1,116 results for Doctoral, 2012

  • Understanding and Improving Stroke Recovery for Māori and Their Whānau

    Harwood, Matire Louise Ngarongoa (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis sought to understand ethnic disparities in stroke within Aotearoa, New Zealand, from the perspectives of Māori. Stroke burden is greatest for Māori, the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, who have higher rates and worse outcomes compared with non-Māori. Importantly for Māori with stroke, the disparity in outcomes (including dependence and quality of life) compared with New Zealand Europeans increases significantly in the 12 months after being discharged from hospital into the community. Reasons for this are not clear. The study’s aims were twofold—to provide a deeper understanding of the stroke experience for Māori with stroke and their Whānau; and to design interventions that could potentially improve stroke outcomes. A qualitative approach to the research was taken in order to gain an understanding of people’s experience, attitudes and beliefs. Constructivist grounded theory was utilized to ensure a wider focus on societal influences. The project also involved Māori as researcher and researched and sought to make a positive difference for Māori with stroke and their Whānau. These concepts fit within the Kaupapa Māori research framework which also guided the research. Five themes explaining the stroke experience were constructed from data collected from in-depth interviews with 18 Māori with stroke and nine people who identified themselves as Whānau caring for Māori with stroke. Personal context, optimal stroke care, Whānau wellbeing, a stand against discrimination and taking charge occur in isolation, or combine, to influence stroke recovery or Māori with stroke and their Whānau. The five themes were presented to three key stakeholder focus groups of Māori with stroke, Whānau of Māori with stroke, and stroke funders and providers. Two practical interventions were proposed by the groups: a DVD of role models and a person- and Whānau-centred assessment designed to engage the patient and their family in the process of recovery. This research suggests that inequity of indigenous health and rehabilitation outcomes in stroke requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted response. A stroke strategy that achieves the aspirations of Māori to take charge is required.

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  • Creating and sustaining an “effective” rural school: The critical triad – leadership, curriculum, and community

    Wright, Anne (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis examines the professional practices of rural school principals in the province of Otago, New Zealand, to describe what it is about their practices that creates and maintains effective rural schools. The underlying question for this research was, The leadership and management of effective, small, rural schools appears to pose unique problems and issues from that in larger rural and urban schools. What makes that difference? A mixed methods approach was taken, using a survey designed for the study and administered to 63 principals of rural schools in Otago. Observations of six purposively chosen principals representing a large rural school (with a role of 150 or above) and a small rural school (with a role of 60 or below) from each of the three areas of Otago: Coastal (East), South Otago, and Central Otago; and, interviews with the six principals who were observed. The survey was factor analysed and showed strong psychometric properties. It yielded background and demographic information regarding the sample, their perceptions regarding their ideals for their schools as compared to the actual situations in their schools, and their views on developing a local curriculum and the factors that made an effective rural school. The survey informed the following observation schedules and questions for the interviews, which were conducted with 6 principals chosen to represent a cross section of types of rural schools. Main findings from the study were that context mattered – small rural school leadership was shown to be different from that in large rural schools, and that for small rural schools, a local curriculum using the local community and environment for content was essential. The results are discussed in terms of the implications they have for the profession and the future training of rural educationalists, and how the results both relate to the literature, and extend the current knowledge base about rural schools.

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  • The impact of post-exercise protein-leucine ingestion on subsequent performance and the systematic, metabolic and skeletal muscle molecular responses associated with recovery and regeneration : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Health), Massey University

    Nelson, Andre Richard (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    The objective was to determine the effect of post-exercise protein-leucine coingestion with carbohydrate and fat on subsequent endurance performance and investigate whole-body and skeletal-muscle responses hypothesised to guide adaptive-regeneration. Methods. Study-JA Twelve trained-men ingested protein/leucine/carbohydrate/fat (20/7.5/89/22 g· h- 1 ) or carbohydrate/fat (control, 119/22 g· h- 1 ) supplements after intense cycling over six days. Glucose and leucine turnover, metabolomics, nitrogen balance and performance were examined. Study-] B Immune-function responses to supplementation were investigated via neutrophil 0 2- production, differential immune-cell count, hormones and cytokines. Study-2A Twelve trained-men ingested low-dose protein/leucine/carbohydrate/fat (23 .3/51180/30 g), high-dose (70115/180/30 g) or carbohydrate/fat control (274/30 g) beverages following 100- min of intense cycling. Vastus lateralis biopsies were taken during recovery (30-min/4-h) to determine the effect of dose on myofibrillar protein synthesis (FSR), and mTOR-pathway activity infened by western blot. Study-2B The transcriptome was intenogated to determine acute-phase biology differentially affected by protein-leucine dose. Results. Protein-leucine increased day-1 recovery leucine oxidation and synthesis, plasma and urinary branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs), products of their metabolism, and neutrophil-priming plasma metabolites versus control. Protein-leucine lowered serum creatine kinase 21-25% (±90% confidence limits 14%) and day 2-5 nitrogen balance was positive for both conditions, yet the impact on sprint power was trivial. Protein-leucine reduced day-1 neutrophil 02- production (15-17 ±20 mmol·02-·celr1 ) but on day-6 increased post-exercise production (33 ±20 mmol·02-·celr1 ) having lowered pre-exercise cortisol (21% ±15%). The increase in FSR with high-dose (0.103%· h-1 ± 0.027%· h-1 ) versus low-dose (0.092%· h-1 ± 0.017%· h-1 ) was likely equivalent. High-dose increased serum insulin (1.44-fold x/+90% confidence limits 1.18), 30- min phosphorylation ofmTOR (2.21-fold x/+1.59) and p70S6K (3.51-fold x/+1.93), and ii 240-min phosphorylation of rpS6 ( 4.85-fold x/-d .37) and 4E-BP1-a (1.99-fold x/-d .63) versus low-dose. Bioinformatics revealed a biphasic dose-responsive inflammatory transcriptome centred on interleukin (IL)-1~ at 30-min (high-dose) and IL6 at 240-min (highdose, low-dose) consistent with regulation of early-phase myeloid-cell associated muscle regeneration. Conclusions. Protein-leucine effects on performance during intense training may be inconsequential when in positive nitrogen balance, despite saturating BCAA metabolism, protein synthesis, and attenuating cell-membrane damage. 24 g of protein and 5 g leucine near saturated post-exercise myofibrillar FSR and simulated an early inflammatory promyogenic transcriptome common to skeletal muscle regeneration that was accentuated with 3-fold higher protein-leucine dose.

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  • The impact of anxiety, depression, and cognitive factors associated with anxiety, on everyday risk taking behaviour : a thesis presented in partial fulfilments [sic] for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

    Hunt, Brett David (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Research into risk taking behaviour (RTB) reveals that depression and anxiety (in particular) are associated with risk aversive behaviour, for many different types of risks, including gambling, simulated risk taking tasks, and everyday risks. There has, however, been little research into the relationship between cognitive factors associated with anxiety, and RTB. This is in spite of research in this area finding that perceived risk had a stronger relationship with a cognitive factor (worry) than with anxiety. The present research is investigating the everyday RTB associated with depression, anxiety, and cognitive factors associated with anxiety. Everyday risks are the type of risks being investigated as these are decisions people make on a daily basis that involve risk that cannot easily be avoided, and being overly avoidant of these risks can lead to negative consequences. This research is split into two studies, with the first study split into two sections. The first part of study one is the continued development of a measure of everyday RTB across multiple domains. All existing measures of everyday RTB either do not measure RTB in different domains, or have psychometric problems. Therefore, the development of a measure suitable for use in this research project is required. The second part of the first study is investigating the relationships of anxiety and depression level with everyday RTB, across multiple domains. Study one used three samples, New Zealand community and tertiary student samples, and an international internet sample. The second study is investigating the relationship between cognitions associated with anxiety (e.g. worry and metaworry) and everyday RTB. This study used two samples, a New Zealand tertiary student sample, and an international internet sample. Results from the development of the everyday risk taking measure indicate that the measure that underwent further development, the Everyday Risk Inventory – Expanded (ERI-E) is a reliable measure of everyday RTB, for general community samples in particular. Cronbach’s alpha values for the community sample were all above 0.7, but in some domains for the student sample were just below 0.6. Confirmatory factor analysis showed the fit for both the multiple domain and single domain models were moderate to good. Results from the second part of study 1 showed that the relationships of anxiety and depression, with everyday RTB were weak, with few significant results from either correlational or multiple regression analysis. In particular, depression has a minimal impact on RTB. Sociodemographic factors, particularly age, gender and income had more significant impacts on everyday RTB, with people on lower income, and older people, being risk averse. Gender differences varied between domains, with females significantly more risk averse for risks involving personal danger and risks to others. The concept that differences in people’s sense of power within their society affects RTB was supported, as in general socio-demographic differences associated with increased power (e.g. higher income and being male) led to people being less risk averse. Results from study two showed that everyday RTB has a stronger association with cognitive factors associated with anxiety than to anxiety level. In particular it has high correlations with worry and intolerance of uncertainty (IU). Structural equation modelling found that a model with cognitive factors leading to anxiety and differences in everyday RTB was an almost perfect fit for the model, and anxiety had no direct effect on RTB. It was also found that the relationship between everyday RTB and cognitive factors was stronger for high anxiety levels than low anxiety levels. Further research is required to determine the reason why cognitive factors associated with anxiety affect everyday RTB, rather than anxiety level. The present research contributes to knowledge in this area by showing that cognitive factors impact on RTB, rather than anxiety level. It also found that socio-demographic characteristics, particularly age, were more important in explaining differences in RTB than was found in previous research.

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  • Non-parametric estimation of geographical relative risk functions : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Fernando, W. T. P. Sarojinie (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    The geographical relative risk function is a useful tool for investigating the spatial distribution of disease based on case and control data. The most common way of estimating this function is using the ratio of spatial kernel density estimates constructed from the locations of cases and controls respectively. This technique is known as the density ratio method. The performance of kernel density estimators depends on the choice of kernel and the smoothing parameter (bandwidth). The choice of kernel is not critical to the statistical performance of the method but the bandwidth is crucial. Di erent bandwidth selectors such as least squares cross validation (LSCV) and likelihood cross validation (LCV) are chosen to control the degree of smoothing during the computation of the density ratio estimator. An alternative way of estimating this relative risk function is local linear regression approach. This deserves consideration since the density ratio estimator can be less natural when the relative risk has a global trend, as one might expect to see when there is a line source of risk such as a polluted river or a road. The use of local linear regression for estimation of log relative risk functions per se has not been examined in any detail in the literature, so our work on this methodology is a novel contribution. A detailed account of local linear approach in the estimation of log relative risk function is provided, consisting of an analysis of asymptotic properties and a method for computing tolerance contours to emphasize the regions of signi cantly high risk. Data driven bandwidth selectors for the local linear method including a novel plug-in methodology is examined.A simulation study to compare the performance of density ratio and local linear estimators using a range of data-driven bandwidth selectors is presented. The analysis of two speci c data sets is examined. The estimation of the spatial relative risk function is extended to spatio-temporal estimation through the use of suitable temporal kernel functions, since time-scale is an important consideration when estimating disease risk. The extended version of the kernel density estimation is applied here to compute the unknown densities of the spatio-temporal relative risk function. Next we investigate the time derivatives of the space-time relative risk function to see how the disease change with time. This discussion provides novel contributions with the introduction to time derivatives of the relative risk function as well as asymptotic methods for the computation of tolerance contours to highlight subregions of signi cantly elevated risk. LSCV and subjective bandwidths are used to compute these estimators since it performs well in density ratio method. The analysis on a real application to foot and mouth disease (FMD) of 1967 outbreak is employed to illustrate these estimators. The relative risk function is investigated when the data include a spatially varying covariate. The discussion produces the introduction to generalized relative risk function in two ways and also asymptotic properties of estimators for both cases as novel works. Generalized kernel density estimation is used to replace the unknown densities in the relative risk function. Asymptotic theories are used to compute tolerance contours to identify the areas which show high risk. LSCV bandwidth selector is described in this estimation process providing the implicit formulae. We illustrate this methodology on data from the 2001 outbreak of FMD in the UK, examining the e ect of farm size as a covariate.

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  • Hei whenua papatipu : kaitiakitanga and the politics of enhancing the mauri of wetlands : a thesis presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Maori Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Forster, M. E. (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    The intent of this doctoral study is to develop a better understanding of the dynamics and complexities of the contemporary practice of kaitiakitanga. There are two specific foci: Māori relationships with whenua, and; Māori-state resource management relations. Together these foci provide a platform to identify implications for the future development and practice of kaitiakitanga. Two interrelated research questions were developed to explore the contemporary practice of kaitiakitanga: what factors shape kaitiakitanga of wetland ecosystems, and; what are the affects of legislating for culture on the practice of kaitiakitanga? A case study of kaitiakitanga of Whakaki Lake, qualitative interviews with active kaitiaki and an evaluation of state environmental policies and laws were used to address these questions and theorise the dynamics and complexities of contemporary kaitiakitanga. This study begins by arguing that customary relationships between hapū and whenua and the ability of hapū to practice kaitiakitanga have been significantly influenced by the introduction of European notions of land tenure and land use. Although the ancestral landscape has changed considerably since annexation of Aotearoa New Zealand, landscapes generally and waterways specifically remain highly valued and continue to contribute significantly to the spiritual well-being and cultural identity of hapū. Transformation of the ancestral landscape, loss of native biodiversity and environmental degradation, however, continue to threaten customary relationships with whenua and the integrity of indigenous ecosystems. As a consequence, protecting the mauri of natural ecosystems has become a key priority for contemporary kaitiakitanga. Protecting the mauri of natural ecosystems is an extension of social responsibilities that emerge from a customary understanding of the environment based on mauri and whakapapa. Therefore it is argued in this study that mauri tū: restoring the balance of fragmented and degraded ancestral landscapes is an imperative that has emerged from a whakapapa-based understanding of the environment and associated relationships with whenua. In situ real life experiences of active kaitiaki involved in this study confirmed the importance of mauri tū as a tribal imperative and provide exemplars of acts of kaitiaki that enhanced or restored wetlands, lakes, waterways and associated natural resources. This study demonstrates that hapū possess a strong sustainability culture or toitūtanga, to ensure that the ancestral landscape continues to nurture the hapū and remains as a cultural and spiritual base for future generations. Tikanga tiaki or guardianship customs that facilitated environmental protection were used by the participants in this study to realise hapū obligations and responsibilities to wetland ecosystems. This demonstrated that contemporary kaitiakitanga is fluid, adaptive and has evolved into highly organised and strategic activities. New derivations of kaitiakitanga such as ecological enhancement and restoration were able to contribute to improved environmental outcomes for fragmented and highly modified wetland and waterway ecosystems. Exercising kaitiakitanga has become synonymous with participation in the state resource management system. Participation however, has only led to a limited range of opportunities for addressing Māori environmental interests. Therefore, this study argues that engagement with the state currently only provides for a limited expression of tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga. The incorporation of the customary concept of kaitiakitanga into statute has resulted in the co-option of kaitiakitanga as state definitions and provisions for Māori relationships with whenua are inadequate for fully realising Māori environmental interests. Furthermore, the state controls the types of activities that can emerge, and by extension regulates Māori participation in resource management which includes the customary practice of kaitiakitanga. Therefore, by participating in the state resource management system, Māori energies are diverted away from hapū environmental priorities, obligations and responsibilities. Critical issues of ownership and addressing environmental degradation are subsumed by the state agenda. The hapū-based restoration experiences explored in this doctorate indicate that it is possible to contest the limitations that exist within current local authority practice and transform the resource management system to provide for a fuller expression of kaitiakitanga. Engagement with the state, constant political pressure and critical reflection of the integrity of the practice of kaitiakitanga are vital if Māori are to transform existing practice. Change is essential if Māori environmental interests are to receive greater attention and to ensure that local authorities are more responsive to hapū understandings of what it means to be an active kaitiaki. Māori-state contests, therefore, are critical to transform state systems, processes and practices towards greater recognition and provisions for core Māori environmental interests and kaitiakitanga.

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  • Development of an autonomous kiwifruit harvester : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Automation at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand.

    Scarfe, Alistair John (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    The already intensive labour requirements within the New Zealand kiwifruit industry are increasing. Furthermore, ZESPRI Group Limited is targeting a threefold increase in industry return by 2025 (from approximately $NZ1Billion to $NZ3Billion). Development of autonomous mechanised solutions to assist manual labour is emerging as a strategic necessity. The objective of this research was to develop a commercially viable autonomous kiwifruit harvester (AKH). The AKH must be capable of operating within variable and complex on-orchard environments to minimise manual labour requirements. Successful completion required development and integration of autonomous: 1. Fruit identification and localisation 2. Custom robotic arms with soft fruit extraction harvesting hands 3. Custom robotic arm for soft fruit handling 4. Transportation platform with navigational sensing and strategies 5. Storage bin collection and drop-off The AKH has four robotic harvesting arms with hands specifically designed to mimic the human fruit harvesting action. Remotely mounted stereoscopic vision identifies and localises fruit. The fruit locations are mapped into the harvesting arms’ coordinate space allowing fruit extraction. The presented system configuration resolves the slow harvest rates experienced by other systems. Practical on-orchard testing identified additional environmental complexities that present the greatest challenge to consistent fruit identification. These are mainly from natural lighting effects. Stereoscopic machine vision (SMV) was investigated as the primary navigation sensor. However, diverse environmental conditions (lighting and structure appearance) made consistent object detection unreliable. Consequently, a light detection and ranging/SMV combination was used to achieve reliable navigational object detection and fruit storage bin identification. Practical on-orchard testing and analysis verified AKH operational ability (testing was limited due to a vine killing bacterial (Psa-V) outbreak restricting orchard access): 1. Fruit identification (83.6% of crop) with combined localisation and extraction accuracy of 3.6mm in three-dimensional space 2. More gentle fruit harvesting and handling than humans harvesting 3. Reliable object detection and path planning for navigation. Over the twenty metre scanning range 96% of the in-row objects were correctly classified to reliably determine the drive path 4. Reliable fruit storage bin identification and localisation (98% correct classification) 5. Commercially viable manufacture cost less than $130,000 per unit 6. Although full commercial operation was not achieved, modifications are identified to rectify the limitations Key system improvements are presented for: 1. High intensity artificial lighting for increased fruit identification rates. Natural sunlight variations affected identification ability, minimising this affect will increase identification rates 2. Alter the storage bin filling arm geometry to permit complete storage bin filling 3. Sensing the robotic arms’ position to resolve positioning errors Furthermore, ZESPRI Group Limited is targeting a threefold increase in industry return by 2025 (from approximately $NZ1Billion to $NZ3Billion). Development of autonomous mechanised solutions to assist manual labour is emerging as a strategic necessity. The objective of this research was to develop a commercially viable autonomous kiwifruit harvester (AKH). The AKH must be capable of operating within variable and complex on-orchard environments to minimise manual labour requirements. Successful completion required development and integration of autonomous: 1. Fruit identification and localisation 2. Custom robotic arms with soft fruit extraction harvesting hands 3. Custom robotic arm for soft fruit handling 4. Transportation platform with navigational sensing and strategies 5. Storage bin collection and drop-off The AKH has four robotic harvesting arms with hands specifically designed to mimic the human fruit harvesting action. Remotely mounted stereoscopic vision identifies and localises fruit. The fruit locations are mapped into the harvesting arms’ coordinate space allowing fruit extraction. The presented system configuration resolves the slow harvest rates experienced by other systems. Practical on-orchard testing identified additional environmental complexities that present the greatest challenge to consistent fruit identification. These are mainly from natural lighting effects. Stereoscopic machine vision (SMV) was investigated as the primary navigation sensor. However, diverse environmental conditions (lighting and structure appearance) made consistent object detection unreliable. Consequently, a light detection and ranging/SMV combination was used to achieve reliable navigational object detection and fruit storage bin identification. Practical on-orchard testing and analysis verified AKH operational ability (testing was limited due to a vine killing bacterial (Psa-V) outbreak restricting orchard access): 1. Fruit identification (83.6% of crop) with combined localisation and extraction accuracy of 3.6mm in three-dimensional space 2. More gentle fruit harvesting and handling than humans harvesting 3. Reliable object detection and path planning for navigation. Over the twenty metre scanning range 96% of the in-row objects were correctly classified to reliably determine the drive path 4. Reliable fruit storage bin identification and localisation (98% correct classification) 5. Commercially viable manufacture cost less than $130,000 per unit 6. Although full commercial operation was not achieved, modifications are identified to rectify the limitations Key system improvements are presented for: 1. High intensity artificial lighting for increased fruit identification rates. Natural sunlight variations affected identification ability, minimising this affect will increase identification rates 2. Alter the storage bin filling arm geometry to permit complete storage bin filling 3. Sensing the robotic arms’ position to resolve positioning errors

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  • e-Learning systems success in an organisational context : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management Information Systems at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Samarasinghe, Samantha Malkanthi (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Issues around effective implementation, management, and success of e-Learning systems have drawn the attention of many researchers. However, e-Learning systems success research still lacks models and frameworks addressing organisational dimensions along with instructor and learner dimensions, particularly in the New Zealand higher education context. Hence, the purpose of this research was to explore the dimensions of e-Learning systems success in an organisational context. Based on a broad review of literature, I formulated a multidimensional framework of e-Learning systems success in the organisational context and used the framework to develop two e-Learning success models: a model from the instructor perspective and a model from the learner perspective. To test the framework and to explore the dimensions of e-Learning systems success, I conducted three empirical studies. First, a preliminary study with 43 e-Learning experts was carried out to confirm the content validity of the measurement instruments. The e-Learning systems success models were then tested in the organisational context of New Zealand universities by fitting the instructor model to data collected from 204 instructors engaged in e-Learning and by fitting the learner model to data collected from 189 students with e-Learning experience. The study identified quality of the e-Learning development and implementation process as a dimension of e-Learning systems success. This study was the first to formulate and to test a measure for e-Learning development and implementation process quality. An insight into the instructor views of this dimension was obtained by qualitative analysis of their free-text comments. Moreover, the study was the first to formulate and to test a multidimensional e-Learning systems success model based on DeLone and McLean’s (2003) IS success model focusing on instructors as the stakeholders. The study investigated the effect of organisational dimensions on other dimensions of e-Learning systems success, accounting for both instructor and learner perspectives in the same organisational context. Of the organisational dimensions considered, quality of the e-Learning system was the most influential. Quality of the e-Learning development and implementation directly affected other organizational dimensions, system quality and institutional support to the instructors, and affected instructor dimensions indirectly.

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  • NATO after the Cold War: Explaining the Durability of the Atlantic Alliance in a New Global Context

    Burton, Joe (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    NATO was established in 1949 at the beginning of the Cold War to counter the perceived threat of the Soviet Union. But the eventual demise of the superpower confrontation in the late 1980s did not mark the end of the Atlantic Alliance. To the surprise of many observers, NATO proved to be enormously durable in the face of serious external and internal challenges associated with the emergence of a new post-Cold War era. This PhD thesis examines the reasons for NATO’s durability in the new global context. Drawing on three major theoretical approaches for understanding alliances – realism, liberalism and social constructivism – the study examines the post-Cold War development of NATO and then relates this experience to the aforementioned paradigms. The thesis argues that, on balance, liberalism is the most effective and comprehensive conceptual framework for explaining NATO’s durability in the post-Cold War era. The framework more precisely focuses on the management of domestic politics and public opinion in NATO member states, and the alliance has found that its political values and commitment to democracy have formed a powerful foundation from which to confront new security challenges. The institutional characteristics of the alliance, such as its strong political leadership and consensus based decision making, have also galvanised its members, and NATO’s institutional assets, such as the integrated military command, have been invaluable in responding to conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. NATO, as a multinational alliance, has also been relatively well placed to respond to the demands of a globalised security context in which multilateral solutions to security challenges are arguably more important than they have ever been.

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  • Feature Selection and Adaptive Connectionist Classification Models and a System for Biological Time Series Analysis on the case study data of Heart Rate Variability

    Swope, Jay Arthur (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Statement of Problem: Biological systems are constantly evolving and multi-dimensional. They have subsystems that are coupled to each other with nonlinear interactions that are time dependent. Data measured from biological systems over time are nonstationary with changing mean and variance. In order to characterise, analyse and extract information from time dependent biological data, a model must be capable of evolving, be capable of categorising dynamic information and provide a mechanism for extraction of ongoing knowledge. In this thesis we examine existing artificial neural network (ANN) models and their capabilities in the application to real time, biological time series data. We investigate existing features extracted from biological time series data. We develop ANN techniques further incorporating extracted features in an ongoing basis and providing real time extraction of knowledge. Explanation of method and procedures: We study the human biological system by examining the time series constructed from the time differences between heart beats. Measures derived from this time series are known as heart rate variability (HRV). We extract time, frequency and fractal domain HRV features. The data was collected as part of this study from 31 post myocardial subjects and 31 age and sex matched healthy subjects. The heart beat interval time series for each subject was constructed from ECG records of twenty to thirty minute duration. Existing models are explored for data modelling including fuzzy c-means clustering, fuzzy neural networks and fuzzy adaptive resonance networks (fuzzy-ART). A new ANN model ARTdECOS is constructed, which incorporates aspects of fuzzy-ART and evolving connectionist systems (ECOS). ARTdECOS is implemented on a portable data capture device to show its viability in handling real time data and to reveal issues requiring further development. Summary of results and conclusions: Category nodes generated by fuzzy ART reach expansion limits, and multiple nodes are generated to represent a single classification state. A category amalgamation procedure in ARTdECOS allows consolidation of these multiple nodes into a single node. As a consequence, meaningful rule extraction is made possible. A graphical representation of feature boundary limits allows a quick and convenient way to extract knowledge from classification results in ARTdECOS. State switching dynamics are evident in HRV time series data through segmenting of data from individual subjects. Real time scaling of features is necessary to implement ARTdECOS in a real time environment. This is accomplished in ARTdECOS by rescaling weight vectors when input features are rescaled. ANN models are a useful tool in understanding and extracting knowledge from biological time series data. These tools may be applied to biofeedback applications in real time, ongoing environments. Fractal features provide a representation of the complexity of biological time series data, as part of multiple feature extraction across feature domains. Future research includes constructing ANN models that incorporate results generated over short time intervals into temporally global space. The global model would also incorporate anomaly information, for instance ectopic detection in HRV applications. Additional integrative ANN modelling is needed to provide a supervisory system to incorporate the addition of expert knowledge.

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  • Predicting the transition from acute to persistent low back pain in primary care

    Melloh, Markus (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Low back pain (LBP) is by far the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal problem in our society today. Most people experience an episode of LBP at least once in their lifetime. Some of them go on to develop persistent LBP. The aim of this thesis is to identify predictors for persistent LBP in patients suffering from acute LBP. In a systematic review screening instruments were identified showing for psychological and occupational factors the highest reliability regarding the prognosis of patients with LBP. Following the recommendations of the Multinational Musculoskeletal Inception Cohort Study (MMICS) Statement, a study protocol was developed to detect patient characteristics which increase the risk of chronicity, and to reveal the best time point for identifying patients at risk of developing persistent LBP. Acute LBP patients were recruited from general practitioner clinics in New Zealand, and assessed by postal survey at baseline and at three, six, twelve-week and six-month follow-up. Primary outcome was functional limitation measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI); key secondary endpoints were pain on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and general health measured by the acute Short Form 12 (SF-12). A feasibility study was conducted of patients who had attended a health practitioner for either their first episode of acute LBP, or recurrent LBP with at least thirty LBP-free days between two episodes. The index ‘depression and maladaptive cognitions’ was found to be a significant baseline-predictor for persistent LBP up to six months. In the main study time-related LBP characteristics correlated with prognostic factors for acute/ subacute LBP. Further findings demonstrated that patients with current LBP waiting longer till seeking care had a more disadvantageous profile of psychological and occupational risk factors, and lower resource levels. A final four-predictor model for persistent LBP, defined by functional limitation at six months included ‘resigned attitude towards the job’ and ‘social support at work’ as the strongest prognostic factors; a final two-predictor model for persistent LBP defined by pain at six months revealed ‘social support at work’ as the strongest prognostic factor. The best time points to predict the development of persistent LBP at six months were the six and twelve-week follow-up. When considering resources for preventing persistent LBP, at twelve weeks ‘social support’ was confirmed as a strong occupational protective factor – similar to findings at six months. The presence of ‘depression’ had a negative influence on the course of recovery in patients presenting with acute/ subacute LBP. ‘Depression’ together with ‘job control’ and ‘functional limitation’ were also baseline-predictors of sickness absence with the strongest prediction made at six-week follow-up. If these findings are to be applied to screen patients at risk of developing persistent LBP, the next stage of research requires a validation of the results in the target population, a new sample of acute/ subacute LBP consulters in a primary care setting in New Zealand. A subsequent stage could look at the validation of the tool in different settings, such as inter-country validation; validation in a broader musculoskeletal population; or even validation in the general population.

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  • Palaeomagnetism of Palaeogene strata from southern Zealandia: Implications for ice in the greenhouse

    Lurcock, Pontus Conrad (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    When did the first ice form on Antarctica? Large, stable ice sheets started to appear in the Oligocene, but there may have been earlier, transient Palaeocene glaciations which left only brief traces in the sedimentary record. Correlation of such traces across the New Zealand region requires the accuracy provided by magnetostratigraphic dating. However, the sediments that may contain these traces have extremely weak magnetizations, high glaucony concentrations, and other characteristics which complicate magnetic measurement. To address these problems, I developed measurement techniques for weakly magnetized samples and wrote a software package called PuffinPlot to process the measurements efficiently. (PuffinPlot is a fully-featured palaeomagnetic data plotting and analysis program also intended for use outside the scope of the thesis.) I also conducted an in-depth rock magnetic study to identify the remanence-bearing minerals and determine the effects of glaucony on magnetic behaviour. The rock magnetic results indicated that the remanence in the glauconitic sediments was carried by single-domain magnetite at extremely low concentrations, and the model I developed for remanence acquisition showed that this magnetite was capable of carrying a stable primary remanence. Using PuffinPlot and the results from the rock magnetic experiments, I conducted palaeomagnetic studies of early Palaeogene sections at the mid-Waipara River in Canterbury, Fairfield Quarry in eastern Otago, and Campbell Island, 700 km south of New Zealand. At each site I also measured the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) to determine variations in palaeocurrent. The wide spacing of the sites allows regional effects to be distinguished from local ones. The sections had several features in common: very weak magnetization, necessitating special measurement and analysis protocols; poor response to alternating-field demagnetization, necessitating thermal demagnetization; and thermal alteration at relatively low temperatures, necessitating great-circle remagnetization analysis to infer primary remanences. At Fairfield Quarry, I sampled a 25-metre composite section; 31 of the 58 sites sampled yielded usable data, all of them with reversed polarity. In conjunction with the known location of the K-Pg boundary within the section, this constrained the entire section to the C29r chron. At the mid-Waipara River, 9 sites (of 21 originally sampled) gave reliable directions, all reversed, constraining a 16-metre continuous section to the C26r chron. At Campbell Island, I sampled two sections in different parts of the island and constructed an integrated stratigraphy from a total of 38 site directions, which expanded the known duration of a major unconformity from around 9.5 Ma to 13.4 Ma. The improved age constraints on the Campbell Island section allowed the unconformity there to be correlated with a change in palaeocurrent at the mid-Waipara River, with a previously reported Palaeocene horizon of ice-rafted debris from eastern New Zealand, and with known fluctuations in oxygen isotopes during the Palaeocene, implying an extensive glaciation. Some of the glauconitic horizons at Fairfield Quarry may also be linked to earlier transient glaciations. Since Antarctica was still attached to Australia and South America during the Palaeocene, these results imply that circum-Antarctic ocean gateways are unnecessary for Antarctic glaciation.

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  • The Influence of the Second Viennese School in New Zealand 1940-1974: a Cultural History

    Poole, Marian Clare (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    In 1940 New Zealand celebrated its first 100 years as a British colony. Britain commended its remotest outpost for its successful taming of a primeval landscape into something akin to its own green and pleasant land. However New Zealanders, already aware of their cultural difference from Britain, were ready to shake off its heritage and create a distinct national voice. Believing that the nation lacked a unique cultural foundation, New Zealanders music followers would entertain three separate paths to acculturation – trusting in the inspiration to be found in New Zealand’s landscape and nascent traditions, re-assimilating British or European classical models or joining the revolutionary path cut by the Second Viennese School of composers. Pursuing all paths would be made problematic due to the Second Viennese School polemic, which promised that the twelve-note row method was the universal language of the future and became an accepted part of musicological ideology. The thesis takes the form of a reception history. Its primary sources lie in the performance of Western art music written between 1900 and 1974 which were performed by New Zealand’s professional music organizations, the New Zealand Broadcasting Service, by University based performance groups and that which appeared in University curricula. The secondary sources are found firstly in the musicological arguments from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including those of the Second Viennese School and secondly in analyses of pertinent reviews and opinion pieces published in New Zealand. The Second Viennese School would act as the most vociferous catalyst for change in New Zealand between 1940 and 1974. It therefore could have been expected to have been assimilated into New Zealanders’ sense of national identity as expressed through Western art music. This thesis pursues its argument by investigating the cultural atmosphere in which the Second Viennese School polemic and music arrived, their impact on local thinking about the role of Western art music in New Zealand and the changing social context in which their argument was made. It reveals the part the Second Viennese School played in creating New Zealand’s cultural identity. This is the first cultural history of New Zealand music to investigate the influence of imported notions on local identity as expressed through and indicated by Western art music repertoire. It contributes to a small but growing number of New Zealand musical histories and biographies.

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  • The function of secondary metabolites in the leaves of Pseudowintera colorata

    Youard, Luke William (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The leaves of Pseudowintera colorata (Winteraceae) are well known for their bright displays of red colour, and their strong peppery flavour. The variable patterns of red and green colour seen across the leaves of this species are caused by pigments called anthocyanins, while the peppery flavour is caused by the presence of two colourless sesquiterpene dialdehydes, polygodial and 9-deoxymuzigadial. Anthocyanins, and to a lesser extent sesquiterpene dialdehydes, are widespread in nature, occurring across a large number of plant species. Anthocyanins are known for their functionality against a wide variety of biotic and abiotic stresses, including light stress and herbivory. The rarer sesquiterpene dialdehydes have strong anti-herbivore, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. In this thesis I explored the significance of these compounds in P. colorata leaves, by investigating two possible functions of anthocyanins that are previously untested on this species: aposematism and photoprotection. One of these functions, aposematism, links anthocyanin functionality to that of sesquiterpene dialdehydes. Aposematism is the phenomenon where organisms produce signals, such as bright colours, that warn potential predators of their defences, such as toxic compounds. In this study it was determined whether anthocyanins could function as the bright colours of an aposematic signal, and sesquiterpenes as the defence component. Anthocyanins could also function as a photoprotectant, protecting the leaves of P. colorata against high irradiances of natural sunlight by absorbing excess light or mitigating the effective of oxidative damage caused by such exposures. Chilling temperatures have the potential to increase photoinhibition, and therefore were also investigated because P. colorata grows in a climate where such temperatures are common in the winter. Three other properties of P. colorata leaves were also examined as they had the potential to influence the functional significance of these compounds. Firstly, the effects of leaf wounding were explored as this species is known to produce anthocyanins when wounded, but it was unknown how sesquiterpenes would respond. Secondly, sesquiterpenes are stored in specialised oil cells in Tasmannia lanceolata, another member of the Winteraceae. These structures were present in P. colorata leaves, but their chemical content was unknown. The chemical content, development and density of oil cells in P. colorata leaves had the potential to explain the chemical responses of these leaves to wounding. Thirdly, leaf age could affect the functionality of anthocyanins, and possibly sesquiterpenes, if younger leaves are redder than older leaves. During the course of investigating these attributes of P. colorata I developed novel methods for analysing leaf colour and responses to wounding, and for extracting and analysing oil cell contents. The results of this study did not support an aposematic function of anthocyanins in relation to the presence of sesquiterpene dialdehydes. Instead this study demonstrated that anthocyanin and sesquiterpene dialdehyde production are largely decoupled in P. colorata leaves. Anthocyanins were found to be positively correlated with sesquiterpene dialdehydes in naturally occurring fully expanded leaves, but this relationship was weakened by leaf wounding. Wounding decreased the concentration of polygodial and 9-deoxymuzigadial by an average of 3.3 mg/g and 1.3 mg/g respectively in new leaves, and 3.2 mg/g and 2.5 mg/g respectively in mature leaves. In contrast, wounding increased the concentration of anthocyanins by an average of 0.52 mg/g in new leaves, and 0.18 mg/g in mature leaves. The loss of sesquiterpene dialdehydes was explained by their presence in the oil cells. Oil cells were found to occur across the entire leaf surface area at densities ranging from 23 to 205 cells per mm2, and therefore some were destroyed during leaf wounding. Leaves only produced oil cells during their period of expansion, so the loss of oil cells in fully expanded leaves meant that they could not be replaced. The positive relationship between anthocyanins and sesquiterpene dialdehydes was also found to be a function of leaf age. Fully expanded new leaves had an average anthocyanin concentration of 0.88 mg/g, which was significantly higher than that of the mature leaves, 0.52 mg/g. The average concentration of polygodial for new leaves was 29.41 mg/g, and was significantly higher than that of the mature leaves, 9.99 mg/g. Average levels of 9-deoxymuzigadial in the new leaves were 19.14 mg/g dry leaf, and were not significantly different to that of the mature leaves, 17.59 mg/g. Within these age groups, there was no consistent relationship between the concentrations of these compounds. The results of this study did support a photoprotective function of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins were suitably located to intercept light before it reached the photosynthetic tissues, being located in the uppermost tissue layers. Most notably, red leaf tissue was better protected against photoinhibition than green leaf tissue. This protection was evident after the leaves were exposed to 1500 μmol m-2 s-1 white light for 4 hours, which caused a smaller decline in Fv/Fm in the red regions compared to the green regions, a difference of approximately 0.07 units. This protection was not enhanced at chilling temperatures, as commonly observed in some other plant species. Younger leaves are redder than older leaves and also likely to be more exposed to light in a natural environment because of their position on the stems, therefore anthocyanins probably function to protect these leaves from high light over long exposures. Previous studies investigating aposematism in plants have focused on anthocyanins in the autumn leaves of deciduous trees, with few focusing on young developing leaves. The findings of this thesis build upon the knowledge concerning anthocyanin function in young leaves. Furthermore, it is the first study to demonstrate the importance of the cellular distribution of toxic compounds, and the responses of leaves to wounding, when investigating foliar aposematism.

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  • The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative

    Harris, Sarah Jane Gray (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The Davidic motif is well recognised in the Lukan narrative but David's identity as God's shepherd king has not seemed to influence how scholars have understood the Lukan Jesus and his mission to seek and save the lost. This thesis argues that David's identity as God's shepherd cannot be separated from his kingship, and that Luke takes this aspect of David into his narrative. I use a narrative methodology that relies heavily on exegetical discussion to explore the text. Luke's own intention to write a διήγησις that is orderly (καθεξῆς) and written from the beginning (ἄνωθεν) is thus followed. In light of the path Luke has set, I pay particular attention to the primacy effect as this sets the trajectory for a narrative, the cumulative and cohesive nature of narrative, gaps and blanks in narrative which invite the reader to find meaning, and the use of Leitwortstil to reveal and clarify meaning. I also use Hays' test for echoes since Luke's writing uses a number of implicit tools to direct the reader to understand Jesus' mission and ministry. The thesis considers, first, the pervasive nature of the shepherd king motif in Israel's history and especially Kingdoms' portrayal of David in the Septuagint. Second, it takes the motif in Luke's infancy narrative and after reviewing the well recognised motif of David in Luke 1, asks again why the angels went to the shepherds in the birth narrative? I conclude that Micah 5:2-5 lies behind Luke's expression of the 'City of David, Bethlehem' and that here Luke points to Jesus as Micah's messianic shepherd. Further, in Luke's genealogy, which follows a different path to Matthew, we find Luke draws on Zech 12:10-14 and Jer 22:30-23:6 where the end of the kingly line from Jeconiah would be superseded by the Davidic shepherd king who brings God's salvation. Third, four shepherd sayings and passages are considered in Luke-Acts (Luke 10:3; 12:32; 15:1-7; Acts 20:28). These demonstrate that the motif of the Davidic shepherd king has an on-going influence on how the reader understands Jesus' ministry to the marginalised. I note that this shepherd task is passed onto the wider discipleship group in the household mission and also influences Paul's Abschiedsrede at Miletus. God's concern for the disciples' welfare in Luke 12:22-32 is as their faithful shepherd, and Jesus is the faithful shepherd in 15:1-7 and challenges the scribes and the Pharisees' view of God's mission. Finally, I consider the story of Zacchaeus and especially 19:10 where the Son of Man is said to come to seek out and save the lost (sheep). I note that this well-recognised Davidic shepherd king echo of Ezekiel 34 creates a link back to the Nazareth sermon (4:18-19) by echoing its content and adding a strong statement that Jesus' ministry to the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed is enacted as God's faithful shepherd. This resonance leads to the conclusion that Luke has a second saying (19:10) which is programmatic for Luke. At the beginning of Jesus' ministry in 4:18-19 we hear to whom Jesus' mission is directed and at the end of Jesus' ministry outside Jerusalem in 19:10, the reader hears how this mission is enacted: Jesus is God's faithful Davidic shepherd king who is constantly reaching to the margins of society to seek out and save the lost sheep. I therefore conclude that the two sayings work together as a programmatic inclusio for the Lukan narrative. Finally, I show that the Zacchaeus story resonates with, complements and completes Jesus' ministry where universal salvation is for the clean and the unclean, for women and men, for the poor and the rich and ultimately for Jew and Gentile. For the Lukan Jesus no-one should be lost, as the faithful shepherd is the one who seeks the lost sheep until he finds it.

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  • Fruitful Land and National Cadres: Mainstreaming Resistance and Critical Realism in Contemporary Chinese TV Drama

    Ma, Weijun (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Despite the fact that alternative discourses have been located in recent Chinese TV dramas, scholars have tended to overlook and rarely consider the questions of resistance and the operation of resistance. In contrast, this dissertation argues that complex forms of resistance are very much a part of Chinese TV drama. The thesis thus aims to lay the groundwork for an adequate theorisation of this resistance. In the context of the production and dissemination of TV drama in China, which is explored in some detail, the thesis links the tactics of resistance to the Chinese intellectual critical tradition. I employ the term mainstreaming resistance to designate the complexity of this relationship between the television and intellectual contexts. In China, television has become a popular vehicle for expressing dissent at various moments against the system. As such, the divisions that have marked Chinese intellectual culture—between high-brow and low brow culture, mainstream culture and counterculture, dissent and consent – have begun to break down. A new intellectual cultural tactic has emerged in the new socialist market context. As theorised in this thesis, resistance is no longer only a countercultural practice; it can now be found in the mainstream broadcast markets (in both the official productions of the state and in popular expressions), as well as in state sponsored censorship systems and alternative television markets (the video market and the Internet television market). By taking Fruitful Land and National Cadres as two case studies, methodologically, this dissertation consists of two components: (1) Textual analysis which explores how Fruitful Land and National Cadres inherit and redefine May Fourth critical realism as a means of mainstreaming resistance; (2) Contextual analysis which places the drama Land within the context of production, censorship and broadcasting to examine how mainstreaming resistance operates and survives in the mainstream industrial and policing environments. My argument about mainstreaming resistance allows us to imagine that Chinese TV drama may play an important role in cultural politics.

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  • An evidence-based reappraisal of human surface anatomy

    Mirjalili, Seyed Ali (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Surface anatomy is routinely taught to medical and anatomy students and is a core component of human anatomy in clinical practice. Accurate surface anatomy and awareness of variations are both essential for safe clinical practice. Our knowledge of surface anatomy is largely derived from cadaver studies and radiographic investigations in living subjects. Numerous inconsistencies in clinically important surface markings exist between and within anatomical reference texts. Moreover, only a few texts comment on anatomical variation and the effects of respiration, posture, ethnicity and body build on surface anatomy. The aim of this thesis is to reassess the accuracy of common and clinically important surface landmarks in vivo using modern imaging techniques including ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All three imaging modalities were selected to investigate different aspect of surface anatomy. Firstly, ultrasound was used to record the calibre and course of the accessory nerve in the posterior triangle of the neck in 50 healthy volunteers (mean age 37 years, range 18-62 years, 56% female). Secondly, 52 CT scans of the neck (mean age 63 years, range 30-94 years; 40% female), 153 thoracic CT scans (mean age 63 years, range 19-89 years, 53% female), 108 abdominal CT scans (mean age 60 years, range 18-97 years; 59% female) and 52 thoracoabdominal CT scans (mean age 61 years, range 26-86 years, 56% female) from supine adults at end tidal respiration were analysed to determine the surface anatomy of the neck (e.g. bony and cartilaginous structures), thorax (e.g. central veins and heart), abdomen (e.g. transpyloric plane and kidneys) and pelvis (e.g. plane of the pubic crest). Patients with distorting space-occupying lesions, scoliosis, abnormal kyphosis and lordosis, obvious visceromegaly, and a previous history of major injury were excluded. Thirdly, 45 cranial MRI scans (mean age 56 years, range 24-84 years; 56% female) were analysed to determine the surface anatomy of the central sulcus of the brain. Some traditional surface landmarks were found to be accurate and reliable (e.g. the hard palate, cardiac apex, formation of the brachiocephalic veins, transpyloric plane). In contrast, some others were inaccurate and unreliable when compared with in vivo findings: the surface markings of the spinal accessory nerve in the posterior triangle of the neck were very variable with the nerve exiting the posterior border of sternocleidomastoid at a mean of 6.7 (4.0-9.4) cm below the mastoid process and penetrating the anterior border of trapezius 5.4 (2.1-9.2) cm above the clavicle; the central sulcus of the brain was located a mean of 2 ± 0.9 (0.3-4) cm behind the midpoint between the nasion and inion; the spleen was most frequently located between the 10th and 12th ribs (48%) with its long axis in line with the 11th rib (55%); the 11th rib was a posterior relation of the left kidney in only 28% of scans; and the level at which the inferior vena cava and oesophagus traversed the diaphragm was T11. Whilst the surface anatomy of some structures is consistent with standard descriptions, that of other structures is inaccurate and must be revised in the light of results using modern imaging techniques in living subjects. An evidence-based framework is essential if surface anatomy is to be fit for purpose. The effects of gender, age, posture, respiration, build and ethnicity also deserve greater emphasis.

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  • Development and comparison of breeding objective methodologies for the genetic improvement of sheep

    Byrne, Timothy John (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Breeding objectives that are clearly defined simplify selection decisions based on multiple traits, and are therefore essential in the development of efficient breeding strategies. The development of economic breeding objectives is driven by a need to define accurate selection criteria for traits affecting farm profitability (Simm, 1998), and to assign relative weightings to traits in selection indexes based on the relative economic importance of traits. Traditional methodologies for deriving breeding objectives involve the use of profit functions, which calculate the impact on farm profit of changes in each trait. However, it is also important that breeding objectives reflect the farming philosophies of the breeders and commercial farmers for whom they are designed. The increasing importance of environmental (Olesen et al., 2000) and animal-welfare (Fisher and Webster, 2009; Nielsen et al., 2011) traits preferred by consumers, which may impact on market access has driven developed livestock industries to account for aspects of production systems beyond those that can be defined economically. Similarly, as developing countries build genetic-improvement programmes (e.g. Kosgey (2006)), breeding objectives must be defined for production systems where price and cost data are not readily available. A further challenge in defining breeding objectives in developing countries is that the value of an animal often encompasses intangible factors such as prestige, financing, insurance, or a role in cultural and ceremonial functions (Kosgey et al., 2004). Therefore, there is an increasing recognition of the need to incorporate the perceptions of industry stakeholders in breeding objectives. This thesis developed, assessed, and compared traditional and novel approaches to the formulation of breeding objectives in sheep genetic improvement programmes. Traditional methodologies were used to derive breeding objectives for two sheep-producing industries, including the calculation of economic weights (EWs) for novel traits. The internet-based software 1000Minds, originally designed to capture the preference of respondents in the healthcare system (Hansen and Ombler, 2009), has found application in a wide range of fields (e.g. Boyd et al. (2011), Golan et al. (2011), and Smith and Fennessy (2011)). The use of 1000Minds to define EWs for animal breeding programmes represents a novel aspect of the current study, and represents the development of a new tool in the derivation of breeding objectives. Hazel (1943) stated that fluctuating, vague, and sometimes erroneous ideals often hindered the improvements produced by selection. Many of these ideals are not linked to production, but rather are linked to consumers’ perception of animal production systems, and may or may not have a direct economic impact on the production system. These ideals may, however, influence product acceptance by consumers and market access. Therefore, such drivers of the direction of selection are beyond those that can be defined economically in a traditional sense and these have to be taken into account in the construction of breeding objectives and selection indexes. This study has proposed and evaluated a method to enable traits that are not easily defined by economic models to be included in breeding objectives and reveals the opportunity to develop and refine breeding objectives. Such methods ensure that breeding objectives continue to meet the expectations of a changing market.

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  • The Coordination Chemistry of Modified Pyrimidine-Hydrazone Strands and their Incorporation into Polymer Gels

    Hutchinson, Daniel (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    A series of pyrimidine-hydrazone (pym-hyz) molecular strands have been modified with terminal hydroxymethyl and acryloyl functional groups in order to allow their incorporation into co-polymer gels. This thesis describes the synthesis of these strands, their Pb(II), Zn(II), Cu(II) and Ag(I) complexes, and their incorporation into co-polymer gel actuators. Chapter one introduces the aspects of supramolecular chemistry which are important to this work, such as supramolecular and molecular self-assembly. The focus then shifts to foldamers, and the evolution of the pym-hyz helicity codon, which undergoes a reversible, dynamic structural change due to the coordination of certain metal ions. An introduction is then given to polymer gels as actuators, and how the incorporation of modified pym-hyz strands into a polymer gel would result in an actuator driven by the dynamic shape change of the pym-hyz helicity codon. Chapter two describes the design, synthesis and characterisation of three different lengths of pym-hyz strand, containing either terminal hydroxymethyl (L1-3) or acryloyl function groups (L4-6). The helical structure of these strands and the transoid conformation of the pym-hyz linkages within them are described by NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. Chapter three presents a review of the supramolecular architectures commonly constructed from pym-hyz based ligands and salts of Pb(II) and Zn(II) ions, followed by a description of the complexes formed by reacting L1-6 with these metal ions in a variety of metal to ligand ratios. NMR spectroscopy showed that the hydroxymethyl and acryloyl groups of L1-6 inhibited the formation of [2x2] grid complexes at a 1:1 metal to ligand ratio, but that linear complexes could be formed with an excess amount of either Pb(II) or Zn(II) ions. The X-ray crystal structures of fourteen of these complexes are reported and compared, the majority of which consist of a pym-hyz strand, saturated with metal ions, with a linear shape and cisoid pym-hyz linkages. The exceptions are the distorted [2x2] grid complexes [PbL1(ClO4)]4(ClO4)4 (4) and [PbL1(ClO4)]4(ClO4)4•4CH3NO2 (5) and the horse-shoe shaped complex [Pb2L2(ClO4)2(CH3CN)(H2O)](ClO4)2•2CH3CN•C4H10O•H2O (10). Chapter four opens with a review of the brief use of Cu(II) ions in the coordination chemistry of pym-hyz ligands, followed by a description of the Cu(II) complexes of L1-6. The complexes are analysed with UV-Vis and IR spectroscopy, the results of which showed that reacting L1-6 with an excess of Cu(II) ions resulted in linear complexes. Eight X-ray crystal structures of the Cu(II) complexes of L1 and L4 are presented and compared, the majority of which are linear in shape with two Cu(II) ions coordinated to each ligand molecule. Again, the addition of hydroxymethyl and acryloyl arms to these ligands prevented the formation of [2x2] grid structures at low metal to ligand ratios. Instead, the addition of Cu(II) ions to L1 in a 1:1 metal to ligand ratio resulted in the bent mono-Cu(II) complexes [Cu(L1H)(ClO4)2]ClO4 (17), [Cu(L1H)(CH3CN)](ClO4)3∙½H2O (18) and [CuL1(SO3CF3)]2(SO3CF3)2•CH3CN (19). Chapter five covers the Ag(I) chemistry of pym-hyz strands, followed by the description of the Ag(I) complexes of ligands L1, L2, L4 and L5 including eight X-ray crystal structures. The complexes were characterised in solution by NMR spectroscopy. The behaviour of these ligands to Ag(I) ions was highly dependent on the choice of counterion and solvent. Linear complexes of L1 and L4 were synthesised using an excess of AgSO3CF3 in CH3CN, while double helicates were formed from L1, L2 and L5 by employing a 1:1 metal to ligand ratio with either AgSO3CF3 or AgBF4. Chapter six concludes the thesis by explaining how ligands L4-6 were incorporated into co-polymer gels. The design and synthesis of these gels is described, as are the volume changes that they exhibited in CH3CN upon the addition of Pb(II), Zn(II) and Cu(II) ions. The swelling of the L5 and L6 gels with Pb(II) and Zn(II) was reversed by the addition of a competing ligand, then controlled by changes in pH. The swelling of these gels with Cu(II) was reversed by reducing the Cu(II) ions to Cu(I). All of the gels were characterised by microanalysis, which showed the extent to which the L4-6 ligands were saturated with metal ions. The addition of Pb(II) and Zn(II) ions to the L4-6 gels was also characterised by 1H NMR spectroscopy.

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  • IR Studies of the Zirconia-Water Interface

    Scholz, Jan (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The aim of the present work was to contribute to an understanding of the reactivity of hydroxylated zirconia surfaces towards hydration and anion adsorption. IR spectroscopy was used to characterise the structure and bonding of surface functional groups and interfacial water molecules, to study slow surface reconstruction processes and to obtain insights into the specific adsorption of chloride, sulphate, phosphate and tungstate ions. To account for the structural diversity of the zirconia-water interface and hence its spectral complexity, both zirconia nanoparticle films and structurally related materials including crystalline zirconyl chloride n-hydrates, zirconia hydro gels and aqueous zirconia sols were studied spectroscopically. Thermal and isothermal dehydration and humidity-controlled hydration studies of zirconyl chloride octahydrate, zirconia hydro gels and zirconia nanoparticle films as well as anion adsorption studies to zirconia nanoparticle films from aqueous solutions under static conditions were conducted. Further, X-ray single crystal, thermogravimetric, mass spectrometric and calorimetric data as well as electrophoretic mobility measurements were used to infer additional structural information. Vibrational data for hydroxylated zirconia polymorphs, crystalline hydrogen chloride n-hydrates and size-selected water clusters was employed for spectral assignments. The characteristic vibrational signature of stoichiometric zirconyl chloride n-hydrates was obtained and assignments for vibrational modes of discrete Cl-•••H+-O, Cl-H•••O, O•••H+•••O, O-H•••O and Zr-(OH2)3 groups are given. H2O52+- and H3O2--like entities were evident in zirconyl chloride octa and -hexahydrate. A hydrolysis mechanism for the reaction of H2O(g) and HCl(aq) with Zr4+ sites in Zr-O-Zr groups is proposed (chemisorption). The formation of a strongly H-bonded network of surface-bound water molecules at the zirconia surface was observed (physisorption), and the role of continuous yet slow Zr-O-Zr bond cleavage in the formation of a gel-like surface layer is highlighted. The loss in crystallinity of the zirconia surface led to a gradual increase in the positive net surface charge of zirconia particles. The latter seems to be accountable for the embedding of chloride ions into the network of surface-bound water molecules; and a specific chloride adsorption mechanism is suggested. Sulphate, phosphate and tungstate adsorption studies to zirconia nanoparticle films revealed binding motifs of the oxoanions at pH 3 and 1; and their adsorption affinities were compared in view of considerable differences in Langmuir equilibrium constants, Kads.

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