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  1. Smith-Renner, A. ; Taele, P. (Ed.)
    Many retired people engage in volunteer opportunities as a means to give back to their communities, stay physically and intellectually active, and build and expand their social networks. However, our semi-structured interviews of six retirees found that they typically avoid searching for volunteer opportunities through websites and social media due to a lack of trust in those tools and a concern for privacy. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth communication facilitated through emails with individuals and organizations they trust. To support this type of communication, we designed an adaptive interaction mechanism in the form of a newsletter with volunteer opportunities that are personalized using recommender system technology. The newsletter mechanism leverages personal connections through user-defined preference-based communities that allow users to share volunteer opportunities with their peers. 
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  2. Abstract

    Glucocorticoids are regularly used as biomarkers of relative health for individuals and populations. Around the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), baleen whales have and continue to experience threats, including commercial harvest, prey limitations and habitat change driven by rapid warming, and increased human presence via ecotourism. Here, we measured demographic variation and differences across the foraging season in blubber cortisol levels of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) over two years around the WAP. Cortisol concentrations were determined from 305 biopsy samples of unique individuals. We found no significant difference in the cortisol concentration between male and female whales. However, we observed significant differences across demographic groups of females and a significant decrease in the population across the feeding season. We also assessed whether COVID-19-related reductions in tourism in 2021 along the WAP correlated with lower cortisol levels across the population. The decline in vessel presence in 2021 was associated with a significant decrease in humpback whale blubber cortisol concentrations at the population level. Our findings provide critical contextual data on how these hormones vary naturally in a population over time, show direct associations between cortisol levels and human presence, and will enable comparisons among species experiencing different levels of human disturbance.

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  3. null (Ed.)
    Generative models for 3D shapes represented by hierar- chies of parts can generate realistic and diverse sets of out- puts. However, existing models suffer from the key practi- cal limitation of modelling shapes holistically and thus can- not perform conditional sampling, i.e. they are not able to generate variants on individual parts of generated shapes without modifying the rest of the shape. This is limiting for applications such as 3D CAD design that involve adjust- ing created shapes at multiple levels of detail. To address this, we introduce LSD-StructureNet, an augmentation to the StructureNet architecture that enables re-generation of parts situated at arbitrary positions in the hierarchies of its outputs. We achieve this by learning individual, probabilis- tic conditional decoders for each hierarchy depth. We eval- uate LSD-StructureNet on the PartNet dataset, the largest dataset of 3D shapes represented by hierarchies of parts. Our results show that contrarily to existing methods, LSD- StructureNet can perform conditional sampling without im- pacting inference speed or the realism and diversity of its outputs. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Let $G$ be one of the two multigraphs obtained from $K_4-e$ by replacing two edges with a double-edge while maintaining a minimum degree of~2. We find necessary and sufficient conditions on $n$ and $\lambda$ for the existence of a $G$-decomposition of $^{\lambda}K_n$. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Consider the multigraph obtained by adding a double edge to $K_4-e$. Now, let $D$ be a directed graph obtained by orientating the edges of that multigraph. We establish necessary and sufficient conditions on $n$ for the existence of a $(K^{*}_{n},D)$-design for four such orientations. 
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  6. Abstract

    The Mid‐Pliocene Warm Period (MPWP, 2.9 to 3.3 Ma), along with older Pliocene (3.2 to 5.3 Ma) records, offers potential past analogues for our 400‐ppmv world. The coastal geology of western and southern coasts of the Republic of South Africa exposes an abundance of marine deposits of Pliocene and Pleistocene age. In this study, we report differential GPS elevations, detailed stratigraphic descriptions, standardized interpretations, and dating of relative sea‐level indicators measured across ~700 km from the western and southern coasts of the Cape Provinces. Wave abrasion surfaces on bedrock, intertidal sedimentary structures, and in situ marine invertebrates including oysters and barnacles provide precise indicators of past sea levels. Multiple sea‐level highstands imprinted at different elevations along South African coastlines were identified. Zone I sites average +32 ± 5 m (six sites). A lower topographic Zone II of sea stands were measured at several sites around +17 ± 5 m. Middle and late Pleistocene sites are included in Zone III. Shoreline chronologies using87Sr/86Sr ages on shells from these zones yield ages from Zone I at 4.6 and 3.0 Ma and Zone II at 1.04 Ma. Our results show that polar ice sheets during the Plio‐Pleistocene were dynamic and subject to significant melting under modestly warmer global temperatures. These processes occurred during a period when CO2concentrations were comparable to our current and rapidly rising values above 400 ppmv.

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