Anastasia Eleftheriou: Game Simulations and Public Health
Anastasia Eleftheriou is currently enrolled in the second year of the Doctoral Training programme at the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton. The main aim of her PhD is to investigate the use of serious games simulations for public health issues, and, in particular, to explore the use of simulations to access and influence attitudes to sexual behaviour.
Anastasia's visit to the University of Western Australia was designed in order to accelerate her PhD by bringing her up to date with the current thinking in the application of evolutionary theory to human behaviour and in particular what the contemporary empirical challenges are in this area - what does the data currently show us and what does the theory currently predict? This was an ideal way to achieve this, as Leigh Simmons (her host supervisor in UWA) is a world leader in behavioural ecology (the study of evolutionary explanations for behaviour). He is also the editor-in chief of the field's key journal Behavioural Ecology and his group has a strong focus on human behaviour and sexual selection, both in terms of experimental work with human subjects and theoretical work with models. Anastasia, therefore, applied to the WUN RMP last March and she got the WUN RMP award a month later.
Her visit to the University of Western Australia was very beneficial to her PhD for many reasons. First of all, she met many bright colleagues, who gave her valuable feedback on her work and suggested interesting material to read for her future directions. Additionally, she gave two talks, one at the Centre of Evolutionary Biology and another one at the Centre for Cognition and its Disorders [FaceLab, School of Psychology], which allowed people to learn more about her research and also about the University of Southampton and the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation. From the talks she received excellent feedback from her peers.
A great aspect about her visit is that it allowed her to observe how the researchers conduct experiments at the FaceLab and to gain an insight on different procedures that could be valuable to her PhD. To do this she attended the UWA Psychology Honours Conference where students presented their work, but she also took part in an experiment with the title "Facial appearance and health in humans". By taking part in this experiment, she was given the chance not only to see the various equipment used by the researchers but also the procedures needed to collect, store and analyse the data. Leigh Simmons and Anastasia discussed the possibility of allowing her access to their centres' data-bases which contain facial images and information on facial attractiveness, self reported attitudes to casual sex, and lifetime numbers of sexual partners.
Anastasia strongly recommends the Research Mobility Program to all researchers, especially at the beginning of their research as she has personally gained a great academic benefit from it.
ICSS Student Ben Lowe Awarded Prize for Research
Ben Lowe has recently obtained an Award for the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in collaboration with the British Council to work in Japan this Summer.
This project, entitled 'Investigation of the Complex Water-Biomolecule-Silica Interface via Molecular Dynamics Simulations' aims to further develop the work of the Shibuta & Sakata Group at the University of Tokyo in order to go beyond the conventional mean-field, equilibrium modelling approaches which are common in this field.
Novel biosensor devices ('Field Effect Biosensors') operate on the principle of responding to changes in the charge distribution above the Silica (glass) surface upon the binding of a biomolecule of interest. By explicitly simulating the perturbed dynamics of charges in this interfacial region, which include many-bodied competing interactions between water, protein, oxide surface and electrolyte; our understanding of the experimentally observed biosensor response may be improved.
The project promises to provide a starting point for ongoing collaboration between the University of Southampton and the University of Tokyo.
Engaging with Complexity - Art Exhibition Viewing
The University of Southampton hosted an art exhibition featuring the work of students from the Institute of Complex Systems Simulation alongside paintings from the artist Tessa Coe. Staff and students from across the University were invited to a private view event on 5th February 2015.
The exhibition was shown in the Level 4 Gallery, Hartley Library from the 4th of February to the 6th of March 2015 and was open to all staff, students and visitors.
Images from the exhibition can be viewed here.
ICSS Student Davide Zilli Wins Silver at SET for BRITAIN
Congratulations to DTC student Davide Zilli who won the Silver medal in the Engineering category for presenting his PhD work at the SET for BRITAIN competition.
The final of the 2015 SET for BRITAIN event took place at the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster on Monday, 9th March 2015, sponsored by Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the SET for BRITAIN organising group of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee.
SET for BRITAIN exists to raise the profile of Britain's early-stage researchers at Westminster by engaging Members of both Houses of Parliament with current science, engineering and mathematics research being undertaken in the UK, especially that by their local constituents and in their local University. Poster Presenters are at the early part of their career- MSc/final year PhD/Post Doc or similar, either in academia or in industry.
Engaging with Complexity - Art Exhibition
The University of Southampton is hosting an art exhibition featuring the work of students from the Institute of Complex Systems Simulation alongside paintings from the artist Tessa Coe. The exhibition will be hosted at the Level 4 Gallery, Hartley Library from the 4th of February to the 6th of March 2015.
An overview of the exhibition by Tessa Coe and Professor Seth Bullock can be viewed by clicking on the cover to the right.
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