Research skills assignment

Assignment 2 INSTRUCTIONS – Answer all questions Question 1 A large random sample was taken of the number of mayfly nymphs (Baëtis rhodani) on the tops of stones at night. There were 80 sampling units in the sample and each sample unit was located by the use of random co-ordinates. The following counts (Table 1) were obtained of the number of nymphs in each sampling unit of 100cm2. Table 1: Nymph counts in each sampling unit 9 8 11 11 14 6 17 8 13 11 6 9 13 8 10 13 10 7 12 8 16 4 11 11 5 15 9 14 12 15 9 7 10 10 12 7 12 8 9 10 7 11 16 7 13 6 10 11 8 9 11 8 12 13 4 15 9 11 10 9 14 5 8 12 10 7 8 7 11 9 6 10 12 13 8 14 9 10 15 12 (a) Referring to Table 1 above produce a separate table which provides the frequency of nymph counts given that the frequency of a particular data value is the number of times the same data value occurs. (b) Present the data from (a) in a suitable graphical form use Excel (appropriately labelled). (c) Briefly describe the distribution – does it appear to be a normal distribution? (200-300 words. Use a range of reference materials to support your answer). (d) From the data in Table 1 calculate the mean (X) number of nymphs in the sample. Question 2 The following observations of body weight (kg) and food consumption (calories per day) were collected in a study of obesity in adolescents (Table 2). Table 2: Body weight vs. Food consumption kg cal/day kg cal/day kg cal/day 60.4 2680 71.6 2710 94.3 3390 81.1 3280 64.6 2600 61.8 2700 94.9 3890 75.1 2880 78.1 3090 86.4 3170 89.6 3430 74.8 3020 90.3 3390 84.4 3160 59.0 2410 60.4 2670 93.0 3330 69.2 2830 77.8 2770 61.3 2360 67.1 2620 85.0 3330 74.9 3030 82.4 2820 (a) Plot this data to show the relationship between the two variables, use Excel to draw the best-fit line relating these two variables. (b) Using this relationship (best-line fit) estimate the weight of a person consuming 2600 calories per day. (c) Using this relationship (best-line fit) estimate the weight of a person consuming 4000 calories per day. (d) The average equilibrium calorie intake for humans is approximately 2600 calories per day. Would you expect the relationship between body weight and calorie intake to be linear? (200-300 words. Use a range of reference materials to support your answer). Subject-specific Skills a) Utilise a range of research methods b) Demonstrate the ability to analyse data c) Effectively present data and research outcomes d) Demonstrate a critical approach to the manipulation, analysis, display and interpretation of data Module Learning Outcomes and Key Skills The following Learning Outcomes and Key Skills will be assessed: Knowledge and Understanding c) Comprehend the various methods of presenting and communicating research Subject-specific Skills d) Utilise a range of research methods e) Demonstrate the ability to analyse data f) Effectively present data and research outcomes g) Demonstrate a critical approach to the manipulation, analysis, display and interpretation of data Plagiarism – What constitutes plagiarism or cheating? If you submit an assignment that contains work that is not your own, without indicating this, you are committing “˜plagiarism’. This might occur in an assignment when: – Using a choice phrase or sentence that you have come across; – Copying word-for-word directly from a text – Using text downloaded from the internet – Borrowing statistics or assembled facts from another person or source; – Copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources – Copying from the notes or essays of a fellow student. – The penalties for plagiarism are severe and could result in you being terminated from your programme of study at the University Referencing – All texts should be referenced using the Harvard System.

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