ePublications@SCU

    The effect of dissolved nickel and copper on the adult coral Acroporamuricata and its microbiome

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    The potential impacts of mining activities on tropical coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. In particular, limited information is available on the effects of metals on scleractinian corals which are foundation species that form vital structural habitats supporting other biota. This study investigated the effects of dissolved nickel and copper on the coral Acropora muricata and its associated microbiota. Corals collected from the Great Barrier Reef were exposed to dissolved nickel (45, 90, 470, 900 and 9050mg Ni/L)or copper (4, 11, 32 and 65 mg Cu/L) inflow through chambers at the National Sea Simulator, Townsville,Qld, Australia. After a 96-h exposure DNA metabarcoding (16S rDNA and 18S rDNA) was undertaken on all samples to detect changes in the structure of the coral microbiome. The controls remained healthy throughout the study period. After 36 h, bleaching was only observed in corals exposed to 32 and 65 mg Cu/L and very high nickel concentrations (9050 mg Ni/L). At 96 h, significant discolouration of corals was only observed in 470 and 900 mg Ni/L treatments, the highest concentrations tested. While high concentrations of nickel caused bleaching, no changes in the composition of their microbiome communities were observed. In contrast, exposure to copper not only resulted in bleaching, but altered the composition of both the eukaryote and bacterial communities of the coral\u27s microbiomes. Our findings showed that these effects were only evident at relatively high concentrations of nickel and copper, reflecting concentrations observed only in extremely polluted environments. Elevated metal concentrations have the capacity to alter the microbiomes which are inherently linked to coral health

    Comparison of dinitrogen fixation rates in two subtropical seagrass communities

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    Seagrass morphology varies greatly between species and can impact their nitrogen(N) cycling capacity, including dinitrogen (N2) fixation. We used a 15N—N2 stable isotope technique to measure N2 fixation rates in different zones of two morphologically diverse seagrass communities, Zostera muelleri and Halophila ovalisin Moreton Bay, Australia. Isotope label additions were made to both the surface and rhizosphere of sediment cores containing whole plants over an artificial diurnal cycle. In both species the highest rates of N2 fixation were found in the leaves (including epiphytes) in the light with areal leaf related N2 fixation rates higher in the Z. muelleri (46 ± 26 μmol N2 m−2 h−1) community compared to H. ovalis(11 ± 7.2 μmol N2 m−2 h−1). There was a switch in the location of N2 fixation from the leaves to the sediments in the dark in the Z. muelleri community which was not observed in H. ovalis. The change in the active site of N2 fixation in the Z. muellericommunity is likely related to the reduction in oxygen supply and associated increase in sulphate reducing bacterial activity at night. Overall the Z. muellericommunity fixed N2 at ~3 times (~75 μmol N m−2 h−1) the rate of H. ovalis(~25 μmol N m−2 h−1). The results of this study illustrate how plant morphology, and its associated influence on sediment biogeochemistry, can regulate N2 fixation rates in seagrass communities

    Mental toughness and dietary behaviours in undergraduate university students

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    Dietary behaviour of university students is a growing concern and a potential contributor to weight gain during university studies. Individual differences may be one factor that influences how students respond and adapt when entering a new environment. Mental toughness (MT) is an individual difference which has previously been found to be significantly and positively related to health behaviours (e.g., physical activity, psychological wellbeing), thus it was hypothesised that MT would predict eating behaviours of university students. Undergraduate students (n = 167) completed an online questionnaire to assess MT and eating behaviours. Students were included from all three years of undergraduate study and from a range of courses at nine UK institutions. Pearson correlations were conducted between MT variables and eating behaviour variables. The MT component life control displayed the strongest relationship with healthy eating (r = 0.24, p \u3c .001). Regression analysis found weak relationships between the components of MT that were related to eating behaviours. Thus, factors other than MT may play a greater role influencing eating behaviours of university students. It may be that MT is more important in adhering to programmes to change dietary behvaiours, rather than simply eating healthily

    Sports-based mental health promotion in Australia: formative evaluation

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    Objectives: Formative evaluation is critical in maximising the implementation strategies and processes of interventions. It is also critical to both providing contextual explanations for and maximising the success of such interventions. The purpose of this study was to undertake a comprehensive formative evaluation of the implementation process of a multi-component, sports-based mental health program for adolescent males (“Ahead of the Game”). Methods: Primary outcomes included program reach, dose, fidelity and cost during initial piloting and two distinct implementation phases. The iterative formative evaluation process provided opportunities to adapt the program and its implementation strategy to optimise reach, dose and fidelity relative to implementation cost. Results: Formative evaluation data showed that the program failed to achieve optimal reach in the initial pilot phase (Phase I), with low doses of the program received by stakeholders, and moderate fidelity. Bottom up implementation strategies improved dose and club ownership during Phase II but resulted in high costs and lower fidelity and was associated with implementation staff retention and management issues. Phase III with more streamlined staffing and club integrated implementation resulted in high reach, dose, fidelity and club ownership and an associated reduction in implementation cost per participant. Conclusion: Formative evaluation succeeded in maximising the Ahead of the Game program engagement over three distinct phases. Results are salient for informing cost-effective implementation strategies for sports-based health promotion

    Integrating measures of long-distance dispersal into vertebrae conservation planning: scaling relationships and parentage-based dispersal analysis in the koala

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    Improved knowledge of dispersal parameters across multiple populations is essential for the effective management of species exposed to ongoing threats from habitat loss, fragmentation and climate change. Currently, management decisions are based on incomplete or insufficient knowledge of key dispersal parameters, especially long-distance dispersal, and its role in maintaining metapopulation connectivity, facilitating range shifts under climate change, or enabling the colonization of new habitats. Using a combination of microsatellite-based population genetic analyses, scaling relationships and parentage-based dispersal analysis we investigated levels and patterns of long-distance dispersal in the koala. Using home range size as a scalar predicted spatial variation in maximum dispersal distance amongst regional populations (range 13.4–43.4 km), while parentage-based dispersal analysis showed that long-distance dispersal (\u3e 11.2 km) accounted for 16.7–18.5% of movements in a focal population. Common movement patterns were discerned, despite varying levels of imprecision and bias, that suggest an important role for long-distance dispersal in maintaining metapopulation connectivity. Our results suggest that implementation of a systematic approach to the estimation of dispersal across multiple populations would benefit koala conservation and management. This will require the use of both empirical and simulation studies to quantify and minimize sources of imprecision and bias that can occur including those related to incomplete sampling, the presence of fine-scale spatial genetic structure and areas of localized inbreeding. As limitations associated with partial sampling are likely to remain an inherent feature of large-scale dispersal studies, a large number of loci should be assayed

    Diversity in eMental Health Practice: an exploratory qualitative study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers

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    Background: In Australia, mental health services are undergoing major systemic reform with eMental Health (eMH) embedded in proposed service models for all but those with severe mental illness. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers have been targeted as a national priority for training and implementation of eMH into service delivery. Implementation studies on technology uptake in health workforces identify complex and interconnected variables that influence how individual practitioners integrate new technologies into their practice. To date there are only two implementation studies that focus on eMH and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers. They suggest that the implementation of eMH in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations may be different from the implementation of eMH with allied health professionals and mainstream health services. Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers in one regional area of Australia used eMH resources in their practice following an eMH training program and to determine what types of eMH resources they used. Methods: Individual semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 16 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers. Interviews were co-conducted by one indigenous and one non-indigenous interviewer. A sample of transcripts were coded and thematically analyzed by each interviewer and then peer reviewed. Consensus codes were then applied to all transcripts and themes identified. Results: It was found that 9 of the 16 service providers were implementing eMH resources into their routine practice. The findings demonstrate that participants used eMH resources for supporting social inclusion, informing and educating, assessment, case planning and management, referral, responding to crises, and self and family care. They chose a variety of types of eMH resources to use with their clients, both culturally specific and mainstream. While they referred clients to online treatment programs, they used only eMH resources designed for mobile devices in their face-to-face contact with clients. Conclusions: This paper provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander service providers and the eMH field with findings that may inform and guide the implementation of eMH resources. It may help policy developers locate this workforce within broader service provision planning for eMH. The findings could, with adaptation, have wider application to other workforces who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. The findings highlight the importance of identifying and addressing the particular needs of minority groups for eMH services and resources

    Lismore Learning Centre

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    https://epubs.scu.edu.au/homepage/1025/thumbnail.jp

    A study on gender inequality in Thailand : career experience of Thai female managers

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    Gender inequality is a key feminist issue. Very little research has discussed gender inequality in Asian countries, especially in Thailand, and this study attempts to fill the gap. The purpose of this research study was to evaluate whether there exists an inequality between Thai women and men, and then investigate the actual experiences of Thai female managers in Thai workplaces across Bangkok, Thailand. The results showed that many had succeeded due to their own performance and effort. The participants indicated that work was central to their lives and that any interruptions to paid work were mostly of short duration. Nevertheless, the women’s participation in management structures at all levels was problematic
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