Can you capture the essence of your research through a single image?
NTU is pleased to launch the Images of Research 2019 competition. Hosted by Researcher Development, this inaugural competition offers NTU researchers the chance to illustrate or represent their research using a single image (photograph, digital image or piece of artwork) along with an engaging short description.
The competition is designed to showcase the amazing research at NTU, illustrating research diversity in both applicants (PhD students, early career researchers, established academics, etc.) and in research projects. It's the perfect medium for engaging non-specialists and captures the essence of complex research projects in an accessible way.
We are looking for images that really draw us in and entice us to want to know more about the research. This is a unique opportunity to raise your research profile and engage with a public audience. The entries will be promoted on the university website, social media channels and in exhibition and event spaces across NTU campuses.
Take a look at current entries so far:
Laxmi Aggarwal - A Market Reduction Approach to Illegal Ivory Markets in Tanzania
This elephant appeared on the road as I was on my way to an undisclosed village bordering the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, in order to interview a potential illegal ivory hunter. The elephant wrapped its trunk around its tusks right next to the vehicle immediately causing me to reach for my camera while the caption “Hands off My Ivory” ran through my head.
My research focuses on the Market Reduction Approach, a crime strategy developed by Dr. Mike Sutton of NTU - for the Home Office, to tackle the UK’s illegal markets in stolen goods. I aim to explore the potential of deploying this strategy to rural environments for illegal ivory theft and markets in Tanzania.
The thesis aims to mitigate local illegal markets with a firm belief that by the time the ivory reaches international markets it’s already too late for the populations of our heritage species; the Loxodonta africana.
Copyright couretsy of: Laxmi Aggarwal, PhD student, School of Social Sciences, 2019
Melina Throuvala - Who’s in Control? Prevention of screen time overuse and attentional loss
"There is no WiFi in the forest, but you may find a better connection".
This picture was taken during a visit, at the UNESCO 'Nikkō Tōshō-gū Shinto' shrine, after my presentation on gaming and smartphone addiction prevention in adolescence, at the International Conference on Behavioural Addictions 2019 in Japan.
This photo depicts my son and a group of Japanese school children who just met there, high-fiving - representing our endemic universal need for human connection. How can we provide children with an appreciation and preference for lived experiences? With 95% of children having access to smartphones and 24% being constantly online (Pew Research, 2017), the appeal and opportunities for information and interactivity online are massive, yet children suffer more from anxiety, depression and loneliness.
With my research I am contributing to evidence-based recommendations on supporting young people to embrace a more balanced view of the self in relation to technologies, strengthen their resilience to mental health impacts, and reduce the susceptibility to online addictions for a minority of children.
Copyright courtesy of: Melina Throuvala, PhD student, Psychology, School of Social Sciences, 2019.
Katy Griggs - Hot Wheels
My research focuses on the physiological and ergonomic impact of technology, clothing and equipment on human health and performance.
My research aims to look at how equipment and users should not be considered as separate entities. Instead a greater focus should be given to the interaction of the two.
This image was taken during a student research project investigating the effectiveness of a novel wheelchair backrest cushion with integrated fans at providing cooling to the user during daily pushing.
Wheelchair users can experience thermal discomfort when pushing in their wheelchairs due to their disability, the constant contact between the user and seat, length of time spent in their wheelchair and seat fabrics that inhibit the dissipation of heat, all of which are exacerbated in hotter environments.
Therefore, wheelchairs should not only aid the user’s mobility but should also interact with the user to ensure user comfort no matter the environment.
Copyright courtesy of: Katy Griggs, Senior Lecturer in Sport Engineering, Engineering, School of Science and Technology, 2019.
Nicholas Midgley - Investigation of glacier change in SE Iceland
Glaciers and ice sheets are undergoing significant change globally. Research undertaken in South East Iceland (July 2019) has investigated recent glacier change and the development of ice-marginal lakes. This image of the icefall from the ice cap called Öræfajökull, which feeds a glacier called Virkisjökull, was captured whilst hanging out of the side of an AS350 helicopter – the doors had been removed to facilitate image collection.
The images, several hundred overlapping images that cover the glacier surface, are processed using a new photogrammetry technique (taking measurements from images/photographs) called Structure-from-Motion, to create a model of the glacier surface, which can be used to assess glacier surface change over time.
Whilst the pilot and passengers were secured inside the helicopter for the duration of the survey flight with ropes and climbing harnesses, the 45° banking turns undertaken by the helicopter adjacent to the steep valley sides made for a memorable experience.
Copyright courtesy of: Nicholas Midgley, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, 2019.
Joseph Chemmarappally - Study on neuronal and glial cell for Parkinson’s disease using 3D nanofibre technology
The pathology of Parkinson’s disease is widely researched, and current therapeutic strategies aim to delay progression by either promoting neuronal regeneration, resurrecting the lost brain function or by cell replacement therapies.
Communication and various signal transduction between 'neuronal' and 'glial' cells in the in-vivo system are purely based on a dynamic systematic network constructed and expanded in a 3D manner. Recently, electrospun nanofibre scaffolds have gained attention among researchers for their ability to mimic the natural 3D environment.
The primary cells were obtained from an embryonic day-18 rat hippocampus, and cultured on electrospun carbon-based nanofibre scaffold for 21-day invitro.
Further, the cells were fixed and stained for βIII tubulin; a mature neuronal axon marker (Red), Synaptophysin; a synaptic and neuronal network maturity marker (yellow) and DAPI; representing the nucleus of the cell (Blue).
Copyright courtesy of: Joseph Chemmarappally, PhD Research Assistant, iSMART, School of Science and Technology, 2019.
Felicity Couldwell - Life before conception
How much do you know about sperm cells? You know they swim to an egg cell without a brain, but how do they do this? How do they know where to go?
The life of a sperm cell is a short-lived journey of barriers, in fact of the billions of sperm released over the life of a male, few sperm cells will ever make it to the egg.
In modern times assisted reproduction techniques are common practice across all species from humans to rainbow trout. One of these techniques is semen freezing, often common practice in domestic animal species due to its many advantages such as long-term preservation of genetic material, insurance against loss of animal and the ability to ship valuable genes worldwide.
My PhD research focuses on improving the cryopreservation of equine sperm cells for commercial purposes with the aim of further work being applied to endangered species.
Copyright courtesy of: Felicity Couldwell, PhD student, School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences, 2019.
Dinish Nadaraja - The Human Touch in Plantation Agriculture
Despite their colonial past, plantation systems are still among the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector due the increasing demand for plantation commodities worldwide. For such an important system, why are plantations still managed unsustainably?
Plantation systems have often been associated with a variety of environmental and social issues from deforestation to slave and child labour. Although there are many sustainability management toolkits available (e.g. Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade), most plantation companies are unwilling to use these toolkits, often criticizing them as being too complicated and unpractical.
To solve this, my research engages with different social groups connected with the plantation systems (e.g. local communities, NGOs, plantation companies), to understand their views regarding the sustainability of plantation systems. This allows an effective and practical sustainability management toolkit to be jointly developed together. Such a toolkit can easily be used by plantation companies to sustainably manage their plantations at each stage of development.
Copyright courtesy of: Dinish Nadaraja, PhD student, School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences, 2019.
Pamela Henderson - Read my mind!
This is Jack, offering me an ice cream. It’s his favourite game and all he needs is a dead leaf! Sometimes, when I ask for a particular flavour, Jack says: “I don’t have that”. He will repeat this, until I guess what flavour he has in mind.
Even though I really want raspberry ripple, if that’s not the answer he wants to hear, I have to guess again. It’s like I have to read his mind! Jack gets to makes the rules and he always wins.
I never let my students get the better of me either, though like Jack I feel frustrated when they don’t give me the answers I want. I feel trapped by learning outcomes and module specifications. Yet my research shows that if I just let my students take control, they will learn more and we will all be happier.
Copyright courtesy of: Pamela Henderson, Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Law School, 2019.
Ross Smith - Framing the Penal Colony - Representations of French Guiana in Comic Art
I took this photo at Île Saint-Joseph, a former site of the French penal colony in French Guiana.
My research is looking at sites in the penal colony and how we remember them in contemporary graphic novels and other mediums. This image is taken of a cemetery, a site of memory in many comics.
The image raises the question, if the prisoners were thrown to the sharks after death, who is buried here? How does this space function as a site of memory in the colony? How can we understand this site that is somewhat falling into ruin? Does transposing the image into comic art limit our understanding of commemorative spaces, or rather does it provide an opportunity to find narrative and opportunities and humanise the guards likely interred here?
The photo is more than a photo of a cemetery, it tells a story of life in the French penal colony.
Copyright courtesy of: Ross Smith, PhD student in French Studies, School of Arts and Humanities, 2019.
Robert Davis - Spot the Difference?
No two leopards are the same, each one can be identified from their unique pelage patterns.
Can you tell if these images are of the same individual? Certainty in individual recognition is a common problem in camera trap studies.
My research uses a spatial partial identity model, a novel method to reduce uncertainty in individual identification, to identify leopards from camera trap images and, using spatial capture-recapture methods, estimates the population density of leopards in Kasungu National Park, Malawi.
These population estimates are the first to be produced for Malawi and are also the first estimates from a miombo woodland, the primary habitat found in Malawi and a habitat that spans 2.7 million km2 of Southern Africa.
These estimates can provide a baseline for population monitoring and conservation management in this protected area and across this understudied habitat that forms a large section of the leopards’ geographic range.
Copyright courtesy of: Robert Davis, PhD student, School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, 2019.
HOW TO ENTER
The competition opens on Friday 31 May 2019 and closes on Friday 27 September 2019. The winners will be announced on Thursday 31 October 2019 following the selection by a panel of judges including Nigel Wright - Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Charles Fox – Senior Lecture Photography, School of Art and Design and Penny Eccles - Director of Marketing and Communications.
1st prize is £150 Amazon vouchers with two 2 runner up prizes of £50 of Amazon vouchers.
Please complete the entry form and email this along with your image to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for entries is Friday 27 September 2019. Please see terms and conditions below for further details.
TERM AND CONDITIONS
- Who can enter? The competition is open to NTU researchers and postgraduate research students.
- What image can I submit? The photo you take or image you draw/paint must connect, comment on or represent your research. It must be original and your creation, not someone else’s work or taken from an image bank. Your image can be in full colour, sepia or black and white, landscape or portrait, 2D or 3D drawing or painting. You must have written permission from any identifiable persons (or their legal guardians) contained within the image.
- What image size is best? The image needs to be 300 dpi, high-resolution (at least 2MB), provided as a jpeg or tif format (not gif) to ensure this prints clearly at A3. Large files can be sent using the NTUZendTo service, sent to email@example.com. Please note that entries that do not conform to the specifications for the image file may be rejected. If you are submitting a drawing/painting, please provide the original which will be copied and returned. This can be sent in the internal post or delivered to Simone Apel, Researcher Development, Dryden Centre, City Campus.
- What else to provide? Along with your image please write a title and a concise summary (up to a maximum of 150 words) of how your image relates to your research. The summary and title should be in plain English – not using academic article or thesis titles. The aim is to creatively engage all people with your research including non-experts and the general public, as well as academic colleagues to ensure your research is accessible to all.
- Copyright. Entrants must be the exclusive owners of the submitted image/artwork. By entering the competition you are giving NTU permission to use your entry (photo/ drawing/ painting/ text summary) for this competition, exhibitions and future NTU research marketing. Credit will be given to the photographer/researcher if reproduced.