Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: Ralph Abrahams

26 Modelling the Tensile Behavior of Plasma Sprayed Freestanding Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Coatings

Authors: Supriya Patibanda, Xiaopeng Gong, Krishna N. Jonnalagadda, Ralph Abrahams


Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is used as a top coat in thermal barrier coatings in high-temperature turbine/jet engine applications. The mechanical behaviour of YSZ depends on the microstructural features like crack density and porosity, which are a result of coating method. However, experimentally ascertaining their individual effect is difficult due to the inherent challenges involved like material synthesis and handling. The current work deals with the development of a phenomenological model to replicate the tensile behavior of air plasma sprayed YSZ obtained from experiments. Initially, uniaxial tensile experiments were performed on freestanding YSZ coatings of ~300 µm thick for different crack densities and porosities. The coatings exhibited a nonlinear behavior and also a huge variation in strength values. With the obtained experimental tensile curve as a base and crack density and porosity as prime variables, a phenomenological model was developed using ABAQUS interface with new user material defined employing VUMAT sub routine. The relation between the tensile stress and the crack density was empirically established. Further, a parametric study was carried out to investigate the effect of the individual features on the non-linearity in these coatings. This work enables to generate new coating designs by varying the key parameters and predicting the mechanical properties with the help of a simulation, thereby minimizing experiments.

Keywords: crack density, finite element method, plasma sprayed coatings, VUMAT

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25 Effect of Cladding Direction on Residual Stress Distribution in Laser Cladded Rails

Authors: Taposh Roy, Anna Paradowska, Ralph Abrahams, Quan Lai, Michael Law, Peter Mutton, Mehdi Soodi, Wenyi Yan


In this investigation, a laser cladding process with a powder feeding was used to deposit stainless steel 410L (high strength, excellent resistance to abrasion and corrosion, and great laser compatibility) onto railhead (higher strength, heat treated hypereutectoid rail grade manufactured in accordance with the requirements of European standard EN 13674 Part 1 for R400HT grade), to investigate the development and controllability of process-induced residual stress in the cladding, heat-affected zone (HAZ) and substrate and to analyse their correlation with hardness profile during two different laser cladding directions (across and along the track). Residual stresses were analysed by neutron diffraction at OPAL reactor, ANSTO. Neutron diffraction was carried out on the samples in longitudinal (parallel to the rail), transverse (perpendicular to the rail) and normal (through thickness) directions with high spatial resolution through the thickness. Due to the thick rail and thin cladding, 4 mm thick reference samples were prepared from every specimen by Electric Discharge Machining (EDM). Metallography across the laser claded sample revealed four distinct zones: The clad zone, the dilution zone, HAZ and the substrate. Compressive residual stresses were found in the clad zone and tensile residual stress in the dilution zone and HAZ. Laser cladding in longitudinally cladding induced higher tensile stress in the HAZ, whereas transversely cladding rail showed lower tensile behavior.

Keywords: laser cladding, residual stress, neutron diffraction, HAZ

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24 Using AI to Advance Factory Planning: A Case Study to Identify Success Factors of Implementing an AI-Based Demand Planning Solution

Authors: Ulrike Dowie, Ralph Grothmann


Rational planning decisions are based upon forecasts. Precise forecasting has, therefore, a central role in business. The prediction of customer demand is a prime example. This paper introduces recurrent neural networks to model customer demand and combines the forecast with uncertainty measures to derive decision support of the demand planning department. It identifies and describes the keys to the successful implementation of an AI-based solution: bringing together data with business knowledge, AI methods, and user experience, and applying agile software development practices.

Keywords: agile software development, AI project success factors, deep learning, demand forecasting, forecast uncertainty, neural networks, supply chain management

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23 Subsea Control Module (SCM) - A Vital Factor for Well Integrity and Production Performance in Deep Water Oil and Gas Fields

Authors: Okoro Ikechukwu Ralph, Fuat Kara


The discoveries of hydrocarbon reserves has clearly drifted offshore, and in deeper waters - areas where the industry still has limited knowledge; and that were hitherto, regarded as being out of reach. This shift presents significant and increased challenges in technology requirements needed to guarantee safety of personnel, environment and equipment; ensure high reliability of installed equipment; and provide high level of confidence in security of investment and company reputation. Nowhere are these challenges more apparent than on subsea well integrity and production performance. The past two decades has witnessed enormous rise in deep and ultra-deep water offshore field developments for the recovery of hydrocarbons. Subsea installed equipment at the seabed has been the technology of choice for these developments. This paper discusses the role of Subsea Control module (SCM) as a vital factor for deep-water well integrity and production performance. A case study for Deep-water well integrity and production performance is analysed.

Keywords: offshore reliability, production performance, subsea control module, well integrity

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22 Intersections and Consequences of the Epistemology and Methodology used in Equity-Related Chemistry Education Research

Authors: Vanessa R. Ralph, Kathryn N. Hosbein, Megan Y. Deshaye, Paulette Vincent-Ruz


The language of the statement “persistent achievement gaps between demographic groups” communicates much about the philosophies inherent to the author. In this synthesis of two flagship journals of Chemistry Education Research: Chemistry Education Research and Practice and the Journal of Chemical Education, the use and investigation of equity was examined by the language, epistemology, and methodologies of the researchers. Findings include a considerable increase in the use and investigation of equity in these journals following the years 2012 and 2020. While an increase in consciousness of equity was apparent, epistemologies were stagnated. The majority reflects a deficit-oriented perspective wherein deficits are attributed to students as a “lack of achievement” inherent to specific “demographic groups” and minimized as “gaps” rather than systemic inequities. The lack of epistemological progress may be the result of reading and citing literature within discipline-based education research, failing to acknowledge the efforts propagated for decades by equity theory advancement in disciplines of sociology and psychology. To envision liberated educational systems across the globe, one must first contend with the biases within.

Keywords: liberating education research, philosophy of research, synthesis, review

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21 Evaluating the Prominence of Chemical Phenomena in Chemistry Courses

Authors: Vanessa R. Ralph, Leah J. Scharlott, Megan Y. Deshaye, Ryan L. Stowe


Given the traditions of chemistry teaching, one may not question whether chemical phenomena play a prominent role. Yet, the role of chemical phenomena in an introductory chemistry course may define the extent to which the course is introductory, chemistry, and equitable. Picture, for example, the classic Ideal Gas Law problem. If one envisions a prompt wherein students are tasked with calculating a missing variable, then one envisions a prompt that relies on chemical phenomena as a context rather than as a model to understand the natural world. Consider a prompt wherein students are tasked with applying molecular models of gases to explain why the vapor pressure of a gaseous solution of water differs from that of carbon dioxide. Here, the chemical phenomenon is not only the context but also the subject of the prompt. Deliveries of general and organic chemistry were identified as ranging wildly in the integration of chemical phenomena. The more incorporated the phenomena, the more equitable the assessment task was for students of varying access to pre-college math and science preparation. How chemical phenomena are integrated may very well define whether courses are chemistry, are introductory, and are equitable. Educators of chemistry are invited colleagues to discuss the role of chemical phenomena in their courses and consider the long-lasting impacts of replicating tradition for tradition’s sake.

Keywords: equitable educational practices, chemistry curriculum, content organization, assessment design

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20 A New Social Vulnerability Index for Evaluating Social Vulnerability to Climate Change at the Local Scale

Authors: Cuong V Nguyen, Ralph Horne, John Fien, France Cheong


Social vulnerability to climate change is increasingly being acknowledged, and proposals to measure and manage it are emerging. Building upon this work, this paper proposes an approach to social vulnerability assessment using a new mechanism to aggregate and account for causal relationships among components of a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). To operationalize this index, the authors propose a means to develop an appropriate primary dataset, through application of a specifically-designed household survey questionnaire. The data collection and analysis, including calibration and calculation of the SVI is demonstrated through application in case study city in central coastal Vietnam. The calculation of SVI at the fine-grained local neighbourhood scale provides high resolution in vulnerability assessment, and also obviates the need for secondary data, which may be unavailable or problematic, particularly at the local scale in developing countries. The SVI household survey is underpinned by the results of a Delphi survey, an in-depth interview and focus group discussions with local environmental professionals and community members. The research reveals inherent limitations of existing SVIs but also indicates the potential for their use in assessing social vulnerability and making decisions associated with responding to climate change at the local scale.

Keywords: climate change, local scale, social vulnerability, social vulnerability index

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19 Ethical Considerations for Conducting Research on Violence against Women with Disabilities: Discussing Issues of Reasonable Accommodation, Capacity and Equal Participation

Authors: Ingrid Van Der Heijden, Naeemah Abrahams, Jane Harries


Background: Women with disabilities are largely missing from global research on violence prevention, yet research shows that women with disabilities are a particularly marginalised group who experience heightened levels and unique forms of violence than men with disabilities, and women without disabilities. They face heightened stigma, discrimination, and violence due to their gender and their disability. Including women with disabilities in violence, research helps inform policy and prevention interventions that are relevant and inclusive. To ensure their inclusion in violence research, we need ethical guidelines that are sensitive to their heightened risk and vulnerability, that recognize the diversity in the disabled population, but that also promote disabled people’s agency in defining their own violence prevention needs and agendas. Objective: To highlight pertinent ethical issues around women with disabilities’ inclusion and participation in violence research. Methodology: Considering the lack of formalized guidelines for research of people with disabilities, we draw from the literature on international ethics guidelines for researching violence against women, and the Emancipatory Disability Research paradigm, as well as drawing from our own experiences from the field in applying the guidelines when doing research with disabled women. Findings: Following the guiding ethical principles of respect, benefit, justice, and do no harm, we argue that reasonable accommodation, capacity, and equal participation need to be considered in conceptualizing and conducting ethical violence research with women with disabilities. We conclude that disability research in the area of violence is highly politicized and must be carefully scrutinized to ensure justice and the contribution of women with disabilities to their own welfare. Implications: We suggest that these issues are practically applied in the field and tested and critiqued to enhance best practice for undertaking ethical research with this particular group. It is important that not only researchers and ethics committees, but also disabled women and disabled organizations, are involved in enhancing and formalizing ethical research guidelines for marginalized populations.

Keywords: capacity, emancipatory disability research paradigm equal participation, reasonable accommodation, research ethics, violence against women with disabilities

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18 Supporting the ESL Student in a Tertiary Setting: Carrot and Stick

Authors: Ralph Barnes


The internationalization and globalization of education are now a huge, multi-million dollar industry. The movement of international students across the globe has provided a rich vein of revenue for universities and institutions of higher learning to exploit and harvest. A concerted effort has been made by universities worldwide to court students from overseas, with some countries relying up to one-third of student fees, coming from international students. Australian universities and English Language Centres are coming under increased government scrutiny in respect to such areas as the academic progression of international students, management and understanding of student visa requirements and the design of higher education courses and effective assessment regimes. As such, universities and other higher education institutions are restructuring themselves more as service providers rather than as strictly education providers. In this paper, the high-touch, tailored academic model currently followed by some Australian educational institutions to support international students, is examined and challenged. Academic support services offered to international students need to be coordinated, sustained and reviewed regularly, in order to assess their effectiveness. Maintaining the delivery of high-quality educational programs and learning outcomes for this high income-generating student cohort is vital, in order to continue the successful academic and social engagement by international students across the Australian university and higher education landscape.

Keywords: ESL, engagement, tertiary, learning

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17 Assessing Transition to Renewable Energy for Transportation in Indonesia through Drop-in Biofuel Utilization

Authors: Maslan Lamria, Ralph E. H. Sims, Tatang H. Soerawidjaja


In increasing its self-sufficiency on transportation fuel, Indonesia is currently developing commercial production and use of drop-in biofuel (DBF) from vegetable oil. To maximize the level of success, it is necessary to get insights on how the implementation would develop as well as any important factors. This study assessed the dynamics of transition from existing fossil fuel system to a renewable fuel system, which involves the transition from existing biodiesel to projected DBF. A systems dynamics approach was applied and a model developed to simulate the dynamics of liquid biofuel transition. The use of palm oil feedstock was taken as a case study to assess the projected DBF implementation by 2045. The set of model indicators include liquid fuel self-sufficiency, liquid biofuel share, foreign exchange savings and green-house gas emissions reduction. The model outputs showed that supports on DBF investment and use play an important role in the transition progress. Given assumptions which include application of a maximum level of supports over time, liquid fuel self-sufficiency would be still unfulfilled in which palm biofuel contribution is 0.2. Thus, other types of feedstock such as algae and oil feedstock from marginal lands need to be developed synergically. Regarding support on DBF use, this study recommended that removal of fossil subsidy would be necessary prior to applying a carbon tax policy effectively.

Keywords: biofuel, drop-in biofuel, energy transition, liquid fuel

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16 Between Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Dying Infidel

Authors: Michael Keller


Beyond the heterodoxy expressed in his now-famous 1838 address to the Harvard Divinity School, Emerson’s timing was particularly dangerous. Ideologically, New England faced a severe crisis of identity, as traditional categories of class and religion were growing increasingly unstable. Jones Very, influenced by Emerson, crossed the perceived border between acceptable religious zeal and insane enthusiasm. Abner Kneeland, on the other hand, crossed the uncomfortable border between post-Puritan Unitarian rationalism and blasphemous Enlightenment skepticism. More importantly, Kneeland oversaw a more overtly subversive brand of resistance (in the form of freethought periodicals) that not only threatened religious orthodoxy but also threatened to destabilize the class structure of New England. Very and Kneeland provide instructive case studies of how religious ideologies could run afoul of the social contract and the law itself. By looking closely at the social and religious forces that led to Kneeland’s prosecution for blasphemy, Jones Very’s forced committal to McLean Asylum, and Emerson’s escape from these fates, we gain a greater understanding of the shifting cultural landscape of 1830s New England. This paper will examine Emerson’s resistance to the traditional forces of class and ideology in Massachusetts by situating his early work in the context of the ideological battles of his time. More specifically, I will explore how Emerson was able to resist the conservative cultural forces of his time without experiencing the extremity of their wrath.

Keywords: American literature, cultural studies, emerson, religious studies

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15 Polymer Patterning by Dip Pen Nanolithography

Authors: Ayse Cagil Kandemir, Derya Erdem, Markus Niederberger, Ralph Spolenak


Dip Pen nanolithography (DPN), which is a tip based method, serves a novel approach to produce nano and micro-scaled patterns due to its high resolution and pattern flexibility. It is introduced as a new constructive scanning probe lithography (SPL) technique. DPN delivers materials in the form of an ink by using the tip of a cantilever as pen and substrate as paper in order to form surface architectures. First studies rely on delivery of small organic molecules on gold substrate in ambient conditions. As time passes different inks such as; polymers, colloidal particles, oligonucleotides, metallic salts were examined on a variety of surfaces. Discovery of DPN also enabled patterning with multiple inks by using multiple cantilevers for the first time in SPL history. Specifically, polymer inks, which constitute a flexible matrix for various materials, can have a potential in MEMS, NEMS and drug delivery applications. In our study, it is aimed to construct polymer patterns using DPN by studying wetting behavior of polymer on semiconductor, metal and polymer surfaces. The optimum viscosity range of polymer and effect of environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature are examined. It is observed that there is an inverse relation with ink viscosity and depletion time. This study also yields the optimal writing conditions to produce consistent patterns with DPN. It is shown that written dot sizes increase with dwell time, indicating that the examined writing conditions yield repeatable patterns.

Keywords: dip pen nanolithography, polymer, surface patterning, surface science

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14 A Combined Activated Sludge-Filtration-Ozonation Process for Abattoir Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Pello Alfonso-Muniozguren, Madeleine Bussemaker, Ralph Chadeesingh, Caryn Jones, David Oakley, Judy Lee, Devendra Saroj


Current industrialized livestock agriculture is growing every year leading to an increase in the generation of wastewater that varies considerably in terms of organic content and microbial population. Therefore, suitable wastewater treatment methods are required to ensure the wastewater quality meet regulations before discharge. In the present study, a combined lab scale activated sludge-filtration-ozonation system was used to treat a pre-treated abattoir wastewater. A hydraulic retention time of 24 hours and a solid retention time of 13 days were used for the activated sludge process, followed by a filtration step (4-7 µm) and using ozone as tertiary treatment. An average reduction of 93% and 98% was achieved for Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), respectively, obtaining final values of 128 mg/L COD and 12 mg/L BOD. For the Total Suspended Solids (TSS), the average reduction increased to 99% in the same system, reducing the final value down to 3 mg/L. Additionally, 98% reduction in Phosphorus (P) and a complete inactivation of Total Coliforms (TC) was obtained after 17 min ozonation time. For Total Viable Counts (TVC), a drastic reduction was observed with 30 min ozonation time (6 log inactivation) at an ozone dose of 71 mg O3/L. Overall, the combined process was sufficient to meet discharge requirements without further treatment for the measured parameters (COD, BOD, TSS, P, TC, and TVC).

Keywords: abattoir waste water, activated sludge, ozone, waste water treatment

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13 A Framework for Secure Information Flow Analysis in Web Applications

Authors: Ralph Adaimy, Wassim El-Hajj, Ghassen Ben Brahim, Hazem Hajj, Haidar Safa


Huge amounts of data and personal information are being sent to and retrieved from web applications on daily basis. Every application has its own confidentiality and integrity policies. Violating these policies can have broad negative impact on the involved company’s financial status, while enforcing them is very hard even for the developers with good security background. In this paper, we propose a framework that enforces security-by-construction in web applications. Minimal developer effort is required, in a sense that the developer only needs to annotate database attributes by a security class. The web application code is then converted into an intermediary representation, called Extended Program Dependence Graph (EPDG). Using the EPDG, the provided annotations are propagated to the application code and run against generic security enforcement rules that were carefully designed to detect insecure information flows as early as they occur. As a result, any violation in the data’s confidentiality or integrity policies is reported. As a proof of concept, two PHP web applications, Hotel Reservation and Auction, were used for testing and validation. The proposed system was able to catch all the existing insecure information flows at their source. Moreover and to highlight the simplicity of the suggested approaches vs. existing approaches, two professional web developers assessed the annotation tasks needed in the presented case studies and provided a very positive feedback on the simplicity of the annotation task.

Keywords: web applications security, secure information flow, program dependence graph, database annotation

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12 'It Is a Sin to Be in Love with a Disabled Woman': Stigma, Rejection and Intersections of Womanhood and Violence among Physically Disabled Women Living in South Africa

Authors: Ingrid Van Der Heijden, Naeemah Abrahams, Jane Harries


Background: Commonly, womanhood is defined as the qualities considered to be natural to or characteristic of a woman. However, womanhood is not a static concept; it is contextual and negotiable. For women with disabilities, gender roles or ‘qualities’ of womanhood are often overstated or contradicted because of assumptions of weakness, passivity, asexuality and infertility. Currently, little is known about how disability stigma intersects with notions of womanhood to make women with disabilities vulnerable to violence, or how women navigate this intersection to prevent or protect themselves from violence. Objective: To describe how the stigmatized constructions of womanhood and disability promote women with physical disabilities’ exposure to or protection from violence. Methods: Qualitative data for this paper comes from a doctoral study involving women with disabilities living in Cape Town, South Africa. It presents data from repeat in-depth interviews with 30 women with a range of physical impairments. Women attending protective workshops, rehabilitative centers and residential care facilities for people living with disabilities were invited to participate. Consent procedures and interviews were conducted by the first author (who is herself a woman living with a physical disability), and a female research assistant/translator who is a qualified occupational therapist. Reasonable accommodation is central to the methodology and the study as a whole. Findings: Descriptive and thematic analyses reveal how stigma and local constructions around womanhood, as well as women’s self-image and physical limitations, promotes women’s exposure to psychological, physical and sexual violence. It reveals how disabled women feel they are presumed incapable of living up to expectations of a ‘proper’ woman. This plays out as psychological violence, with women reporting that they feel ‘devalued,' ‘rejected’ and deprived of lasting intimate relationships. Furthermore, forms of psychological violence perpetuate physical and sexual violence. Women also discuss using strategies to prevent violence; by refusing to date, avoiding certain places or avoiding isolation, creating awareness, hiding their physical impairments, and exaggerating their ‘femininity.' Implications: Service providers need to be made aware of women’s violence experiences, and provide a range of accessible psychological and mental health services to women living with disabilities, as well as raising awareness around disability, and violence prevention, among caregivers, men, and women. Violence awareness and prevention interventions need to involve disability experts, researchers and people with disabilities.

Keywords: disability, gender, stigma, violence awareness and prevention interventions

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11 Effects of Modified Low-Dye Taping on First Ray Mobility Test and Sprint Time

Authors: Yu-Ju Tsai, Ching-Chun Wang, Wen-Tzu Tang, Huei-Ming Chai


A pronated foot is frequently associated with a hypermobile first ray, then developing further severe foot problems. Low-Dye taping with athletic tape has been widely used to restrict excessive first ray motion and re-build height of the medial longitudinal arch in general population with pronated foot. It is not the case, however, for sprinters since they feel too much restriction of foot motions. Currently, the kinesio tape, more elastic than the athletic tape, has been widely used to re-adjust joint positions. It was interesting whether modified low-Dye taping using kinesio tape was beneficial for altering first ray mobility and still giving enough arch support. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of modified low-Dye taping on first ray mobility test and 60-m sprint time for sprinters with pronated foot. The significance of this study provides new insight into a treatment alternative of modified low-Dye taping for sprinter with pronated foot. Ten young male sprinters, aged 20.8±1.6 years, with pronated foot were recruited for this study. The pronated foot was defined as the foot that the navicular drop test was greater than 1.0 cm. Three optic shutters were placed at the start, 30-m, and 60-m sites to record sprint time. All participants were asked to complete 3 trials of the 60-m dash with both taping and non-taping conditions in a random order. The low-Dye taping was applied using the method postulated by Ralph Dye in 1939 except the kinesio tape was used instead. All outcome variables were recorded for taping and non-taping conditions. Paired t-tests were used to analyze all outcome variables between 2 conditions. Although there were no statistically significant differences in dorsal and plantar mobility between taping and non-taping conditions, a statistical significance was found in a total range of motion (dorsiflexion plus plantarflexion angle) of the first ray when a modified low-Dye taping was applied (p < 0.05). Time to complete 60-m sprint was significantly increased with low-Dye taping (p < 0.05) while no significance was found for time to 30-m. it indicated that modified low-Dye taping changed maximum sprint speed of 60-m dash. Conclusively, modified low-Dye taping was capable of increasing first ray mobility and further altered maximum sprint speed.

Keywords: first ray mobility, kinesio taping, pronated foot, sprint time

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10 Attenuation of Amyloid beta (Aβ) (1-42)-Induced Neurotoxicity by Luteolin

Authors: Dona Pamoda W. Jayatunga, Veer Bala Gupta, Eugene Hone, Ralph N. Martins


Being a neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects a majority of the elderly demented worldwide. The key risk factors for AD are age, metabolic syndrome, allele status of APOE gene, head injuries and lifestyle. The progressive nature of AD is characterized by symptoms of multiple cognitive deficits exacerbated over time, leading to death within a decade from clinical diagnosis. However, it is revealed that AD originates via a prodromal phase that spans from one to few decades before symptoms first manifest. The key pathological hallmarks of AD brains are deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). However, the yet unknown etiology of the disease fails to distinguish mitochondrial dysfunction between a cause or an outcome. The absence of early diagnosis tools and definite therapies for AD have permitted recruits of nutraceutical-based approaches aimed at reducing the risk of AD by modulating lifestyle or be used as preventive tools during AD prodromal state before widespread neurodegeneration begins. The objective of the present study was to investigate beneficial effects of luteolin, a plant-based flavone compound, against AD. The neuroprotective effects of luteolin on amyloid beta (Aβ) (1-42)-induced neurotoxicity was measured using cultured human neuroblastoma BE(2)-M17 cells. After exposure to 20μM Aβ (1-42) for 48 h, the neuroblastoma cells exhibited marked apoptotic death. Co-treatment of 20μM Aβ (1-42) with luteolin (0.5-5μM) significantly protected the cells against Aβ (1-42)-induced toxicity, as assessed by the MTS [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2(4sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt; MTS] reduction assay and the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) cell death assay. The results suggest that luteolin prevents Aβ (1-42)-induced apoptotic neuronal death. However, further studies are underway to determine its protective mechanisms in AD including the activity against tau hyperphosphorylation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Keywords: Aβ (1-42)-induced toxicity, Alzheimer’s disease, luteolin, neuroblastoma cells

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9 Breaching Treaty Obligations of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: The Case of South Africa

Authors: David Abrahams


In October 2016 South Africa deposited its ‘instrument of withdrawal’ from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Rome Statute is the founding document of the treaty-based International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has jurisdiction to hear cases where crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide have been committed, on the basis of individual criminal responsibility. It is therefore not surprising that one of the ICCs mandates is to ensure that the sufferings, due to gross human rights violations towards the civilian population is, in principle, brought to an end by punishing those individuals responsible, thus providing justice to the victims. The ICC is unable to effectively fulfill its mandate and thus depends, in part on the willingness of states to assist the Court in its functions. This requires states to ratify the Statute and to domesticate its provisions, depending on whether it is a monist or dualist state. South Africa ratified the Statute in November 2000, and domesticated the Statute in 2002 by virtue of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002. South Africa thus remains under an obligation to cooperate with the ICC until the final date of withdrawal, which is October 2017. An AU Summit was hosted by South Africa during June 2015. Omar Al-Bashir, whom the prosecutor of the ICC has indicted on two separate occasions, was invited to the summit. South Africa made an agreement with the AU that it will honour its obligations in terms of its Diplomatic and Immunities Privileges Act of 2001, by granting immunity to all heads of state, including that of Sudan. This decision by South Africa has raised a plethora of questions regarding the status and hierarchy of international laws versus regional laws versus domestic laws. In particular, this paper explores whether a state’s international law treaty obligations may be suspended in favour of, firstly, regional peace (thus safeguarding the security of the civilian population against further atrocities and other gross violations of human rights), and secondly, head of state immunity. This paper also reflects on the effectiveness of the trias politca in South Africa in relation the manner in which South African courts have confirmed South Africa’s failure in fulfilling its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute. A secondary question which will also be explored, is whether the Rome Statute is currently an effective tool in dealing with gross violations of human rights, particularly in a regional African context, given the desire by a number of African states currently party to the Statute, to engage in a mass exodus from the Statute. Finally, the paper concludes with a proposal that there can be no justice for victims of gross human rights violations unless states are serious in playing an instrumental role in bringing an end to impunity in Africa, and that withdrawing from the ICC without an alternative, effective system in place, will simply perpetuate impunity.

Keywords: African Union, diplomatic immunity, impunity, international criminal court, South Africa

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8 An Investigation into the Influence of Compression on 3D Woven Preform Thickness and Architecture

Authors: Calvin Ralph, Edward Archer, Alistair McIlhagger


3D woven textile composites continue to emerge as an advanced material for structural applications and composite manufacture due to their bespoke nature, through thickness reinforcement and near net shape capabilities. When 3D woven preforms are produced, they are in their optimal physical state. As 3D weaving is a dry preforming technology it relies on compression of the preform to achieve the desired composite thickness, fibre volume fraction (Vf) and consolidation. This compression of the preform during manufacture results in changes to its thickness and architecture which can often lead to under-performance or changes of the 3D woven composite. Unlike traditional 2D fabrics, the bespoke nature and variability of 3D woven architectures makes it difficult to know exactly how each 3D preform will behave during processing. Therefore, the focus of this study is to investigate the effect of compression on differing 3D woven architectures in terms of structure, crimp or fibre waviness and thickness as well as analysing the accuracy of available software to predict how 3D woven preforms behave under compression. To achieve this, 3D preforms are modelled and compression simulated in Wisetex with varying architectures of binder style, pick density, thickness and tow size. These architectures have then been woven with samples dry compression tested to determine the compressibility of the preforms under various pressures. Additional preform samples were manufactured using Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) with varying compressive force. Composite samples were cross sectioned, polished and analysed using microscopy to investigate changes in architecture and crimp. Data from dry fabric compression and composite samples were then compared alongside the Wisetex models to determine accuracy of the prediction and identify architecture parameters that can affect the preform compressibility and stability. Results indicate that binder style/pick density, tow size and thickness have a significant effect on compressibility of 3D woven preforms with lower pick density allowing for greater compression and distortion of the architecture. It was further highlighted that binder style combined with pressure had a significant effect on changes to preform architecture where orthogonal binders experienced highest level of deformation, but highest overall stability, with compression while layer to layer indicated a reduction in fibre crimp of the binder. In general, simulations showed a relative comparison to experimental results; however, deviation is evident due to assumptions present within the modelled results.

Keywords: 3D woven composites, compression, preforms, textile composites

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7 Production, Characterization and In vitro Evaluation of [223Ra]RaCl2 Nanomicelles for Targeted Alpha Therapy of Osteosarcoma

Authors: Yang Yang, Luciana Magalhães Rebelo Alencar, Martha Sahylí Ortega Pijeira, Beatriz da Silva Batista, Alefe Roger Silva França, Erick Rafael Dias Rates, Ruana Cardoso Lima, Sara Gemini-Piperni, Ralph Santos-Oliveira


Radium-²²³ dichloride ([²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂) is an alpha particle-emitting radiopharmaceutical currently approved for the treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, symptomatic bone metastases, and no known visceral metastatic disease. [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ is bone-seeking calcium mimetic that bonds into the newly formed bone stroma, especially osteoblastic or sclerotic metastases, killing the tumor cells by inducing DNA breaks in a potent and localized manner. Nonetheless, the successful therapy of osteosarcoma as primary bone tumors is still a challenge. Nanomicelles are colloidal nanosystems widely used in drug development to improve blood circulation time, bioavailability, and specificity of therapeutic agents, among other applications. In addition, the enhanced permeability and retention effect of the nanosystems, and the renal excretion of the nanomicelles reported in most cases so far, are very attractive to achieve selective and increased accumulation in tumor site as well as to increase the safety of [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ in the clinical routine. In the present work, [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were produced, characterized, in vitro evaluated, and compared with pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl2 solution using SAOS2 osteosarcoma cells. The [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were prepared using the amphiphilic copolymer Pluronic F127. The dynamic light scattering analysis of freshly produced [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles demonstrated a mean size of 129.4 nm with a polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.303. After one week stored in the refrigerator, the mean size of the [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles increased to 169.4 with a PDI of 0.381. Atomic force microscopy analysis of [223Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles exhibited spherical structures whose heights reach 1 µm, suggesting the filling of 127-Pluronic nanomicelles with [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂. The viability assay with [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles displayed a dose-dependent response as it was observed using pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl2. However, at the same dose, [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were 20% higher efficient in killing SAOS2 cells when compared with pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂. These findings demonstrated the effectiveness of the nanosystem validating the application of nanotechnology in targeted alpha therapy with [²²³Ra]RₐCl₂. In addition, the [²²³Rₐ]RaCl₂nanomicelles may be decorated and incorporated with a great variety of agents and compounds (e.g., monoclonal antibodies, aptamers, peptides) to overcome the limited use of [²²³Ra]RₐCl₂.

Keywords: nanomicelles, osteosarcoma, radium dichloride, targeted alpha therapy

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6 An Exploratory Study of the Ghanaian Music Industry: Its Impacts on the Economy and Society

Authors: Ralph Nyadu-Addo, Francis Matambalya, Utz Dornberger


The global music industry is a multi-billion dollar sector. The potential of Africa’s music industry is widely recognised in the socio-economic development milieu. It has impacted positively on several sectors including most especially the tourism, media and information, communication technology (ICT) among others. It is becoming increasingly clear that even in Africa (as demonstrated in Nigeria) that in addition to its intrinsic value, the sector has significant economic returns. UNCTAD observed, the creative industries offer some of the best prospects for high growth in least developed countries. The statistics from Africa may be far lower than similar sectors in developed countries but it goes to give further credence to several UNCTAD publications which say the creative industry is under researched and its potential under-estimated but holds the key to its rapid development The emerging creative economy (music in particular) has become a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade, innovation, and social cohesion in many countries. In line with these developments, the Ghana government recognizes the potential that the Creative Industries have to shape and reinforce Ghana’s economic growth. Creative sectors, particularly music, tend to rely less on sophisticated infrastructure or capital-intensive investment. Potential is particularly abundant in Africa, where musical creativity is rich, diverse, well-loved, and constantly evolving while drawing on strong traditions. The development of a popular music industry thus represents low-hanging fruit for most African economies says the World Bank. As we shift towards economic diversification using the creative industry, value is increasingly created at the intersection of arts, business and technology. Cultural and creative entrepreneurs are leading this trend. It is one of the areas where value is captured within the country as emerging trends have shown in Nigeria and Ghana among others. Yet, evidence shows that the potential of the cultural and creative sectors remains largely untapped. Furthermore, its socio-economic impact remains under-researched in many developing countries and its dynamics unknown. Despite its huge influence on music repertoire across the globe, most countries in Africa have not historically been significant markets for the international music industry. Today, that is beginning to change. Generally, reliable and adequate literature about music in the sub-region is difficult to obtain. The growing interests in academia and business cycles about a reliable data on the growing music industry in developing countries have called for an urgent need to undertake this research. Research questions: i. Who are the major stakeholders in the music value chain in Ghana? ii. How much of value is captured domestically iii. What is the economic impact of the Ghanaian music industry iv. How has the advent of ICT (internet) impacted on the music landscape? Research sources will be mainly through interviews of major stakeholders, baseline study of the industry by KPMG and content analysis of related newspapers and magazines.

Keywords: economic impact, information communications technology (ICT), music-industry, value chain

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5 Variation of Warp and Binder Yarn Tension across the 3D Weaving Process and its Impact on Tow Tensile Strength

Authors: Reuben Newell, Edward Archer, Alistair McIlhagger, Calvin Ralph


Modern industry has developed a need for innovative 3D composite materials due to their attractive material properties. Composite materials are composed of a fibre reinforcement encased in a polymer matrix. The fibre reinforcement consists of warp, weft and binder yarns or tows woven together into a preform. The mechanical performance of composite material is largely controlled by the properties of the preform. As a result, the bulk of recent textile research has been focused on the design of high-strength preform architectures. Studies looking at optimisation of the weaving process have largely been neglected. It has been reported that yarns experience varying levels of damage during weaving, resulting in filament breakage and ultimately compromised composite mechanical performance. The weaving parameters involved in causing this yarn damage are not fully understood. Recent studies indicate that poor yarn tension control may be an influencing factor. As tension is increased, the yarn-to-yarn and yarn-to-weaving-equipment interactions are heightened, maximising damage. The correlation between yarn tension variation and weaving damage severity has never been adequately researched or quantified. A novel study is needed which accesses the influence of tension variation on the mechanical properties of woven yarns. This study has looked to quantify the variation of yarn tension throughout weaving and sought to link the impact of tension to weaving damage. Multiple yarns were randomly selected, and their tension was measured across the creel and shedding stages of weaving, using a hand-held tension meter. Sections of the same yarn were subsequently cut from the loom machine and tensile tested. A comparison study was made between the tensile strength of pristine and tensioned yarns to determine the induced weaving damage. Yarns from bobbins at the rear of the creel were under the least amount of tension (0.5-2.0N) compared to yarns positioned at the front of the creel (1.5-3.5N). This increase in tension has been linked to the sharp turn in the yarn path between bobbins at the front of the creel and creel I-board. Creel yarns under the lower tension suffered a 3% loss of tensile strength, compared to 7% for the greater tensioned yarns. During shedding, the tension on the yarns was higher than in the creel. The upper shed yarns were exposed to a decreased tension (3.0-4.5N) compared to the lower shed yarns (4.0-5.5N). Shed yarns under the lower tension suffered a 10% loss of tensile strength, compared to 14% for the greater tensioned yarns. Interestingly, the most severely damaged yarn was exposed to both the largest creel and shedding tensions. This study confirms for the first time that yarns under a greater level of tension suffer an increased amount of weaving damage. Significant variation of yarn tension has been identified across the creel and shedding stages of weaving. This leads to a variance of mechanical properties across the woven preform and ultimately the final composite part. The outcome from this study highlights the need for optimised yarn tension control during preform manufacture to minimize yarn-induced weaving damage.

Keywords: optimisation of preform manufacture, tensile testing of damaged tows, variation of yarn weaving tension, weaving damage

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4 Management of Femoral Neck Stress Fractures at a Specialist Centre and Predictive Factors to Return to Activity Time: An Audit

Authors: Charlotte K. Lee, Henrique R. N. Aguiar, Ralph Smith, James Baldock, Sam Botchey


Background: Femoral neck stress fractures (FNSF) are uncommon, making up 1 to 7.2% of stress fractures in healthy subjects. FNSFs are prevalent in young women, military recruits, endurance athletes, and individuals with energy deficiency syndrome or female athlete triad. Presentation is often non-specific and is often misdiagnosed following the initial examination. There is limited research addressing the return–to–activity time after FNSF. Previous studies have demonstrated prognostic time predictions based on various imaging techniques. Here, (1) OxSport clinic FNSF practice standards are retrospectively reviewed, (2) FNSF cohort demographics are examined, (3) Regression models were used to predict return–to–activity prognosis and consequently determine bone stress risk factors. Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of FNSF attending Oxsport clinic between 01/06/2020 and 01/01/2020 were selected from the Rheumatology Assessment Database Innovation in Oxford (RhADiOn) and OxSport Stress Fracture Database (n = 14). (1) Clinical practice was audited against five criteria based on local and National Institute for Health Care Excellence guidance, with a 100% standard. (2) Demographics of the FNSF cohort were examined with Student’s T-Test. (3) Lastly, linear regression and Random Forest regression models were used on this patient cohort to predict return–to–activity time. Consequently, an analysis of feature importance was conducted after fitting each model. Results: OxSport clinical practice met standard (100%) in 3/5 criteria. The criteria not met were patient waiting times and documentation of all bone stress risk factors. Importantly, analysis of patient demographics showed that of the population with complete bone stress risk factor assessments, 53% were positive for modifiable bone stress risk factors. Lastly, linear regression analysis was utilized to identify demographic factors that predicted return–to–activity time [R2 = 79.172%; average error 0.226]. This analysis identified four key variables that predicted return-to-activity time: vitamin D level, total hip DEXA T value, femoral neck DEXA T value, and history of an eating disorder/disordered eating. Furthermore, random forest regression models were employed for this task [R2 = 97.805%; average error 0.024]. Analysis of the importance of each feature again identified a set of 4 variables, 3 of which matched with the linear regression analysis (vitamin D level, total hip DEXA T value, and femoral neck DEXA T value) and the fourth: age. Conclusion: OxSport clinical practice could be improved by more comprehensively evaluating bone stress risk factors. The importance of this evaluation is demonstrated by the population found positive for these risk factors. Using this cohort, potential bone stress risk factors that significantly impacted return-to-activity prognosis were predicted using regression models.

Keywords: eating disorder, bone stress risk factor, femoral neck stress fracture, vitamin D

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3 Investigation of Attitude of Production Workers towards Job Rotation in Automotive Industry against the Background of Demographic Change

Authors: Franciska Weise, Ralph Bruder


Due to the demographic change in Germany along with the declining birth rate and the increasing age of population, the share of older people in society is rising. This development is also reflected in the work force of German companies. Therefore companies should focus on improving ergonomics, especially in the area of age-related work design. Literature shows that studies on age-related work design have been carried out in the past, some of whose results have been put into practice. However, there is still a need for further research. One of the most important methods for taking into account the needs of an aging population is job rotation. This method aims at preventing or reducing health risks and inappropriate physical strain. It is conceived as a systematic change of workplaces within a group. Existing literature does not cover any methods for the investigation of the attitudes of employees towards job rotation. However, in order to evaluate job rotation, it is essential to have knowledge of the views of people towards rotation. In addition to an investigation of attitudes, the design of rotation plays a crucial role. The sequence of activities and the rotation frequency influence the worker and as well the work result. The evaluation of preliminary talks on the shop floor showed that team speakers and foremen share a common understanding of job rotation. In practice, different varieties of job rotation exist. One important aspect is the frequency of rotation. It is possible to rotate never, more than one time or even during every break, or more often than every break. It depends on the opportunity or possibility to rotate whenever workers want to rotate. From the preliminary talks some challenges can be derived. For example a rotation in the whole team is not possible, if a team member requires to be trained for a new task. In order to be able to determine the relation of the design and the attitude towards job rotation, a questionnaire is carried out in the vehicle manufacturing. The questionnaire will be employed to determine the different varieties of job rotation that exist in production, as well as the attitudes of workers towards those different frequencies of job rotation. In addition, younger and older employees will be compared with regard to their rotation frequency and their attitudes towards rotation. There are three kinds of age groups. Three questions are under examination. The first question is whether older employees rotate less frequently than younger employees. Also it is investigated to know whether the frequency of job rotation and the attitude towards the frequency of job rotation are interconnected. Moreover, the attitudes of the different age groups towards the frequency of rotation will be examined. Up to now 144 employees, all working in production, took part in the survey. 36.8 % were younger than thirty, 37.5 % were between thirty und forty-four and 25.7 % were above forty-five years old. The data shows no difference between the three age groups in relation to the frequency of job rotation (N=139, median=4, Chi²=.859, df=2, p=.651). Most employees rotate between six and seven workplaces per day. In addition there is a statistically significant correlation between the frequency of job rotation and the attitude towards the frequency (Spearman-Rho: 2-sided=.008, correlation coefficient=.223). Less than four workplaces per day are not enough for the employees. The third question, which differences can be found between older and younger people who rotate in a different way and with different attitudes towards job rotation, cannot be possible answered. Till now the data shows that younger people would like to rotate very often. Regarding to older people no correlation can be found with acceptable significance. The results of the survey will be used to improve the current practice of job rotation. In addition, the discussions during the survey are expected to help sensitize the employees with respect to rotation issues, and to contribute to optimizing rotation by means of qualification and an improved design of job rotation. Together with the employees and the results of the survey there must be found standards which show how to rotate in an ergonomic way while consider the attitude towards job rotation.

Keywords: job rotation, age-related work design, questionnaire, automotive industry

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2 When the Children Touched the Paintings: New German Cinema, the Red Army Faction, and their Filmic Afterlives

Authors: Rudy Ralph Martinez


The 1960s provided us with some of the most iconic protest images of the late-20th century. This was the result of worldwide unrest and the proliferation of filmmaking equipment, which led to a flood of photos and films depicting war and activism. Many of these images and films played a pivotal role in shaping the ever-evolving discussions surrounding the ‘60s. However, too often, radical imagery finds itself subsumed by consumer culture, a degradation that flattens radical imagery and turns it into consumer products. With this in mind, the work that follows is an analysis of one of the little-discussed chapters of the 60s and 70s, and it is that of the New German Cinema movement and its relationship with the Rote Armee Fraktion, or Red Army Faction (RAF), an armed Marxist-Leninist group founded in West Germany in 1970. The RAF arose out of a milieu which included student activists protesting Western military involvement in the Vietnam War, civil rights activists, and third world guerillas. The actions undertaken by the group throughout their first decade in existence, including bombings, and assassinations, would create West Germany’s most dire political crisis since the Nazi era, culminating in a crisis of legitimation remembered as the German Autumn, which saw the suicides of several of the militants and the assassination of SS officer-cum-prominent industrialist, Hans Martin-Schleyer. Throughout the 1970s, young filmmakers associated with the New German Cinema sought to analyze the political situation as it was unfolding, their films contributing to the public discourse in concomitance with the government and the media. Four notable examples of these films are Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta’sDie Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum oder: Wie Gewaltentstehen und wohinsieführenkann (The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, or: How Violence Develops and Where it Can Lead) (1975), a dark drama about the media’s role in forming public opinion, Deutschland im Herbst(Germany in Autumn) (1977), an experimental collective work released mere months after the German Autumn, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Die Dritte Generation (The Third Generation) (1979), a satire about an inept cell of radical militants, and Die bleierne Zeit (The Leaden Time, alt. title: Marianne and Juliane) (1981), an intimate portrayal about two sisters whose activism leads them down disparate paths. The filmmakers of the New German Cinema refused to underline their films with the Manichaean claims respectively espoused by the RAF and the government. These complex portrayals found offspring in films such as Christian Petzold’s Die innere Sicherheit(The State I Am In) (2000), a portrait of a family on the run after the reunification of Germany but were countered by glossy high-budget portrayals such as Uli Edel’s Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex(The Baader-Meinhof Complex) (2008). In focusing on the aesthetic structure of these films in relation to the political atmosphere of the late-60s and 70s West Germany, I hope to shed light on questions concerning spectatorship, surveillance, the role of journalism, and how politics disrupts personal relationships, and the kinship between artists and so-called terrorists.

Keywords: new german cinema, film history, red army faction, german cinema

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1 Identifying the Conservation Gaps in Poorly Studied Protected Area in the Philippines: A Study Case of Sibuyan Island

Authors: Roven Tumaneng, Angelica Kristina Monzon, Ralph Sedricke Lapuz, Jose Don De Alban, Jennica Paula Masigan, Joanne Rae Pales, Laila Monera Pornel, Dennis Tablazon, Rizza Karen Veridiano, Jackie Lou Wenceslao, Edmund Leo Rico, Neil Aldrin Mallari


Most protected area management plans in the Philippines, particularly the smaller and more remote islands suffer from insufficient baseline data, which should provide the bases for formulating measureable conservation targets and appropriate management interventions for these protected areas. Attempts to synthesize available data particularly on cultural and socio-economic characteristic of local peoples within and outside protected areas also suffer from the lack of comprehensive and detailed inventories, which should be considered in designing adaptive management interventions to be used for those protected areas. Mt Guiting-guiting Natural Park (MGGNP) located in Sibuyan Island is one of the poorly studied protected areas in the Philippines. In this study, we determined the highly biologically important areas of the protected area using Maximum Entropy approach (MaxEnt) from environmental predictors (i.e., topographic, bioclimatic,land cover, and soil image layers) derived from global remotely sensed data and point occurrence data of species of birds and trees recorded during field surveys on the island. A total of 23 trigger species of birds and trees was modeled and stacked to generate species richness maps for biological high conservation value areas (HCVAs). Forest habitat change was delineated using dual-polarised L-band ALOS-PALSAR mosaic data at 25 meter spatial resolution, taken at two acquisition years 2007 and 2009 to provide information on forest cover ad habitat change in the island between year 2007 and 2009. Determining the livelihood guilds were also conducted using the data gathered from171 household interviews, from which demographic and livelihood variables were extracted (i.e., age, gender, number of household members, educational attainment, years of residency, distance from forest edge, main occupation, alternative sources of food and resources during scarcity months, and sources of these alternative resources).Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Kruskal-Wallis test, the diversity and patterns of forest resource use by people in the island were determined with particular focus on the economic activities that directly and indirectly affect the population of key species as well as to identify levels of forest resource use by people in different areas of the park.Results showed that there are gaps in the area occupied by the natural park, as evidenced by the mismatch of the proposed HCVAs and the existing perimeters of the park. We found out that subsistence forest gathering was the possible main driver for forest degradation out of the eight livelihood guilds that were identified in the park. Determining the high conservation areas and identifyingthe anthropogenic factors that influence the species richness and abundance of key species in the different management zone of MGGNP would provide guidance for the design of a protected area management plan and future monitoring programs. However, through intensive communication and consultation with government stakeholders and local communities our results led to setting conservation targets in local development plans and serve as a basis for the reposition of the boundaries and reconfiguration of the management zones of MGGNP.

Keywords: conservation gaps, livelihood guilds, MaxEnt, protected area

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