Welcome to Research Repository UCD

Research Repository UCD is a digital collection of open access scholarly research publications from University College Dublin. Research Repository UCD collects, preserves and makes freely available publications including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers created by UCD researchers. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. This service is maintained by UCD Library.

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  • Publication
  • Publication
    Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability : an overview
    Purpose – This paper reviews traditional corporate governance and accountability research, to suggest opportunities for future research in this field. The first part adopts an analytical frame of reference based on theory, accountability mechanisms, methodology, business sector/context, globalisation and time horizon. The second part of the paper locates the seven papers in the special issue in a framework of analysis showing how each one contributes to the field. The paper presents a frame of reference which may be used as a 'roadmap' for researchers to navigate their way through the prior literature and to position their work on the frontiers of corporate governance research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs an analytical framework, and is primarily discursive and conceptual. Findings – The paper encourages broader approaches to corporate governance and accountability research beyond the traditional and primarily quantitative approaches of prior research. Broader theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, accountability mechanism, sectors/contexts, globalisation and time horizons are identified. Research limitations/implications – Greater use of qualitative research methods are suggested, which present challenges particularly of access to the “black box” of corporate boardrooms. Originality/value – Drawing on the analytical framework, and the papers in the special issue, the paper identifies opportunities for further research of accountability and corporate governance.
      33808Scopus© Citations 309
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    Elderly care in Ireland - provisions and providers
    (University College Dublin. School of Social Justice, 2010-04) ;
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  • Publication
    Equality in education : an equality of condition perspective
    (Sage Publications, 2005) ;
    Transforming schools into truly egalitarian institutions requires a holistic and integrated approach. Using a robust conception of 'equality of condition', we examine key dimensions of equality that are central to both the purposes and processes of education: equality in educational and related resources; equality of respect and recognition; equality of power; and equality of love, care and solidarity. We indicate in each case some of the major changes that need to occur if we are to promote equality of condition. Starting with inequalities of resources, and in particular with inequalities tied to social class, we argue for abandoning rigid grouping policies, challenging the power of parents in relation to both selection and grouping, and changing curricula and assessment systems to make them more inclusive of the wide range of human intelligences. In relation to respect and recognition, we call for much more inclusive processes for respecting differences, not only in schools' organizational cultures, but also in their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment systems. Regarding inequalities of power, we call for democratization of both teacher-student relationships and school and college organization. For promoting equality of love, care and solidarity, we argue that schools need to develop an appreciation of the intrinsic role that emotions play in the process of teaching and learning, to provide a space for students and teachers to talk about their feelings and concerns, and to devise educational experiences that will enable students to develop their emotional skills or personal intelligences as a discrete area of human capability.
      23765Scopus© Citations 145
  • Publication
    Discretionary disclosure strategies in corporate narratives : incremental information or impression management?
    (University of Florida. Fisher School of Accounting, 2007) ;
    The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the literature on discretionary narrative disclosures. We explore why, how, and whether preparers of corporate narrative reports use discretionary disclosures in corporate narrative documents and why, how, and whether users react thereto. To facilitate the review, we provide three taxonomies based on: the motivation for discretionary narrative disclosures (opportunistic behavior, i.e. impression management, versus provision of useful incremental information); the research perspective (preparer versus user); and seven discretionary disclosure strategies. We also examine the whole range of theoretical frameworks utilized by prior research, and we put forward some suggestions for future research.
  • Publication
    From asset based welfare to welfare housing? The changing function of social housing in Ireland
    (Routledge, 2011) ;
    This article examines a distinctive and significant aspect of social housing in Ireland – its change in function from an asset-based role in welfare support to a more standard model of welfare housing. It outlines the nationalist and agrarian drivers which expanded the initial role of social housing beyond the goal of improving housing conditions for the poor towards the goal of extending home ownership and assesses whether this focus made it more similar to the ‘asset based welfare’ approach to housing found in south-east Asia than to social housing in western Europe. From the mid-1980s, the role of Irish social housing changed as the sector contracted and evolved towards the model of welfare housing now found in many other western countries. Policy makers have struggled to address the implications of this transition and vestiges of social housing’s traditional function are still evident, consequently the boundaries between social housing, private renting and home ownership in Ireland have grown increasingly nebulous.
    Scopus© Citations 29  22364
  • Publication
    Using Twitter to recommend real-time topical news
    Recommending news stories to users, based on their preferences,has long been a favourite domain for recommender systems research. In this paper, we describe a novel approach to news recommendation that harnesses real-time micro-blogging activity, from a service such as Twitter, as the basis for promoting news stories from a user's favourite RSS feeds. A preliminary evaluation is carried out on an implementation of this technique that shows promising results.
      21424Scopus© Citations 339
  • Publication
    Constructive approaches towards water treatment works sludge management : an international review of beneficial re-uses
    (Taylor & Francis, 2007-03) ;
    Till date, virtually all known drinking water processing systems generate an enormous amount of residual sludge, and what else to do with this rapidly increasing 'waste' stream in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner remains a significant environmental issue. Perhaps, the realization of this fact has led to series of concerted efforts aimed at beneficial re-uses in an effort to close the loop between efficient water treatment and sustainable sludge management. This paper therefore presents a comprehensive review of available literature on attempts at beneficial reuses of water treatment plant sludge, in an effort to provide a compendium of recent and past developments, and update our current state of knowledge. Four broad categories of uses, which included over eleven possible ways in which waterworks sludges can be reused were identified and examined. Obvious advantages of such reuse options were highlighted and knowledge gaps identified. Future issues that will assist in the development of sustainable waterworks sludge management options with a multi-prong approach were equally discussed.
      19969Scopus© Citations 393
  • Publication
    Expansive cements and soundless chemical demolition agents : state of technology review
    Expansive cements and soundless chemical demolition agents (SCDAs) were first introduced in the early 1970s but failed to gain widespread adoption for selective removal of rock and concrete due to their proprietary nature and a lack of usage guidelines. Nearly 40 years later, the patents have expired, and a large number of competitive products have entered the market. These factors coupled with a heightened interest in their potential environmental benefits have greatly expanded their usage. Specifically, these chemicals can be introduced into a pattern of small, drilled holes in concrete and/or rock. After a specific period (usually less than 24 hours), the in-situ material will crack sufficiently that it can be removed without the use of traditional explosives or further percussive efforts. The products generate substantially less noise and vibration than usually associated with the removal of rock and concrete. This paper provides a state-of-the-technology review of five available products. The focus is on the proposed applicability of various products under specific conditions. Special attention is paid to the viability of such agents under varying temperatures and with materials of particular strengths.
  • Publication
    Clustering with the multivariate normal inverse Gaussian distribution
    Many model-based clustering methods are based on a finite Gaussian mixture model. The Gaussian mixture model implies that the data scatter within each group is elliptically shaped. Hence non-elliptical groups are often modeled by more than one component, resulting in model over-fitting. An alternative is to use a mean–variance mixture of multivariate normal distributions with an inverse Gaussian mixing distribution (MNIG) in place of the Gaussian distribution, to yield a more flexible family of distributions. Under this model the component distributions may be skewed and have fatter tails than the Gaussian distribution. The MNIG based approach is extended to include a broad range of eigendecomposed covariance structures. Furthermore, MNIG models where the other distributional parameters are constrained is considered. The Bayesian Information Criterion is used to identify the optimal model and number of mixture components. The method is demonstrated on three sample data sets and a novel variation on the univariate Kolmogorov–Smirnov test is used to assess goodness of fit.
      17643Scopus© Citations 63
  • Publication
    Inequality and crime
    (MIT Press, 2000-11)
    This paper considers the relationship between inequality and crime using data from urban counties. The behavior of property and violent crime are quite different. Inequality has no effect on property crime but a strong and robust impact on violent crime, with an elasticity above 0.5. By contrast, poverty and police activity have significant effects on property crime, but little on violent crime. Property crime is well explained by the economic theory of crime, while violent crime is better explained by strain and social disorganization theories.
      17627Scopus© Citations 440
  • Publication
    Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Theory to Practice
    (University College Dublin. Teaching and Learning, 2015-09)
    This eBook emphasises the theory to practice of curriculum design in higher education. The book focuses on programme (not module) level of design; incorporates face-to-face, blended and online curricula; attempts to link theory to practice by giving some practical resources and/or exercises; draws the author's experiences of working and researching into curriculum design in the Irish higher education sector; is aimed at all staff involved in curriculum design, including academic staff (faculty), institutional managers, educational developers and technologists, support staff, library staff and curriculum researchers; is primarily drawn from literature and experiences in the higher education sector, however those in adult and further education may also find it useful. The structure of this book is based on a curriculum design process that the author has developed as part of her experience and research on curriculum design. 
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    Agent-based coordination for the sensor web
    The approach described advocates the use of a multi-agent system, and specifically the use of multi-agent distributed constraint optimisation algorithms. Developing software for low powered sensing devices introduces several problems to be addressed; the most obvious being the limited computational resources available. In this paper we discuss an implementation of ADOPT, a pre-existing algorithm for distributed constraint optimisation, and describe how it has been integrated with a reflective agent platform developed for resource constrained devices, namely Agent Factory Micro Edition (AFME). The usefulness of this work is illustrated through the canonical multi-agent coordination problem, namely graph colouring.
      16067Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Michael White's narrative therapy
    (Springer Verlag, 1998)
    A systematized description of a number of practices central to Michael Whites' narrative approach to therapy is given. These include collaborative positioning of the therapist, externalizing the problem, excavating unique outcomes, thickening the new plot, and linking the new plot to the past and the future. The practices of remembering and incorporation, using literary means to achieve therapeutic ends, and facilitating taking-it-back practices are also described. A number of questions are given which may be useful for those concerned with narrative therapy to address.
      15577Scopus© Citations 108
  • Publication
    Visualization in sporting contexts : the team scenario
    Wearable sensor systems require an interactive and communicative interface for the user to interpret data in a meaningful way. The development of adaptive personalization features in a visualization tool for such systems can convey a more meaningful picture to the user of the system. In this paper, a visualization tool called Visualization in Team Scenarios (VTS), which can be used by a coach to monitor an athlete’s physiological parameters, is presented. The VTS has been implemented with a wearable sensor system that can monitor players’ performance in a game in a seamless and transparent manner. Using the VTS, a coach is able to analyze the physiological data of athletes generated using select wearable sensors, and subsequently analyse the results to personalize training schedules thus improving the performance of the players.
  • Publication
    Provision of childcare services in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. School of Social Justice, 2008-03) ;
    External report commissioned by and presented to the EU Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs, Unit G1 'Equality between women and men'
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    Financial statement fraud : some lessons from US and European case studies
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007-07) ;
    This paper studies 14 companies which were subject to an official investigation arising from the publication of fraudulent financial statements. The research found senior management to be responsible for most fraud. Recording false sales was the most common method of financial statement fraud. Meeting external forecasts emerged as the primary motivation. Management discovered most fraud, although the discovery was split between incumbent and new management.
      15092Scopus© Citations 39
  • Publication
    The effectiveness of family therapy and systemic interventions for child-focused problems
    (Wiley, 2009-02)
    This review updates a similar paper published in the Journal of Family Therapy in 2001. It presents evidence from meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews and controlled trials for the effectiveness of systemic interventions for families of children and adolescents with various difficulties. In this context, systemic interventions include both family therapy and other family-based approaches such as parent training. The evidence supports the effectiveness of systemic interventions either alone or as part of multimodal programmes for sleep, feeding and attachment problems in infancy; child abuse and neglect; conduct problems (including childhood behavioural difficulties, ADHD, delinquency and drug abuse); emotional problems (including anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder and suicidality); eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia and obesity); and somatic problems (including enuresis, encopresis, recurrent abdominal pain, and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes).
      14856Scopus© Citations 159
  • Publication
    Focus groups versus individual interviews with children : A comparison of data
    (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2006) ;
    In recent years there has been an increase in the use of qualitative data collection techniques in research with children. Among the most common of these methods are focus groups and individual interviews. While many authors claim that focus groups have advantages over individual interviews, these claims have not been tested empirically with children. The present study reports on the use of focus groups and interviews to collect qualitative data from 116 children in three age groups, with mean ages of 8.4, 11.5 and 14.3 years. The children were randomly allocated to participate in either focus groups or individual interviews where they were presented with identical material and questions relating to their beliefs about peers with psychological disorders. In line with previous research, the interviews produced significantly more relevant and unique ideas about the causes of these disorders than the focus groups, but the latter gave rise to greater elaboration of ideas. The participating children showed no significant difference in their preference for one method over the other. Thus, whether to choose individual interviews or focus groups is likely to depend on the nature of the research question in any given study.
      14461Scopus© Citations 45
Recent Submissions
  • Publication
    Buried in the ground? Looking for environmental changes for Serbian Banat Late Bronze Age settlement abandonment
    The abandonment of LBA Serbian Banat settlements between 1250 and 1150 BC raises important questions regarding the factors that may have contributed to that process. New LBA settlements continue to be discovered through satellite images and surveys, which seem to indicate that they were connected in a dense network. These settlements emerged around 1500 BC, in a period that coincides with the abandonment of MBA tells. Varying in size and layout, some of them achieved considerable size, with several being surrounded by ditches and ramparts. Yet something changed around 1200 BC, leading to the settlements’ abandonment for more than 200 years. Were the environmental conditions, that allowed these communities to settle and prosper in this area, no longer favourable? Following what seems to be a similar path to the Terramare culture of the Southern Po Valley (Italy), with the flourishing and decline occurring at similar periods, we look for evidence of environmental changes through sediment deposition analyses that can shed some light into this question.
  • Publication
    Impact of impending sustainability legislation on manufacturing SMEs: An analysis
    (Engineers Ireland, 2023-05-22) ;
    Under the Irish Government Sectoral Emissions Ceilings announced last year, the manufacturing sector will have to achieve a 35% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to the level of emissions in 2018. Manufacturing along with broader industrial processing accounts for approximately 13% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. While a range of companies such as Intel, Diageo, Janssen and Boston Scientific have already pledged to significantly reduce their carbon emissions, many companies do not have the resources or internal technical expertise to make this transition to sustainability. This is particularly the case for SMEs, which account for 49% of Irish industrial sector employment. Overall within the EU however, it is reported that SMEs are the source of 64% of total industrial pollution and account for 60-70% of the total industrial waste.
  • Publication
    Entrepreneurial intention: An analysis of the role of Student-Led Entrepreneurial Organizations
    Although a great deal of attention has been paid to entrepreneurship education, only a few studies have analysed the impact of extra-curricular entrepreneurial activities on students’ entrepreneurial intention. The aim of this study is to fill this gap by exploring the role played by Student-Led Entrepreneurial Organizations (SLEOs) in shaping the entrepreneurial intention of their members. The analysis is based on a survey that was conducted in 2016 by one of the largest SLEOs in the world: the Junior Enterprises Europe (JEE). The main result of the empirical analysis is that the more time students spent on JEE and the higher the number of events students attended, the greater their entrepreneurial intention was. It has been found that other important drivers also increase students’ entrepreneurial intention, that is, the Science and Technology field of study and the knowledge of more than two foreign languages. These results confirm that SLEOs are able to foster students’ entrepreneurial intention. The findings provide several theoretical, practical and public policy implications. SLEOs are encouraged to enhance their visibility and lobbying potential in order to be recognized more as drivers of student entrepreneurship. In addition, it is advisable for universities and policy makers to support SLEOs by fostering their interactions with other actors operating in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, who promote entrepreneurship and technology transfer activities. Lastly, this paper advises policy makers to assist SLEOs’ activities inside and outside the university context.
      6Scopus© Citations 29
  • Publication
    Blockchain for social good and stakeholder engagement: Evidence from a case study
    Blockchain is a promising and emerging technology. Despite the number of studies on the subject, several studies require further exploration of the relationship between blockchain and social innovation. Moreover, there is an increasing interest in social entrepreneurship and in how technical solutions may address social or environmental issues. Hence, this work aims at understanding how a venture can apply blockchain technology for social good. The study adopts a qualitative approach based on a case study and builds on stakeholder theory as a theoretical background. The case study under review is a social venture working on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 10. Our findings present four peculiarities of blockchain for social good: (i) reliability, (ii) transparency, (iii) decentralization, and (iv) accessibility. Moreover, the present study develops a framework on blockchain for social good based on the possible stakeholders' involvement. Finally, four challenges related to blockchain for social good are presented and discussed.
    Scopus© Citations 9  9
  • Publication
    Students' Entrepreneurial Engagement and Student Entrepreneurship: Do Coding and Digital Skills Matter?
    The literature presents various contributions regarding students' entrepreneurial intentions. However, only a few recent papers have delved into the realm of student entrepreneurship, encompassing both nascent entrepreneurs (i.e., students who are in the process of creating their own businesses) and active entrepreneurs (i.e., students who already own and are running their own businesses). Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, no previous studies have explored the association between individual skills, such as coding and digital skills, and students' entrepreneurial intentions and student entrepreneurship. This article aims at filling these gaps by quantitatively testing if coding and digital skills are significant factors for students' entrepreneurial engagement and student entrepreneurship. Throughout this article, the term 'students' entrepreneurial engagement' encompasses both students' entrepreneurial intentions and student entrepreneurship. Drawing on perspectives from human capital and social capital theories, we hypothesized that these individual skills could have a statistically significant positive impact on students' entrepreneurial engagement and student entrepreneurship. To assess coding and digital skills, we categorized them into knowledge and experience, as suggested by the human capital theory. Through several regression analyses on 2608 Italian university students, we validated our hypotheses. These findings contribute both theoretically and practically to the entrepreneurship literature.
  • Publication
    Ecosystem disruption and regulatory positioning: Entry strategies of digital health startup orchestrators and complementors
    (Elsevier, 2024-03) ;
    Through a multiple case study of six digital startups in the healthcare ecosystem, we develop a framework of entry through innovation in a regulated ecosystem. The framework reveals the interplay of two dimensions that have not been examined in conjunction so far: 1) the degree of ecosystem disruption brought by the entrant’s innovation; 2) the impact of regulation/policy on the entrant’s innovation. Based on these two dimensions, our data reveal four scenarios for entrants: dual constraint; regulatory-enabled orchestration; regulatory-constrained complementation; and dual enablement. The paper provides several contributions to ecosystem research, including a new definition of ecosystem disruption, the joint consideration of two key dimensions of ecosystem entry, and an emergent framework illustrating specific strategies, governance mechanisms, and the likelihood of success for each entry scenario. We show that start-up entrants can be successful orchestrators if they are enabled by regulation, that they can shift their positioning to seize enabling regulations, and that being an orchestrator or a complementor is a strategic choice related to an entrant’s ecosystem disruption strategy.
      7Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Choreographing for Public Value in Digital Health?
    (SAGE, 2023-12-21) ;
    Entanglements between public and private entities in digital health are not new, yet we do not have full insight into how these public-private dances are choreographed or what notions of public value drive governments’ appetite for investing into or collaborating with private digital health firms around health data. We examine key events, actors, public discussions, policy deliberations and regulations for over 30 years to find that European Union (EU) policy has paved an innovation-friendly path for technology companies entering healthcare. The recent pandemic has normalized these collaborations even further. The paper also finds that conceptualizations of public value in digital health mostly relate to economic aspects – markets, jobs and money. Other interpretations, such as public health, long-term sustainability or the common good, tend to be sidelined. The paper closes by considering whether the advent of the European Health Data Space will change this trajectory before giving suggestions on how a focus on public health value can be re-established.
  • Publication
    Countermovements From the Core: The Assetisation of Pharmaceuticals, Transparency Activism, and the Access to Medicines Movement
    (Oxford University Press, 2024-05-30) ;
    The assetisation of essential goods brings to high-income countries the logics of scarcity that have been dominant for long in low-to-middle income countries – fostering the rise of new forms of activism. Will this new activism strengthen already existing social movements or weaken them through more moderate politics? Building on interviews and the observation and mapping of activist events, we investigate this question through the case of pharmaceuticals. We detail how the assetisation of pharmaceutical drugs has triggered the constitution of a new ‘flank’ in the access to medicines (A2M) movement – pharmaceutical transparency activism. We argue that transparency activism has expanded the contestation of the pharmaceutical state of affairs, by bringing into the broader A2M movement countries that were previously at the core of global pharmaceutical chains. Our article illuminates how the assetisation of essential goods creates forms of activism that have significant impact on existing social movements.
  • Publication
    Are social incubators different from other incubators? Evidence from Italy
    This paper defines and analyses incubators that mainly support start-ups with a significant social impact. In 2016, a survey was conducted on the 162 incubators active in Italy, and a total of 88 responses were received. An analysis of the literature and of this dataset led to the identification of three types of incubators: Business, Mixed, and Social. Thirty of the respondents sent information on their tenants. Thanks to the data regarding 247 tenants, it was possible to analyze the impact of the three different types of incubators (Business, Mixed, and Social) on the tenants’ growth through OLS regression analyses. A Social Incubator is here defined as an incubator that supports more than 50% of start-ups that aim to introduce a positive social impact. The study shows that Social Incubators perceive social impact measurement and training/consulting on business ethics and CSR as being more important services than other incubator types. The regression analyses explain that Social Incubators are as efficient as other incubators, in terms of tenants’ economic growth, notwithstanding the focus of Social Incubators on start-ups that do not pursue only economic objectives. Finally, this study indicates that policymakers can foster Social Incubators to support social entrepreneurship.
      11Scopus© Citations 51
  • Publication
    Academic spinoffs: the role of entrepreneurship education
    New ventures depend on the capability of entrepreneurs to transform an idea or a technology into a successful company. The literature on entrepreneurship has recognized that Entrepreneurship Education (EE) plays a key role in this process, but the literature on academic spinoffs has focused on other determinants (e.g., Technology Transfer Offices - TTO, and university research expenditures). This research investigates the role of EE in the creation of academic spinoffs by using a new dataset built around 1262 entrepreneurship courses offered between 2011 and 2014 by 80 US universities included in the Licensing Survey by the Association of University Technology Managers - AUTM). Adopting a Poisson panel regression model, we show that, in addition to TTO size and university research expenditures, EE favours the creation of academic spinoffs. Moreover, we find that practical – rather than theoretical - entrepreneurship courses favour the creation of academic spinoffs. We conclude discussing the theoretical and practical implications for universities, students and scholars interested in entrepreneurship.
    Scopus© Citations 49  9
  • Publication
    Archaeology of Makangit Maliit na Bato Rockshelter in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
    This paper presents the initial results of the excavation of the Makangit Maliit na Bato (MNB) Rockshelter Site in Brgy. New Ibajay, El Nido, northern Palawan. The majority and nature of recovered materials from this archaeological site (i.e., human bones, earthenware sherds, metals, shell and glass beads) categorize it as a jar burial site during the Metal Periods or around 500 BC to AD 900. Considering the other cultural materials found (i.e., chert flakes, tradeware potsherds), however, could extend the tentative date of the site’s use to the 19th century AD and, on the opposite direction of the spectrum, probably to an earlier period. It is thus possible that the burial site has been used for a longer period of time up to the 19th century and that materials previously thought to characterize the Metal periods were still in use until around the later period.
  • Publication
    Diet at the onset of the Neolithic in northeastern Iberia: An isotope–plant microremain combined study from Cova Bonica (Vallirana, Catalonia)
    The emergence of Neolithic societies was transformative, impacting many aspects of life, particularly diet. The process of Neolithization in Iberia is increasingly understood as the arrival of new people from the Central Mediterranean, who dispersed along the Iberian coasts introducing cereal production, herding, and Cardial pottery and associated material culture. Although research has clarified aspects of the cultigen-dominated economy of these new people, questions remain due to the limitations of conventional archaeobotanical and archaeozoological methods that tend to produce indirect evidence. The extent to which these early farmers adopted Mesolithic staples, which are often difficult to detect with other methods, remains unclear. Furthermore, questions surround the nature of methods of food preparation Cardial Neolithic people used when incorporating grains into their diet. In this study, we examined direct evidence of the diet from the Iberian Cardial Neolithic site of Cova Bonica (Vallirana, Baix Llobregat, Catalonia) using CN stable isotopes on bone and plant microremains trapped in dental calculus from six human individuals and associated fauna. Isotopes show a diet based on terrestrial C3 resources, with no isotopic evidence of aquatic or C4 resource consumption. Plant microremains (starches and phytoliths) provide evidence of cereal use, as well as of other plant foods. However, perhaps due to Bonica’s early farmers’ choice of grain variety, their grain processing methods, or due to specific dental calculus formation factors, the grain assemblages are rather limited and provide scarce information on food preparation.
    Scopus© Citations 2  6
  • Publication
    Grey wolf genomic history reveals a dual ancestry of dogs
    The grey wolf (Canis lupus) was the first species to give rise to a domestic population, and they remained widespread throughout the last Ice Age when many other large mammal species went extinct. Little is known, however, about the history and possible extinction of past wolf populations or when and where the wolf progenitors of the present-day dog lineage (Canis familiaris) lived1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Here we analysed 72 ancient wolf genomes spanning the last 100,000 years from Europe, Siberia and North America. We found that wolf populations were highly connected throughout the Late Pleistocene, with levels of differentiation an order of magnitude lower than they are today. This population connectivity allowed us to detect natural selection across the time series, including rapid fixation of mutations in the gene IFT88 40,000–30,000 years ago. We show that dogs are overall more closely related to ancient wolves from eastern Eurasia than to those from western Eurasia, suggesting a domestication process in the east. However, we also found that dogs in the Near East and Africa derive up to half of their ancestry from a distinct population related to modern southwest Eurasian wolves, reflecting either an independent domestication process or admixture from local wolves. None of the analysed ancient wolf genomes is a direct match for either of these dog ancestries, meaning that the exact progenitor populations remain to be located.
      10Scopus© Citations 44
  • Publication
    New evidence of contacts between the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vietnam, and the Philippines: the ‘Black-and-red’ jars
    (National Cheng Kung University, 2021-11-12) ; ; ; ;
    Earthenware burial containers, also known as burial jars, are ceramics used to place and/or store human remains. They may be used to bury dead persons -whether infants or adults- or as secondary burial urns. Burying deceased in jars is a practice attested across Taiwan and Southeast Asia, and in particular the Philippines, from the Neolithic to the Metal Age period (circa 500 BCE – CE 500). Burial jars are found in various environments and contexts: in open air sites and caves/rock-shelters; within dedicated cemeteries and in areas used for domestic activities. Jar burial practices inter-relate pottery-making traditions and knowledge on the one hand, and customs of specific society on the other hand, which particularly connect to the mental sphere, belief, and cosmology of their culture. This gives jar burial studies a unique position to examine the entanglements of prehistoric Taiwan and the Philippines, as it involves artefacts, mortuary practices and cultural discourse. Some researchers have been focusing on bioarchaeological evidence, others tackled the ways mortuary rituals are expressed, and others have been dedicated to the jars themselves. Although during the Metal Age, some of the sites yielding burial jars from various areas in Taiwan and the Philippines were likely in contact, little large-scale comparative research has been conducted. This conference aims at gathering scholars conducting research on burial jars in Taiwan and the Philippines to facilitate regional comparisons and discuss human behaviors when facing death and taking care of the deceased. The conference should allow to better characterize regional patterns and localized developments.
  • Publication
    Exploring the Efficacy of Comparative Bioarchaeological Approaches in Providing Answers on Marginality and Networking
    This paper investigates the efficacy of comparative bioarchaeological approaches in exploring the impact of economic marginality on human lifeways. Skeletal remains from the Late Bronze Age cemetery of Achlada in Northern Greece were chosen to address this, as this specific community was probably less well networked, evident in its location away from major communication routes and the paucity of grave goods at the site. A biocultural methodology combining comparative data on funerary practices and lifestyle was implemented. Sex differences were found within the community and seem to agree with the differential burial placement of the sexes possibly representing the different roles that society symbolically attributed to men and women in deathways. Comparative intercemetery data did not reveal poorer health and diet, or more intense physical activity, compared to well-networked sites. Nonetheless, Achlada, as well as numerous, mostly north communities of the wider context, probably faced more physiological challenges during growth, at least of a mild to moderate level, compared to a number of populations connected by major communication routes. The current study highlights the importance of implementing comparative bioarchaeological approaches as a means of identifying the impact of marginality on human lifeways, particularly in settings with limited material culture information.Limitations linked to preservation issues and the multifactorial nature of lifestyle indicators could be dealt with by future biomolecular and isotopic analyses. Η παρούσα εργασία έχει στόχο να διερευνήσει το κατά πόσο οι συγκριτικές βιοαρχαιολογικές προσεγγίσεις είναι εφικτό να δώσουν απαντήσεις ως προς την επίδραση της οικονομικής περιθωριοποίησης στον ανθρώπινο τρόπο διαβίωσης. Επιλέχθηκαν σκελετικά κατάλοιπα της Ύστερης Εποχής Χαλκού από το νεκροταφείο της Αχλάδας στη Βόρεια Ελλάδα ώστε να απαντηθεί το εν λόγω ερώτημα, καθώς η συγκεκριμένη κοινωνία -βάσει της θέσης της μακριά από τα μεγάλα δίκτυα επικοινωνίας και της παρουσίας πολύ λίγων ταφικών ευρημάτων-ήταν πιθανώς λιγότερο καλά δικτυωμένη. Ακολουθήθηκε μια συνδυαστική βιοπολιτισμική προσέγγιση συγκριτικών ταφικών δεδομένων και συγκριτικών αποτελεσμάτων δεικτών τρόπου διαβίωσης. Βρέθηκαν διαφορές μεταξύ των δύο φύλων στον εν λόγω πληθυσμό οι οποίες φαίνεται να συμφωνούν με την διαφορετική πλευρά κατάκλισής τους, η οποία πιθανώς να συμβόλιζε τη διαφορετικότητα των ρόλων που η κοινωνία απέδιδε σε άντρες και γυναίκες στο ταφικό περιβάλλον. Συγκριτικά αποτελέσματα μεταξύ νεκροταφείων δεν φανέρωσαν χαμηλότερο επίπεδο υγείας και διατροφής, ούτε πιο έντονη εργασιακή καταπόνηση, σε σχέση με καλά δικτυωμένες θέσεις. Παρόλα αυτά, η Αχλάδα, όπως και μια σειρά –κυρίως βόρειων- κοινωνιών τουευρύτερου πλαισίου, πιθανότητα αντιμετώπισαν περισσότερα φαινόμενα καταπόνησης (στρες) κατά τη διάρκεια της ανάπτυξης, τουλάχιστον ήπιου και μετρίου επιπέδου, συγκριτικά με καλύτερα δικτυωμένους πληθυσμούς. Η παρούσα εργασία τονίζει τη σημασία της εφαρμογής συγκριτικών βιοαρχαιολογικών προσεγγίσεων ως μέσο μελέτης της επίδρασης της περιθωριοποίησης στους ανθρώπινους πληθυσμούς, ιδιαιτέρως σε θέσεις με περιορισμένες πληροφορίες υλικού πολιτισμού. Μεθοδολογικοί περιορισμοί οι οποίοι συνδέονται με ζητήματα διατήρησης αλλά και με τον πολυπαραγοντικό χαρακτήρα των δεικτών τρόπου διαβίωσης, ενδεχομένως να αντιμετωπιστούν μέσω των επερχόμενων βιομοριακών και ισοτοπικών αναλύσεων.
      7Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Giant cell tumor of bone in an eighteenth-century Italian mummy
    Giant cell tumor (GCT) of the bone is a locally aggressive and rarely metastasizing neoplasm. It is composed of neoplastic mononuclear stromal cells with a monotonous appearance admixed with macrophages and osteoclast-like giant cells. In a small subset of cases, GCT is malignant. Terminology previously related to this entity, and which is no longer supported by the World Health Organization, includes osteoclastoma and benign fibrous histiocytoma (BFH). Giant cells occur in numerous other pathologic conditions of the bone, which accounts for the misrepresentation of these non-GCT tumors in the early literature. Non-ossifying fibroma (NOF), aneurysmal bone cyst, and chondroblastoma have been erroneously labeled GCT for this reason. A single description of an ancient GCT was reported by Brothwell and Sandison and subsequently mentioned by Aufderheide and Rodrìguez-Martìn who were astonished that more of these tumors had not been identified in archaeological cases. To the best of our knowledge, no other cases of ancient GCT have been cited in the paleopathology literature. The study of this type of neoplasm in antiquity can be used as a means to better understand its characteristics and behavior and to expand the depth of time of the etiology of these lesions. We report a case of GCT of the left femur observed following the total body CT imaging of a partially mummified adult female, dating to eighteenth century.
      6Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Traveling monastic paths: Mobility and religion at medieval Irish monasteries
    Travel is recorded as a notable event in the lives of many high-status Irish monks and nuns, and according to medieval Irish texts, they traveled extensively in continental Europe, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England to lead and found monastic communities (CharlesEdwards, 2000; Flechner and Meeder, 2016; Hughes, 1966; Johnston, 2016; Loveluck and O'Sullivan, 2016). In the early medieval period (5th-12th centuries AD), mobility is cited as part of the mechanism for spreading and popularizing Christian practice in a previously pagan society (d'Arcy, 1974; Hughes, 1966). In the late medieval period (12th-16th centuries AD), monastic orders from elsewhere in Europe, such as France and England, founded abbeys in Ireland (O'Keeffe, 2003; Stalley, 1987). Mobility is a mechanism that can introduce new cultural practices through relatively long and definitive moves between communities (Anthony, 1990; Baker and Tsuda, 2015; Burmeister, 2000; Tilly, 1978), and religious institutions are formed and changed by the cultural practices of the members who participated in the religion (Stark, 1996). However, medieval texts do not indicate how common it was for medieval Irish people to be mobile if they were not one of the venerated saints or part of the elite class, and it is unclear what role mobility truly played in the spread and practice of Christianity. Did people who lived monastic lives in medieval Ireland experience mobility differently than those in lay communities?
      8Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Fungal microbiomes are determined by host phylogeny and exhibit widespread associations with the bacterial microbiome
    Interactions between hosts and their resident microbial communities are a fundamental component of fitness for both agents. Though recent research has highlighted the importance of interactions between animals and their bacterial communities, comparative evidence for fungi is lacking, especially in natural populations. Using data from 49 species, we present novel evidence of strong covariation between fungal and bacterial communities across the host phylogeny, indicative of recruitment by hosts for specific suites of microbes. Using co-occurrence networks, we demonstrate marked variation across host taxonomy in patterns of covariation between bacterial and fungal abundances. Host phylogeny drives differences in the overall richness of bacterial and fungal communities, but the effect of diet on richness was only evident in the mammalian gut microbiome. Sample type, tissue storage and DNA extraction method also affected bacterial and fungal community composition, and future studies would benefit from standardized approaches to sample processing. Collectively these data indicate fungal microbiomes may play a key role in host fitness and suggest an urgent need to study multiple agents of the animal microbiome to accurately determine the strength and ecological significance of host–microbe interactions.
      18Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    'Adding to the Food Supply': The Provision of Allotments in Early Twenthieth-Century Waterford
    (Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, 2020-12)
    In January 1917 a motivating address in Waterford by the secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction attracted lengthy reports in national and local newspapers. T.P. Gill’s address on food production and town allotments was reported in the Irish Times, Munster Express, Skibbereen Eagle and Derry Journal – from four corners of Ireland. He concluded his address by remarking, ‘I believe you will make this work here in 1 Waterford a success’. Drawing on newspaper and other reports, this article examines the development of allotments and the achievements of the Food Production Committee and plotholders in Waterford in 1917 and their continuation in subsequent years.
  • Publication
    Coloniality, Natural World Heritage and Indigenous Peoples: A Critical Analysis of World Heritage Cultural Governance
    (Springer, 2022-10-11)
    This essay analyses synergies and antagonisms of World Heritage cultural governance in respect of Indigenous peoples’ participation and rights. In tandem with recognition of nature-culture interlinkages, the World Heritage Committee has demonstrated a growing concern with rights-based approaches, moving Indigenous peoples’ rights to a more normative position in the Convention’s implementation. However, the Convention follows a Statist approach and adheres to a Eurocentric conceptualisation of nature, reproduced through World Heritage cultural governance. These issues can result in power asymmetries, coloniality of knowledge and the relegation of Indigenous peoples’ worldviews and rights.