11,872 results for Doctoral

  • An Investigation into Establishing (Motivating) Operations

    Jackson, Surrey Merryn Kate (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Motivating Operations (MOs) are a fundamental concept in behavioural psychology. Despite this, empirical research into MOs is lacking. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to the experimental literature base for MOs. Experiment 2.1 used an already published video analysis methodology to assess the morphology of food motivated pecks made to a computer screen by hens, after the hens had been trained to emit the peck using either an autoshaping or handshaping procedure. The intention of this was to then be able to use the video analysis to assess the effect of altering two MOs related to two different reinforcers (e.g., food and water) at one time, on morphology. The study showed that both methods produced similarly formed pecks despite the variability inherent in the handshaping procedure. It was then concluded it is the nature of the reinforcer that gives rise to morphology not the autoshaping procedure per se which gives rise to a particular form of elicited responses. The aim of Experiment 3.1 and 3.2 was to develop a procedure for restricting access to water in laying hens, in order to motivate them sufficiently to respond for water reinforcers. Experiment 3.1 assessed the effect that gradually decreasing time and amount of water access had on food-restricted hens’ water consumption and health. It was found that hens could be restricted to one hr access of water (restricted to the maximum amount that hens would consume when access was ad libitum) without adverse effects to health being apparent. However, when the hens were subsequently exposed to FR schedules with a low response requirement in Experiment 3.2, they did not respond consistently. This indicated that the level of restriction was insufficient to motivate responding and this finding, combined with the difficulty of obtaining ethical approval, meant that the proposed experiments utilising water deprivation as an MO had to be abandoned. Experiment 4.1 used the autoshaping paradigm to assess the acquisition of food motivated pecks to a stimulus, at two different levels of bodyweight (75% and 95%). An infra-red screen was used to analyse performance separately from learning effects by examining activity levels (location and amount of pecks). It was found that that higher numbers of effective pecks were made by hens maintained at 75% free-feeding bodyweight than hens maintained at 95% (different MO conditions). There were also higher levels of ineffective pecks in the 75% group. Experiment 5.1 investigated relative preference for stimuli correlated with different MO conditions: high deprivation (no pre-feeding), or low deprivation (pre-feeding), when subjects were maintained at either 75% or 95% of free-feeding bodyweight. The results showed that 6/10 hens demonstrated an increased preference for the stimulus paired with high deprivation conditions (no pre-feeding) when measured by log ratios of responses, and had faster response rates on this stimulus. Overall, the 75% bodyweight hens had faster response rates than the 95% hens (as in Experiment 4.1), and 8/10 hens responded faster on the stimulus that was paired with no pre-feeding. It was also found, as per Experiment 4.1, that higher numbers of effective pecks were made by hens maintained at 75% free-feeding bodyweight than hens maintained at 95% (different MO conditions). Experiments 6.1 and 6.2 extended the findings of the thesis thus far in that concurrent VI VI schedules were used to assess the effect of bodyweight and pre-feeding as MOs on steady state responding. In total 16 conditions were run exposing hens to three different VI pairs: VI-12, VI-60 (5:1); VI-20, VI-20 (1:1); and VI-60, VI-12 (1:5). Bodyweight values of 85%, 95%, 100%, and 85% with pre-feeding of 40 cc wheat delivered 40 minutes prior to experimental sessions were manipulated between hens finishing a series of the three VI pairs. It was found that 4/6 hens had higher absolute and relative response rates when bodyweight was made lower. For 3/6 of these hens, increasing bodyweight increased sensitivity as measured by the parameter a; this was more distinct when the Generalised Matching Law was applied to response rather than time locations for these hens. Frequency distributions of IRTs showed that for the hens that tended to show increasing sensitivity as bodyweights increased there were more IRTs in bins greater than 0.4 s. This was reflected on the log-survivor plots as the limbs were shallower when bodyweights were higher, indicating that more between-bout responses were occurring. It was also found that pre-feeding increased sensitivity as measured by the parameter a for all hens; this was more noticeable when the GML was applied to response rather than time allocations. Although overall response rates tended to resemble those for the 85% bodyweight condition and remain higher than the 95% and 100% bodyweight conditions, the distribution of left and right response rates showed that hens matched better to the prevailing reinforcer rates when they were pre-fed, than when they were not pre-fed. Overall, the main findings were: (1) that reducing bodyweights increased amounts of species-specific behaviour; and (2) that reducing bodyweight causes increases in response rate. These findings could explain why changes in preference for stimuli paired with high levels of deprivation are observed during SDVL procedures, and why increased sensitivity to available reinforcement at lower levels of deprivation found in studies utilising the GML have been observed in previous studies. These findings contribute to the empirical data informing the behavioural treatment of motivation and have applied implications. Reinforcement and punishment procedures such as extinction or differential reinforcement of alternative behaviours may no longer be necessary when MOs are manipulated.

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  • The good without the bad: Selective chelators for beryllium encapsulation

    Perera, Lakshika C (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Beryllium is an indispensable metal. Its unmatched combination of unique properties such as extreme strength, low density and high machinability has made it vital in the automotive, nuclear, space, medical, defence sectors and other consumer industries. However, beryllium is considered the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet. It is also a class one carcinogen and the cause of chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Surprisingly, this fact has not deterred its use in manufacturing. Therefore it is imperative that chemical agents be developed for better detection and remediation of beryllium in the environment and as therapies for individuals exposed to this element. The goal of this research was to develop strong, selective chelating agents for the encapsulation of beryllium. Furthermore a greater ex-ploration of beryllium fundamental coordination chemistry was under-taken with an investigation of binding preferences of the Be2+ cation. The introduction begins with a brief overview of beryllium solu-tion chemistry. Following this is a comprehensive review of the Be2+ coordination chemistry with an investigation into existing organic and inorganic ligands with an emphasis on hard nitrogen and oxygen donor containing ligands. This then moves on to a brief description of the selected ligand design based on the fundamental coordination prefer-ences of Be2+. The main ligand motif will be based on a di-pyridyl sca???old with selected chelating pendant groups, allowing the formation of tetradentate complexes which can form the desired six-membered chelate rings with Be2+ cations. Chapter Two explored the synthesis of a ligand based a dipyrrin pendant group. The corresponding dipyrromethane was used as the starting point. While coupling of this dipyrromethane directly on to a dipyridyl sca???old was unsuccessful, the same dipyrromethane con-taining a one pyridyl group in the form of an acyl-pyridyl unit served as a reasonably good candidate for the successful coupling of the last pyridine group. Furthermore, synthesis of a modi???ed dipyrrin ligand with the inclusion of hydrogen-bonding buttressing groups was also attempted. Chapter Three explored the synthesis of a ligand containing a mo-tif based on a hydroxy-phenyl imidazole moiety. The hydroxyphenyl imidazole moiety was synthesised and used as a starting point. The brominated analogue of the hydroxyphenyl imidazole moiety was suc-cessfully coupled to a di-pyridyl sca???old containing a nitrogen at the center sca???old position through a modi???ed Ullman type reaction. DFT studies of the ligands synthesised and preliminary complexation studies were conducted using boron and aluminium ions as safe analogues and are described in chapters Four and Five. ESI-MS studies were also used for the study of the Be-ligand complexes, allowing their synthesis on a small scale and minimising exposure to beryllium.

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  • Designing graphene supercapacitor electrodes

    Farquhar, Anna K. (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Graphene, a two-dimensional material comprised of sp2-hybridised carbon atoms, has significant potential in energy storage as an electrode material for supercapacitors. Unfortunately, strong intermolecular forces between the graphene sheets results in aggregation during assembly and use, reducing the accessible surface area and experimentally available capacitance. Prevention of aggregation during electrode assembly and cycling will allow the development of graphene materials with better energy storage capability. In this thesis work, molecular spacers grafted to few-layer graphene (FLG) were investigated as a way of preventing aggregation of the graphene sheets. Molecular spacers were grafted to FLG using three strategies: the spontaneous reaction with aryldiazonium salts, the Diels Alder reaction of an aryne, and the addition of an amine. The aryldiazonium reaction was studied using five different salts. The results indicated that at least two reaction pathways are operative for the spontaneous reaction, giving a multilayer film with both -C-C- and -N=N- linkages. Furthermore, the experimental protocol allowed the modified FLG to be collected with the film either sandwiched between the FLG and the substrate, or exposed to the electrolyte. In the sandwiched orientation two nitrophenyl reduction peaks were sometimes seen and larger surface concentrations were measured, behaviour that has not been reported previously for films grafted onto carbon materials from aryldiazonium salts. The Diels- Alder reaction, which relied on the generation of an aryne from an anthranilic acid precursor, provided an efficient route to monolayer growth. The amine addition reaction provided an alternative route modifying FLG, though a Michael-like addition or partial intercalation. Supercapacitor electrodes were assembled from aryldiazonium modified FLG using a layer-by-layer (LBL) strategy. The grafted film could efficiently separate the FLG sheets during assembly and prevent restacking during cycling, with the full surface area remaining accessible even after 20,000 galvanostatic charge discharge cycles. Furthermore, the grafted film did not diminish the total capacitance of the FLG or hinder ion movement to the surface of the sheets. To further enhance the capacitance of the FLG, pseudocapacitive metal hydroxide films were electrochemically deposited on the FLG sheets prior to LBL assembly, which enhanced the total areal capacitance of the system. This thesis work successfully developed a novel LBL protocol that allowed electrodes comprised of stacks of FLG to be assembled without diminishing the total accessible surface area and therefore capacitance of each graphene sheet, which is an essential step in the development of energy storage devices from graphene.

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  • Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) Pyrolysis Model Analysis of Heavy Goods Vehicle Fires in Road Tunnels

    Wang, Xiaoyun (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fires cause more serious fire safety problems than other vehicle fires in road tunnels due to the large fire size. The fire size is a critical parameter in road tunnel fire safety design and this parameter varies considerably under different environmental conditions. It is impractical to experimentally measure heat release rate (HRR) for HGV fires under different tunnel conditions because of the large experimental cost. There is a desire to use a cost-effective computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling method to study tunnel fires, such as fire dynamics simulator (FDS). The pyrolysis model in FDS can predict HRR based on fuel properties and environmental conditions. Therefore, the FDS pyrolysis model is adopted in this research to simulate a large-scale tunnel simulated HGV cargo experiment, which was carried out on behalf of the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore. There are three major objectives in this research: to understand fuel properties for the application of the pyrolysis model; to understand influence of forced ventilation on the HRR of tunnel fires; and to assess the predictive capability of the pyrolysis model in FDS to simulate tunnel fires. The material properties of the fuels (plastic and wood) adopted in the LTA experiment are investigated. A simple hand calculation method using multiple-component schemes is proposed in this research to analyse the kinetic properties for the LTA materials through a series of material-scale experiments. Favourable FDS predictions of decomposition behaviour are obtained based on the derived kinetic properties. Following the studies of the kinetic properties, a manual optimisation process is used to determine other thermal properties for the application of the FDS pyrolysis model. The results from FDS simulations for a series of cone calorimeter experiments reveal that the use of component schemes and thermal property settings are critical in accurately predicting burning behaviour in FDS. A series of small-scale tunnel experiments are conducted which is scaled at a ratio of 1:20 on the basis of the LTA large-scale tunnel experiment. Medium density fireboard (MDF) cribs are used as fuel source to investigate the influence of forced ventilation on tunnel fires. It is found that the forced ventilation affects fire spread rate and burning efficiency which ultimately affects the peak HRR. In addition, the influence of forced ventilation on burning efficiency is affected by the crib length. A mathematical model to predict peak HRR for crib fires is proposed based on the observed influences on crib fires from these different factors. The ultimate objective is to assess the ability of the FDS pyrolysis model to predict the HRR in the small-scale and large-scale tunnel experiments. In the simulations, the decomposition reactions are described. The ventilation influences on burning efficiency are accounted for through heat of combustion. Unfortunately, FDS considerably under predicts the HRR and fire growth behaviour for both experiments. These results suggest that the FDS pyrolysis model is unable to predict fire burning behaviour for complex fuels with sufficient accuracy to be used in practical tunnel design. Overall, this research reveals an effective hand calculation method to derive kinetic properties; a manual optimisation process to determine thermal properties; a mathematical model to describe forced ventilation influence on fire size and to further estimate peak HRR for tunnel crib fires. In addition, the results from the application of FDS pyrolysis model to simulate tunnel fires reveal that the pyrolysis model is unable to accurately predict fire burning behaviour for complex fuels.

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  • The Accountability of New Zealand's Charities: Meeting the Needs of Charity Stakeholders through Information Disclosure

    Dimitrov, Dara Katie (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    For decades, New Zealand’s charity sector has been able to operate, unfettered by regulation and with low levels of accountability. For this reason, gaining any information from charities about the work they do has been historically difficult, because charities have not been required to provide any reports. The New Zealand government sought to increase the accountability from the charity sector with the introduction of the Charities Act (2005) and basic reporting requirements, but ultimately, the accountability from the sector continues to be an issue. With limited charity disclosure literature in the New Zealand context, and no information disclosure practice model to guide New Zealand’s charities, the current provision and the quality of the information disclosures from charities are low, leaving the information needs of charity stakeholders unmet. The overall aim of this investigation is to improve the accountability from New Zealand’s charities by developing a charity information disclosure practice model from a charity stakeholder perspective. This was achieved by three main objectives: 1. To develop a qualitative disclosure index from the perspective of charity stakeholders 2. To assess the extent and quality of the information disclosure made by thirty registered charities 3. To make recommendations to improve the accountability by New Zealand’s charity sector To achieve this purpose, a disclosure index, which contained 136 information items was created with the assistance of 86 charity stakeholders. The index was then applied to three publications from thirty charities that were randomly selected from the Charity register. The three publications used in this investigation are the Charity register, the charity’s website and the charity’s annual report/annual review. The collected data was then quantified and analysed to determine the extent and the quality of the information disclosures from the charities. The investigation findings indicated that the current level of charity disclosures was poor both in extent and quality and that there was an information gap between the expectations of charity stakeholders and the actual disclosure practices of the charities. It was found that the top-performing information items were the mandated and the best-practice information items were either missing or inadequately disclosed. No charity within the sample managed to achieve an index score of 50%. The annual return summary found on the Charity register was the best disclosure document for both financial and non-financial information items from a charity stakeholder perspective. However, this document, along with the other publications still lacked sufficient detail to be useful for a charity stakeholder. To improve the accountability of the New Zealand’s sector, it is recommended that the New Zealand Parliament look at expanding the current annual return summary to include information items more relevant to charity stakeholders. Finally, it is recommended that the charities should be compelled to produce an annual report and use the disclosure index created by the charity stakeholders in this investigation to improve their current information disclosures.

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  • The physiology of maternal sleep (and sleep position) in healthy late pregnancy

    McIntyre, Jordan (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Unexplained stillbirth is the leading cause of antenatal death in developed countries, accounting for 71- 103 unborn children dying each year in New Zealand between 2007 and 2013. Recent evidence suggests maternal sleep and sleep position may be associated with an increased risk of late stillbirth. If something as simple as changing maternal sleep position, or even reducing the time spent in a certain position, could decrease stillbirth risk, then it clearly warrants further investigation. This thesis aimed to describe sleep in healthy late pregnancy, particularly as it relates to maternal sleep position. It was hypothesised that changes in maternal sleep position would produce measurable physiological effects. This thesis found that conventional measures of maternal physiology when awake, and conventional measures of sleep-disordered breathing when asleep, were unable to detect an effect of changing maternal position. However, using more detailed analyses of data collected during a respiratory sleep study demonstrated that supine sleep produces pronounced physiological effects. The right-lateral position demonstrated a physiological effect when awake, consistent with previous case-control studies demonstrating increased risk of the right-lateral sleep position, but no physiological difference was demonstrated here during sleep. This suggests that avoiding the supine sleep position is important, but right-lateral is no more harmful than left-lateral. The physiological and behavioural descriptions of sleep demonstrated how healthy late pregnancy differs from healthy non-pregnant women, and thus how analyses can be modified to detect important effects in this population. Whilst potentially-harmful physiological effects of the supine position were demonstrated, the pregnant women in this thesis display physiological and behavioural characteristics that appear to protect against prolonged exposure. Finally, this thesis demonstrated that mothers in late pregnancy can recall sleep with moderate accuracy, particularly sleep-onset position, which was implicated in stillbirth studies. This thesis reports a number of physiological and behavioural observations that support the findings in previous New Zealand stillbirth case control studies, and described normal physiology and behaviour in healthy late pregnancy. It has also developed assessments of maternal physiology during sleep that can be replicated in future studies of healthy and high-risk pregnancies, with recommendations on how future research can expand on the methodologies used here.

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  • Indians in Aotearoa New Zealand: A study of migrant social networks and integration through an assemblage lens

    Chakiamury Joseph, Mary (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Social networks are central to current discussion around migrant settlement and integration. This thesis uses the case study of Indian migrants who have gained permanent residence or citizenship in New Zealand to examine the nuances of migrant network diversity, as well as the impact of such networks on their integration at four different levels: legal; economic; community; and societal. Indian migrants constitute one of the most diverse groups of migrants moving to New Zealand, with cross-cutting layers of sub-regional, linguistic and religious identities that make it difficult to refer to just one ???Indian??? ethnic identity. Given such diversity, this thesis draws upon data from forty-three interviews conducted with migrants from four ???Indian??? communities ??? the Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil and Keralites ??? to examine differences in, and the relative importance, of co-, intra- and inter-ethnic networks, particularly when it comes to gaining the legal status of permanent residence, employment and a sense of community and societal wellbeing and integration. To help capture the complexities of Indian migrant communities and their integration outcomes, this study draws on DeLanda???s (2006) assemblage theory. This assemblage lens first reveals the centrality of migrant capacities in building the personal networks and inter-ethnic relationships that nurture belonging to wider New Zealand society. Of particular note, the findings reveal that some migrants, especially those coming from bigger multicultural cities in India, were more likely to maintain a cosmopolitan sociability (Schiller et al., 2011, p.402) or the ability to create inclusive and open relations that enable greater participation in inter-ethnic networks. Importantly, the depth and character of such networks was determined not by sub-regional ???ethnicity??? alone, but rather by capacities linked to a migrant???s cultural capital, multi-cultural knowledge and upbringing in India. Second, an assemblage lens allows us to understand the fluidity and transient nature of migrant social networks. In some cases, co- intra- and inter-ethnic networks territorialise giving a sense of stability (that is, rebuild the same kind of associations and affiliations the migrants had in India) and in other cases they deterritorialise (that is, challenge ???traditional??? or expected networks and relationships due to exploitation, status hierarchies or lack of acceptance). Overall, it is impossible to claim any one outcome for ???Indian??? migrants as a whole because their networks and levels/types of integration shift and reshape depending on time and place. Such findings have implications for our understanding of migrant integration within a host society, which cannot simply be determined by the size and quality of inter-ethnic networks. The thesis concludes that discussions about social integration must grapple with the complexity of both migrant networks and the fact that ???integration??? occurs on at least four different levels. Thus, interventions to assist new migrants should not simply be targeted towards a particular ???ethnic??? group without an understanding of the diverse capacities of individuals, as well as the pros and cons of migrant engagement in co-, intra- and inter-ethnic networks across differing levels of integration.

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  • Wastewater treatment high rate algal pond (WWT HRAP) biomass for low-cost liquid biofuel production

    Mehrabadi, Abbas (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Currently despite intense efforts algal biofuel production is still not economically competitive with fossil fuel. To lower algal biofuel production costs, replacement of pure algal biomass with free gravity-harvested algal-bacterial biomass produced in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (WWT HRAPs) has been suggested as a niche opportunity. While most WWT HRAP studies have focused on optimization of treatment performance, the biomass energy productivity and its suitability for quality biofuel production have not been previously investigated in detail. Hence, the objectives of this study are to: ??? Examine the biomass energy yield potential of WWT HRAP, ??? Evaluate different strategies to improve biomass energy yield and quality of without impacting pond treatment performance, and ??? Examine the suitability of HRAP biomass for conversion to biodiesel, pyrolytic biooil and bio-crude production. The average biomass production, energy content and energy yield of two identical pilotscale WWT HRAP (monitored weekly over one year) were 21.5 ton VSS/ha/year, 19.2 GJ/ton and 413 GJ/ha/year respectively. Biomass energy yield is dependent on several factors increasing with warmer climate, lower grazing pressure, higher biomass algal proportion and higher lipid content. Since at full-scale climate conditions are not controllable, and there is little opportunity to increase biomass lipid content without impacting on pond treatment performance, biomass energy yield can only be increased by controlling zooplankton grazing or improving algal biomass productivity. HRAP tend to select of colonial algal species due to the pond mixing that maintains them in suspension. Colonial algae are therefore more easily harvested by simple gravity settling compared to unicellular algal species and are due to their larger size are unable to be grazed by the majority of zooplankton. Hence, an investigation was made of the treatment performance and biomass energy production of the most dominant WWT HRAP colonial algal species. Of the colonial species tested, Mucidosphaerium pulchellum and Micractinium pusillum cultures had the highest nutrient removal and the highest biomass energy yield under simulated New Zealand summer and winter conditions. However, due to much better settleability, Micractinium pusillum, had the greatest potential for both wastewater treatment and biomass energy yield. Two outdoor mesocosm-scale (HRAM) experiments using different air:CO2 mixtures (up to 10% CO2) conducted in summer and winter showed that the biomass energy yield could be improved with CO2 addition. In the summer experiment, compared to the aerated cultures (the control), the highest improvements of the biomass energy yield and its gravity harvestable proportion (43.8% and 102%, respectively) were achieved in the 5% CO2 cultures (pH 6-7). While in the winter experiment, the greatest improvements (?? 14% for the biomass energy yield and ?? 33% for the harvestable fraction) occurred in the 0.5% CO2 cultures (pH 7-8). These experiments indicate maintaining a pond pH of 7-8 in winter and 6-7 in summer with CO2 addition would be most beneficial. To assess the quality of WWT HRAP biomass for biodiesel production, the biomass lipids were extracted and profiled during both the annual monitoring of the pilot-scale HRAP and the two CO2 addition HRAM experiments. The biomass lipid profiles were highly complex which led to production of low-quality biodiesel. CO2 addition did not affect biodiesel quality and only enhanced biodiesel productivity by up to 20% due to increased biomass productivity. Overall, less than 30% of the biomass energy yield (413 GJ/ha/year) was recovered in the form of low-quality biodiesel. The low lipid content and high lipid complexity of the WWT HRAP biomass together with the technical limitations of lipid extraction such as drying, cell disruption and solvent extraction make energy recovery from the whole biomass more attractive. Thus, biomass energy recovery via conversion of the whole biomass through pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) was investigated at different temperatures. Overall, temperature had a positive effect on the yields of the target products but negatively affected its quality so that the maximum yield (7 wt% pyrolytic bio-oil and 24.9 wt% bio-crude) had the lowest quality (highest complexity and nitrogen content) and was produced at the highest temperatures (500 ??C in pyrolysis and 300 ??C in HTL). The maximum % of the energy content of the biomass recovered in the biofuel products, were 15% and 47.4% for the pyrolytic bio-oil and biocrude respectively. While, HTL is a more favourable conversion process to maximise energy recovery from such a complex biomass, it was not feasible from an energy yield point of view at the tested conditions. Further investigations on the use of the by-products are required to improve biomass energy recovery and consequently the economic viability. Overall based on the results WWT HRAP biomass is not a promising feedstock for lowcost quality liquid biofuel production due to its high complexity which leads to low-quality biofuel production.

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  • The Impact of Individual's Identities on the Infusion of Information Systems Within an Organisation

    Hassandoust, Farkhondeh

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Organisations invest substantially in enterprise systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems with the planned expectation that employees will utilise these systems to enhance organisational efficiency. An underutilisation of information systems (IS) by employees often impedes organisations from gaining the full expected benefits from theirtechnology investments. While different reasons may explain why IS investments do not bring about the expected result, a recurrent theme is the fact that these systems are rarely infused into employees’ work practices. Although much research effort has focused on identifying the influencing factors of IS infusion behaviours, most of the investigated factors are related to rational behaviours, which are more appropriate to explain IS use in the early stages of IS implementation. In order to examine political behaviours like IS infusion behaviours, psychological factors, particularly those related to identities, need to be examined. Thus, this study aims to provide a better understanding of IS infusion behaviours by: i) examining IS infusion behaviour as well as extended use, integrative use and emergent use behaviours within an organisation.; ii) investigating the influence of individuals’ IT identity as person identity and IS infusion role identity, on individuals’ IS infusion behaviours within an organisation. IT identity as person identity refers to the extent to which a person views the use of IT as integral to her/his sense of self. IS infusion role identity refers to the extent to which employees personally view that using an information system to its fullest potential is an important part of their sense of self as employees. Drawing on identity theories, two research models are developed to identify and evaluate the key psychological and sociological driving factors (i.e., identities) influencing IS infusion behaviours. Three identity theoretical lenses – Stryker’s identity theory, Burke’s identity theory, McCall and Simmons’ identity theory – are adopted to explain the effects of IT identity and IS infusion role identity on employees’ IS infusion behaviours within an organisation. The integrated research models are empirically validated using a dataset of 413 cloud CRM users. The partial least squares – structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) technique is used to analyse the data. The results reveal that IT identity and IS infusion role identity positively influence employees’ IS infusion behaviour as well as their extended use, integrative use and emergent use behaviours. IS infusion role identity mediates the relationship between IT identity and IS infusion behaviours. In addition, organisational valuing of IS infusion moderates the relationship between employees’ IS infusion role identity and their IS infusion behaviour within an organisation. This study has theoretical and practical contributions. Drawing on identity theories, this study provides an integrated theoretical model for understanding individual IS infusion behaviour and its three sub-dimensions in organisations. In addition, this study extends current identity theories by making a linkage between individuals’ person identity and role identity. The findings provide managers with insights into factors that explain IS infusion behaviours. This study provides a framework for managers to develop guidelines to encourage employees to fully utilise IS in organisations. Moreover, managers may find it useful to prepare ongoing socialisation programs to reinforce and reward the desired identity-related behaviours of employees.

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  • Touring Blockbuster Exhibitions: Their Contribution to the Marketing of a City to Tourists

    Gorchakova, Valentina

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Touring ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions (TBEs) are major international exhibitions that present collections of works of art, cultural objects, natural history or memorabilia. These exhibitions are of a limited duration, occur infrequently and attract local residents and tourists who travel specifically to view them. TBEs offer exciting experiences and may positively affect the profile of a host city. Although touring blockbuster exhibitions possess the attributes of special events, these exhibitions have received little attention in the event and tourism studies literature, or in the field of destination marketing. The primary research question this study addresses is: How do touring blockbuster exhibitions contribute to city tourism marketing? The growing importance of the creation and delivery of memorable experiences in tourism, and the increasing awareness of the long term effects that events have on a host city’s identity and image, underpin the research. An exploratory qualitative multiple case study was conducted in four cities: Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, and Canberra and Melbourne in Australia. The chosen methodology allowed an investigation of TBEs within four diverse settings, enabled a deeper understanding of the processes within each case and was beneficial for drawing commonalities and variations across the cases. The Melbourne case proved to be the most advanced in terms of hosting of TBEs, while Auckland has yet to find ways to exploit the potential of these events. Policy planners in the capital cities support TBEs not only to attract tourists but are also guided by the rationale of being the centre of the nation and the country. The methods of data collection included qualitative interviewing and document analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with city policy makers and cultural institutions that have hosted TBEs. The interviews helped to access the information pertinent to the ways city tourism and events authorities approach TBEs and utilise these exhibitions in city marketing. Documents were used to navigate the specifics of the contexts, define the questions for interviews and provide supplementary and corroborative data. Thematic analysis was applied to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the topic and address the research objectives. An integrative model is developed that reveals the ways TBEs can contribute to the experiential dimension of a city’s tourism offering, its tourism product mix, brand image and long term tourism marketing objectives. The findings demonstrate that TBEs can be valuable assets for city event planners and destination marketers. The brand stature of these events is remarkably powerful; they can provide enriching and engaging experiences for visitors. This research reconceptualises the TBE as a major city event. The results present an important contribution to the events and tourism literature in advancing understanding of the role TBEs can play in tourism offerings, city events agendas and the marketing of cities. The research offers a new perspective on the problematics of major city cultural events, such as high-profile international exhibitions, and reveals the dynamics that affect their hosting and legacy. Practical implications relate to the hosting of TBEs in a way that supports city identity and enhances city competitiveness.

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  • Aerodynamics of asymmetrical land speed record vehicles

    Clemens, Kevin (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Although current market penetration of battery electric cars is low (0.1% worldwide), it is rapidly growing as the advantages of electric vehicles (EV) in reduced pollution, CO2 emissions and lower operating costs overcome their higher initial purchase price. As battery systems carry far less energy than traditional liquid fuels, EVs face challenges to maximize efficiency to achieve acceptable performance and range. One way to enhance EV efficiency is to reduce aerodynamic drag. In racing, the goal is to achieve maximum performance for a given available energy, which provides a laboratory to study vehicle system optimization. This is especially true for land speed racing where the singular aim is to safely achieve the highest possible speed on a long, closed course, for example the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The goal in this form of racing is to minimize aerodynamic drag while maintaining dynamic stability. In this work, aerodynamic, rolling resistance, and tractive forces and moments were examined for an asymmetrical land speed record vehicle through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies and the analysis of the equations of motion. Validation of CFD technique was performed by comparison of numerical results to published drag and lift, velocity profile, and flow topology of a 25° and 35° Ahmed body using Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models (25° and 35° Ahmed body) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) (25° Ahmed body). RANS simulations were found to predict Cd (-1.4% of published values) and Cl (+2.3% of published values), while LES was less successful for Cd (+8.4%), and Cl (-11.6%). Both methods predicted velocity profiles and wake structures well. Studies were undertaken to characterize the dynamic and aerodynamic stability of a bluff-body four “wheel” (Ahmed Body) vehicle and a two-wheel streamlined electric land speed record motorcycle. The Ahmed body was found (from CFD) to have positive lift between 0° and 45° yaw angles, and then transition to negative lift (downforce) between 45° and 55° of yaw angle at a speed of 150 mph (67 m/s). The two-wheel streamlined motorcycle was found (from CFD) to create lift greater than the vehicle weight at yaw angles greater than 50° at 150 mph (67 m/s) and at yaw angles greater than 20° at speeds of 250 mph (112 m/s), the design speed of the vehicle. The addition of a longitudinal, dorsal “shark fin” was found to reduce this lift to below the vehicle weight even at a yaw angle of 90° at a speed of 150 mph (67 m/s). Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were also used to characterize and enhance the aerodynamic performance of an electrically-powered racing sidecar. From the starting point of a Solidworks model from the laser-scan of an existing road- racing sidecar motorcycle, an extensive optimization program using ANSYS Fluent 17.0 (CFD), with 6-10 million-element, unstructured, tetrahedral meshes and a RANS turbulence model, was undertaken. Compared to the original starting point, the optimised sidecar CFD results indicated a 24.4% reduction in Cd, a change in Cl from +0.0026 (lift) to -0.255 (downforce). Lateral force coefficient (Cy) was reduced 11% compared to the original sidecar. From visualisations of the flow topology, large streamwise vortical structures originating from the shoulder regions of the rider were found to be the most significant sources of aerodynamic drag. Other parts of the sidecar body also produced streamwise vortices that contributed to pressure drag. Negative lift (downforce) was found to result primarily from the formation of a primary vortex along the leading edge of the underside of the splitter at the front of the vehicle. Based upon these results, a new body for the sidecar was fabricated from composite materials. The modified sidecar was successful, setting four FIM world land speed records and one U.S. national land speed record in electric sidecar motorcycle classes at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, U.S.A. in August 2016. Further validation of the new sidecar bodywork was undertaken with testing in a full-scale wind tunnel facility. The asymmetrical aerodynamic forces generated by the sidecar, predicted from CFD, were found by the rider to not create significant dynamic instabilities at high speeds. Dynamic stability analyses predicted cross winds would require minor steering corrections by the rider and were found to have different effects depending upon their direction due to the aerodynamic asymmetry of the vehicle. Pitch and roll moments were found to show asymmetries but were judged by the rider to be negligible in their effect on vehicle stability. The stability predicted from CFD and dynamic modelling was thus confirmed by the rider’s experiences during successful land speed record attempts.

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  • Dual-Tasking and Multiple Resources: The Interference of Cognitive and Physical Demands in Real-World Applications

    Epling, Samantha Lynn (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Human Factors professionals regard Multiple Resource Theory (MRT) as a plausible explanation of the human cognitive processing system, but the theory lacks extensive testing with physical tasks. This is potentially a problem, because dual-tasking with cognitive and physically demanding tasks is a common requirement in high-risk settings such as military operations, firefighting, and search and rescue operations. Previous researchers utilized a verbal free recall task, a task demanding verbal processing resources, paired with a climbing task and reported dual-task interference. In the present work, the verbal free recall task was paired with a semantic discrimination task, a running task, and a spatial puzzle task. By holding one task constant amongst a variety of dual-task pairs, it becomes more feasible to analyze not only how much interference is occurring, but also why. The remaining five experiments pursued the overarching theme by utilizing a new verbal situation awareness (SA) task in place of the verbal free recall task. The SA task placed greater demands on episodic or narrative verbal memory more similar to real-world situations. The SA task was paired with the secondary tasks above, as well as a climbing task and a response inhibition task. It was found that the specific resources required, as well as the executive resource requirement (e.g. manipulation, planning) of a task both contribute to the dual-task interference. Climbing required resources beyond the scope and nature of what would be expected according to the MRT; the total dual-task inference for this task exceeded the interference for the other task pairs. In order to better avoid dangerous dual-tasking situations and to provide appropriate aid if those situations cannot be avoided, assessing both the specific and general resource demands of any physically and cognitively challenging task that might be required in high-risk operations is critical.

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  • Understanding the longer-term experience of community inclusion for wheelchair users following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes: A mixed methods study

    Bourke, John Augustus (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Background The 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes and aftershocks in New Zealand caused unprecedented destruction to the physical, social, economic, and community fabric of Christchurch city. The recovery phase in Christchurch is on going, six years following the initial earthquake. Research exploring how disabled populations experience community inclusion in the longer-term recovery following natural disasters is scant. Yet such information is vital to ensure that recovering communities are inclusive for all members of the affected population. This thesis specifically examined how people who use wheelchairs experienced community inclusion four years following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Aims The primary research aim was to understand how one section of the disability community – people who use wheelchairs – experienced community inclusion over the four years following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes and aftershocks. A secondary aim was to test a novel sampling approach, Respondent Driven Sampling, which had the potential to enable unbiased population-based estimates. This was motivated by the lack of an available sampling frame for the target population, which would inhibit recruitment of a representative sample. Methodology and methods An exploratory sequential mixed methods design was used, beginning with a qualitative phase (Phase One), which informed a second quantitative phase (Phase Two). The qualitative phase had two stages. First, a small sample of people who use wheelchairs participated in an individual, semi-structured interview. In the second stage, these participants were then invited to a group interview to clarify and prioritise themes identified in the individual interviews. The quantitative phase was a cross-sectional survey developed from the findings from Phase One. Initially, Respondent Driven Sampling was employed to conduct a national, electronic cross-sectional survey that aimed to recruit a sample that may provide unbiased population-based estimates. Following the unsuccessful application of Respondent Driven Sampling, a region-specific convenience sampling approach was used. The datasets from the qualitative and quantitative phases were integrated to address the primary aim of the research. Results In Phase One 13 participants completed the individual interviews, and five of them contributed to the group interview. Thematic analysis of individual and group interview data suggested that participants felt the 2010/11 earthquakes magnified many pre-existing barriers to community inclusion, and also created an exciting opportunity for change. This finding was encapsulated in five themes: 1) earthquakes magnified barriers, 2) community inclusion requires energy, 3) social connections are important, 4) an opportunity lost, and 5) an opportunity found. The findings from Phase One informed the development of a survey instrument to investigate how these findings generalised to a larger sample of individuals who use wheelchairs. In Phase Two, the Respondent Driven Sampling approach failed to recruit enough participants to satisfy the statistical requirements needed to reach equilibrium, thereby enabling the calculation of unbiased population estimates. The subsequent convenience sampling approach recruited 49 participants who, combined with the 15 participants from the Respondent Driven Sampling approach that remained eligible for the region-specific sample, resulted in the total of 64 individuals who used wheelchairs and were residents of Christchurch. Participants reported their level of community inclusion at three time periods: the six months prior to the first earthquake in September 2010 (time one), the six months following the first earthquake in September 2010 (time two), and the six months prior to survey completion (between October 2015 and March 2016, (time three)). Survey data provided some precision regarding the timing in which the magnified barriers developed. Difficulty with community inclusion rose significantly between time one and time two, and while reducing slightly, was still present during time three, and had not returned to the time one baseline. The integrated findings from Phase One and Phase Two suggested that magnified barriers to community inclusion had been sustained four years post-earthquake, and community access had not returned to pre-earthquake levels, let alone improved beyond pre-earthquake levels. Conclusion Findings from this mixed methods study suggest that four years following the initial earthquake, participants were still experiencing multiple magnified barriers, which contributed to physical and social exclusion, as well as fatigue, as participants relied on individual agency to negotiate such barriers. Participants also highlighted the exciting opportunity to create an accessible city. However because they were still experiencing barriers four years following the initial event, and were concerned that this opportunity might be lost if the recovery proceeds without commitment and awareness from the numerous stakeholders involved in guiding the recovery. To truly realise the opportunity to create an accessible city following a disaster, the transition from the response phase to a sustainable longer-term recovery must adopt a new model of community engagement where decision-makers partner with people living with disability to co-produce a vision and strategy for creating an inclusive community. Furthermore, despite the unsuccessful use of Respondent Driven Sampling in this study, future research exploring the application of RDS with wheelchair users is recommended before discounting this sampling approach in this population.

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  • Particle Swarm Optimization and Fuzzy C-means for Domain-independent Noisy Image Segmentation

    Mirghasemi, Saeed (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Image segmentation is considered to be one of the foremost image analysis techniques for high-level real-world applications in computer vision. Its task is to change or simplify the representation of an image in order to make it easier to understand or analyze. Although image segmentation has been studied for many years, evolving technology and transformation of demands make image segmentation a continuing challenge. Noise as a side effect of imaging devices is an inevitable part of images in many computer vision applications. Therefore, an important topic in image segmentation is noisy image segmentation which requires extra effort to deal with image segmentation in the presence of noise. Generally, different strategies are needed for different noisy images with different levels/types of noise. Therefore, many approaches in the literature are domain-dependent and applicable only to specific images. A well-recognized approach in noisy image segmentation uses clustering algorithms, among which Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) is one of the most popular. FCM is unsupervised, efficient, and can deal with uncertainty and complexity of information in an image. Dealing with uncertainties is easier with the fuzzy characteristic of FCM, and complexity of information is being taken care of by utilizing different features in FCM, and also combining FCM with other techniques. Many modifications have been introduced to FCM to deal with noisy image segmentation more effectively. Common approaches include, adding spatial information into the FCM process, addressing the FCM initialization problem, and enhancing features used for segmentation. However, existing FCM-based noisy image segmentation approaches in the literature generally suffer from three drawbacks. First, they are applicable to specific domains and images, and impotent in others. Second, they don’t perform well on severely noisy image segmentation. Third, they are effective on specific type and level of noise, and they don’t explore the effect of noise level variation. Recently, evolutionary computation techniques due to their global search abilities have been used in hybridization with FCM, mostly to address FCM stagnation in local optima. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is particularly of interest because of its lower computational costs, easy implementation, and fast convergence, but its potential in this area has not been fully investigated. This thesis develops new domain-independent PSO-based algorithms for an automatic non-supervised FCM-based segmentation of severely noisy images which are capable of extracting the main coherent/homogeneous regions while preserving details and being robust to noise variation. The key approach taken in the thesis is to explore the use of PSO to manipulate and enhance local spatial and spatial-frequency information. This thesis introduces a new PSO feature enhancement approach in wavelet domain for noisy image segmentation. This approach applies adaptive wavelet shrinkage using evaluation based on FCM clustering performance. The results show great accuracy in the case of severe noise because of the enhanced features. Also, due to adaptivity, no parameter-tuning is required according to the type or volume of noise, and the performance is consistent under noise level variation. This thesis presents a scheme under which a fusion of two different denoising algorithms for more effective segmentation is possible. This fusion retains the advantages of each algorithm while leaving out their drawbacks. The fusion scheme uses the noisy image segmentation system introduced above and anisotropic diffusion, the edge-preserving denoising algorithm. Results show greater accuracy and stability in comparison to the individual algorithms on a variety of noisy images. This thesis introduces another PSO-based edge-preserving adaptive wavelet shrinkage system using wavelet packets, bilateral filtering, and a detail-respecting shrinkage scheme. The analysis of the results provide a comparison between the two feature enhancement systems. The first system uses wavelets and the second uses wavelet packets as a domain to enhance features for an FCM-based noisy image segmentation. Also, the highest segmentation accuracy among all the algorithms introduced in this thesis on some benchmarks belong to this system.

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  • Social networks, identity and contexts : a narrative ethnography of a group of College English (CE) teachers’ social learning process amid the research discourse.

    Zeng, Wei (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research is a narrative ethnography about a group of College English (CE) teachers working at a university in China. As one of them, I, together with my CE colleagues, lived and told our stories of dealing with the increasing research demand from the workplace. I sought to explore how our workplace mediated the social process of our learning during educational change. The research is conceptualized within the theoretical framework of community of practice and draws on social network perspective. It also adopts a poststructuralist perspective to present the dynamic socio-cultural process of how these teachers experienced and made meaning of various discourses about their teaching, researching and personal lives. The discourses from the workplace, the social context and teachers themselves make these CE teachers’ social networks and identities a site of ambivalence and struggles. Entrenched in a lower-status department, CE teachers struggled with various meanings of knowledge: the officially-valued research, the teaching-research, linguistics/western literature research, non-linguistics/western literature research, quantitative research and qualitative research. They also grappled with competing duties from both the workplace and the family. The research delves into CE teachers’ lived experiences, offering implications for enhancing CE teachers’ learning as well as international understanding of academics who might experience similar educational change. Finally, the study contributes to advancement of social learning theories, in particular, the theory of community of practice and social network theories.

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  • Coherent Frequency Conversion from Microwave to Optical Fields in an Erbium Doped Y2SiO5 Crystal: Towards the Single Photon Regime

    Fernandez Gonzalvo, Xavier (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    In the context of quantum information technologies superconducting qubits (SQs) are very attractive devices for the manipulation of quantum states, and present themselves as one of our best candidates to build a quantum processor. They couple naturally to microwave photons, for which suitable quantum memories or a long distance propagation channel don’t exist. A way around these limitations is to turn these microwave photons into optical ones by building a quantum frequency converter: a device by which the frequency of a photon can be changed while preserving its non-classical correlations. Then, optical fibres could be used to link distant SQ-based devices together, facilitating the creation of a network of quantum computers. Moreover, SQs could then be coupled to quantum memories compatible with photons at optical frequencies, which are the most well developed kind of quantum memories at the present time. This thesis explores the possibility to convert single microwave photons into optical photons using erbium doped in a yttrium orthosilicate crystal (Er3+:Y2SiO5). Er3+:Y2SiO5 is a good candidate because it has a naturally occurring optical transition near 1536 nm close to the point where silica optical fibres show their minimum loss. A microwave transition can be found in two different ways: one way is to use the 167 isotope of erbium, which is the only stable isotope that shows hyperfine splitting as it has non-zero nuclear spin. The hyperfine structure of the ground state of 167Er3+:Y2SiO5 spans over about 5 GHz. The other possibility is to use the other stable isotopes of erbium and Zeeman split their ground state using an external magnetic field. A microwave transition near 5 GHz can be achieved with moderate magnetic fields due to the high ?-factors of Er3+:Y2SiO5. The physical process of interest is a three wave mixing process involving two fields at optical frequencies and one field at microwave frequencies. In order to boost the efficiency of the frequency conversion process the Er3+:Y2SiO5 crystal is placed inside a microwave and an optical resonator. The problem is first explored from the theoretical point of view, where a nonlinear coefficient Λ(2) is derived (analogous to the ?(2) often used in nonlinear optics), and the interaction between cavity modes and the nonlinear medium is studied. It is predicted that with a sample cooled down to millikelvin temperatures total frequency conversion between microwave and optical fields can be achieved. A preliminary hole burning spectroscopy experiment is performed with the objective of reconstructing the hyperfine structure of the excited state of 167Er3+:Y2SiO5, but the complexity of the problem makes it too difficult to achieve this goal. Then a series of experiments are shown, aimed at determining whether or not frequency conversion at the single photon level is achievable using the even isotopes of erbium in a magnetic field. These experiments are based in the Raman heterodyne spectroscopy technique, which is used in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance and optical absorption spectroscopy. In all experiments the sample is cooled down to cryogenic temperatures near 4 K. A first experiment shows that the frequency conversion process exists in Er3+:Y2SiO5, in a setup where only a microwave resonator is used, but not an optical one. A second experiment is performed in a similar setup, this time presenting a quantitative study of the properties of the frequency conversion process, and its comparison with the theoretical model previously derived. A third experiment is performed, which incorporates an optical cavity to the system. The interaction between the erbium ions and the optical cavity introduces a whole new range of experimental complications, which are studied and discussed. Then, the frequency conversion signal is studied anew, showing an unexpected highly non-linear scaling behaviour with the input powers. A hypothesis explaining this unexpected behaviour is given, referring to stray optical absorption in the inhomogeneous line of Er3+:Y2SiO5 (and in particular 167Er3+:Y2SiO5), which can be bleached out under certain circumstances due to spectral hole burning effects. The overall maximum frequency conversion efficiency observed is of 3 × 10^−4 per Watt of pump laser power. While this value is still far from the target several ways of improvement are proposed, including cooling down the system to millikelvin temperatures, increasing the dopant concentration and modifying the geometry of the resonators.

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  • Childhood food allergy in the New Zealand context: An exploration of trends, prevalence, risk factors, and the impact on quality of life

    McMilin, Colleen (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Although food allergy has been extensively described, diagnosed, managed and researched, many questions still linger. For over 2000 years scientists have sought to understand the effects of food on the human body. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, had recognition that food can cause illnesses, disease and health concerns for some people. In 1906, Dr Clemens von Pirquet suggested the use of the word ???allergy??? to describe an inappropriate reaction to food or other substances not typically harmful or bothersome. Researchers are just beginning to recognise potential influences on the development and progression of food allergy. The prevalence and incidence rates of food allergies worldwide have been the subject of much debate in recent decades due to what many observe as a dramatic increase in childhood food allergies. A food allergy touches the life of not only the individual diagnosed but also their family, friends, health care providers, food producers, retailers, and schools. The epidemiology of food allergy in New Zealand has been incompletely described and there is minimal published data that allows for any estimation of the disease burden caused by food allergy in New Zealand. Aims Although New Zealand has a high prevalence of asthma, the epidemiology of other atopic disease has not been studied. Based on other studies completed around the world and the data available in New Zealand this thesis set out to better understand: (1) temporal trends in food allergy; (2) prevalence of peanut allergy and risk factors for peanut allergy; and (3) the impact of childhood food allergy on quality of life. Methods To meet the objectives of this thesis four projects made up of five studies were completed. Each project utilised a different data set to allow comparisons to be made of data from New Zealand with that which has been reported from other countries and to provide several perspectives on how food allergies are impacting New Zealand children. 1) To determine whether Emergency Department presentations can be used to describe temporal trends in food allergy presentations an audit was completed for all emergency department (ED) presentations from 1988 to 2011 of children (0 to 14 years old) to the public hospital ED in the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) region, for which the ICD codes ???anaphylaxis, unspecified??? or ???allergy, unspecified???, were assigned. 2) The new knowledge learnt from project one was then applied to the National Minimum Dataset (NMDS), a national collection of public and private hospital discharge information, temporal trends in emergency department (ED) presentations for food-related acute allergic reactions from 1988 to 2011 of children (0 to 14 years old) were investigated. 3) Utilising data from the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort study the prevalence of peanut allergy and factors associated with the presence of peanut allergy at age two years were investigated. 4) The impact of food allergy on quality of life was investigated through the use of reflexive photography, photo elicitation, and the autodriven interview with food allergic children and their families. Results Understanding Administrative Coding of Emergency Department Visits for Unspecified Acute Allergic Reactions The aim of this project was to determine the proportion of ED visits coded as ???anaphylaxis, unspecified??? or ???allergy, unspecified??? that are food-related allergic reactions. Food-related acute allergic reactions account for 29% of hospital presentations that were assigned a discharge code for ???anaphylaxis, unspecified??? or ???allergy, unspecified in the ADHB. The ED presentation rate with food-related allergic reactions from 2004-2011 was almost twice as high as that which occurred from 1988-1995 (RR=1.98, 95%CI 1.10-3.72). By contrast, ED presentation rates for non-food-related allergic reactions did not change over these years. This apparent increase in New Zealand is consistent with observations using comparable data sources reported from Australia and the United States. Hospital Presentations Due to Acute Allergic Reactions Related to Food Between 1988 and 2011, 3,735 children 0 to 14 years old presented to a New Zealand hospital with an acute allergic reaction identified by ICD-9-CMA-II codes 692.5 (contact dermatitis and other eczema due to food in contact with), 693.1 (Dermatitis due to food taken internally), 995.0 (Anaphylactic reaction due to unspecified food), 995.3 (Allergy, unspecified), and 995.60-995.69 (Anaphylactic reaction due to food unspecified and specified). An average yearly increase of 8% in hospital presentations due to acute allergic reactions (p=<0.001). Peanut Allergy in the New Zealand Context Based on parental reported data collected from Growing Up in New Zealand, a contemporary longitudinal birth cohort study, 162 (2.1%) children were identified as peanut allergic. Within this cohort, factors associated with the development of a peanut allergy were categorized based on the measurement of child, family & wider influences on disease in early childhood as defined by: child characteristics, proximal social environments, distal social environments, and macro environmental factors. The odds of having parental reported peanut allergy at age two years were increased for boys, children diagnosed with eczema since 9 months, children whose mother had a history of atopic disease (eczema, hay fever, or food allergy), and mothers who identified as being of Asian ethnicity. The odds of having parental reported peanut allergy at age two years were decreased for children who had never tried nuts or peanuts, or whose mothers had no secondary qualifications or secondary school/NCEA 1-4. Impact of Food Allergy on New Zealand Families The impact a food allergy has on a family is influenced by environment and includes four levels home, school, community, and beyond the community. This is due, in part, to the amount of control a food allergic family has within these environments. The ability to control the environment gradually decreases as a food allergic family moves away from the home. Based on the impact a food allergy has on the food allergic family, three outcomes of living with a food allergy are evident responsibility, exclusion, and resilience. The lessons learned from these families can be used to guide other food allergic families through education and advocacy. Based on the family???s description of the impact of a food allergy on their quality of life and management strategies, there is a need for consistent national school policy focused on food allergies and the provision of education and training to hospitality workers. These changes could positively impact food allergic families at multiple environmental levels. Discussion Consistent with what has been reported from several other countries the prevalence of childhood food allergy appears to have increased in recent decades. The rate of parental self-report of peanut allergy in New Zealand is similar to other countries. In New Zealand, children of male gender or who have eczema are at increased, and those who have never tried nuts or peanuts by age two years were at decreased risk of parental reported peanut allergy. In New Zealand children of atopic mothers or mothers of Asian ethnicity are at increased risk and children of less educated mothers are at decreased risk of parental reported peanut allergy. A food allergy impacts all members of a food allergic family based on the level of control within various environments. Food allergy is a complex condition and this thesis provides insight into the current state of food allergy in New Zealand.

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  • Dimensions of ???Quality??? In The Case Of Foreign Degree Awarding Institutes of Sri Lanka: A Multiple Stakeholder Perspective

    Amugoda K Dona Wickramasinghe, MN (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The provision of quality higher education is of critical importance for the economy of a developing country like Sri Lanka. This research considering the quality issues of the foreign degree awarding institutes of Sri Lanka investigates the dimensions of quality in relation to these institutes from a multiple stakeholder perspective. The central argument of this thesis is that it is necessary to understand what constitutes as quality in order to improve it. Thus, the study is aimed to identify various understandings of quality in relation to these institutes and their consequences to various stakeholders of these institutes. The study identifies key definitions, purposes and practices associated with the term quality. The students??? and the professionals??? perceptions of how these institutes implement and maintain the key quality criteria and the key issues arriving from the various understandings of quality are also investigated from the receiver country???s perspective. The study adopted a mix of vertical case study and mixed methods approach and worked within a pragmatic paradigm. A questionnaire survey, semi structured interviews and documentary data served as sources of data. The perceptions of students, lecturers and senior managers of five selected foreign degree awarding institutes of Sri Lanka and the officials of three government higher education organizations were sought to achieve the research objectives. The findings revealed a variety of definitions of quality and also various meanings to these definitions, indicating the elusive nature of quality. It was revealed that quality is shaped by external factors such as economy, culture, gender and social class. The different viewpoints of these stakeholders also created confusion, discrepancies and many challenges to quality in these institutes. The findings revealed that the quality of these institutes analysed are neither up to the standards of the government universities of Sri Lanka nor to the standards of their home universities. The way that some of these institutes studied, implemented and maintained quality did not resemble their claimed definitions, purposes and practices of quality, and these mismatches brought out several consequences to the stakeholder groups, while also making a negative impact on the higher education sector of Sri Lanka. The study provided recommendations to the key stakeholder groups to overcome these identified issues of quality.

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  • "Where the Nightmares End and Real-Life Begins": Radical Unreliability in Sydney Bridge Upside Down

    Clayton, Hamish (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The unreliable narrator is one of the most contested concepts in narrative theory. While critical debates have been heated, they have tended to foreground that the problem of the unreliable narrator is epistemological rather than ontological: it is agreed that narrators can be unreliable in their accounts, but not how the unreliable narrator ought to be defined, nor even how readers can be expected in all certainty to find a narration unreliable. As the wider critical discourse has looked to tighten its collective understanding of what constitutes unreliability and how readers understand and negotiate unreliable narration, previously divided views have begun to be reconciled on the understanding that, rather than deferring to either an implied author or reader, textual signals themselves might be better understood as the most fundamental markers of unreliability. Consequently, taxonomies of unreliable narration based on exacting textual evidence have been developed and are now widely held as indispensable. This thesis argues that while such taxonomies do indeed bring greater interpretive clarity to instances of unreliable narration, they also risk the assumption that with the right critical apparatus in place, even the most challenging unreliable narrators can, in the end, be reliably read. Countering the assumption are rare but telling examples of narrators whose reliability the reader might have reason to suspect, but whose unreliability cannot be reliably or precisely ascertained. With recourse to David Ballantyne’s Sydney Bridge Upside Down, this thesis proposes new terminological distinctions to account for instances of such radical unreliability: namely the ‘unsecured narrator’, whose account is therefore an ‘insecure narration’. Ballantyne’s novel, published in 1968, has not received sustained critical attention to date, though it has been acclaimed by a small number of influential critics and writers in Ballantyne’s native New Zealand. This thesis argues that the novel’s long history of neglect is tied to the complexities of its radically unreliable narration. With social realism the dominant mode in New Zealand literature from the 1930s to the 60s, the obligation of the writer to accurately render—and critique—local conditions with mimetic accuracy was considered paramount. Even those critics to have argued the novel’s importance often maintain, largely or in part, a social realist view of the book’s significance. Doing so, however, fundamentally elides the complexity of the novel’s narrative machinery and to deeply ironic ends: for, this thesis argues, Sydney Bridge Upside Down deploys its insecure narration as a complaint against the limits of social realism practised in New Zealand. Its unsecured narrator, Harry Baird, slyly overhauls realist reference points with overtly Gothic markers and cunning temporal dislocations to thus turn social realism’s desire for social critique back on itself via radical unreliability.

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  • Assessing the Vulnerability and Resilience of the Philippines to Disasters

    Yonson, Rio (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Some of the world’s most destructive disasters occurred in the Philippines, and a number of these happened in recent years. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, tropical cyclones Washi, Bopha, and Haiyan, respectively, left a staggering trail of over 8,000 deaths, as well as huge damages to assets and livelihoods. In 2009, tropical cyclones Ketsana and Pharma brought massive riverine floods, with a total damage and loss equivalent to 2.7% of the country’s GDP. This dissertation is an endeavour to measure disaster impacts and welfare risk, and to identify factors affecting vulnerability and resilience in different spatial scales in the Philippines. The first of four chapters is an extensive literature survey on the economic vulnerability and economic resilience to disasters. This serves as a prelude to the succeeding three empirical studies contained in Chapters 3 to 5. Chapter 3 aims to measure tropical cyclone-induced fatalities in the Philippine provinces, and identifies the factors that shape people’s vulnerability. It also quantifies the relative importance of hazard, exposure, and socioeconomic vulnerability in influencing fatalities. Chapter 4 is a household level study that quantitatively establishes the linkages between floods and diseases in the floodplains of a highly-urbanized city in the Philippines (Cagayan de Oro), and provides an estimate on the public finance implications of flood-induced diseases to the Philippine urban areas, and on the additional economic burden on affected households. Chapter 5 measures socioeconomic resilience and welfare risk from riverine flood disasters, and systematically quantifies the effectiveness of a menu of region-specific disaster risk reduction and management measures.

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