University of Western Greece
Agrinio, Greece

Τhe University of Western Greece was a 3-campus university in West Greece. Founded in 2009, in Agrinio, and is the newest university in Greece. On September 2009, the University of Western Greece absorbed three departments that had previously formed part of the University of Ioannina. On April of 2013 it was absorbed by the University of PatrasThe language of instruction is Greek, although there are programs in foreign languages and courses for international students, which are carried out in English, French, German, and Italian.Independent DepartmentsΔιαχείρισης Περιβάλλοντος και Φυσικών Πόρων Διοίκησης Επιχειρήσεων Αγροτικών Προϊόντων και Τροφίμων Διαχείρισης Πολιτισμικού Περιβάλλοντος και Νέων Τεχνολογιών Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.77M | Year: 2013

Pesticides still constitute an integral part of modern agriculture. Upon their release, pesticides interact with soil microbes in contrasting ways. On the one hand they stimulate microbial activity and proliferation of a specific fraction of the microbial community which could utilize them as energy source resulting in their rapid biodegradation and loss of biological efficacy. On the other hand they induce inhibitory effects on the structure and/or on the function of the microbial community, the latter having detrimental effects on ecosystem functioning. So far pesticide legislation has largely ignored these aspects and pesticide soil ecotoxicity tests relies solely on simple C and N mineralization tests which do not provide a reliable assessment of pesticide impact on soil microbes. The introduction of fingerprinting molecular methods, qPCR, high throughput sequencing analysis, microarrays and omics have substantially advanced our knowledge on soil microbial ecology. However, these dynamic tools have not been utilized yet to shed light into soil microbes - pesticides interactions. This project aims to introduce these highly dynamic tools in combination with chemical analysis of pesticides and their metabolites to shed light into those interactions and the factors deciding which way the balance with go (stimulation or inhibition). This will be achieved via collaboration of two industrial and three academic partners with complementary expertise in molecular microbial ecology, soil microbiology, pesticide metabolism and the establishment of a staff exchange scheme. This apart from the achievement of the scientific and technological goals of the project will facilitate technology transfer between partners and open communication channels between Academia - Industry. Further the project is expected to support increasing communication with standardization foundations (ISO) and EU policy making bodies regarding pesticides (EFSA)

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.5-1 | Award Amount: 8.51M | Year: 2012

COBWEB will leverage the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Concentrating initially on the Welsh Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, we will develop a citizens observatory framework, and then validate the work within the context of the UK National Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and internationally, within the WNBR; specifically, within Greek and German Reserves. The infrastructure we develop will exploit technological developments in ubiquitous mobile devices, crowd-sourcing of geographic information and the operationalising of standards based SDI such as the UK Location Information Infrastructure. It will enable citizens living within Biosphere Reserves to collect environmental information on a range of parameters including species distribution, flooding and land cover/use. A main driver will be the opportunity to participate in environmental governance. Data quality issues will be addressed by using networks of people as sensors and by analysing observations and measurements in real-time combination with authoritative models and datasets. The citizens observatory framework will integrate with evolving INSPIRE compliant national SDIs and allow the fusion of citizen sourced data with reference data from public authorities in support of policy objectives. To maximise impact, COBWEB will work within the processes of the standards defining organisations. Specifically, we will aim to improve the usability of Sensor Web Enablement standards with mobile devices, develop widespread acceptance of the data quality measures we develop and maximise the commercial appeal of COBWEB outputs. The end result we are aiming for is a toolkit and a set of models that demonstrably works in different European countries and which is accepted as a core information system component of the WNBR. Implementations of COBWEB will act as models for how technology may be used to empower citizens associations in environmental decision making.

Milios K.T.,Veterinary Service | Drosinos E.H.,Agricultural University of Athens | Zoiopoulos P.E.,University of Western Greece
Food Control | Year: 2014

During validation and verification of the system for the proper implementation of HACCP principles, it is essential to rely on microbiological data. Considerable science research has been carried out during the last twenty years on sampling and testing of carcasses for hygiene criteria. This includes the preferable indicator microorganisms to be used, in order to indicate the general hygiene of slaughtering procedures, the evaluation of microbiological data gathered and the sampling methods. Furthermore, European Union (EU) and the United States have adopted the procedures for HACCP validation and verification in their legislation. The aim of this review is to demonstrate the relevant modern trends in this field of food science. In conclusion, microbiological data based on the indicators should be interpreted only to assess general trends in the hygiene process of the operator in order to take corrective action. Microbiological results, obtained only at the end of the slaughtering process, do not provide information on the cause of the problem. Therefore, 'process-based' microbiological criteria which are based on values measured at various stages of the process, including final carcass values, should be used. Finally, in order to implement an adequate monitoring system, non-destructive techniques of carcass sampling could be used instead of excision. The microbial recovery may be lower, but it is proportional to the excision recovery and therefore, non-destructive techniques, like swabbing with sponges, could be a practical sampling method for the estimation of indicators during the slaughtering procedure and hygiene evaluation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Tassopoulos I.X.,University of Western Greece | Beligiannis G.N.,University of Western Greece
Applied Soft Computing Journal | Year: 2012

In this contribution a hybrid particle swarm optimization (PSO) based algorithm is applied to high school timetabling problems. The proposed PSO based algorithm is used for creating feasible and efficient high school timetables. In order to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed PSO based algorithm, experiments with real-world input data coming from many different Greek high schools have been conducted. Computational results show that the proposed hybrid PSO based algorithm performs better than existing approaches applied to the same school timetabling input instances using the same evaluation criteria. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Giannakas A.E.,University of Western Greece | Antonopoulou M.,University of Western Greece | Deligiannakis Y.,University of Western Greece | Konstantinou I.,University of Western Greece
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2013

Four N-I co-doped TiO2 catalysts having Ti:N/I molar ratios of 1:1, 1:3, 1:5 and 1:10 were prepared via a sol-gel method using NH4I as N-I dopant precursor. A pure TiO2 (undoped) sample was also prepared by the same method for comparison. The catalysts were evaluated for the simultaneous photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) and oxidation of benzoic acid (BA). TiO2 anatase phase was formed for all N-I co-doped catalysts as shown by XRD. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra showed that N-I co-doping resulted in increased absorption at visible wavelengths and a decrease of the band gap energy (Eg). The smallest Eg value of 2.34eV was observed for the 1:5 Ti:N/I molar ratio. The structure and photodynamics of the TiO2 catalysts was investigated in detail by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The EPR data showed: [i] formation of non-photoactive NO centers and photoinduced Nb paramagnetic species as a result of N doping, [ii] photoinduced Ti3+ surface ions, and [iii] formation of surfacial oxygen O2 - radical ions and trapped holes TiO4+-O-. The Nb species act upon the narrowing of the band gap and the production of photogenerated electrons, i.e. Ti3+ surface ions. These Ti3+ surface ions have a key role, capturing gas O2 and supporting both reduction and oxidation process. Cr(VI) reduction by the N-I co-doped catalysts followed the trend: TNI5>TNI10>TNI1>TNI3>TiO2[undoped] which correlates with the concentration of Nb species formed and the narrowing of Eg values. Oxidation of benzoic acid (BA) followed a more complex trend as follows: TNI1>TNI3>TNI10>TNI5 which is the reverse of the trend for trapped holes TiO4+-O-. Finally progressive microwave EPR saturation experiments show that Nb species are located deeper in the TiO2 lattice in particles with narrower Eg values. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Giannakas A.E.,University of Western Greece | Seristatidou E.,University of Western Greece | Deligiannakis Y.,University of Western Greece | Konstantinou I.,University of Western Greece
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2013

N-doped and N-F co-doped TiO2 catalysts were prepared via a sol-gel method using NH4Cl and NH4F as N and N-F dopant precursors, respectively, having Ti:N and/or F molar ratios of 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3. The catalysts were tested for the photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) in the presence of oxalate ions. XRD analysis showed the formation of TiO2 anatase phase in all cases. UV-vis DRS spectra showed that both N-F and N-doping resulted in a decrease in the band gap energy (Eg), at the values of 2.81eV and 3.01eV, respectively. Thus, N-F doped TiO2 showed enhanced absorption at visible wavelengths. The structure and photodynamics of the TiO2 catalysts was investigated in detail by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The EPR data showed that: [i] NO centers, Nb and O2- radicals were formed. In addition, lattice Ti3+ ions were detected in N-F co-doped solids; [ii] the Nb and Ti3+ species were photoactive, while the NO species were non-photoactive. The photocatalytic efficiency for Cr(VI) reduction in the presence of oxalate ions, followed the trend TNF1>TN1>TNF2>TN3>TN2>TNF3. Importantly, an apparent correlation between the catalytic efficiency and the concentration of Nb species was revealed by EPR. The location of Nb in the crystal lattice of TiO2 has been assessed also by measuring their microwave saturation parameters P1/2. Electron capturing by O2 and subsequent generation of O2- was favored for N-doped catalysts. In contrast, in N-F co-doped catalysts, O2 could not compete efficiently with Cr(VI) for the photogenerated electrons in energy states below the conduction band of TiO2, resulting in higher reduction efficiency for these catalysts. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Wind energy resources in the Ionian-Adriatic coast of South-East Europe were analyzed. Status of wind energy development in the countries of Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia and regions of moderate and high wind potential at their west coasts were reviewed. The feasibility of the application of specific wind turbine generators with lower cut-in, cut-out, and rated speeds in moderate wind fields was investigated. The wind speed and direction as well as the availability, the duration, and the diurnal variation of several coastal sites in Western Greece were assessed, and the results were statistically analyzed as time-series or with the Weibull probability distribution function. The mean wind power densities were less than 200 W m -2 at 10 m, suggesting the limiting suitability of the sites for the usual wind energy applications. However, further technical-economical analysis revealed that the recent technological turbine improvements with lower cut-in and rated speeds make wind power viable even at moderate wind fields. Environmental indicators like energy payback period and avoided greenhouse emissions were determined to be significant for the utilization of wind energy resources in these coastal areas. Since the region is important for sea-related activities, the implementation of wind energy applications in the frame of cross-border cooperation should be prioritized. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Rezitis A.N.,University of Western Greece | Stavropoulos K.S.,University of Western Greece
European Review of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2012

This paper examines supply response models in a rational expectations framework for each one of the four major Greek meat markets, i.e. beef, broiler, lamb and pork. A multivariate generalised autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity model with Cholesky decomposition is used to incorporate price volatility into the rational expectations supply response model for each meat category and as a result the conditional covariance matrix remains positive definite without imposing any restrictions on the parameters. The empirical results confirm the existence of rational behaviour by meat producers in the four examined markets and indicate that price volatility is a major risk factor in Greek meat production. Furthermore, the last Common Agricultural Policy reform is found to have a negative impact on beef and lamb production in Greece. © 2011 Oxford University Press and Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics; all rights reserved.

Kallimanis A.S.,University of Western Greece | Koutsias N.,University of Western Greece
Progress in Physical Geography | Year: 2013

Land cover diversity is often used as a surrogate of habitat heterogeneity. Nevertheless, its spatial pattern has received limited attention. Here, we examine Corine land cover diversity patterns across Europe, and test (1) if geographical (longitudinal, latitudinal) gradients exist, (2) if the scale of analysis (and specifically the grain of analysis) influences the patterns, and (3) if the thematic resolution affects the results. We estimated diversity landscape metrics for 2818 locations throughout Europe. We analysed the spatial pattern at five grains (0.25, 1, 25, 100 and 625 km2), and for three hierarchical levels of the Corine Land Cover 2000 classification scheme. To account for spatial autocorrelation, we used Clifford's test. Latitude was significantly correlated with land cover diversity (once spatial autocorrelation was taken into account) only at large grain sizes. Longitude, with a few exceptions at fine grain, was not correlated to land cover diversity. The spatial pattern of land cover diversity is scale-dependent, with spatial pattern at fine grain (<1 km2) being statistically independent of the pattern at large grain (625 km2). Also the grain of the analysis affected the spatial autocorrelation of land cover diversity. Fine grain analysis displayed autocorrelation, but over short (hundreds of kilometres) distances, while large grain analysis displayed autocorrelation over longer distances (thousands of kilometres). Increasing the detail of the thematic resolution seems to have effects similar to increasing the grain size. The thematic resolution in certain cases influenced the results qualitatively and thus inference from low-resolution landscape analysis should be done with caution. © The Author(s) 2012.

Apostolopoulos C.A.,University of Patras | Demis S.,University of Patras | Papadakis V.G.,University of Western Greece
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2013

In the current study the effects of chloride-induced corrosion, in terms of mechanical properties and pit depths, are evaluated on B500c steel bars embedded in concrete (embedded samples) and directly exposed (bare samples), immersed in a salt spray chamber. The results indicate that for the same level of mass loss, degradation of the "embedded" samples was found to be much more severe than that of the "bare samples", in terms of losses in yield strength and uniform elongation. Analysis of the statistical significance of the pit depth and area values measured, based on a methodology developed using advanced imaging analysis, indicate that degradation of the steel bars embedded in concrete produced a more severe pitting corrosion in terms of depth of pitting, compared to the steel samples directly exposed to the same corrosive medium, for the same (on average) mass loss. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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