6,460 results for University of Otago

  • Your Strength in Our Hearts: New Zealand Churchgoers in Midlife

    Shave, Anne Elise (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Midlife is a period marked by transitions. Sudden or gradual changes in individuals’ circumstances and responsibilities can prove to be catalysts for personal growth and development. Re-evaluation of priorities and changes in faith may occur as people in midlife reflect on their lives and reassess their values, beliefs, achievements, desires and expectations. Midlife has the potential to be a time of rich discovery, exploration and spiritual growth. However, within the church in New Zealand this period of spiritual development receives relatively little attention. In many parishes the value of specific ministries to those in other stages of life – particularly to children, youth, young adults and the elderly – is readily accepted, but initiatives directly addressing the needs of people in midlife are less likely to exist, or even to be discussed. This project has sought to redress this situation by attending to the experiences and needs of churchgoers in midlife. Qualitative interviews with people from three participant groups were conducted: twenty churchgoers aged between forty and sixty, from Presbyterian, Catholic and Anglican congregations; ten members of the clergy from the same denominations; and ten spiritual directors with clients in midlife. All participants described challenges and opportunities that had arisen for them in midlife, or that they had observed in members of their congregations or among their directees. Middle-aged Christians’ experiences of church were explored. The twenty churchgoers spoke about aspects of their church involvement that they valued and from which they derived support – including elements of worship services, fellowship with other Christians and participation in a range of small groups, ministries and programmes within and beyond their parishes – and also suggested ways in which the church might offer further support to people in midlife. Clergy and spiritual directors presented further insights into the pastoral and spiritual needs of Christians in this life stage, and identified specific challenges in attending to the issues raised. The desire for “something more” in life and in faith that often emerges at midlife was a recurring theme in these interviews. Denominational differences were noted, but were far outweighed by similarities in the perceptions and experiences of people from each of the three denominations included in this project. Findings from the research revealed that churchgoers in midlife draw strength from their faith and support from the church, although many churchgoers in their forties and fifties find themselves somewhat overlooked, pastorally and spiritually. Midlife interviewees were actively involved in serving their parishes and their communities, and many had been proactive about seeking guidance and support for their own ongoing spiritual formation. The church can assist Christians in midlife to connect with God, connect with one another, and connect with the world by offering a range of corporate and individual worship opportunities, fostering relational depth within congregations, and equipping individuals with tools for their spiritual journey. Numerous possibilities that clergy and congregations could discuss and explore together have emerged from this research.

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  • Algorithms to process data from the MARS molecular imaging system

    de Ruiter, Niels (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The MARS molecular imaging project aims to research, develop, and commercialize a spectral computed tomography (CT) system. My thesis describes the work I performed to reconstruct volumes from the MARS prototypes. The challenge was to develop the algorithms while maintaining image processing software that met the immediate needs of the MARS team. Using the Medipix detector, the current prototype is capable of simultaneously scanning up to 8 energy bins. Every additional energy bin improves the potential for material discrimination at the molecular level. Data acquired from the MARS prototypes are a collection of exposures over various geometric transformations of the source, detector, and subject. To process these, I developed two applications, mPPC (MARS Preprocessing Chain) and mART (MARS Algebraic Reconstruction). The application mPPC prepares data for reconstruction while also improving the image quality. In particular, various issues that result from the Medipix detector are addressed in the preprocessing software. The application mART reconstructs the preprocessed data into volumes. It adopts a variation of SART to simultaneously reconstruct all the energy bins. The results are a good balance between quality and performance. To link the components of the data processing chain, all the software adopts the stable and popular DICOM standard. The DICOM standard provides formats to package the data while also providing protocols for both storing (and backup) and transferring the data. To summarize, the outcomes of my thesis are two applications which, together, perform all the necessary steps to reconstruct high quality volumes from the MARS system. With the addition of the DICOM standard to store and transfer the data, the result is a data processing chain which fulfils the needs of the MARS team.

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  • Simple guilt and cooperation

    Peeters, Ronald; Vorsatz, Marc (2018-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We introduce simple guilt into a generic prisoner’s dilemma (PD) game and solve for the equilibria of the resulting psychological game. It is shown that for all guilt parameters, it is a pure strategy equilibrium that both players defect. But, if the guilt parameter surpasses a threshold, a mixed strategy equilibrium and a pure strategy equilibrium in which both players cooperate emerge. We implement three payoff constellations of the PD game in a laboratory experiment and find in line with our equilibrium analysis that first- and second-order beliefs are highly correlated and that the probability of cooperation depends positively on these beliefs. Finally, we provide numerical evidence on the degree of guilt cooperators experience.

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  • The impact of high and low-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation on measures of cortical excitability

    Sykes, Matthew John (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    In recent decades, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as one of the most promising techniques for clinical therapies. It has been proposed for use in a wide number of neurophysiological disorders including Alzheimer’s, depression and stroke rehabilitation. The technique produces a heterogeneous magnetic field, which induces a suprathreshold electric field in a small focal zone of underlying cortical tissue, depolarising a population of neurons. When these pulses are applied in a repetitive fashion, known as repetitive TMS (rTMS), the excitability of the cortex can be altered. Outside of the small focal zone, broad areas of cortex are subject to much weaker induced current intensities, below the threshold for action potential generation, however, increasing evidence suggests they may have a measurable physiological impact. Despite great initial promise, clinical results for various rTMS treatment paradigms have been mixed, with response rates between and within patients showing high-variability. One potential source of this variability may be unintended effects of the low-intensity fields outside of the targeted population. The aim of the experiments in this thesis were to investigate the impact of rTMS at high- and low-intensities on measures of cortical excitability in the neocortex, using rodent models. The first study explored the effects of two separate anaesthetics on rTMS-induced changes in cortical excitability, using a high-intensity coil and measured using motor evoked potentials. Animals were anaesthetised with either a xylazine/zoletil combination or urethane. In contrast to previously reported success, high-intensity excitatory rTMS here was unable to increase MEP amplitudes, under either anaesthetic. The xylazine/zoletil combination however, was found to increase measures of excitability in the baseline recording, compared to animals anaesthetised with urethane. To investigate low-intensity rTMS, an 8-mm rodent specific coil was used for all subsequent experiments. This produced a magnetic field strength of 120 milliTesla, an order of magnitude below the 1-2 Tesla for human coils. Magnetic fields this powerful are comparable to those emitted by human coils outside of the focal zone. In the final two studies, the ability of low-intensity rTMS to depress or facilitate cortical excitability was measured directly using both local field potentials (LFPs) in vivo and calcium imaging of cortical neurons in vitro. Local field potentials were measured as contralaterally evoked waveforms in anaesthetised rats, recorded from layer V of the motor cortex. Brain slices of juvenile mice were prepared to measure the somatic levels of calcium in layer V neurons, as well as the amplitude of electrically evoked calcium transients. In both cases, rats or mouse brain slices were treated with low-intensity rTMS in the form of theta-burst stimulation or quadripulse stimulation. Overall, no significant effect of low-intensity rTMS was found in LFPs or somatic calcium levels. These data suggest that the effects of low-intensity rTMS, if any, may be subtle changes and as such, the population based techniques used here lacked the required sensitivity to detect these alterations. Consequently, it is unlikely that low-intensity magnetic fields during human application of rTMS are able to significantly influence electrophysiological outcomes and thus contribute to the variability observed.

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  • Screening the Stage: Film Adaptations of Shakespeare that Originate on Stage 1995-2015

    Stone, Alison Kempthorne (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis re-examines the relationship between stage and screen in film adaptations of Shakespeare. The dynamic field of Shakespeare on screen has paid relatively little critical attention to the specific antecedent stage productions that inform the film adaptations in this study as adapted texts. This study questions some of the assumptions in adaptation scholarship about the primacy of the cinematic in film adaptations of Shakespeare and, conversely, some assumptions about the power of co-presence in creating a sense of liveness in theatrical performance. The two mediums of film and theatre inflect each other as these films reproduce, deny, work with, or substitute for their theatrical origins through the process of adaptation. The structure of this project tells a story of increasing proximity to the stage, that is, from films that I term ‘cinematic’ to ‘archival’ films that seek to preserve a specific stage production, and finally to the emerging intermedial form of livecasting that broadcasts live theatrical performance to cinemas. The cinematic films, Richard Loncraine’s Richard III (1995) [Richard Eyre’s National Theatre Richard III (1990)] and Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus (2011) [Jonathan Kent’s Almeida Theatre Coriolanus (2000)], apparently leave the stage behind to engage with all the affordances of film. The two films I term archival, Gregory Doran’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Hamlet (2009) [Doran’s RSC Hamlet (2008)] and Rupert Goold’s Macbeth (2010) [Goold’s Minerva Theatre Macbeth (2007)], move much closer to the stage, on the spectrum between the cinematic and the theatrical, because they seek to preserve a specific, very successful, stage production after its theatrical run. Finally, the livecasting case studies are the closest of all to the stage. Two major livecasting theatre companies, the Royal National Theatre (NT Live 2009-) and the RSC (RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon 2013-), present their live broadcasts as if they were transparently theatrical, allowing the cinema audience to ‘look through’ the screen at the live performance. While this project tells a story of increasing proximity to the stage, each chapter also resists and complicates that narrative. The cinematic films, which apparently seek to efface their stage origins, retain significant theatrical elements. The mediums of film and performance can be at work in each other. The films I call archival experiment, perhaps inadvertently, with the contradiction in terms of filming theatrically. While Doran wanted to capture his stage production on film, Goold’s stage production was heavily influenced by the cinematic. Each of the livecasting case studies examines a different aspect of the contradiction between announced transparency and actual intermediality in the NT Live Timon of Athens (2012), the NT Live Othello (2013), and the RSC Live The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2014). Those aspects are, respectively, text and paratext, film grammar, and the “myth of non-mediation” (Wyver 2014b, 109). Despite the apparent novelty, livecasting is not entirely new. An almost forgotten technology called the electrophone used telephone lines to broadcast live theatre in London starting in 1895. Both livecasting technologies remake liveness in conditions of reception that are shared and ephemeral. Livecasting is changing not only the ‘ecology’ of theatre, but also of film. Livecasting will shape the future prospects for adaptation of films that originate on stage.

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  • Stereological analysis of the normal red nucleus, and the effect of delayed treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells on neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and motor skills, in the rat

    Aghoghovwia, Benjamin Emoefe (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The red nucleus (RN) was investigated first to provide important data for the transfer of information through the RN and to learn key stereological methods that were then applied to the stem cell study. Six male rats, and a set of serial 40µm glycolmethacrylate sections for each rat, were used to quantify the absolute number, N, within the RN. A systematic sample of sections was obtained to estimate the total volume of the RN. The sampled sections were used to estimate the numerical density Nv using the optical disector method. It was found that the RN consisted, on average, of 8,400 parvicellular neurons and 7,000 magnocellular neurons. Exposure to hypoxia and ischemia (or hypoxia-ischemia, HI) in the brain neonatally can lead to cerebral palsy. Due to difficulties regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of HI injury, there is an increasing need to find effective therapies. This research investigates the long- and short-term effects of delayed treatment with stem cells, derived from adult fatty tissue, on neuronal restoration in the brain, and motor skills. On postnatal day (PN) 7, male Sprague-Dawley rat pups were weight-matched, exposed to either HI brain injury or no HI injury, and assigned to groups (n = 8/group for long-term study, and 4/group for the short-term study) - untreated (HI+Dil), normal controls (Normal+Dil), single- and double stem cell-treated (HI+MSCs×1, HI+MSCs×2). On PN14 and 16, all groups were treated with either diluent or stem cells. For the long-term study, all animals were then tested repeatedly on the cylinder and staircase tests for their motor skill ability and perfused on PN107-109. However for the short-term study, the animals were perfused on PN21. Serial 5µm frozen sections were cut and stained for striatal dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein-(DARPP)-32-positive spiny projection neurons. The N of these neurons was estimated using the Cavalieri’s, physical disector and Abercrombie/unfolding methods for the long-term study, and Cavalieri’s and Abercrombie/unfolding methods for the short-term study. For the long-term study, the HI groups were impaired on left- versus right-sided motor skills on the staircase test, but the control animals were not. However, this promising outcome was not observed on the cylinder test which revealed no significant difference for L% - R% use among all groups (p>.05). A one-way ANOVA revealed no significant difference (p>.05) across all groups. The N of DARPP-32-positive neurons was also not significantly greater (Mann-Whitney test, p > 0.05) in the Normal+Dil compared to all HI groups. For the short-term study, there was a significant difference in the N of DARPP-32-positive neurons when all groups were compared (p.05). These results suggest that double treatment with adipose-derived MSCs has therapeutic potential for rescuing striatal neurons after neonatal HI.

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  • The dose individualisation of oral anticoagulants

    Mohd Saffian, Shamin (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Oral anticoagulants are used to treat and prevent blood clots. All anticoagulants carry the risk of bleeding if the systemic exposure is too high, while inadequate exposure will increase the risk of thrombosis. Therefore, the safe and effective use of all oral anticoagulants will require dose individualisation and monitoring. The overarching goal of this thesis is to critically evaluate and explore dose individualisation methods for warfarin and dabigatran therapy to improve patient outcomes. For warfarin, methods for predicting the maintenance dose were investigated. Specifically, Chapter 2 investigates the predictive performance of a Bayesian dose individualisation tool for warfarin. It was found that the maintenance dose was over-predicted especially in patients requiring higher daily doses and further studies into the source of bias were conducted. Chapter 3 further evaluates whether published warfarin maintenance dose prediction algorithms can accurately predict the observed maintenance dose in patients who require ≥7 mg daily (the upper quartile of dose requirements). A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to answer this question. It was found that all warfarin dosing algorithms included in the study under-predicted the maintenance dose in this group of patients. One common metric to measure predictive performance of a model is the mean prediction error, which is a measure of bias. The work conducted in Chapter 2 and 3 suggests that the mean prediction error may not capture non-constant bias. This is when the predictions systematically deviate away from the line of identity in one direction in relation to the observed data. Chapter 4 proposes new method to assess predictive performance to analyse non-constant systematic deviation from the line of identity. The proposed method is not specific to warfarin, but can be applied to the analysis of predictive performance in general. For dabigatran dosing, aspects of concentration monitoring as a means of determining a suitable dosing rate were explored. In Chapter 5, an assay using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed to measure all active entities of dabigatran concentrations in human plasma. The assay was used to measure dabigatran concentrations collected from a previous study. A de novo population pharmacokinetic model was not pursued in the first instance as the data were fairly sparse. Instead, the measured concentrations were used in Chapter 6 in a simulation based study to select an appropriate prior population pharmacokinetic model that might be used in a future Bayesian dose individualisation method for dabigatran. The overall intention of Chapter 6 was to develop a Bayesian dose individualisation method for dabigatran. In conclusion, this thesis has identified the limitations of current methods for predicting warfarin maintenance dose and has explored dabigatran concentration monitoring as a means of improving dabigatran dosing. Models for predicting warfarin maintenance dose were critically evaluated and it was found that all existing models can not accurately predict the maintenance dose in patients requiring higher daily doses. An improvement in the method to assess predictive performance was proposed. The work conducted in this thesis on dabigatran dosing provides the basis for future research to individualise dosing and monitoring using population pharmacokinetic models.

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  • Authentic Leadership and Team Innovation Ambidexterity: The Mediating Role of Team Inclusive Climate and The Contingency Role of Cultural Values

    Bahmannia, Somayehsadat

    Thesis
    University of Otago

    This study proposes that authentic leaders and team context (team inclusive climate) enable team members to actively engage in both exploratory and exploitative innovation. Also, team’s individualist-collectivist cultural values play an important role in the emergence of the inclusive work environment, as well as exploratory and exploitative innovation at the team level. Using multisource data (team leaders and team members) on 111 teams within 43 Taiwanese companies, and 73 teams within 35 New Zealand companies, the findings of this study reveal that authentic leaders directly and indirectly (through developing the inclusive climate) promote team exploratory and exploitative innovation. Also, team collectivist cultural values strengthen the positive effect of authentic leadership on team members’ shared perception of inclusion in the work environment. Team inclusive climate unfolds its benefits when team members are high on both collectivist and individualist cultural values. More specifically, team inclusive climate is more associated with exploratory innovation when team members hold high individualist cultural values and is more related to exploitative innovation when team members hold high collectivist cultural values. The findings of this study contribute to authentic leadership, innovation ambidexterity, and team climate research by unlocking the ‘black box’ of the relationship between authentic leadership and innovation ambidexterity, and by highlighting a contingency under which authentic leadership and team inclusive climate unfold their benefits. Also, the findings provide evidence that leaders who know their values and transparently act and interact with their subordinates are more able to encourage their subordinates to inclusively integrate their unique talents and skills into the work process, thereby managing the demands of both exploratory and exploitative innovation within a team.

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  • Is Goal Conflict Specific Rhythmicity a Biomarker for a Type of Clinical Anxiety?

    McIntosh, Julia Frances (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Mental disorder diagnoses are currently based on arbitrary symptom checklists and lack the identification of underlying neurological dysfunction. As a result, clinicians assign diagnostic labels with low accuracy, leading to poor treatment selection and delivery and reduced quality of life for many individuals. Goal Conflict Specific Rhythmicity (GCSR), measured using a Stop Signal Task (SST), appears to be the first neural biomarker for diagnosing one process underlying clinical anxiety. While previous research has shown that GCSR is an ‘anxiolytic-sensitive’ biomarker, the present study aimed to take the first steps toward validating GCSR as a ‘clinical anxiety’ biomarker within a patient sample. According to McNaughton and Corr (2004)’s theory, it was predicted that patients diagnosed with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) ‘anxiety disorders’ would on average show higher GCSR than control participants. In this study, the Electroencephalogram (EEG) of 86 participants recruited from Student Job Search (SJS) and 21 patients diagnosed with DSM-5 anxiety disorders was recorded while participants underwent a SST. GCSR values of SJS participants who obtained Spielberger’s Trait Anxiety (STAI-T) scores in both the clinically high and normal ranges were compared to GCSR obtained by anxiety disorder patients. Consistent with predictions, GCSR tended to be higher in individuals diagnosed with DSM-5 anxiety disorders compared to SJS controls with low STAI-T scores. GCSR also tended to increase in the positive direction as STAI-T scores increased, with anxious patients producing similar, if not higher, GCSR than SJS participants with STAI-T scores in the clinical range. Overall, these results provide preliminary support for GCSR as the first biological biomarker for one clinical anxiety process. Further research, including a larger sample of anxiety disorder patients and an appropriately matched healthy control group, is required to strengthen conclusions and progress the translation of this biomarker into clinical settings.

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  • There's a new kid on the block: A longitudinal study of the aspirations held by members of the social work profession for the introduction of statutory registration for social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand...... and the consequences

    Randal, Howard John (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) was established in 1964 and for nearly 40 years members of the Association debated the merits of statutory registration and its possible forms and processes. In 2003, the Social Workers Registration Act was brought into law. This thesis uses a longitudinal design to analyse interviews conducted on two occasions. In 1996, a sample of Association members was interviewed about their aspirations for the statutory registration of social workers and the role the Association might have in that. Eighteen years later, in 2014, with statutory registration in place, the sample was re-interviewed to establish the extent to which their aspirations for statutory registration have been realised. Qualitative analyses were conducted of all interviews, providing a set of results to address the research questions: To what extent have the aspirations for the statutory registration of social work been realised? In what ways has the introduction of statutory registration changed the face of social work professionalism in ANZ? The thesis topic lends itself to the examination of professionalisation and occupational regulation and the respective agendas of the Association and the government for the introduction of statutory registration. The research draws on a Bourdieusian framework and examines Foucauldian governmentality and biopower theory as a basis of explanation. An institutional logics perspective is also applied as a basis for discussing the institutional forms of the state and the professional body that are subject to the study. The findings drawn from the interviews are discussed in the light of the conceptual and theoretical threads applied providing a basis to offer some reflections and comment on the consequences and impact of statutory registration as 'the new kid on the block'.

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  • Health needs of children in State care

    Duncanson, Mavis (2017)

    Conference item
    University of Otago

    Background There are over 5,500 children and young people in the custody of the State in New Zealand. Their complex experiences and life stories have important implications for health services. Research has shown that children and young people in State care are a very vulnerable group with relatively high levels of unrecognised or unmet health needs (1,2). Methods A rapid literature review of the health needs of children and young people in State care and of best practice for health services in responding to those needs. Te waka hourua (the two-hulled canoe) (3) was used as a framework to understand health needs of children in State care, as well as to consider how health services can best respond to those needs. Results Children and young people in State care have needs across all health domains, including secure whānau and family attachment as well as timely assessment and effective management of physical, spiritual, and mental health needs. Many of these children experience co-occurrence of physical and mental health conditions which means there needs to be excellent co-ordination between paediatric and youth health services and mental health services within and between DHBs. Key infrastructure elements to achieve positive outcomes will include gathering and use of good data, development of staff knowledge, skills and understanding, and effective community programmes to improve child safety. Conclusion An effective child-centred approach that will enable health services to better identify and address health issues for all children, including the most vulnerable. It is also essential to remember that the journey toward health and wellbeing is also impacted by wider societal and historical influences (3). References 1. Health needs audit for looked after children and young people in the care of the London Borough of Hillingdon. Adoption & Fostering [Internet]. 2016 July 1, 2016; 40(2):[188-97 pp.]. Available from: http://aaf.sagepub.com/content/40/2/188.short 2. Szilagyi MA, Rosen DS, Rubin D, Zlotnik S, Szilagyi MA, Harmon D, et al. Health care issues for children and adolescents in foster care and kinship care. Pediatrics. 2015;136(4):e1142-e66.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-2656 3. Pitama S, Huria T, Lacey C. Improving Māori health through clinical assessment: Waikare o te waka o meihana. The New Zealand Medical Journal. 2014;127(1393):107-19.

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  • A critical analysis of the trade union movement in the Nepalese tourism industry

    Basnyat, Sandeep (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This research examines factors that influence trade union movements in the Nepalese tourism industry. In contrast to global trends, the last twenty-five years have seen a remarkable growth in the power and influence of trade unions in the Nepalese tourism industry. With a tremendous increase in the number of trade unions, collective bargaining, strike action, and participation in and organising of demonstrations have become prevalent across all sectors of the tourism industry in Nepal. In spite of the fact that the trade union movements in Nepal exhibits an anomalous trend when compared to trade union movements across the world, nothing in the existing literature identifies factors driving this anomaly in the tourism industry, let alone outlines its contours in the specific context of Nepal. This research aims to fill this gap. Focusing on hotels and airlines in Kathmandu, Nepal, the data on which this research is based were collected from April 2015 to February 2016 through unstructured interviews with fifty-one participants including trade union officials and members, employees who were not a member of trade unions, current employers with trade unions in their hotels or airlines, former employers who have had experience with the trade unions, and government employees responsible for regulating and monitoring tourism and employment. The research identifies that the interplay of limited improvements in the working environment in the tourism industry and some dynamic changes in the political environment in Nepal have shaped and influenced the trade union movements. Limited improvements in the working environment were primarily the result of employers' attitudes, and concomitant poor income and employment conditions in the tourism industry, together with an unsupportive (for labour) regulatory environment prevailing in the country. This dearth of progress has acted as an internal driving force for Nepalese tourism industry workers to organise trade unions in order to protect their rights and interests. In contrast, dynamic transformations in the political environment of Nepal have been experienced in four noteworthy periods since early 1990, particularly the rise of the Maoist movements, which has acted as an external driving force that has provided strength to the trade unions in their struggle against a generally poor working environment. The study demonstrates the fragility of industrial relations within the tourism industry in Nepal. It also contributes to our understanding of the poorly understood and researched phenomenon of trade union movements in the tourism industry in general, and in the Asian context in particular.

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  • Meteorological and Hydrological Drivers of Sediment Transportation in a Steep Alluvial Fan, Potters Creek, Westland, New Zealand.

    McGill-Brown, Matthew Alexander (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The purpose of tracking routes and dispersal rates of bedload is to show the response of sediment to discharge events, as driven by meteorological phenomenon. The environment chosen for this bedload tracing experiment is Potters Creek, which is an alluvial fan adjacent to Franz Josef in Westland, where 285 tracer particles (ranging from 81 – 1,236 g, average 395.7 g) had radio frequency identification tags placed in each clast to trace individual mobilisation rates. Over 9 months the maximum transfer distance was 2,144 m, with evidence from a small cohort of recovered particles indicating an abrasion rate equivalent to 7 g per 500 metres travelled. Compared to their original mass, semi-schist clasts experienced higher quantities of abrasion (6.6%) compared to higher grade schist clasts (2%), as did tracer particles that were transferred from the proximal zone (10.2%) compared to mid-fan (3.7%) or distal zone (1.14%) transported sediment. The median sediment texture (D50) decreases downstream from 99 mm in the proximal zone to 39 mm in the distal zone. Sediment has accumulated in the mid-fan zone due to a lateral injection of sediment from a tributary, increasing the D50, which requires stream competency and capacity to adapt for transfer to occur. Despite a D50 increase in the mid-fan the sediment size does reduce throughout the catchment, showing evidence of rounding and fining downstream. Axial comminution shows that the rate of fining from each axis is higher at the upstream sites where slope is highest, where axis lengths are on average 2 times higher here compared to downstream reaches. Topographic cross sections show that near the tributary is an aggrading site, causing the alluvial fan to develop a concave profile in the mid-fan zone, these cross sections also show aggradation and degradation zones alternate downstream. Depth-duration frequency analysis of precipitation data during this experiment shows that there have been 113 events that have exceedance return periods of between 2 – 50 years for durations ranging from 0.5 hours – 72 hours, with one additional event exceeding a 100-year event. Maximum discharge recorded during this experiment was 53.54 m3s-1 and with 12 other events recorded that exceed 5 m3s-1, and these events are of a magnitude to episodically transfer sediment downstream. The identification of rainfall patterns show that quick and intense rainfall events contribute to rapid discharge increase, where critical shear strengths can be overcome rapidly and disperse sediment episodically and that has been captured by the experimental design.

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  • Te ara e heke mai nei. Science, innovation and the Māori economy: mapping Māori enterprise (scoping phase)

    Ruckstuhl, Katharina; Ruwhiu, Diane; Lont, David; Yap, Max; Turner, Rachel (2013)

    Report
    University of Otago

    The aim of this TPK scoping report is to give insight into the extent to which it is possible to map the Māori economy from a High Value Manufacturing & Service Sector perspective. The intention is to determine what the current system is able to offer Māori business from a research, science and innovation perspective and to what extent Māori enterprises are ready to, are capable of, or have the desire or need to access those offerings. We also wish to better understand how discourse abour R&D intersects with what is known already about how New Zealand enterprises succeed and whether such models are applicable to Māori enterprises. Our concluding observation is that we suspect that developing a national innovation system that is comprehensive, flexible and capable of responding to an indigenous economy is ground-breaking from an international perspective.

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  • Feasibility of using pattern-recognition software for photographic identification of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)

    de Sa Rocha Mello, Ricardo (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The ability to distinguish individual animals is fundamental to ecological research, wildlife and livestock management. Individuals are recognised by using the animals’ natural marks that remain stable through time, by applying artificial temporary or permanent tags or marks to an animal. Recently, an increased interest in using non-invasive methods has arisen due to ethical concerns around the use of permanent tags or marks. Photographic identification (photo-ID) is a non-invasive identification technique that can be as reliable as other methods for species with distinctive patterns or marks. In this study, I aimed to determine the feasibility of photo-ID for adult and juvenile tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) and to identify which of several body patterns is best to individually identify tuatara. This research also evaluated the comparative performance of three open-source photo-ID software packages (Wild-ID, Interactive Identification System (I3S) and StripeSpotter). First, I compared the identification performance of three different areas of the body: (i) the ventral area (further sub-divided into underside, throat and chest), (ii) head and body patterns including the spines on the right side of the body (“right side”) and (iii) the iris on the right side (“right eye”), among three photo-ID software packages. In total, I used photos from 196 tuatara, including captive and wild individuals. All tuatara were of Stephens Island (Takapourewa) origin. I found that the use of the chest pattern using Wild-ID was the best body-part- software combination to individually identify tuatara. In a database of 1,090 photos for the chest collected in 2013 and 2017, Wild-ID correctly identified 99% of the photos. In addition, from the corrected matches, 99.4% of the recaptures were ranked among the top five. With Wild-ID the right side (97% of correctly identified) showed a lower identification rate than chest pattern, but for a smaller sample size (172 individuals and 667 photos) and over a shorter elapsed time (up to 652 days). The right eye showed the lowest matching rate among all software packages. However, this result may have been influenced by the eye photos being of lower quality than chest and right-side photos. There was a significant difference in accuracy among software packages for all body parts, except when comparing right eye between Wild-ID and I3S. Wild-ID had the highest identification rate, and StripeSpotter the lowest for all body parts. These results present a reliable alternative to toe-clipping or PIT-tagging for individual identification of tuatara over a period of at least three years. This method is feasible from early juvenile tuatara. Until it is known whether chest patterns remain stable for longer than three years, I recommend that another marking technique should be applied in conjunction with photo-ID for at least most of a tuatara’s lifespan. My results encourage testing a computer-assisted identification in a field setting for tuatara and for other reptiles and amphibians in New Zealand where the assumptions of photo-ID are met.

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  • “I wouldn’t mind having some friends. But I don’t mind being alone”: Social Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Baxter, Jennifer Michelle (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This doctoral research explores the experience, assessment, and potential treatment of social anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by social difficulties, repetitive behaviours, and limited areas of interest. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is fear of negative judgement which causes distress in, and avoidance of social situations. Changes to the diagnostic criteria of ASD have only recently allowed concurrent diagnoses of these conditions. Therefore, there is a paucity of literature regarding SAD in the ASD population. In Study 1 a popular social anxiety measure (the LSAS-CA) was utilised to assess for SAD in the ASD population. Adolescents with ASD, and parents of adolescents with ASD completed an online survey. Results suggest that the LSAS-CA is inappropriate for use with the ASD population, and leads to overscoring. The findings also demonstrated that participants perceived social anxiety to be both prevalent and experienced at high level of severity by this population. Study 2a, Study 2b and Study 3 sought to explore the social cure as a potential approach to intervention for SAD. Research conducted using this framework has demonstrated that social identities provide various benefits to both physical and mental health. To date, however, no research has investigated the effects of social identities on social anxiety. In an attempt to rectify this, Study 2a and Study 2b sought to investigate the relationship between social identity and social anxiety amongst neurotypical populations. Findings suggested that social identity is associated with lower levels of social anxiety. Furthermore, statistical analysis revealed that it is through increased perceptions of personal control and decreases in negative attribution style that social identity benefits are apparent. Study 3 manipulated the salience of social identity in order to assess whether this would lead to lower social anxiety in a subsequent social performance task. No significant effects emerged, indicating increasing the salience of a pre-existing social identity was insufficient to reduce social anxiety. Study 4 conducted semi-structured interviews with adolescents with ASD to investigate how social identities might impact this population. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Participants spoke about effects of both ASD, and ASD identity. The young people strongly valued their membership in the ASD group, which was found to be one of few, or their only group memberships. Findings also demonstrated that individuals with ASD use various methods to maintain positive self-esteem, personal and social identities. Overall, the thesis provided novel and valuable findings regarding how individuals with ASD experience social anxiety. SAD appears to be commonly experienced in this population, but there is a need for assessment tools designed specific to this purpose. Social identity and the social cure provide a novel approach to protecting against and reducing social anxiety. It seems that within the ASD population, where individuals have few group memberships, ASD provides a sense of belonging and a valued identity. As a result social identity may contribute to reduced social anxiety and isolation, and therefore provide opportunities to increase social skills and form new friendships.

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  • Experimental evidence and properties of EMIC wave driven electron precipitation

    Hendry, Aaron Thomas (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    One of the key drivers of electron losses from the radiation belts is the interaction between radiation belt electrons and the electromagnetic plasma waves that populate the magnetosphere. In particular, electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been touted as a potential sources of significant electron loss from the radiation belts. However, until recently there has been a lack of experimental evidence for this precipitation occurring. Because of this, there is little experimental evidence for the properties of the precipitation, in particular the lower energy limit of EMIC interactions with radiation belt electrons. The main focus of this thesis is investigating a 17 year database of proton precipitation-associated relativistic electron precipitation events detected by the POES satellite constellation, believed to be driven by interactions with EMIC waves. This database represents an unheralded opportunity for in-depth study of EMIC waves and their interactions with energetic electrons. Unfortunately, the utility of this database has been limited due to the lack of accompanying wave observations; without direct evidence of EMIC wave activity, there remains significant doubt as to the true driver of the observed precipitation. In this thesis, we initially present two in-depth case studies of events from the precipitation database, showing clear evidence of concurrent EMIC wave activity and the observed precipitation. We follow up these studies with a broad statistical analysis of the precipitation database, comparing the event locations to ground-based magnetometers. We show a remarkable correlation between the precipitation events and EMIC waves observed on the ground, with as many as 90% of precipitation events occurring during periods of EMIC wave activity. We show that this correlation cannot be due to random chance, establishing a strong link between the precipitation events and EMIC wave activity. Finally, we also show that while our precipitation events imply wave activity, wave activity does not necessarily imply electron precipitation. Given the results of these studies, we have significant confidence that our database represents EMIC-wave scattered electron precipitation. We present two further case studies, investigating in-depth the energy and intensity characteristics of two events from the precipitation database. Through comparison with the DEMETER satellite, we are able derive electron energy spectra for these events.

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  • Ecology or phylogeny: which determines the parasitic assemblages in Rajiformes (skates)?

    Beer, Anusha (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    A central aim in parasitology is to understand the mechanisms and processes that determine host-parasite associations. The quest to understand these mechanisms has led to the rise of the host-parasite co-speciation paradigm, postulated in the early 20th century. This paradigm proposed that the parasite phylogeny follows the host phylogeny such that whenever the host speciates, the parasite speciates with it. Through the work of several authors over the years, it has become apparent that other processes also occur in the co-evolution of hosts and parasites. The importance of host switching, a process where a parasite species switches to a new host species, was eventually recognised by parasitologists. In host switching, ecological parameters are paramount where the parasite phylogeny tracks the host ecology. Despite ecological parameters being important in several host-parasite systems, in many systems the role of ecology remains unexplored. This study aims to explore the importance of phylogeny and ecology in a marine skatecestode system. Mixed results on the importance of co-speciation in the co-evolution of skates and cestodes have been reported by previous authors and none have explored the role of host ecology and instances of host switching in this system. There were two main aims of this study. Firstly, the individual host and parasite trees were reconstructed for the skates and parasites used in this study. Secondly, the importance of phylogenetic and ecological influences in the skate-cestode system were explored. A suite of laboratory and computational techniques were used to address the aims of this study. The parasite phylogenetic tree was constructed using the 28S gene marker. The host evolutionary tree was created using COI and NADH2 genes. These trees were created by generating host and parasite sequences which were then used in the MrBayes and RAxML programs to generate host and parasite phylogenies based on Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods. Both approaches revealed almost identical trees. Both skate and cestode trees were monophyletic. The findings also supported previous recommendations by other authors regarding taxonomic changes of some cestode species. The host and parasite trees were then used to test for co-speciation using software programs PACo and Jane. Co-speciation was supported using both these programs. Jane indicated that host switching exists in this system. As host switching is mainly influenced by ecological factors, the next step was to test for important ecological parameters. This test was done by modifying PACo using a novel approach developed in this study. The analysis revealed that all four ecological parameters tested (diet, foraging depth, size and geographical location) were significant in combination. This study was the first to investigate the role of ecology in this system. The key findings of this project are that some cestodes tend to co-speciate with their hosts and follow host phylogeny, whereas others are influenced more by ecological factors and are likely to switch hosts given the opportunity. However, those cestodes influenced by ecological parameters may be vulnerable to fluctuations in important ecological factors. Based on the findings of this study, cestodes of skates are expected to be vulnerable to changes in diet, foraging depth, size and the geographical location of their hosts. The effects of anthropogenic factors on these parasites are discussed. The study raised some new questions that can be tested by future research. Given that most skate species are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic stressors threatening the marine ecosystem, such as climate change, over-fishing and pollution, it is essential to evaluate whether parasites will face co-extinction if their hosts become extinct. In this thesis some of these questions were asked with the goal being to understand the repercussions of anthropogenic stressors on parasite populations. Parasites are crucial for the stability of marine systems as they form a large part of marine biodiversity, and a tremendous amount of energy flows through them via trophic interactions.

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  • Even if you say it three ways, it still doesn't mean it's true: The pervasiveness of heteronormativity in early childhood education

    Gunn, Alexandra C. (2011)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Peer Reviewed

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  • Facilitation, Imposition, or Impairment?: The Role of Bridging Networks on Peacebuilding of Local Religious Leaders in the Deep South of Thailand

    Pienkhuntod, Ajirapa (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The peacebuilding potential of local religious leaders in conflict is well established within the peacebuilding literature. To date, most studies have focused on the impact of religious factors on the peacebuilding of religious leaders, while factors other than religion remain under-researched. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of inter-group ties or bridging networks on the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders. This represents the first attempt to examine how the varying behaviour of members of bridging networks impacts the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders during conflict. In an effort to highlight the importance of non-religious mechanisms, the central research question of this thesis is: How do bridging networks affect the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders in a conflict setting? This study examines a single case of the Deep South of Thailand (the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, and some parts of Songkhla). Based on thirty-one in-depth interviews conducted in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, I investigate the impact of three ‘types’ of bridging networks, those with civil society, governmental, and military actors. I trace a causal chain between the behaviours of members of theses bridging networks and the peacebuilding practices of local Islamic and Buddhist leaders in the context of the Southern Thailand conflict. Some local religious leaders engaged in socio-economic development, e.g. drug rehabilitation for youth and the development of the Islamic-integrated curriculum; community justice, e.g. legal training for Islamic leaders and torture prevention; religious dialogues, e.g. inter-religious camps for students; and community mediation between Buddhist-Muslim communities. I find that local religious leaders were pragmatic and likely to engage in a peacebuilding collaboration with other actors only when other actors facilitated the development of their approaches and initiatives to match local needs, or in other words, supporting the bottom-up peacebuilding. In this case, civil society actors could to an extent play a facilitative role by increasing local religious leaders’ socialisation with other like-minded actors and/or peacebuilders, and promote the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders. In contrast, civilian governmental and military actors could do so only in a limited fashion as they used top-down and security approaches respectively, which limit and impair the development of the peacebuilding role of local religious leaders. A safe operational space was also identified as an essential non-material resource enabling engagement in peacebuilding in the ongoing conflict environment. Local religious leaders were unlikely to access financial and/or material resources for peacebuilding available in a bridging network if doing so could generate the risk of being harmed. In this case, the risk was determined by the perceived neutrality or bias of local religious leaders’ contacts who provided resources for peacebuilding. Interestingly, the perceived neutrality or bias of these actors was influenced by their distance to the fighting. I have found that civil society actors were, to some extent, able to provide safe spaces for local religious leaders. Civil society actors were perceived to be more neutral than civilian governmental and military actors, who were associated with the Thai state, the conflict party to the Malay insurgents. As a result, the behaviours of civil society, civilian governmental and military actors (facilitation via socialisation/top-down approach/impairment due to security concerns) created different immediate outcomes (a sense of safety/limited space for participation/fear), which affected varying degrees of access (access, restricted, and no access) to peacebuilding resources in civil society, civilian government and military networks, and consequently resulted in promoting, restricting, or hindering the engagement of local religious leaders in peacebuilding, respectively. I therefore argue that local religious leaders’ contribution to peacebuilding during conflict was significantly influenced by the behaviour of their contacts. In a conflict environment such as the Deep South of Thailand, the more a bridging network facilitated the development of bottom-up peacebuilding approaches and created a safe operational space, the more local religious leaders engaged in peacebuilding. By identifying this enabling condition for peacebuilding, this thesis deepens our understanding of the drivers of local peacebuilding and sheds light on how to improve the peacebuilding role of local religious leaders through bridging networks in a time of conflict.

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