1,095 results for Masters, 2010

  • Metadata_Photography and the construction of meaning : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts to [i.e. at] Massey University, College of Creative Arts, School of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand

    Nishioka, Mizuho (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Photographic technology is increasingly respondent to a desire for the production and consumption of information. The current age of photography not only possesses the ability to capture the image, but also to capture photographic metadata as supplemental information. Engaging in the premise that the photographic image exists as an incomplete medium to the transfer of information, this research identifies the acquisition of data as a means to resolve interpretation and quantify the photographic image. Inhabiting a complex territory within this structure, the photographic image manifests multiplicity and operates as source, production, and capture of information. This work challenges the perceptions of how to engage with the dialogues created between the photographic image, and the externally appended metadata.

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  • Interactions of whey protein isolate and human saliva, as related to the astringency of whey protein beverages : a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the degree of Master of Technology in Food Technology at Riddet Institute, Massey University, New Zealand

    Streicher, Christina (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Interactions between 3 different proteins (lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin and Whey Protein Isolate) and human saliva were determined. Lactoferrin and whey proteins are known to be astringent at low pH. Astringency is defined as the tactile sensation, mainly on the tongue, caused by astringent compounds when in contact with human saliva. Proline-rich proteins are already known to be directly involved in the astringency of polyphenols. Whey proteins do not contain polyphenols. However, because whey proteins at low pH develop an astringent sensation when consumed, it was expected to detect proline-rich proteins in the interaction between Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and saliva as well. The protein solutions were adjusted to different pH-levels, ranging from neutral to high acidic, where a part of each protein solution was heat-treated. All solutions were mixed with human saliva in the same ratio (w/w). One part of all mixtures was pH-readjusted. Additionally, WPI model solutions were prepared, adjusted to different pH-levels, heat-treated and then consumed by voluntary participants, who swirled each solution in their mouth for at least 10 seconds. These mixtures of WPI and saliva were collected for further analysis. After consuming the WPI model solutions, followed by rinsing the mouth with water, tongue swabs were taken to determine the particle sizes and zeta-potentials of the remaining material on the tongue. Control tongue swabs of the clean tongue were taken by the participants before any consumption of the WPI model solutions. All mixtures as well as lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin (beta-lg), WPI and saliva on their own, were analysed for particle size, zeta-potential and turbidity, which may give an indication for possible aggregation/precipitation of the proteins as well as the analysis of the SDS-PAGE profile of the sediments of the sample mixtures. Saliva is negatively charged between neutral pH and 3.0, whereas lactoferrin has a positive charge below pH 8.0. WPI has a positive charge below pH 5.1; the same applies to beta-lg. None of the proteins themselves showed aggregation/precipitation at pH-levels 6.8, 3.6, 3.4, 3.0, 2.5 or 2.0. However, after the proteins were mixed with saliva, the pH of mixtures shifted towards neutral pH. The mixtures of lactoferrin (unheated/heat-treated) and saliva neither showed any significant increases in particle size nor the presence of turbidity. Salivary proteins were not detected in any mixtures at any observed pH either, despite the known fact that lactoferrin causes astringency. The mixtures of beta-lg (unheated/heated) and saliva displayed high particle sizes below final pH 3.6, whereas the high turbidities of both mixtures were measured between final pH 3.6 and 3.4. Furthermore, only at final pH 2.8 were salivary proteins (mainly glycosylated proline-rich proteins and alpha-amylase) detected. However, higher concentrations of salivary proteins were measured when heat-treated beta-lg was mixed with saliva. The mixtures of WPI and saliva presented the strongest interaction compared to lactoferrin and beta-lg. High aggregation/precipitation occurred in the mixtures between pH 4.3 and 3.0, where significantly high particle sizes and turbidities were detected. The pH-readjusted mixtures of lactoferrin/beta-lactoglobulin/WPI and saliva showed similar values in particle size and turbidity as the mixtures of the proteins and saliva without pH-readjustment at similar pH-values. Furthermore, the pH-readjusted mixtures of the proteins and saliva showed in their sediments the presence of alpha-amylase and glycosylated proline-rich proteins.The mixtures of heat-treated WPI and saliva, collected from the mouth after taking a sip (ratio unknown), revealed that the strongest interactions occurred when WPI-solutions were adjusted to pH 3.6 and 3.4. Similar observations were made for heat-treated WPI-solutions, which were adjusted to pH 3.6 and 3.4, when mixed with saliva 1:1 (w/w). However, additionally to the glycosylated proline-rich proteins and alpha-amylase, faint bands of mucin as well as basic proline-rich proteins were detected in the mixtures collected from the mouth. The proteins of the material remaining on the tongue followed the consumption of WPI-solutions and rinsing with water showed that the particle size measurementswere not reliable. However, pH-levels between 6.8 and 5.7 occurred and negative charges were measured on the tongue after rinsing the mouth twice with water. The strongest interactions between the proteins and human saliva occurred when the proteins, in particular beta-lg and WPI, were positively charged and then mixed with saliva (negative charge). Concluding from that it is suggested that electrostatic interactions may cause the astringent sensations. However, since no evidence could be found that salivary proteins were involved in the interaction between lactoferrin and saliva (without pH-readjustment), it is suggested that other interactions than electrostatic interactions cause the astringent sensation of lactoferrin.

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  • The associations between magnesium and the metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese women randomised to an energy-restricted high protein or high fibre diet

    Levers, Megan Tara (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Dietary magnesium intake has reduced in developed countries over the last century, and consequently average magnesium intakes in New Zealand are well below the recommended dietary intake. Plausible biological mechanisms and a large body of cross sectional research have indicated a link between both dietary magnesium intake and magnesium status and cardiovascular risk factors and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. However, dietary interventions to modify magnesium intake and status and examine the effect on cardiovascular risk have not been previously carried out. Methods: A randomised controlled weight-loss trial was carried out to examine the effect of a hypocaloric high carbohydrate, high fibre diet compared with a hypocaloric high protein diet on dietary magnesium intake and status, and to examine corresponding modifications in cardiovascular risk and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. Eighty-three overweight and obese women, who were free from medicated diabetes and dyslipidaeamia, took part. Fasting plasma magnesium was measured, and dietary magnesium intake was assessed using a three-day diet record at baseline and at the end of the study. Results: Over eight weeks of follow-up, plasma magnesium and dietary magnesium intake did not change significantly in either diet group. In the high fibre diet group, an increase in 100mg of dietary magnesium daily was associated with a 1.3kg reduction in weight (p=0.005), an 8% reduction in fasting insulin concentration (p=0.043) and an 8% reduction in HOMA-IR (p=0.015). An increase in plasma magnesium concentration by 1mg/L in the high protein diet group was associated with a 600g weight loss (p=0.013), 350g reduction in trunkal fat (p=0.016) and an increase in McAuley IS (p=0.020). Conclusions: Increases in both dietary magnesium and plasma magnesium were associated with a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. This study suggests that weight loss in conjunction with an increase in magnesium intake and improvements in magnesium status, may work synergistically to reduce cardiovascular risk in an at risk population.

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  • Ship to shore: The cruise industry's perception of economic risk

    London, Wendy (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis considers a variety of economic risks which could potentially threaten New Zealand’s position as a competitive and sustainable cruise destination. The risks are those articulated by stakeholders from the cruise, broader tourism (including port and shipping agent representatives) and government sectors. More specifically, these stakeholders include cruise industry representatives; cruise ship officers and staff; representatives from RTOs, local and regional councils; and port officials. In addition, the views of two New Zealand government representatives were also solicited. The views of these stakeholders are subsequently interpreted by the author of this thesis who is an avid cruise passenger and also involved in a commercial project to develop a website to promote New Zealand goods and experiences to cruise passengers visiting New Zealand. The economic risks considered in this thesis are those which are evaluated and factored into cruise lines’ decisions as to whether to send their ships and passengers to any given destination and the destination’s capacity to host these ships and their passengers. These risks are presented as falling into five distinct categories or phases of a cruise sector lifecycle, i.e. (a) product development; (b) infrastructure development; (c) distribution; (d) use and consumption; and (e) disposal. Each of the risks discussed is within the destination’s capacity to manage those risks if appropriate mechanisms and strategies are put into place. The cruise sector in New Zealand presents an interesting context in which to examine economic risks and a selection of countermeasures which can be implemented to manage them, thereby providing competitive opportunities and the potential for future sustainability for the sector. New Zealand is a remote cruise destination which represents only a very small proportion of the global cruise market. However, its cruise activity continues to experience rapid growth despite the recent economic downturn. According to many of the stakeholders interviewed for this thesis, this growth remains largely unmanaged because there is no apparent structured framework for the ongoing management and future development of “cruise” in New Zealand. Furthermore, they argue that a failure to provide an appropriately managed cruise sector means that the risks which currently face New Zealand will continue to grow and may ultimately threaten New Zealand’s goal of becoming an increasingly competitive and sustainable cruise destination. Five mechanisms or strategies for managing the current and potential risks to the New Zealand cruise sector are suggested by the author. Each of these strategies was signalled during the author’s research and further developed by her based on her own cruise experience in New Zealand waters and drawing from her previous work as a lawyer and IT professional developing best practice and risk management strategies and systems. The five strategies are the formation of a properly funded over-arching coordinating committee; the cultivation of a discernible cruise culture; implementation of appropriate education and training; the creation of a national cruise manual; and the design, development and implementation of a New Zealand cruise brand. Each of these strategies is based on an approach to risk management which calls for a positive view of risk and how it can be transformed into opportunity for competitive success. The traditional notion of risk as something to be avoided or which can be insured against or eliminated is rejected in part because it is counter-productive to treat risk in that way and also because such treatment leads to a silo approach where risks are considered individually and not how their collective influence can impact upon the whole. The silo approach precludes adopting a strategic approach to the identification and optimisation of risk. In other words, a tactical approach to risk indentification and risk management will very likely result in an underperforming and unsuccessful cruise sector. Therefore, the author concludes that a well-considered strategy needs to be adopted and appropriately funded to ensure New Zealand’s continued existence as a competitive and sustainable cruise destination.

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  • The benefits of peer support for online learners

    Galvin, Raylene June (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    In recent years the increased availability of online postgraduate papers has attracted a diverse range of learners. Many learners, due to their physical location, family or employment commitments, are unable to enrol in an on-campus paper. Online learners can experience feelings of isolation from other class members, the lecturer, learning community and the wider university. Peer support is a voluntary partnership where learners provide each other with informal feedback, encouragement and/or engage in discussions about the content of their paper. It has the potential to provide a layer of support for learners, in addition to that already available from the lecturer or the university. A qualitative design was used to explore the research question: How does peer support benefit online learners? Two sub-questions were also addressed: (1) What issues do peer support partners face? and (2) In what ways does peer support meet partners’ needs? Six participants worked with a partner, known as their ‘study buddy’ for one university semester. Data from two focus group interviews, individual interviews, diaries and/or contact charts and a questionnaire was presented in three case studies. This study showed that participants benefited from using peer support. They jointly constructed knowledge, gave and received scaffolding that helped them clarify their ideas and had access to another perspective about the paper content. Some of the issues participants faced during their learning, such as finding information about assessment requirements were resolved through interaction with a peer support partner. The results suggested that peer support partnerships were effective when participants received feedback, advice, encouragement and answers to their questions. They appreciated having another learner who was able to provide support for them during their academic study. It would be valuable to investigate whether the patterns emerging from this study were similar for other online learners in different courses and universities.

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  • Tourism Recovery after the 2009 Tsunami in Samoa

    Tagomoa-Isara, Tupe (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    On September 29th 2009, the 8.3 magnitude earthquake off of the southern coast of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean generated massive tsunami waves resulting in severe devastation for many villages and contamination of their coastal areas. The disaster greatly impacted the tourism infrastructure, economy, environment, water quality and psychological aspect of the residents in the affected areas. The aim of this thesis was to examine the recovery of tourism after the September 2009 tsunami. The objectives were to: 1) explore the immediate impacts tourism businesses suffered from the tsunami; 2) identify the emergency responses that occurred in the aftermath; 3) explain the issues and challenges arising from the recovery process and; 4) examine the strategies and opportunities that tourism operators and relevant organisations are using to recover tourism in the district. This involves examining the preparedness programs for future disasters. A qualitative approach was used to accomplish the objectives of the study. Four tourism businesses that were affected in the Safata district were selected for this research. Experiences and views of the affected tourism businesses were presented and analysed through media reports and document review, semi-structured interviews and site observations. Interviews were also carried out with key informants from relevant tourism organisations that were involved in the tsunami response and recovery efforts. This author believes that this is the first tourism study carried out on tourism recovery after the 2009 tsunami and specifically a study which presents a tourism case study from the Safata district. It intends to provide insight on the issues facing the tourism businesses hoping to recover, as well as finding out their preparedness programs and disaster plans for future disasters. Results show that there was no disaster plan for the tourism industry before the tsunami. The tsunami has caused severe damage to tourism businesses such as premises being demolished, equipment destruction, psychological effects and environmental damage. Results also show the rapid response of the local communities, government and overseas agencies. It was also clear that although the affected tourism businesses did not have any disaster plans before the tsunami, they showed willingness to develop and become proactive in implementing a disaster plan as a means of preparing for future disasters. This research will help tourism businesses and relevant organisations set strategic actions or procedures towards developing a disaster plan to prepare for and mitigate future disasters.

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  • Saltwater Modelling of Fire Gas Flow through a Horizontal Ceiling Opening

    Le Quesne, Marcus Andrew (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    When fires occur in domestic or commercial buildings it is the smoke from the fire that leads to far more injury and death than the heat produced from the flames. Understanding the movement of smoke within the fire compartment and through openings in the enclosure is critical for designing buildings to prevent fire fatalities. Prediction of the movement of smoke is a complex phenomenon and is a continued focus of research throughout the world. Work has been conducted in the past on the exchange flow rates through vertical openings, but very little has been done on horizontal ceiling openings. Current smoke transport calculations are most often carried out using standard vent flow models that do not accurately take in to account the buoyancy component of the flow. The fire zone model BRANZFire was developed with a ceiling vent flow algorithm based on the work of Cooper who found there was very little data on which to base his predictions. This report aims to provide additional experimental data on exchange flow rates through horizontal ceiling openings through the use of saltwater modelling and compare this to the work previously undertaken by Cooper. Taking measurements of fire phenomena in hot and smoky environments can be difficult and expensive because the sooty environment and high temperatures involved can damage equipment and make taking accurate readings a challenge. Herein this problem is overcome through the use of a saltwater analogue system to model the conditions in a real fire scenario. The density difference created by a fire between the hot fire gases and the ambient air is replicated by using fresh and saltwater. The orientation of the experiment is inverted compared to the real life scenario as the saltwater which has the higher density is added to the fresh water. The saltwater is injected from a source on the ‘floor’ of the compartment into a tank of fresh water which generates a buoyant plume that ‘rises’ to the ceiling forming a distinct upper layer. Fluid in this layer exchanges with the ambient fluid through the ceiling opening. The saltwater is dyed and Light Attenuation (LA) is used to discern the density of the fluid and hence the amount of mixing that has occurred. This can then be used to determine the amount of exchange flow through the ceiling vent. An integral model for the descent of the interface between the hot smoky zone and the cool ambient zone has been developed and was found to perform well when compared with the saltwater experiments and another predictive model developed by Turner and Baines. The model was then developed further using mass conservation conventions to calculate the exchange flow through the ceiling opening. The exchange rate through the ceiling opening was calculated and was found to compare well with Cooper’s algorithm when an equivalent fire size of 323 kW was used but differed significantly when a fire twice this size was considered. It was found that Cooper’s method did not adequately take into account the difference in fire sizes as the exchange flow predicted was almost identical between fire sizes for a particular ceiling vent. The implications of this are that the exchange, and hence the mixing and the amount of smoke, may be under predicted using larger fires in BRANZFire and this could lead to non-conservative design.

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  • Treatment for People with Coexisting Problems: Opinions and Practices of Alcohol and Other Drug Workers

    Gilbert, Claire Violet (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Little is known about the opinions and practices of the New Zealand addiction workforce in addressing coexisting problems with individuals accessing alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, despite coexisting problems being the norm in clinical settings. The aim of this study was to survey the New Zealand addiction workforce about workers' opinions and practices in addressing coexisting problems with individuals accessing AOD services. More specifically, the objective was to investigate the mental health assessment and treatment practices of workers. It also sought to explore gender differences in regard to workers' opinions and practices of coexisting problems. Finally, it sought to identify the mental health training needs of workers that would build their capability in addressing coexisting problems with individuals. Specific questions for this study were included in the 2008 National Telephone Survey of the addiction workforce undertaken by the National Addiction Centre. Independent interviewers conducted phone interviews with 232 AOD workers. This sample comprised an aging, stable workforce of predominantly New Zealand pakeha as well as 15% indigenous Maori workers. A third of the workers described themselves as 'in recovery' from a substance use problem. Counsellors comprised the largest professional group (58%). Close to half of the sampled workforce held a postgraduate qualification and nearly two-thirds possessed an AOD specific qualification. Findings from this study highlighted several differences in the opinions and practices of workers in addressing coexisting problems with clients. Primarily, workers' reported assessment practice did not match what they perceived to be optimal assessment practices or their reported mental health treatment practices. Less than a third of workers who undertook a comprehensive assessment asked about all five listed coexisting mental health disorders. This substantial underdiagnosis is cause for concern given the wide recognition and best practice guidelines emphasising the necessity of screening for these coexisting problems during a comprehensive AOD assessment. Workers reported routinely using a broad range of mental health interventions when addressing coexisting problems with clients and strongly endorsed most interventions as part of the optimal treatment of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, as a group they were significantly less likely to endorse referral to mental health support groups, referral to counselling or provide gender-specific treatment as part of the optimal treatment for depression and PTSD. Workers' opinions and practices were significantly associated with their previous formal education relating to mental health issues, qualification level, professional group and ethnicity as well as with how frequently they reported addressing clients' coexisting problems. Formal education relating to mental health issues appeared to have mixed effects on practice. Formal education relating to mental health assessment failed to predict workers' assessment practice, whereas, formal education about mental health interventions and coexisting problems strongly predicted workers' mental health intervention practices. The only significant gender difference observed was that women reported that they were more confident, in comparison with their male colleagues, in addressing coexisting problems with clients, suggesting, overall, that male and female workers are similar in their practice. However, little is known about the influence of gender on workers' practice and, therefore, requires further investigation. Most AOD workers wanted further education about coexisting problems to assist them in their practice. However, taken overall, the findings from this study and the broader literature suggest up-skilling the workforce is complex and requires workforce development strategies to address the factors influencing practice at both individual and organisational levels. Implications for clinical practice, workforce development and research are discussed with attention to building the capabilities and competences of the AOD workforce in accordance with the overall goal of providing effective comprehensive treatment for individuals with coexisting problems.

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  • Mechanical design of the legs of Dolomedes aquaticus - Novel approaches to quantify the hydraulic contribution to joint movement and to create a segmented 3D spider model

    Reußenzehn, Stefan (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Recent findings of integrative studies of locomotion have revealed that the principles of exploiting natural interactions of the moving body and its mechanical coupling with its environment are essential for efficient locomotion. Thus agility depends as much on mechanical design as on neural control. This work investigates specific aspects of mechanical design of spiders relevant to agile locomotion. Like other arthropods, spiders are capable of agile movement, but the anatomical mechanisms underlying this behavior are somewhat unique: instead of leg articulation being solely driven by muscle movement, spiders employ a hydraulic system to extend certain joints exclusively by hemolymph pressure. Thus the mechanical design of their legs is different from that of insects examined in previous studies. This makes spiders particularly interesting for further research in this area. The methods developed in this study provide a quantitative description of the angle-volume characteristics for femur-patella and tibia-metatarsus joints in the nursery web spider Dolomedes aquaticus, a semi aquatic arachnid from New Zealand. I designed an apparatus based on the principle of joint volume shift caused by passive joint movement to measure the displacement of hemolymph as a leg is flexed. Computational image analysis of video recordings from experimental trials was achieved using a custom-made algorithm. I fitted exponential, polynomial, power-law and hyperbolic models to the angle-volume data and used Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) to evaluate how well each model described the hydraulic characteristic of each joint. Based on AIC values the polynomial model had the best fit. Angle-volume characteristics for tibia-metatarsus joints revealed a continuous increase in volume-shift with more posterior position of the individual leg. For femur-patella joints the angle-volume characteristic of the most posterior leg was also the most pronounced. In contrast to the tibia-metatarsus joint the angle-volume characteristic of the anterior third leg showed the least volume-shift while the anterior second leg was almost equal to that of the most posterior leg. Results for standardized angle-volume characteristics suggest that joint volume in D. aquaticus scales according to geometric similarity. However, no consistent pattern for the standardization factor could be identified. In addition to the angle-volume characteristics a 3D model of D. aquaticus was reconstructed. I used modern micro-CT technology to generate a surface rendering dataset of a specimen. This technique provided sufficient accuracy to reproduce the topography of the external geometry. The surface model was segmented using position of joint axes as a reference. Segments were reconstructed manually using simple mesh geometries which were superimposed on the CT surface model. The resulting 3D model closely resembled the segmented exoskeleton and provides a platform for the construction of a fully functional biomechanical model of this species which will allow numerical simulations of inverse and forward-dynamics. Mechanical leg design is expected to be a key determinant of gait and locomotor efficiency. This study represents a further step towards an integrative analysis of mechanical leg design and its effect on locomotor dynamics. The findings contribute to an integrative understanding of the unique locomotor strategy employed by spiders. Furthermore, information and data are provided for computational modelling and technical applications in the field of robotics.

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  • An Infrared Spectroscopic and Dynamic Contact Angle Study of the Water-Ferrihydrite Interface

    Shephard, Jacob James (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    An improved understanding of the influences upon the structure of water at interfaces is becoming increasingly important for further advances in materials chemistry and for surface engineering applications. As hydration forces influence the surface properties and reactivity of materials, a clearer understanding may enable greater control over chemical processes such as corrosion and catalysis and in the design of materials with specific wetting properties. Three influences on the orientation of interfacial water have been identified from sum frequency vibrational spectroscopy (SFVS) data; the tendency to maximise hydrogen bonding interactions in the bulk; the strength of hydrogen bonding interactions with the surface; and net surface charge, which forces an alignment of the water dipole. The orientation and structure of interfacial water are necessarily co-dependant which is reflected by the ice-like structure of water at hydrophobic surfaces where puckered hexagonal water layers combine with dangling OH bonds, directed towards the interface. Although SFVS data have indicated that net charge and variation in the interaction strength with surface species influence the orientation of interfacial water, the further influence of this change in orientation on interfacial water structure has not been determined. In this thesis multivariate curve resolution (MCR) has been applied to attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectra to probe the above-mentioned influences on interfacial water structure. The variation with pH in the ATR-IR spectra of high surface area ferrihydrite particle films revealed that decreasing pH increased the proportion of Fe-OH2 +1/2 surface species relative to Fe-OH-1/2 and influenced the structure of water in the first hydration layer which became more like that of bulk water with decreasing pH. The low wavenumber of IR absorptions corresponding to interfacial water hydrogen bonded to Fe-OH-1/2 surface species indicates a strong hydrogen bonding interaction which reflects the distribution of charge at the interface. The influence of variation in relative humidity (RH) on the ATR-IR spectra and contact potential difference (CPD) between ferrihydrite particle films and a Kelvin probe further indicated that the distribution of charge at the interface was influenced by hydration and associated changes in water structure. A different variation with pH was observed in the ATR-IR spectra above and below the point of zero charge (PZC) indicting that the net surface charge influenced the orientation of interfacial water further from the surface and that the stability of an ice-like structure was reduced by the positively-charged surface. Variation with pH in dynamic water contact angles on thin ferrihydrite particle films also highlighted the influence of net surface charge on interfacial water structure with advancing contact angles effected by pH > PZC and receding contact angles effected by pH < PZC.

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  • Archival Tagging and Feeding of the New Zealand Sea Star, Coscinasterias muricata (Verrill) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea), in Doubtful Sound

    Channon, Tracey Simon (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Many species of sea stars are considered to be keystone species, meaning they have a considerable effect on the habitat in which they are found. Their feeding within the habitat will often control the distribution of associated species. Investigating feeding activity at an individual level will enable researchers to better understand how they structure marine communities. Also, understanding how food limitations may affect their growth or reproductive potential will give us a better understanding of how populations of sea stars react to changes in their environment, particularly in relation to changes in food availability. Until now there has been little research completed on the individual movement of sea stars, particularly over extended periods. The first aim of this research was to develop a method of tagging the mobile, subtidal invertebrate Coscinasterias muricata that could be employed easily in-situ and later be used in an effort to monitor the movements of the sea star in relation to the freshwater layer which is found nearly permanently in Doubtful Sound. The second aim of the following thesis was to test the use of electronic archival tags in the field as a method of examining the ecology of a subtidal marine invertebrate, as opposed to more conventional methods, such as direct diver observations. The final aim of this thesis was to determine what, if any, affects food limitations have on the survival, growth and potential reproductive output has on Coscinasterias muricata. The New Zealand sea star, Coscinasterias muricata, was tagged with small archival electronic tags that recorded water temperature and depth every 5minutes for up to 2 weeks. Tagging was undertaken to test the viability of using electronic tags in research on the ecology of sea stars in a New Zealand fjord, where their vertical distribution is influenced by the presence of low-salinity layers. The effects of tagging were tested prior to in situ use, and tagging showed no significant influence on survival, feeding, righting ability or movements. Tagging of the sea stars in their natural environment at Espinosa Point, Doubtful Sound, New Zealand provided information on their vertical movements over periods of up to 2 weeks. The movement was compared to physical environmental data including the depth of the low salinity layer. The tagged sea stars showed variation between individuals and between tagging trials in their movements. However in all but a couple of short periods the sea stars remained in water that was close to full salinity. When the low-salinity layer was relatively shallow (February 2008) the sea stars moved into shallower waters, where they were likely feeding on the dense mussel band found in the shallows. It was concluded that the sea stars were able to move at rates that would allow them to track the bottom of the low-salinity layer as the tide moved in and out and when the tide was high and the bottom of the mussel band was exposed to full salinity sea water the sea stars would be able to feed on the mussels and still escape the low-salinity layer as the tide moved out. Laboratory studies into the effects of food limitations on the survival, growth and reproductive potential of the sea stars were conducted over a period of 185 days. Limited food availability had no effect on the sea star in terms of their survival, somatic growth, pyloric caeca index or gonadal index. Limited food availability had an effect on the timing of gametogenesis as seen through examination of the oocytes and spermatogenic columns of the sea stars. Rather than the development of the oocytes and spermatogenic columns being affected, it was the timing of the stages of this development that appear to be influenced by a reduce quantity of food. From the research conducted it appears that both male and female sea stars fed ad libitum reached maturity earlier than sea stars with restricted quantities of food. This study is one of the first to utilise electronic tagging to study the ecology of a mobile invertebrate such as a sea star. The success of this initial study suggests that valuable quantitative could be gained by future tagging of these animals.

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  • An application of Protection Motivation Theory to assess public acceptance and willingness to pay towards personalized food nutrition

    Petermann, Rosemarie (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Obesity and related diseases such as type two diabetes, cardio vascular diseases, cholesterol, cancer etc. affect negatively the health and the socioeconomic welfare of all New Zealanders. Care for obese patients have financial and practical implications, including risks to patients and health professionals, the need for special equipment and training, and prolonged rehabilitation. In addition, obese individuals displace other people in need of treatment. The increasing number of New Zealanders exposed to these diseases is raising public concern among scientists, stakeholders and politicians. One of the solutions to counteract obesity and related diseases could come from the application of new technology and personalised food nutrition. As a result, this study aims at exploring public acceptance of nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition in New Zealand. The public acceptance towards the introduction of new technology will be assessed by estimating the willingness to pay for a nutrigenomics test. Furthermore, consumers’ willingness to follow personalised food recommendations deriving from the nutrigenomics test was evaluated exploring by preferences and willingness to pay for a diet containing a bundle of functional foods. Since socio-economic and demographic characteristics of consumers are losing their explanatory power, protection motivation theory was employed to explore the impact of psychological constructs on willingness to pay for nutrigenomics and personalised food nutrition. The objective was reached using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. As regards to qualitative research, four consumer focus groups interviews were conducted between June and September 2009 to obtain insights about concern for diet related diseases, factors influencing healthy food choice and public acceptance of nutrigenomics test and personalised nutrition based on a bundle of functional foods. Focus group results show that participants were mainly concerned about heart and cardiovascular diseases, whereas obesity was not perceived as a disease. Foods containing high levels of sugar and saturated fats were identified as being responsible for people unhealthy weight. The main constrains behind healthy food choices appeared to be time and price. Information in food labels was often too hard to understand. In addition, participants were unfamiliar with the concepts of nutrigenomics and functional foods but not with the consumption of the latter products. These inputs were used to develop a contingent valuation survey, which was administered by means of a questionnaire between January and March 2010. Survey results showed that that nearly 75% of respondents were willing to accept the introduction of the new technology but they were suspicious about the way in which information will be used by society. The expected mean of willingness to pay for the nutrigenomics test was NZ$409.49 and that for personalised nutrition based on a regular consumption of a bundle of functional foods was NZ$52.84 a week. Estimates show that socio-economic and demographic characteristics of respondents influence willingness to pay for the nutrigenomics test and personalised nutrition. However, in both models, the introduction of psychological constructs developed using protection motivation theory and health related variables improve the goodness of fit especially for willingness to pay for the nutrigenomics test. These findings are useful both for policy makers who can think about the possibility and risks of introducing new technology in New Zealand as well for the marketers who can develop marketing strategies to target personalised functional foods to specific market segments.

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  • Production and characterization of salivaricin MPS-like inhibitory activity from streptococcus uberis strain NY42

    Wang, Yi (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Streptococcus salivarius, a predominant bacterial species found in the human oral cavity, is increasingly studied for its production of bacteriocin-like activity. Much of the interest in the study of S. salivarius is driven by the perceived potential probiotic applications. The preliminary characterization of salivaricin MPS (salMPS), a bacteriocin produced by S. salivarius strain MPS revealed a large antimicrobial molecule with specific inhibitory activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, a potential human pathogen. In the present study, the production of salivaricin MPS was evaluated from its original producer strain MPS using various growth media. Contrary to previous findings, it was almost impossible to detect any inhibitory activity when the producer was grown in liquid THB (Todd-Hewitt broth) medium, with or without supplement. The additional inhibitory activity of strain MPS towards non-S. pyogenes indicators and presumed two-component inhibitor system (from two salMPS genes) further complicated the production scenario. In comparison, Streptococcus uberis strain NY42 which was selected from the screening study as an alternative salMPS producer demonstrated a more specific anti-S. pyogenes salMPS-like inhibitor activity while containing only one of the two salMPS genes found in strain MPS. Recovery of salMPS-like activity from strain NY42 was mainly achieved by freeze thaw method extraction of cultures grown on blood agar. The biggest challenge during the enrichment of the inhibitory activity using ammonium sulfate precipitation was the interference by large amounts of haemoglobin from the blood agar that associated with the inhibitory activity. Attempts at removing the haemoglobin from the inhibitory activity using guanidine hydrochloride and urea did not succeed. Fractionation of the NY42 freeze thaw sample using gel permeation HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) did indicate the presence of the putative salMPS-like inhibitor within the active fractions, supported by the SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacylamide gel electrophoresis) and mass spectrometry analysis results, although data from online database searching was less significant due to the lack of suitable library entries. The effect of blood and saliva as well as uv-irradiation on the production of inhibitory activity by several P-type 226 producer strains was also investigated in this study. In addition, the possibility of using S. pyogenes cells to bind salMPS-like activity, followed by an attempt to release the inhibitory activity was also assessed. Despite all the difficulties with the original producer S. salivarius strain MPS, the study of strain NY42 discovered an alternative producer capable of producing a similar but more specific inhibitory activity compared to strain MPS. Purification of salMPS-like inhibitor using HPLC, combined with 1D (one dimension) -PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis further demonstrated the possibility of using strain NY42 as a favorable salMPS producer.

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  • Correlates of Tertiary Student Life Satisfaction

    Raman, Jerode R (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    What determines life satisfaction for young people? Many studies have looked at factors that correlate with an individual’s level of life satisfaction however the vast majority of those studies focused on elderly populations. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships of a number of research variables with life satisfaction for a tertiary student population. The relationships would be determined by correlating the research variables with life satisfaction. General intelligence, romantic relationship, academic goals, academic performance, health status, religiosity and social contact were measured, and correlated with life satisfaction. The sample in the current study comprised 129 undergraduate students from the University of Waikato. It was found that general intelligence, religiosity and social contact did not have any significant correlations with any of the other research variables, including life satisfaction. Romantic relationship, academic goals, academic performance and health status were found to have a significant positive correlation with life satisfaction. Success in a select group of life domains had a significant positive correlation with life satisfaction for undergraduate tertiary students. Having a successful romantic relationship, focusing on academic activities and being in good physical health all correlated positively with life satisfaction for undergraduate tertiary students. Practical implications of the results as well as future research possibilities are discussed.

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  • The Composition of Arylstibonic Acids

    Wright, Cody Elvin (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis describes a detailed ESI-MS investigation into the arylstibonic acids, organo-antimony-containing compounds that are currently of interest as anticancer reagents. Four arylstibonic acids, of nominal formula RC6H4SbO3H2 [R = p-chloro-, p-tolyl-, p-nitro- and α-naphthyl-] were synthesised, and a further eight archival samples from the National Cancer Institute Repository were obtained for use in the project. Results indicate clearly that the acids exist as polyoxometalate aggregates [H8(RSb)12O28], rather than monomeric species, in both the solid state and in acetonitrile solution, thus resolving a century-old debate concerning the nature of their molecular composition. Variations in solvent, time in solution and pH have also defined the stability of these aggregates under different conditions. Synthesis of arylstibonic acids by traditional methods (pre-1940) has been shown to lead to products contaminated with cations present during their preparation. An improved method of synthesis has been devised, and the crystal structure of an intermediate in the synthesis of these acids, [C6NH6][p-O2NC6H4SbCl5], is reported. Salts of arylstibonic acids with a range of cations were investigated by ESI-MS and shown to form a diverse family of polyoxostibonates with nuclearities including Sb12, Sb14 and Sb16. Crystal structures containing some of these aggregates, verified through parallel studies with collaborators, are described. Preliminary study of mixed polyoxometalates (Sb/As) showed a strong tendency to form As4Sb2 species but these could not be fully characterised.

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  • Stress and anxiety in IVF and non-IVF pregnancies

    Clausen, Elizabeth Dorothy (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    As an increasing number of couples experience difficulties conceiving a child, the demand for assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) continues to grow. A great deal of research has been done on the process of enabling conception but much less research has been done on pregnancy experiences of the parents, and previous research has concluded that couples treated with ARTs experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. Given that these responses can negatively impact the development of the foetus, this is an important area of study. The aim of this study was to compare pregnancy experiences, including stress and anxiety levels, of women and their partners who were pregnant after treatment with ARTs with pregnancy experiences of women and their partners who had conceived spontaneously. Participants in the study were 38 women pregnant from IVF, 31 IVF partners, 38 control women who conceived spontaneously, and 13 control partners. The women were all past their first trimester of pregnancy. All participants completed a battery of psychometric measures including demographic questionnaires and seven self-report inventories. The study found that IVF mothers did not experience pregnancy differently from control mothers, however, both IVF mothers and control mothers experienced higher anxiety and lower mood compared to their partners, and IVF couples reported lower quality of life. Focusing on IVF couples, the pregnancy experiences of partners revealed they felt more controlled in their relationship, irrespective of having prior children, and IVF couples with children felt less supported from family and their social network. Furthermore, IVF partners felt more controlled within their relationships irrespective of the treatment type used and the duration of the treatment process. Analyses also revealed two or more treatment cycles had an effect on couple’s ability to cope. The findings of this study showing similar pregnancy experiences between IVF mothers and control mothers, and IVF couples pregnancy experiences on the basis of prior family, treatment type and duration, is advantageous for the positive outcomes of their unborn children. The small number of control partner participants was a limitation of this study, and future research could include strategies that might improve the response rate. In addition, future studies could include qualitative data to gain a personal perspective as a supplement to statistical analyses, and longitudinal studies could compare similar groups from conception to a period after the birth of the child. The study showed the resiliency of IVF couples who had endured the processes of ARTs, some of whom commented that they would prefer extended professional care as an addition to the treatment processes.

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  • The Importance of Empowerment: New Parents' Experiences of Community Support Services, and the Impact that these Services have on Communities.

    Milligan (nee Marshall), Briar (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis has focused on exploring the experiences of families with young children (aged three or under) and the role that community support services play in supporting these families. Previous researchers have found that support provided through community organisations could play a key role in increasing the wellbeing of parents and families. This study has investigated these findings, with the reference to the experiences of New Zealand families, a subject that has not yet been fully explored. The findings from this study demonstrated that community support services were able to increase parents' knowledge and skills; they assisted them in developing social networks and friendships and provided a range of resources for their children. However, when the services provided were not appropriate to the needs of the family, or the participants experienced discrimination and social judgement when accessing services, this lead to the families experiencing increasing levels of stress. The findings of this study mirrored the key ideas which had already been developed from previous research. However, this study also revealed some new theories and conceptions of support which have not been discussed. These included the impact support services can have on families' experiences of stress and the lowered social position which mothers can experience when accessing support. Further research is needed in order to fully explore these issues. In conclusion, this study has reinforced the significant role that community support services can play, in the empowerment of New Zealand families and the successful functioning of communities.

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  • Factors affecting the replacement of wooden harvesting bins with plastic equivalents for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry

    Harmandeep, Jaura (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The New Zealand Kiwifruit Industry is one of the biggest in the world. New Zealand grown kiwifruit is exported to more than 60 countries with Europe, Japan, Asia and U.S being the major markets. Currently, wooden bins are used for picking, handling and storing kiwifruit. Horticulture industries in many countries including the U.S, Europe, and Australia started using plastic harvesting bins over 40 years ago due to additional benefits of using plastic. However, this technology is still not put into practice in New Zealand mainly due to wood availability, familiarity with wooden bins and lack of knowledge reflecting the benefits of plastic harvesting bins. In this study, physical damage to kiwifruit in contact to different types of wooden and plastic harvesting bins was quantified and compared. The objective of the research was to indentify various physical damage mechanisms to kiwifruit and their relative significance during harvesting and storage. Mechanical damage was simulated as compression, abrasion and impact tests, conducted under laboratory conditions. The main finding of this research was that contact with wooden surfaces caused a significant amount of visible damage to kiwifruit, more so than any plastic surface. In terms of venting, 10mm vents in plastic showed least amount of damage. Compression on 10 mm plastic vents resulted in only 10 % fruit rejection , which was the minimum among all tests under ambient and coolstorage conditions. Almost all tests with wood resulted in 100% fruit rejection; this means that the whole bottom layered fruit would be rejected from a wooden bin. No significant differences were observed in percentage mass loss of fruit compressed on different wooden surfaces for both 10 and 25N firmness fruit under ambient and coolstorage conditions. This suggested that for wood, having flat or vented surface does not make a difference in percentage mass loss. It was found that impacting fruit on wooden and flat plastic surfaces caused about 30% fruit bruising, however, no bruising was observed in fruit impacted on vented plastic surfaces. It can be concluded that plastic bins are superior to wooden bins due to less fruit wastage and bruising. The research established that the initial investment of replacing a wooden harvesting with a plastic bin can be recovered within first 5 years. In addition, plastic bin would recover more than its cost by savings on less fruit rejection.

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  • Efficient Internet Topology Discovery Techniques

    King, Alistair John (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Current macroscopic Internet topology discovery projects use large numbers of vantage points to conduct traceroute surveys of Internet paths. These projects send billions of unsolicited packets to millions of routers within the Internet. Due to the structure of the Internet, many of these packets are sent without gaining any new topology information. In this thesis, we implement and extensively test a largescale doubletree system designed to increase the efficiency of topology mapping projects and reduce the load that they place on the Internet. Also, for all of the effort that current projects put into gathering data, the methods used do not discover, with confidence, the entire set of paths. We propose, implement and critique a novel algorithm, economical MDA traceroute, which is designed to discover a comprehensive topology in a manner which is more efficient than the current state of the art. We show that, compared to current methods, well over 90% link coverage can be obtained while reducing the number of probes used by over 60%. We also evaluate alternate methods for making large scale topology discovery projects more efficient and comprehensive; such as using BGP routing data to guide probing.

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  • Gilgamesh, the hero of Mesopotamia

    Aziz, Lamia (2010-02-04T03:18:57Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis creatively reconsiders the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh and offers a design of the ancient epic as a contemporary, illustrated text. The work is concerned with notions of heroism, and methods relating to construction of imagery. The manifestation of this investigation is the illustrated book Gilgamesh, the Hero of Mesopotamia, which comprises the principal site of research in the project. It consists of thirty-six drawings that explore cyclic composition as a form of narrative discourse.

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