1,213 results for Masters, 2015

  • Evaluation of composite laminates interleaved with nanofibre and microfibre veils

    Collins-Gargan, Rosalie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

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

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

    MacLennan, Brigitte Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

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

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  • Shifting Downtown

    Dewhirst, Winston (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tendency: Haphazard development consumes the landscape stripping it of character and disrupting natural processes. Development of this type is prevalent in small growing rural towns featuring foreign urban designs transposed over the land which create a conflict between permanent urban infrastructure and the transient landscape. Natural processes have become ‘natural hazards’, and the landscape has become ‘green spaces’ which are completely indifferent to the original landscape character. The Thesis looks at the possibility of settlement patterns which retrofit the natural systems into an urban framework. This forms a symbiotic relationship between movement patterns of natural processes and the urban development patterns, aiming to keep the original character of the landscape as the urban centres identity and give space for natural systems to function. The town of Paraparaumu is used as a case study.

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

    Joy, Jullian Gilbert (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Bole, John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Jordan, Adam Roger John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Olivecrona, Natalia (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Chilala, Belindah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Jackson, Bryony (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Appleton, Ian Clive (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Mandeno, Celia A (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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

    Twyman, Kirsty (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

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

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  • A prelimiary descriptive epidemiology study on angular limb deformities in a sample of commerical New Zealand thoroughbred foals : A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of AgriScience (Equine) Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Van Lierde, Maxim Walter Jeanine (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    A prospective observational study was carried out to provide descriptive epidemiology of angular limb deformities (ALD) at several predetermined time-points in a sample of Thoroughbred foals born during the 2013/14 breeding season across five commercial North Island Thoroughbred stud farms. The stud farms selected were a convenience sample based on geographical location, annual foal crop and their willingness to partake in the study. Data were collected for foals scored at birth, foal heat (2 weeks), 6 weeks, and weaning age (approximately 5 months). Foals were examined for the presence of angular deviations at the carpal, tarsal and fetlock joints; these were graded on a scale ranging from 1-5 in severity between 0 and 20, which was quantified using an ALD measuring limb protractor designed for the study. Foals were also examined for the presence of offset carpal joints and rotational deformities of the cannon and pastern regions. A total of 230 foals were scored for the presence of ALD at birth. Overall, 78% (180/230) were recorded to have one or more ALD at birth. This was significantly more than at foal heat (71%; 39/55), six weeks (29%; 18/55), and weaning age (12%; 30/257) (p< 0.001). A total of 363 ALD were recorded at birth, 66% (239/363) were recorded as severity score 2. Angular limb deformities with severity scores 3 and 4 were recorded less frequently (31%; 112/363); there were no ALD with severity score of 5 recorded throughout the trial. There was no significant association of overall occurrence of ALD to gestation length, mare age and foal gender. Inter-observer agreement on the presence and severity of ALD was strong between study personnel and fair between study personnel and stud staff, (k = 0.75, 95% CI) and (k = 0.27, 95% CI) respectively. The greatest source of disagreement was in the scoring of mild ALD, and ALD at the carpal joint. Disagreement was attributed to a low number of simultaneous scorings between study personnel and stud staff, and the dynamic effect that changes in stance and maturation of foals during the first days post-partum have on the perception of ALD and severity. Data for the management of ALD were recorded for 27% (71/265) of the foals scored with ALD over the course of the trial. Management of ALD across all stud farms involved a period of conservative management before any surgical interventions. Confinement (39%; 86/222) and hoof trimming (28%; 62/222) were the most frequently recorded methods of early intervention. Surgical interventions (5%; 12/222) were reserved for foals with severe ALD and those with ALD that had not responded to a period of conservative intervention. Across all stud farms treatments were tailored to individual foals, highlighting the dynamic nature of foal development.

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  • One Pot Double Network Hydrogels: Progress Towards Synthesis of Applicable Crosslinking Agents

    Sutherland, Peter Hugh (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Our work initially looked at the possibility of being able to synthesis a double network hydrogel in just one free radical polymerisation. We intended to carefully select three compounds based on their copolymerisation reactivity under free radical conditions. This reactivity would generate a tightly cross-linked network first, followed by a loosely cross-linked network in one process. The hypothesis was tested by a Monte-Carlo simulation which showed that this two network state was achievable with known reactivity ratios. This work primarily focuses on the synthesis of novel cross-linkers based on N-vinyl pyrrolidone (1). This monomer has the necessary copolymerisation ratios with methyl methacrylate for this project, so simple difunctional analogues of 1 were designed. The synthesis and purification of these analogues proved not to be straightforward, and in the end only very small amounts of a suitable material were obtained. While the idea has merit, new ways of synthesising the key cross-linker still need to be found.

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  • Communicating New Zealand's Organic Certification

    Barbalich, Gerard (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    As the New Zealand organics industry continues to grow, a unified message would aid consumer understanding and branding. Currently, certification is producer-focused, while consumers express confusion surrounding organic products and the associated benefits. This thesis argues that current organic certification schemes should be altered through: (i) aligning marketing strategies under the scientifically validated environmental benefits of organic products, and (ii) implementing strategies that are line with the dialogue model of science communication. While the domestic and international organic markets for organic products are growing, international studies show consumer confusion – especially relating to organic labelling (Henryks & Pearson, 2011). The communication of current certification schemes is ill suited to communicate the benefit of organic products and manage the branding of organic products. Implementing the proposed changes will aid an industry that was worth an estimated $215-$225m in exports during 2012, and $126-$133m domestically (Cooper et al., 2013). Strengthening the communication of organic certification in New Zealand will (i) improve the brand performance of organic certifiers and producers, and (ii) improve national branding (Dinnie, 2008). In addition to the academic component, an informally styled story explores the production chain of an organically produced sheep (this story comprises the creative component and draws upon poetic licence). It explores several issues and perceptions of organic products, including: sustainability, environmental protection, and human health.

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  • SMA-raloxifene for the management of castrate-resistant prostate cancer

    Pritchard, Tara Cheree (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) has a poor prognosis, and these tumours are refractory to conventional androgen deprivation therapy. In addition to androgen, oestrogen alone or combined with androgen induces abnormal growth and neoplastic transformation of the prostate, therefore, providing a secondary target. The selective oestrogen receptor modulator raloxifene elicits disease stabilisation in a small number of CRPC patients, and the encapsulation of raloxifene into a styrene copoly(maleic acid) micelle (SMA-raloxifene) shows the potential to improve its efficacy. Further investigation in the current study determined the greater in vitro cytotoxicity of SMA-raloxifene (5 μM) is a result of the higher intracellular internalisation compared to the free drug. This resulted in a 75% higher intracellular raloxifene concentration after 48 h in PC-3 cells. Additionally, raloxifene (10 μM) elicited a reduction in phosphorylation of proteins involved in cell proliferation, survival, and migration including Met, Akt, FAK, and Src to 29, 14, 17, and 45% of control expression, respectively, as evaluated by western blot. SMA-raloxifene elicited an even greater reduction in Met and Akt phosphorylation, reducing expression to 1 and 5% of control, respectively. The efficacy of SMA-raloxifene was then examined in a CRPC xenograft model with the hypothesis that the micelle would accumulate and be retained within the tumour for longer as a result of the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Male SCID mice (7-8 weeks) were subcutaneously implanted with PC-3 cells (1 x 106) bilaterally into the lower flank, and randomly allocated into treatment groups (n=8). Mice were treated weekly for 4 weeks via intravenous tail vein injection with the vehicle control, 1 or 5 mg/kg of free raloxifene, or 1 mg/kg of SMA-raloxifene. At the end of the treatment period, mice treated with 1 mg/kg of free raloxifene exhibited a reduction in tumour progression by 20%, and an equivalent dose of SMA-raloxifene reduced progression by 39%. 1 mg/kg of SMA-raloxifene reduced tumour progression equivalently to a dose of free raloxifene 5-fold higher (i.e. 5 mg/kg). Despite this reduction in tumour progression, treatment did not induce disease stabilisation. A biodistribution study was then conducted in a CRPC xenograft model as described above. It was concluded that SMA-raloxifene (5 mg/kg, i.v.) increased the retention of raloxifene within the tumour compared to the free drug, resulting in 69% higher intratumoural raloxifene concentration 24 h post-injection. This is likely to be a result of the higher internalisation of drug as demonstrated in vitro, as well as an increased stability and reduced metabolism of the drug within micelles. Overall, SMA-raloxifene significantly improved the drug’s efficacy towards CRPC cells in vitro and in vivo; however, optimisation of SMA-raloxifene is required to further potentiate treatment efficacy for the management of CRPC.

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  • Scavenging amphipods of the Tonga Trench: an analysis of community assemblage and population structure

    Wilson, James Peter Ashley (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The hadal zone is the common name for the deepest section of the ocean (6,000-11,000 m depth). It encompasses 45 % of the ocean’s depth range, and is mostly represented by oceanic trenches. Trench habitats lack sufficient sampling and the communities within are not well understood. Often, samples are derived from a single depth and thus the population dynamics of trench communities have not been analysed comprehensively. Scavenging amphipods are abundant and diverse taxa in the trench environment, and have been found in every trench sampled to date. They rapidly intercept and consume carrion falls at the deepest trench depths, and act as key prey items to predators in the shallower depths of the hadal zone. There appears to be a relationship of increasing abundance and decreasing diversity of scavenging amphipods with depth. However in the Tonga Trench, sampling of hadal amphipods has been limited, and these patterns remain unclear. The QUELLE (Quest for the Limit of Life) project in 2013 was led by The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). As part of this project, the YOK 13-10 voyage examined scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench. The voyage used baited traps to sample depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m from October 6 – October 21 in 2013. The main objectives of the present study were to: identify scavenging amphipod assemblages within the Tonga Trench and compare them to other trenches of the South Pacific; analyse the population structure of Hirondellea dubia between depths in the Tonga Trench; and identify a suitable total length proxy for H. dubia. Six species of amphipods were identified from depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m in the Tonga Trench. At ˜6,250 m Alicella gigantea, Eurythenes gryllus, H. dubia, Bathycallisoma schellenbergi, an alicellid species, and a gammarid species were recovered. In contrast, H. dubia was the only species recovered from ˜10,800 m. The abundance of amphipods was higher at the ˜10,800 m site while the diversity was much lower. The assemblage of scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench was similar to those from past sampling efforts in the same trench. There were also similarities to the assemblages in the adjacent Kermadec Trench, and together these observations support the classification of these two trenches as a single biogeographic province. The assemblages in the Peru-Chile Trench in the South East Pacific were more dissimilar sharing only a few species. The present study provides new Tonga Trench records of the vertical ranges of A. gigantea, E. gryllus, and H. dubia. It also extends the maximum known depth of H. dubia to 10,807 m. This thesis expanded our current knowledge of A. gigantea, by reporting the first instance of this large amphipod in the Tonga Trench, and the second known instance of the species at hadal depths. An analysis of Hirondellea dubia population structure revealed ontogenetic vertical structuring in the Tonga Trench. Juveniles dominated the composition in the shallow end of the H. dubia vertical range, while very few juveniles were found at the deepest site. Juveniles were substantially smaller at ˜6,250 m compared to ˜10,800 m, and this may suggest that juveniles migrate down the trench slope with increasing age. The most likely mechanism for distributing juveniles to the shallower depths is the ascending migration of brooding females. However, this is still not certain as no brooding females were captured. The shallower depth provides a higher quality of food source and the reduced hydrostatic pressure allows for a faster metabolic rate. Thus, this distribution is likely driven by the distribution of food sources throughout the trench in combination with hydrostatic pressure. The dimensions of several established proxies for total length were evaluated for H. dubia. Pereonite 2-7 had the strongest correlation to total length, however it was highly distorted by dorsal curvature. Both the pereonite 2-7 and the pleosome were considered inaccurate due to sexual dimorphism making them inappropriate as proxies. Pereonite 1 was proportionately larger in juvenile lifestages. However, overall pereonite 1 was considered the strongest candidate for a proxy, this is because it was the least influenced by dorsal curvature and was a conspicuous segment that was easy to measure.

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  • Playing the Game and Pulling the Fingers: Working for and against the modern University

    Guthrie, O.D. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Todays’ universities are constantly evolving, and yet they are deeply traditional institutions that bring together often contradictory agendas, with multiple roles and expectations for those working within. I look towards the academics within these universities in order to get a better understanding of what happens when the personal meets the institutional. By reflecting on my time as a student, and talking with thirteen New Zealand academics and post-graduates who in various ways challenge dominant ideas around academia, I aim to broaden and disrupt the academic imagination. Rather than think of this project as an academic study on academia, I like to think of it as me, a student, re-telling the stories of academics; seeking their wisdom, tactics and gaining inspiration from their ability to ‘do’ academia their way, even in today’s tight confines.

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  • Investigating the modulation of methylphenidate’s effects on impulsivity by fluoxetine

    Chittenden, Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The co-prescribing of methylphenidate (MPH) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for patients presenting co-morbidly with both attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression or anxiety is in some cases recommended. Little research has been conducted on the specific cognitive and behavioural outcomes of this. Studies with rats have shown that SSRI’s potentiate MPH-induced dopamine release in the pre-frontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, as well as enhancing MPH-induced hyper-locomotion (Borycz, Zapata, Quiroz, Volkow, & Ferré, 2008; Weikop, Yoshitake, & Kehr, 2007b). Impulsivity is a behavioural construct with dissociable sub-types, of which one, ‘action restraint’, has been consistently shown to be associated with increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic system, including the nucleus accumbens. It was hypothesised that rats would make more ‘no-go’ errors in a Go/No-Go task, indicative of an increase in ‘action restraint’ type impulsivity, when co-administered fluoxetine (FLX) and MPH compared to either drug administered alone. Although this was not shown in the current study, tentative evidence was found to suggest that the combination of these drugs may negatively impact on attention, based on a decrease in ‘go’ accuracy. A second subtype of impulsivity, “action cancellation”, was tested using a new variant of the Stop-Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) task that we have developed for rats. Studies show that this subtype of impulsivity seems to be unaffected by changes in dopamine activity, but is improved by increases in norepinephrine. In the Weikop study mentioned above, the SSRI citalopram enhanced not only MPH-induced dopamine release, but also norepinephrine release in the nucleus accumbens. Thus it was hypothesised that FLX may potentiate MPH’s impulsivity-reducing effects as measured by stopping latency in the SSRT. We were not able to show this in the current study, however the demonstration that lower doses of MPH reduced stopping latency, consistent with previous versions of the SSRT, validated the new version developed for the current study. A final experiment revealed a rapid, short-term increase in locomotor activity when rats were co-administered FLX and MPH, an effect not present when either drug was administered singly. This synergistic effect replicates previous findings, and indicates a potentiation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, as was found in previous studies. Although FLX was not found to moderate MPH’s effects on impulsivity in the current study, synergistic effects of the two drugs were effects were found on motor activity and potentially on attention also. This is an indication of the value of further research into specific behavioural and cognitive process that may be affected by co-administration of MPH and an SSRI.

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  • Standardisation of cultured butter processing for smallscale production : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Food Technology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Shi, Jia (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Summary: Butter is one of the most popular dairy products that have been transformed from a cottage industry to successful large scale productions. In western countries, consumption of butter has slowly overtaken margarine as the most popular spread. Different kinds of butter are now available on the markets, of which sweet cream butter and salted butter constitute significant proportions. The popularity of cultured cream butter is mainly attributed to its unique flavour and nutritional properties. Butter contains large amounts of β-carotene (provitamin A carotenoid) and is characterised by the buttery flavour due to the presence of diacetyl as well as other organic aroma compounds. Although butter has been produced successfully in large scale commercial processing, small scale productions still exists in small communities and for use in specialised products. New Zealand, like in many other western countries, is dominated by small to medium scale food processing enterprises which produce speciality foods for discerning markets. The domestic market in New Zealand enjoys a variety of dairy products which includes cultured butter. Some small food processing enterprises in outlying areas of New Zealand produce their own cultured butter to cater for the local businesses and their inhabitants. Thus, the main objective of this project was to standardise small scale production of cultured butter using kitchen/domestic scale equipment. Fresh cream (40% fat) used to produce cultured butter was fermented by a mixed lactic starter culture (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc cremoris) following a modified standard method. The cream was pasteurised at 95°C/5 min, rapidly cooled to 8°C, and then starter culture (2%) was added. The cream was held at 8°C/2 h to initiate the formation of low melting point fat crystals. The temperature of the cream was then increased to 20-21°C, and held at this temperature for further 2 h to melt fat crystals with high melting point and recrystallise the crystals. The temperature was then decreased to 16°C/2 h to form pure fat crystals. This was then followed by slightly decreasing the temperature to 15°C for butter churning in a K5SS KitchenAid Heavy Duty (USA) churning mixer. Buttermilk (100 mL) was collected and stored at 4ºC for analysis and the remained buttermilk in the butter churn was drained. The butter grains were washed with distilled water to remove any residual buttermilk. Final cultured butter (product) was packed in heavy duty aluminium foil and stored at 4ºC for 21 days. Cultured butter was produced on three different occasions commencing in August 2014 (batch 1), September 2014 (batch 2), and October 2014 (batch 3). Various analyses and measurements were conducted during processing and storage to monitor the shelf life stability of the butter. Standard methods were used to measure chemical, physical, consumer sensory acceptance of the products and presence of coliforms were enumerated by Violet Red Bile Agar. Thus, fat content in buttermilk was determined by the Mojonnier test to calculate churning efficiency. Colour was measured by colourimetry, while texture analysis was determined by the TA.XT2 Texture Analyser. Water droplet size of butter was examined by confocal laser scanning microscope after staining with Nile Red and Acridine Orange. The cultured butter samples were also evaluated by consumer sensory panellists using hedonic scaling of six sensory attributes (smoothness, hardness, spreadability, melting rate, buttery flavour, and overall acceptance). Data were plotted on graphs and also analysed by analysis of variance (P<0.05) on the overall acceptance of the butter. The products were spreadable, presumably due to higher moisture content. The buttery flavour could be attributed to the aroma compounds produced by lactic acid bacteria through citrate metabolism during cream ripening. The dominant hue in the butter was yellowness, which slightly decreased during storage, presumably due to the loss of β-carotene. The pH of butter samples (5.3 to 5.8) during storage was slightly higher than in previous studies (4.7-5.2). The higher pH may be caused by poor acid production of the leuconostoc in the mixed culture. Cultured butter was successfully processed using a kitchen/domestic churning mixer. The churning efficiency of the equipment was lower than the expected range. The butter had good keeping quality and was well accepted by sensory panellists. The quality of the butter during storage was probably attributed to the optimal size of water droplets, which were successfully measured by the confocal laser scanning microscope method modified in this study.

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