13,136 results for Masters

  • Population and reproductive ecology of Turbo smaragdus in the Kaikoura region

    Robinson, Lee Joanne (1992)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Turbo smaragdus is a herbivorous gastropod of the intertidal and sub-littoral zones, which is distributed widely along the coastline of New Zealand. This study sought to investigate the population and reproductive ecology of Turbo on the Kaikoura Peninsula. This involved the determination of: spatial and temporal distribution patterns, associations with other herbivorous molluscs and algal species, recruitment of juveniles, morphometric relationships, population length-frequency structures, growth rates, spawning seasons, trends exhibited in a reproductive cycle, sex ratio, size at sexual maturation and fecundity. Turbo have a broad distribution that varies significantly both within and between sites. Transect surveys determined that Turbo have an aggregated distribution, and were present from the upper eulittoral into the sub-littoral to depths of 3m with largest numbers generally occurring in the mid-eulittoral. Juveniles (shell lengths ≤ 15mm) occurred widely on the vertical profiles of the shores sampled, but larger individuals were more common in the lower eulittoral. Sub-littoral populations were composed of larger individuals, with shell lengths ≥ 35mm. As Turbo grow, shell and operculum height, width and length increase linearly and shell, operculum, body tissue and gonad weight exponentially. Tag-recapture data indicate that growth rates decrease with increasing size of individuals. At the sites sampled, individuals can grow to a shell length of 40mm at which the von Bertalanffy growth curve predicts they will be approximately ten years of age. Growth rates of Turbo vary seasonally, with greatest rates occurring between November-March, and the slowest between August-November. Spatial variation was also shown to occur between two populations, with greater growth rates occurring in the area of slightly greater exposure to wave action. The absence of age classes in length-frequency histograms suggests that recruitment failure or high mortality rates may occur during some years. Sexual maturation of both male and female Turbo generally occurred between shell lengths of 20-25mm, although a few individuals were observed to mature at both smaller and larger sizes. Energetic investment in reproductive effort, which is indicated by increasing gonad size and fecundity, increases with increasing shell lengths. The populations sampled exhibited a 1:1 sex ratio. Turbo are broadcast spawners and have a distinct annual reproductive cycle. A major spawning event occurred on the Kaikoura Peninsula during February-March 1991 and a minor event in January 1992. Immediately succeeding the 1991 spawning period, the gonads of both sexes were reduced in volume and relatively depleted of mature gametes. Gametogenesis occurred within several months of spawning, with the immature gametes developing slowly throughout the winter and accelerating in growth in the spring to produce gonads that were densely packed with mature gametes several months prior to the January 1992 spawning event.

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  • Mapping the Twitter linkages between American politicians and hate groups

    Sahioun, Rania (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Big Data is a growing field after social media allowed developers to collect and store data using various platforms. The present research utilises Twitter data and Apache Spark to extend and develop an easy to implement method to test a contemporary question of interest. Specifically, I focus on Donald Trump’s campaign for the President of the USA. Donald Trump’s campaign had been very controversial from the start, following his hostile views expressed toward immigrants and minorities. During this time, media pundits and the public spent much time debating whether Trump’s campaign was motivated by hate or other factors. The present work examines whether Donald Trump had unique appeal to hate groups by examining the twitter linkages between several American political leaders (Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Paul Ryan) with American hate groups. The results show that users who often retweet Donald Trump are more likely to frequently retweet American hate groups such as Neo Nazis, White Nationalists, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, and anti-government groups, more than any other politician. While other Republican politicians were also linked to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT groups, it was to a lesser extent than Trump. This data suggests Trump may have had unique appeal to American hate groups.

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  • Temporal dynamics of microbial communities in geothermal hotsprings of the Taupo Volcanic Zone

    Lowe, Caitlin Louise (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Few studies of microbial biogeography address temporal variability in physicochemical conditions and communities in geothermal environments. Here we examine the temporal variability of 43 chemical analytes, temperature and pH in association with microbial community composition of 69 water samples collected bimonthly from 12 hotsprings of the Taupo Volcanic Zone between December 2015 and October 2016. Communities and physicochemical parameters were characterized using a combination of next generation Ion Torrent sequencing (16S rRNA), UV-spectrometry, ICP-MS, FIA and gas chromatography. Using correlation association tests, significant physicochemical changes (P<0.05) were correlated with temporal variations in microbial community composition in six of the target hotsprings. Of these six hotsprings, temperature and pH were the most influential variables associated with community changes and commonly covaried with the Aquificae, Deinococcus-Thermus and Proteobacteria at four sites. Downstream effects of rainfall using rainfall and geothermal bore water datasets could be linked with physicochemical and microbial community changes during the winter months at two of these sites. This study contributes to our understanding of geothermal microbial dynamics in stable and variable geothermal environme nts, and highlights that geothermal hotsprings are not isolated from their surrounding environment.

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  • Effects of Drying Conditions on Protein Properties of Blood meal

    Damba, Chawangwa (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Blood meal is a by-product of the meat industry produced through drying of animal blood. It contains about 85 wt.% proteins. Drying has been used as a method to preserve biomaterials and involves lowering of the water activity of biomaterials. The purpose of this research was to study the drying kinetics of producing blood meal in an oven dryer, to evaluate suitable drying models for describing the drying process and to determine the effects of drying conditions on the physio-chemical properties of blood meal. Moisture content and drying rates were determined by drying coagulated blood at different temperatures (60 °C, 100 °C and 140 °C) for a constant period of 24 hours. The initial moisture content of coagulated blood was about 60.7 wt% on a wet basis. A drying temperature of 140 °C was found to be the optimal for routine moisture determination for coagulated blood as equilibrium moisture was achieved within 24 hours period. A constant drying rate period was not observed in any of the conditions tested, and the initial increasing rate period as followed by a short transition phase prior to the falling-rate period. Thus, moisture removal from the coagulated blood was governed by a diffusion-controlled process. The experimental drying data for coagulated blood was used to fit the Lewis, Page, Modified Page, Logarithmic and Henderson and Pabis models and the statistical validity of models tested were determined by non-linear regression analysis. The Page model had the highest R² (0.9999) and lowest χ² (0.0001) and RMSE values. This indicated that Page model adequately described the oven drying behaviour of coagulated blood. Blood meal samples were produced by drying coagulated blood at different temperatures (60 °C, 100 °C, 140 °C) to varying moisture contents (5 %, 10 % and 15 %). A drop penetration test using water and/or sodium dodecyl sulphate dissolved in water were used to determine the wettability of the samples produce while thermal analysis techniques such as Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) were used to investigate the thermal properties of bloodmeal. X-ray scattering was used to investigate conformational changes in blood meal proteins during drying. Drying conditions had substantial effects on both physicochemical and thermal properties of blood meal. It was established that drying temperature had a more significant effect on the wettability of blood meal than the final moisture content. However, the final moisture content had larger contribution to the thermal stability of blood meal than drying temperature. Blood meal produced at 60 °C to 15% moisture content was the most stable sample while blood meal produced at 140 °C to 10% moisture content was the least stable. Protein denaturation was observed at 92 °C to 122 °C, depending on moisture content and drying temperature. DMA results revealed that different relaxations occurred when drying coagulated blood. A dry glass transition temperature for samples was observed between 219 °C - 226.8 °C. This suggested that bound water does not act as plasticiser in blood meal. Glass transitions observed in DSC were therefore, considered more accurate and reliable for blood meal samples containing moisture. Drying of coagulated blood was observed to have drastic effect on the structural arrangement of coagulated blood in XRD. Increase in moisture content was observed to have an effect on the β-sheets structure of samples dried at 60 °C and 100 °C. Since bloodmeal produced at 60 °C and 100 °C did not show complete denaturation of proteins, future thermoplastic processing should consider blood meal produced within this temperature range for improved properties.

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  • Moisture Associated Microbial Communities in Antarctic Dry Valley Soils

    Anderson, Rachelle (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Climate change is having a dramatic impact on the natural environment and is one of the most imminent and important issues of the 21st century. With limited vegetation and few large terrestrial organisms, Antarctica offers a unique opportunity to understand the impact of abiotic, climatic factors on microbial ecosystems (free of many of the confounding biological variables in more complex systems). Recent in situ studies indicate that microbial communities within Antarctic soils may respond to environmental changes within far shorter time frames than originally believed. In a landmark study, Tiao et al. (2012) investigated the rate at which microbial communities responded to a unique soil modification experiment. To this end, a mummified seal carcass (dated at 250 years) was shifted from its original site in Miers Valley, to a new, geomorphically similar site in close proximity. Remarkably, increased microbial biomass, decreased biodiversity, and shifts in the microbial community composition were observed within just two summers. While the seal carcass altered the underlying soil’s nitrogen and organic carbon content, pH, and conductivity; statistical analysis revealed that none of these physicochemical changes could satisfactorily explain the changes in the microbial community. Instead the data suggest that the changes observed may have been caused by physical, abiotic factors induced by the seal carcass (i.e. increased and more stable relative humidity (RH), reduced UV exposure, and reduced daily temperature fluctuations). However, due to the un-replicated, observational nature of the study, this is merely speculation. In order to verify these findings and resolve the drivers of the microbial community changes observed, a controlled, in situ experiment was designed to replicate the abiotic effects of the seal carcass (stabilise temperature, reduce UV exposure, and increase and stabilise RH in the underlying soil). To do this, overturned or upright black and translucent plastic trays were set up on undisturbed regions of Antarctic Dry Valley soil; soil samples were taken every January for a five-year period; and Ion Torrent sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons was used to assess changes in the microbial community composition and structure. However, based on RH data and visual observations of the site it would appear that the tray experiment was unknowingly set up in either a flat, low lying area where moisture accumulated; or in a subsurface water track. Due to the constant high moisture content within the soil on which the experiment was deployed, the effect of the tray treatments on the local environment (i.e. RH and temperature) was negligible. The microbial community composition in the tray treatment experiment stayed quite consistent across all years and treatments, however there was a significantly greater abundance of Cyanobacteria/ Chloroplasts in the translucent overturned (TO) treatment than in the black upright (BU) or black overturned (BO) treatments. Interestingly, the moist tray treatment soil had a greater relative abundance of Cyanobacteria/ Chloroplasts, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes than the drier seal control site, in keeping with the observations of other studies investigating microbial community composition within wet environments. These findings hint at the importance of small-scale topographic factors in microbial community structure, and/or highlight the potential of using microbial community composition as a bio-indicator of hidden water tracks.

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  • Antimicrobial Peptides in Jawed and Jawless Vertebrates

    Gibbons, Olivia Robyn (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a major part of the innate immune defence system which shows a broad spectrum of activity, defending the host against invading microbes. The aim of this work was to identify the AMPs present in yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) and pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) and use molecular techniques to fully sequence their cDNA and quantify their expression in adult individuals. Using bioinformatic approaches candidate AMP genes were ascertained from available S. lalandi and G. australis RNA-seq transcriptomic databases, obtained from various tissues. Selected AMPs were chosen to have their full cDNA sequence amplified using RACE-PCR, which were then cloned and sequenced. Complete cDNA sequences were obtained for S. lalandi hepcidin and moronecidin, whereas attempts to complete the G. australis defensin-like cDNA were unsuccessful. Comparison of the S. lalandi hepcidin and moronecidin protein sequences with proteins already characterised in other fish showed good homology and conservation of important features. In addition, specific primers were designed to examine the expression levels of S. lalandi hepcidin and moronecidin in gill, liver or spleens of three fish. Analysis showed hepcidin expression to be highest in liver tissues, whereas moronecidin expression was highest in the gills and spleens. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the AMP genes present in S. lalandi and G. australis and some initial characterisation of S. lalandi hepcidin and moronecidin, which will permit the development of future research applications. Overall, characterising AMP genes in jawed and jawless vertebrates is vital for economical and successful fish farming, while also providing possible therapeutic benefits associated with AMP research in biomedicine and disease in wild fish stocks.

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  • Leading Teacher Professional Learning for Innovative Learning Environments: A Critical Analysis

    Humber, Matt

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Innovative Learning Environments (ILE), encouraged by the OECD and driven by government funding, are presenting opportunities and complex inter-relational, administrative and pedagogical problems for teachers and leaders in schools. Designed to present flexibility, openness and access to resources, the ILE removes the barriers of a traditional single cell classroom to one of a community forum. The metamorphosis to ILEs is inextricably linked to shifts in expectations of bespoke teacher professional learning. Consequently, the role of school leaders bifurcates to not only connect teachers with unchartered professional learning but, also, balance the inter-relational dynamics exposed by the context of moving to ILEs. This thesis attempts to unpack the micro influences involved in sustaining pedagogical change and how leaders enable the ILE philosophy to embed within the fabric of school culture. The research found that minimal professional learning exists to facilitate the prescribed transition to ILE. This has left some leaders interpreting a pathway that fits the culture of their school. It has also meant that essential forms of learning and assessment are now being re-understood or re-engineered to fit the ILE philosophy. Coupled with those conditions are the inter-relational dynamics generated when colleagues are required to share a teaching space. A qualitative methodology was employed for this research, focusing on two New Zealand schools, one intermediate (Year 7 and 8) and one primary through to intermediate (Year 1 through to Year 8). Across the two research sites, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with two principals, one deputy principal, one associate principal, three team leaders, and four teachers working across two academic year levels.

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  • Cultural Urbanisation: The use of behavioural simulation in the design of indigenous urban settlements

    Ballantyne, Ariana (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis conducts an investigation into the use of multi-agent systems as a computational design research tool that implements a range of behavioural parameters relating to the design of specific cultural environments for Māori. It aims to offer an alternative methodology to the traditionally ‘top-down’ approach to Māori housing solutions within urban contexts, choosing instead to incorporate parameters that can be specific to a representative agent and their subsequent negotiation and interactions with other agents within a simulated environment. This methodology works under the premise that by piecing together behavioural parameters that are specific to traditional Māori cultural environments, multi-agents can simulate these behaviours with respect to spatial occupation, establishing a system by which to construct the spatial organisation of a community of agents, and subsequently the communities they represent. The use of cultural criteria enables us to contrast the research with standard multi agent simulations that operate on more generic rules of interaction. As a body of research it places an emphasis on the social and the collective identity or cohesion of bodies of single agents within a modern tribal structure as the main organisational vector. It is the hope that this methodology could lend itself to more diverse projects, aiding the design of spatial organisation for other socially orientated communities with needs beyond that of what can be provided by the western ‘top-down’ approach to architecture.

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  • Indian foodways in Christchurch - a study of Indian restaurants

    Parodkar, Ameya Damodar (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The aim of this thesis is to understand Indian restaurants‟ perception of authenticity and related attributes in its servicescape and menu elements that influence customer satisfaction. Existing studies have underlined the significance of perceived authenticity and related attributes in influencing customer satisfaction in an ethnic restaurant scenario. The academic literature offers relatively low insight into the managerial perceptions of authenticity and related attributes in ethnic restaurants. Besides, a limited number of studies have analyzed Indian cuisine in a hospitality backdrop. No specific research on Indian restaurants has been previously carried out in New Zealand, given the prevalence of the long history of Indian community in the country. On the other hand, research on ethnic restaurants has been quite one dimensional as it tends to only cover the consumers‟ perceptions of the restaurant attributes in order to deliver appropriate marketing strategies to the restaurant management. The ethnic restaurant perceptions of authenticity have been seldom explored. This study tries to fill the identified gap by garnering Indian restaurants‟ perception of authenticity in terms of the Indian cuisine, along with the significance of restaurant attributes and menu in exhibiting the authentic traits of the Indian restaurants. The existing literature provides three approaches to define the concept of authenticity: objectivist, constructivist and post-modern approaches. Perceived authenticity is observed to be a significant factor that is linked with ethnic restaurants and related servicescape attributes. Besides, the concept of authenticity is studied to be vital factor in influencing customer satisfaction in ethnic restaurants. The concept of ethnicity and role of ethnic restaurants is explored to derive the significance of ethnic foods in representing a particular culture in immigrant countries. The present literature also provides various models of servicescape framework that depict the prevalence of individual servicescape elements in influencing customer satisfaction in a service environment. This research project was carried out on Indian restaurants in Christchurch, the third largest city in New Zealand. A mixed method approach was utilized in order to attain the objectives of this study. The restaurant menu and servicescape elements of ten Indian restaurants were studied. The restaurants were selected based on their ratings on Zomato. Menu analysis was carried out to identify elements of the Indian restaurant menu that exhibit authentic traits and to determine the frequency of the dishes. Additionally, servicescape analysis was performed to identify the distinctive and similar elements in the Indian restaurant scenario using the servicescape framework identified in the literature. Besides, semi-structured interviews of the Indian restaurant managers were carried out to understand their perceptions of authenticity, menu design and servicescape attributes. This component was also performed to supplement the findings of the menu and servicescape analysis. Observation and content analysis was deployed to interpret the data collected to achieve the results of this research project. The findings of this study are segregated into three sections respectively based on the research component. Menu and servicescape analysis reveal the distinctive elements included in the Indian restaurant menu and servicescape that possess the ability to influence customer satisfaction. The analysis of semi-structured interviews further reveals managerial views regarding the main elements of Indian cuisine, how local customers perceive authenticity of Indian food, elements involved in menu selection and design along with the role of distinctive servicescape elements in influencing customer satisfaction. This runs parallel with the existing literature and results derived in the menu and servicescape analysis. The current study acts as a pathway to carry out further research in the Indian restaurant scenario in New Zealand from both managerial and customers‟ perspectives. Since New Zealand thrives on multiculturism, it is recommended to carry out similar studies across ethnic restaurants representing different cultures. The limitations of this study are duly acknowledged. Besides, the potential contribution of this study is noted down to derive managerial implications and further amplify the existing literature.

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  • Towards Understanding Empty Nose Syndrome using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Flint, Tim (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Empty nose syndrome (ENS) presents with sensations of nasal obstruction despite sufficiently patent nasal airways and little is known about its cause. The present work begins with a critical evaluation of the literature. From this we hypothesize that the sensation felt in ENS is likely a distinct sensation caused by abnormal airflow. High resolution computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, including heat and water transport, of one normal and two ENS nasal cavities before and after corrective surgery were performed. The results are presented with reference to patient symptoms as recorded by the SNOT22 and ENS6Q standard questionnaires. The results supported previous findings of a deficit in inferior wall shear stress in ENS nasal cavities. It was hypothesised that the state of the nasal mucus layer could provide a universal explanation for the majority of ENS symptoms. More realistic boundary conditions for CFD need to be explored so that this hypothesis can be tested. Constant temperature, variable temperature, and a novel drying model boundary treatments for heat and water transport were compared in Poiseuille flow. It was found that the constant temperature condition produced significantly different results from the other conditions. Also the introduction of a drying model may have implications for the location of maximum heat flux in the nasal geometry

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  • Added Sugar in Processed Foods and Beverages in New Zealand and the Role of Free and Added Sugars on Health

    Hossaini, Tahereh (2017)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. Background: Increases in sugar consumption, particularly from free and added sugars, has been linked to several nutrition-related risk factors and diseases including obesity, cardiovascular diseases and related risk factors, dental caries and diabetes (types 1 and 2) (1). Free sugars are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foodstuffs by the consumer, manufacturer or cook, and sugars that are present in syrups, honey, fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates (1). Although there is no agreed definition of added sugars universally, added sugars refer to the same group of sugars as free sugars and are defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as refined sugars added during manufacturing or cooking. (2). Recently the WHO published guidelines on sugar intake, recommending that the intake of energy from free sugars should be < 10%, or < 5% for additional health benefits (1). In recent years, added sugar consumption has become a matter of interest, with special attention focused on its health effects and nutritional properties (3). However, there are limitations regarding the calculation of added sugar in foods and diets as it is difficult to distinguish chemically from total sugar. Therefore, there is a need for a simple, robust and reliable analytical method to estimate accurately the quantity of added sugar in packaged foodstuffs. Added sugar is a relatively new concept, and due to the lack of simple methods for calculation, there is limited evidence concerning the quantity of added sugars and their association with health outcomes. Objective: The objective of this thesis is three-fold: (1) To undertake a systematic literature review to identify existing, simple, robust and reliable methods for calculating added sugars in processed foods and beverages; (2) to undertake a systematic review of published literature to explore the association of free and added sugars intake with health outcomes; and (3) use the method identified in (1) to calculate the added sugars content of key food groups in an existing packaged food composition database (Nutritrack 2015) to identify which foods and beverages should be the focus of reformulation and reduced serving sizes. Design: For objectives (1) and (2), a systematic review was undertaken across articles published in English in the following databases: Cochrane Library, Embase, Google Scholar, Medline, Scopus and Food Science and Technology Abstract (FSTA). For objective (3) the Louie et al. (4), methodology identified in (1) was adapted and applied to five packaged food categories of New Zealand (NZ) known to contain high levels of total sugars: cereal and cereal products, dairy, fruit and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages and sauces and spreads. Results: Two published studies estimating free and added sugar values were included in the first review: (1) Louie et al. (4) outlined a 10-step systematic methodology to calculate added sugars in food products based on food composition data, and (2) Sluik et al. (5) estimated total, free and added sugars using product information and labelling from Dutch food composition tables. Sixteen studies were included in the second review (two randomised control trials (RCTs) and fourteen observational studies). There were inconsistent findings on the association between dietary sugars intake and body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, positive associations were reported between dietary sugars intake and weight gain, increased waist circumference, cardio-metabolic risk factors, types 1 and 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer and dental caries. For objective (3), 4,882 (88%) of foods had added sugars calculated objectively (steps 1-5) and 667 (12%) using subjective steps (step 7). For the five food groups assessed, rankings for the quantity of added sugars by food group differed depending on whether the ranking was done per 100 grams (g) or per serve. Per 100g the food group with the highest mean standard deviation (SD) was cereal and cereal products (11 (14) g/100g) followed by dairy (5 (11) g/100g). Per serve the food group with the highest amount of added sugar was cereal and cereal products (26 (56) g/serve) followed by sauces and spreads (7 (23) g/serve) The best food categories to reformulate for public health gains per 100g and per serve were puff-based bars, ice cream, desserts, cordials, energy drinks, soft drinks and spreads. Furthermore, reducing serving size especially for products with a single serve such as yoghurt and yoghurt drinks and cereal bars would reduce added sugar intake. Conclusion: The current systematic methodology developed by Louie et al. (4) is currently the simplest, most robust and reliable approach to calculating the added sugars content of packaged foods. There are inconsistent findings in observational and randomised control trials on the association between dietary sugars intake and BMI, blood pressure, HDL and LDL cholesterol. Positive associations were reported between dietary sugars intake and cardio-metabolic risk factors, types 1 and 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer and dental caries. Therefore, food categories that should be the focus of public health interventions include: cereal bars, meat accompaniment sauces, puff-based bars, ice cream, desserts, cordials, energy drinks, soft drinks and spreads.

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  • The transferability of modern medical laboratory technology to Fiji

    Ranadi, Vilomena (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Medical technology has improved the health status of the population in developed countries. This has influenced the progress from intuitive medicine to precision medicine through the use of imaging, molecular biology and other diagnostic approaches that specifically identify the causes of disease. Such technology is not readily available in third world countries and as such medical technology transfer is crucial in developing nations, although this is a relatively complex process. The aim of this study is to investigate the requirement, appropriateness, management, as well as the estimated cost for establishing selected advanced diagnostic techniques at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH), Suva, Fiji. The study investigates the presence of carbapenemase resistance in extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) septicaemia in Fiji in order to establish the need for the introduction of the CARBA NP; a rapid diagnostic tool for detecting carbapenemase resistant microorganisms. The study also examines current Histology and immunohistochemistry practises as well as the test assays utilized at CWMH. In particular, the study focusses upon laboratory processes that could be updated in order to promote conclusive pathological diagnosis, especially for breast cancer and lymphoma. Lastly, establishment costs and management strategies to support the transfer of these tools are examined. A mixed method approach, involving qualitative and quantitative research techniques, was undertaken to assess and analyse the current status of testing. Studies were also undertaken to provide evidence for the desirability of introducing the technologies based upon a perceived need, as well as fiscal aspects relating to establishment costs and on-going management expenses. Information was gathered through the examination of hospital records, interviews with strategic personnel and through laboratory attachments. Based on the results of the study, carbapenemase resistance was not detected in the ESBL septicaemia cases that were examined. However, it was revealed that 34.7% of these cases were treated with Meropenum (carbapenemase) which is known to promote the emergence of carbapenemase resistant micro-organisms if used inappropriately. In addition, 59.2% of ESBL septicaemia was acquired on the nineteenth day of admission, which reflects an apparent problem with infection control. Examination of the Histology and immunohistochemistry practises at CWMH showed that in many instances, standardised protocols were not followed. Analysis provided evidence as to the high level of breast carcinoma and lymphoma cases submitted to the laboratory for diagnosis. Of cases submitted, 40.3% were breast specimens, with 87.4% of these having a malignant diagnosis. Adequacy of pre-analytical fixation was observed in only 14% of modified radical mastectomy specimens. Additionally, 59.4% of breast cancers were ER/PR positive, while 26.7% were both ER and PR negative. The study also showed that 45.6% of breast cancers occurred in women below the age of 50 years. In view of the number of ER/PR negative cases - of which an unknown number were triple negative breast cancers - it was concluded that there is a need for establishing HER2 antibody testing in Fiji. Lymphoma was diagnosed in 15.4% of cases submitted to the laboratory. Of these 61.8% were in male patients, with extra-nodal lymphoma being seen in more than 50% of cases. Bcl2, CD10 and Ki67 antibodies were identified as being important modalities that could be introduced to assist in lymphoma diagnosis. It was further determined that the establishment costs and maintenance of these diagnostic tools was acceptable. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated that there is need to transfer the identified diagnostic tests to bridge the diagnostic gaps at the CWMH laboratory. It was also shown that significant advances in patient management would be achieved through the introduction of the diagnostic tests highlighted in this study.

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  • Locating “I think, therefore I am” in the Meditations

    Pensler, Samuel (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    “I think, therefore I am” (Cogito, ergo sum) suggests a “naïve” interpretation whereby anyone who argues as follows is certain of their existence. I think. Therefore, I am. Curiously, the famous line doesn’t appear in the Meditations, while it does in Descartes’ other works. Does the naïve interpretation, while a plausible reading of the other works, misread the Meditations? In this thesis, I claim that the Meditations should be naïvely interpreted by defending this position against three central objections. Objection 1: Nowhere in the Meditations does the meditator assert that cogito is certain. I respond that the meditator does assert the certainty of cogito in the first meditation as he doubts his beliefs. This happens when he makes judgments about what he is thinking such as: “I have no answer to these [skeptical] arguments” and “my habitual opinions keep coming back.” Objection 2: Even if the meditator claims cogito in the Meditations, he never accounts for why cogito is certain, which he must do if he uses it as a premise. I show that an argument for the certainty of cogito can be reconstructed by examining how the meditator doubts his beliefs. The idea behind the argument is that for the meditator to doubt his belief system it’s necessary that he is certain that he thinks, in particular, that he is certain about what his beliefs are and their amenability to doubt. In short, the certainty of cogito is built into the method of doubt. Objection 3: The naïve interpretation of the Meditations is false since Descartes says that the cogito is not an argument. For, he says that the cogito is a “simple intuition of the mind”, not a “deduction by means of syllogism.” I respond that Descartes is not denying that the cogito is an argument. He is specifying the type of reasoning process one must use to work through the argument from cogito to sum—sum is discovered by “intuition” rather than syllogistic reasoning.

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  • Electroencephalographic Measures of Depressivity: Alpha Asymmetry and Fractal Dimension

    Kawe, Tame Ngahiwi James (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Recent research has suggested that neurofeedback, utilising alpha asymmetry or fractal dimension as an index of depression, may be an effective treatment for depressed individuals. In this thesis the relationships between frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA), parietal alpha asymmetry (PAA) and Higuchi’s fractal dimension (HFD) with PID-5 depressivity were investigated to assess their potential as signals for neurofeedback. Resting EEG previously recorded from a general sample of 66 individuals was analysed. The data of male and female participants was analysed separately. Optimised eye condition and bandwidth were determined with one way, repeated measure ANOVAs. Optimal specific measures of FAA, PAA and HFD were then identified by the proportion of PID-5 depressivity accounted for. The optimal FAA measure was obtained from the frontopolar electrode pair (Fp2 – Fp1) in the 10-12Hz sub-band. It was the only measure that was reliable in both male and female participants. PAA between the lateral electrode pair (P8 – P7) in the 8-10hz sub-band reliably correlated with depressivity in female, but not male, participants. HFD was reliable at every electrode in female, but not male, participants and displayed intercorrelation between all electrodes in both genders. A combined model using all three optimal measures showed that the proportional variance of FAA, PAA and HFD was mainly additive, with little variance shared between measures. The results suggest that FAA at the frontopolar electrode pair (Fp2 – Fp1) in the 10 – 12Hz band may be the optimal AA measure for neurofeedback protocols targeting depression. Correlations between AA and depressivity were often site- and band-specific; reliable correlations observed in one location did not necessarily generalise to other locations. Correlations between HFD and depressivity were not site-specific with most variance shared between sites. There was little overlap between the variance accounted for by FAA, PAA and HFD; indicating that the information conveyed by each is due to distinct neural processes, which may be associated with distinct aspects of depressivity and, potentially, other trait measures. Future work should assess replicability and the extent to which the results are specific to depressivity.

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  • Making Meaning Together: Heritage site management and new approaches to meaning-making

    Jemmett, Cindy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This dissertation looks at how those who manage and interpret heritage sites are incorporating into their practice, new thinking about the way visitors make meaning. Recent research has emphasised visitors' agency, and drawn attention to the cultural and political work of heritage performance. The ways visitors use emotion and imagination has also received greater attention. Rather than heritage value as intrinsic to sites, and best identified by the professional, recent theoretical understandings position visitors as active co-creators of heritage. How these new ideas might be applied in practice, and how organisations could most productively share authority for meaning-making, has not been sufficiently addressed. This research positions itself in that gap, and seeks to contribute to a conversation about how theory translates to practice. The Department of Conservation (DOC) was selected as an information-rich case study. At the time of research, the Department was in its third and final phase of new policy work that places greater emphasis on working in collaboration with others. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four DOC staff from across a range of roles. A further three interviews were undertaken with DOC partners and a contractor connected with sites discussed by DOC interviewees. The findings show that while heritage managers accept that visitors will make a variety of meanings at a site, they do not currently have a robust understanding of the meanings their visitors are making; of what they think and feel, and what a visit to the site really means to them. Only recently has getting this knowledge really appeared a priority, and organisations are still working out how best to collect this data, and how it could then inform their practice. This lack of understanding has inhibited practitioners' ability to respond to visitors, and to recognise the cultural work they do. When it came to partnerships, organisations were more invested in both understanding and responding to the other party. In some cases, they were willing to add to or modify their own ideas about what the value of the heritage was, or what stories it could be used to tell. A flexible and reflexive practice is advocated, in which organisations are clear about their own goals, recognise and engage with the meanings visitors and partners make, and are open to the possibility of being changed themselves in the process.

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  • Pākehā Practice: Music and National Identity in Postcolonial Aotearoa/New Zealand

    Williams-Prince, Liam (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    National discourses specific to Aotearoa/New Zealand — for example, biculturalism, which reimagines Māori-Pākehā relations as a partnership based on the Treaty of Waitangi — help to construct, express, and articulate connections between music and New Zealand identity. Yet unquestioned nationalisms — however benign or ‘official’ they seem — can marginalize some ways of being, knowing, organizing, and music-making, through their capacity to advance and reinforce undisclosed social values and political agendas. In this way, nationalism often disguises the consequences of those values and agendas. This thesis demonstrates how, by unproblematically invoking nationalisms for various purposes, significant New Zealand music-related institutions inadvertently reproduce Eurocentric national identity narratives which overlook the social, cultural, economic and political inequities of Aotearoa/NZ’s postcolonial present. Such narratives normalize conceptions of ‘New Zealand music’ dominated by historic and evolving cultural and economic connections between New Zealand society and the broader postcolonial Anglosphere. Consequently, identifications of ‘New Zealand’ culture and music often reflect dominant Pākehā norms, against which other musical traditions are contrasted. Several prominent ‘national’ institutions involved with music are examined through three cases studies. The first considers how state-supported music policies and agencies construct and legitimize economic, artistic and democratic ideologies as national values, and explores the consequences of a frequent failure to distinguish between a cultural identity, based on dominant Pākehā norms and values, and a culturally plural civic-based national identity. The second case study examines events during and surrounding two major music awards ceremonies, the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and the Silver Scroll Awards, showing how these ceremonies construct and reinforce a prestige hierarchy of ‘New Zealand music’ in which Anglo-American popular music styles are privileged over other musical expressions. The consequences for cultural representation in relation to New Zealand identity are considered. The final case study analyses the New Zealand popular music heritage presented at Auckland Museum’s exhibition, Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa. Volume’s displays and stories, contextualized and informed by Auckland Museum and prominent entities in New Zealand’s music industry, are shown to reinforce a dominant New Zealand music ‘Kiwiana’, neglecting divergent cultural perspectives and political positions. The thesis draws on comparative analyses of qualitative interviews conducted by the author, documents and reports, press media and journalism, audiovisual broadcasts and recordings, promotional material and museum visits. These primary materials are contextualized in wider literatures — particularly on nationalism, postcolonialism and music — to provide critical perspectives on historic social, political and cultural issues regarding New Zealand national identity and its relationship to music.

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  • The changing agricultural geography of Southland, 1878-1940.

    Kellaway, Roger George (1970)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The evolution of the agricultural system of Southland was a long-term process. It has roots that stretch back to Britain before the agricultural revolution and it has not yet ended. Indeed, it probably will never end because agricultural systems are dynamic entities. The aim of this work bas been to consider the manner in which the agricultural geography of Southland has reacted to the changes that have taken place in the profitability ot various forms ot agricultural production, the introduction of new types of agricultural technology, and the impact of new modes of transport.

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  • Putting the real back into realistic job preview : an analysis of realistic job preview method and function.

    Atkinson, Caroline Leigh (1993)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Realistic Job Previews (RJP's) have developed out of a requirement for some form of voluntary turnover intervention. Most of the literature examines the processes which mediate RJP effectiveness but has recently begun to investigate the contents of RJP's and the methods of presenting them. As much of the research has been characterised by inconsistent results, this study hypothesises that a closer examination of the methods of presenting RJP's will assist in clarifying some of the unresolved issues. Intensional Simulation (Roleplay) method is proposed as a more suitable format for RJP presentation than either brochure or audio-visual RJP's. Sixty stage one psychology students were placed in one of three preview groups: brochure, video or roleplay. After the presentation of the preview, subjects were required to complete a small test and questionnaire, and to participate in a short interview. The roleplay method was found to be more realistic overall than the brochure format, contain a greater amount of information and be more personally relevant to the subjects. There was no support for the hypotheses suggesting that, compared to other methods, roleplay subjects would retain more information from the preview, make fewer job acceptance decisions and be more likely to change any decision to accept a job offer. These results are examined in light of previous RJP research and discussed in relation to the current employment climate in New Zealand. The limitations of this research are noted, along with a discussion of its practical implications.

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  • The electronic word-of-mouth effects of review valence, review volume, and product type on consumer purchase behaviour.

    Wallace, Chloe Suzanne (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis aims to examine the mediating role of product type (i.e., product-luxury perceptions) on consumer response to online reviews and the subsequent effect on purchase behaviour. Specifically, this thesis explicates the influence of review valence and review volume in shaping the consumers’ product evaluation, which in turn affects their purchase intentions for the focal product. An experimental design is adopted for this research. To examine the possible effects of product type and online reviews on consumer response, an online experiment based on a review website platform is conducted, using a 2×2×3 between-subjects factorial design. In the experiment, participants were exposed to one of twelve conditions involving the manipulation of the three independent variables (review valence, review volume and product type). A total of 432 participants were included in the final analyses, which were recruited via online convenience sampling on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Factorial ANCOVA analysis was conducted to test the hypothesised relationships. The results indicated three interaction effects between review valence, review volume and product type on consumer decision-making. A two-way interaction effect of review valence and product type, confirmed that product type mediates the influence of review valence on product attitude, product evaluation and purchase intent. Results also indicated that luxury products are less susceptible to the influence of review valence, which equates to lower purchase intentions than the non-luxury counterpart when exposed to positive reviews. A recurrent main effect of review valence was present, with results indicating a negativity bias on the perceived informative value and persuasiveness of online reviews, which was also salient in information adoption. Review volume had one main effect and tended to emerge as significant through mediating variables. Moreover, product type elicited a main effect for six dependent measures. Product involvement, susceptibility to interpersonal influence (i.e., social learning and social belonging) and materialism were found to have exogenous effects (covariates). The managerial and theoretical implications are discussed for this research, along with suggested directions for future research.

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  • Point dose measurements in VMAT : an investigation of detector choice and plan complexity.

    Goodwin, Daniel Phillip (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Purpose: Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) is an intensity modulated radiation therapy technique which can achieve highly conformal dose delivery through dynamic variation of dose rate, gantry speed, and multileaf collimator positions. Due to the complexity of treatment delivery, patient specific quality assurance (QA) is required to ensure agreement between calculated and delivered dose. Point dose measurements are a well established patient specific QA technique for VMAT. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between plan complexity and the agreement between measured and calculated point doses. The suitability of five different detectors for VMAT point dose measurements was also evaluated. Methods: 45 previously treated prostate VMAT plans were selected for the study. Isocentre point dose measurements were carried out on a Varian iX linear accelerator using five commercial detectors in the CIRS Model 009 Cube 20 phantom. Measurements were made with IBA CC01 and CC04 compact ionisation chambers, IBA EFD3G and PFD3G diodes, and a PTW 60019 microDiamiond detector. Detector measurement repeatability was investigated and quantified by repeat measurements over three measurement sessions. The calculated dose was computed in both Pinnacle, using both 4 degree and 2 degree per control point gantry spacing (GS), and RayStation treatment planning systems. The agreement between measured and calculated dose was evaluated for each detector and calculation algorithm. A selection of established and novel aperture complexity metrics were calculated for the plan cohort. Correlations between complexity metrics and point dose discrepancy results were investigated. Results: A statistically significant difference in mean measured dose between the CC04 chamber and all other detectors was found at the 95% confidence level. The between measurement sessions standard deviation was less than 0.5% of mean measured dose for all detectors excluding the PFD3G. The CC01 achieved the greatest repeatability followed by the CC04, EFD3G, microDiamond, and PFD3G. A statistically significant difference in mean calculated dose was found for Pinnacle (both 4 and 2 degree GS) and RayStation calculation algorithms. For both 2 degree and 4 degree GS the mean point dose discrepancy is less than 0.55% for all detectors. Statistically significant linear relationships were found, with weak to moderate strength Pearson correlation coefficients, for the following established complexity metrics MCSv, PI, PM, CAS, CLS, and MAD metrics. The strongest Pearson correlation coefficient, r = 0.407, was found for the PI metric with CC04 measured and Pinnacle 2 degree GS calculated dose. Evaluation of plan complexity in progressively smaller ROI centred on the dose measurement and calculation point increases the correlation strength for some complexity metrics. Conclusion: Both the choice of a dose calculation algorithm and detector have a significant influence on point dose discrepancy results. Consequently, the strength of correlations between complexity metrics and point dose discrepancy is algorithm and detector specific. Therefore, the utility of individual complexity metrics to identify plans likely to fail QA will be department specific. The poor correlation strength of complexity metrics with point dose discrepancy results limits their clinical usefulness in identification of plans likely to fail QA.

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