College Students Excel in University Poster Competition

The College was thrilled with the results of the University’s Poster Competition in July

Eleri Evans, PhD Human Geography student, was awarded First Prize, and Laurence Dyke, PhD Physical Geography student was awarded Third Prize.  Oluyemi Gbadamosi, PhD Biological Sciences was also awarded Second Prize for his Presentation.

Eleri EvansEleri Evans is a KESS funded student based with Awel Aman Tawe, a low carbon energy charity in the Swansea valleys that is trying to build a community wind farm. Her research is looking at the change brought about by AAT through what she is calling the politics of influence to encourage and cajole people to cut their carbon emissions. It is looking particularly to see to what extent AAT has developed a collective reflexive conversation to encourage behaviour change.

Despite the US and the UK prioritising climate change as a threat to global stability, there is a value-action gap between what people know about climate change and what they do about it.  For many, it is an abstract and distant problem.  Only a minority reduce their energy consumption and many renewable energy proposals meet vociferous and effective public resistance.  Whereas much research has focused on barriers to engagement, this study examines how it might be possible to encourage people to care enough about climate change to move towards a low carbon future.

As UK Government identifies a major role for community-led groups in reducing carbon emissions, this research uses a case study based on a range of methods to look at the change brought about by a community-led low carbon energy charity, which cannot invoke sanctions or penalties but can use only what is identified here as the politics of influence to encourage and cajole people to cut carbon emissions. To see how individuals come to prioritise some concerns over others, it uses the internal conversation process identified by social theorist Margaret Archer, in which the internal, reflexive conversations people hold in their own minds are where they establish their values for action.

This research suggests that what is missing in the search for engagement is what we can call a collective reflexive conversation, what Archer describes as the missing link in her work to explain the interplay between structure and agency and its impact on the morphogenesis of society. It examines whether engagement could be better secured by moving the focus from approaches seeking individual behaviour change in response to rational criteria, such as penalties or inducements often used by government to encourage behaviour change, to approaches that develop a reflexive conversation around personal and wider community values.

Laurence DykeLaurence Dyke's research focuses on determining the glacial history of southeast Greenland. This region has seen dramatic glacial changes over the last decade, with significant glacier retreat and thinning. Despite its importance, very little is known about the long term glacial history of this region. Understanding how the ice sheet has behaved in the past is key to making reliable predictions about the future of the ice sheet.

The glacial history of an area can be pieced together from clues in the landscape; glaciers and ice sheets leave very distinct geomorphological features and by mapping these it is possible to reconstruct the dimensions of former ice masses. It is also possible to determine the timing of glacial changes using a technique called cosmogenic isotope dating. This technique provides information about when an area was last covered in ice. Laurence’s research combines these data to work out how far glaciers advanced in the past, how thick they were, and how quickly they retreated in response to a changing climate.

Laurence’s project also aims to communicate glaciological research to a wider audience. To achieve this he teamed up with 196 Productions, a television production company based in Cardiff. They provided training and professional camera equipment to allow filming during fieldwork. Greenland is savagely beautiful and the footage included some incredible moments working amongst icebergs in some of the largest fjords in the world. A 50 minute film ‘A GLIMPSE of Greenland: The Disappearing Ice’ was created using footage from Greenland and interviews with glaciologists from Swansea University. A 10 minute version is available on YouTube and the full length version will be available as a teaching resource in the near future.

Oluyemi GbadamosiOluyemi Gbadamosi's research focuses on the use of algae in aquaculture nutrition and health management. Microalgae are an important food source and feed additive in the commercial rearing of many aquatic animals, especially the larvae of bivalve molluscs, penaeid prawn larvae and live food organisms such as rotifers which, in turn, are used to rear the larvae of marine finfish and crustaceans. A variety of macro and micro algae can be used as dietary ingredients and supplements to enhance health and growth performance of a range of farmed fish species, due to their favourable protein, amino acid and vitamin content in addition to valuable amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and numerous bioactive compounds. This is especially important in order to counteract negative impacts of reducing or replacing marine ingredients such as fish meal and fish oil in formulated feeds. Several growth trials are being performed with tilapia covering size ranges from 5 cm up to market size. Several species of algae are being  tested for use as an ingredient (fish meal and fish oil replacement) and/ or as a supplement to enhance non-specific immune parameters, health and quality of the fish.