2019 – Staff Presentations

Sustainable Communities

Wood you know a tree if you saw one? – Daniel Ridley-Ellis, School of Engineering and the Built Environment

What is wood? And what are trees? Those two questions are not as easy to answer as you might think. These three minutes may result in you knowing less.

View Daniel’s presentation here.

Using Indigenous Method in Research: Cultural and Linguistic Capital as Resource – Mabel Victoria, The Business School

This talk briefly discusses the importance of drawing from indigenous methods in inter/cross-cultural method. I show how through the use of pagtatanung-tanong (asking around); pakikipagkuwentuhan (exchanging stories); and ginabayang talakayan (indigenous facilitated discussion) I was given a ‘temporary pass’ into the participants’ backstage region (Goffman, 1959). The research context is a visual ethnographic study into the practice of self-flagellation as part of a Lenten ritual in the Philippines.

Development Of An Early Warning System For Pathogen Detection In Aquaculture Facilities – Abdelfateh Kerrouche, Oliver Boswell, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Sonja Rueckert, School of Applied Sciences

This project aims to develop an early warning system to monitor the pathogen Neoparamoeba perurans, a free-living and parasitic protist and the causative agent of Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) for the application in aquaculture facilities. The system is based on microfluidic technology to detect the pathogen. A portfolio of several proven technologies are considered for integration, which includes Optical Fibre, pneumatic based microfluidic separation and concentration techniques, integrated optical lenses and USB microscopic camera. The system will be tested using latex beads (molecules used as contrast agents with the same diameter as the N. perurans 15–40 µm) and live pathogens.

View Abdelfateh’s presentation here.

Metasurfaces: beyond traditional sensors – Antoine Durant, Celia Lacoste, and Luigi La Spada, School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Electromagnetic sensors recently drawn huge attention in the field of light manipulation. Traditional optical devices possess limitations such as: relatively large sizes, losses, dispersion behavior and difficulty in fabrication. Engineered materials called metasurfaces allow to overcome such drawbacks, while maintaining high performances in terms of sensitivity and sensibility. Metasurfaces, thanks to their exotic electromagnetic properties, can break the traditional law of physics and bring in place new phenomena and applications. Therefore, here,  Metasurface-based sensors for automotive and medical diagnostics will be presented, paving the way for a new range of more efficient, smaller and cheaper sensors.

View Antoine’s presentation here.

Pedagogical Research

Multilingual Identity in Narratives of Student Development – Sibylle Ratz, The Business School

Students on language programmes at Edinburgh Napier have extremely diverse multilingual backgrounds and motivations. With the use of narrative inquiry I seek to understand the experiences of 10 undergraduate students in terms of their multilingual development through the course of their four year programme. In my analysis of the narratives I draw on Archer’s theory of reflexivity and apply this to the area of multilingualism. I seek to discover the underlying concerns of each student (what do they want?), and the projects they develop to realise their concerns (how do they go about getting it?). Most importantly, however, I seek to understand how students reflect on constraints and affordances, and how these reflections may cause them to alter their projects. Insights gained from this research will help to appreciate the heterogeneity of students, and improve the support offered to students as they navigate their way through university life.

Gamification for Engagement – Application of a New Framework in HE and Industrial Settings  – Claire Garden and Errol Rivera, School of Applied Sciences,

We will showcase research currently underway through a PhD studentship entitled ‘Does Gamification improve engagement with, and effectiveness of formative assessment?’. We first define gamification and explain the theoretical basis of the new Gamification for Engagement Framework we have synthesised. We will then describe the gamification intervention currently underway at the University together with experience of its application in an industrial (training) setting and our initial findings.

View Claire’s presentation here.

Information Society

Towards social robots which learn through interaction with humans – Dimitra Gkatzia, School of Computing, and Francesco Belvedere, School of Computing

The area of social robotics has increased in popularity due to a large number of possible applications. The primary goal is to develop robot agents that exhibit socially intelligent behaviour while interacting in a face-to-face context with human partners. An important aspect of face-to-face social interaction is the efficient recognition of their surroundings, the environment and the objects within it, so as to be able to discuss, describe and provide instructions to assist continuous collaboration between the speaker and the listener. Although humans can learn to recognise visual objects from just a single encounter efficiently, teaching robots to recognise objects remains a very challenging, expensive and resource-intensive task. In this talk, I would describe our ongoing work on object recognition and language grounding using one-shot learning and active learning.

View Dimitra’s presentation here.

Building a linked health and social care dataset from routine data – David Henderson, Iain Atherton, Nick Bailey, Colin McCowan, and Stewart Mercer, School of Health and Social Care

Linking routine administrative datasets for research is becoming more common, particularly in the social sciences. The ability to analyse data across professional sectors offers exciting insights to be gained in how public services interact and how they are accessed across groups.

An obvious candidate for such research is in the sphere of health and social care. Recent legislation has required the integration of these services in Scotland. Understanding how they interact, therefore, is of significant interest to the public, clinicians, and policymakers alike.

This talk will give a brief overview of a linked health and social care dataset containing over 1.1 million individuals in Scotland, the rigorous approvals process the enabled the linkage, the pros and cons of such research, and a glimpse at some of the insights it provides.

View David’s presentation here.


Transition from child to adult health care for young adults with learning disabilities – Anna Higgins, School of Health and Social Care, Prof Michael Brown (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Zoe Chouliara (Abertay University), Dr Juliet MacArthur (NHS Lothian) and Dr Maria Truesdale (Edinburgh Napier University)

The population of people with learning disabilities (LD) is changing, with more young people with increasingly complex needs surviving into adulthood. Yet young adults with LD and their family carers continue to experience multiple challenges at the point of transition to adult health care and beyond. This Scotland-wide research explored the nursing contributions to managing transition from the perspective of registered nurses and family carers. Nurses were found to be well placed to support people with LD and their carers by enabling person-centred and family-centred care at the point of transition and beyond. These findings supported development of an educational resource for nurses in practice intended to enable nurses to consider their contributions to promoting effective transition for young adults with LD and complex needs.

View Anna’s presentation here.

Reducing animal testing in nanomaterial hazard assessment – reproductive biology – Gary Hutchison, Dr Eva Malone, Prof Mick Rae and Ms Bryony Ross, School of Applied Sciences,

Maintaining integrity and success in reproduction is key to ensuring survival of any species. However, male fertility rates in the Western world are in decline. Use of emerging technologies such as nanotechnologies presents a need to understand and manage any potential novel threats to male reproductive health.  The animal burden associated with such research is high. Therefore, consideration of reduction, refinement or replacement of animals in the associated developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) testing is a priority. This research aimed to assess toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) in the male reproductive system and develop an improved testing strategy for hazard assessment. The accumulated results were used to develop a novel Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment (IATA) for male reproductive toxicity from ENM.

The study was supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme Project FP7-MARINA (Grant No. 263215).

View Gary’s presentation here.