Research Edge is a forum dedicated to the discussion of current and novel research conducted by UB faculty, students and community professionals. Research Edge is based on an idea that recognizes the inherent value of research in the education process.

Research Edge provides a dynamic environment for the scholarly exchange of ideas and encourages within, the University community, a lively and interdisciplinary shared culture supporting research, learning and innovative achievement. It provides unique opportunities for researchers to communicate and discuss their findings and to receive feedback, comments or suggestions with regard to new and/or different approaches to their work.

Research Edge is held on Friday, from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre, Oakes Field Campus, every fall and spring semester.

Members of the UB and the wider community are encouraged to attend.

UB

2 September 2016

Dr. Nathan L. Dawson, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Physics and Technology

Topic: New Experimental and Theoretical Approaches for Better Optoelectronic Materials

Abstract: Optoelectronic materials are an important part of our current way of life. Our global civilization relies on these materials for energy harvesting, communicating over long distances, and accessing information through the world wide web. These are but a few of the applications that require such materials, where better optoelectronic materials are necessary to make new state-of-the-art devices. Cellulose nanocrystals are shown to make environmentally friendly scaffolds for disordered nanoparticle arrays and cavity polaritons are observed in bio-based porphyrin-sophorolipid molecules inside weak cavities. The current gap between the theoretical limits of the hyperpolarizability of optoelectronic materials and experimentally determined values will be discussed. Theoretical techniques will be introduced to help explore what attributes new materials might require to breach this gap.

 

9 September 2016

Jesper Elzinga, Environmental Engineer, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, The Netherlands

Topic: ReefGuard: an industry led approach to assisted reef rehabilitation with ‘lab’-cultured juvenile corals obtained from natural coral spawning events

Abstract: In 2010, Dutch dredging and marine contractor Van Oord launched a Coral Rehabilitation Initiative known as ReefGuard (2010-2016). Its aim was to enhance the assisted rehabilitation of degraded natural coral reefs by out-planting (tens to ultimately hundreds of thousands) ‘laboratory-cultured’ juvenile corals obtained from natural coral spawning events. A key challenge was to demonstrate that proven small-scale coral breeding techniques could be scaled-up and applied in the field to promote environmental gain around marine infrastructure projects. The ReefGuard, (an innovative mobile laboratory), was developed to ensure the availability of a controlled environment to facilitate fertilisation, primary settling and initial outgrowing of the larvae before outplacement.

 

After its construction in 2013, ReefGuard was applied in three field trials. The first two trials were executed near Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay Australia (2014 and 2015). The third trial was executed in Coral Harbour on New Providence, Bahamas (2015). The trials involved three species of Acropora corals, in-situ as well as ex-situ gamete collection, and employed 10, 36 and 20 settlement tiles respectively. Tiles with settled larvae were placed in the field as part of a scientific survival experiment. ReefGuard design, including its use in up-scaling consecutive breeding steps, settlement and mortality rates encountered and the practical aspects crucial in bringing this technology toward industry operating standards will be presented. Additionally, planned activities for the 2016 ReefGuard Bahamas campaign will be shared and discussed with the audience.

 

16 September 2016

Valaria Flax, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Physics and Technology and Mr. Patrick Rahming, Professional Architect

Topic: A Conversation With…

Abstract: ‘A CONVERSATION WITH’ Lecture Series, with Valaria Flax, Assistant Professor in Architecture, Michael Edwards, Lecturer in Art, and Guest Speaker, Mr. Patrick Rahming, Architect, offers presentations with note-worthy members of our community; linking us to our history, highlighting our present and exploring the future of ART, ARCHITECTURE and CULTURE in The Bahamas. The lecture series provides an innovative approach to the learning environment; this platform allows the audience to not only listen and learn, but to engage with speakers in an informal setting.

Mr. Rahming has a special commitment to the cultural and economic development of The Bahamas. Over the past 45 years, his efforts have resulted in the construction of numerous significant buildings, the publishing of two books of poetry, one book of philosophy, four albums and several singles of original music; three of his original plays have been staged at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. He has been awarded the Governor General’s Awards for Design Excellence for the NIB Buildings in Nassau and Freeport and the conversion of the Balmoral Hotel to the Le Meridien Royal Bahamian Hotel in Nassau.

14 October 2016

Dr. Philip Smith, Assistant Professor, English Studies

Topic: The Journal Publication Process

Abstract: Dr Philip Smith has worked in every aspect of the academic publications process; as a publisher, book editor, journal editor, author and reviewer. He will give a presentation on journal publishing and detail how to select the right venue for your article; how to prepare a manuscript for submission, what editors look for in a paper and how to handle reviewer feedback.

 

21 October 2016

Dr. Nicolette Bethel, Assistant Professor, Social Sciences

Topic: Commodifying a Festival in The Bahamas: Junkanoo or Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival?

Abstract: In 2013, recognizing the growth of carnival tourism around the Caribbean, the Bahamian Prime Minister announced the establishment of a “Bahamian Mardi Gras”. Rather than stemming from Junkanoo, this festival was modelled on Trinidadian Carnival, using purchased costumes, soca music and sound trucks during a daytime road march. One rationale given was that the festival’s purpose was to attract tourist dollars, and that tourists were more familiar with carnival than with Junkanoo. Faced with mounting public criticism, however, what had initially been called Bahamas Carnival was renamed Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. The first such event, widely promoted to an international market, took place in May 2015.

 

This study draws on mixed-methods research conducted in the lead-up to and during the first Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, and tests the claims made by organizers that Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was instituted to attract visitors and increase foreign exchange receipts. It demonstrates that in spite of the focus placed on designing and marketing Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival expressly for and to international tourists, international tourist attendance and expenditure were lower than anticipated. It grapples with the question of why the Bahamian government saw fit to import an entirely new festival model rather than investing in the existing festival of Junkanoo, and considers questions of authenticity and festival tourism.

 

28 October 2016

Paul Deluca, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Environmental Life Science

Topic: The value of preserving natural habitats: A new katydid species for The Bahamas

Abstract: The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera) was established in 2009 and is operated by the Bahamas National Trust and funded by the Leon Levy Foundation. It is the first national park on the island of Eleuthera. A primary mission of The Preserve is the promotion of biodiversity, conservation and environmental awareness. In 2012, a project was initiated to characterize arthropod biodiversity in the park. As of 2015, a total of 307 species of arthropods has been collected. The majority of species are insects (89%), followed by arachnids (8%), crustaceans (2%) and myriapods (1%). In addition, a new species of katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) was discovered here in 2013. This find represents the first new katydid species discovered in The Bahamas, and current evidence suggests this species may be endemic to the Bahamian Archipelago. Additional research is planned to more fully map the distribution of this species and its congenerics throughout the Greater Antilles. The Eleutheran species bears a striking turquoise-colored face that is absent in the other two species in the genus. This feature is hypothesized to be an anti-predator adaption which allows individuals to conceal themselves within foliage to avoid detection.

4 November 2016

Valaria Flax, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Physics and Technology

Topic: A Conversation With…

Abstract: ‘A CONVERSATION WITH’ Lecture Series, with Valaria Flax, Assistant Professor in Architecture, Michael Edwards, Lecturer in Art, and Guest Speaker, Mr. Michael Diggiss, Architect, MD& Associates Co. Ltd, offers presentations with note-worthy members of our community; linking us to our history, highlighting our present and exploring the future of ART, ARCHITECTURE and CULTURE in The Bahamas. The lecture series provides an innovative approach to the learning environment; this platform allows the audience to not only listen and learn, but to engage with speakers in an informal setting.

 

Creative Nassau was formed in 2008 by the late Jackson Burnside III along with a group of passionate Bahamians who wished to showcase their unique Bahamian culture to the world, whilst actively developing a Creative Tourism model to ensure that by the year 2020 more persons will travel to The Bahamas to experience its art, culture and heritage rather than just its sun, sand and sea. We will host two of Creative Nassau’s members: Pamela Burnside – wife of Jackson Burnside, owner of Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, co-founder of Creative Nassau. Patricia Glinton-Meicholas – author, president of The Bahamas Association for Cultural Studies (BACUS), cultural advocate, founding member.

 

11 November 2016

Dr. Christine Gangelhoff, Assistant Professor, Music, Communications and Creative Arts

Topic: Dancing about architecture: The mysterious nature of research in the arts.

Abstract: The arts are not typically associated with research. This view is held by the general public and surprisingly often within academia. Policies on research are often designed for the sciences and related disciplines, while projects in the arts do not fit the mold and are sometimes met with skepticism. Many European Institutions are addressing this issue by creating specific Arts Research Centres that expand the view of what qualifies as research.

 

Using an ongoing research project around Caribbean composers, Dr. Gangelhoff will present various aspects of research in the arts, discussing both content and process. This presentation will demonstrate how interdisciplinary, collaborative research in the arts.

 

18 November 2016

Jesper Elzinga, Environmental Engineer, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, The Netherlands

Topic: ReefGuard: An industry led approach to assisted reef rehabilitation – Intermediate Results Bahamas 2016 Experiment

Abstract: In 2010, Dutch dredging and marine contractor Van Oord launched a Coral Rehabilitation Initiative known as ReefGuard (2010 – 2016). Its aim is to enhance the assisted rehabilitation of degraded natural coral reefs by out-planting (tens to ultimately hundreds of thousands) ‘lab’-cultured juvenile corals obtained from natural coral spawning events. A key challenge is to demonstrate that already proven small-scale coral breeding techniques can be scaled-up and applied in the field to promote environmental gain around marine infrastructure projects. Throughout the four executed ReefGuard pilots thus far, the ReefGuard team has executed coral rehabilitation experiments with various coral species of the genus Acropora. Acropora is a genus of coral species which is prolific around the world and notably includes the endangered Elkhorn and Staghorn corals. During the ReefGuard pilots in the Bahamas, Van Oord has been executing rehabilitation experiments with Acropora palmata (Elkhorn coral).

 

On the 9th of September 2016 Jesper Elzinga of Van Oord presented an introduction to the ReefGuard’s main operational principles and future outlooks. Furthermore, the setup of the aquaculture experiment currently conducted in the Bahamas was discussed. During this aquaculture experiment the ReefGuard team aims to increase coral growth and survival rates by altering the aquaculture periods, water quality and feeding regimes of several subsets of juvenile Elkhorn corals. This second ReefGuard presentation serves as a platform to present the intermediate results from this experiment and further the discussion of coral rehabilitation in The Bahamas.

For additional information contact
Phone: (242) 302-4310.