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Fossil charcoals from archaeological sites provide direct evidence for the relationship between environmental change and ancient peoples’ livelihoods in the past. Our identification of 5811 fossil charcoal fragments from 84 samples suggested temperate deciduous and mixed conifer-broadleaved forests as the dominant vegetation at the Erdaojingzi site in northeastern China ca. 3500 cal yr BP; the major representative taxa were Quercus, Pinus, and Ulmus. Four woody plants probably supplied humans with food resources at the Erdaojingzi site, including Quercus, Ulmus, Amygdalus/Armeniaca, and Ziziphus. The nuts of Quercus were utilized as staple foods because of their rich starch content. The leaves of Ulmus may have been used by humans because of their massive dietary fibre. Amygdalus/Armeniaca and Ziziphus probably provided fruits for humans. Based on the coexistence approach (CA) used on the fossil charcoals, we found that the MAT anomaly was 7.9 ± 5.9°C at ca. 3500 cal yr BP, which is almost the same as the modern one (7.8°C), while the MAP was halved from 772 ± 301 mm at ca. 3500 cal yr BP to 370 mm currently. The wet climate might have facilitated significant development of rain-fed agriculture, promoted the emergence of large settlements, and eventually facilitated the birth of civilization.
This chapter focuses on developments in governance in European higher education, with a focus on Western Europe. It presents an overview of the literature on this topic, including the various modes of governance as well as the changes in European higher education in recent decades. The chapter starts by describing different conceptual models used to address and analyse higher education governance. Next, it portrays general tendencies with regard to governance and shows that states have been delegating some of their powers to other levels in the higher education system in four directions: an upward shift to the supranational level, a horizontal shift to ‘independent’ agencies, a downward shift to the institutions (‘autonomy’), and an outward shift (‘privatization, contracting’). As a result of these shifts, often cited as a move from government to governance, the modes of system steering and coordination have become more complex and dynamic, including more stakeholders at different policy levels. The chapter then considers that governance configurations in European higher education not only have similarities, but also differ in various ways.
Discussions about increasing diversity in economics have ignored the role that associations play in the engagement of underrepresented economists. We continue work on diversity and inclusion in the Northeastern Agriculture and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) and other associations by analyzing membership and meeting attendance to promote diversity in economics. We estimate a vector error correction model (VECM) to identify the determinants of membership and meeting attendance and use member survey data to model membership and meeting attendance behavior. We find inequalities across gender, income, and professional status. Recommendations include locating meetings in accessible cities, increasing networking opportunities, and providing more services supporting underrepresented groups.
Despite the increased focus on improving advance care planning (ACP) in African Americans through community partnerships, little published research focused on the role of the African American church in this effort. This study examines parishioner perceptions and beliefs about the role of the church in ACP and end-of-life care (EOLC).
Qualitative interviews were completed with 25 church members (parishioners n = 15, church leader n = 10). The coding of data entailed a direct content analysis approach incorporating team experts for final themes.
Seven themes emerged: (1) church role on end-of-life, (2) advocacy for health and well-being, (3) health literacy in EOLC, (4) lay health training on ACP and EOLC, (5) church recognized as a trusted source, (6) use of church ministries to sustain programs related to ACP and EOLC, and (7) community resources for EOLC needs.
Significance of results
The church has a central role in the African American Community. These findings suggest that involving African American churches in ACP and EOLC training can have a positive effect on facilitating planning and care during illness, dying, and death for their congregants.
In rapidly urbanising China, a high number of elderly people, the so-called ‘laopiao’, float to cities where their sons or daughters live to look after their children and grandchildren. Laopiao in urban China are thought to suffer poor mental health owing to their floating status. This study explores the inter-relationship among social capital, the built environment and mental health in urban China. Using a recent survey conducted in Nanjing (N = 591), structural equation modelling was performed to compare the local elderly people and the laopiao. Results showed that mental health determinants are dissimilar between the two groups of elderly people. Bonding social capital promotes mental health in both groups, while bridging and linking social capital only contributes to the mental health of the laopiao. Also, access to public transportation is positively correlated with mental health in both groups. Furthermore, lower street network density and better access to parks enhance the mental health of the local elderly people, while higher street network density and more open space within a community enhance the mental health of the laopiao. Our findings suggest that different policy measures should be implemented for different groups of elderly people in urban China to improve their mental health.
Introduction: The ways in which Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians interact with the medical literature has been transformed with the rise of Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM). Although nearly all residents use FOAM resources, some criticize the lack of universal quality assurance. This problem is a particular risk for trainees who have many time constraints and incompletely developed critical appraisal skills. One potential safeguard is journal club, which is used by virtually all EM residency programs in North America to review new literature. However, EM resident perspectives have not been studied. Our research objective was to describe how residents perceive journal club to influence how they translate the medical literature into their clinical practice. Our research question was whether FOAM has influenced residents’ goals and perceived value of journal club. Methods: We developed a semi-structured interview script in conjunction with a methods expert and refined it via pilot testing. Following constructivist grounded theory, and using both purposive and theoretical sampling, we conducted a focus group (n = 7) and 18 individual interviews with EM residents at the 4 training sites of the University of British Columbia. In total, we analyzed 920 minutes of recorded audio. Two authors independently coded each transcript, with discrepancies reconciled by discussion and consensus. Constant comparative analysis was performed. We conducted return of findings through public presentations. Results: We found evidence that journal club works as a community of practice with a progression of roles from junior to senior residents. Participants described journal club as a safe venue to compare practice patterns and to gain insight into the practical wisdom of their peers and mentors. The social and academic activities present at journal club interacted positively to foster this environment. In asking residents about ways that journal club accelerates knowledge translation, we actually found that residents cite journal club as a quality check to prevent premature adoption of new research findings. Residents are hesitant to adopt new literature into their practice without positive validation, which can occur during journal club. Conclusion: Journal club functions as a community of practice that is valued by residents. Journal club is a primary way that new evidence can be validated before being put into practice, and may act as quality assurance in the era of FOAM.
Children are surrounded by ubiquitous forms of unhealthy food marketing at home and in schools. The US Department of Agriculture now restricts food and beverage marketing that does not meet Smart Snacks in School standards. School superintendents, as districts’ top administrators, play a critical role in ensuring marketing policies are implemented and adhered to; however, there is limited research involving this stakeholder group. The current study examined superintendents’ perspectives on food marketing in schools and the marketing provision in wellness policies, as well as experiences with the implementation of such policies.
Qualitative focus groups and follow-up interviews (with focus group participants) were conducted by trained researchers.
Focus groups occurred at The School Superintendents’ annual meeting; follow-up interviews were over the telephone.
Superintendents and assistant superintendents (n 39) from twenty-three states participated. Interviews were recorded and professionally transcribed; transcripts were team-coded in Atlas.ti using an iteratively revised coding guide to facilitate theme generation.
Despite common concerns that marketing to children was ‘insidious’, superintendents reported a wide range of food and beverage marketing policies. In addition, the main issue is fundraising – such as ‘restaurant nights’ – that results in marketing that occurs on- and off-campus and afterschool.
Discrepancies between perspectives and practices point to the challenges that superintendents face with budgetary constraints, as well as relationships with parent–teacher organisations. These findings provide important insights about superintendents’ perspectives and challenges, particularly for government and child health advocates supporting school districts, to implement these policies.
Previous literature supports exercise as a preventative agent for prenatal depression; however, treatment effects for women at risk for prenatal depression remain unexplored. The purpose of the study was to examine whether exercise can lower depressive symptoms among women who began pregnancy at risk for depression using both a statistical significance and reliable and clinically significant change criteria.
This study is a secondary analysis of two randomized controlled trials that followed the same exercise protocol. Pregnant women were allocated to an exercise intervention group (IG) or control group (CG). All participants completed the Center for Epidemiological Depression (CES-D) scale at gestational week 9–16 and 36–38. Women with a baseline score ⩾16 were included. A clinically reliable cut-off was calculated as a 7-point change in scores from pre- to post-intervention.
Thirty-six women in the IG and 25 women in the CG scored ⩾16 on the CES-D at baseline. At week 36–38 the IG had a statistically significant lower CES-D score (14.4 ± 8.6) than the CG (19.4 ± 11.1; p < 0.05). Twenty-two women in the IG (61%) had a clinically reliable decrease in their post-intervention score compared to eight women in the CG (32%; p < 0.05). Among the women who met the reliable change criteria, 18 (81%) in the IG and 7 (88%) in the CG had a score <16 post-intervention, with no difference between groups (p > 0.05).
A structured exercise program might be a useful treatment option for women at risk for prenatal depression.
Epidemiological studies indicate that individuals with one type of mental disorder have an increased risk of subsequently developing other types of mental disorders. This study aimed to undertake a comprehensive analysis of pair-wise lifetime comorbidity across a range of common mental disorders based on a diverse range of population-based surveys.
The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys assessed 145 990 adult respondents from 27 countries. Based on retrospectively-reported age-of-onset for 24 DSM-IV mental disorders, associations were examined between all 548 logically possible temporally-ordered disorder pairs. Overall and time-dependent hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Absolute risks were estimated using the product-limit method. Estimates were generated separately for men and women.
Each prior lifetime mental disorder was associated with an increased risk of subsequent first onset of each other disorder. The median HR was 12.1 (mean = 14.4; range 5.2–110.8, interquartile range = 6.0–19.4). The HRs were most prominent between closely-related mental disorder types and in the first 1–2 years after the onset of the prior disorder. Although HRs declined with time since prior disorder, significantly elevated risk of subsequent comorbidity persisted for at least 15 years. Appreciable absolute risks of secondary disorders were found over time for many pairs.
Survey data from a range of sites confirms that comorbidity between mental disorders is common. Understanding the risks of temporally secondary disorders may help design practical programs for primary prevention of secondary disorders.
Community care units (CCUs) are a model of residential psychiatric rehabilitation aiming to improve the independence and community functioning of people with severe and persistent mental illness. This study examined factors predicting improvement in outcomes among CCU consumers.
Hierarchical regression using data from a retrospective cohort (N = 501) of all consumers admitted to five CCUs in Queensland, Australia between 2005 and 2014. The primary outcome was changed in mental health and social functioning (Health of the Nation Outcome Scale). Secondary outcomes were disability (Life Skills Profile-16), service use, accommodation instability, and involuntary treatment. Potential predictors covered service, consumer, and treatment characteristics. Group-level and individualised change were assessed between the year pre-admission and post-discharge. Where relevant and available, the reliable and clinically significant (RCS) change was assessed by comparison with a normative sample.
Group-level analyses showed statistically significant improvements in mental health and social functioning, and reductions in psychiatry-related bed-days, emergency department (ED) presentations and involuntary treatment. There were no significant changes in disability or accommodation instability. A total of 54.7% of consumers demonstrated reliable improvement in mental health and social functioning, and 43.0% showed RCS improvement. The majority (60.6%) showed a reliable improvement in psychiatry-related bed-use; a minority demonstrated reliable improvement in ED presentations (12.5%). Significant predictors of improvement included variables related to the CCU care (e.g. episode duration), consumer characteristics (e.g. primary diagnosis) and treatment variables (e.g. psychiatry-related bed-days pre-admission). Higher baseline impairment in mental health and social functioning (β = 1.12) and longer episodes of CCU care (β = 1.03) increased the likelihood of RCS improvement in mental health and social functioning.
CCU care was followed by reliable improvements in relevant outcomes for many consumers. Consumers with poorer mental health and social functioning, and a longer episode of CCU care were more likely to make RCS improvements in mental health and social functioning.
To describe the characteristics of people in Central and Eastern Sydney (CES), NSW, who had a General Practice Management Plan (GPMP) and claimed for at least one private allied health service item; and to examine if allied health service use results in less hospitalisations over a five-year period.
The number of people living with chronic health conditions is increasing in Australia. The Chronic Disease Management programme was introduced to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to provide a more structured approach to managing patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs. The programme supports general practitioners claiming up to one GPMP and one Team Care Arrangement every year, and the patient additionally claiming for up to five private allied health services visits.
A prospective longitudinal study was conducted. The sample consisted of 5771 participants in CES who had a GPMP within a two-year health service utilisation baseline period (2007–2009). The analysis used the 45 and Up Study questionnaire data linked to the MBS, hospitalisation, death and emergency department data for the period 2006–2014.
Of the eligible participants, 43% (2460) had at least one allied health service item claim in the subsequent 12 months. Allied health services were reported as physiotherapy, podiatry and other allied health services. The highest rates of allied health service use were among participants aged 85 years and over (49%). After controlling for confounding factors, a significant difference was found between having claimed for five or more physiotherapy services and emergency admissions (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72–0.95) and potentially preventable hospitalisations (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.64–0.96) in the subsequent five years. Use of allied health service items was well targeted towards those with chronic and complex care needs, and use of physiotherapy services was associated with less avoidable hospitalisations.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The development and subsistence strategies adopted in ancient settlements are crucial to the understanding of long-term human–environmental interaction in the past. Here, we reassess the chronology of the ancient walled settlement of Sanjiao in the Hexi Corridor in northwestern China through accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating and explore the subsistence of the settlers inside through the identification of carbonized seeds and charcoal. In addition, high-resolution paleoclimate records in the Hexi Corridor and nearby regions are employed to explore the reason for the construction of Sanjiao. Our results show that Sanjiao was built around 828 cal BC and remained inhabited through 384–116 cal BC. This indicates Sanjiao is the earliest known walled settlement in the Hexi Corridor. Ancient people at Sanjiao consumed crops such as barley, broomcorn millet, and foxtail millet, and used wood from Tamarix chinensis, Tamarix, Salix, Picea, Hippophae, Betulaceae, and Poaceae as fuel. The construction date of Sanjiao correlates with climate deterioration and social upheavals in the Hexi Corridor, potentially suggesting a defensive purpose for the site.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly co-occurs with clinically significant levels of anxiety. However, anxiety symptoms are varied and have been inconsistently associated with clinical, functional, and antidepressant treatment outcomes. We aimed to identify and characterise dimensions of anxiety in people with MDD and their use in predicting antidepressant treatment outcome.
1008 adults with a current diagnosis of single-episode or recurrent, nonpsychotic, MDD were assessed at baseline on clinical features and cognitive/physiological functioning. Participants were then randomised to one of three commonly prescribed antidepressants and reassessed at 8 weeks regarding symptom change, as well as remission and response, on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale Depression (HRSD17) and the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-SR16). Exploratory factor analysis was used on items from scales assessing anxiety symptoms, and resulting factors were assessed against clinical features and cognitive/physiological functioning. Factors were also assessed on their ability to predict treatment outcome.
Three factors emerged relating to stress, cognitive anxiety, and somatic anxiety. All factors showed high internal consistency, minimal cross-loadings, and unique clinical and functional profiles. Furthermore, only higher somatic anxiety was associated with poorer QIDS-SR16 remission, even after adjusting for covariates and multiple comparisons.
Anxiety symptoms in people with MDD can be separated onto distinct factors that differentially respond to treatment outcome. Furthermore, these factors do not align with subscales of established measures of anxiety. Future research should consider cognitive and somatic symptoms of anxiety separately when assessing anxiety in MDD and their use in predicting treatment outcome.
This replication study examined protective effects of positive childhood memories with caregivers (“angels in the nursery”) against lifespan and intergenerational transmission of trauma. More positive, elaborated angel memories were hypothesized to buffer associations between mothers’ childhood maltreatment and their adulthood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, and children's trauma exposure. Participants were 185 mothers (M age = 30.67 years, SD = 6.44, range = 17–46 years, 54.6% Latina, 17.8% White, 10.3% African American, 17.3% other; 24% Spanish speaking) and children (M age = 42.51 months; SD = 15.95, range = 3–72 months; 51.4% male). Mothers completed the Angels in the Nursery Interview (Van Horn, Lieberman, & Harris, 2008), and assessments of childhood maltreatment, adulthood psychopathology, children's trauma exposure, and demographics. Angel memories significantly moderated associations between maltreatment and PTSD (but not depression) symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, and children's trauma exposure. For mothers with less positive, elaborated angel memories, higher levels of maltreatment predicted higher levels of psychopathology and children's trauma exposure. For mothers with more positive, elaborated memories, however, predictive associations were not significant, reflecting protective effects. Furthermore, protective effects against children's trauma exposure were significant only for female children, suggesting that angel memories may specifically buffer against intergenerational trauma from mothers to daughters.
The Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations suggests that patients suspected of transient ischemic attack (TIA)/minor stroke receive urgent brain imaging, preferably computed tomography angiography (CTA). Yet, high requisition rates for non-cerebrovascular patients overburden limited radiological resources, putting patients at risk. We hypothesize that our clinical decision support tool (CDST) developed for risk stratification of TIA in the emergency department (ED), and which incorporates Canadian guidelines, could improve CTA utilization.
Retrospective study design with clinical information gathered from ED patient referrals to an outpatient TIA unit in Victoria, BC, from 2015-2016. Actual CTA orders by ED and TIA unit staff were compared to hypothetical CTA ordering if our CDST had been used in the ED upon patient arrival.
For 1,679 referrals, clinicians ordered 954 CTAs. Our CDST would have ordered a total of 977 CTAs for these patients. Overall, this would have increased the number of imaged-TIA patients by 89 (10.1%) while imaging 98 (16.1%) fewer non-cerebrovascular patients over the 2-year period. Our CDST would have ordered CTA for 18 (78.3%) of the recurrent stroke patients in the sample.
Our CDST could enhance CTA utilization in the ED for suspected TIA patients, and facilitate guideline-based stroke care. Use of our CDST would increase the number of TIA patients receiving CTA before ED discharge (rather than later at TIA units) and reduce the burden of imaging stroke mimics in radiological departments.
Despite the advances of molecular tools, new nematode species are still described mainly based on morphological characters. Parapharyngodon and Thelandros are two genera of oxyurids with unclear related taxonomic histories. Here we use morphological characters (linear measurements and categorical variables) and genetic information (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and COI partial gene sequences) to confirm the relationships between representatives of these two genera and to determine whether they can be discriminated morphologically. Genetic results confirm the existence of two main clades, mostly congruent with Parapharyngodon and Thelandros genera but with several discordances. Thelandros is polyphyletic, with two of the species analysed (T. filiformis and T. tinerfensis) being part of the Thelandros clade, but with a third one (T. galloti) falling within the Parapharyngodon clade. Regarding the Parapharyngodon clade, P. cubensis, P. scleratus and Parapharyngodon sp. from Mexico form congruent lineages, while most P. echinatus samples cluster in another group, with one exception. Interestingly, P. micipsae samples are scattered across the Parapharyngodon clade, suggesting that they were misidentified or rather represent alternative morphotypes of other species. Morphological analysis identified the length of the tail, number of caudal papillae, position of the nerve ring, presence of caudal alae and length of the lateral alae as reliable characters to distinguish between Parapharyngodon and Thelandros genetic clades. Our study highlights the current taxonomic inconsistency in these groups, mainly derived from the exclusive use of morphological data. As such, we advocate for the routine implementation of molecular data in nematode taxonomic studies.
Inefficiencies in the national clinical research infrastructure have been apparent for decades. The National Center for Advancing Translational Science—sponsored Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program is able to address such inefficiencies. The Trial Innovation Network (TIN) is a collaborative initiative with the CTSA program and other National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers that addresses critical roadblocks to accelerate the translation of novel interventions to clinical practice. The TIN’s mission is to execute high-quality trials in a quick, cost-efficient manner. The TIN awardees are composed of 3 Trial Innovation Centers, the Recruitment Innovation Center, and the individual CTSA institutions that have identified TIN Liaison units. The TIN has launched a national scale single (central) Institutional Review Board system, master contracting agreements, quality-by-design approaches, novel recruitment support methods, and applies evidence-based strategies to recruitment and patient engagement. The TIN has received 113 submissions from 39 different CTSA institutions and 8 non-CTSA Institutions, with projects associated with 12 different NIH Institutes and Centers across a wide range of clinical/disease areas. Already more than 150 unique health systems/organizations are involved as sites in TIN-related multisite studies. The TIN will begin to capture data and metrics that quantify increased efficiency and quality improvement during operations.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.