• Parenting Teamwork: The impact of a fathering intervention on mothers and infants in Vietnam

      Rempel, John K.; Rempel, Lynn A.; Hoa, Dinh Thi Phuong; Vui, Le Thi; Long, Tran Khanh (Child Development, 2019-04-01)
      A multi-faceted, relationally-focused intervention involving group and individual pre-and post-natal counseling, print resources, and community resources encouraged 390 fathers of newborn infants in Vietnam to responsively support mothers and work with them as a parenting team. Both partners completed questionnaires pre-birth and 1, 4, and 9-months post-birth on measures of breastfeeding support, exclusive breastfeeding duration, relationship quality, and infant development. Compared to 412 comparison group couples, intervention couples evidenced greater father support, especially in terms of helping and responsiveness to the mother’s needs. This support predicted longer exclusive breastfeeding duration, improved relationship quality, and higher levels of infant development at 9 months. Sensitively working together with mothers as a coordinated team enhanced couple’s relationship functioning and improved children’s developmental outcomes.
    • Peer idealization, internal examples, and the meta-philosophy of genius in the epistemology of disagreement

      Kenyon, Tim (Candian Philosophical Foundation, 2019-06-03)
      The epistemology of disagreement (EoD) has developed around a highly idealized notion of epistemic peers. The analysis of examples in the literature has not been very effective at mitigating this idealization, due to a tendency to focus on cases of extant philosophical disputes. This makes it difficult to spotlight the respects in which discussants are non-ideal, because the discussants are disciplinary colleagues. At the same time, widespread attitudes in academic philosophy about the importance of raw intelligence in doing philosophy can mislead us about the fragility and unpredictability of expertise. The use of such examples is not strong methodology.
    • Peer pressures: Social instability stress in adolescence and social deficits in adulthood in a rodent model

      McCormick, Cheryl M; Hodges, Travis E; Simone, Jonathan J (Elsevier Ltd, 2014)
      Studies in animal models generate and test hypotheses regarding developmental stagespecific vulnerability that might inform research questions about human development. In both rats and humans, peer relationships are qualitatively different in adolescence than at other stages of development, and social experiences in adolescence are considered important determinants of adult social function. This review describes our adolescent rat social instability stress model and the long-lasting effects social instability has on social behaviour in adulthood as well as the possible neural underpinnings. Effects of other adolescent social stress experiences in rats on social behaviours in adulthood also are reviewed. We discuss the role of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) function and glucocorticoid release in conferring differential susceptibility to social experiences in adolescents compared to adults. We propose that although differential perception of social experiences rather than immature HPA function may underlie the heightened vulnerability of adolescents to social instability, the changes in the trajectory of brain development and resultant social deficits likely are mediated by the heightened glucocorticoid release in response to repeated social stressors in adolescence compared to in adulthood.
    • Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading and Energy Conversion in Interconnected Multi-Energy Microgrids Using Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning

      Chen, Tianyi; Bu, Shengrong; Liu, Xue; Kang, Jikun; Yu, F. Richard; Han, Zhu (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2021)
      A key aspect of multi-energy microgrids (MEMGs) is the capability to efficiently convert and store energy in order to reduce the costs and environmental impact. Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading is a novel paradigm for decentralized energy market designs. In this paper, we investigate the external P2P energy trading problem and internal energy conversion problem within interconnected residential, commercial and industrial MEMGs. These two problems are complex decision-making problems with enormous high-dimensional data and uncertainty, so a multi-agent deep reinforcement learning approach combining the multi-agent actor-critic algorithm with the twin delayed deep deterministic policy gradient algorithm is proposed. The proposed approach can handle the high-dimensional continuous action space and aligns with the nature of P2P energy trading with multiple MEMGs. Simulation results based on three real-world MG datasets show that the proposed approach significantly reduces each MG's average hourly operation cost. The impact of carbon tax pricing is also considered.
    • Perceptions of Technology and Manifestations of Language Learner Autonomy

      Bordonaro, Karen (Computer-Assisted Language Learning Electronic Journal, 2003-06)
      a grounded theory study investigating perceptions of technology by learners of English as a second language
    • The perfect space: classroom environments and learning outcomes

      Yates, Elizabeth; Cotton, Justine (2015-01-27)
      What impact does a classroom space have on learning outcomes for students? Does a perfect library teaching space exist? This presentation highlights the findings of a 2014 survey of teaching librarians and library staff at Ontario universities and colleges exploring the effect of library/learning commons learning spaces on instructional design and learning outcomes.
    • Personal Librarians: can we help with student retention?

      Yates, Elizabeth (2018-03)
      A strong body of research shows positive correlations between use of library resources and student success amd retention. Research on retention also shows the importance of students feeling connected to their university community. Personal librarian programs address both of those outcomes by promoting the use of library services and resources and by building positive relationships between students and their librarians. This lightning talk will describe a new personal librarian program aimed at improving student retention rates at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, where the university’s retention rates are below the provincial average and increasing retention is a campus priority.
    • Phenological and social characterization of three Lasioglossum (Dialictus) species inferred from long-term trapping collections

      Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 2021-12-30
      Detailed social and phenological data collected from nesting aggregations exist for relatively few sweat bee species because nesting aggregations are rarely found in large numbers, even when local populations are highly abundant. This limits researchers’ abilities to assess the social status of many species, which in turn, limits our ability to trace the sequence of evolutionary steps between alternative social states. To address this problem, we demonstrate the utility of rehydrated, pinned specimens from pan trap and netting collections for generating inferences about the phenology and social status of a well-studied sweat bee species, Lasioglossum (Dialictus) laevissimum. A detailed comparison of phenology and reproductive traits, between pinned specimens and those in a previous nesting study, produced similar results for bivoltine foraging activity and eusocial colony organization typical in this species. We then used pinned specimens from monitoring studies to describe, for the first time, the foraging phenology and social behaviour of two additional Dialictus species, L. hitchensi and L. ellisiae. Both L. hitchensi and L. ellisiae each exhibited two peaks in abundance during their breeding seasons, indicating two periods of foraging activity, which correspond to provisioning of spring and summer broods. Differences in body size, wear, and ovarian development of spring and summer females indicated that L. hitchensi is most likely eusocial, while L. ellisiae is either solitary or communal. This study demonstrates that analyses of specimens obtained from flower and pan trap collections can be used for assessing the phenology and social organization of temperate sweat bees in the absence of nesting data. The phenological and social lability of many sweat bee species make them ideal for studying geographic and temporal variability in sociality, and analyses of pan trap collections can make these studies possible when direct observations are impossible.
    • A pilot project to develop an integrated Canadian hydro-economic model

      Dupont, Diane (2015)
      Governments in Canada currently do not have the capacity to analyze the two-way relationship between economic activities and hydrologic conditions at the river basin level. Canada also does not have an integrated hydro-economic computer model for practical policy and decision-making towards sustainable water use. This project will demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of developing such integrated models. Furthermore, the model will provide governments with new ways to assess both the implications of economic development strategies on water resources and the implications of water allocation policies on local economic activity.
    • Plant microbiome analysis after Metarhizium amendment reveals increases in abundance of plant growth-promoting organisms and maintenance of disease-suppressive soil

      Waller, Alison S.; Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.; Barelli, Larissa (Public Library of Science, 2020-01)
      The microbial community in the plant rhizosphere is vital to plant productivity and disease resistance. Alterations in the composition and diversity of species within this community could be detrimental if microbes suppressing the activity of pathogens are removed. Species of the insect-pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium, commonly employed as biological control agents against crop pests, have recently been identified as plant root colonizers and provide a variety of benefits (e.g. growth promotion, drought resistance, nitrogen acquisition). However, the impact of Metarhizium amendment on the rhizosphere microbiome has yet to be elucidated. Using Illumina sequencing, we examined the community profiles (bacteria and fungi) of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) rhizosphere (loose soil and plant root) after amendment with M. robertsii conidia, in the presence and absence of an insect host. Although alpha diversity was not significantly affected overall, there were numerous examples of plant growth-promoting organisms that significantly increased with Metarhizium amendment (Bradyrhizobium, Flavobacterium, Chaetomium, Trichoderma). Specifically, the abundance of Bradyrhizobium, a group of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, was confirmed to be increased using a qPCR assay with genus-specific primers. In addition, the ability of the microbiome to suppress the activity of a known bean root pathogen was assessed. The development of disease symptoms after application with Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli was visible in the hypocotyl and upper root of plants grown in sterilized soil but was suppressed during growth in microbiome soil and soil treated with M. robertsii. Successful amendment of agricultural soils with biocontrol agents such as Metarhizium necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the effects on the diversity of the rhizosphere microbiome. Such research is fundamentally important towards sustainable agricultural practices to improve overall plant health and productivity.
    • Post-hatch heat warms adult beaks: irreversible physiological plasticity in Japanese quail

      Tattersall, Glenn (Royal Society Publishing, 2013-08)
      Across taxa, the early rearing environment contributes to adult morphological and physiological variation. For example, in birds, environmental temperature plays a key role in shaping bill size and clinal trends across latitudinal/thermal gradients. Such patterns support the role of the bill as a thermal window and in thermal balance. It remains unknown whether bill size and thermal function are reversibly plastic. We raised Japanese quail in warm (308C) or cold (158C) environments and then at a common intermediate temperature. We predicted that birds raised in cold temperatures would develop smaller bills than warm-reared individuals, and that regulation of blood flow to the bill in response to changing temperatures would parallel the bill’s role in thermal balance. Cold-reared birds developed shorter bills, although bill size exhibited ‘catch-up’ growth once adults were placed at a common temperature. Despite having lived in a common thermal environment as adults, individuals that were initially reared in the warmth had higher bill surface temperatures than coldreared individuals, particularly under cold conditions. This suggests that blood vessel density and/or the control over blood flow in the bill retained a memory of early thermal ontogeny. We conclude that post-hatch temperature reversibly affects adult bill morphology but irreversibly influences the thermal physiological role of bills and may play an underappreciated role in avian energetics
    • Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures and Poetics (Silo City, Buffalo, NY).

      Parayre, Catherine (2018)
      Parayre, Catherine, ed. Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures and Poetics (Silo City, Buffalo, NY). St. Catharines: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts / Brock University, 2018. 33 p. ISBN 978-0-9682851-7-6
    • Postglacial Reconstruction of Fire History Using Sedimentary Charcoal and Pollen From a Small Lake in Southwest Yukon Territory, Canada

      Prince, Tyler; Pisaric, Michael; Turner, Kevin (Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2018-12-19)
      Previous research suggests climate warming during the current century is likely to lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfire. Recent wildfire seasons in northern Canada generally support these studies, with some of the worst fire seasons on record occurring during the past decade. While we can readily track the spatial and temporal distribution of these events during recent decades using satellite-derived data, these records of past fire activity are relatively short. Proxy records of past fire activity are needed to fully understand how fire regimes may be shifting in response to changing climatic conditions. A high-resolution fire record for the full Holocene was developed using a 539.5-cm sediment core collected from a small lake in southwest Yukon Territory, Canada. Macroscopic charcoal was counted throughout the core at contiguous 0.5-cm intervals. The core was also analyzed for loss-on-ignition and magnetic susceptibility. Fossil pollen preserved in the lake sediment was analyzed to determine vegetation change throughout the Holocene. Macroscopic charcoal analysis indicates an active fire history throughout the record, with 91 fires recorded during the Holocene. Results suggest the fire regime in this region responds to both top-down (climate) and bottom-up (vegetation) factors. Fire return intervals changed in response to shifts in precipitation and temperature as well as the expansion of lodgepole pine into the region. The shifts in precipitation and temperature were attributed to the oscillation of the Aleutian Low pressure system and fluctuations in climate associated with the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age.
    • Potential Urinary miRNA Biomarker Candidates for the Accurate Detection of Prostate Cancer among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients

      Haj-Ahmad, Yousef (Springer, 2014-01)
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short (similar to 22nt), single stranded RNA molecules that function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. MiRNAs can regulate a variety of important biological pathways, including: cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Profiling of miRNA expression patterns was shown to be more useful than the equivalent mRNA profiles for characterizing poorly differentiated tumours. As such, miRNA expression "signatures" are expected to offer serious potential for diagnosing and prognosing cancers of any provenance. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of using deregulation of urinary miRNAs in order to detect Prostate Cancer (PCa) among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). To identify the miRNA signatures specific for PCa, miRNA expression profiling of 8 PCa patients, 12 BPH patients and 10 healthy males was carried out using whole genome expression profiling. Differential expression of two individual miRNAs between healthy males and BPH patients was detected and found to possibly target genes related to PCa development and progression. The sensitivity and specificity of miR-1825 for detecting PCa among BPH individuals was found to be 60% and 69%, respectively. Whereas, the sensitivity and specificity of miR-484 were 80% and 19%, respectively. Additionally, the sensitivity and specificity for miR-1825/484 in tandem were 45% and 75%, respectively. The proposed PCa miRNA signatures may therefore be of great value for the accurate diagnosis of PCa and BPH. This exploratory study has identified several possible targets that merit further investigation towards the development and validation of diagnostically useful, non-invasive, urine-based tests that might not only help diagnose PCa but also possibly help differentiate it from BPH.
    • Potential Urinary Protein Biomarker Candidates for the Accurate Detection of Prostate Cancer among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients

      Haj-Ahmad, Yousef (Springer, 2014-01)
      Globally, Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently occurring non-cutaneous cancer, and is the second highest cause of cancer mortality in men. Serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) has been the standard in PCa screening since its approval by the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994. Currently, PSA is used as an indicator for PCa - patients with a serum PSA level above 4ng/mL will often undergo prostate biopsy to confirm cancer. Unfortunately fewer than similar to 30% of these men will biopsy positive for cancer, meaning that the majority of men undergo invasive biopsy with little benefit. Despite PSA's notoriously poor specificity (33%), there is still a significant lack of credible alternatives. Therefore an ideal biomarker that can specifically detect PCa at an early stage is urgently required. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of using deregulation of urinary proteins in order to detect Prostate Cancer (PCa) among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). To identify the protein signatures specific for PCa, protein expression profiling of 8 PCa patients, 12 BPH patients and 10 healthy males was carried out using LC-MS/MS. This was followed by validating relative expression levels of proteins present in urine among all the patients using quantitative real time-PCR. This was followed by validating relative expression levels of proteins present in urine among all the patients using quantitative real time-PCR. This approach revealed that significant the down-regulation of Fibronectin and TP53INP2 was a characteristic event among PCa patients. Fibronectin mRNA down-regulation, was identified as offering improved specificity (50%) over PSA, albeit with a slightly lower although still acceptable sensitivity (75%) for detecting PCa. As for TP53INP2 on the other hand, its down-regulation was moderately sensitive (75%), identifying many patients with PCa, but was entirely non-specific (7%), designating many of the benign samples as malignant and being unable to accurately identify more than one negative.
    • Practically Speaking

      Bordonaro, Karen (Canadian Library Association, 2013-12)
      a list of practical tips to enhance one-on-one encounters with international students at library service desks
    • Predicting Lower Quarter Y-Balance Test Performance from Foot Characteristics

      Chimera, Nicole J.; Larson, Mallorie (Human Kinetics, 2020)
      The lower quarter Y-Balance Test (YBT-LQ) is associated with injury risk; however, ankle range of motion impacts YBT-LQ. Arch height and foot sensation impact static balance, but these characteristics have not yet been evaluated relative to YBT-LQ. Determine if arch height index (AHI), forefoot sensation (SEN), and ankle dorsiflexion predict YBT-LQ composite score (CS). Descriptive cohort. Athletic training laboratory. Twenty general population (14 females and 6 males; mean [SD]: age 35 [18] y, weight 70.02 [16.76] kg, height 1.68 [0.12] m) participated in this study. AHI measurement system assessed arch height in 10% (AHI10) and 90% (AHI90) weight-bearing. Two-point discrim-a-gon discs assessed sensation (SEN) at the plantar great toe, third and fifth metatarsal heads. Biplane goniometer and weight-bearing lunge tests were used to measure static and weight-bearing dorsiflexion, respectively. The YBT-LQ assessed dynamic single-leg balance. For right-limb dynamic single-leg balance, AHI90 and SEN were included in the final sequential prediction equation; however, neither model significantly (P = .052 and .074) predicted variance in YBT-LQ CS. For left-limb dynamic single-leg balance, both SEN and weight-bearing lunge test were included in the final sequential prediction equation. The regression model (SEN and weight-bearing lunge test) significantly (P = .047) predicted 22% of the variance in YBT-LQ CS. This study demonstrates that foot characteristics may play a role in YBT-LQ CS. The authors did not assess limb dominance in this study; therefore, the authors are unable to determine which limb would be the stance versus kicking limb. However, altered SEN and weight-bearing dorsiflexion appear to be contributing factors to YBT-LQ CS.
    • Preliminary Evaluation of an Adaptive Robotic Training Program of the Wrist for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

      Mannella, Kailynn; Albanese, Giulia A.; Ditor, David; Zenzeri, Jacopo; Holmes, Michael W. R. (MDPI AG, 2021-10-04)
      Robotics can be used to describe wrist kinematics and assess sensorimotor impairments, while the implementation of training algorithms can be aimed at improving neuromuscular control. The purpose of this study was to use a robotic device to develop an adaptive and individualized training program of the distal upper extremity for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). This approach included an online assessment of performance aimed at changing the level of assistance/resistance provided during the task. Participants (N = 7) completed a robotic training program that occurred 3 times weekly for 4 weeks. The training protocol consisted of tracking a target moving along a figure by grasping the end-effector of the robotic device and moving it along the trajectory. Outcome measures were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Improvements in performance were quantified by average tracking (p = 0.028) and figural error (p = 0.028), which was significantly reduced by 26% and 43%, respectively. Isometric wrist strength significantly improved post-intervention (flexion: p = 0.043, radial and ulnar deviation: p = 0.028). The results of this work demonstrate that 4-weeks of adaptive robotic training is a feasible rehabilitative program that has the potential to improve distal upper extremity motor accuracy and muscular strength in a MS population.
    • A preliminary study of grade forecasting for students

      Armstrong, Michael J. (Wiley, 2013)
      This experiment enabled undergraduate business students to better assess their progress in a course by quantitatively forecasting their own end-of-course grades. This innovation provided them with predictive feedback in addition to the outcome feedback they were already receiving. A total of 144 students forecast their grades using an instructor-prepared spreadsheet, and then responded to a brief survey. Of these participants, 29% said the forecast grades were lower than expected, while 6% said they were higher. Subsequent to the forecast, 47% of the respondents said they were studying more than planned, while 3% said they were studying less. The relative difference between the students’ forecast grades and their prior expectations showed no direct influence on subsequent motivation or studying effort. Instead, increased studying was reported by students who had experienced increased anxiety, increased motivation, or positive impressions subsequent to the forecasting experience, as well as by students who had received low absolute grade forecasts.