N. Ireland collectively produce 19,000 metric tons (mt) of shellfish and 9,200 mt of trout, with production coming mainly from SMEs. Scotland is a major producer of Atlantic salmon (>163,000 mt; third largest producer globally) and the industry is both highly consolidated and export focused. In Scotland there is also significant trout (6,000 mt) and shellfish (6,300 mt) production. There is also a significant and expanding aquaculture industry in England, Wales and Ireland, most notably for shellfish with the largest single UK shellfish farm in Southwest England. In order for the UK to remain competitive within this rapidly growing sector it is essential that the expansion of the industry is supported by high quality, innovative research to better understand the basic biology, health and environmental interactions of farmed fish and shellfish and to ensure a sustainable future. In this application it is proposed that a single aquaculture network called the Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub-UK (ARCH-UK) will be established operating through two groups, the Finfish Aquaculture Group and the Shellfish Aquaculture Group to support the development of scientific knowledge and technological capability to help to provide solutions to the shared and specific issues preventing growth in all sectors in the UK aquaculture industry. ARCH will develop a community of academic based researchers and related businesses to foster collaborative activities to help identify and develop new approaches to tackle major research and innovation challenges and to help deliver key benefits to the UK aquaculture sector. The network will draw in researchers from the main disciplin of biological and environmental sciences and will actively engage with researchers from engineering, economics, social science, remote sensing and computational modelling.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

Resolving conflicts between food security and biodiversity conservation under uncertainty Conflicts between food security and biodiversity conservation are increasing in scale and intensity and have been shown to be damaging for both biodiversity and human livelihoods. Uncertainty, for example from climate change, decreases food security, puts further pressure on biodiversity and exacerbates conflicts. I propose to develop a novel model that predicts solutions to conflicts between biodiversity conservation and food security under uncertainty. ConFooBio will integrate game theory and social-ecological modelling to develop new theory to resolve conservation conflicts. ConFooBio will implement a three-tiered approach 1) characterise and analyse 7 real-world conservation conflicts impacted by uncertainty; 2) develop new game theory that explicitly incorporates uncertainty; and 3) produce and test a flexible social-ecological model, applicable to any real-world conflict where stakeholders operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The project has importance for society at large because ecosystems and their services are central to human wellbeing. Managing a specific natural resource often results in conflict between those stakeholders focussing on improving food security and those focussed on biodiversity conversation. ConFooBio will illuminate resolutions to such conflicts by showing how to achieve win-win scenarios that protect biodiversity and secure livelihoods. In this project, I will develop a practical, transparent and flexible model for the sustainable future of natural resources that is also robust to uncertainty (e.g., climate change); this model will be highly relevant for environmental negotiations among stakeholders with competing objectives, e.g., the negotiations to set the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EO-1-2016 | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2016

EOMORES (Earth Observation-based Services for Monitoring and Reporting of Ecological Status) aims to develop new highly efficient commercial services for operational inland and coastal ecological water quality monitoring. Inland and coastal water bodies constitute essential components of ecology and biodiversity, they buffer climate change and influence many aspects of economy (recreation, fisheries) and human welfare (e.g. drinking water supply). Knowledge about the state of these waters is therefore of great importance. This is recognized by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requiring the EU member states to monitor and improve the status of these water bodies. EOMORES will develop fully-automated commercial, reliable and sustainable services based on the integration of Earth observation (Sentinel 1, 2 and 3), in situ monitoring using optical in situ sensors with integrated GNSS positioning, and ecological modeling. The validated data from these components will be flexibly combined into higher-level products to fit the users information needs. Three service concepts are envisaged: 1) operational water quality monitoring and forecasting for operational water management, 2) implementation of validated EO-based water quality indicators for WFD and other reporting and 3) historic compilation of data for specific ecological analysis. The target users of EOMORES are international, national and regional authorities responsible for monitoring and management of water quality and for WFD reporting. Additional targeted users are private entities dealing with water quality. Thirteen users from six countries have committed to collaborate with the consortium to define and evaluate the EOMORES services. The services are expected to result in lower operational costs, more reliable and more timely water quality datasets for water managers. By introducing these services into the worldwide market, an increase in annual turnover of 3.000.000 by 2020 is expected.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-11b-2015 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2016

Aquaculture is one of five sectors in the EUs Blue Growth Strategy, aimed at harnessing untapped potential for food production and jobs whilst focusing on environmental sustainability. TAPAS addresses this challenge by supporting member states to establish a coherent and efficient regulatory framework aimed at sustainable growth. TAPAS will use a requirements analysis to evaluate existing regulatory and licensing frameworks across the EU, taking account of the range of production environments and specificities and emerging approaches such as offshore technologies, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, and integration with other sectors. We will propose new, flexible approaches to open methods of coordination, working to unified, common standards. TAPAS will also evaluate existing tools for economic assessment of aquaculture sustainability affecting sectoral growth. TAPAS will critically evaluate the capabilities and verification level of existing ecosystem planning tools and will develop new approaches for evaluation of carrying capacities, environmental impact and future risk. TAPAS will improve existing and develop new models for far- and near-field environmental assessment providing better monitoring, observation, forecasting and early warning technologies. The innovative methodologies and components emerging from TAPAS will be integrated in an Aquaculture Sustainability Toolbox complemented by a decision support system to support the development and implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning enabling less costly, more transparent and more efficient licensing. TAPAS partners will collaborate with key industry regulators and certifiers through case studies to ensure the acceptability and utility of project approach and outcomes. Training, dissemination and outreach activities will specifically target improvement of the image of European aquaculture and uptake of outputs by regulators, while promoting an integrated sustainable strategy for development.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SFS-24-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

EURASTIP will evaluate and prepare for the launch of an international multi-stakeholder platform (MSP), so as to provide a new mechanism to create and reinforce international cooperation on sustainable aquaculture between Europe and South-East Asia and will focus on actions that will provide mutual benefit to both regions. EURASTIP, headed by the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) will create and support 3 National Pilot multi-stakeholder Platforms (NPPs) in major aquaculture producing countries (Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh) and develop road-map models for others in the region, providing the foundation for an international MSP. It will create, develop and reinforce the networking needed for the promotion of B2B partnerships, using European and SE Asian networks, realising international brokerage events and promoting cooperation. EURASTIP will identify and address common standards for aquaculture site planning, animal health, food product safety and farm governance, supporting sustainable aquaculture development. Focus is given to reinforcing professional skills and competences in industry and research, using European and SE Asian education networks and industrial apprenticeship opportunities. The NPPs will develop vision documents, strategic research and innovation agendas (SRIAs), priorities and proposed actions; these will feed into EURASTIP impact measurement and including influence on national and regional policies. Attention is given to widespread dissemination actions, promoting EURASTIP in SE Asia and in Europe, encouraging a strong legacy position. URASTIP will provide recommendations and a plan for the establishment of an international MSP, covering its scope and operation further to the project timeline, leading to reinforced long-term international cooperation efforts and opportunities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-02-2015 | Award Amount: 5.20M | Year: 2016

The overall goal of ClimeFish is to help ensure that the increase in seafood production comes in areas and for species where there is a potential for sustainable growth, given the expected developments in climate, thus contributing to robust employment and sustainable development of rural and coastal communities. The underlying biological models are based on single species distribution and production, as well as multispecies interactions. Forecasting models will provide production scenarios that will serve as input to socio-economic analysis where risks and opportunities are identified, and early warning methodologies are developed. Strategies to mitigate risk and utilize opportunities will be identified in co-creation with stakeholders, and will serve to strengthen the scientific advice, to improve long term production planning and the policy making process. ClimeFish will address 3 production sectors through 16 case studies involving 25 species, and study the predicted effects of 3 pre-defined climate scenarios. For 7 of these cases ClimeFish will develop specific management plans (MPs) coherent with the ecosystem approach and based on a results-based scheme that will allow regulators, fishers and aquaculture operators to anticipate, prepare and adapt to climate change while minimizing economic losses and social consequences. A guideline for how to make climate-enabled MPs will be produced, and published as a low-level, voluntary European standard after a consensus-based open consultation process. As a container for the models, scenarios and MPs ClimeFish will develop the ClimeFish Decision Support Framework (DSF) which also contains the ClimeFish Decision Support System (DSS); a software application with capabilities for what-if analysis and visualization of scenarios. The presence of key international stakeholders in the project will ensure quality and relevance of the project outputs thus ensuring uptake and significant impact also after project end.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-07-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2017

IMAJINE aims to formulate new integrative policy mechanisms to enable European, national and regional government agencies to more effectively address territorial inequalities within the European Union. It responds to evidence that spatial inequalities within the EU are increasing, contrary to the principle of territorial cohesion embedded as a third dimension of the European Social Model in the Treaty of Lisbon, and is particularly timely in examining the geographically differentiated impacts of the post-2008 economic crisis and the adoption of austerity policies. IMAJINE uniquely proposes to address the problem of territorial inequalities through an inter-disciplinary and multi-scalar approach that integrates perspectives from economics, human geography, political science and sociology and combines macro-scale econometric analysis and the generation and analysis of new quantitative survey data with regionally-focused qualitative empirical case study research in 11 EU member states; delivered by a multi-disciplinary and multi-national consortium. As such the research builds on the conceptual and methodological state of the art in several disciplines and advances conceptual understanding and the empirical knowledge base by producing new primary data, applying new analytical tests to secondary data and integrating the results along with insights from relational geographical theory and the concept of spatial justice. In particular, the centrality of spatial justice emphasizes the political as well as economic dimensions of territorial inequalities, and IMAJINE will move beyond existing knowledge by considering relationships between measured and perceived inequalities, models of multi-level policy-making and public service delivery, and support for territorial autonomy movements. IMAJINE will further translate these scientific insights into policy applications through participatory scenario building exercises with governance and civil society stakeholders.

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