Recent Submissions

  • PublicationOpen Access
    Spatial agroecology: modelling multiple ecosystem services in periurban landscapes : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2024) Morris, Richard Minton
    Urban growth and agricultural intensification share a common trait of reducing landscapes' capacity of producing the critical ecosystem services (ES) on which they depend. The objective of the work described in this thesis was to develop a spatially explicit ES-based design method for the configuration of landscapes to generate regulating ES. Literature review, which is described in Chapter 2, identified a nexus of four research fields - Ecological Urbanism, Landscape Ecology, ES science and agroecology - as an unexplored framework for this ES-based design approach. The method used in this work is described in Chapter 3, where a key flaw in current ES modelling tools forms the basis for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based conceptual model, ESMAX. Present models are characterised by 'the biophysical gap', an oversight of spatial interactions between ES-supplying landscape components. This inhibits their application to spatial design i.e., the configuration of those components to enhance ES performance. ESMAX is structured around the fundamental natural phenomena of distance-decay as exhibited by all regulating ES, enabling an original method of quantifying and visualising regulating ES produced by different configurations of landscape components. The results of Chapter 3 conceptually validated the model and provided the data for Chapter 4, which proposed a model for assessing landscape multifunctionality (or simultaneous supply of multiple ES) from different landscape configurations. Importantly, the results for different configuration options generate a solution space with which to negotiate specific ES demands and specific contextual spatial constraints. Chapter 5 applied ESMAX and the solution space in an agricultural context. This spatial agroecological approach determined that different configurations of the same total area of trees in a 1 ha paddock produce markedly different levels of ES performance, and that this approach may be useful in supporting an adaptive transition from conventional agriculture to agroecologically based farming systems. Chapter 6 applied spatial agroecology to a 190 ha periurban development site, demonstrating how the same apportioned area of agroecological systems, when subdivided and distributed differently across the site, has a significant bearing on multiple ES production. This suggests that urgent consideration should be given not only to placing trees on farm, but how trees should be placed on farm. Similarly, it supports not only the integration of agriculture with urban systems, but the specific spatial design of agroecological systems to address the regulating ES demands of the urban system. The spatial agricultural approach outlined in this thesis highlights the potential for agroecology in the Anthropocene as a spatially effective source of multiple regulating ES to surrounding communities at various scales.
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    Through the AI thinking space: An autoethnographic tale of unexpected insight
    (University of Piraeus, International Strategic Management Association, 2024) Jeremiah, Faith
    Purpose: Throughout history, storytelling has been a cornerstone of human experience. Our ancestors told tales around their fires that became the bedrock of entire cultures. Beyond mere entertainment, these stories were crucial in imparting essential cultural values, wisdom, and a sense of collective identity. They served as a medium for passing down knowledge and strengthening communal bonds, blending reality with imagination to expand the realms of possibility. This age-old tradition is not just about recounting events; it is a way of making sense of the world, interpreting the past, and envisioning what the future might hold. In the same spirit, I present to you my narrative, not just as a recounting of events, but as a journey of sensemaking. It’s a story captured in real-time, reflecting my experiences with collective real and artificial insights as I navigate extensive engagement with ChatGTP4. Design/Methodology/Approach: In a quiet corner of an academic's mind, a dialogue began – not with a colleague, nor a book, but with an AI named ChatGPT4. This narrative unfolds over several months, during which each textual exchange could catalyze a surge in creative thought and higher-order thinking. Findings: As a reflective interface, ChatGPT4 reveals oblivious habitual patterns, that were obstructing the next level of creative and advanced thinking. This autoethnographic narrative, a blend of technology and introspection, weaves a story that transcends conventional research, portraying AI as an analytical tool allied with the unintended quest for cognitive insight. Practical Implications: The scholar, initially the conductor of queries and task setting, unwittingly becomes a student of their own mental landscape, resulting from inquisitions into their extensive textual communication. Originality/Value: This approach is crucial as it extends traditional ethnographic focus from solely human societies to the complex dynamics of digital communities, including AI entities.
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    Recent advances of recycling proteins from seafood by-products: Industrial applications, challenges, and breakthroughs
    (Elsevier Ltd., 2024-07) Zhang, J; Ahmmed, MK; Regenstein, JM; Wu, H
    Background: The exploration of unconventional sources of animal protein, driven by the increasing global demand, has brought the seafood industry into focus. Despite being high in protein, seafood by-products are often underutilized. Utilizing these by-products is important for meeting global protein demands and aligns with sustainable development goals. Therefore, the industrial application of seafood by-product proteins is important. Scope and approach: This review critically assesses techniques for extracting proteins from seafood by-products, categorizing them based on their working principles according to protein properties. The challenges faced by these techniques in industrial applications is evaluated. Additionally, the review delves into the industrial applications of recovered proteins in the food, animal feed, medical, and cosmetics industries, discussing both challenges and breakthroughs. Key findings and conclusions: The increasing global protein demand has shifted the focus of recycling seafood by-products from non-food to food applications. While conventional methods such as enzymatic hydrolysis continue to be used, there is a growing interest in more eco-friendly technologies. Despite facing challenges in quality assurance, technology transfer, financial constraints, market acceptance, and regulatory concerns, these proteins show promise for broad industrial applications in food, animal feed, medical, and cosmetic products. Technological innovations and integrated biorefineries represent major breakthroughs in this field. To further advance, it is important to bridge the gap between laboratory research and production-scale operations and improve communication between researchers and industry stakeholders. By scaling up to industrial-level production, these proteins could enhance the value of the seafood industry and contribute to resource sustainability.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    Integrative dynamics of action potential in Axon Initial Segment (AIS) of neurons: A novel computational model : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Pashang, Abolghasem
    The Axon Initial Segment (AIS) plays a critical role in neuronal excitability and action potential initiation. Computational modelling of the AIS can provide valuable insights into the biophysical mechanisms underlying these processes and their relevance to various AIS-related disorders. The Hodgkin-Huxley model laid the foundation for understanding action potential initiation, utilising empirical differential equations to describe sodium and potassium ion conductance and their gating functions. However, the specific role of the scaffold protein Ankrin-G (AnkG) in regulating ion channel function and ion currents in the AIS remains poorly understood. This thesis investigates the impact of AnkG concentration on sodium (Nav) and potassium (Kv) channel gating and ion current properties using electrophysiology, molecular biology, and computational modelling approaches. AnkG acts as a molecular bridge between the Nav and Kv channels and the cytoskeleton, ensuring proper channel localisation and density in the AIS. Disruptions to AnkG expression can lead to alterations in channel localisation and function, affecting neuronal excitability and firing properties. This thesis endeavors to unravel the mechanisms underlying AnkG's influence on Nav and Kv channel function and its subsequent impact on ion currents in the AIS. Understanding these interactions is crucial for comprehending the pathogenesis of AIS-related disorders and shed light on the complexities of action potential initiation and propagation in neurons.
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    Positional distribution of fatty acids in processed Chinook salmon roe lipids determined by ¹³C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR)
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), 2023-01) Bunga, S; Ahmmed, MK; Carne, A; Bekhit, AEDA
    Recently, there has been great interest in the lipidomic of marine lipids and their potential health benefits. Processing of seafood products can potentially modify the characteristics and composition of lipids. The present study investigated the effect of processing methods (salting and fermentation) on the positional distribution of fatty acids of Chinook salmon roe using ¹³C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The NMR analysis provided information on the carbonyl atom, double bond/olefinic, glycerol backbone, aliphatic group, and chain ending methyl group regions. The obtained data showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the main fatty acid esterified at the sn-2 position of the triacylglycerides (TAGs), while other fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and stearidonic acid (SDA), were randomly distributed or preferentially esterified at the sn-1 and sn-3 positions. Fermentation of salmon roe was found to enrich the level of DHA at the sn-2 position of the TAG. The processing of roe by both salt drying and fermentation did not appear to affect the proportion of EPA at the sn-2 position. This present study demonstrated that fish roe processing can enhance the proportion of DHA at the sn-2 position and potentially improve its bioavailability.