6,685 results for University of Otago

  • The rights of the young person in the New Zealand youth justice Family Group Conference

    Lynch, Nessa (2009-08-22)

    Post-doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The youth justice family group conference (FGC) is a statutory decision making process whereby the young person, their family/whanau, state officials and the victim of the offence come together to decide on a response to offending by that young person. The FGC is an integral part of the youth justice system, involving thousands of young people and their families each year. There is a considerable amount of literature available on the youth justice FGC, most notably in regard to the purported restorative justice nature of the process. However, for a legal process which involves so many young people on a daily basis, there is little information available on the due process rights of young people in the FGC. This thesis seeks to remedy this gap in the research knowledge. Firstly, this thesis establishes the theoretical framework for the rights of the young person in the youth justice system. The historical context and theoretical justification for these rights is considered, and the benchmarks for rights coming from international and national human rights standards are identified. A key theoretical issue is the application of rights to the FGC. It is argued that although the FGC differs in format from the adversarial criminal process, it remains a state process involved in resolving a breach of the criminal law, and thus the young person's rights should be safeguarded. Secondly, this thesis evaluates legislation, policy and practice relating to the rights of the young person in the FGC. Three key areas of rights are considered: legal assistance, how the offence is proved, and outcomes of the FGC. Reference is made to practice examples derived from observation of the FGC in two centres in New Zealand. Finally, as the FGC is certain to remain an integral part of the youth justice system, recommendations are made as to how legislation and practice could be improved to better safeguard the rights of young people in this process.

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  • An exploratory study into the consistency and effectiveness of written feedback provided by markers in a tertiary education programme

    Murray, Jacqueline Mary (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Although consistency and effectiveness of feedback have been alluded to in literature, there has been little research that has specifically looked at these issues. Very few studies have quantified feedback types or looked at whether markers consistently use the same feedback types on written assignments. Most studies have instead asked students, through interviews, about the nature of feedback they have received. These studies found that feedback received is inconsistent in its quantity and quality, and that it is often ineffective. In conducting a literature search for this research, very few studies were found that examined consistency of feedback types used by markers when marking the same assignment or that used descriptive statistics to show variability in feedback types used by these markers. This research aimed to address this gap. Markers in two different studies marked and provided feedback on the same student assignments, and a taxonomy for coding different feedback types used by markers was developed. This taxonomy was based upon already defined feedback types, a review of currently available coding systems for feedback, and a deductive and inductive analysis of feedback types currently used by markers in the study. The findings of the research revealed that inconsistency was occurring among markers, both across and within assignments, and that very little effective feedback was being provided. The inconsistency was occurring in the score/grade given, in the amount and types of feedback used, and in the messages conveyed in the feedback comments. Feedback was classified as being effective if it provided information that answered Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) three questions; where am I going, how am I going and where to next? Very few comments in the research answered these three questions, thus, very little feedback provided by markers was found to be effective. This research had only a small number of participants and focused on one institution, so the findings cannot be generalised. Further studies in other institutions and/or in other areas of education would help to support or refute the findings found here. Lack of consistency is an issue that is occurring in education, and it is an issue that deserves more attention. Students deserve feedback that is consistent and effective, allowing them to improve future work. This research is intended to increase awareness around these two issues.

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  • Understanding the Impact of Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Processing on Onions

    Nandakumar, Rajkumar (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis aimed to obtain an extensive understanding of the mechanism by which pulsed electric fields (PEF) at low electric field strengths (E ≤ 2 kV/cm) affect the structure and functionality of intact onions. A few studies have investigated the effect of PEF treatment on intact tubers, but little information is known for a complex and multicellular plant organ, made up of layers. Therefore, in this study, onion bulbs and spring onions were chosen as a model system, to understand the PEF induced changes in the tissue integrity and some physiological responses. The impact of PEF treatment on onion tissue integrity was studied based on ion leakage measurements as well as cell viability staining techniques. PEF treatment (0.3 – 1.8 kV/cm, 0.5 kJ/kg) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the ion leakage (conductivity) in the incubation medium as electric field strength increased. The ion leakage measurements determined in the individual scales of bulb and spring onions indicated that the outer tissue scales were more susceptible to PEF treatment compared to the inner tissue scales due to the positional differences between the scales, with outer scale protecting the inner scales. A similar result was obtained using a cell viability assay. Onion cells present in the outer tissue scales showed more damage as visualised by the amount of cell death, compared to the cells present in the inner tissue region. This indicates that the application of PEF treatment on onion bulbs results in non-homogenous and complex changes in onion structure and cell viability. This study attempted to identify the potential of volatile compounds as markers of cell membrane damage, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and proton transfer reaction–mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). The changes in the volatile concentrations corresponded to biochemical changes associated with PEF treatment and during storage time. PEF treatment (0.3 – 1.2 kV/cm, 5 kJ/kg) significantly increased the concentrations of propanethial s-oxide (PSO, lachrymatory factor), propenyl propane thiosulfinate (PrPthiosulfinate), 2-methyl-2-pentenal and the disulfides (dipropyl disulfide, propenyl propyl disulfide, methyl propyl disulfide and methyl propenyl disulfide), immediately following PEF treatment (T0), compared to the control (non-PEF treated) samples. In addition, the effect of PEF treatment on the volatile concentrations was much higher after 24 hr of storage at 4 °C (T24). The concentrations of volatile sulfur compounds (such as PrPthiosulfinate, disulfides and trisulfides) increased significantly (P < 0.05), compared to control and sample concentrations detected at T0. The increase in the concentrations of volatile compounds at T0 and T24 was found to be dependent on the applied electric field strength. The maximum concentration (Cmax) of volatile compounds produced in spring onions (Ishikura and Red Bunching) were obtained upon PEF treatment at 1.2 kV/cm whereas, in the Yellow sweet Spanish bulbs, the Cmax was obtained upon PEF treatment at 0.7 kV/cm. The dynamic changes in volatile concentrations were investigated in the spring onions as a function of time following PEF treatment using PTR-MS. The Cmax of the mass ions measured for target volatile compounds and the rate at which volatile concentrations reached steady state were found to be based on the applied electric field strength, significantly different to the control samples. The mass ions were found to reach steady state at different time points, reaching their maximum concentrations either at the start or the end of the analysis (120 min). The results demonstrated that the volatile kinetic trends were due to the relative position of the volatile compound in the onion enzymatic reaction cascade, where the mass ions measured for target compounds of interest were found to either increase or decrease over time to reach completion. Overall, it was found that the concentrations of volatile compounds were predominantly linked to the degree of enzyme – substrate mixing, which corresponded to the applied electric field strength. However, some exceptions were found in the products formed through a mixed chemical reaction cascades, showcasing a different trend. These results suggested that the changes in the onion volatile concentrations were not only correlated to the enzyme initiated reaction cascade but also to physiological responses. Investigation of cell viability following PEF treatment indicated that there were differences in the degree of cell disruption across the onion tissue regions, based on the applied electric field strength. The cells present in the outer tissue region were dead, and the cells that make the scale of the central core were found to be viable. To evaluate the effect of PEF treatment intensities on the volatile compositions according to the cellular disruption, the volatile compounds were analysed in the inner and outer tissue regions of spring onions. The results showed three different trends based on the concentrations detected in the onion tissue regions, indicating the differences in the physiological response from the onion tissue regions. To further comprehend these volatile trends, several biomarkers related to oxidative damage and antioxidant markers were measured to understand the degree of cell damage. The effect of PEF treatment at 0.3 kV/cm was found to damage the cells present in the outer tissue region, but the inner tissue region was found to be unaffected. In the outer tissue region, the levels of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GPOX, and GR) activities were found to increase significantly. However, no significant changes in the levels of oxidative damage (protein carbonyls and lipid peroxides) markers were observed in the outer tissue region. Volatile compounds such as methyl propenyl disulfide (MPrDS), propyl propenyl trisulfide (PPrTS) and methyl propyl trisulfide (MPTS) were produced in higher concentrations in the inner tissue region, and are suspected to be associated with the physiological response from the viable cells. These results indicate that the metabolically active cells are synthesising new proteins to counteract the oxidative stress. These results suggest that upon PEF induced stress, living cells can change their metabolism to prevent oxidative damage to the cellular components caused by the reactive oxygen species (ROS). In contrast, application of PEF treatment at 0.7 kV/cm resulted in significant accumulation of damage markers and a significant reduction of antioxidant enzyme activities, in both inner and outer tissue regions. This result indicates that the PEF treatment has resulted in extensive cellular disruption in both onion tissue regions, causing oxidation of lipids and denaturation of proteins and enzymes. The volatile compounds such as propanethial s-oxide (PSO), dipropyl disulfide (DPDS), methyl propyl disulfide (MPDS), propyl propenyl disulfide (PPrDS) and dipropyl trisulfide (DPTS), which are associated with cell damage were detected in higher concentrations in the outer tissue region and relatively lower concentrations in the inner tissue region. This study has demonstrated that the overall PEF induced changes in the structure and physiological function of intact onions could be assessed by evaluating the markers associated with cellular damage and biochemical analysis. Evaluation of the volatile compounds produced in onion tissues makes a unique contribution to the current knowledge in understanding the properties of PEF treated fruit and vegetable tissues. From an industrial point of view, understanding these complex responses will aid in tailoring the activities of antioxidant enzymes, enhanced recovery of phytochemicals, improved texture, flavour and bio-active properties of fruits and vegetables.

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  • Value Creation, Dynamic Capabilities and Slack Resources in Service Firms

    Sharma, Angel (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study explores the antecedents of value creation in service firms. Specifically, whilst prior research has acknowledged the critical role of dynamic capabilities, little is known about the roles of different orders of dynamic capabilities and how they affect value creation. Building on the hierarchy perspective of dynamic capabilities, and through a review of voluminous but recent literature we establish service exploration as a higher order dynamic capability and service exploitation as a lower order dynamic capability and investigate their relationship with value creation. Moreover, given the importance of financial resource slack and human resource slack in service firms, and in the development of dynamic capabilities, we explore their relationship with service exploration and service exploitation. Using data from 61 New Zealand based service firms, we test our theoretical model. The results show that human resource slack enhances service exploration but does not enhance service exploitation, and service exploration does not enhance value creation directly but does so via service exploitation.

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  • Skateboarding beyond the limits of gender? Strategic interventions in Sweden

    Bäckström, Åsa; Nairn, Karen (2018)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Sweden prides itself as a country where young women can enjoy gender equality. Yet many young women skateboarders still experience discomfort when skateboarding in public spaces. We argue that diverse strategies are required to intervene in the intransigent problem of gender inequality in the male-dominated sport of skateboarding. We discuss two intertwined strategies adopted in Swedish skateboarding contexts, strategic visibility and strategic entitlement. Strategic visibility is premised on making girls a special case, separated from the boys, and therefore highly visible. The other intervention goes beyond the limits of gender, aiming to achieve strategic entitlement, which takes-for-granted girls’ participation and competence. Drawing from ethnographic data, we explore the paradoxical spaces of these interventions, identifying the benefits and risks of each strategy. We conclude that both strategies are important, yet the latter breaks new ground. Strategic entitlement, which constructs skateboarding girls as ordinary and indistinguishable from boys, no longer constructs gender as a limiting factor. Interventions to promote gender equality should include strategies that seek to go beyond gender and strategies that acknowledge the significance of gender. We need to keep experimenting with and researching the unintended consequences of all strategies for challenging and changing male dominance in sport and leisure.

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  • The Global Health Classroom: Collaborative Global Health Learning between New Zealand and Samoan Medical Students in a Virtual Classroom

    Bothara, Roshit (2018)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Background Global Health is recognised as an essential component of undergraduate medical curricula to equip future doctors with the relevant knowledge, attitudes, and skills to practice in a globalised world. The Global Health Classroom (GHCR), the subject of this research project, has been developed at the Otago Medical School (OMS), New Zealand in collaboration with medical schools in Samoa and Nepal. The aim of the GHCR is to promote collaborative global health learning between medical students in different countries in a virtual classroom. In 2016, GHCR pilot studies were conducted between the partner schools and formed the basis of this Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) Research Project in 2017. In 2017, the GHCR was conducted between the OMS, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal (PAHS), and the School of Medicine, National University of Samoa, Samoa (NUS). Data collected from the GHCR participants at OMS and NUS were included in this thesis. At NUS, GHCR was integrated into the Year 4 and 5 medical curricula. At OMS, GHCR was integrated into the Year 5 Paediatrics Module at the University of Otago, Christchurch (UOC) and Year 4 Public Health Module at the Dunedin School of Medicine, Dunedin (DSM). Aim The aim of this study was to explore the self-reported learning outcomes and experiences of New Zealand and Samoan medical students in the GHCR, and ascertain the key elements contributing to their learning and experiences. Methods A census sample of UOC, DSM and NUS students who undertook the GHCR were invited to be participants in this research. Written, informed consent was obtained from students prior to their participation in this study. A mixed-methods approach was developed using a questionnaire for all participants, and semi-structured interviews for participants selected by random sampling following participation in the GHCR. The questionnaire had a range of Likert-type scale and open-ended questions. Quantitative data were descriptively analysed using SPSS Version 23 and qualitative data were thematically analysed. A triangulation approach informed the synthesis of the data. Results Of the participants, 85% (74/87) responded to the post-GHCR questionnaire. Nineteen interviews were conducted: six each with UOC and NUS students, and seven with DSM students. Students reported gaining knowledge about patient care, healthcare systems, and the culture and determinants of health, in their partner country. There was evidence that attitudes such as cultural understanding and respect, curiosity and interest, humility and vision for progress were encouraged among students by their GHCR experiences. Reported outcomes in the GHCR align favorably with the recommended global health learning concepts in the literature. Key elements for success in the GHCR were found to be: clinical cases and global health-themed guiding questions; teachers as facilitators and students as self-directed learners; peer learning and social interaction; and video-conferencing. Students’ experiences in the GHCR were largely positive. Students found learning with their international peers in a virtual classroom made learning about global health “more real and tangible” and “much more accessible than learning [about global health] on a purely theoretical basis.” Internet connectivity during video-conferencing and competing demands such as assignments, clinical teaching and assessments could at times be barriers limiting student engagement in the GHCR. Conclusion The findings in this study suggest that the GHCR presents a promising global health learning model embodying core values of partnership, collaboration and reciprocity between medical students and institutions in different countries.

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  • Shared mobility in a Maori community

    Ngarangi, Haerewa; Stephenson, Janet; Hopkins, Debbie (2018-04)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Shared mobility is being advanced as a novel, technologically sophisticated approach to reducing the environmental impacts of high levels of car ownership. However, communities have long shared modes of transport for reasons other than environmental quality. We describe the shared mobility practices undertaken in a Māori community in the East Cape region of New Zealand. They reveal long-established ways of sharing that are underpinned by, and support, cultural principles. Shared mobility provides an appropriate and comfortable environment for people to share vital and sacred information and to strengthen social bonds. It also reflects the desire of tribal members to retain cultural practices that benefit the collective. The findings make it clear that sharing transport has far more than economic and environmental benefits. We suggest that it is time for the social and cultural benefits of sharing transport to become part of the global narrative on twenty-first-century collaborative consumption

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  • New Zealand's Statutory Compensation Scheme for Treatment Injuries: a Critical Analysis of its Ethical Premises

    Skaler, Tanya (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

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  • Partitioning of plate boundary deformation in South Westland, New Zealand : controls from reactivated structures

    Campbell, Heather Gail (2005)

    Post-doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The Australian-Pacific plate boundary is an uncomplicated structure along most of its length in the South Island, New Zealand. In South Westland, south of the Arawata River, however, several terranes converge onto the Alpine fault. Inherent anisotropies arising from the position of pre-existing fault structures, lithological contacts and rheological heterogeneities within these give rise to an atypically diffuse and complex zone, the overall geometry of which resembles a regional scale transpressive flower structure. The flower structure is a broad deformation zone 60 km in length extending approximately 7 km from the Alpine fault to its eastern limit, the Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt. Integral parts of the structure are the Hollyford Fault System and the Livingstone Fault System. The area is characterised by an array of left-stepping, subparallel faults with an average 060° strike linked by 020° striking structures. All fault traces offset Quaternary features. Fractions of the total interplate slip are partitioned across the reactivated structures. Additionally, kinematic indicators reveal partitioning of strike-slip and oblique/dip-slip deformation across the related secondary fault zones. The behaviour of the plate boundary zone in South Westland is fundamentally controlled by reactivation of the Hollyford Fault System and the Livingstone Fault System which partition slip away from the Alpine fault. As a consequence, the eastward transferral of slip onto the curved geometry of the converging fault systems has ultimately created a left-stepping contractional regime, the equivalent of a restraining bend in the plate boundary zone. The competent Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt controls the geometry and evolution of the reactivated structures. It also acts as an indenter and imposes additional boundary conditions adding to the shortening component in the region and the onset of complex transpressional strain patterns. The geometry and kinematics of the flower structure in the upper crust is mimicked in the ductile mid to lower crust. Upper greenschist facies mylonites reveal a complex fold pattern developed in response to contemporaneous non-coaxial and coaxial deformation. The folding formed during a continuation of deformation associated with mylonitisation at depths within the fault system. The fact that strain localisation and transpressive strain patterns in the brittle crust continue into the ductile zones suggests there is a feedback relationship between the two regimes. The reactivation of pre-existing structures and the influence of rheological factors are considered as first order factors controlling strain partitioning in the plate boundary zone. Recognition of local strain partitioning is important for assessing slip rates and earthquake recurrence. Similarly, the faults extend down below the seismogenic zone so that interaction of the different structures with each other may produce changes in fault behaviour which affects earthquake nucleation. Although the Alpine fault is a major structure in the South Island of New Zealand with over 400 km of dextral movement, the reactivated structures still exert a degree of control locally on the structure and kinematics of the plate boundary zone. Reactivation of inherent fault structures has important implications for the initiation of plate boundary faults and the alteration of the plate boundary geometry with evolving deformation.

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  • Parental Alienation: The New Zealand Approach

    James, Lee Anne (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Parental alienation involves a child being influenced by a parent to reject or resist contact with the other parent for no good reason. It can occur in intact families; however, this thesis focuses on its occurrence in separated families. The most significant challenge for experts dealing with parental alienation is identifying whether the cause of a child rejecting or resisting contact with a parent is a result of the alienating behaviour of one parent, or a result of justified estrangement. There is a large body of international research available in relation to alienation, but the researchers disagree on some aspects associated with alienation, and, in particular, about the specific means of identifying alienation (or a so-called “diagnosis”). However, the currently available research is extensive and reliable enough to be utilised by professionals and the court to address parental alienation and to deal the alienation where it is present. There is, to date, little research on how parental alienation is identified or dealt with in New Zealand. This thesis considers the empirical research evidence and analyses how the New Zealand courts identify parental alienation. The two most significant challenges for the courts are; identifying where alienation is present (and whether there is any justified estrangement) and how to minimise the detrimental impact on children. Analysis of the case law in New Zealand, Canada and in the England/Wales courts established that there are some common parental behaviours identified by these courts that result in children becoming alienated from a parent. These include false or exaggerated allegations regarding risk to the child (safety allegations), certain personality traits (or possible psychopathology) of the alienating parent, high parental conflict, passive and/or dysfunctional parenting, and the making of unilateral decisions by the alienating parent. There were, however, alienating behaviours identified in the empirical research which did not feature in the cases analysed. Variations in the outcomes of the New Zealand case law was evident when punitive measures were imposed to reduce or reverse alienation in some cases, but not others, despite similar elements of alienation being present in the family dynamics. A comparison of the international case law with the New Zealand case law regarding case outcomes found that these jurisdictions all order punitive measures, including a change of care in situations of severe alienation, but that the Canadian courts also impose specific therapeutic measures to redress alienation. New Zealand currently lacks resources to enable early intervention in alienation cases outside of the court system. A review of various resources available in other jurisdictions identified that some could be of benefit if utilised in New Zealand. Limitations in the New Zealand legislation include the courts’ inability to i) obtain specific evidence of parental psychopathology where alienating behaviour is suspected (an indicator of the risk or presence of severe alienation); and ii) to impose specific therapeutic interventions when alienation is identified, partly due to the lack of specific therapeutic programmes in this jurisdiction.

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  • Cities and Economic Development: The Chinese Experience

    Shen, Tianhe (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis investigates the proximate determinants of the observed differences in levels and growth rates of output per worker across the 69 major cities in China during 1994-2010, and asks the following two questions to develop a better understanding of the regional economic development and growth in the second largest economy of the world: (i) Why are some cities so much richer than others? (ii) What drives economic growth in Chinese cities? I utilise growth and development accounting approaches to answer these questions. I find that growth in the first-tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen) enjoy the highest contribution from total factor productivity (TFP) growth. I find a clear distinction between Tier-1 cities and the rest. In terms of growth rates, growth in Tier-1 cities is driven primarily by TFP growth. On the other hand, TFP growth contributes a lot less to growth in Tier-2 and 3 cities. Growth in Tier-2 and 3 cities depends overwhelmingly on accumulation of physical capital. Rapid accumulation of physical capital in Tier-2 cities has not closed the gap in income levels between them and Tier-1 cities. Similarly, growth in human capital has played a minor role. In terms of income levels, I find that TFP levels are highly correlated with income levels in 2010. I also find a declining role of variation in factor endowments in explaining variation in income levels. My results cast doubt on the long-run sustainability of growth in the second- and the third-tier cities as they have relied too much on physical capital deepening. In order to avoid a growth slow-down in the future, Chinese cities should focus more on improving productivity and less on capital deepening. Productivity growth is not only crucial for the sustainability of economic reform programs in the short term but also a major factor for China to converge to per capita income levels in developed countries in the long term.

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  • Emerging energy transitions: PV uptake beyond subsidies

    Ford, Rebecca; Walton, Sara; Stephenson, Janet; Rees, David; Scott, Michelle; King, Geoff; Williams, John; Wooliscroft, Ben (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    In the past decade there has been a substantial increase in the uptake of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems globally, which is starting to impact upon traditional electricity systems. An emerging energy transition is being driven by actions taken by actors at the grassroots level, and enabled by declining technology costs and new niche business models. However, to date, most work exploring change in energy systems has tended to focus on technological innovation and economic processes, leaving social aspects and daily activities under-addressed. Similarly, most theories that consider individual behaviour have tended to neglect the wider system of change. This paper presents an approach for simultaneously exploring behavioural and systemic change and demonstrates its use in a case study of PV uptake in New Zealand. The Energy Cultures framework is used alongside the Multi-Level Perspective of socio-technical transitions to examine the broad range of factors driving, shaping, and constraining PV uptake, and the interactions between global and national landscapes, the socio-technical regime within which users are taking action, and the niche opportunities emerging. Taking an integrating approach allows these perspectives to be brought together, providing valuable insights as to how adoption might be promoted or constrained, and the implications this may have for the future management of electricity grids.

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  • Researching smarter: five years of online self-paced information skills learning with Health Sciences students.

    German, Richard (2017-06-16)

    Conference item
    University of Otago

    Introduction: ResearchSmart is a modular, self-directed and self-paced online course originally designed by Health Sciences Library subject librarians for second year medical students (25% of whom enter the course with graduate qualifications) at the University of Otago. Content is developed to assist students attain the University’s Graduate Attributes for Information Literacy. Aim: The course replaced in-class information skills tutorials and was piloted with the medical student cohort in 2012. Since 2012, ResearchSmart has been implemented in professional courses in Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Oral Health and Medical Laboratory Science as well as Medicine, and in a general science 2nd year Anatomy cohort, either as an assessed or as a required (non-assessed) component. Over 900 professional and non-professional students were exposed to the online modules in 2016. Method: The content comprises a series of topics, tasks and quizzes built in Adobe Captivate and delivered within the Learning Management System (Moodle or Blackboard). There are four ‘core’ modules common to all programmes (though with examples personalised to each course), but academic conveners are able to select other topics that meet their students’ needs which are built as required (e.g. hierarchies of evidence). Results: We now report on five years’ quantitative and qualitative evaluation data, including what the students believed were the most valuable and least valuable aspects of the course. The majority of students who completed the course reported an increase in knowledge, and understanding, about the topics covered and positively evaluated the value of the programme. This presentation will also report on the evolution of ResearchSmart in response to feedback, from staff as well as students. Conclusion: ResearchSmart has been demonstrated to be an effective way of delivering information skills training to professional and non-professional health sciences students. It has proved popular with academic staff and efficient, as well as skill-enhancing, for Library staff.

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  • SunSmart schools: a New Zealand skin cancer primary prevention intervention blueprint for primary school settings

    McNoe, Bronwen; Reeder, Anthony; de Lange, Michel (2018-04-14)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Peer Reviewed

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  • Auditory and Visual Illusions as Predictors of Positive Thought Disorder in an Undergraduate Sample

    Kaack, Imogen Hanna (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Although there is a wealth of research surrounding schizophrenia and its symptoms, what is still unknown is how these individual symptoms arise, and in what way they relate to one another. One way of investigating these questions is by studying sub-clinical traits of schizophrenia, such as hallucination-like experiences (or illusions). The present study used objective measures of auditory and visual illusion experience to understand in what way these sub-clinical traits relate to positive thought disorder. It was hypothesised that auditory illusions are significantly related to positive thought disorder, whereas visual illusions are not. Scores on a snowy pictures task and a psychobabble task were used to investigate their relationships with positive thought disorder scores in an undergraduate sample (n = 72). Results from regression analyses supported the hypothesis, showing that the number of auditory illusions experienced predicted scores of positive thought disorder and that the number of visual illusions do not. In conclusion, findings from the present study suggest that auditory and visual illusions have different relationships with positive thought disorder, and these findings can form the foundation for future structural imaging studies of non- clinical populations, as well as for the early identification of schizophrenia risk.

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  • Middlemarch, 1914-1918

    Inder, Sonia (1992)

    Other thesis
    University of Otago

    This dissertation attempts to provide a short overview of the effect of the Great War, 1914 - 1918, upon a small rural community in Central Otago. This work concentrates on the social aspects of the war's impact on the people of the township of Middlemarch and the outlying area, the Strath Taieri district. The first chapter outlines the area and its community on the eve of war, thus providing a basis for comparison to assess the impact of the war in the following chapters. Chapter Two : The Homefront, illustrates the initial response to the war, while the last chapter attempts to determine if anything has changed after four years of war. The third chapter, on the men who went to the war from the district, proved the most difficult to research. This chapter attempts to follow the exploits of the servicemen from Middlemarch, while also looking at the impact of their absence from the Middlemarch community. The study of men, who fought in the First World War from the district, is limited by the scarcity of military records. Service records were retained by defence authorities in order to grant war pensions and issue service medals amongst other things. The Ministry of Defence, however, has classified these files as personal information under Section 24 of the Official Infom1ation Act 1982. Thus, they are not available for research purposes. These files contain a great deal of useful information concerning New Zealand servicemen, including : their full name; date and place of birth, occupation, place and date of enlistment, next of kin, employer, a physical description, details of overseas service, date of discharge and the date of death. Trying to piece together the details of all the Middlemarch servicemen, from a variety of sources, produced a limited result. The name on a Roll of Honour or Nominal Roll was not always enough to go on and the men were not always specific about their details. For example, J. Gordon could have been one of twenty J. Gordons who enlisted from the Otago region. Hence, the figures used in relation to the Middlemarch servicemen are not accurate but they are the result of an estimate based on the limited information available. [Introduction]

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  • Accessing Natural Product Scaffolds; A Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approach

    Swaney, Brooke (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Natural products, and natural product derivatives, have applications in both total synthesis and synthetic methodology, as well as having medical applications. Whilst many natural products possess suitable activity against therapeutically relevant targets, they often do not have the physiochemical properties which are essential for a clinically useful drug. Two ways to employ synthetic methods to make natural product analogues, and identify potential pharmaceuticals include: a “top-down” approach where a natural product is truncated to retain moieties necessary for biological activity; or, working towards a privileged natural product scaffold from the “bottom-up”, in the hopes of obtaining or increasing biological activity. The top-down approach involved the truncation of brefeldin A, a natural product with anti-cancer and antimicrobial activity. This was achieved through a transesterification and subsequent dihydroxylation/periodate cleavage. Unfortunately, due to the lability of the protecting groups, we were unable to reach our final synthetic target for biological testing. However, we are hopeful the utilisation of a different protecting group will alleviate this problem in the future. The bottom-up approach involved exploration of a new intramolecular Tsuji-Trost reaction, and applying this methodology to the synthesis of the chromone scaffold along with the scaffold of xyloketal H, a natural product which exhibits antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Exploring the scope of the reaction revealed electron-withdrawing substituents produced the corresponding chromone faster than electron- neutral/donating substrates, presumably due to the increased electrophilicity of the carbonyl group. 15 new 2-allyl-1,3-diketones were produced, along with 8 new chromone species. Of note was a lactol formation and subsequent oxa-Michael addition to afford the xyloketal H scaffold in good yields.

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  • Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging of cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease

    Almuqbel, Mustafa Majed (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by slowness of movement, rigidity, and tremor. However, most patients additionally develop cognitive impairment and eventual dementia (PDD), which becomes the most burdensome aspect of the disease. Pathological processes associated with Parkinson’s extend beyond the classic neurodegenerative changes of neuronal damage in the substantia nigra and the aggregation of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein, leading to the relatively recent understanding of Parkinson’s as a multi-system disorder. Cognitive impairment in PD can vary in the timing of presentation, but dementia eventuates in about 80% of patients. A more mild manifestation of cognitive impairment, also known as the “Mild Cognitive Impairment” or “PD-MCI”, is found in over a third of newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients. Identifying individuals with PD-MCI early in the disease process may eventually facilitate the implementation of novel therapeutic options prior to development of the debilitating stage, dementia. Currently, there are no objective or clinically useful markers for cognitive impairment in PD. However, recent neuroimaging techniques have shown promise in this regard. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging technique that may potentially be used to objectively characterize the structural and functional changes in the brain in relation to cognitive impairment in PD. In this thesis, 138 participants meeting the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society’s criteria for idiopathic PD and 50 matched healthy controls completed extensive neuropsychological testing. On the basis of this testing, participants were classified as having normal cognition (PDN=79), mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI=36), or dementia (PDD=23). Participants also completed an MRI scanning session. These participants were then followed up with the same neuropsychological battery and MRI scanning approximately every two years, with some completed assessments up to six years after baseline. Using a three tesla MRI scanner, three types of MRI data were acquired for each participant: (1) structural T1-weighted images to assess cortical thickness and surface area, (2) MR spectroscopy (MRS) to explore the metabolic changes of the posterior cingulate cortex, and (3) resting-state functional MRI to evaluate functional connectivity of the default mode network. In order to properly model the longitudinal nature of the study, I used Bayesian generalized linear multilevel models to analyse the three MRI data types. The analysis was aimed at evaluating the within- and between-subject association of the MRI-derived metrics and participants’ cognitive impairment. Analysis of structural MRI scans (cortical thickness “CTh” and surface area “SA”) showed strong association with cognition and cognitive decline over time. Baseline cognitive ability was associated significantly with cortical thinning and surface area reduction. However, most importantly, longitudinal assessment showed that cognitive deterioration of PD patients was associated with reduced cortical thickness and surface area in several brain regions. These structural findings, particularly the longitudinal ones, indicate the potential role of both CTh and SA as predictive markers for cognitive impairment in PD. After accounting for age, sex, and motor impairments, none of the MRS-derived metabolites extracted from the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) showed significant group differences at baseline. Similarly, metabolite changes overtime did not significantly associate with declining cognitive ability of the study participants. These findings indicate that MRS of the PCC is not a clinically useful marker of cognitive impairment in PD. Resting state functional connectivity (RS-fMRI) of the default mode network (DMN) revealed no significant relationship between baseline nor decline in cognitive ability over time and DMN functional connectivity. While DMN dysfunction is strongly related to cognitive impairment and decline in Alzheimer’s disease, the current findings suggest that DMN functional connectivity does not hold the same promise in PD. Hence, it also appears that DMN connectivity does not provide clinically useful information about cognitive status or decline over time in PD. In this thesis, posterior cingulate MRS and DMN connectivity did not provide clinically reliable information about cognitive impairment in PD. However, both cortical thickness and surface area showed reliable and robust association with cognitive ability in PD, at cross section and over time. These results suggest that longitudinal structural MRI measurements may hold promise as outcome measures, along with complimentary clinical and cognitive assessments, in future PD-modifying therapeutic trials.

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  • CYMRC 13th data report (2012-2016)

    McDonald, GK; Hii, J; Szymanska, KE; Davison, JA; Wolfe, N; Chalmers, SH (2018)

    Report
    University of Otago

    This is the 13th data report released for the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (the CYMRC). It reports mainly on data from 2012 to 2016, as well as providing some tables and figures for 2002 to 2016 and some for 1980 to 2016. Most of the data is from the Mortality Review Database, which contains information on all deaths in children and young people aged 28 days to 24 years who died in Aotearoa/New Zealand from 2002 to the present.

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  • Fast versus slow: differing life history strategies of two New Zealand damselfly (Odonata: Zygoptera) species

    Dann, Tanya Jayne (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Life history strategies are important for all organisms and are studied in large part to understand how an individual, population or species reacts to/lives in/survives in its environment and how it/they adapt to changes within that environment. No single strategy is optimal because environmental, morphological and physiological constraints lead to trade-offs between different traits, and how a species responds to these constraints determines their life history. Two variations of life history strategies are slow and fast, which are characterised by differences in activity, development, metabolism, behaviour and their environment. These differences can result in species divergent preference for different habitats, influencing species distribution. Around 90% of New Zealand’s insects are endemic and most are not well represented in the literature. Their life histories often lack synchronicity, seasonality, and winter diapause, when compared to their Northern Hemisphere counterparts, traits which are often associated with a mild, maritime climate. Odonata are model insects for life history studies but their diversity in New Zealand is low. Two species of damselfly (Odonata: Zygoptera) are present in the South Island: Austrolestes colensonis and Xanthocnemis zealandica. Both of these species were selected to study because they are easy to locate, abundant and widely distributed. They are well described, taxonomically distinct, and are easy to collect, and maintain in the lab. These two species also permit the study of two closely related, cohabitating, predator species that potentially differ in their life history strategies. The primary objective of this thesis was to determine if a fast-slow life history strategy dichotomy exists between A. colensonis and X. zealandica by investigating aspects of their life history and distribution. A long term (two year) field study was used to investigate differences in life history characteristics between both species in six different populations over an altitudinal gradient. A survey of the lower half of the country was conducted to create a distribution map for each species and investigate any species-specific habitat preferences. Laboratory studies were conducted to investigate differences in metabolism, by measuring movement behaviour and ability to withstand starvation, as well as the likelihood of winter diapause occurring. A. colensonis naiads were found to grow larger, move more, have a decreased starvation tolerance, and a preference for lower altitude. These characteristics are consistent with a life history at the fast end of the continuum. X. zealandica, on the other hand, display characteristics more in alignment with a slow life history, because naiads of this species are smaller, move less, and can survive longer periods of starvation. X. zealandica require permanent habitats; however, they can take advantage of low quality habitats, particularly those at high altitudes, which don’t suit A. colensonis. Therefore, a fast/slow life history strategy dichotomy is confirmed to be present and may influence how these species interact with the environment and each other. Additionally, like many other endemic New Zealand invertebrates, A. colensonis and X. zealandica undergo quiescence rather than diapause when overwintering. This allows these species to opportunistically take advantage of a mild changeable climate and hence the periods when suitable conditions for growth prevail.

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