• 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.
    • Preparation of Rearranged Allylic Isocyanates from the Reaction of Allylic Alcohols with 1-Cyano-4-dimethylaminopyridinium Bromide

      Baidilov, Daler; Makarova, Mariia; Rycek, Lukas; Hudlicky, Tomas (Thieme, 2018-10-11)
      A shorter and less costly alternative to Ichikawa’s [1,3]-transposition protocol for cyanates to isocyanates is described.
    • Prevalence and Management of Alkyl-Methoxypyrazines in a Changing Climate: Viticultural and Oenological Considerations

      Pickering, Gary J.; Willwerth, Jim; Botezatu, Andreea; Thibodeau, Margaret (MDPI AG, 2021-10-15)
      Alkyl-methoxypyrazines are an important class of odor-active molecules that contribute green, ‘unripe’ characters to wine and are considered undesirable in most wine styles. They are naturally occurring grape metabolites in many cultivars, but can also be derived from some Coccinellidae species when these ‘ladybugs’ are inadvertently introduced into the must during harvesting operations. The projected impacts of climate change are discussed, and we conclude that these include an altered alkyl-methoxypyrazine composition in grapes and wines in many wine regions. Thus, a careful consideration of how to manage them in both the vineyard and winery is important and timely. This review brings together the relevant literatures on viticultural and oenological interventions aimed at mitigating alkyl-methoxypyrazine loads, and makes recommendations on their management with an aim to maintaining wine quality under a changing and challenging climate.
    • Priming the Governance System for Climate Change Adaptation: The Application of a Social Ecological Inventory (SEI) to Engage Actors in Niagara, Canada

      Pickering, Kerrie; Baird, Julia; Plummer, Ryan (2012-03)
      Adaptive systems of governance are increasingly gaining attention in respect to complex and uncertain social-ecological systems. Adaptive co-management is one strategy to make adaptive governance operational and holds promise with respect to community climate change adaptation as it facilitates participation and learning across scales and fosters adaptive capacity and resilience. Developing tools which hasten the realization of such approaches are growing in importance. This paper describes explores the Social Ecological Inventory (SEI) as a tool to 'prime' a regional climate change adaptation network. The SEI tool draws upon the social-ecological systems approach in which social and ecological systems are considered linked. SEIs bridge the gap between conventional stakeholder analysis and biological inventories and take place through a six phase process. A case study describes the results of applying an SEI to prime an adaptive governance network for climate change adaptation in the Niagara Region of Canada. Lessons learned from the case study are discussed and highlight how the SEI catalyzed the adaptive co-management process in the case. Future avenues for SEIs in relation to climate change adaptation emerge from this exploratory work and offer opportunities to inform research and adaptation planning.
    • Professors in Canada: Experiences of academic life—A special issue

      Karram Stephenson, Grace; McGinn, Michelle K (Brock University, 2021-07-15)
      This is an editorial introduction to a special issue of the journal, Brock Education. The article presents an overview of the current context for Canadian professors and the existing data about their work lives and practices. Short descriptions are provided for each of the six articles that comprise the special issue.
    • Promoting Conservation and Social Justice Through Next-Generation Water Prices

      Scott, Dayna (2014)
      It is well understood that water is becoming increasing scarce and that water supply systems are becoming increasingly unreliable in many parts of the world. One part of the solution to these challenges lies in adequately pricing potable water. Proposals to increase prices to encourage conservation and spur innovation, however, have been met with concerns regarding the impact of price increases on the poor. Evidence from a number of jurisdictions indicates that poor households spend a larger share of their income on necessities such as water and, as a result, could be disproportionately harmed by efforts to raise water prices. Moreover, few debates include gendered analyses of the implications of water management models, or an investigation of how women might be differentially affected even though it is likely that higher water prices will mean unequal access to water, along the familiar social gradients of race, class, and gender. This project is an integrated research program that advances the state of knowledge of the economic and social impacts of water pricing reforms and provides project partners with the analytic tools to support their rate setting.
    • Promouvoir la conservation et la justice sociale grâce à la tarification de l’eau de la prochaine génération

      Scott, Dayna (2014)
      Il est largement admis que l’eau devient de plus en plus rare et que les systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau deviennent de moins en moins fiables dans de nombreuses régions du monde. La résolution de ces problèmes repose, en partie, sur la tarification appropriée de l’eau potable. Les propositions concernant l’augmentation des prix en vue d’encourager la conservation et de stimuler l’innovation ont cependant été accueillies avec des réserves liées à l’incidence des hausses de prix pour les pauvres. Les données émanant de diverses instances indiquent que les ménages pauvres consacrent une plus grande proportion de leurs revenus aux nécessités de la vie comme l’eau et que, par conséquent, ils pourraient être lésés de façon disproportionnée par les efforts visant à augmenter le prix de l’eau. De plus, les débats n’incluent pas habituellement d’analyses comparatives entre les sexes sur les répercussions des modèles de gestion de l'eau ni de recherches sur la manière dont les femmes pourraient être touchées différemment, bien qu’il soit probable que la hausse du prix de l’eau entraîne des inégalités dans l'accès à l'eau en fonction des gradients sociaux communs que sont la race, la classe et le sexe. Ce projet est un programme de recherche intégré qui développe l'état des connaissances concernant les impacts économiques et sociaux des réformes de la tarification de l’eau et fournit aux partenaires du projet les outils analytiques dont ils ont besoin pour étayer leur tarification.
    • Protect yourself from Predatory Publishers: Tips for staying safe in Scholarly Publishing

      Yates, Elizabeth; Gibson, Ian (2015-04-14)
      Scholarly publishing is a chaotic business with new journals constantly emerging and longstanding publications changing or folding. With some newer publications adopting less-than-desirable business practices, it can be challenging to make wise publishing decisions. This hands-on workshop will explore tools to help you avoid predatory publishers and select journals that will enhance your work.
    • Psychocentricity and participant profiles: implications for lexical processing among multilinguals

      Libben, Gary; Curtiss, Kaitlin; Weber, Silke (Frontiers in Psychology, 2014-06-30)
      Lexical processing among bilinguals is often affected by complex patterns of individual experience. In this paper we discuss the psychocentric perspective on language representation and processing, which highlights the centrality of individual experience in psycholinguistic experimentation. We discuss applications to the investigation of lexical processing among multilinguals and explore the advantages of using high-density experiments with multilinguals. High density experiments are designed to co-index measures of lexical perception and production, as well as participant profiles. We discuss the challenges associated with the characterization of participant profiles and present a new data visualization technique, that we term Facial Profiles. This technique is based on Chernoff faces developed over 40 years ago. The Facial Profile technique seeks to overcome some of the challenges associated with the use of Chernoff faces, while maintaining the core insight that recoding multivariate data as facial features can engage the human face recognition system and thus enhance our ability to detect and interpret patterns within multivariate datasets. We demonstrate that Facial Profiles can code participant characteristics in lexical processing studies by recoding variables such as reading ability, speaking ability, and listening ability into iconically-related relative sizes of eye, mouth, and ear, respectively. The balance of ability in bilinguals can be captured by creating composite facial profiles or Janus Facial Profiles. We demonstrate the use of Facial Profiles and Janus Facial Profiles in the characterization of participant effects in the study of lexical perception and production.
    • Publish, don’t perish: tips for evaluating journals

      Yates, Elizabeth (2018-06-12)
      So, you want make sure you publish your research in a “good” journal? Maybe your role includes advising others on how to select appropriate publication venues? It’s tricky navigating the complex and rapidly shifting terrain of scholarly publishing, where traditional hallmarks of quality such as Impact Factor no longer reign supreme. The rise of predatory journals makes the publishing environment even more challenging. This session explored strategies for evaluating the quality and relevance of academic journals, maximize the reach of one’s research and avoiding problematic publications.
    • Pursuing Excellence in Research Reflections from UNESCO Research Chairs in Canada

      Carr, Paul; Dionne, Carmen; Fullerton, Christopher; Hall, Budd L.; Vasseur, Liette; Venkatesh, Vivek; Dupont, Diane; Kaine, Elisabeth (Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2020)
      Assessing or even just defining what excellence in research means can become a monumental task that can lead to frustration. The main reason is that research can take many forms depending on the discipline in which a scientist is working. In this reflection paper, we discuss the potential principles that could be applied when thinking about excellence in research in the context of academic advancement and resourcing. We acknowledge that there are many variants of the term and trying to add a strict framework may lead to discrimination against not only some disciplines but also cultures, as research has a social component that should not be forgotten.