10,447 results for The University of Auckland Library

  • Nutrient utilization, acquisition and distribution during embryonic, larval development and metamorphosis of the sea cucumber Australostichopus mollis (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida)

    Peters Didier, Josefina (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The egg nutrient composition and utilization during embryonic and larval development of the holothuroid Australostichopus mollis are examined in the context of maternal investment of the Echinoderms. At the same time, this study assesses the influence of different microalgal diets on the nature and quantity of nutrients accumulated by the feeding auricularia larvae, leading to the identification of important nutrients for the successful completion of metamorphosis and juvenile formation. Nutrient composition of the egg, mainly represented by structural compounds (proteins and phospholipids), reflected well that of echinoderms with planktotrophic development, although A. mollis egg nutritional content was slightly lower than that of other echinoderms with similar egg size. Triacylglycerol (TAG) was the main energetic lipid provided by the mother in the egg to fuel the formation of the feeding larvae. More studies on the facultative feeding period (FFP) of A. mollis are required to establish if A. mollis have lower metabolic rates than other echinoderms, as appears to be the case of planktotrophic ophiuroids. After the onset of larval first feeding, the microalgal diet did not affect the type of lipids accumulated as a nutrient reserve. The microalgal diet did, however, affect the ability of the larvae to build energetic reserves. Dunaliella tertiolecta was found to be an unsuitable diet for A. mollis, while Chaetoceros muelleri led to increased larval lipid accumulation. In preparation for the perimetamorphic period, A. mollis accumulated free fatty acids (FFA) and the same maternally-derived energetic lipid, TAG. Feeding A. mollis auricularia larvae showed that the hyaline spheres (HS), unique holothuroid larval structures, played an important nutritional role during the A. mollis perimetamorphic period. HS were a good indicator of larval nutritional condition, and served as the main storage location for TAG accumulated from the diet. Lipids appeared to be transported from the digestive epithelium to the area of formation of the HS in a novel way, which involved the mobilization of lipids through the gel-filled blastocoel in specialized lipid transporting cells (LTC). TAG in the HS supported the formation of the fully functional juvenile. The information presented in this thesis, which shows the first nutritional data on eggs, larvae and juveniles of a planktotrophic holothurian, is not only valuable for studies of life-history theory, maternal investment and the field of larval biology, but has significant implications for sea cucumber aquaculture.

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  • Contactless Slipring Systems for Wireless Power Transfer in Rotary Applications

    Abdolkhani, Ali (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) technology has motivated considerable research and development in the past two decades. This new technology can be used in various wireless power transfer applications with different specifications, necessities, and restrictions. One example application is to deliver electrical power from a static frame to a rotating shaft. This is generally achieved by using mechanical slipring assemblies. However, because of the physical contacts between the stationary brushes and rotating metal rings, frequent maintenance is required due to mechanical and electrical wear and tears. This would significantly increase the system operational cost in applications such as wind turbine pitch control. An alternative solution is to use magnetically coupled coils to achieve contactless power transfer to rotary loads based on inductive power transfer technology. In this thesis three types of contactless slipring systems are proposed and developed based on pulsating, travelling, and rotating magnetic field principles. Full theoretical analysis, computer simulations, and practical experiments have been conducted on both the magnetic field coupling structures and power converter driving circuits to evaluate the proposed systems. Existing single-phase contactless sliprings based pulsating magnetic field have been improved with new pot-core and through-hole magnetic coupling structures, and it is shown that they can increase the magnetic coupling coefficients by up to 45%. A poly-phase system based on axial travelling magnetic field principle is proposed, and shown to be able to transfer about 3.7 times more power than a single-phase system. Another poly-phase system is proposed based on rotating magnetic field principle, and shown to be able to increase the power density by 55% compared to the existing counterpart single-phase system. An improved autonomous current-fed push-pull resonant converter is developed in this thesis to drive the single-phase contactless sliprings. It is shown that the proposed converter can increase the operating frequency to MHz level with full resonance and Zero Voltage Swathing (ZVS). Two new poly-phase current-fed push-pull resonant converters with ZVS operation are proposed and developed to drive the poly-phase contactless sliprings. The former uses an autonomous converter as the driving phase and allows the other phases to follow with a pre-determined phase delay; and the latter is based on full-autonomous operation of all the phases without any additional phase control. Experimental results have demonstrated that these converters can generate good quality currents to excite the magnetic coils of the sliprings to achieve efficient contactless power delivery, which are practically useful for rotary applications such as wind turbine pitch control.

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  • Commercial decisions in the Supreme Court of New Zealand: The prominence of agency law in the first ten years

    Watts, Peter (2015)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Condicoes de saude dos menores de 5 anos Pataxo, Minas Gerais, Brasil

    Santos, AP; Leite, MS; Conde, WL; Franco, MCP; Castro, TG (2016-10-29)

    Conference poster
    The University of Auckland Library

    Introdu????o: O quadro de sa??de dos povos ind??genas no Brasil ?? complexo e din??mico, est?? relacionado ao processo hist??rico de mudan??as econ??micas, sociais e ambientais (Santos & Coimbra Jr., 2003). Altas preval??ncias de d??ficit estatural (25,7%) tem acometido as crian??as ind??genas brasileiras e diarreia e infec????o respirat??ria aguda sao apontadas como as maiores causas de interna????o hospitalar notificada (Horta et al., 2013; Leite et al., 2013; Coimbra et al., 2013). Objetivo: Dentre os menores de 5 anos Pataxo de Minas Gerais: 1) descrever caracter??sticas de nascimento, situa????o vacinal, acompanhamento do pre-natal e do crescimento e desenvolvimento, perfil de morbidades e acessos aos servi??os de sa??de; 2) verificar associacoes entre estado nutricional e condicoes de saude observadas. Metodologia: Estudo epidemiol??gico de base populacional, natureza transversal, com dados coletados em 2011 entre os Patax?? de Minas Gerais. Foram avaliadas 34 crian??as (< 5 anos) residentes em 5 aldeias do povo Patax??, localizadas nos munic??pio de Carm??sia, Itapecerica e A??ucena. A avalia????o da situa????o de sa??de utilizou question??rio estruturado baseado no Primeiro Inqu??rito Nacional de Sa??de e Nutri????o dos Povos Ind??genas (Cardoso et al., 2009). A aferi????o das medidas antropom??tricas (peso, estatura/comprimento e circunfer??ncia da cintura) foi realizada de acordo com as recomenda????es da Organiza????o Mundial da Sa??de. O presente estudo foi aprovado pelo comit?? de ??tica da Universidade Federal de S??o Paulo pela Comiss??o Nacional de ??tica em Pesquisa. Foram calculadas freq????ncias de vari??veis categ??ricas e m??dias (desvios-padr??o) e medianas das vari??veis cont??nuas. Para a identifica????o de diferen??as entre as m??dias utilizou o teste t de Student, enquanto propor????es foram comparadas pelo teste do qui-quadrado de Pearson, adotando-se P< 0,05. Utilizou-se o programa SPSS (17.0) para analise dos dados. Resultados: Entre os menores de 5 anos, 55,9% eram do sexo feminino e 44,1% tinham idade inferior a 24 meses. A maioria das crian??as nasceu no hospital, e 82,4% das maes tiveram 6 ou mais consultas de pre-natal. Mais de 80% das mesmas estavam com o esquema vacinal em dia a ??poca da pesquisa e havia tomado a megadose de vitamina A. Apenas 8,8% das crian??as tinham o registro do acompanhamento do crescimento no ??ltimo m??s anterior a pesquisa. A preval??ncia de hospitaliza????o nos ??ltimos 12 meses foi de 23,5%, mas nenhuma interna????o foi devida a infec????es respirat??rias e apenas uma crian??a foi internada com diarreia. Ocorr??ncia de diarreia na ??ltima semana foi relatada para 17,6% das crian??as e tosse para 35,3%. Devido ao fato dos d??ficits estaturais e ponderais serem inexistentes nesta popula????o e o excesso de peso ter acometido somente uma das crian??as, n??o foi poss??vel verificar a distribui????o dos dist??rbios nutricionais de acordo com as vari??veis independentes, de forma a verificar-se poss??veis associa????es. Conclus??es: Comparado com a populacao de criancas indigenas brasileiras, alguns indicadores de saude entre os Pataxo tiveram melhor desempenho, como a baixa preval??ncia de interna????o hospitalar reportada para diarreia e IRAs, a alta cobertura vacinal e o percentual de gestantes que tiverm 6 ou mais consultas pre-natal. No entanto, melhorias na periodicidade de acompanhamento do crescimento e desenvolvimento sao necessarias.

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  • Quantifying uncertainty in ray-tracing models of radiowave propagation using polynomial chaos

    Austin, Andrew; Sood, N; Sarris, C (2014)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Randomness in the input parameters of a ray-tracing simulator introduces uncertainty in the predictions of the received power and voltage. The polynomial chaos method is applied to efficiently estimate the uncertainty arising from randomness in the material properties for a site-specific ray-tracing analysis of an indoor hallway. The uncertainty is compared against a converged set of Monte-Carlo simulations and with experimental measurements of the sector-averaged received power. Results indicate a 2-3 dB variation in the received power can exist for relatively small material parameter uncertainties.

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  • GBC Historic Building??: a new certification tool for orienting and assessing environmental sustainability and energy efficiency of historic buildings

    Lucchi, E; Boarin, Paola; Zuppiroli, M (2016-10-19)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Environmental certification represents a key issue for improving energy efficiency, environmental quality, rational use of resources, and design innovation, allowing greater transparency on energy uses and environmental management in buildings. The paper presents the new rating system GBC Historic Building??, derived from the most diffused environmental sustainability assessment method worldwide (i.e. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED??) and developed by an interdisciplinary working group, in order to evaluate the sustainability level of restoration, refurbishment, and integration in pre-industrial buildings. The protocol is structured in the already existing categories within the LEED?? rating system, to which a brand new one has been added, i.e. ???Historic Value???, introduced to improve the knowledge on the historic building construction and a sustainable approach throughout the restoration process.

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  • Breastfeeding duration among a nationally representative multi-ethnic sample of New Zealand children

    Castro, T; Grant, Cameron; Wall, C; Welch, M; Marks, Emma; Fleming, CJ; Gilchrist, Catherine; Teixeira, J; Bandara, D; Berry, S; Morton, Susan (2016-11-14)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: To describe breastfeeding duration indicators within a representative sample of New Zealand (NZ) infants, and investigate relationships between maternal demographics and duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: Growing Up in NZ (GUiNZ) cohort study enrolled 6685 singletons. Breastfeeding initiation, and duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding were described for 96.3%, 91.1% and 90.3% of the singletons enrolled in GUiNZ. Multivariate Poisson regression analysis with robust variance was used to estimate the independent relationship between covariates and breastfeeding outcomes. Results: Breastfeeding was initiated for 97% of the children. Median (IQR) duration of exclusive and of any breastfeeding were 4 months (2.0-5.0) and 7 months (4.0-12.0) respectively. Exclusive breastfeeding lasted ???4 months for 53.4% of the children and any breastfeeding for ???6 months for 65.6% of the children. The factors independently associated to exclusively breastfeed for ???4 months were maternal ethnicity (M??ori, RR=0.80,95%CI 0.73-0.87; Pacific, RR=0.90,0.83-0.98; Asian, RR=0.80,0.74-0.86 versus European), age (20-29 years old, RR=1.24,1.04-1.49; ???30, RR=1.36,1.14-1.62 versus <20), education (tertiary education, RR=1.11,1.06-1.59), pregnancy planning (planned, RR=1.11,1.06-1.15), or older siblings (RR=1.04,1.00-1.08). Conclusion: While duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding in New Zealand is longer than a number of other The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, a large proportion of NZ children do not achieve the World Health Organization recommendations for duration of any or exclusive breastfeeding. Maternal age, education, parity and pregnancy planning identify infants at risk of shorter duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding, and maternal ethnicity for exclusive breastfeeding only. Maternal demographics identify groups for whom breastfeeding promotion should be prioritized.

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  • Biomarkers: Implications from Discovery and the development of Microscale Electrochemical Sensing Techniques for Their Detection

    Bates, David (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The majority of scientific advancement is facilitated by curiosity, determination, and tools to measure and analyze the subject and environment in question. Discovery at the biorelevant level of microns and nanometers requires tools with exceptional sensitivity, selectivity, and repeatability. Among the available methodologies, electrochemical sensing techniques occupy a unique place given their well-understood fundamental principles, relatively low cost, and use of electrons and ions to interact with the target in question. Although the principles of electrochemistry are established and their use as a sensing platform is widespread, there is still a great deal of room for innovation in the packaging, fabrication, and application of electrochemical sensing in next generation devices. The present study reports on questions from two major scientific fields???biochemistry and molecular biology???and addresses them in part by developing and applying a novel sensing approach using an electrochemical setup. The first is with regard to the biochemical mechanisms involved in microbial metal respiration and was carried out in association with the DiChristina Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Biology. Metal respiration is a topic of interest because of its role in biogeochemical cycling and it is the basis of some bioremediation strategies for contamination cleanup by the United States Department of Energy. In the course of this study an in-gel redox protein detection system was developed using scanning electrochemical microscopy. The identified proteins helped to postulate a mechanism for anaerobic dissimilatory iron respiration by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. An additional finding during this study is the identification of a large outer membrane protein that mediates adhesion of the bacterium to iron oxide particles and may localize itself to the cell surface via Type V protein secretion. The second question, which relates to molecular biology, is with regard to the epigenetic mechanisms associated with aging. This work was carried out in association with the Wang lab at the University of Louisville, School of Medicine. In this study a review of known epigenetic factors that influence aging or age-related disease was conducted. Following that, a long-lived model was used to identify microRNAs that may influence midlife decline, which occurs in a large portion of a population in their fifties and sixties and is a phenomenon ascribed to the onset of disruptions to physiological homeostasis that snowball into rapid aging and increased incidence of age-related disease. The major interest in finding epigenetic factors and particularly microRNAs is that the damage is potentially reversible if detected in time. In other words, microRNA profiles provide an instantaneous snapshot of the cell, tissue, or organism???s response to environmental queues and may provide information in time to reverse the damage by quenching the insult before permanent damage sets in. Current methods to detect and validate microRNA activity require both nucleic acid and biochemical assays that are tedious, expensive, and timeconsuming. The desire to develop a sensing device that could carry out all of the necessary work on a single, low-cost and rapid platform led to the design and fabrication of the microelectrode array sensor reported here.

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  • Is a capital gains tax the answer to New Zealand's tax alchemy?

    Cassidy, Julie; Cheng, A; Yong, S (2013-01-25)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Unlike most OECD countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, New Zealand has never implemented a realisation based capital gains tax (???CGT???). Coupled with the fact that the New Zealand judiciary has steadfastly maintained the income/capital dichotomy, this has extended to certain taxpayers, most notably wealthier New Zealanders, the tax equivalent of alchemy. By making tax free capital gains from capital investments, such persons have truly struck gold! On 14 July 2011 the New Zealand Labour Party released its key tax policies for the then upcoming 2011 election. One of these policies included broadening the New Zealand tax base by introducing a CGT. Post the election, the Labour Party announced on 15 March 2012 that it will retain its plans for a CGT. The background to these announcements are the findings of a number of New Zealand Review Committees which have considered whether the New Zealand tax base should be so broadened by introducing a CGT. The McLeod Review 2001 Issues paper, for example, noted that CGT regimes ???tend to be some of the most complex areas of tax law.??? The Issues paper raised a number of design issues that lend to the complexity of a CGT, including: ??? identifying what constitutes an asset, noting that intangible property is particularly problematic; and ??? determining which methods of transferring full or partial economic ownership of an asset is a ???realisation event???. Equally problematic is the identification of the acquisition of an asset. This paper looks at these three design features through a comparative analysis of the CGT regimes in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. It concludes that there are many lessons New Zealand can learn from the CGT experiences of these three Nations.

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  • Surface Modification of Nitinol by Electrochemical Methods for Biomedical Applications

    Yang, Zhendi (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Nitinol is an equiatomic binary alloy of nickel and titanium. It has been extensively used since 1970s due to its unique properties of shape memory effect and super-elasticity. Nitinol also has excellent physical and mechanical properties, and together with its good biocompatibility, Nitinol has been widely applied in biomedical areas. Nitinol is generally considered as biocompatible, as it is covered by naturally formed TiO2 layer, which provides a protection shield to the bulk material. However, Nitinol contains ~50 at.% nickel: an element which is believed to be toxic and could induce allergic response if its concentration in human body exceeds a certain limit. Therefore, surface modifications are usually required applied on Nitinol to improve its biocompatibility for possible biomedical applications. Many different surface modification methods have been applied on Nitinol, and among those, electrochemical methods are known to be effective. This research employed two electrochemical processes, electrochemical etching and anodisation to treat and modify the surface of Nitinol, aiming to improve its biocompatibility and enhance the properties associated with biocompatibility. Nitinol was electrochemically etched in an aqueous solution made up with 1M H3PO4 and 10 wt.% NH4F. Etching parameters, including applied voltage and etching time were varied to investigate their influence on the resulting Nitinol surfaces. Rough surfaces with round nodules were generated on Nitinol after electrochemical etching. Higher etching voltage resulted in an increase in the size of round nodules generated on Nitinol surface, and longer etching time gave rise to the number of round nodules. The Ti/Ni molar ratio on Nitinol surface was greatly enhanced by electrochemical etching, indicating that the electrochemically etched Nitinol surface was mainly composed of protective TiO2 layer, with depleted Ni content. Compared with the ground Nitinol surface, the electrochemically etched Nitinol surfaces exhibited improved wettability with simulated body fluid (SBF) and higher corrosion resistance in sodium chloride solution, suggesting enhanced biocompatibility. Nitinol surface was anodised with a viscous ethylene glycol based electrolyte. The electrolyte compositions (water content and fluorine ion concentration) and anodising parameters (voltage and duration time) were investigated to assess their influence on Nitinol surface modification. Anodisation generally produced rough and porous Nitinol surfaces and enhanced the Ti/Ni ratio on Nitinol surface. Water content and fluorine ion concentration exhibited profound effect on Nitinol surface morphology, with the former having greater influence than the latter. An increase in both water content and fluorine ion concentration enhanced the surface roughness. Water content and fluorine ion concentration also had impact on the Ti/Ni ratio on Nitinol surface, and the Nitinol anodised in the electrolyte containing 0.1 M fluorine ion and 2 vol.% water showed the highest Ti/Ni ratio. The roughness of Nitinol surface could also be enhanced by increasing anodising voltage and time, and a thicker oxide layer was obtained with prolonged anodising time. Even though the oxide layer was porous, it had little influence on the tensile properties of the bulk Nitinol. Anodised Nitinol surfaces were much more hydrophilic than the mechanically ground Nitinol surface and exhibited improved bacterial inhibition of E. coli growth in both water and SBF based media. Anodised Nitinol surfaces were further evaluated for their biocompatibility, including Ni ion release into SBF, hydroxyapatite (HA) formation ability and direct cell-material interaction with L929 cell line. Ni ion release to SBF was governed by the surface morphology and oxide layer thickness, and more Ni ion released from a rougher and more porous Nitinol surface. Nevertheless, even the highest amount of Ni ion released from the anodised Nitinol surface was still below the tolerated concentration level. Anodised Nitinol surface exhibited much better HA formation ability than the ground Nitinol surface. Hydroxyapatite formed on the anodised Nitinol surface after immersion in SBF for three weeks, and more HA formed with longer immersion time. Anodised Nitinol possessed more suitable surface morphology for L929 mammalian cells to attach and proliferate. Anodisation was proved to be an effective way to improve the biocompatibility of Nitinol. Electrochemical methods, electrochemical etching and anodisation were demonstrated to be effective approaches to enhance the biocompatibility of Nitinol surfaces. This thesis was therefore not only able to shed the light on optimal conditions to obtain modified Nitinol surface with improved biocompatibility, but also expanded the application of Nitinol in biomedical areas.

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  • A Structural Exploration of Annulus-Endplate Integration in the Ovine Intervertebral Disc

    Rodrigues, Samantha (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The intervertebral disc comprises three main regions ??? the nucleus, the annulus, and the endplates, the latter consisting of a thin layer of cartilage (cartilaginous endplate) over a layer of cortical bone (vertebral endplate). Annulus-endplate anchorage performs a critical role in the disc, creating a strong structural link between the compliant annulus and the stiff vertebrae. There has been a growing interest in endplate failure and its frequent involvement in disc herniation. Employing an ovine disc model and high-resolution multiscale imaging techniques, the aim of this thesis was to explore the structural principles that govern annulus-endplate anchorage and form the basis of its strength and its failure. The first study provides new insights into how anchorage is achieved in the mature disc. Microstructurally, annular bundles only penetrate through the shallow thickness of the cartilaginous endplate. Within this layer however, the bundles sub-divide to form a three-dimensional branched structure. This branching morphology provides an effective mechanism of integration ??? it increases the interface area between the two tissues over which forces are distributed and thus creates a stronger anchorage. Ultrastructural analysis provides new evidence of a fibril-based form of integration across the cement line, with fibrils from the annular sub-bundles penetrating beyond the cement line a short distance and in some cases blending with fibrils from the cartilaginous and vertebral endplates. These structural mechanisms, along with the presence of calcification (which accounts for a substantial depth of the cartilaginous endplate), presumably form the basis of the anchorage???s high tensile strength. Via a series of manual loading experiments followed by detailed structural analysis, the second study focuses on the mechanisms of anchorage failure. Two main modes were observed ??? failure at the tidemark (the calcified endplate/non-calcified annulus boundary) or at the cement line (the calcified endplate/bone interface). Samples subjected to axial tension typically contained more anchorage failures compared to those subjected to torsion and in-plane tension; this is consistent with the high frequency of endplate failure seen in flexion-induced herniation. Structural examination of the torsion-loaded discs indicates that this is probably due to acute fibre bending at the soft-hard tissue interface of the tidemark. The final study investigates the mechanism of annulus-endplate integration in immature discs to gain a better understanding of how the mature system develops. Despite significant changes in endplate morphology, the prevalence of branching from birth emphasises the critical role that this mechanism plays in strengthening annular-endplate anchorage. Further, the changing alignment of chondrons within the cartilaginous matrix provides new insights into endplate development and ossification.

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  • Food Breakdown during Chewing: Investigating the Link between Bolus Structure, Saliva and Texture Perception

    Rodrigues, Sophia (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Texture plays a signi cant role in determining the acceptance and appreciation of a food product. It is perceived during chewing | a process which transforms food into a cohesive mass (bolus) that can be safely swallowed. This involves progressive changes to food structure and mechanical properties which, through the stimulation of oral receptors, sends signals to the brain that are interpreted as sensory texture. This thesis aims to gain a deeper understanding of how food breakdown during chewing relates to texture perception, which is essential in designing food structures to enhance sensory appeal or meet special needs. Short-dough biscuits, Haloumi cheese and dark chocolate were chosen to represent different solid food structures. Material characterisation techniques were applied to analyse the structure, moisture content, rheology and tribology of boluses, chewed by a single individual or multiple subjects. The results reveal that the structural transformations involved in oral processing are food-specific. Comminution dominates bolus structure during early chewing, corresponding to the perception of "hard" (biscuit and chocolate) or "soft" (cheese). The particle size produced after the first few chews determines whether attributes such as "crumbly" and "dry" (biscuit), "lumpy" (cheese and chocolate), or \smooth" and "sticky"(chocolate) are perceived mid-chewing. The simultaneous addition of saliva during chewing causes fractured particles to agglomerate, leading to the formation of a single mass and the perception of "sticky", "smooth" and "soft" by point of swallow. Saliva also confers flowability onto the food bolus. Depending on its physical interactions with food, saliva performs multiple functions within the bolus. In addition to agglomeration, saliva softens the biscuit matrix through sugar dissolution and starch digestion, while it causes melted chocolate to phase invert from an oil-continuous material to a water-continuous emulsion. A comparison of boluses produced by multiple subjects indicates that saliva quantity has a bigger influence on bolus rheology than the rheology of saliva itself. However, when compared to Newtonian substitutes, saliva makes a large contribution to lubrication such that expectorated chocolate boluses are significantly more lubricating than simulated boluses.

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  • Early Childhood Principal Leadership Training: Perceptions of Leadership Training in Quality Provision in Singapore

    Teo, Betty (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Past research shows that perceptions of quality and leadership are contextually based, and they influence how early childhood education (ECE) educators view leadership and leadership training. However, little research has been conducted on leadership training; although schoolleadership research shows that there is a direct link between quality provision, leadership and leadership training. In 2012, the Starting Well Index (2012) positioned Singapore ECE quality at 29th out of 45 countries. It signalled the importance of investigating the effectiveness of the mandatory ECE leadership training in Singapore to see the extent it has prepared ECE principals in providing quality ECE services, and to suggest ways to close any gaps found. Therefore, the research question was, ???What, and to what extent, do ECE principals believe that leadership training is important in quality ECE provision in Singapore???? This thesis was positioned within a descriptive framework, using a qualitative multimethod sequential design, based on a backward mapping logic approach model. Face to face interviews were conducted with ECE principals, teachers, and lecturers in Phase-1 exploratory study. In Phase-2 confirmatory and explanation study, only ECE principals, the key research participants, were surveyed via online questionnaires. Phase-2 data analysis showed that the ECE principals in Singapore tended to conceptualize eight quality dimensions and six leadership dimensions as important in quality ECE provision. The latter showed an integration of both Eastern and Western concepts of leadership. Finally, the Phase-2 results showed that although the ECE principals in Singapore tended to perceive the Singapore mandatory leadership training modules as helpful, there were five key gaps in the leadership training that needed to be closed in order to support the principals effectively. Two additional further findings that contribute to new knowledge were, firstly, ECE principals in Singapore faced challenges in meeting the demands of the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK) participation, as a form of their quality ECE provision evaluation; secondly, there were inconsistencies in the delivery of the Singapore mandatory ECE leadership training curriculum. The implications of this study include the need to re-design the leadership training curriculum in Singapore; to re-examine the leadership training policy issues; and to review the SPARK participation support for ECE centres and principals. Therefore, this thesis contributes new knowledge to early childhood educators, operators, training providers, policy makers and the qualification accreditation body in designing content, policy decision making and leadership training provision. Keywords: early childhood education, perception, quality provision, leadership, leadership training, leadership development, Singapore

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  • China in the Climate Change Regime Complex: The Efficiency of the Climate Change Regime Complex and the Bottom-up Approach

    Qin, Jianglin (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    In recent years, the idea of regime complex for climate change has become popularised. The influential work of Oran Young (2004) has shown how ???mechanism theory??? might explain the influence of international regimes on a country???s behaviour. The purpose of this study is to test the utility of a ???regime complex for climate change??? (Keohane & Victor, 2009) for enhancing the capacity of states to embrace the building of renewable energy industries. Nowhere is the need to combat climate change (CC) more evident than in the case of China. The degradation of the environment and more frequent occurrence of natural disasters has significantly influenced the lives of the Chinese people and the security of this country. By focusing on three constituents of the international regime for CC, I seek to show that China???s participation in these areas has played a significant role in China???s efforts to build renewable energy technology industries. China, as the largest emitter of CO2 has been criticized as one of the laggards, which blocked the negotiation process of an international legally binding agreement. Though under huge social pressure, China does not show too much enthusiasm slowing down its economic development for the sake of combating global climate change. In this sense, focusing on energy innovation is a promising way of pursuing the goals of greening the growing (economically) as a ground breaking study by John Mathews and Hao Tan (2015) in Nature journals has recently shown. A research on the climate change regime???s influence on China and China???s participation in the climate change regime is of strategic importance as well. The International regime for climate change has shaped the Chinese government???s cost-and-benefit calculations in agreeing to emissions targets and peaking year, China???s role and identity with regards to the country???s views on the environment-economy relationship, and provided opportunities for China to cooperate with others in a constructive manner, which would otherwise not have been available. At the same time, we cannot ignore the specific characteristics of domestic sectors also matter in explaining variations in China???s responses. Importantly, at the same time, China???s participation in climate clubs only contributes indirectly to China???s energy innovation capacity while national initiative and bilateral cooperation between China and other countries contribute directly to enhance it. The discussion of the bottom-up approach in this thesis indicates that the bottom-up approach is applied in all the three sectors investigated in this thesis. This approach is carried out with strong unitary political system in the national initiative. In the bilateral cooperation, it was adopted with strong governmental guidance. And the bottom-up approach is considered well adopted by the climate clubs. The project networks established by clubs have put many private entities, governments, individuals on the same platform and intend to make a difference at the project level. The findings make three key contributions. First by demonstrating the influence of international regimes on state behaviour, the study seeks to bring a ???system-level??? perspective to the studies of China???s leading role in the building of renewable energy technology industries, even the most important works of the field such as Mathew???s work (2015) focus overwhelmingly on the quality of the country???s domestic institutions especially on the role of Chinese state, while playing down international factors in bringing about China???s renewable energy revolution. Second, China???s response to the international CC regime challenges the perspective of so many studies in international system-level analyses. While writers in this field take seriously the role of international regimes on state behaviour, a widely held view amongst such writers is the international factors have little effectiveness on China and other large carbon emitting states. Indeed, by specifying the conditions for varying levels of the international climate change regime???s effects on sectors within China, I seek to show why domestic sectoral characteristics matter a great deal in explaining not only weaker effects of international on the domestic (which is the preoccupation of writers in this Field), but why there are some times stronger effects on state behaviour. Third, by combining the regime theory and polycentric approach this thesis manages to study two variables within the 3 chosen regime constituents: the role in enhancing China???s energy innovation capacity and the status of adopting the bottom-up approach.

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  • Chronic Liver Diseases: With a Focus on Hepatitis B, Type 2 Diabetes and Statins

    Hsiang, John (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Chronic liver disease, and its advanced state ??? liver cirrhosis causes significant cirrhosis complications and mortality globally. However, the epidemiology and aetiology of liver cirrhosis are not well defined and the liver disease burden in NZ is unknown. In the era of obesity epidemic and increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM), it is unknown if the risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among hepatitis B (HBV) patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) is related through delayed HBeAg seroclearance. In addition, the data on whether pre-existing DM prior to the onset of cirrhosis diagnosis will increase the risk of morbidity and mortality is lacking. Finally, there is insufficient data to support the use of statin for its anti-tumour effect in the HBV patients with a high risk of developing HCC. This thesis examines these unanswered questions and found that: ??? The study of the epidemiology of liver cirrhosis in South Auckland, NZ showed that the age- and ethnicity-adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) cirrhosis were rising. Furthermore, the IRR of HCC incidence, liver- and HCC-related mortality have increased in the last 12 years. Some predictors associated with liver-related mortality were older age, male gender, high MELD score, low albumin and low platelet count. Certain ethnic groups such as Maori and Pacific people were also at much higher risk of HCC-related mortality possibly related to obesity. ??? The presence of MetS may delay HBeAg seroclearance in Chinese HBV patients, providing a plausible mechanism of which MetS could increase the risk of HCC and cirrhosis by affecting the virological response of the host. Neither the presence of NASH nor hepatic steatosis influenced the HBV HBeAg seroclearance. Type 2 DM at baseline was a predictor of delayed HBeAg seroclearance after adjusted for viral, host and metabolic factors. The presence of DM prior to the onset of liver cirrhosis was also associated with a two-fold risk in the development of HCC, cirrhosis complications, liver-related mortality or OLT and overall mortality or OLT. In addition, those with poor DM control at cirrhosis diagnosis had a two-fold increased risk of liver-related complications, almost four-fold increased risk in HCC development and a two-fold increased risk of death or OLT in multivariate analysis. ??? Statin use could reduce HCC risk during follow-up by 32% (if statin was started in HBV patients who were alive and event-free for two years) using landmark analysis, propensity score weighting and data imputations to adjust for confounders and missing data. There was a synergistic 59% effect on HCC risk reduction among those who used NA and statin concurrently, compared to NA users alone. This thesis provided important findings on liver cirrhosis epidemiology and disease burden in South Auckland, NZ. Further analysis also showed that MetS and DM could potentially affect specific HBV outcomes such as virological response, and cirrhosis outcomes, respectively. Finally, statin use in chronic HBV infection, particularly with the concurrent use of antiviral therapy, suggested its importance in HCC risk reduction.

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  • eHealth Strategy Development and Implementation: Interrelated Factors Impacting the Implementation of a National eHealth Strategy

    Ragaban, Nouran (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    BACKGROUND New Zealand has a long history of developing and disseminating national plans and strategies to implement information technology (IT) in the healthcare sector. Health reforms post-2008 resulted in the creation of the National Health IT Board. In their new role, they published an influential iteration of an eHealth strategy in 2010 - the National Health Information Technology Plan. The district distribution of healthcare provision and responsibility in New Zealand increased the likelihood of disparate uptake of eHealth initiatives throughout the country. The National Health IT Plan was implemented with the goal of reducing that disparity to enable a national integrated healthcare model. AIM This inductive, interpretive research study identifies major factors impacting the implementation of the National Health IT Plan in New Zealand by examining stakeholder perceptions of issues that facilitated and/or hindered the implementation process, with the aim of generating a theory in the substantive area. METHOD An iterative grounded theory methodology was used to guide data collection, analysis, and reporting. Data was collected from two sources: first, from a public online discussion forum created to garner stakeholder feedback from the draft National Health IT Plan prior to its release. The data collected and analysed from the first phase was used to inform the interview schedule employed in the second phase of data collection. In the second phase, data was collected from interviews with 30 health sector stakeholders over a 10-month period. Analysis methods utilising the grounded theory process resulted in the emergence of a substantive theory grounded in the empirical data. FINDINGS Through the inductive grounded theory analytical process, four final categories (combined to form the mnemonic GEAR) emerged indicating the interrelationship between key factors that impacted implementation of the National Health IT Plan ??? Government and Leadership, Engagement of Stakeholders, Aligning the Plan in Context, and Regionalisation to Sustain Implementation. The Government and Leadership category relates to the impact of the direction, control and leadership at central level. The Engagement of Stakeholders category represents the process and methods by which stakeholders were targeted to influence buy-in to implementation. The Aligning the Plan in Context category outlines the impact of the national health sector context and culture. The Regionalisation to Sustain Implementation category reflects the impact of the existing District Health Board structure on implementation and the move for regional collaboration to promote long-term sustainability of eHealth initiatives. CONCLUSIONS The similarities and contentions that existed between the differing perspectives of the interviewees wove the relationship between the concepts within the categories. This interrelationship, grounded in the data, forms the substantive theory on the influencing factors on eHealth strategy implementation in New Zealand. The presence of the four categories together contributed to influencing the implementation of the National Health IT Plan. Leadership at central level played a facilitating role in its implementation, and forward steps were taken in propagation and uptake of eHealth initiatives in the healthcare sector. However, issues of regional collaboration and resource allocation bound to a lack of governance structures hindered aspects of forward movement. Nonetheless, a significant artefact in catalysing progressive changes and engaging stakeholders was the use of strategic tools, used to frame a scope of parameters and to disseminate key aspects during each phase of implementation. As a tenet of grounded theory, these findings were extended with the literature to produce theoretical and conceptual links. It is suggested that a multi-level approach to eHealth strategy implementation requires at least four operative elements: a national leading organisation with a clear strategic vision and responsibilities, targeted tools to influence stakeholder buy-in, contextual alignment with the wider health sector, and clear governance structures to support collaboration at local and national level. KEYWORDS: eHealth, health information technology, health policy, health plan implementation

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  • Unravelling Genome Structure and Function through Experimentally Informed Polymer Models

    Pichugina, Tatyana (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The genome is the primary information storage system of the cell. However, it is not fully established how eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes are organized and function within cells. To fill this gap I used experimentally informed polymer models to reconstruct the 3D structures of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Escherichia coli genomes. I generated 3D models of the E. coli chromosome that were non-specifically compressed within cells. These models have shown that at the scales of several kb the E. coli chromosome organization cannot be described as random chromosome packing, while at scales starting from several tens of kb the E. coli chromosome is highly mixed and entangled. The polymer models of the S. pombe genome provided evidence that chromosomal interactions, detected by conformation capture experiments, play a structural role in S. pombe genome organization. I used ensembles of the S. pombe genome structures to construct 3D maps of genes, epigenetic marks, and replication origins. The 3D maps demonstrated that the S. pombe genome is highly compartmentalized. I found that highly transcribed genes and active epigenetic marks (H3K4me) are preferentially located toward the S. pombe nuclear interior, and inactive epigenetic mark (H3K9me) towards the nuclear periphery. The 3D maps of genetic elements that I generated represent a significant step towards the development of unified models for spatial gene regulation, DNA repair and replication.

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  • Second language development, language learning motivation and language learning opportunities: A longitudinal case study of German high school exchange students in New Zealand

    Sauer, Luzia (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis reports longitudinal case studies of three female German high school exchange students in New Zealand. The students had advanced English proficiency levels at the beginning of their 5.5 month stay and were part of a large cohort of fee-paying international students who shared the same first language (L1) in the high schools where they chose to study. The study combines a detailed analysis of the students L2 development along with an analysis of the learners??? language learning motivation, the social contexts in which they operated and the opportunities that these afforded for language learning. The data collected consisted of weekly diary entries, monthly reports, and six individual audio-recordings of monthly semi-structured interviews. A qualitative data analysis was performed to scrutinize the students??? motivation and language learning opportunities as evidenced in their self-reports. A quantitative data analysis was carried out to capture developmental patterns in speech performance, using various measures of L2 complexity, accuracy, and fluency. Language learning opportunities were dynamically constructed between the students and their socio-cultural environment and were unique for each student. The students??? involvement in their L1 communities presented a challenge to the creation of L2 learning opportunities. Each student???s motivation was affected by a complex interaction between their goals, identities, and agency, and their perceptions of their L2 communities. The efforts they expended varied and were most clearly evident in social groups that gave them access and validated their sense of self. The students??? L2 development was non-linear and differed individually. Only the results for fluency were consistent, pointing to overall improvements. Findings for accuracy and complexity varied. Some trends, such as a decrease in lexical complexity, have not typically been observed in previous SA studies. A key finding was that the students??? L2 development was characterized by their adaption to the speech patterns of their native speaker interlocutors over time. The thesis provides a detailed, longitudinal account of the motivational and linguistic processes that characterize study abroad, providing insight into how and why learners perform differently in seemingly identical contexts of learning, and in this way adds to the existing literature on study abroad.

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  • Cytisine concentration-effect relationships in human smokers

    Jeong, Soo (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Cytisine is a plant alkaloid that is a partial agonist for the ??4??2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and is used as a smoking cessation medication (Tabex??). Double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trials show that cytisine is more effective than placebo in achieving long-term, continuous abstinence from smoking. At the start of this PhD there was no published information on the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of cytisine in humans or indeed, whether there is any relationship between cytisine exposure and effect. The main aims of this thesis were therefore: to obtain basic pharmacokinetic data for cytisine in humans, to study the effects of cytisine on physiological and psychological measures in smokers and to explore whether these effects could be related to the plasma concentrations of cytisine in human smokers who were instructed to adhere to the standard dosing regimen of Tabex?? In order to study the human metabolism and pharmacokinetics of cytisine, a sensitive analytical method using mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was developed and validated. This method was used to support the subsequent pharmacokinetic studies. In the first study, seven participants took a single dose (3 mg) of Tabex?? and blood samples were collected at various times up to 24 hours. Cytisine plasma concentrations were measured. In the second study, another set of participants (n=11) took Tabex?? using the standard 25-day dosing regimen recommended by the manufacturer. Blood samples were collected and cigarette craving, withdrawal, mood and smoking satisfaction were measured using self-report methods validated in the literature. Following a single dose administration, cytisine peak plasma concentrations typically occurred at 2 hours. Following this, cytisine concentrations declined in a monophasic manner with a mean half-life of 4.8 hours. No metabolites were detected. In the second study, accumulation of cytisine in plasma was observed on day 1. However, with the recommended dosing regimen, cytisine does not reach steady state concentration in plasma. There was also large between-subject variability in cytisine pharmacokinetics. Cytisine appeared to reduce cigarette cravings, but there did not appear to be a simple relationship between craving and cytisine plasma concentration. In summary, this thesis presents the first reported human cytisine pharmacokinetic data. The information gained from these studies may be used to inform the design of future trials that explore different dosing regimens of cytisine.

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  • Ghosts in the System: The Shaping of Professional Identities within the Organizational Culture(s) of a Private Training Establishment in Auckland, New Zealand

    Breedt, Andre (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The business strategy of ???rolling intake??? (or continuous enrolment) defines the lived realities of teachers and academic managers in private language schools. Embedded deeply within institutional processes, it becomes an unquestioned systemic feature. As an operating principle, it serves as the catalyst for an organizational culture of perpetual crisis management, characterized by short-term thinking. Pedagogically suspect, ???rolling intake???, at best, complicates the professional practices of teachers and academic managers. At worst, it is a major contributor to the job insecurities of language teachers in the private sector. Founded on two research periods collectively spanning one year, this ???at-home??? ethnographic study (Alvesson, 2009) sought to investigate how five teachers and four academic managers negotiated the professional challenges they faced, individually and as a community, while working in a private training establishment (PTE) in Auckland, New Zealand. On a certain level, the research project represents an examination of the relationships between stakeholders??? professional identities, the people they teach, and the working environment. More profoundly, as arrived at through grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006), the study implicates ???rolling intake??? and other systemic ???innovations??? as instrumental in rendering teachers and their pedagogic concerns invisible. In this thesis, I demonstrate how, despite an inherently anti-social system subordinating pedagogic concerns to a commercial ethic, teachers keep on teaching, and learners keep on learning. They do this through individual acts of resistance which defy the cold rationality of a profit-oriented system, while also avoiding the myopic gaze of audit regimes that cannot capture the complexities of educational practices.

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