1,615 results for Thesis, 2015

  • Dancing to a different tune: adaptive evolution fine-tunes protein dynamics

    Donovan, Katherine Aleisha (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The molecular mechanisms that underpin adaptive evolution are not well understood. This is largely because few studies relate evolved alleles (genotype) with their physiological changes (phenotype), which move a population to better fit its environment (adaptation). The work described in this thesis provides a case study exploring the molecular changes underlying adaptive evolution in a key allosteric enzyme. It builds upon a long-term evolution experiment by Richard Lenksi, where twelve replicate populations of Escherichia coli have adapted in parallel to better fit their low-glucose environment. I focused on the allosteric enzyme pyruvate kinase type 1, since this has been shown to adapt to this environment. First, I used X-ray crystallography to determine a higher resolution structure (2.2 Å) than previously available of the wild-type PK1 enzyme for comparison with the evolved enzymes. I resolved the ambiguous space-group problem that affects these crystals, and demonstrated that the kinetic function of the recombinant enzyme is the same as previously reported. In addition, I propose a new model for allosteric activation: a combination of structural and dynamic analyses determined that the allosteric signal is transferred by a series of dynamic changes between the allosteric site, upon fructose-1,6-bisphosphate binding, and the active site for increased substrate binding. The functional analyses demonstrated that all eight evolved PK1 enzymes have a reduced activity compared to the wild-type PK1 at physiological substrate concentrations. Not only did the evolved PK1 enzymes show a parallel decrease in activity, but they all showed changes to substrate binding affinity and seven of the eight showed an altered allosteric activation mechanism. These results suggest that natural selection has selected for enzymes with a reduced activity by altering the functional mechanism of the evolved enzymes. However, in crystal and in solution structure characterisation determined that all of the evolved PK1 enzymes have maintained the same structural fold as the wild-type PK1. Although the fold is the same, substrate binding promiscuity suggested a change in the flexibility of the enzyme, allowing substrates of different sizes and shapes to bind. Computational and experimental dynamics studies determined that natural selection has selected for reduced activity by altering the dynamics in all of the evolved PK1 enzymes, and it has used altered dynamics to change the allostery of the enzymes. Therefore, this study provides the first example of adaptive evolution fine-tuning protein dynamics to alter allostery. This thesis describes the molecular mechanisms underlying one aspect of adaptation of Escherichia coli to the low-glucose environment in Lenski’s long-term evolution experiment. The adaptive mutations in Escherichia coli’s pyruvate kinase type 1 serve to increase the availability of phosphoenolpyruvate for glucose uptake. From a molecular perspective, natural selection has selected for adaptive amino acid substitutions that produce an enzyme with reduced catalytic activity at low phosphoenolpyruvate concentrations, thus decreasing phosphoenolpyruvate consumption. In addition, the adaptive mutations have altered the enzymes’ affinity for the allosteric activator (fructose- 1,6-bisphosphate), fine-tuning them to match the concentration of fructose-1,6- bisphosphate in the cell at the point of glucose re-introduction. Overall, this work describes the intricate relationship between genetic changes and the resulting phenotype and demonstrates the parallel nature of adaptation for this particular case study. Whereby, parallel changes are mapped from organismal fitness, to enzyme function and to enzyme structure. The dynamic changes, however, are not parallel thus making the prediction of specific changes in adaptive evolution difficult.

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  • Evaluation of composite laminates interleaved with nanofibre and microfibre veils

    Collins-Gargan, Rosalie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The research covered in this thesis aimed to investigate the use of nanofibre and microfibre veils in carbon fibre reinforced composites and assessed the potential of the veils to improve damage resistance during impact and fatigue loading. It was hypothesised that the interleavings would increase the amount of energy required for crack propagation because of toughening due to fibre reinforcement mechanisms such as crack deflection, fibre pull out and fibre breakage. The work was undertaken as a combined project between the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Revolution Fibres Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand). During this investigation, six thermoplastic polymers were chosen (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), polystyrene (PS), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC)) that could potentially be used for the electrospinning of polymer nanofibre veils. Nanofibre veils were successfully produced from PMMA, and a polymer blend of polyamide 6,6 (PA6,6) and PMMA, (referred to as 'nanoNyplex'). These veils, along with three other nanofibre veils (nanoPA6,6, poly vinyl butyral (nanoPVB), and poly ether sulfone (nanoPES)), three microfibre veils (polyphenylene sulfide (microPPS), polyetherimide (microPEI), and woven polyamide 6 (microtricot)) procured from other manufacturers, and three veils combining one of the nanofibre veils with each of the microfibre veils (microPPSnanoPA6,6, microPEInanoPA6,6, and microtricotnanoPA6,6) were then used as interleaves in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite panels. Interleaves were placed between every ply of prepreg. After curing the panels, test specimens were created to assess fatigue, vibration damping and compression after impact performance. From the vibration damping study, it was found that the nanoNyplex interleaving improved damping the most. It was thought that energy dissipation was due friction brought about by the movement of the interleaving fibres in the matrix, resulting in friction due to weak adhesion between the nanoNyplex fibres and the epoxy matrix. From the compression after impact (CAI) section of this study, it was found that specimens interleaved with nanoPA6,6, microPPS and microPPSnanoPA6,6 had the highest CAI strengths. From optical inspection, it appeared (in general) that as the CAI strength of the specimen increased, the length of the damage region also increased. However, those identified with the highest CAI strengths had shorter damage regions. From the fatigue section of this study, it was found that the use of most interleavings, (apart from microtricot) increased the number of cycles to failure. Post fatigue test scanning electron microscopy confirmed that crack deflection was present for most interleaved specimens. Some evidence of pull out and breakage of the interleaving fibres was seen on the fracture surfaces of the nanoPA6,6, microPPS, microPEI, microPEInanoPA6,6 and microPPSnanoPA6,6 interleaved specimens. For both CAI and fatigue, it was found that improvement was generally greater with veils that had a large number of fibres per unit area and high adhesion strength with the matrix. However, for CAI it seems that high fracture toughness was also desirable.

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  • Stigma: You do your time, you come out and do more: A phenomenological analysis of the experiences of stigma as lived by ex-prisoners.

    MacLennan, Brigitte Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the phenomena of stigma and its effects upon offenders who have spent time in prison. There has been a long history of stigma attached to those who have engaged in criminal activity. As far back as the late 1800's it was concluded that a criminal could be identified by their physical facial features alone. While it is no longer common to stigmatise offenders based on the distance between a person’s eyes, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to having been in prison which can prevent offenders from living a pro-social life. There is little research in this area, particularly within the New Zealand context. This thesis uses phenomenological research to engage with the participants in order to gain an understanding of their lived experiences with stigma. Interviews were conducted to explore this phenomenon. Allowing offenders who have served time in prison to have their experiences heard has potential implications for policy makers with regards to release conditions and also for services that are run in prisons. Making successful transitions from prison living to living a pro-social life has benefits for not only the offender, but the community in which they are residing as a whole.

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  • Measuring the sustainability of logistics in small island nations in the Pacific : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Joy, Jullian Gilbert (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis examines the factors which small island nations in the Pacific could consider measuring as indicators when monitoring and reporting on the sustainability of supply chain management practices, focused on the logistics elements. A theoretical framework is derived from a review of appropriate literature to guide the research, which employs a case study methodology. The case study provides a cross sectional view of the reporting environment for early 2015, focused on the small island developing states (SIDS) that are members of the Pacific Islands Forum. Governmental regional organisations are the core participants for the development of the research, due to the nature of the political and business environment in these Pacific nations. One private company and one academic institute are also included as possible triangulation validations. The research finds that no effective measuring or reporting is currently being conducted in relation to assessing the holistic sustainability levels of logistics in the region. The lack of past adequate cross sectional or other methodology of data capture and reporting by the nations, has consequently resulted in a lack of adequate longitudinal data sets. Such data is needed to reliably inform and enable effective decision and policy making on logistics activity and investment in the region. The research finds that monitoring and reporting systems would operate effectively at the regional government level, with data disaggregation to national and indicator level. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) method of reporting fits within the political environment, and the research finds that this, linked with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, which are to apply from 2015 to the year 2030, could provide a suitable monitoring and reporting framework. This would enable a consistent longitudinal data capture. The research’s recommended methodology will enhance the monitoring value and improve the opportunity for effective further research for the sustainability levels of logistics and other related societal functions in the small island nations.

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  • ECHELON: Espionage without ethics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Bole, John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of mass surveillance conducted across entire societies by five Western Governments. Snowden apparently hoped to generate a global debate on the appropriateness of these activities and the risk /reward trade-offs that society was being asked to make. Snowden seems to have either overestimated the concern of the average person or misunderstood their current level of understanding and acceptance of surveillance. Either way, the debate was short. In general, society seemed to register a level of disquiet but no specific concern. This paper seeks to determine if the disquiet is a consequence of human morality and to identify any specific moral concern.

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  • Evolutionary Networks for Multi-Behavioural Robot Control : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Jordan, Adam Roger John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Artificial Intelligence can be applied to a wide variety of real world problems, with varying levels of complexity; nonetheless, real world problems often demand for capabilities that are difficult, if not impossible to achieve using a single Artificial Intelligence algorithm. This challenge gave rise to the development of hybrid systems that put together a combination of complementary algorithms. Hybrid approaches come at a cost however, as they introduce additional complications for the developer, such as how the algorithms should interact and when the independent algorithms should be executed. This research introduces a new algorithm called Cascading Genetic Network Programming (CGNP), which contains significant changes to the original Genetic Network Programming. This new algorithm has the facility to include any Artificial Intelligence algorithm into its directed graph network, as either a judgement or processing node. CGNP introduces a novel ability for a scalable multiple layer network, of independent instances of the CGNP algorithm itself. This facilitates problem subdivision, independent optimisation of these underlying layers and the ability to develop varying levels of complexity, from individual motor control to high level dynamic role allocation systems. Mechanisms are incorporated to prevent the child networks from executing beyond their requirement, allowing the parent to maintain control. The ability to optimise any data within each node is added, allowing for general purpose node development and therefore allowing node reuse in a wide variety of applications without modification. The abilities of the Cascaded Genetic Network Programming algorithm are demonstrated and proved through the development of a multi-behavioural robot soccer goal keeper, as a testbed where an individual Artificial Intelligence system may not be sufficient. The overall role is subdivided into three components and individually optimised which allow the robot to pursue a target object or location, rotate towards a target and provide basic functionality for defending a goal. These three components are then used in a higher level network as independent nodes, to solve the overall multi- behavioural goal keeper. Experiments show that the resulting controller defends the goal with a success rate of 91%, after 12 hours training using a population of 400 and 60 generations.

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  • The effect of maternal nutrition during mid- to late- pregnancy on ewe and lamb behaviour and the association with lamb survival : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Grönqvist, Gabriella Veronica (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Lambing percentage in New Zealand has increased by almost 30% in the last 20 years. This increase is associated with a greater percentage of twin- and triplet-born lambs which have lower survival rates than singletons. The behaviour of the ewe and her lambs has been associated with lamb survival, however, relevant data on the effect of ewe mid-pregnancy body condition score (BCS) and nutrition on ewe and lamb behaviour under New Zealand pastoral farming conditions is scarce. This research included seven experiments investigating the effects of feeding ewes, with a BCS of 2.0 to 3.0 at mid-pregnancy, either ad libitum or only sufficient to meet pregnancy maintenance requirements from mid- to very late-pregnancy, on ewe and lamb behaviour at 3 to 24 hours after birth. The association between behaviour and lamb survival was also investigated. Observations on ewe and lamb behavioural were conducted at tagging (3 to 18 hours after birth) and in a triangle pen test at approximately 12 or 24 hours after birth. The effects of ewe mid-pregnancy BCS and feeding on behaviour were somewhat inconsistent across experiments, possibly due to variations in the timing and length of feeding treatments. Feeding ewes ad libitum in comparison to pregnancy maintenance requirements did not consistently improve the maternal behaviour score (MBS) of the ewe. This is not surprising as neither of the feeding treatment groups were nutritionally restricting. There was some evidence to suggest that lambs born to ewes offered the pregnancy maintenance diet exhibited a greater need, possibly due to a weaker ewe-lamb bond than lambs born to ewes on the ad lib treatment. This need was characterised in twins, in chapter four, by greater low-pitched bleating rates and decreased time to contact, suck and follow the dam. Similar, but inconsistent results were reported in other chapters. Further, when investigating the relationship between behaviour and survival, it was found that twin-born lambs with the greater need (followed their dam more quickly) were more likely to die. The opposite relationship was found in triplet-born lambs, which may be a reflection of greater competition for milk within triplet-litters compared to twin-litters. Thus, in both twin- and triplet-born lambs following behaviour is an indicator of mortality. The practical use of this behaviour as a tool to predict lamb survival is limited.

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  • Investigation of the Confinement Odour Problem in Exported Lamb using NMR-based Metabolomics : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Chemistry at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand.

    Olivecrona, Natalia (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Recent changes to the supply chain practices of meat exporters has increased the potential for consumers to be exposed to the phenomenon of confinement odour, the smell produced by vacuum or modified atmosphere packaged meat which has been chilled and stored for extended periods. This harmless odour, which does not indicate meat spoilage, can lead to the rejection of the product by consumers. This is a problem for NZ lamb meat producers as they form the largest group of exporters of lamb meat in the world, and their largest market is the UK and other EU countries. The processes behind confinement odour development are poorly understood. In this thesis, NMR spectra were acquired of meat, and drip extracts of meat from two different processing plants stored under different temperatures for 11-13 weeks to simulate conditions of exported meat during overseas shipment, transport to warehouse and retail display. The spectra were analysed by multivariate data analysis to find metabolic differences between meat which produces confinement odour and meat which produces either spoilage odour or no odour. Optimisation of extraction of metabolites from meat and drip samples was also carried out. The best sample preparation method for meat and drip included homogenisation by bead beating (meat samples only), protein precipitation using an acetonitrile, methanol and acetone solvent mixture, and removal of solvent by vacuum centrifugation. Multivariate data analysis demonstrated the ability to discriminate drip samples with confinement odour from spoiled samples and the former showed increased lactate concentration with low levels of leucine indicating the presence of Lactic Acid bacteria. The spoiled samples had increased butyrate levels which is indicative of the presence of Clostridium spp. Both bacterial populations were in a late stage of growth. This is consistent with confinement odour as an early indicator of spoilage. This result indicates the potential for drip to be utilised more widely for the analysis of meat metabolites. Additionally, samples could be discriminated by processing plant of origin using multivariate data analysis. Increased levels of pyruvate and decreased levels of glucose in samples from Plant 2 indicated their bacterial populations had progressed to a later stage of growth than the bacterial populations in samples from Plant 1.

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  • Risk Management and Market Participation among Traditional Cattle Farmers in Monze District of Southern Province, Zambia : A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in AgriCommerce at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Chilala, Belindah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Traditional cattle farmers are the major contributors to the beef industry in Zambia as they account for 85% of the country’s cattle population. Traditional farmers however, are reluctant to sell their cattle and are more likely to sell when cushioning against crop production risk. Although some scholars say farmers sell their cattle more when faced with risk, there are other scholars who say the opposite that farmers are less willing to sell their cattle when faced with risk as they are trying to preserve their cattle asset. This study was therefore done to identify sources of risk, risk management strategies, risk attitudes, cattle market participation and cattle selling channels of traditional cattle farmers in Monze district of Zambia. Mixed methods research was done by first using qualitative research through in-depth interviews to inform the quantitative research done using a questionnaire survey. Likert scale type of questions were used to capture the farmers’ perceptions of risk and risk management strategies. In order to better understand risk perceptions of the farmers, upside and downside risk of the farmers were presented using risk choice matrix. The risk importance index was used to present the perceptions of risk and risk management strategies of the respondents. Regression tree analysis was used to investigate relationships between market participation and the respondents’ perceptions of risk and risk management strategies of the farmers and their risk attitudes. Pearson’s chi-square was also used to investigate these relationships. The results showed that the majority of surveyed farmers from Monze were risk averse. It was also found that these farmers mainly perceived production and market risk to be the most important sources of risk. These farmers did not perceive risk to be an opportunity but rather saw it more as a threat. It was also found that the farmers exhibited four types of market behaviour based on how they participated in cattle markets. These were traders, sellers, buyer and holders. A farmer’s market behaviour was affected by different perceptions of risk and other farmer characteristics such as the main income generating activity of the farmer and the number of cattle owned by the farmer. It was therefore seen that there was some influence of risk perceptions on market behaviour of farmers. These perceptions were affected by the risk attitude of farmers which were affected by the location of the farmers. It is therefore important to understand risk attitudes and perceptions of individual farmers from different farming areas.

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  • A study of Innovative Entrepreneurship in Marlborough, New Zealand : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Lynn, Amanda (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    This study responds to the call, made by Anthropologist Alex Stewart, for anthropologists to re-engage with the entrepreneur. The broad aim of this study is to describe and analyse the lived experiences of innovative entrepreneurs in Marlborough, New Zealand. The study is informed by a constructivist-interpretivist paradigm. The research design is based on contemporary interpretative phenomenological analysis conducted within long term participant-observation fieldwork. The study is transdisciplinary in that it is informed by the disciplines of anthropology, economics, psychology and business. Innovative entrepreneurs are an important focus of study due to their role in economic and social change. Thus far anthropological studies have not focused on the innovative entrepreneur in New Zealand. This study makes an original and significant contribution to entrepreneurship studies. I present rich, empirical data on innovative entrepreneurs viewed through the anthropological lens. As such, my study embraces the “humanness” of the participating innovative entrepreneurs. I describe five shared themes that coalesce in a process that guides innovative entrepreneurship. These shared themes are: perfectionistic striving (an adaptive and targeted striving for improvement), pragmatism (openness to new ideas, testing and applying them), development (purposive change within and outside of the self), meaningful reward (validation of value) and being valuable (solving problems to improve outcomes). This process begins with the desire, formed early in life, to be valuable and leads to a life-long process of problem identification and solution construction. This results in self-development as well as developmental outcomes such as businesses and products. I recommend a life span human development approach to future research that includes the collection of deep empirical data and offer a new definition of the innovative entrepreneur. While the innovative entrepreneurs in my study desire to be valuable, the social world in which they are embedded is not always compatible with them. Through analysis of the rich points in the social data I present original social models describing social sets in Marlborough and obstructive processes that usurp institutional power by reinforcing these sets. As entrepreneurs become more visible and influential as leaders they can be drawn into obstructive processes causing some innovative entrepreneurs to avoid—as much as possible—both the local support institutions and the social sets. This has implications which I discuss and I recommend further research to expand upon my findings.

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  • Reasoning ability and performance: A study of New Zealand corrections officers : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

    Jackson, Bryony (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The performance of frontline staff is one of the most central elements of an effective correctional system. This thesis reports findings related to the organisational psychology of the correctional environment, with special attention to person characteristics that may predict job performance of corrections officers. The empirical study investigated components of reasoning ability (abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning) on a sample of officers (N = 88) working in seven prison facilities throughout New Zealand. Overseas research repeatedly identified cognitive abilities as a predictor of job performance across a range of occupational settings, including jobs similar to corrections officers. The current study sought to examine this relationship on a New Zealand officer sample, to provide evidence for criterion-related validity of psychometric assessment of reasoning ability, with implications for use in personnel selection procedures. An analysis of internal relationships among ability components was also undertaken. Consistent with theoretical models and extant empirical findings, abstract, verbal, and numerical reasoning were found to be positively related to one another. However, the given components of reasoning ability were unrelated to job performance in the local occupational setting. Potential explanations for the findings are offered in terms of limitations in the measurement tools and processes (e.g. scope of the performance appraisal tool). It is likely that given the unique job tasks and challenges of the corrections environment, officer performance requires important characteristics outside of reasoning ability, when officers perform affect-laden tasks (e.g. understanding their own and others’ emotions and emotion- driven behaviours). Further investigation of potential predictors such as emotional intelligence is warranted, and is expected to assist prediction of performance in a corrections setting.

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  • 'As a matter of fact I've just about had enough'; : battle weariness and the 2nd New Zealand division during the Italian campaign, 1943-45 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Appleton, Ian Clive (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    By the time that the 2nd New Zealand Division reached Italy in late 1943, many of the soldiers within it had been overseas since early 1941. Most had fought across North Africa during 1942/43 – some had even seen combat earlier, in Greece and Crete in 1941. The strain of combat was beginning to show, a fact recognised by the division’s commanding officer, Lieutenant-General Bernard Freyberg. Freyberg used the term ‘battle weary’ to describe both the division and the men within it on a number of occasions throughout 1944, suggesting at one stage the New Zealanders be withdrawn from operations completely. This study examines key factors that drove battle weariness within the division: issues around manpower, the operational difficulties faced by the division in Italy, the skill and tenacity of their German opponent, and the realities of modern combat. Critical to understanding the links between these factors and the weariness that manifested itself within the division are the words of the participating soldiers themselves. Three key outcomes of battle weariness are examined in some detail. Exposure to long periods of combat meant that a large number of the New Zealanders were at risk of becoming psychological casualties. Indeed, casualties diagnosed and recorded as exhaustion and neurosis, consistently reached over 20% of those wounded during the period in Italy. Declining morale became an issue for the leadership of 2nd New Zealand Division. Internal censorship of outgoing letters within the division was summarised at the time and these summaries provide an insight into a widespread gloomy outlook that featured throughout 1944. Not only did the letter writers reflect on the poor conditions they faced in Italy, but news from home appears as a significant driver of frontline morale. Lack of discipline – both in and out of the line – caused real concern to senior officers, and at times reached levels that appear to have become institutionalised. Three topics are explored: looting, the use of alcohol, and cases of combat refusal. This work then examines how the underlying issues driving weariness were addressed through the restructuring of the division, the replacement of long serving men, the use of new technologies, and a period of relief out of the line with an extensive training programme. Finally, the division’s performance during the final offensive in Italy in April 1945, is examined, to gauge the success of the changes made.

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  • Ignorance is Bliss: The Construction of Homelessness in Online News Media in Aotearoa/New Zealand : A thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science (Thesis Only) in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Mandeno, Celia A (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    As an entity central to our society the news media provides us with narratives that we access as resources in order to construct our understanding of individual and global people, groups, organisations, and phenomenon (Silverstone, 2007). This thesis explores the news media’s construction of homelessness in Aotearoa/New Zealand based on articles sourced from online news media provider stuff.co.nz. The dominant narrative presented through the analysed articles is one that promotes a construction of homelessness that identifies this phenomenon as an issue resulting from individual deficits and personal failings. The narrative of individual deficit is supported through the use of ignorant framings of homelessness that are filled with hegemonic silences. These silences allow for a notable absence of narrative regarding the structural causes of homelessness as a social problem. Through predominantly constructing homelessness as a phenomenon linked to individual deficit the narrative allows for a construction of homelessness that supports the neoliberal ideals of New Zealand’s current right wing government and its use of a penal based welfare system.

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  • Journey together through the three years: An evaluation of the personal tutor system, a student support model embedded in a Bachelor of Nursing programme in New Zealand : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Doctorate in Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Hoare, Kathryn Maree (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Student support is an important part of tertiary education with different models, systems and approaches used internationally and nationally. The personal tutor system is one such approach to student support embedded within a new Bachelor of Nursing curriculum in a New Zealand tertiary institution. Through the personal tutor system students were assigned a lecturer, an academic member of staff, at the commencement of their study, for the duration of their programme. The purpose of the personal tutor system was to offer students support with their academic development and personal guidance that involved: scheduled and ad hoc meetings; monitoring of progress; personal assistance; and directing some students to seek additional support. Using a mixed methods design, the personal tutor system was evaluated at the time the first student cohort completed the new programme. The study focused on factors that influenced the personal tutor system experience. Third year students and lecturers were invited to participate in two‐phase data collection that involved the completion of a questionnaire (third year students: n=86 and lecturers: n=19) followed by semi‐structured interviews (third year students: n=38 and lecturers: n=10). Most participants confirmed that their personal tutor system experience was positive. Interpersonal interaction between students and lecturers was a key factor, as relationships were central to the personal tutor system. Flexibility was important as the personal tutor system was not a one‐size‐fits‐all approach to student support. At times, competing responsibilities gave rise to undue tension particularly with lecturers’ availability and accessibility for support. Unfamiliarity with the personal tutor system guidelines led to different interpretations for use and consequently confusion with support expectations. However, almost all participants acknowledged the value and potential for the personal tutor system in the BN programme. Recommendations for changes to the personal tutor system included: the creation a proportional co‐ordination role for ongoing management; a review of the guidelines that linked to support resources; time integrated into the BN programme for flexible arrangements with meetings and contact; and a time allocation for lecturers’ workload with resourcing for associated responsibilities.

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  • Reporting Error in Aircraft Maintenance: are engineers reporting safety concerns? : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Aviation At Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Twyman, Kirsty (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Aviation accidents seldom occur as the consequence of an isolated incident, but as the result of a series of contributing factors. The industry has focussed on detecting and predicting these casual factors to support accident prevention. However, the complexity of aircraft maintenance errors makes them somewhat harder to capture. One method adopted to support error identification is error-reporting systems. The primary aim of study was to identify if reporting systems were being utilised by maintenance personnel. The secondary aim was to distinguish the factors that contribute to maintenance personnel rejecting reporting systems as a supportive tool. This was achieved through an online questionnaire. Due to a lack of research on error reporting and usability of reporting systems by aircraft maintenance personnel it proved difficult to use an existing survey, so survey questions were developed from an extensive literature review and a focus group made up of front-line personnel. Survey questions focussed on reporting system design, company attitude, error recognition and finally maintenance personnel personality patterns. Results showed several issues affected reporting system usage including lack of company support, inadequate training, and lack of feedback. Perhaps the most significant discovery were engineers believing that they would report error, but were inadequately able to recognise error. Although regulatory authorities and organisations themselves are seeing the benefits of a positive reporting culture the current study showed there are still significant issues with current reporting systems, without these inhibiting factors being addressed the industry cannot solely rely on self-reporting to manage error.

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  • Analysis of spectral response patterns of Kiwifruit orchards using satellite imagery to predict orchard characteristics of commercial value before harvest : : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of PhD Prod Tech in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Mills, Linda Yvonne (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Several characteristics of kiwifruit determine its value to the kiwifruit marketing company, Zespri Ltd, and to the grower. The foremost of these is the dry matter content. Much effort is expended in predicting the final dry matter content of the fruit as early in the season as possible so that the optimal dry matter content can be achieved. Dry matter content is currently measured through a destructive 90-fruit protocol that may be repeated several times in a season on each maturity block. Remote sensing data available from modern satellites can provide four-colour (red, green, blue and near-infrared) data with resolution down to 1-2m, less than the size of one kiwifruit vine. Many indices can be created from these and correlated to the characteristics of plants with indifferent results. This thesis presents the development of an index wherein the four colours are used to create a three-dimensional unit colour vector that is largely independent of light level. This transform was used to allow the direct visualisation of data from a number of satellite images of the Te Puke kiwifruit growing area in New Zealand over five years, for which dry matter content values were available from the 90-fruit protocol. An attenuation model was chosen to correct the top-of-atmosphere light intensities recorded by the satellite cameras to those at ground level. The method of Hall et al., (1991) was found to reduce the variation of fiduciary pixels by the largest amount and was used. The visualisation revealed that there was an axis along which dry matter was ordered by magnitude. A regression line of best fit was applied to this data producing an R2 value of 0.51 with a standard mean-square error of 0.76. This is significantly lower than the average mean-square error of 1.05 for the 90-fruit protocol. Comparison of the predictive power of other indices, based on one image, showed a range of R2 values of 0.008 to 0.49. The method developed in this thesis produced an R2 of 0.70 for the same data.

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  • Exploring informal caregivers' health needs from a capability perspective : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

    Horrell, Barbara Mary (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Despite more than forty years of informal caregiving research, the health needs of informal caregivers continue to generate considerable scrutiny. Most commonly, caregiving is portrayed as burdensome and a health risk, although positive and ambivalent experiences have been reported. This study uses the Capability Approach (CA; e.g. Nussbaum, 2000; Sen, 1980) as a theoretical framework to add another perspective to the existing literature regarding informal care provision for older people. Participatory principles informed the research, insofar as the participants were accorded flexibility, control, and helped to co-analyse some of the data. Undertaken in New Zealand, the research comprised two studies. In Study One, 60 caregivers anonymously participated in an online research forum, in an evolving joint discussion of their health needs. Template analysis (King, 2012) of the forum postings, based on Nussbaum’s (2007) capabilities list, highlighted the relational nature of caregiving and the importance of emotions to the caregiving role. Emotional attachment influenced the caregivers’ freedom to choose how they lived their lives, and emotions in general were implicated in the complexities and tensions associated with the caregiving process. An important finding was the self-abnegation of the caregivers who neglected self-care in order to provide care for another. These results led to a second, prospective study that explored in more depth the role of emotions in the everyday lives of caregivers. Six informal caregivers participated in Study Two which involved up to six successive interviews with each participant. Four of the participants kept a solicited diary, which informed the subsequent interviews. Narratives from the second study provided more nuanced data that affirmed the first study’s findings, and contributed to the overall finding that an ethic of care underpins the provision of informal care for older people. The participants valued having the capability to care, evidenced by their emotional attachment, attentiveness and commitment to providing competent care. The participants approach to self-care and their own wellbeing was inseparable from the wellbeing of the person being cared-for. These findings have important implications for social policy aimed at improving the experience of providing informal care for older people.

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  • "Where did I park my car?" : a mixed methods investigation on mild cognitive impairment diagnosis in New Zealand : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 11 May 2017

    McKinlay, Alison R (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is defined as an objective impairment in cognitive function which spares everyday functional ability. The syndrome is shrouded in controversy regarding definition, cut-off criteria, and clinical utility. Consequently, it is an uncertain label for the client being diagnosed by their healthcare practitioner. To date, minimal research in New Zealand has focused on MCI within specialist assessment services. Reasons for this paucity of literature will be discussed throughout this thesis. The current research aimed to identify how practitioners deliver and perceive cognitive impairment diagnosis, and examine how clients respond to receiving this diagnosis. Client experiences were framed within the common sense model (CSM). This theory originates from health psychology, where coping behaviour is said to be influenced by the cognitive representations that a person has about their condition. Although the framework is previously discussed in relation to chronic illness, international researchers have started to examine the utility of the model in explaining MCI diagnosis response. Given this context, the CSM framework guided the client-focused components of this thesis. In Study One, 57 practitioners who diagnose cognitive impairment completed a questionnaire on labels applied to MCI and beliefs about the value of diagnosis delivery. Responses were analysed using content analysis to gain an impression of professional practice. Cognitive disorder - not otherwise specified (CD-NOS), early dementia, and normal ageing were reported to additionally label the symptoms of MCI in clinical practice. In Study Two, client responses were examined in a small clinical sample (N = 9) diagnosed with MCI and CD-NOS. Participants were interviewed twice within six months of initial diagnosis. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to gain insight into how people cope and make sense of their diagnosis over time. Descriptive analyses were also undertaken with a subset of Study Two data to examine changes and differences in coping strategies over time. Findings suggest that participants may not see their diagnosis as an illness or significant health threat in the first six months following diagnosis. This prompts a question on the suitability of an illness model with reference to diagnosis response. Findings from this research add to the literature by highlighting practice associated with an evolving form of clinical diagnosis in NZ.

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  • The association between equine Papillomavirus type 2 and equine Squamous cell carcinomas : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Science at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Knight, Cameron Greig (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Appendix A removed due to copyright restriction.

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  • R² and stock price informativeness : new empirical evidence : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Finance at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Hao, Wei (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Abstract taken from Introduction (page 7)

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