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Jamie Gundry’s dramatic image of a white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) on the cover of this book reflects the twisting changes in fortune experienced by this species, with a revival that can be attributed to a successful interplay of science, policy and practice. White-tailed eagles were historically much more widely distributed than they are today (Yalden, 2007), once breeding across much of Europe, but by the early twentieth century the species was extinct across much of western and southern Europe. The main cause of its decline was persecution by farmers and shepherds, who considered the eagles a threat to their livestock, but, along with other raptors, white-tailed eagles were also seriously affected by DDT in the 1960s and 1970s, which had disastrous effects on the breeding success of remaining populations.
In the Anthropocene, when our environment is changing rapidly and the windows of opportunity for action to prevent further biodiversity loss are narrow, conservation researchers are increasingly encouraged to think and operate beyond the traditional approaches of producing peer-reviewed papers and presenting results to other members of the research community. Indeed, the perception that researchers belong in their ivory tower, from which they deliver evidence for others to interpret, disseminate and use in decision-making, is thankfully now widely recognised as outdated. The rise of fake news, a deliberate lack of consideration for scientific evidence, and changes to the ways of assessing the value of researchers’ work probably all play a role in supporting this shift in perception. Moreover, for many researchers, the prospect of their work ‘making a difference’ and having an impact on wider society is at least as great a motivation for doing research as generating new knowledge, however interesting that may be.
Conservation research is essential for advancing knowledge but to make an impact scientific evidence must influence conservation policies, decision making and practice. This raises a multitude of challenges. How should evidence be collated and presented to policymakers to maximise its impact? How can effective collaboration between conservation scientists and decision-makers be established? How can the resulting messages be communicated to bring about change? Emerging from a successful international symposium organised by the British Ecological Society and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, this is the first book to practically address these questions across a wide range of conservation topics. Well-renowned experts guide readers through global case studies and their own experiences. A must-read for practitioners, researchers, graduate students and policymakers wishing to enhance the prospect of their work 'making a difference'. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
This article represents a summary of the parallel session that Barry Vickery presented to delegates at the 2019 BIALL Annual Conference in Bournemouth. There, his presentation was entitled: ‘A glance at the past and a glimpse of the future – How to learn from the past to make better decisions in the future’. As BIALL was celebrating its 50th anniversary, Barry took the opportunity to look back at the last fifty years to highlight people and companies that had made good decisions and those that had made bad ones. He went on to explore different decision-making techniques that we could all utilise to help us to make more informed decisions in our daily life.
This article considers the ‘representation of decay’ in selected concert works by the Australian composer Cat Hope. It draws on a mixed-method research methodology, comparing the conceptual aspects of Hope's oeuvre with analyses of studio and live recordings of Hope's work and discussing how such ideas of ‘decay’ may play out in the sonic world. Two forms of spectral analysis are employed: firstly the analysis of spectral parameters roughness, noisiness, brightness, pitch, and centroid, and secondly a visualisation of the music as a spectrogram. The data for the spectral analyses are derived from Alexander Harker's spectral descriptor tools for MaxMSP which record a value for each parameter every 25 milliseconds. At times, values are normalised within a range of 0 and 1, as representative of how listeners experience parametrical changes (i.e. dynamics, in relative terms rather than absolutes in relation to other sounds in the work). Importantly, perception of noisiness is more acute at frequencies in which the auditory critical bands are wider, below 250 Hz (roughly below middle C), precisely the upper range specified by Hope to define instruments suitable for the Australian Bass Orchestra.
This article represents a summary of the plenary session that Barry Vickery presented to delegates at the 2018 BIALL Conference in Birmingham. It explored the changing role of technology in a range of different markets and showed how different management styles, attitudes and strategies have created very different outcomes for those respective companies. Those that have chosen to ignore technology have generally suffered, fallen behind the competition and in ever increasing numbers, gone bust. Parallels were drawn between these companies and professional services today. Are there lessons we can take from these failures that we can use in our working life, even in our personal lives, or do we just keep our head down and convince ourselves that ‘We've always done it this way’?
In this article, Barry Vickery explains the history of InfoTrack during his tenure as General Manager of Corporate Services, and outlines the reasons for their success. Barry will discuss the world of technology and how, by understanding the blend of law firms’ needs, customer insight and technology, InfoTrack are disrupting the legal market.
Pathogens can survive for extended periods when incorporated into biofilm on dry hospital surfaces (ie, dry-surface biofilm, DSB). Bacteria within biofilm are protected from desiccation and have increased tolerance to cleaning agents and disinfectants.
We hypothesized that gloved hands of healthcare personnel (HCP) become contaminated with DSB bacteria and hence may transmit bacteria associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Staphylococcus aureus DSB was grown in vitro on coupons in a bioreactor over 12 days with periodic nutrition interspersed with long periods of dehydration. Each coupon had ~107 DSB bacterial cells. Transmission was tested with nitrile, latex, and surgical gloves by gripping DSB-covered coupons then pressing finger tips onto a sterile horse blood agar surface for up to 19 consecutive touches and counting the number of colony-forming units (CFU) transferred. Coupons were immersed in 5% neutral detergent to simulate cleaning, and the experiment was repeated.
Bacterial cells were readily transmitted by all 3 types of gloves commonly used by HCP. Surprisingly, sufficient S. aureus to cause infection were transferred from 1 DSB touch up to 19 consecutive touches. Also, 6 times more bacteria were transferred by nitrile and surgical gloves than to latex gloves (P <.001). Treating the DSB with 5% neutral detergent increased the transmission rate of DSB bacteria 10-fold.
Staphylococcus aureus incorporated into environmental DSB and covered by extracellular polymeric substances readily contaminates gloved hands and can be transferred to another surface. These results confirm the possibility that DSB contributes to HAI acquisition.
Invasive rodents detrimentally affect native bird species on many islands worldwide, and rodent eradication is a useful tool to safeguard endemic and threatened species. However, especially on tropical islands, rodent eradications can fail for various reasons, and it is unclear whether the temporary reduction of a rodent population during an unsuccessful eradication operation has beneficial effects on native birds. Here we examine the response of four endemic land bird species on subtropical Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island Group, South Pacific Ocean, following an unsuccessful rodent eradication in 2011. We conducted point counts at 25 sampling locations in 14 survey periods between 2011 and 2015, and modelled the abundance trends of all species using binomial mixture models accounting for observer and environmental variation in detection probability. Henderson Reed Warbler Acrocephalus taiti more than doubled in abundance (2015 population estimate: 7,194-28,776), and Henderson Fruit Dove Ptilinopus insularis increased slightly between 2011 and 2015 (2015 population estimate: 4,476–10,072), while we detected no change in abundance of the Henderson Lorikeet Vini stepheni (2015 population estimate: 554–3014). Henderson Crake Zapornia atra increased to pre-eradication levels following anticipated mortality during the operation (2015 population estimate: 4,960–20,783). A temporary reduction of rat predation pressure and rat competition for fruit may have benefitted the reed warbler and the fruit dove, respectively. However, a long drought may have naturally suppressed bird populations prior to the rat eradication operation in 2011, potentially confounding the effects of temporary rat reduction and natural recovery. We therefore cannot unequivocally ascribe the population recovery to the temporary reduction of the rat population. We encourage robust monitoring of island biodiversity both before and after any management operation to better understand responses of endemic species to failed or successful operations.