A degree designed to suit the needs of full-time athletes

My name is Eoin Flemming and I am a full time international Judo player, fighting for Ireland, and I plan on competing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2024 Olympic Games.

I chose to study at Edinburgh Napier University as it was the only university that offered a course that was designed to suit the needs of full-time athletes.

The degree course is online and is very flexible when it comes to sitting our modules. This is essential for me, as Judo is a full-on sport with no off season like other sports. I mostly train two or three times a day for six days a week, so knowing this degree is there and understands these demands is great. I was able to complete one recent assignment for university whilst I was on a five-week training camp in Japan. Having the flexibility to study and complete assignments from anywhere in the world is very helpful, especially as my sport requires me to travel a lot.

Edinburgh Napier University has supported me tremendously. They are one of very few universities that truly understand the needs and demands placed on professional athletes. The creation of the course is huge for people like me who want to get a degree without the normal time constraints of normal degrees. I understand the importance of having a degree and furthering my knowledge in today’s society. I have to be prepared for what I am going to do after judo and this degree will give me greater opportunities for when that time comes. It is such a highlight to be given the opportunity to achieve this without it affecting my sports performance.

I have already recommended the BA Business and Enterprise Sport to some of my training partners as I feel this is the perfect course for athletes. The modules are specific to elite sport so I find them really interesting. I’d absolutely encourage other athletes to do the course and enjoy the unique experience of studying whilst being an athletes. You will be opening new opportunities for yourself for life after sport. The university has plenty of support systems in place for us if you ever were to need any help.

Public Perceptions and Responses to Human Trafficking

International Migrant Day – 18 December – was an appropriate day to review the latest research published in Anti-Trafficking Review, at a special event at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), a network of over 80 NGOs worldwide, this issue of the quarterly academic journal has been guest edited by Kiril Sharapov, an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Applied Sciences, and Suzanne Hoff, International Coordinator of La Strada International. Its focus is on public perceptions and responses to human trafficking.

The theme has emerged from research that identifies that many interventions, globally, are driven by assumptions or ignorance of the issue at a local level. Peter Olayiwola, a PhD student at Nottingham University highlighted that in Nigeria, which is the focus of his ongoing research, most NGO’s perceive the issue of trafficking to be driven by organised networks – a perception driven by the western donors most NGOs rely on to fund their programmes.

There is an obvious danger then that most interventions become necessarily time bound and focused around this single driver. But the reality for those working in exploited roles, many of whom Peter has interviewed directly, is that they are not trafficked into Nigeria by organised gangs, but taken advantage of in their own country, by those who would exploit the extreme poverty of their basic living conditions and the vulnerability it creates.

Caroline Robinson speaking at the launch of the Anti-Trafficking Review focused on Public Perceptions and Responses to Human Trafficking, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh 18 December 2019

Improving public awareness of the issues around trafficking is then, surely, a benefit?

As Kiril Sharapov and Suzanne Hoff write in their editorial however, the answer is not so clear cut. “Most awareness-raising messages continue to deliver simplistic narratives of ‘victims, villains, and heroes,’ while leaving the structural root causes of human trafficking and the systems of domination that underpin them intact.”

The range of research in this edition does point a way forward, and a focus on the broad range of root causes could do much to inform a better debate around how limited funds can be targeted. It is not uncommon for costly public awareness campaigns to be approved just as equivalent direct cuts to front line services are enforced. Strengthened labour inspection systems could also do much to impact the conditions under which currently exploited workers subsist, and anti-trafficking campaigns also need to call for labour protection in unregulated sectors, such as domestic work.

Ultimately, “those of us who hold the power of production and distribution of knowledge must let the people in vulnerable and exploitative situations… demand the change they need.”

Anti-Trafficking Review Issue 13, September 2019 ISSN 2286-7511

Understanding the health benefits of exercise and physical activity

Due to the prevalence of long-term health conditions in our modern society, and our developing understanding of the health benefits of exercise and physical activity, there is an important need to develop highly skilled postgraduates in Clinical Exercise Science.

The School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University has a unique course that can provide the specialised, evidence-based, clinical exercise science knowledge, and the applied skills required to work with both healthy and clinical populations.

On the MSc in Clinical Exercise Science you can expect to learn about many long-term conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological conditions and different types of cancer and the role that physical activity and exercise can play in both the prevention and treatment of such conditions.

We want our students to have as much hands on experience as possible, to enhance their career prospects. With that in mind the Clinical Exercise Science MSc includes a large practical component where students will learn to run exercise tests, screen patients, prescribe exercise programmes and learn motivational interviewing techniques. We think it is important that our graduates not only know the physiology of exercise and physical activity, but also have an excellent understanding of what motivates people and how people can be helped to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their lives. Clearly we are very concerned with research, but more importantly we are concerned with the impact that research has in the real world and what this does for the health of both general and clinical populations. The most important thing that a clinical exercise scientist does is make a positive difference to peoples’ lives. This course will give you the knowledge and skills required to go out and do this confidently.

Whether your background is sport/exercise science, psychology, physical activity and health or perhaps you work as a healthcare professional we want to hear from you. Our students come from a very wide variety of backgrounds. In addition to your academic qualifications you will also be given the opportunity to sit the REPS and CIMSPA Validated Level 4 Cancer and Exercise examinations. We want to offer you learning experiences which will enable you to be in the best possible position to exploit the increasing career opportunities as an exercise professional, whether as a physical activity coordinator, a health and well-being physiologist; a clinical exercise physiologist or an exercise referral coordinator.

Dr Melanie Leggate PhD, Programme Leader MSc Clinical Exercise Science

Research targets a cheap and fast method for rapid environmental assessment in coastal restoration

Mangroves protect the coastline. Here we can see old trees that protect the coast of Bunaken island in north Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Marco Fusi is a post-doctoral fellow in a research group led by Dr Karen Diele at Edinburgh Napier University. He completed his PhD at the University of Milan, studying mangroves and other coastal ecosystems around the Indian Ocean, in countries such as Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.

Following his PhD, Marco has continued studying mangroves, with his post-doctoral fellowship research focusing on the Red Sea mangrove and seagrasses ecosystem.

Marco believes marine life is a natural laboratory, where environmental stressors shape and guide the evolution of life, especially in the light of the dramatic changes led by rapid global warming; and he has a strong passion towards his subject. His most current research project is the NERC project 2018-2021 – As Good as (G)old, which is led by Dr Karen Diele at Edinburgh Napier University.

The aim is to understand the ecological processes in coastal restoration. This will be achieved by comparing coastal areas in North Sulawesi, Indonesia that were previously exploited by intensive and unregulated shrimp farming activity, but which have now been restored to natural mangroves.

The project involves a diverse and multi-disciplinary team made up of scientists from both the UK and Indonesia who aim to understand the biological process that characterise restored mangroves in depth, in order to assess if they regain the full functionality of the natural mangrove.

Marco hopes the research project will deliver two major achievements. The first is to deliver a high impact case study on how the restoration process affects the ecological interaction amongst the species that live in the mangrove – from animals to bacteria.

The second major achievement would be to develop a cheap and fast method for rapid environmental assessment in coastal restoration.

The hope is to implement a conservation strategy that is able to monitor the health of the mangrove ecosystem to protect the sea and the people living nearby.

“Marine life is a natural laboratory where environmental stressors shape and guide the evolution of life, especially in the light of the dramatic changes led by rapid global warming.”

Left: Mangrove root create the right habitat to act as nursery habitat of fishes. In this picture you can see little cardinal fishes that find shelter among the mangrove roots.

Right: Mangrove root host a very diverse community of marine species. In this picture you can see a rich community of algae, sponges, tunicates that lives on a mangrove root. Bu creating structurally complex habitat they enhance the marine biodiversity.

 

Make a positive difference to peoples’ lives through Clinical Exercise Science

Due to the prevalence of long-term health conditions in our modern society, and our developing understanding of the health benefits of exercise and physical activity, there is an important need to develop highly skilled postgraduates in Clinical Exercise Science.

To enhance your career prospects, Edinburgh Napier has developed a unique course that will provide you with specialised, evidence-based, clinical exercise science knowledge, as well as plenty of hands on experience and the applied skills required to work with both healthy and clinical populations.

On this course you can expect to learn about many long-term conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological conditions and different types of cancer and the role that physical activity and exercise can play in both the prevention and treatment of such conditions.

We want our students to have as much hands on experience as possible. With that in mind the Clinical Exercise Science MSc includes a large practical component where you will learn to run exercise tests, screen patients, prescribe exercise programmes and learn motivational interviewing techniques. We think it is important that our graduates not only know the physiology of exercise and physical activity, but also have an excellent understanding of what motivates people and how you can help people to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their lives. Clearly we are very concerned with research, but more importantly we are concerned with the impact that research has in the real world and what this does for the health of both general and clinical populations. The most important thing that a clinical exercise scientist does is make a positive difference to peoples’ lives. This course will give you the knowledge and skills required to go out and do this confidently.

This course is designed to allow our students to gain the professional skills and knowledge that are required to work in the area of Clinical Exercise Science.

Whether your background is sport/exercise science, psychology, physical activity and health or perhaps you work as a healthcare professional we want to hear from you. Our students come from a very wide variety of backgrounds. In addition to your academic qualifications you will also be given the opportunity to sit the REPS and CIMSPA Validated Level 4 Cancer and Exercise examinations. We want to offer you learning experiences which will enable you to be in the best possible position to exploit the increasing career opportunities as an exercise professional, whether as a physical activity coordinator, a health and well-being physiologist; a clinical exercise physiologist or an exercise referral coordinator.

Get more details: https://www.napier.ac.uk/courses/msc-clinical-exercise-science-postgraduate-fulltime

Dean appointed to FSA Committee on Toxicity

Edinburgh Napier University’s Dean of Applied Sciences Gary Hutchison has recently been appointed to the Committee on Toxicity advising the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The FSA is an independent government department that works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect consumers from any potential food safety issues, by making sure food is safe – and is precisely what it claims to be – by using the best scientific evidence.

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health and other Government Departments and Agencies on matters concerning the toxicity of chemicals.

Due to Gary’s background in reproductive and development toxicity and particle toxicology, he has also been invited to join the FSA Register of Specialists.

As a member of the Register of Specialists, Gary will now be on a list of pre-approved experts whom the FSA can call on to carry out any scientific and technical work. This work will involve providing evidence, analysis or expert advice on risk assessment and other scientific issues relevant to food safety and regulated food products and food processes. As well as this, Gary’s expert knowledge will be called upon to provide peer review and appraisal of research questions and proposals.

The work that Gary will do with the FSA will benefit UK consumers directly by helping ensure the safety of food and the effective, evidence-based regulation of the food industry.

Professor Gary Hutchison