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The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
4 Projects, page 1 of 1

  • Canada
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • 2015
  • 2019

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/M017028/1
    Funder Contribution: 766,686 GBP
    Partners: University of Guelph, University of Salford, WU

    Soils provide many functions for humans, including the storage of carbon and nutrient cycling, which are crucial for the production of food and mitigation of climate change. However, there is much concern that soils, and the functions that they provide, are being threatened by a range of pressures, including intensive farming methods and increased frequency of extreme climatic events, such as drought. Not only do these disturbances pose an immediate threat to the functioning of soils, but they could also impair their ability to resist and recover from further stresses that come in the future. Our project will tackle this problem by addressing two general questions: first, what makes a soil able to withstand and recover from disturbance events, such as drought, and, second how can we use this knowledge to ensure soils can buffer disturbances in the future? These are questions that have puzzled soil scientists for many years, but so far, remain unresolved. An area that offers much promise, however, in tackling this issue is food web ecology. Food webs are the networks of interactions describing who eats whom amongst the myriad organisms within an ecosystem. And in soil, they are the engine that drives the very processes of nutrient cycling and energy flow on which the functioning of soil and the terrestrial ecosystems they support, depend. It has been proposed for many years, but so far not fully tested in soil, that simple food webs are less able to withstand and recover from disturbance events, such as drought than complex ones. We want to test this theory in soil, which harbours some of the most complex, but also sensitive, food webs on Earth. We test the idea, through experiments and models, that the ability of a soil to withstand, recover and adapt to disturbance events depends on the architecture and diversity of the soil food web, which governs the rate of transfer of nutrients and energy through the plant-soil system. We also propose that soil disturbances associated with intensive land use, such as trampling and fertiliser addition, erode the very food web structures that make the soil system stable, thereby reducing the ability of soil to resist and recover from future disturbances, such as extreme weather events. We will also resolve what makes a food web stable, and test the roles of different types of organisms in soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi, which we believe play a major role. And finally, we will develop new models to help us better predict how soils will respond to future threats and to guide management decisions on sustainable soil management in a rapidly changing world. These question are at the heart of the NERC Soil Security programme which seeks to resolve what controls the ability of soils and their functions to resist, recover and ultimately adapt, to perturbations, such as those caused by land use and extreme climatic events.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M01052X/1
    Funder Contribution: 731,953 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, University of Kent, UMCP, RU, SFU

    Condensed matter physics has developed a relatively complete theory of common phases in materials leading to many technologically important devices including electronic screens, memory storage, and switching devices. Landau, or mean-field theory, has provided a framework to model, predict, and understand phases and transitions in a surprisingly diverse variety of materials and also dynamical systems. While these conventional ground states have proven technologically important and the underlying theory represents a major success for scientists, these phases have proven incredibly difficult to suppress and often emerge when new materials properties are sought or engineered. To discover novel phases that will lead to a new materials revolution, these common phases need to be suppressed to allow exotic and unconventional properties to emerge. The most common vehicle to turn off conventional phases in materials has been through the introduction of disorder through chemical doping resulting in strong random fields. Many important theories have been formulated and tested to describe the effects of random fields and in particular to account for the fine balance between surface and bulk free energy. However, the use of disorder has proved limiting as properties are often templated into the material and not directly controllable and also the resulting ground state of the material is difficult to understand. Another route, which has more recently been explored in the last decade, to suppress conventional phases is by introducing strong fluctuations. While this can be trivially done with temperature, new phases have emerged by studying quantum systems where the physics are governed by quantum mechanics and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The study of quantum systems has resulted in the discovery of many new phases of matter including high temperature superconductors and also quantum spin-liquids where the magnetism is dynamic at any temperature. A limitation of quantum fluctuations is that the properties do not carry over directly to ferroelectric based systems and also multiferroics where magnetic and structural properties are strongly coupled. Also, owing to the strong fluctuating nature of the ground state, the properties have not been found to be easily tunable limiting immediate use for applications. This proposal aims to therefore take a different route by studying classically frustrated systems where a large ground state degeneracy is introduced naturally through the lattice and quantum mechanical effects are small. Emphasis will be placed on lattices based upon a triangular geometry. The lack of strong fluctuations (that exists in quantum systems) provides the ability to controllably tune between different ground states making this route a potential means of creating new switching devices or novel memory storage systems. The proposal aims to investigate classically frustrated magnets and ferroelectrics. These systems can be described within a common framework and will be studied using scattering techniques to provide a bulk real space image of the ground state. The properties will be tuned with magnetic and electric fields supplying a direct route for discovering a new route towards technologically applicable materials. The combined approach of investigating ferroelectrics and magnets will result in a complete understanding applicable to immediate industrial applications. These new materials will lead to the discovery of new phases including new high temperature multiferroics, classical spin liquids, or localized controllable boundaries or defects.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/M011429/1
    Funder Contribution: 549,872 GBP
    Partners: Greenland Rare Earth Projects Ltd, SRK Consulting UK Ltd, HGF, Tanbreez Mining Greenland A/S, Oakdene Hollins (United Kingdom), Umwelt und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Mkango Resources Limited, FAPESP, UCT, Maakrish Ltd...

    Rare earth elements (REE) are the headline of the critical metals security of supply agenda. All the REE were defined as critical by the European Union in 2010, and in subsequent analysis in 2014. Similar projects in the UK and USA have highlighted 'heavy' REE (HREE - europium through to lutetium) as the metals most likely to be at risk of supply disruption and in short supply in the near future. The REE are ubiquitous within modern technologies, including computers and low energy lighting, energy storage devices, large wind turbines and smart materials, making their supply vital to UK society. The challenge is to develop new environmentally friendly and economically viable, neodymium (Nd) and HREE deposits so that use of REE in new and green technologies can continue to expand. The principal aims of this project are to understand the mobility and concentration of Nd and HREE in natural systems and to investigate new processes that will lower the environmental impact of REE extraction and recovery. By concentrating on the critical REE, the research will be wide ranging in the deposits and processing techniques considered. It gives NERC and the UK a world-leading research consortium on critical REE, concentrating on deposit types identified in the catalyst phase as most likely to have low environmental impact, and on research that bridges the two goals of the SoS programme. The project brings together two groups from the preceding catalyst projects (GEM-CRE, MM-FREE) to form a new interdisciplinary team, including the UK's leading experts in REE geology and metallurgy, together with materials science, high/low temperature fluid geochemistry, computational simulation/mineral physics, geomicrobiology and bioprocessing. The team brings substantial background IP and the key skills required. The research responds to the needs of industry partners and involves substantive international collaboration as well as a wider international and UK network across the REE value chain. The work programme has two strands. The first centres on conventional deposits, which comprise all of the REE mines outside China and the majority of active exploration and development projects. The aim is to make a step change in the understanding of the mobility of REE in these natural deposits via mineralogical analysis, experiments and computational simulation. Then, based on this research, the aim is to optimise the most relevant extraction methods. The second strand looks to the future to develop a sustainable new method of REE extraction. The focus will be the ion adsorption deposits, which could be exploited with the lowest environmental impact of any of the main ore types using a well-controlled in-situ leaching operation. Impact will be immediate through our industry partners engaged in REE exploration and development projects, who will gain improved deposit models and better and more efficient, and therefore more environmentally friendly, extraction techniques. There will be wider benefits for researchers in other international teams and companies as we publish our results. Security of REE supply is a major international issue and the challenges tackled in this research will be relevant to practically all REE deposits. Despite the UK not having world class REE deposits itself, the economy is reliant on REE (e.g. the functional materials and devices industry is worth ~£3 Bn p.a.) and therefore the UK must lead research into the extraction process. Manufacturers who use REE will also benefit from the research by receiving up to date information on prospects for future Nd and HREE supply. This will help plan their longer term product development, as well as shorter term purchasing strategy. Likewise, the results will be useful to inform national and European level policy and to interest, entertain and educate the wider community about the natural characters and importance of the REE.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M006255/1
    Funder Contribution: 950,403 GBP
    Partners: NIHR CRN: North West Coast, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancaster University, SR Research Ltd

    There is mounting evidence that deficits in saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements are characteristic of dementia. These deficits can be detected in a lab or clinical setting using specialised eye-tracking equipment but this is inconvenient for the patient, costly for the NHS and introduces the risk of sampling bias because clinic visits are inevitably intermittent. The aim of the Monitoring Of Dementia using Eye Movements (MODEM) project is to enable the longitudinal collection of data at low cost and with minimal inconvenience, to provide a novel platform for prognosis and diagnosis of dementia. We propose to tackle monitoring of disease progression with in-home eye tracking and computational analysis of eye movement embedded with patients' everyday activity. This is an entirely novel approach, and hence high risk. However, it has the potential to lead to major breakthroughs, for three reasons: (i) Eye movement and cognitive health are closely linked, including initial evidence of markers for dementia diagnosis. (ii) Eye trackers are on the verge of a step change from lab instrument to widely deployed sensor, and their adoption for contact-less health monitoring is becoming a realistic proposition. (iii) People/patients use their eyes in daily routines that are visually engaging, and that present rich contexts for collection of information about how their eye movement changes over time, as a function of disease progression. Our vision is that rather than patients having to attend a clinic or laboratory, eye movement data can be collected in settings where the technology is ambient and peoples' behaviour is relaxed and natural. The target settings are peoples' own homes and care homes. Eye trackers can be placed strategically to observe eye movement in the context of everyday tasks. For example they can be used to track hand-eye coordination in routine tasks such as tea-making for possible signs of change; these might signal cognitive decline long before routines become more obviously affected. Eye trackers can also be deployed interactively. People spend significant amounts of their daily lives as consumers of visual media, especially through TV, which affords interactive stimulation of eye movement. For example, content (e.g. TV programmes) can be designed to elicit behaviours of interest for diagnosis. People can also be provided with active gaze controls for interaction, for instance as alternative to remote control functions of a TV. Use of gaze for control stimulates specific eye movements which can be used for testing. Though beyond the scope project, this could also lead to therapeutic application of the technology. Moreover, as eye trackers are based on cameras and computer vision, this opens up avenues for integration with other vision-based approaches such as analysis of facial expressions, for multimodal cognitive health analysis.

search
The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
4 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/M017028/1
    Funder Contribution: 766,686 GBP
    Partners: University of Guelph, University of Salford, WU

    Soils provide many functions for humans, including the storage of carbon and nutrient cycling, which are crucial for the production of food and mitigation of climate change. However, there is much concern that soils, and the functions that they provide, are being threatened by a range of pressures, including intensive farming methods and increased frequency of extreme climatic events, such as drought. Not only do these disturbances pose an immediate threat to the functioning of soils, but they could also impair their ability to resist and recover from further stresses that come in the future. Our project will tackle this problem by addressing two general questions: first, what makes a soil able to withstand and recover from disturbance events, such as drought, and, second how can we use this knowledge to ensure soils can buffer disturbances in the future? These are questions that have puzzled soil scientists for many years, but so far, remain unresolved. An area that offers much promise, however, in tackling this issue is food web ecology. Food webs are the networks of interactions describing who eats whom amongst the myriad organisms within an ecosystem. And in soil, they are the engine that drives the very processes of nutrient cycling and energy flow on which the functioning of soil and the terrestrial ecosystems they support, depend. It has been proposed for many years, but so far not fully tested in soil, that simple food webs are less able to withstand and recover from disturbance events, such as drought than complex ones. We want to test this theory in soil, which harbours some of the most complex, but also sensitive, food webs on Earth. We test the idea, through experiments and models, that the ability of a soil to withstand, recover and adapt to disturbance events depends on the architecture and diversity of the soil food web, which governs the rate of transfer of nutrients and energy through the plant-soil system. We also propose that soil disturbances associated with intensive land use, such as trampling and fertiliser addition, erode the very food web structures that make the soil system stable, thereby reducing the ability of soil to resist and recover from future disturbances, such as extreme weather events. We will also resolve what makes a food web stable, and test the roles of different types of organisms in soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi, which we believe play a major role. And finally, we will develop new models to help us better predict how soils will respond to future threats and to guide management decisions on sustainable soil management in a rapidly changing world. These question are at the heart of the NERC Soil Security programme which seeks to resolve what controls the ability of soils and their functions to resist, recover and ultimately adapt, to perturbations, such as those caused by land use and extreme climatic events.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M01052X/1
    Funder Contribution: 731,953 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, University of Kent, UMCP, RU, SFU

    Condensed matter physics has developed a relatively complete theory of common phases in materials leading to many technologically important devices including electronic screens, memory storage, and switching devices. Landau, or mean-field theory, has provided a framework to model, predict, and understand phases and transitions in a surprisingly diverse variety of materials and also dynamical systems. While these conventional ground states have proven technologically important and the underlying theory represents a major success for scientists, these phases have proven incredibly difficult to suppress and often emerge when new materials properties are sought or engineered. To discover novel phases that will lead to a new materials revolution, these common phases need to be suppressed to allow exotic and unconventional properties to emerge. The most common vehicle to turn off conventional phases in materials has been through the introduction of disorder through chemical doping resulting in strong random fields. Many important theories have been formulated and tested to describe the effects of random fields and in particular to account for the fine balance between surface and bulk free energy. However, the use of disorder has proved limiting as properties are often templated into the material and not directly controllable and also the resulting ground state of the material is difficult to understand. Another route, which has more recently been explored in the last decade, to suppress conventional phases is by introducing strong fluctuations. While this can be trivially done with temperature, new phases have emerged by studying quantum systems where the physics are governed by quantum mechanics and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The study of quantum systems has resulted in the discovery of many new phases of matter including high temperature superconductors and also quantum spin-liquids where the magnetism is dynamic at any temperature. A limitation of quantum fluctuations is that the properties do not carry over directly to ferroelectric based systems and also multiferroics where magnetic and structural properties are strongly coupled. Also, owing to the strong fluctuating nature of the ground state, the properties have not been found to be easily tunable limiting immediate use for applications. This proposal aims to therefore take a different route by studying classically frustrated systems where a large ground state degeneracy is introduced naturally through the lattice and quantum mechanical effects are small. Emphasis will be placed on lattices based upon a triangular geometry. The lack of strong fluctuations (that exists in quantum systems) provides the ability to controllably tune between different ground states making this route a potential means of creating new switching devices or novel memory storage systems. The proposal aims to investigate classically frustrated magnets and ferroelectrics. These systems can be described within a common framework and will be studied using scattering techniques to provide a bulk real space image of the ground state. The properties will be tuned with magnetic and electric fields supplying a direct route for discovering a new route towards technologically applicable materials. The combined approach of investigating ferroelectrics and magnets will result in a complete understanding applicable to immediate industrial applications. These new materials will lead to the discovery of new phases including new high temperature multiferroics, classical spin liquids, or localized controllable boundaries or defects.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/M011429/1
    Funder Contribution: 549,872 GBP
    Partners: Greenland Rare Earth Projects Ltd, SRK Consulting UK Ltd, HGF, Tanbreez Mining Greenland A/S, Oakdene Hollins (United Kingdom), Umwelt und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Mkango Resources Limited, FAPESP, UCT, Maakrish Ltd...

    Rare earth elements (REE) are the headline of the critical metals security of supply agenda. All the REE were defined as critical by the European Union in 2010, and in subsequent analysis in 2014. Similar projects in the UK and USA have highlighted 'heavy' REE (HREE - europium through to lutetium) as the metals most likely to be at risk of supply disruption and in short supply in the near future. The REE are ubiquitous within modern technologies, including computers and low energy lighting, energy storage devices, large wind turbines and smart materials, making their supply vital to UK society. The challenge is to develop new environmentally friendly and economically viable, neodymium (Nd) and HREE deposits so that use of REE in new and green technologies can continue to expand. The principal aims of this project are to understand the mobility and concentration of Nd and HREE in natural systems and to investigate new processes that will lower the environmental impact of REE extraction and recovery. By concentrating on the critical REE, the research will be wide ranging in the deposits and processing techniques considered. It gives NERC and the UK a world-leading research consortium on critical REE, concentrating on deposit types identified in the catalyst phase as most likely to have low environmental impact, and on research that bridges the two goals of the SoS programme. The project brings together two groups from the preceding catalyst projects (GEM-CRE, MM-FREE) to form a new interdisciplinary team, including the UK's leading experts in REE geology and metallurgy, together with materials science, high/low temperature fluid geochemistry, computational simulation/mineral physics, geomicrobiology and bioprocessing. The team brings substantial background IP and the key skills required. The research responds to the needs of industry partners and involves substantive international collaboration as well as a wider international and UK network across the REE value chain. The work programme has two strands. The first centres on conventional deposits, which comprise all of the REE mines outside China and the majority of active exploration and development projects. The aim is to make a step change in the understanding of the mobility of REE in these natural deposits via mineralogical analysis, experiments and computational simulation. Then, based on this research, the aim is to optimise the most relevant extraction methods. The second strand looks to the future to develop a sustainable new method of REE extraction. The focus will be the ion adsorption deposits, which could be exploited with the lowest environmental impact of any of the main ore types using a well-controlled in-situ leaching operation. Impact will be immediate through our industry partners engaged in REE exploration and development projects, who will gain improved deposit models and better and more efficient, and therefore more environmentally friendly, extraction techniques. There will be wider benefits for researchers in other international teams and companies as we publish our results. Security of REE supply is a major international issue and the challenges tackled in this research will be relevant to practically all REE deposits. Despite the UK not having world class REE deposits itself, the economy is reliant on REE (e.g. the functional materials and devices industry is worth ~£3 Bn p.a.) and therefore the UK must lead research into the extraction process. Manufacturers who use REE will also benefit from the research by receiving up to date information on prospects for future Nd and HREE supply. This will help plan their longer term product development, as well as shorter term purchasing strategy. Likewise, the results will be useful to inform national and European level policy and to interest, entertain and educate the wider community about the natural characters and importance of the REE.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M006255/1
    Funder Contribution: 950,403 GBP
    Partners: NIHR CRN: North West Coast, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancaster University, SR Research Ltd

    There is mounting evidence that deficits in saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements are characteristic of dementia. These deficits can be detected in a lab or clinical setting using specialised eye-tracking equipment but this is inconvenient for the patient, costly for the NHS and introduces the risk of sampling bias because clinic visits are inevitably intermittent. The aim of the Monitoring Of Dementia using Eye Movements (MODEM) project is to enable the longitudinal collection of data at low cost and with minimal inconvenience, to provide a novel platform for prognosis and diagnosis of dementia. We propose to tackle monitoring of disease progression with in-home eye tracking and computational analysis of eye movement embedded with patients' everyday activity. This is an entirely novel approach, and hence high risk. However, it has the potential to lead to major breakthroughs, for three reasons: (i) Eye movement and cognitive health are closely linked, including initial evidence of markers for dementia diagnosis. (ii) Eye trackers are on the verge of a step change from lab instrument to widely deployed sensor, and their adoption for contact-less health monitoring is becoming a realistic proposition. (iii) People/patients use their eyes in daily routines that are visually engaging, and that present rich contexts for collection of information about how their eye movement changes over time, as a function of disease progression. Our vision is that rather than patients having to attend a clinic or laboratory, eye movement data can be collected in settings where the technology is ambient and peoples' behaviour is relaxed and natural. The target settings are peoples' own homes and care homes. Eye trackers can be placed strategically to observe eye movement in the context of everyday tasks. For example they can be used to track hand-eye coordination in routine tasks such as tea-making for possible signs of change; these might signal cognitive decline long before routines become more obviously affected. Eye trackers can also be deployed interactively. People spend significant amounts of their daily lives as consumers of visual media, especially through TV, which affords interactive stimulation of eye movement. For example, content (e.g. TV programmes) can be designed to elicit behaviours of interest for diagnosis. People can also be provided with active gaze controls for interaction, for instance as alternative to remote control functions of a TV. Use of gaze for control stimulates specific eye movements which can be used for testing. Though beyond the scope project, this could also lead to therapeutic application of the technology. Moreover, as eye trackers are based on cameras and computer vision, this opens up avenues for integration with other vision-based approaches such as analysis of facial expressions, for multimodal cognitive health analysis.