College of Science and Engineering CSE publications Recent publications in Science and Engineering

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Recent publications in Science and Engineering

Gulizia, Alexandra M., Patel, Kishan, Philippa, Bronson, Motti, Cherie A., van Herwerden, Lynne, and Vamvounis, George (2023) Understanding plasticiser leaching from polystyrene microplastics. Science of the Total Environment, 857. 159099.
Plastic pollution in our oceans is of growing concern particularly due to the presence of toxic additives, such as plasticisers. Therefore, this work aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the leaching properties of plasticisers from microplastics. This work investigates the leaching of phthalate acid ester (dioctyl terephthalate (DEHT) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)) and diphenol (bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS)) plasticisers from polystyrene (PS) microplastics (mean diameter = 136 μm to 1.4 mm) under controlled aqueous conditions (temperature, agitation, pH and salinity). The leaching behaviours of plasticised polymers were quantified using gel permeation chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and thermal gravimetric analysis, and the particle's plasticisation characterised using differential scanning calorimetry. Leaching rates of phthalate acid ester and diphenol plasticisers were modelled using a diffusion and boundary layer model, whereby these behaviours varied depending on their plasticisation efficiency of PS, the size of the microplastic particle and the surrounding abiotic conditions. Leaching behaviours of DEHT and DEHP were strongly influenced by the microplastic-surface water boundary layer properties, thus wave action (i.e., water agitation) increased the leaching rate of these plasticiser up to 66 over 21-days, whereas BPA and BPS plasticisers displayed temperature- and size-dependent leaching and were limited by molecular diffusion throughout the bulk polymer (i.e., the microplastic). This information will improve predictions of plasticiser concentration (both that remain in the plastic and released into the surrounding water) at specific time points during the lifetime of a plastic, ultimately ensuring greater accuracy in the assessment of toxicity responses and environmental water quality.

Zhou, Shou-Han, Omanga, Elwyn, Tabish, Asif Nadeem, Cai, Weiwei, and Fan, Liyuan (2023) Effect of electrochemical reaction on steam adsorption during methane reforming on a Ni-GDC anode. Fuel, 332, Part 1. 125973.
The influence of steam on the internal reforming reaction in solid oxide fuel cells is under debate based on previously reported results. Therefore, appropriate kinetic models that accurately describe the methane reforming behaviour in solid oxide fuel cells under various operating conditions are required. The objective of this study is to find the appropriate kinetic model to describe the effect of current density on steam adsorption behaviour. The Langmuir-Hinshelwood model considers the associative methane adsorption and the dissociative steam adsorption. The formation of catalyst-hydroxide complexes is directly influenced by the steam concentration and current drawn via the non-faradaic electrochemical modification of the catalysis effect. The steam adsorption constant appeared to significantly drop when a current was produced. Of the current densities investigated, the models seemed to provide a more accurate description of reforming rates at a 600 A/m2 current density relative to open-circuit and 1000 A/m2 conditions. The models are used to predict the reaction rate in the fuel cell channel where the in-situ measurement is not practical.

Rowe, Cassandra, Stevenson, Janelle, Connor, Simon, and Adeleye, Matthew (2022) Fire and the transformation of Landscapes. In: McNiven, Ian J., and David, Bruno, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea. Oxford Handbooks . Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, C12.S1-C12.S15.
Australia is a fire-prone continent, and its long-term history of burning is the product of millennia of interactions between climatic and cultural fire. Australia is also highly diverse, both in terms of landscape composition and fire regimes, as well as ecosystem responses to fire-regime changes. This article presents a compilation of research on Holocene fire histories across major climatic and biogeographic zones of Australia into New Guinea. It then brings together research on pollen-based vegetation change and fire history for key sites within each zone. The result is a series of ecosystem ‘fire moments’ that explore fire’s role as an environmental transformer, an artefact of climate, vegetation, and culture. This article seeks to promote collaborative research in the examination of fire and its effects in time and space, ultimately seeking fine-resolution transdisciplinary studies that encompass a range of knowledge systems in partnership research and as a means to address future methodological challenges.

Han, Kang, and Xiang, Wei (2022) Inference-Reconstruction Variational Autoencoder for Light Field Image Reconstruction. IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, 31. pp. 5629-5644.
Light field cameras can capture the radiance and direction of light rays by a single exposure, providing a new perspective to photography and 3D geometry perception. However, existing sub-aperture based light field cameras are limited by their sensor resolution to obtain high spatial and angular resolution images simultaneously. In this paper, we propose an inference-reconstruction variational autoencoder (IR-VAE) to reconstruct a dense light field image out of four corner reference views in a light field image. The proposed IR-VAE is comprised of one inference network and one reconstruction network, where the inference network infers novel views from existing reference views and viewpoint conditions, and the reconstruction network reconstructs novel views from a latent variable that contains the information of reference views, novel views, and viewpoints. The conditional latent variable in the inference network is regularized by the latent variable in the reconstruction network to facilitate information flow between the conditional latent variable and novel views. We also propose a statistic distance measurement dubbed the mean local maximum mean discrepancy (MLMMD) to enable the measurement of the statistic distance between two distributions with high-resolution latent variables, which can capture richer information than their low-resolution counterparts. Finally, we propose a viewpoint-dependent indirect view synthesis method to synthesize novel views more efficiently by leveraging adaptive convolution. Experimental results show that our proposed methods outperform state-of-the-art methods on different light field datasets.

Sanderson, Stephen, Vamvounis, George, Mark, Alan, Burn, Paul, White, Ronald, and Philippa, Bronson (2022) Understanding the performance differences between solution and vacuum deposited OLEDs: a computational approach. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 156 (21). 214703.
Solution-processing of organic light-emitting diode films has potential advantages in terms of cost and scalability over vacuum-deposition for large area applications. However, solution processed small molecule films can have lower overall device performance. Here, novel molecular dynamics techniques are developed to enable faster simulation of solvent evaporation that occurs during solution processing and give films of thicknesses relevant to real devices. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations are then used in combination with kinetic Monte Carlo transport modeling to examine how differences in morphology stemming from solution or vacuum film deposition affect charge transport and exciton dynamics in films consisting of light-emitting bis(2-phenylpyridine)(acetylacetonate)iridium(III) [Ir(ppy)2(acac)] guest molecules in a 4,4′-bis(N-carbazolyl)biphenyl host. While the structures of the films deposited from vacuum and solution were found to differ, critically, only minor variations in the transport properties were predicted by the simulations even if trapped solvent was present.

Massault, Cecile, Jeffrey, Cara, Jones, David B., Barnard, Roger, Strugnell, Jan M., Zenger, Kyall R., and Jerry, Dean R. (2022) Non-invasive DNA collection for parentage analysis for bivalves: A case study from the silver-lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima). Aquaculture, 552. 738036.
Due to the high revenues generated by the pearl industry, interest in developing breeding programs is increasing. The traditional approach for collecting DNA for pedigree analyses in breeding programs for the silver-lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima) involves tissue excision from the muscular foot and/or mantle. Tissue excision causes injury and stress to the animal, and can lead to reduced growth efficiency, bacterial infection and subsequent mortality when oysters are returned to the non-sterile marine environment. The approach of swabbing tissue to collect cells for DNA analyses offers a potential non-invasive and rapid method but has not been reported previously for pearl oysters; particularly where DNA is destined for a high-throughput genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping platform. To evaluate the potential of swabbing as a method to collect DNA for downstream GBS SNP genotyping under commercial farming conditions, 29 broodstock pearl oysters were swabbed with two different swab brushes (a stiff and soft brush). Concentration of the extracted DNA from swabs was found to meet requirements for genotyping (44 to 59 ng/μL) and 260/280 ratios were in the acceptable range for DNA purity (1.9–2.2). SNP genotype calls derived from swab samples were highly correlated with those derived from tissue excised from the same oyster (mean of 0.97 ± 0.04 for soft bristle – mean of 0.98 ± 0.02 for stiff bristle). Finally, we evaluated the performance of swabbing under a commercial breeding program scenario, whereby 923 spat were genotyped and 18 months later 1927 pearl oysters from the same commercial cohort were swabbed to determine parental contributions for the cohort at the two time periods. Results demonstrated that the swab method is reliable for collecting sufficient quantity and quality of DNA for genome-wide SNP genotyping enabling accurate pedigree reconstruction. This study validated the efficiency of the use of the swab technique to collect DNA for routine parentage assignment, while limiting the adverse effects of destructive tissue sampling for commercial use and/or for the development of breeding programs.

Moynier, Frédéric, Merland, Ariane, Rigoussen, Dimitri, Moureau, Julien, Paquet, Marine, Mahan, Brandon, and LeBorgne, Marie (2022) Baseline distribution of stable copper isotope compositions of the brain and other organs in mice. Metallomics, 14 (5). mfac017.
Copper (Cu) stable isotopes are useful for understanding pathways and tracing changes in Cu homeostasis, such as those induced by various diseases (e.g. liver cirrhosis, numerous forms of cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases). However, this utility relies on a baseline understanding of the natural distribution of Cu isotopes between organs of healthy organisms, which is not well-known at present. Here, the distribution of natural Cu isotopes in the brain, liver, red blood cells, plasma, kidneys, and muscle of 14 mice (7 males and 7 females) from three different genetic backgrounds is assessed. We show that the Cu isotopic composition of most mouse organs is isotopically distinct from one another. The most striking feature is the heavy isotope enrichment of the kidney (δ65Cu = 1.65 ± 0.06‰, 2SE), brain (δ65Cu = 0.87 ± 0.03‰, 2SE) and liver (δ65Cu = 0.71 ± 0.24‰, 2SE) compared to blood components, i.e. red blood cells (RBCs) (δ65Cu = 0.30 ± 0.06‰, 2SE), and plasma (δ65Cu = –0.61 ± 0.08‰, 2SE), with δ65Cu being the per mil deviation of the 65Cu/63Cu ratio from the NIST SRM 976 standard. Differences in genetic background do not appear to affect the isotopic distribution of Cu. Interestingly, male and female mice appear to have different Cu concentrations and isotopic compositions in their brain, plasma, muscle, and RBC. By demonstrating that organs have distinct isotopic compositions, our study reinforces the notion that Cu stable isotopes can be used to trace changes in homeostasis in diseases affecting Cu distribution, such as Alzheimer's disease, liver cancer, and possible chronic kidney failure.

Clements, Kendall D., German, Donovan P., Piche, Jacinthe, Tribollet, Aline, and Choat, John Howard (2022) Integrating ecological roles and trophic diversification on coral reefs: multiple lines of evidence identify parrotfishes as microphages. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. (In Press)
Coral reef ecosystems are remarkable for their high productivity in nutrient-poor waters. A high proportion of primary production is consumed by the dominant herbivore assemblage, teleost fishes, many of which are the product of recent and rapid diversification. Our review and synthesis of the trophodynamics of herbivorous reef fishes suggests that current models underestimate the level of resource partitioning, and thus trophic innovation, in this diverse assemblage. We examine several lines of evidence including feeding observations, trophic anatomy, and biochemical analyses of diet, tissue composition and digestive processes to show that the prevailing view (including explicit models) of parrotfishes as primary consumers of macroscopic algae is incompatible with available data. Instead, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that most parrotfishes are microphages that target cyanobacteria and other protein-rich autotrophic microorganisms that live on (epilithic) or within (endolithic) calcareous substrata, are epiphytic on algae or seagrasses, or endosymbiotic within sessile invertebrates. This novel view of parrotfish feeding biology provides a unified explanation for the apparently disparate range of feeding substrata used by parrotfishes, and integrates parrotfish nutrition with their ecological roles in reef bioerosion and sediment transport. Accelerated evolution in parrotfishes can now be explained as the result of (1) the ability to utilize a novel food resource for reef fishes, i.e. microscopic autotrophs; and (2) the partitioning of this resource by habitat and successional stage.

Chaitae, Apinya, Gordon, Iain J., Addison, Jane, and Marsh, Helene (2022) Protection of elephants to sustainable use of ivory in Thailand. Oryx. (In Press)
The elephant has deep cultural significance in Thailand and for the Thai people. The development of legal protection for Thai elephants reflects concerns about both human livelihoods and elephant conservation. Thus, the legal status of privately-owned domesticated, or captive Asian elephants, differs from that of wild Asian elephants, a situation that has consequences for the lawful use of ivory from domesticated animals. Prior to 2015, the lack of comprehensive measures to control the Thai ivory market enabled the laundering of illegally-sourced ivory through the country. The 2015 legal reforms of the Thai Government: 1) introduced strict controls over the possession and domestic trade of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants, and 2) aligned the protection of African elephants and their ivory with the CITES Convention. Nonetheless, the sustainability of the Thai ivory trade remains disputed, and international pressure to close the commercial trade in domestic ivory persists. This paper reviews this complex situation to inform future reforms. Consolidation of related laws would ease the enforcement tasks of officers and facilitate the compliance of stakeholders. Use of an electronic database would enhance the monitoring of ivory flow, as well as aid the implementation and enforcement of laws. This situation is a valuable example of the tensions between national and international attempts to conserve species important in wildlife trade.

Montesinos, Daniel (2022) Fast invasives fastly become faster: invasive plants align largely with the fast side of the plant economics spectrum. Journal of Ecology, 110 (5). pp. 1010-1014.
1. Invasive plants generally align with the fast side of the plant's trait economics spectrum, characterized by fast nutrient acquisition, growth and reproduction. However, there are numerous and notable exceptions, including woody invasives. 2. The generalization that invasives are fast is driven by the high occurrence of invasive ruderal species colonizing nutrient-rich disturbed habitats, a consequence of anthropogenic disturbance usually going hand-in-hand with biological introductions. 3. Successful invasive plans have shown a remarkable ability to rapidly adapt to the new regions where they are introduced. These changes predominantly involve increased resource acquisition, growth and reproduction, aligning them even further with the fast side of the plant economics spectrum. 4. Common garden experiments with invasive model systems provide valuable insights about the speed and direction of adaptive responses to different climates, helping us to predict general plant responses to global change. 5. Synthesis. Invasive plant species commonly present fast nutrient acquisition, growth and reproduction, but this general pattern is mostly driven by ruderal species. Still, common garden experiments comparing populations from distant world regions show a clear trend for already fast invasive plants to rapidly adapt towards even faster traits in their non-native regions.

Malekzadeh, M., Sivakugan, Siva, and Clark, M.W. (2022) Effect of aqueous environment on sedimentation of dredged mud and kaolinite. Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, 40 (2). pp. 171-180.
Port development results in production of large quantities of dredged marine sediments. Once dredged, sediments often have high water contents and are pumped to near-shore or in-water bunded marine impoundments for port expansion. However, dredged material disposal to freshwater onshore or empty impoundments typically changes sedimentation conditions that may change the effective grain-size distribution, mineral specific surface areas, settling particle orientations, resulting in settling rate changes. Salinity, temperature, water content, mineralogy, filling rate, and organic matter content may also influence sediment settlement and resulting consolidation. This study investigates the effect of salinity and sediment mineralogy on sediment settlement behaviour when deposited in saltwater, freshwater, or to empty ponds. For this purpose, slurries of dredged mud and kaolinite with water contents of 1.7 times their liquid limit were prepared and disposed into a series of 1000 mm long, 50 mm wide, and 500 mm high settlement columns. Result shows that the sediments settle faster in saltwater than freshwater or air, through divalent surface complexation and flocculation provided by seawater Ca and Mg. However, this is true if the salinity remains below 10 PSU, but the mixed mineral dredge spoil ultimately provides the densest sediment and lowest water sediment interface.

Sharma, Choudhurimayum Pankaj, Chahal, Poonam, Kumar, Anil, Singhal, Saurabh, Sundriyal, Y. P., Ziegler, Alan, Agnihotri, Rajesh, Wasson, Robert J., Shukla, Uma Kant, and Srivastava, Pradeep (2022) Late Pleistocene-Holocene flood history, flood-sediment provenance and human imprints from the upper Indus River catchment, Ladakh Himalaya. GSA Bulletin, 134. 1-2. pp. 275-292.
The Indus River, originating from Manasarovar Lake in Tibet, runs along the Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone (ITSZ) in Ladakh which separates the Tethyan Himalaya in the south from the Karakoram Zone to the north. Due to the barriers created by the Pir-Panjal ranges and the High Himalaya, Ladakh is located in a rain shadow zone of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) making it a high-altitude desert. Occasional catastrophic hydrological events are known to endanger lives and properties of people residing there. Evidence of such events in the recent geologic past that are larger in magnitude than modern occurrences, are preserved along the channels. Detailed investigation of these archives is imperative to expand our knowledge of extreme floods that rarely occur on the human timescale. Understanding the frequency, distribution and forcing mechanisms of past extreme floods of this region are crucial to examine whether the causal agents are regional, global or both on long timescales. We studied the Holocene extreme flood history of the Upper Indus catchment in Ladakh using slack water deposits (SWDs) preserved along the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. SWDs here are composed of stacks of sand-silt couplets deposited rapidly during large flooding events in areas where a sharp reduction of flow velocity is caused by local geomorphic conditions. Each couplet represents a flood, the age of which is constrained using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) for sand and AMS 14C for charcoal specks from hearths. The study suggests occurrence of large floods during phases of strengthened ISM when the monsoon penetrated into arid Ladakh. Comparison with flood records of rivers draining other regions of the Himalaya and those influenced by the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) indicates asynchronicity with the Western Himalaya that confirms the existing anti-phase relationship of the ISM-EASM occurred in the Holocene. Detrital zircon provenance analysis indicates that sediment transportation along the Zanskar River is more efficient than the main Indus channel during extreme floods. Post LGM human migration, during warm and wet climatic conditions, into the arid upper Indus catchment is revealed from hearths found within the SWDs.

Collins, Brian (2022) Frequency of compound hot–dry weather extremes has significantly increased in Australia since 1889. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. (In Press)
There is high confidence that climate change has increased the probability of concurrent temperature-precipitation extremes, changed their spatial-temporal variations and affected the relationships between drivers of such natural hazards. However, the extent of such changes has been less investigated in Australia. Daily data spanning the period 1889-2019 (131 years) were extracted from SILO gridded dataset at 700 grid cells (1◦ × 1◦) across Australia to calculate annual and seasonal mean daily maximum temperature (MMT) and total precipitation (TPR). A nonparametric multivariate copula framework was adopted to estimate the return period of compound hot-dry (CHD) events based on an ‘And’ hazard scenario (hotter than a threshold ‘And’ drier than a threshold). CHD extremes were defined as years with joint return periods of longer than 25 years calculated over the period 1889-2019. Mann-Kendall nonparametric tests were used to analyse trends in MMT and TPR as well as in the frequency of univariate and CHD extremes. Results showed a general cooling-wetting trend over 1889-1989. Significant increasing trends were detected over 1990-2019 in the frequency and severity of hot extremes across the country while trends in dry extremes were mostly insignificant (and decreasing). A significant increase in the association between temperature and precipitation was identified at various temporal scales. While the frequency of CHD extremes was mostly stable over 1889-1989, it significantly increased between 1990 and 2019 at 44% of studied grid cells, mostly located in the north, south-east and southwest.

Han, Kang, Xiang, Wei, Wang, Eric, and Huang, Tao (2022) A novel occlusion-aware vote cost for light field depth estimation. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. (In Press)
Conventional light field depth estimation methods build a cost volume that measures the photo-consistency of pixels refocused to a range of depths, which works well in most regions but usually generates blurry edges in the estimated depth map due to occlusions. Existing occlusion handling methods rely on complex edge-aided processing and post-refinement, and this reliance limits the resultant depth accuracy and impacts on the computational performance. In this paper, we propose a novel occlusion-aware vote cost (OAVC) which is able to accurately preserve edges in the depth map. Instead of using photo-consistency as an indicator of the correct depth, we construct a novel cost from a new perspective that counts the number of refocused pixels whose deviations from the central-view pixel is less than a small threshold, and utilizes that number to select the correct depth. The pixels from occluders are thus excluded in determining the correct depth. Without the use of any explicit occlusion handling methods, the proposed method can inherently preserve edges and produces high-quality depth estimates. Experimental results show that the proposed OAVC outperforms state-of-the-art light field depth estimation methods in terms of depth estimation accuracy and the computational performance.

Walshe, Rachael (2022) Book review of "Food, Senses and the City" by Ferne Edwards, Roos Gerritsen and Grit Wesser (eds). London, UK, Routledge, 2021. ISBN: 978-0-367-45823-2. Australian Geographical Studies, 60 (1). pp. 196-198.
[Extract] Food, Senses and the City explores how sensorial experiences of food create new meanings and understandings of the city. In the process, the book extends conversations about the role food plays in shaping our identities (Baker, 2004; Bourdieu, 1984; Law, 2001; Sutton, 2010).

Ross, Perran A., Nematollahi, Neda, Steinemann, Anne, Kolev, Spas D., and Hoffmann, Ary A. (2022) Differential toxicological effects of natural and synthetic sources and enantiomeric forms of limonene on mosquito larvae. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 15. pp. 31-34.
Common fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies and personal care products, emit chiral compounds such as limonene that have been associated with adverse effects on human health. However, those same compounds abound in nature, and at similar concentrations as in products, but without the same apparent adverse human health effects. We investigated whether different types of limonene may elicit different biological effects. In this study, we investigated the mortality rate of mosquito larvae in response to changes in their environment. Specifically, we tested different sources of naturally occurring R-limonene and chemically synthetized limonene, containing one of its enantiomeric forms (R-, S-) in mortality bioassays with Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae. We found that a natural source of limonene extracted from oranges induced lower mortality of mosquito larvae compared to synthetic sources at the same concentration. However, enantiomeric forms did not differ in their effects on mortality. Our results provide novel evidence that natural sources of a chemical can cause lower rates of mortality than synthetic sources.

Blanco, Julien, Bellón, Beatriz, Barthelemy, Liane, Camus, Baptiste, Jaffre, Louise, Masson, Anne-Sophie, Masure, Alix, de Oliveira Roque, Fabio, Souza, Franco L., and Renaud, Pierre-Cyril (2022) A novel ecosystem (dis)service cascade model to navigate sustainability problems and its application in a changing agricultural landscape in Brazil. Sustainability Science, 17 (1). pp. 105-119.
The ecosystem service framework has been instrumental in navigating local to global sustainability issues. Yet as ecosystem services (ES) focus on nature’s positive contributions to people, some have argued that ‘ecosystem disservices’ (EDS), or nature’s negative contributions, should also be taken into account to better orient sustainability policies. However, joint ES and EDS assessments remain rare in sustainability research, partly because of the persisting conceptual ambiguity around the EDS concept. This study aimed to develop these joint assessments and test their relevance in addressing sustainability issues. To this end, we devised a novel cascade model that helps to define ES and EDS in a multi-level context that considers both as coproduced by ecosystems and people. In order to explore the potential and limitations of this model, we then applied it in a Brazilian landscape where reconciling agriculture and forest conservation is a critical sustainability challenge. Using the model in comprehensive interviews with farmers about their perceptions and management practices of forests, we found that they had an overall positive valuation of forests, but identified both positive and negative interactions between forests and farms at different organizational levels. The model also revealed a vicious circle between crop expansion, a resulting decrease in certain ES and an increase in certain EDS, which might exacerbate tensions between agriculture and forest conservation in the future. Additionally, the model allowed a window on the diverse preventive and regulating practices that the interviewed farmers have adopted to cope with increasing EDS without necessarily harming biodiversity. Based on this case study, this novel cascade model seems a promising conceptual tool to uncover the interactions between ES and EDS, opening new research and policy avenues to support sustainability.

Valente-Neto, Francisco, Piovezan-Borges, Ana Claudia, Urbieta, Gustavo Lima, Samways, Michael J., and de Oliveira Roque, Fabio (2022) Research networks should improve connectivity for halting freshwater insect extinctions. Ecological Entomology, 47 (1). pp. 63-75.
1. Avoiding freshwater insect extinctions requires studies assessing causal links between a human pressure and biodiversity measures (threats), the state of biodiversity through time (status), and solutions to manage species loss. However, an imbalance between these different approaches on declines of freshwater insects and the distribution of the studies between countries may have implications for implementing conservation knowledge into practical conservation actions. 2. Here, we evaluate country co-authorship relationships through quantitative bibliometric analysis to identify networks of research collaboration on freshwater insects extinction, and how this overall network is modified by the type of studies (status, threats, and solutions). 3. We detected that authors from developed countries dominated the networks, and most studies assessed threats to freshwater insects, knowledge which is part of a research network involving multiple countries. The status network of research collaboration was clearly more disconnected in comparison with the network of all studies, whereas the solution network showed the greatest connectivity. 4. These results reveal that an increase in research collaboration is required for all approaches assessed here, because many megadiverse countries are not present in the networks. This is especially required for status and solution studies. Expansion of research collaboration should decrease inequalities between developed and developing countries, achieved by funding conservation studies in developing countries. Studies should also decrease classical inequalities, including those related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnic minorities. These recommendations would benefit freshwater insect conservation science and practice.

Vuppaladadiyam, Arun K., Antunes, Elsa, Vuppaladadiyam, Varsha S.S., Shehzad, Farrukh, Somasundaram, Murugavelh, Memon, Muhammad Z., Song, Qingbin, Dong, Weiguo, and Duan, Hubao (2022) Discernment of synergy during the co-pyrolysis of lipid-extracted microalgae and digested municipal solid waste: a thermogravimetric–mass spectrometric study. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 97 (2). pp. 490-500.
BACKGROUND: The current study investigated the co-pyrolysis nature of biomasses, gas yields, kinetics and thermodynamics of Chroococcus sp. (CC), digested municipal solid waste (DMSW) and their mixtures using thermogravimetric analysis and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Thermogravimetric/differential thermogravimetric analysis indicated three major weight loss stages: dehydration (50–150 °C), thermal degradation of structural components (150–550 °C) and char decomposition (550–800 °C). The gases released during the process mainly contained CO, CH4, CO2 and H2 as main components. Also, with an increase in the composition of CC, the hydrogen yields were noticed to increase. Model-free isoconversional methods, the Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose and Friedman methods, were considered to identify the activation energy. The kinetic results showed that an increase in the percentage of CC in the mixture lowered the activation energy. The activation energies recorded for CC, DMSW, CD-1, -2 and -3 were 282.11, 202.55, 210.54, 145.46 and 139.98 kJ mol−1, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Thermodynamic and kinetic analysis for CC, DMSW and their mixtures can be effectively used for reactor design and process optimization for similar types of waste materials. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).

Smith, Calvin, Hill, Blair, Wheatley, Greg, Masoudi Nejad, Reza, and Sina, Nima (2022) Fatigue reliability assessment of the new design of rear suspension system of the JCU motorsport car. Structures, 36. pp. 473-481.
The objective of this paper is to calculate fatigue reliability of the new design of rear suspension system of the James Cook University (JCU) motorsports 2nd generation vehicle for the formula society of automotive engineers (FSAE) competition. Also, this paper entails preliminary and detailed design stages for the rear suspension ensuring coherence with the FSAE rules, and carrying out details theoretical and numerical analysis throughout and iterative design process. The objective of this paper to conceive and design a fully functioning rear suspension system that includes uprights, wishbones, rockers, dampers and shock-absorbers. The fabrication of specific suspension components, if not all, is a major goal of this paper. Then, in order to maintain the minimum amount of fatigue reliability at a certain value, the number of variable components is defined at each time of inspection. The results showed that reducing the time interval between periodic inspections and increasing the number of replaced components at each stage of the inspection can keep the system reliability as expected.

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