200 Works

Creative Production Synergies in Penrith and the Blue Mountains

Cecelia Cmielewski, Phillip Mar, Ien Ang, David Rowe & Deborah Stevenson
This project was commissioned by Penrith City Council and conducted by a research team from Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society (ICS). Penrith City Council and Blue Mountains City Council in collaboration with Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise contributed resources for the project. Regional leadership in arts and cultural production is evident in Penrith and the Blue Mountains through the different yet complementary approaches of the City Councils. A strategic alliance between Penrith and...

Developing LGBT+ Inclusive Supporter Groups in the Big Bash League

Ryan Storr, Jorge Knijnik, Keith D. Parry, Anneke Collison & Emma Staples

Benchmarking Summer Heat Across Penrith, New South Wales

Sebastian Pfautsch, Agnieszka Wujeska-Klause & Susanna Rouillard
This report documents variation of summer temperatures across the Local Government Area of Penrith in Western Sydney. Between 14 December 2019 and 31 March 2020, more than 1.4 million measurements of air temperatures were collected using 120 data loggers. The network of data loggers covered the entire Local Government Area from Emu Plains in the west to St Marys in the east and Agnes Banks in the north to Badgerys Creek in the south. Analyses...

Migration and the Gender Impacts of COVID-19 on Nepalese Women: Global Development Working Paper 1

Patrick Kilby & Joyce Wu
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives globally: while most attention has been on the various challenges faced by each country, there are also the people ‘stranded’ overseas with little if any support in getting home. The stranded people can be tourists, visiting families, students, or they are migrant workers whose remittances bolster the household and home country’s national GDP. It is these migrants that are often overlooked in COVID-19 responses. In particular, the women who...

Dalarinji – 'Your Story': Preliminary Report to Community

Karen Soldatic, Linda Briskman, Ben Lawson, John Leha, William Trewlynn & Kim Spurway
This report provides the preliminary findings drawing upon indepth qualitative interviews with young Indigenous LGBTIQA+ people (14 - 25 years) and their experiences of growing up Queer across NSW and the eastern seaboard. Over a period of 12 months (September 2019 - September 2020) 16 young Indigenous people who self-identified as LGBTIQA+ were interviewed across four primary areas including: What it means to be young, Indigenous, LGBTIQA+ for their emotional and social wellbeing;how they navigated...

Food and Me. How Adolescents Experience Nutrition Across the World. A Companion Report to The State of the World's Children 2019

Catharine Fleming, Juliano Diniz De Oliveira, Kaitlyn Hockey, Girish Lala, Virginia Schmied, Georgina Theakstone & Amanda Third
Adolescence is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the period between ages 10 and 19. It can be seen as one of the ‘healthiest’ times of life, sitting between early life mortality and chronic disease in adulthood. However, this is also a time of great physical, emotional and social change, with rapid biological growth requiring additional nutrition. As the State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, Food and Nutrition reported, malnutrition, in the...

Understanding Varied Attitudes Towards Muslims

Kevin Dunn, Rachel Sharples, Thierno M. O. Diallo, Alexia Derbas, Matteo Vergani, Craig McGarty, Fethi Mansouri, Yin Paradies & Amanuel Elias
The focus of this research was to determine the prevalence and type of Islamophobia in the Victorian population. Islamophobia sentiment feeds the actions of right-wing extremist attacks on Muslim communities. But it has also become widespread in Australian society, and normalised in everyday settings, such as our mainstream media. Islamophobia cannot be treated with a singular approach or mode of intervention. Our study comes at a critical time; it provides empirical evidence on the extent...

Improving Financial Capability Among University Students Using a Mobile App: Wallet$mart Project Evaluation

Michelle Cull & Catherine Attard
This report details the findings of a research evaluation conducted for UniBank (Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd) exploring the effectiveness of the Wallet$mart mobile app in improving university students' financial capability. Students undertook to trial the Wallet$mart app during 2020 at Western Sydney University, in partnership with UniBank and supported by App developer, Tangible. This report evaluates the effectiveness of the trial and makes recommendations for further development of the app prior to the app being...

Free2Be... Yet?: The second National Study of Australian High School Students Who Identify as Gender and Sexuality Diverse

Jacqueline Ullman
Free2Be…Yet?, a follow-up to the 2015 Free2Be? report, details the findings from a second nationwide survey of gender and sexuality diverse Australian secondary school students. The name, while also intended to signal the continuation of the original line of research, was designed to highlight the central research question for teenagers: Is your school a place where it is safe for you to be yourself? Are you free to be you? As with the previous iteration...

Macrophage coordination of the interferon lambda immune response

Scott Read
Lambda interferons (IFN-λs) are a major component of the innate immune defense to viruses, bacteria and fungi. In human liver, IFN-λ not only drives antiviral responses, but also promotes inflammation and fibrosis in viral and non-viral diseases. Here we demonstrate that macrophages are primary responders to IFN-λ, uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between IFN-λ producing cells and lymphocyte populations that are not intrinsically responsive to IFN-λ. While CD14+ monocytes do not express the IFN-λ...

Intralocus sexual conflict over optimal nutrient intake and the evolution of sex differences in lifespan and reproduction

John Hunt, Michael Hawkes, Sarah Lane, James Rapkin, Kim Jensen, Clarissa House & Scott Sakaluk
Despite widespread variation in lifespan across species, three clear patterns exist: sex differences in lifespan are ubiquitous, lifespan is commonly traded against reproduction, and nutrition has a major influence on these traits and how they trade-off. One process that potentially unites these patterns is Intralocus Sexual Conflict (IASC) over the optimal intake of nutrients for lifespan and reproduction. If nutrient intake has sex-specific effects on lifespan and reproduction and nutrient choice is genetically linked across...

Data from: Macronutrient intake and simulated infection threat independently affect life history traits of male decorated crickets

Kristin Duffield, Kylie Hampton, Thomas Houslay, James Rapkin, John Hunt, Ben Sadd & Scott Sakaluk
Nutritional geometry has advanced our understanding of how macronutrients (e.g., proteins and carbohydrates) influence the expression of life history traits and their corresponding trade-offs. For example, recent work has revealed that reproduction and immune function in male decorated crickets are optimized at very different protein:carbohydrate (P:C) dietary ratios. However, it is unclear how an individual’s macronutrient intake interacts with its perceived infection status to determine investment in reproduction or other key life history traits. Here,...

Male and female genotype and a genotype-by-genotype interaction mediate the effects of mating on cellular but not humoral immunity in female decorated crickets

Ben Sadd, Kylie Hampton, Kristin Duffield, Scott Sakaluk & John Hunt
Sexually antagonistic coevolution is predicted to lead to the divergence of male and female genotypes related to the effects of substances transferred by males at mating on female physiology. The outcome of mating should thus depend on the specific combination of mating genotypes. Although mating has been shown to influence female immunity in diverse insect taxa, a male-female genotype-by-genotype effect on female immunity post-mating remains largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the effects of mating on...

Siliceous and non-nutritious: nitrogen limitation increases anti-herbivore silicon defenses in a model grass

Scott Johnson
Silicon (Si) accumulation alleviates a diverse array of environmental stresses in many plants, including conferring physical resistance against insect herbivores. It has been hypothesised that grasses, in particular, utilise ‘low metabolic cost’ Si for structural and defensive roles under nutrient limitation. While carbon (C) concentrations often negatively correlate with Si concentrations, the relationship between nitrogen (N) status and Si is more variable. Moreover, the impacts of N limitation on constitutive physical Si defences (e.g. silica...

Whole genome resequencing reveals signatures of rapid selection in a virus affected commercial fishery

Owen Holland, Madeline Toomey, Collin Ahrens, Ary Hoffman, Larry Croft, Craig Sherman & Adam Miller
Infectious diseases are recognised as one of the greatest global threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, there is a growing urgency to understand the speed at which adaptive phenotypes can evolve and spread in natural populations to inform future management. Here we provide evidence of rapid genomic changes in wild Australian blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) following a major population crash associated with an infectious disease. Genome scans on H. rubra were performed using pooled...

Elevated atmospheric CO2 changes defence allocation in wheat but herbivore resistance persists

Scott Johnson, Ximena Cils-Stewart, Jamie Waterman, Fikadu Biru & Rhiannon Rowe
Predicting how plants allocate to different anti-herbivore defences in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations is important for understanding future patterns of crop susceptibility to herbivory. Theories of defence allocation, especially in the context of environmental change, largely overlook the role of silicon (Si), despite it being the major anti-herbivore defence in the Poaceae. We demonstrated that elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 (e[CO2]) promoted plant growth by 33% and caused wheat (Triticum aestivum) to...

Silicon enrichment alters functional traits in legumes depending on plant genotype and symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria

Rocky Putra, Rebecca K. Vandegeer, Shawan Karan, Jeff R. Powell, Susan E. Hartley & Scott N. Johnson
1. Silicon (Si) uptake and deposition (silicification) in tissues is known to alleviate stresses and generally improve plant health. This is mostly studied in Si-high accumulators, such as grasses, with comparatively less known about its effects on other plant functional groups, such as legumes. There is speculation that Si may positively impact the symbiosis between legumes and the nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) they associate with, but this is poorly understood. This study examined the effects of...

Leaf silicification provides herbivore defence regardless of the extensive impacts of water stress

Rebecca Vandegeer, Ximena Cibils-Stewart, Richard Wuhrer, Susan Hartley, David Tissue & Scott Johnson
Altered precipitation patterns due to climate change are likely to impose water-deficit stress in plants resulting in changes to specific leaf mass, leaf water content and chemical defences that may impact herbivorous arthropods. Grasses, in particular, accumulate large concentrations of silicon (Si) which provides physical defence against herbivores. Although Si uptake by plants may be affected by water availability, very few studies have investigated the combined effect of water-deficit stress and Si on insect herbivore...

Data from: Two sources of bias explain errors in facial age estimation

Colin W.G. Clifford, Tamara Watson, David White & Tamara L. Watson
Accurate age estimates underpin our everyday social interactions, the provision of age-restricted services and police investigations. Previous work suggests that these judgments are error-prone, but the processes giving rise to these errors are not understood. Here we present the first systematic test of bias in age estimation using a large database of standardized passport images of heterogeneous ages (n = 3948). In three experiments we tested a range of perceiver age groups (n = 84),...

Data from: Do grazing intensity and herbivore type affect soil health? Insights from a semi-arid productivity gradient

David J. Eldridge, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Samantha K. Travers, James Val, Ian Oliver & David Eldridge
Grazing is one of the most widespread forms of intensive management on Earth and is linked to reductions in soil health. However, little is known about the relative influence of herbivore type, herbivore intensity and site productivity on soil health. This lack of knowledge reduces our capacity to manage landscapes where grazing is a major land use. We used structural equation modelling to assess the effects of recent (cattle, sheep, goats, kangaroos and rabbit dung)...

Data from: Intransitive competition is common across five major taxonomic groups and is driven by productivity, competitive rank and functional traits.

Santiago Soliveres, Anika Lehmann, Steffen Boch, Florian Altermatt, Francesco Carrara, Thomas W. Crowther, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Anne Kempel, Daniel S. Maynard, Matthias C. Rillig, Brajesh K. Singh, Pankaj Trivedi & Eric Allan
1. Competition can be fully hierarchical or intransitive, and this degree of hierarchy is driven by multiple factors, including environmental conditions, the functional traits of the species involved or the topology of competition networks. Studies simultaneously analyzing these drivers of competition hierarchy are rare. Additionally, organisms compete either directly or via interference competition for resources or space, within a local neighbourhood or across the habitat. Therefore, the drivers of competition could change accordingly and depend...

Data from: The search for loci under selection: trends, biases and progress

Collin W. Ahrens, Paul D. Rymer, Adam Stow, Jason Bragg, Shannon Dillon, Kate D. L. Umbers & Rachael Y. Dudaniec
Detecting genetic variants under selection using FST outlier analysis (OA) and environmental association analyses (EAA) are popular approaches that provide insight into the genetic basis of local adaptation. Despite the frequent use of OA and EAA approaches and their increasing attractiveness for detecting signatures of selection, their application to field-based empirical data have not been synthesized. Here, we review 66 empirical studies that use Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in OA and EAA. We report trends...

Data from: Leaf photosynthetic, economics and hydraulic traits are decoupled among genotypes of a widespread species of eucalypt grown under ambient and elevated CO2

Chris J. Blackman, Michael J. Aspinwall, Victor Resco De Dios, Renee Smith, David T. Tissue & Renee A. Smith
Leaf economics and hydraulic traits strongly influence photosynthesis. While the level of coordination among these traits can differ between sets of species, leaf functional trait coordination within species remains poorly understood. Furthermore, elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 commonly influence the expression of leaf photosynthetic, economics and hydraulic traits in contrasting ways, yet the effect of variable concentrations of atmospheric CO2 on patterns of trait coordination within species remains largely untested. We examined the relationships among...

Data from: Global effects of soil and climate on leaf photosynthetic traits and rates

Vincent Maire, Ian J. Wright, I. Colin Prentice, Niels H. Batjes, Radika Bhaskar, Peter M. Van Bodegom, Will K. Cornwell, David Ellsworth, Ülo Niinemets, Alejandro Ordoñez, Peter B. Reich & Louis S. Santiago
Aim: The influence of soil properties on photosynthetic traits in higher plants is poorly quantified in comparison with that of climate. We address this situation by quantifying the unique and joint contributions to global leaf-trait variation from soils and climate. Location: Terrestrial ecosystems world-wide. Methods: Using a trait dataset comprising 1509 species from 288 sites, with climate and soil data derived from global datasets, we quantified the effects of 20 soil and 26 climate variables...

Social Media Insights from Sexuality and Gender Diverse Young People During COVID-19

Benjamin Hanckel & Shiva Chandra
To date, this report is the largest qualitative study of sexuality and gender diverse young people and their use of social media platforms. This study had two broad aims: firstly to better understand the ways sexuality and gender diverse young people are engaging with social media platforms, and secondly, using a rapid prototyping methodological design, to reimagine with young people the ways platforms can respond to LGBTQIA+ young people’s needs. This ‘reimagining’ explored how platforms...

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