Chick growth in albatrosses: curve fitting with a twist

first_imgWe present a new type of equation to describe the growth patterns of procellariiform seabirds and other species whose chicks characteristically lose mass towards the end of the rearing period. Our equation is based on the Gompertz curve; our principles are also applicable to logistic and von Bertalanffy curves. From our model, five coefficients can be derived to characterise the patterns of growth. These are: growth rate, peak mass and age at which it is attained, loss rate and an index describing the overall shape of the curve. We illustrate the use of this new equation with data collected, using automated weighing platforms, on six years of chick growth of Black-browed Diomedea melanophris and Grey-headed D. chrysostoma albatrosses at Bird Island, South Georgia. In comparison with Grey-headed Albatross, Black-browed Albatross chicks grow at a faster rate and to a higher peak mass; they also reach their peak mass at an earlier age, and lose mass at a faster rate in the mass recession period. However, in both species, chicks reached peak mass when 72% of the rearing period had elapsed; within species, only this did not vary between years. This new equation not only enables the period of mass recession to be incorporated into growth analysis, but, because it does not require assumptions about asymptotic mass, greatly facilitates inter-species comparisons.last_img read more

Experimental influence of pH on the early life-stages of sea urchins I: different rates of introduction give rise to different responses

first_imgMany early life-stage response studies to ocean acidification utilize gametes/offspring obtained from ambient-sourced parents, which are then directly introduced to experimentally altered seawater pH. This approach may produce a stress response potentially impacting development and survival. Hence, this study determined whether this approach is suitable by subjecting embryos/larvae to different rates of introduction to lowered seawater pH to assess larval success under acute and staggered experimental pH scenarios. Embryos and 4-armed larvae of the sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris were introduced to pH conditions, widely used in ocean acidification studies, from ambient conditions utilizing 380, 470, 560, 700 and 840 ppm CO2 changed at incremental steps at two rates: fast (every 3rd hour) or slow (every 48th hour). Direct transfers from ambient to low seawater pH gave rise to dramatic negative impacts (smaller size and low survival), but slower rates of introductions gave rise to lesser negative responses (low survival). There was no treatment effect on settled juveniles. Fast introductions utilized in many studies are likely not ideal approaches when assessing pre-settlement larval developmental responses. Therefore, careful consideration of the pattern of response is needed when studies report the responses of offspring, derived from ambient conditions, introduced directly to forecasted ocean acidification conditions.last_img read more

Maersk Drilling awarded contract for Maersk Integrator under Aker BP alliance

first_img The contract has an estimated duration of 73 days. (Credit: MAERSK DRILLING) Maersk Drilling has secured an additional one-well contract from Aker BP, acting as operator of the Tambar license, for the low-emission jack-up rig Maersk Integrator. In direct continuation of its current work scope, the rig will move to the Tambar field offshore Norway to drill the K-2B development well, with work expected to commence in February 2021. The contract has an estimated duration of 73 days and a contract value of approximately USD 18.5m, excluding integrated services provided and a potential performance bonus.Maersk Integrator is contracted under the terms of the frame agreement Maersk Drilling entered into with Aker BP in 2017 as part of the Aker BP Jack-up Alliance which also includes Halliburton. The tripartite alliance uses a shared incentives model, thereby securing mutual commitment to collaborate and drive digital initiatives to reduce waste and deliver value. Contracts under the alliance are based on market-rate terms but add the possibility of an upside for all parties, based on actual delivery and performance.“We are delighted to confirm that Maersk Integrator will be back in action for Aker BP in early 2021. Our alliance with Aker BP and Halliburton is enabling new ways of working as one team across the value chain, and we have most recently seen the results of this in the safe and highly efficient operation delivered by Maersk Integrator in a complex campaign on the Ula field. This increased efficiency also translates into a reduction of the CO2 emissions associated with drilling, which will be further enhanced by the upgrades currently being performed on Maersk Integrator,” says COO Morten Kelstrup of Maersk Drilling.Maersk Integrator is an ultra-harsh environment CJ70 XLE jack-up rig, designed for year-round operations in the North Sea. It was delivered in 2015 and is currently performing its scheduled Special Periodic Survey offshore Norway. The rig is further undergoing a series of upgrades to turn it into a hybrid, low-emission rig before expectedly moving to the Ivar Aasen field for Aker BP in August 2020. Source: Company Press Release Maersk Integrator is contracted under the terms of the frame agreement Maersk Drilling entered into with Aker BP in 2017last_img read more


first_imgThere is no doubt about it. The supermarkets really are leading the bakery market when it comes to lowering salt levels in bread, and Sainsbury’s is right at the helm.The company was lauded and applauded in the House of Commons last week by Dame Deirdre Hutton, head of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), for already having lowered salt levels in own-label sliced bread. It has done this four years ahead of target.It is also proving successful at getting real flavour into its own ‘Taste the Difference’ range – not with salt, but with a sour blend that is going down really well with customers. Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King’s own grandfather was a craft baker, and anyone who attended the Baking Industry Summit recently will know just how passionate he was about bread. It is translating through to the goods on the shelves. He also showed that he listens to health experts.Years ago, most bakers considered salt levels to be a tetchy subject, which they would rather not address. How far we have travelled. When salt levels in food first became a subject of debate in the national press, 3% of consumers took note. Then evidence began to be produced by Professor Graham MacGregor of Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH)). Now, after a significant increase in press coverage and the fact that the FSA itself is on board, and has even pioneered two advertising campaigns, that 3% awareness has risen to 30%, and the figure is climbing.Why is salt reduction in our foods and our daily intake so important? The answer is because we need 1.6g daily. We can tolerate 6g daily, but many of us are consuming between 9g and 18g daily. This is leading to a proliferation of high blood pressure and its consequences – heart disease and strokes. The NHS is short of funds and is spending a fortune treating heart disease and stroke victims, whose illnesses are often long-term.The supermarkets want to be seen as responsible vendors. They are putting pressure on the plant bakers, and craft bakers will need to follow suit.So we must all allow three weeks or so for our taste buds to adapt to less salt, which they do. And adding a bit more lemon or herbs to our foods, or putting delicious sours in our breads, never did anyone any harm.last_img read more

Eric Clapton Reveals He’s Going Deaf

first_imgEric Clapton told BBC Radio 2 earlier this week that he is losing his hearing and suffering from tinnitus, a ringing inside the ear that is often caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise. According to The Daily Mail, Clapton revealed the news in an interview with Steve Wright on Tuesday. The legendary English musician—widely considered one of the greatest guitarist of all time—explained that he’s anxious about his ability to play his instrument and sing proficiently during an upcoming British Summer Time Festival in London’s Hyde Park.“I am still going to work. I am still going to do a show at Hyde Park in July,” he said. “The only thing I am concerned with now is I am going deaf, I’ve got tinnitus, my hands just about work.”“I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy,” he added. “[It’s] hard work to play the guitar and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve.” Clapton went on to tell Wright that he would be limiting the number of plays going forward, explaining, “‘What I’ll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don’t want to go off the boil to the point where I’m embarrassing myself.”Additionally, Tuesday’s interview shined a light on the forthcoming film, Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, which is due out this Friday. The documentary dives into the tumultuous personal life of the guitar legend, who rose to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s as a result of his solo work and time with pioneering bands like Cream and The Yardbirds. In particular, the film shines a light on Clapton’s battles with drug and alcohol abuse, a struggle that lasted for years until the guitarist embraced sobriety in 1987. During Tuesday’s interview, Clapton noted that he would often spike his Carlsberg Special Brew lager with vodka in order to mask how much alcohol he was consuming.“For at least 20 years I was a basket case, and that is putting it lightly,” he said. “I drank more than you can imagine, a Special Brew with vodka. It looked like you were just drinking a lager, but in fact, you weren’t.”Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars will debut this Friday, January 12 on Showtime. Clapton’s performance at the British Summer Time Festival in London is set for July 8. That show will also feature appearances by Santana, Gary Clark Jr., and Clapton’s old Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood.[Photo: Wikimedia user Majvdl via CC BY-SA 3.0 license]last_img read more

Conference discusses justice

first_imgThis weekend’s 30th anniversary of the Africa Faith and Justice Network conference will highlight the plight of people in Africa, Rev. Bob Dowd, director of the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, said. “It’s a great way to learn about important issues that affect the quality of life of people in Africa,” he said. “It’s an important way to learn about how we can make a difference through our advocacy.” The conference, titled “Justice for Africa – Justice for the World,” will take place at Notre Dame today through Sunday for the second time in the conference’s history. Dowd said the Africa Faith and Justice Network considered many factors when it decided to hold the conference at Notre Dame, particularly its position as a leading university. “To hold a conference at our University is something the AFJN leadership thought would be important because they really wanted the conference to engage young people in the work of AFJN and involve young people to be a part of it,” he said. Additionally, Dowd said the Congregation of the Holy Cross is an organizational member of AFJN. Notre Dame also has a student chapter of AFJN. “Universities are places where people devote themselves to learning and understanding,” Dowd said. “Part of AFJN’s mission is to promote awareness and a greater understanding of the challenges that face the people of Africa. The conference will feature several speakers and workshops outlining quality of life issues in Africa, Dowd said. Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Ppolicy In focus at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., will deliver the keynote address this evening. “It’s a great way to grow in understanding and also begin to explore how we might act in order to promote greater justice in our world,” Down said. “I think growing in understanding is the first step.” The Kellogg Institute, the Center for Social Concerns, the Holy Cross Mission Center, the Institute for Church Life, the College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Africana Studies are sponsoring the conference. “I would invite everyone to the conference, especially people who have the slightest interest in Africa and how the U.S. relates to Africa and African countries,” Dowd said.last_img read more

Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest Opens Tonight

first_imgAbout the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park presentation of The Tempest opens officially on June 16. The Michael Greif-helmed production features stage and screen favorites Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. To commemorate the big night, resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the cast. It’s a drawing as dreams are made on.In addition to Waterson as Prospero and Ferguson as Trinculo, the portrait features Chris Perfetti as Arel, Louis Cancelmi as Caliban, Francesca Carpanini as Miranda, Rodney Richardson as Ferdinand, Danny Mastrogiorgio as Stephano, Charles Parnell as Alonso, Bernard White as Gonzalo, Cotter Smith as Antonio and Frank Harts as Sebastian.Congratulations to the cast of The Tempest! Stay dry! Or don’t? View Commentslast_img read more

Will Sara Bareilles Headline Waitress After Jessie Mueller?

first_img Sara Bareilles Star Files View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020 Related Shows Waitress Sara Bareilles has baked up a new credit as Broadway composer with the score for Waitress, which heads from Boston to New York this spring. Though Tony winner Jessie Mueller stars in the show, Bareilles hasn’t ruled out a brave move to center stage at some point.“I hope to get to see those stage lights at some point,” the singer/songwriter recently told Glamour magazine. “I certainly have dreams of being on a Broadway stage someday…whether it’s in this show or something else.”Her acting aspirations are inspired by her tremendous respect for Mueller. “I thought I would have a much harder time relinquishing the role to someone else,” she admitted. “But then getting to work with someone like Jessie Mueller and watching her and how masterful she is at creating a character, I feel like I have a lot to learn before I would be ready to take on something like this.”The five-time Grammy nominee hasn’t abandoned her composing ambitions, however. “I also would be really interested in developing something brand new,” she said. “I think that sounds really exciting. But let’s vote for The Princess Bride. I love it, so let’s do that one.”Bareilles may not hit the Great White Way spotlight for some time, but you can hear her take on her own Waitress tunes on What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress, which is scheduled to drop on November 6. You can read all about her Broadway dreams in her recently released collection of essays Sounds Like Me.Waitress begins performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on March 25.last_img read more

US Agriculture Secretary Vilsac to attend town meeting, Organic Farming conference in Burlington Saturday

first_imgSenator Bernie Sanders will host US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at a dairy town meeting at the Burlington Hilton at 10 am on Saturday, February 13, 2010. Sanders also will host Vilsack as the keynote speaker at the Northeast Organic Farming Association annual conference at the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington at 11:45 a.m.  Sen. Patrick Leahy will host the secretary as he speaks to the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery Annual Meeting in St. Albans at 1:15 p.m.  Vilsack, Leahy, Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch also will meet with Vermont anti-hunger leaders.What: Town Meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackWho: Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Patrick Leahy, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Congressman Peter Welch, and Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger AlbeeWhen: 9:30 a.m. coffee, 10 a.m. meeting, media availability immediately following the meeting from approximately 11:10 to 11:25 p.m., Saturday, February 13, 2010Where: Hilton Hotel, Lake Champlain Room, 60 Battery Street, Burlington What: Secretary Vilsack Addresses Northeast Organic Farming Association Annual Winter ConferenceWho: Senator Bernie Sanders, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, and Vermont organic farmersWhen: 11:45 a.m., Saturday, February 13, 2010Where: Ira Allen Chapel, University of Vermont, 26 University Place, Burlington Source: Sanders’ office. BURLINGTON, February 12, 2010 –last_img read more

Canada to try again on Trans Mountain project

first_imgCanada to try again on Trans Mountain project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Canada will not appeal a court ruling that overturned its approval of an oil pipeline expansion project, opting instead for more consultations with aboriginal groups unhappy about the plan, a top official said on Wednesday.The problem-plagued bid to almost treble the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline is becoming one of the biggest political challenges for the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the run-up to an election in 2019.In August, the Federal Court of Appeal said Ottawa had failed to adequately consider aboriginal concerns before giving the green light to the expansion. That same month, amid increasing protests by aboriginal and environmental activists, Ottawa bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.“The government will not appeal the court’s decision … we are going to do things differently this time,” Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi told a news conference. Instead, Ottawa will reinitiate consultations with all 117 indigenous groups who would be affected by plans to pump more oil from Alberta to the Pacific province of British Columbia.Sohi said on Wednesday that he would not impose a time limit on the consultations but added that “we are not starting from scratch”, given the government already had plenty of information from earlier discussions. He also reiterated that there would be no aboriginal veto over the project. Indigenous communities insist they have the final say over projects which would cross their land.More: Canada won’t appeal ruling that overturned pipeline, to consult morelast_img read more