Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences - Conference Items

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Item
    ProtoAtlantic: Innovation in the marine environment in the Atlantic Area region
    (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2022-05-19) Lima, Ana Paula; Martínez Hernández, Héctor; Giannoumis, Jessica; O'Suilleabhain, Darragh; O'Reilly, Anthony; Heward, Myles; Presse, Pauline; Santana, Moisés; Galván Falcón, Jorge; Silva, Eduardo; European Regional Development Fund
    Blue Growth, a term first coined by the European Commission as "an initiative to harness the untapped potential of Europe's oceans, seas and coasts", identified rich marine resources as an unique asset for economic development in coastal regions and on islands. The European Commission has through the Blue Growth objectives for the first time highlighted marine sectors as unique market opportunities with high growth potential which carry socio-economic importance to the development of coastal regions. Particularly marine sectors such as aquaculture, marine robotics, and marine renewable energy which fulfil global needs in food safety and security, enable monitoring and exploration in harsh and remote conditions, and globally growing energy needs were recognized as catalysts to achieve sustainable development. Marine start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) were identified as potential drivers in emerging marine sectors. However, they require support mechanisms tailored to their needs as they are competing for the same business and financial support as land-based SMEs, yet the research and development infrastructure is more difficult to access.ProtoAtlantic, an Interreg Atlantic Area funded project, provided marine-specific support mechanisms to marine start-ups and SMEs in emerging sectors, including business support through the accelerator and mentorship programs, enabling companies to fast track their product development through access to prototyping and testing facilities in all partner regions. The Interreg Atlantic Area encompasses partner regions in France, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. The consortium partners consist of Technopôle Brest Iroise (Brest, France), University College Cork - UCC (Cork, Ireland), County Council Cork (Cork, Ireland), INESC TEC (Porto, Portugal), the European Marine Energy Centre - EMEC (Orkney, Scotland), EMERGE (Canary Islands, Spain), and the lead partner, Innovalia Association (Canary Islands, Spain). The strategic collaboration between the partners provided marine start-ups access to testing facilities in the Atlantic Ocean. The extreme living laboratories provided by EMEC, the LiR National Ocean Testing Facilities at UCC's Centre of Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI centre), and INESC TEC promise harsh real-life conditions which test the suitability of marine technologies to the limit thereby providing start-ups and SMEs with an extra layer of confidence in developing their technologies. This cross-regional collaboration puts the ProtoAltantic program in a unique position, as it is the first of its kind to dedicate marine-specific support to marine start-ups and SMEs which have benefited from the opportunities that ProtoAtlantic has provided.ProtoAtlantic developed a holistic model for the prototyping and exploitation of innovative ideas in emerging maritime sectors. After the identification of ideas from the research community, start-ups, and SMEs with product innovation capacity in the maritime sector, an acceleration program with a normed and structured process was implemented, thus creating a unique ecosystem in the Atlantic that is addressing a co-creation paradigm with the local European start-ups communities and all the stakeholders.
  • Item
    PLANTS DEMO - Enabling mixed societies of communicating plants and artefacts
    (2006) Barton, John; O'Flynn, Brendan; Aherne, Kevin; Morrissey, Anthony; Cassells, Alan; Drossos, Nikos; Goumopoulos, Christos; Tooke, Fiona; Whitbread-Abrutat, Peter
    Several applications, such as precision farming, military field monitoring and seismic activity monitoring require reliable and extended lifetime deployments of potentially a very large number of wireless sensor and actuator nodes. As hardware becomes cheaper and smaller, more of these applications are likely to appear, particularly as these miniaturised nodes offer the opportunity for the electronics to be embedded unobtrusively into everyday objects. This paper will present results from an EU funded project, PLANTS. PLANTS is a research project devising a novel technology that will allow plants to control their own environments. Using this technology, plant signals are detected, analysed and an appropriate response activated. The PLANTS system automatically responds to a plant's needs.
  • Item
    Anadromy in brown trout (Salmo trutta): A review of the relative roles of genes and environmental factors and the implications for management and conservation
    (Troubador Publishing Ltd., 2016-10) Ferguson, Andy; Reed, Thomas E.; McGinnity, Philip; Prodöhl, Paolo A.; Harris, Graham; European Research Council; Horizon 2020
    While many brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations spend their entire life cycle in freshwater, especially as river-lake migrants or river residents, others show facultative anadromy. That is, some trout migrate to sea while other individuals of the same population remain within their natal river. Sea trout can give rise to resident offspring and vice versa, although there is a strong tendency to track the parental life history. Anadromy delivers better feeding and thus larger size, which results in higher fecundity in females, enhanced mate choice, and other reproductive benefits. River residence, more prevalent in males as anadromy conveys fewer benefits, can give higher survival and avoids the energy expenditure required by anadromy. Overall, the costs and benefits of anadromy versus residency, measured in terms of survival and reproduction, are finely balanced and small changes to the cost-benefit equation can lead to evolutionary changes in life history. The decision to be anadromous or resident is a quantitative threshold trait, controlled by multiple genes and environmental factors. The dichotomous nature of the trait is postulated to be the result of the environmentally influenced physiological condition (e.g. energy status) relative to a genetically determined threshold. Anadromy ensues when an individual’s condition fails to meet the threshold level, which varies between sexes and among individuals and populations. Environmental factors and genetic architecture may also directly influence life history, e.g., by altering gene expression. A strong genetic influence on the anadromy decision means that facultative anadromy can be altered by natural selection driven by changes such as differential exploitation, stocking with farm-reared brown trout, partial barriers to migration, and changes in climate, and freshwater and marine productivity, together with parasite, pathogen and predator abundance resulting in reduced marine survival and growth. Further studies of the factors determining life history choice, together with multiple population estimates of heritability and differential reproductive success (fitness), are required to understand fully the impact of natural and anthropogenic environmental changes on sea trout dynamics.
  • Item
    Learning by doing: An international, interdisciplinary experiment using peer-based learning in an outdoor laboratory
    (University College Cork, 2019) Kett, Gary; Notaro, Dean Anthony; Higgs, Bettie Matheson; Theias, Alfonso; Hadre, Emma; Bamberger, Axel; Blum, Astrid; Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
    Interdisciplinarity and international collaborations are widely regarded as beneficial constructs for students in higher education (Holley, 2009). However, challenges can arise when merging disciplines, methods, and cultures. We focus in on the disciplinary and cultural disconnects that can be experienced in the natural sciences, where field-based learning, a resource intensive but potentially rich pedagogical approach, is often not optimised. We aimed to foster peer-orientated collaboration between undergraduate and postgraduate students from different backgrounds within the natural sciences. Research suggests that this approach would encourage independent and integrative learning (Higgs et al., 2010). Here, we address the challenges faced in field-based learning programmes through an Erasmus+ project that is designing curricular for both student and staff development.
  • Item
    The use of airborne ultrasound for Varroa destructor mite control in beehives
    (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2018-10) Barry, Brendan C.; Verstraten, Lindy; Butler, Fidelma; Whelan, Padraig M.; Wright, William M.D.; Science Foundation Ireland
    The declining health of honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations is of global concern, as they are arguably the most important pollinator insect. The Varroa destructor mite weakens bees by sucking their haemolymph and spreads debilitating illnesses such as Deformed Wing Virus. Current methods of Varroa mite control are usually pesticide-based with potential side effects for the bees or the beekeeper, and can leave residues in the honey or wax. The mites can also develop resistance to these pesticides. The objective of the current work is to investigate the use of high-frequency, high-intensity airborne ultrasound to control the Varroa mite populations using a chemical-free technology. A prototype ultrasonic system that generates airborne ultrasonic waves at different frequencies and intensities was constructed and tested. In initial studies, small transparent enclosures were used to observe directly the effects of the ultrasound on the bees. Preliminary in-hive tests were then conducted. Bee hives with varying levels of Varroa mite infestation were temporarily sealed to prevent bee traffic and then the bees inside were exposed to the ultrasound. The mite drop from the hive was recorded for (i)30 minutes before, (ii)during 30 minutes of ultrasound exposure, and (iii)30 minutes after ultrasonic treatment. The bees in the transparent enclosures exhibited normal behavior and appeared to be unaffected by the ultrasound. Preliminary results from the in-hive experiments indicate a significant increase in the rate of Varroa mite drop after only 30 minutes of exposure to the airborne ultrasound inside some of the hives, with the effect continuing after the ultrasonic system was switched off. Long-term field trials of ultrasonic in-hive systems are ongoing.