89,482 results

  • The Evolution of Evolutionary Explanations of Culture: How and Why Can a Critical Evaluation of Costly Signalling Theory Enhance Our Understanding of Cultural Practices?

    Searfoss, Amy Elizabeth Robertson (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the last two decades, evolutionary explanations of cultural practice have become prevalent within the social sciences and humanities, including religious studies. This thesis is a critical analysis and recension of one of these applications of evolutionary theory to cultural practice. Specifically, I analyse a secondary case study to investigate the explanatory power and politico-ethical considerations that arise from the application of costly signalling theory to Māori tā moko. Utilising primary and secondary source materials, this research was conducted within an interpretivist and inductive qualitative framework with the aim of offering a reflexive critique of the explanatory power that costly signalling theory carries for tā moko and, more broadly, of the illustrative efficacy of evolutionary explanations when applied to indigenous cultural practices. In a critique of the Cisco case study, I identify some of the more general, global deficiencies of evolutionary explanations of culture and explore the rich, indigenous narrative complexes which shape understandings of Māori tā moko. I maintain that the argument for moko as a costly signal, based, in part, upon Māori warfare is a reiteration of mythologised aspects of Māori culture which divorces tā moko from its ontological and epistemological underpinnings. In separating it from its Māori context, the reflexivity of tā moko is denied and Westernised and colonised conceptions of tā moko which etically view Māori cultural practice through a veil of alterity are perpetuated. In response to the concerns the application of costly signalling theory to tā moko generates, I propose an alternative model: transmissive assemblage. Drawing from actor-network theory, indigenous ontological perspectivism, and Kaupapa Māori, the transmissive assemblage model provides a symmetrical and decolonised framework which both challenges and enhances the dominant Western scientific paradigms used to explain indigenous practices. By focussing on the interactions between agents and the associations which circulate between them, rather than on the agents themselves, this integrative model makes an original contribution to scholarship in allowing the emergence of heteroglossia and by providing a balanced platform for indigenous voices and emic perspectives to be represented in the context of Western scientific research. In doing so, I argue that integrative, reflexive, and decolonised approaches to indigenous cultural practice which focus on process, as opposed to agency, enhance the explanatory power of evolutionary explanations by affording indigenous groups the opportunity to assert their own agency within the paradigm of Western science.

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  • Re-imagining the museum

    Marsh, Laura (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Twentieth-century museums have become more than displays of art and history. Unlike their nineteenth century origins, museums today are a centre of culture, education and entertainment. Designing a circulation system that connects the transitions between exhibits is like forming a riddle for a visitor to enter, experience, solve and remember. The museum reflects every asset, flaw, scar, crease, emotion, and sole of whom has time to stand and observe. For one to observe, one has to navigate. Seeking the key principles into designing a successful circulation between architecture and visitor will allow a large-scale building to be read effortlessly and seamlessly like a well-written novel. In the late 1980’s a design brief was revealed to the public requesting proposals for a National Museum of New Zealand. 10 years later the doors opened to Te Papa Tongarewa on Wellington’s waterfront. Among the submitted proposals, was a concept design by Ian Athfield and Frank Gehry. Their proposal did not make it past the conceptual stage, thus offering the opportunity to explore its potential interiority and circulation. This thesis engages with the great museums that initiated 21st Century architecture such as the Guggenheim of Bilbao, the Jewish Museum of Berlin and most importantly, investigation into the design of Te Papa Tongarewa to analyse their method of circulation. For these museums both encapsulate the heritage of their location as well as defining future possibilities for museum architecture. This thesis re-imagines the possibilities of the National Museum of New Zealand. This will be investigated through the tools of circulation and the experiential qualities that the architecture initiates as our bodies and the way we move are in continuous dialogue with our architecture. This thesis investigates the importance and functionality of atrium designs, as well as the influence it has on the structures circulatory system. Exploring the potential of an Athfield / Gehry design will inspire an alternate reality to what could have been.

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  • Real-Time Image Based Lighting for 360 Degree Panoramic Video

    Iorns, Thomas (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The application of the newly popular content medium of 360 degree panoramic video to the widely used offline lighting technique of image based lighting is explored, and a system solution for real-time image based lighting of virtual objects using only the provided 360 degree video for lighting is developed. The system solution is suitable for use on live streaming video input, and is shown to run on consumer grade graphics hardware at the high resolutions and framerates necessary for comfortable viewing on head mounted displays, rendering at over 60 frames per second for stereo output at 1182x1464 per eye on a mid-range graphics card. Its use in several real-world applications is also studied, and extension to consider real-time shadowing and reflection is explored.

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  • The Global Burden of Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Disorders: An Analysis From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

    Whiteford, HA; Ferrari, AJ; Degenhardt, L; Feigin, V; Vos, T

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), estimated that a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden came from mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In this paper, we used GBD 2010 data to investigate time, year, region and age specific trends in burden due to mental, neurological and substance use disorders. Method For each disorder, prevalence data were assembled from systematic literature reviews. DisMod-MR, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, was used to model prevalence by country, region, age, sex and year. Prevalence data were combined with disability weights derived from survey data to estimate years lived with disability (YLDs). Years lost to premature mortality (YLLs) were estimated by multiplying deaths occurring as a result of a given disorder by the reference standard life expectancy at the age death occurred. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were computed as the sum of YLDs and YLLs. Results In 2010, mental, neurological and substance use disorders accounted for 10.4% of global DALYs, 2.3% of global YLLs and, 28.5% of global YLDs, making them the leading cause of YLDs. Mental disorders accounted for the largest proportion of DALYs (56.7%), followed by neurological disorders (28.6%) and substance use disorders (14.7%). DALYs peaked in early adulthood for mental and substance use disorders but were more consistent across age for neurological disorders. Females accounted for more DALYs in all mental and neurological disorders, except for mental disorders occurring in childhood, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy where males accounted for more DALYs. Overall DALYs were highest in Eastern Europe/Central Asia and lowest in East Asia/the Pacific. Conclusion Mental, neurological and substance use disorders contribute to a significant proportion of disease burden. Health systems can respond by implementing established, cost effective interventions, or by supporting the research necessary to develop better prevention and treatment options.

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  • Global, Regional, and National Incidence, Prevalence, and Years Lived With Disability for 310 Acute and Chronic Diseases and Injuries, 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

    Feigin, V; GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Non-fatal outcomes of disease and injury increasingly detract from the ability of the world's population to live in full health, a trend largely attributable to an epidemiological transition in many countries from causes affecting children, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) more common in adults. For the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we estimated the incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for diseases and injuries at the global, regional, and national scale over the period of 1990 to 2015. Methods We estimated incidence and prevalence by age, sex, cause, year, and geography with a wide range of updated and standardised analytical procedures. Improvements from GBD 2013 included the addition of new data sources, updates to literature reviews for 85 causes, and the identification and inclusion of additional studies published up to November, 2015, to expand the database used for estimation of non-fatal outcomes to 60 900 unique data sources. Prevalence and incidence by cause and sequelae were determined with DisMod-MR 2.1, an improved version of the DisMod-MR Bayesian meta-regression tool first developed for GBD 2010 and GBD 2013. For some causes, we used alternative modelling strategies where the complexity of the disease was not suited to DisMod-MR 2.1 or where incidence and prevalence needed to be determined from other data. For GBD 2015 we created a summary indicator that combines measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility (the Socio-demographic Index [SDI]) and used it to compare observed patterns of health loss to the expected pattern for countries or locations with similar SDI scores. Findings We generated 9·3 billion estimates from the various combinations of prevalence, incidence, and YLDs for causes, sequelae, and impairments by age, sex, geography, and year. In 2015, two causes had acute incidences in excess of 1 billion: upper respiratory infections (17·2 billion, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 15·4–19·2 billion) and diarrhoeal diseases (2·39 billion, 2·30–2·50 billion). Eight causes of chronic disease and injury each affected more than 10% of the world's population in 2015: permanent caries, tension-type headache, iron-deficiency anaemia, age-related and other hearing loss, migraine, genital herpes, refraction and accommodation disorders, and ascariasis. The impairment that affected the greatest number of people in 2015 was anaemia, with 2·36 billion (2·35–2·37 billion) individuals affected. The second and third leading impairments by number of individuals affected were hearing loss and vision loss, respectively. Between 2005 and 2015, there was little change in the leading causes of years lived with disability (YLDs) on a global basis. NCDs accounted for 18 of the leading 20 causes of age-standardised YLDs on a global scale. Where rates were decreasing, the rate of decrease for YLDs was slower than that of years of life lost (YLLs) for nearly every cause included in our analysis. For low SDI geographies, Group 1 causes typically accounted for 20–30% of total disability, largely attributable to nutritional deficiencies, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Lower back and neck pain was the leading global cause of disability in 2015 in most countries. The leading cause was sense organ disorders in 22 countries in Asia and Africa and one in central Latin America; diabetes in four countries in Oceania; HIV/AIDS in three southern sub-Saharan African countries; collective violence and legal intervention in two north African and Middle Eastern countries; iron-deficiency anaemia in Somalia and Venezuela; depression in Uganda; onchoceriasis in Liberia; and other neglected tropical diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Interpretation Ageing of the world's population is increasing the number of people living with sequelae of diseases and injuries. Shifts in the epidemiological profile driven by socioeconomic change also contribute to the continued increase in years lived with disability (YLDs) as well as the rate of increase in YLDs. Despite limitations imposed by gaps in data availability and the variable quality of the data available, the standardised and comprehensive approach of the GBD study provides opportunities to examine broad trends, compare those trends between countries or subnational geographies, benchmark against locations at similar stages of development, and gauge the strength or weakness of the estimates available.

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  • Global, Regional, and National Disability-adjusted Life Years (Dalys) for 315 Diseases and Injuries and Healthy Life Expectancy (Hale), 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

    Feigin, V; GBD 2015 DALYs and HALE Collaborators

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development. Methods We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specifi c death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE diff ered from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate. Findings Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs off set by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes signifi cantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2·9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2·9–3·0) for men and 3·5 years (3·4–3·7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0·85 years (0·78–0·92) and 1·2 years (1·1–1·3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs. Interpretation Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued eff orts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specifi c health performance and SDG progress. Countryspecifi c drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform fi nancial and research investments, prevention eff orts,

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  • Global, Regional, and National Life Expectancy, All-cause Mortality, and Cause-specific Mortality for 249 Causes of Death, 1980-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

    Feigin, V; GBD2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Improving survival and extending the longevity of life for all populations requires timely, robust evidence on local mortality levels and trends. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides a comprehensive assessment of all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015. These results informed an in-depth investigation of observed and expected mortality patterns based on sociodemographic measures. Methods We estimated all-cause mortality by age, sex, geography, and year using an improved analytical approach originally developed for GBD 2013 and GBD 2010. Improvements included refinements to the estimation of child and adult mortality and corresponding uncertainty, parameter selection for under-5 mortality synthesis by spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression, and sibling history data processing. We also expanded the database of vital registration, survey, and census data to 14 294 geography–year datapoints. For GBD 2015, eight causes, including Ebola virus disease, were added to the previous GBD cause list for mortality. We used six modelling approaches to assess cause-specific mortality, with the Cause of Death Ensemble Model (CODEm) generating estimates for most causes. We used a series of novel analyses to systematically quantify the drivers of trends in mortality across geographies. First, we assessed observed and expected levels and trends of cause-specific mortality as they relate to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility. Second, we examined factors affecting total mortality patterns through a series of counterfactual scenarios, testing the magnitude by which population growth, population age structures, and epidemiological changes contributed to shifts in mortality. Finally, we attributed changes in life expectancy to changes in cause of death. We documented each step of the GBD 2015 estimation processes, as well as data sources, in accordance with Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER). Findings Globally, life expectancy from birth increased from 61·7 years (95% uncertainty interval 61·4–61·9) in 1980 to 71·8 years (71·5–72·2) in 2015. Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa had very large gains in life expectancy from 2005 to 2015, rebounding from an era of exceedingly high loss of life due to HIV/AIDS. At the same time, many geographies saw life expectancy stagnate or decline, particularly for men and in countries with rising mortality from war or interpersonal violence. From 2005 to 2015, male life expectancy in Syria dropped by 11·3 years (3·7–17·4), to 62·6 years (56·5–70·2). Total deaths increased by 4·1% (2·6–5·6) from 2005 to 2015, rising to 55·8 million (54·9 million to 56·6 million) in 2015, but age-standardised death rates fell by 17·0% (15·8–18·1) during this time, underscoring changes in population growth and shifts in global age structures. The result was similar for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with total deaths from these causes increasing by 14·1% (12·6–16·0) to 39·8 million (39·2 million to 40·5 million) in 2015, whereas age-standardised rates decreased by 13·1% (11·9–14·3). Globally, this mortality pattern emerged for several NCDs, including several types of cancer, ischaemic heart disease, cirrhosis, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. By contrast, both total deaths and age-standardised death rates due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional conditions significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, gains largely attributable to decreases in mortality rates due to HIV/AIDS (42·1%, 39·1–44·6), malaria (43·1%, 34·7–51·8), neonatal preterm birth complications (29·8%, 24·8–34·9), and maternal disorders (29·1%, 19·3–37·1). Progress was slower for several causes, such as lower respiratory infections and nutritional deficiencies, whereas deaths increased for others, including dengue and drug use disorders. Age-standardised death rates due to injuries significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, yet interpersonal violence and war claimed increasingly more lives in some regions, particularly in the Middle East. In 2015, rotaviral enteritis (rotavirus) was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to diarrhoea (146 000 deaths, 118 000–183 000) and pneumococcal pneumonia was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to lower respiratory infections (393 000 deaths, 228 000–532 000), although pathogen-specific mortality varied by region. Globally, the effects of population growth, ageing, and changes in age-standardised death rates substantially differed by cause. Our analyses on the expected associations between cause-specific mortality and SDI show the regular shifts in cause of death composition and population age structure with rising SDI. Country patterns of premature mortality (measured as years of life lost [YLLs]) and how they differ from the level expected on the basis of SDI alone revealed distinct but highly heterogeneous patterns by region and country or territory. Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes were among the leading causes of YLLs in most regions, but in many cases, intraregional results sharply diverged for ratios of observed and expected YLLs based on SDI. Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases caused the most YLLs throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with observed YLLs far exceeding expected YLLs for countries in which malaria or HIV/AIDS remained the leading causes of early death. Interpretation At the global scale, age-specific mortality has steadily improved over the past 35 years; this pattern of general progress continued in the past decade. Progress has been faster in most countries than expected on the basis of development measured by the SDI. Against this background of progress, some countries have seen falls in life expectancy, and age-standardised death rates for some causes are increasing. Despite progress in reducing age-standardised death rates, population growth and ageing mean that the number of deaths from most non-communicable causes are increasing in most countries, putting increased demands on health systems.

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  • Global, Regional, and National Comparative Risk Assessment of 79 Behavioural, Environmental and Occupational, and Metabolic Risks or Clusters of Risks, 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

    Feigin, V; GBD 2015 Risk Factors Collaborators

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 provides an up-to-date synthesis of the evidence for risk factor exposure and the attributable burden of disease. By providing national and subnational assessments spanning the past 25 years, this study can inform debates on the importance of addressing risks in context. Methods We used the comparative risk assessment framework developed for previous iterations of the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate attributable deaths, disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), and trends in exposure by age group, sex, year, and geography for 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks from 1990 to 2015. This study included 388 risk-outcome pairs that met World Cancer Research Fund-defi ned criteria for convincing or probable evidence. We extracted relative risk and exposure estimates from randomised controlled trials, cohorts, pooled cohorts, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources. We used statistical models to pool data, adjust for bias, and incorporate covariates. We developed a metric that allows comparisons of exposure across risk factors—the summary exposure value. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk level, we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. We decomposed trends in attributable burden into contributions from population growth, population age structure, risk exposure, and risk-deleted causespecifi c DALY rates. We characterised risk exposure in relation to a Socio-demographic Index (SDI). Findings Between 1990 and 2015, global exposure to unsafe sanitation, household air pollution, childhood underweight, childhood stunting, and smoking each decreased by more than 25%. Global exposure for several occupational risks, high body-mass index (BMI), and drug use increased by more than 25% over the same period. All risks jointly evaluated in 2015 accounted for 57·8% (95% CI 56·6–58·8) of global deaths and 41·2% (39·8–42·8) of DALYs. In 2015, the ten largest contributors to global DALYs among Level 3 risks were high systolic blood pressure (211·8 million [192·7 million to 231·1 million] global DALYs), smoking (148·6 million [134·2 million to 163·1 million]), high fasting plasma glucose (143·1 million [125·1 million to 163·5 million]), high BMI (120·1 million [83·8 million to 158·4 million]), childhood undernutrition (113·3 million [103·9 million to 123·4 million]), ambient particulate matter (103·1 million [90·8 million to 115·1 million]), high total cholesterol (88·7 million [74·6 million to 105·7 million]), household air pollution (85·6 million [66·7 million to 106·1 million]), alcohol use (85·0 million [77·2 million to 93·0 million]), and diets high in sodium (83·0 million [49·3 million to 127·5 million]). From 1990 to 2015, attributable DALYs declined for micronutrient defi ciencies, childhood undernutrition, unsafe sanitation and water, and household air pollution; reductions in risk-deleted DALY rates rather than reductions in exposure drove these declines. Rising exposure contributed to notable increases in attributable DALYs from high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, occupational carcinogens, and drug use. Environmental risks and childhood undernutrition declined steadily with SDI; low physical activity, high BMI, and high fasting plasma glucose increased with SDI. In 119 countries, metabolic risks, such as high BMI and fasting plasma glucose, contributed the most attributable DALYs in 2015. Regionally, smoking still ranked among the leading fi ve risk factors for attributable DALYs in 109 countries; childhood underweight and unsafe sex remained primary drivers of early death and disability in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Interpretation Declines in some key environmental risks have contributed to declines in critical infectious diseases. Some risks appear to be invariant to SDI. Increasing risks, including high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, drug use, and some occupational exposures, contribute to rising burden from some conditions, but also provide opportunities for intervention. Some highly preventable risks, such as smoking, remain major causes of attributable DALYs, even as exposure is declining. Public policy makers need to pay attention to the risks that are increasingly major contributors to global burden.

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  • Dry matter and sheep production of four dryland tall fescue-clover pastures 4-6 years after establishment

    Black, A. D.; Moir, J. L.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Effects of tall fescue cultivar (‘Advance’ and ‘Flecha’) and clover species (white and subterranean (sub) clovers) combinations on pasture dry matter (DM) and sheep production were assessed in years four (2011/12), five (2012/13) and six (2013/14) after establishment in dryland, Canterbury. ‘Advance’ pastures yielded less total herbage than ‘Flecha’ pastures (13.9 cf. 16.5 t DM/ha) but more fescue (8.6 cf. 5.9 t DM/ha) and 2.1 t DM/ha clover in year four, 13.5 t DM/ha total herbage with more fescue (8.0 cf. 4.1 t DM/ha) and 1.9 t DM/ha clover in year five, and 11.7 t DM/ha total herbage, 5.4 t DM/ha fescue and 0.8 t DM/ha clover in year six. Sub clover pastures yielded more total, fescue and clover herbage (16.9, 8.8 and 3.2 t DM/ha) than white clover pastures (13.5, 5.7 and 1.0 t DM/ha) in year four, more fescue in year five (7.2 cf. 4.9 t DM/ha), and more clover in year six (1.2 cf. 0.3 t DM/ha). Sheep liveweight gain was greater for sub than white clover pastures in year four (939 cf. 431 kg/ha) and five (697 cf. 481 kg/ha) and 689 kg/ha in year six. Therefore, sub clover and ‘Advance’ were generally more productive than white clover and ‘Flecha’, but both fescues showed similar persistence after 6 years.

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  • Role of needle surface waxes in dynamic exchange of mono- and sesquiterpenes

    Joensuu, J.; Altimir, N.; Hakola, H.; Rostas, Michael; Raivonen, M.; Vestenius, M.; Aaltonen, H.; Riederer, M.; Bäck, J.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) produced by plants have a major role in atmospheric chemistry. The different physicochemical properties of BVOCs affect their transport within and out of the plant as well as their reactions along the way. Some of these compounds may accumulate in or on the waxy surface layer of conifer needles and participate in chemical reactions on or near the foliage surface. The aim of this work was to determine whether terpenes, a key category of BVOCs produced by trees, can be found on the epicuticles of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and, if so, how they compare with the terpenes found in shoot emissions of the same tree. We measured shoot-level emissions of pine seedlings at a remote outdoor location in central Finland and subsequently analysed the needle surface waxes for the same compounds. Both emissions and wax extracts were clearly dominated by monoterpenes, but the proportion of sesquiterpenes was higher in the wax extracts. There were also differences in the terpene spectra of the emissions and the wax extracts. The results, therefore, support the existence of BVOC associated to the epicuticular waxes. We briefly discuss the different pathways for terpenes to reach the needle surfaces and the implications for air chemistry.

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  • The Proceedings of the Lincoln College Farmers' Conference 1985

    Crabb, D. H.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The published proceedings of the 35th Lincoln College Farmers' Conference, held in 1985.

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  • The Proceedings of the Lincoln College Farmers' Conference 1984

    Williams, Tracy A.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The published proceedings of the 34th Lincoln College Farmers' Conference, held in 1984.

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  • The Proceedings of the Lincoln College Farmers' Conference 1986

    Malcolm, J. P.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The published proceedings of the 36th Lincoln College Farmers' Conference, held in 1986.

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  • The Proceedings of the Lincoln College Farmers' Conference Cumulative Index Volumes 1-20 (1951-1970)

    McArthur, A. T. G.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The Cumulative Index of the published proceedings of the Lincoln College Farmers' Conference Volumes 1-20 (1951-1970).

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  • Palaeolimnological studies on Lake Maratoto, North Island, New Zealand

    Green, John D. (1979)


    University of Waikato

    The Middle Waikato (or Hamilton) Basin is a promising area for studies of the postglacial history of Northern New Zealand. The major geomorphological features of the basin were developed in the last 40,000 years, mainly by aggradation of the ancestral Waikato River (Mccraw 1967, Hume et al 1975) and in the process a number of peat bogs and small lakes were formed which now provide suitable locations for palaeoclimatic and palaeoecological investigations. Four pollen diagrams from peats in the area have been published (Harris 1963, McGlone et al 1978) which show similar features to diagrams from elsewhere in the North Island (McGlone and Topping 1979) but there have been no comparable studies of sediments from the lakes.

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  • The Monstrous Mother and the 'natural man': Mythic Figures and Recurring Metaphors in the Plays of James K. Baxter

    Matthews, Sharon (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Previous critical commentary has considered the plays of James K. Baxter to be predominantly a re-working of his social criticism in a different medium. In this study, I argue that a reassessment of Baxter’s plays using a new methodology is long overdue. These plays are significant in and of themselves as a unique body of work written in a distinctive dramatic voice that transcends models of naturalism / realism by returning consistently to iterated characters, images and concerns. Baxter’s plays are remarkable for obsessively repeated symbolic networks—crucifixions, failed Utopias, sexual violence and childhood loss—and for recurring affectively invested mythic figures that appear to project split-off parts-of-self and parts-of-other into the fiction. This study of four of Baxter’s plays, Mrs Aggle’s Id (c.1967), The Spots on the Leopard (1963), The Day That Flanagan Died (1969) and The Band Rotunda (1967) uses a psychoanalytical paradigm to illustrate the formative influence of psychic trauma on the creation of the plays and to suggest how creativity may be used to address intolerable conflicts arising from the clash between inner needs and desires and the external world, encountered during the search for a fulfilling self. Focusing on two mythic figures, the monstrous mother-wife and the “natural man,” my aim in this thesis is to show how conflict, discernible within the poet’s biography and oeuvre, is externalised and projected onto the actions of fictive objects. Unique to Baxter’s drama is the way that these figures—fragmented, doubled, and “split” into opposing pairs—are brought into a form of dialogue with each other, enabling the playing out of long-held inner dramas at a displaced symbolic remove. A consideration of both structural and symbolic elements sheds a specific light upon characterisation and narrative, and demonstrates the capability of psychoanalytical theory to render aspects of the subjective, inscribed both in and below the language surface of the text, accessible from a new angle and amenable to a new working through. By rendering part of the subjective interaction between the poet and the “objects” within his inner world available, some light may also be shed on the paradoxical and difficult figure of the poet himself.

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  • Umbilical Cord Serum Chemokines and the Development of Atopic Dermatitis

    Townsley, Hermaleigh (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin condition characterised by the development of pruritic and inflamed lesions. One key component of AD pathogenesis is a cutaneous hyper-reactivity to allergens influenced by a Th2-polarised immune response. Macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) and Thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) are two chemokines involved in this pathological immune response. Research has shown a strong association between MDC and TARC levels in blood and AD severity. Recently, some cohort studies have suggested that levels of MDC and TARC in umbilical cord blood (UCB) may be predictive of whether infants will develop AD during childhood. This cohort study aimed to further investigate the potential predictive value of UCB MDC and TARC for AD development in childhood. Methods: This project involved a retrospective analysis of data obtained from the NZA2CS population birth cohort study. Information about AD-related outcomes was gathered using questionnaires at various time points, along with physical examination of flexural dermatitis and measurement of total and specific IgE levels at age six. UCB MDC levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques for a total of 647 participants. Haemolysis of UCB samples was found to affect TARC measurement; therefore fewer (n = 270) samples were analysed for TARC. Haemolysis of UCB samples did not affect measurement of MDC concentration. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios to determine the association between UCB chemokine levels and development of AD- related outcomes in childhood. Results: UCB MDC and TARC levels were not predictive of development of AD at age six. Neither were they consistently significantly associated with the development of AD-related outcomes such as an itchy rash or atopy. Some statistically significant associations were found, although their value is difficult to interpret as these were isolated findings. UCB MDC levels were significantly associated with the development of an itchy rash at four years of age (p = 0.027) and with the level of specific IgE to cat allergen at age six (p = 0.05). When the data was segregated by sex, UCB MDC levels in males were consistently significantly associated with development of an itchy rash during childhood (p < 0.05). Conclusion: UCB MDC and TARC concentrations are unlikely to be clinically useful biomarkers for the development of AD in childhood. This was the largest cohort study so far to investigate cord MDC and TARC levels as predictors of future AD onset, and the findings are concordant one other large cohort study. Therefore, these results do not warrant further research into UCB MDC and TARC as predictive biomarkers of AD development.

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  • An Evaluation of a World Vision Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Project in Tanna, Vanuatu

    Morrison, Alexandra (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background In 2013, World Vision Vanuatu and World Vision New Zealand implemented a three-year water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and nutrition project (the Project) in south west Tanna, Vanuatu. The overall goal of the Project was to reduce child undernutrition, with short- and medium-term objectives to increase WASH infrastructure, and improve caregiver WASH and nutrition knowledge and practices. In January 2015, after two completed years of the Project, we designed and undertook an evaluation. Methods For households with children aged under five years of age in the Project villages we conducted: WASH and child health surveys; WASH infrastructure observations; anthropometric measurements of children under five years of age and their mothers; and microbiological drinking water testing. We compared our data with those gathered at baseline and at the end of year one of the Project. We undertook logistic regressions to investigate associations between: child health outcomes and WASH and nutrition factors; and household microbiologic water safety and WASH factors. Results Complete enumeration of households with children under five years of age was attempted. Overall, 220 households and 320 children participated in the evaluation. There was a significant increase over time in the proportion of households with access to improved latrines, from 39 (26.4%) of 148 households in 2013, to 202 (97.1%) of 208 in 2015 (p100/100 mL. Factors associated with lower odds of very high risk drinking water included the source being rainwater (OR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.02–0.59, p=0.009), and having a water container with a spigot (OR: 0.34, 95% CI: 0.13–0.77, p=0.010). Additionally, households with severely stunted children or underweight children had higher odds of having very high risk drinking water (OR: 3.02, 95% CI: 1.13–8.03, p=0.027 and OR: 2.51, 95% CI:1.02–6.19, p=0.045). Conclusions We found that the Project achieved most of its short- and medium-term objectives to improve WASH and nutrition infrastructure, knowledge, and practices. Microbiologic testing indicated that most drinking water in the Project households was unsafe. Undernutrition remained high in the Project population and was associated with having very high risk drinking water. Providing the Project population with improved drinking water as planned in the third Project year, is likely to contribute to achieving the Project’s overall goal to reduce child undernutrition.

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  • Truth in text: Why simple language is perceived as more credible

    Owen, Helen (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Lie detection research indicates that perceivers have difficulty interpreting bodily, facial, voice and language content cues indicative of deception. Therefore, what cues do perceivers use to form veracity judgements? Perceivers easily learn to associate perceptual fluency cues (e.g., visibility, colour contrast and pronunciation ease) with truthfulness. However, research is yet to explore how conceptual fluency cues (i.e., statement comprehension) influences the credibility of writers and what they are saying. To test this, I used statements that had been previously manipulated for word brevity. In Studies 1a and 1b, participant ‘judges’ read statements that contained essentially similar content but using either short or long words. The statements containing simpler, shorter words were judged as more credible, and this relation was mediated by comprehension ease (fluency), even after accounting for perceived writer intelligence and positivity. To expand the simplicity manipulation, in Studies 2 and 3, participant ‘writers’ were instructed to create their own simple or complex statements by altering a variety of complex language features. Once more, language simplicity influenced judges’ perceived credibility of the statements via fluency. Features of complexity that accounted for a reduction in fluent comprehension varied between groups of judges; however, word information accounted for most of the variance in the fluency effect. I also investigated whether the writers themselves felt and behaved more honestly after using simple language. Finally, I extended the fluency–perceived credibility association to ecologically valid writing contexts, namely, the persuasiveness of film reviews (Study 5) and in writing for different audiences (Study 6). Although perceivers attend to fluency cues to infer credibility, fluency was not an ecologically valid cue to real truth (Study 4) and may account for why people are poor lie detectors.

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  • Life history variation and diet preference in non-diadromous Otago galaxiids

    Morrison, Scott (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Life history theory states that selection acts upon individuals to produce optimal reproductive success, through maximising number of recruited offspring. Selection pressures vary across different environments and subsequently produce a wide variation in optimal life history, resulting in variation of life history traits. Previous research has identified that life history variation can occur across large scale latitudinal and elevational gradients and between small scale allopatric populations. Research concerning the diets and life history variation at early life stages, particularly in fish, is severely limited. This thesis investigates the importance of diets and resource availability on the observed life history variation between four species of the ‘Galaxias vulgaris complex’; G. anomalus, G. eldoni, G. depressiceps and G. pullus across an altitude gradient and between life history categories at the larval life stage. Diet analyses displayed that Chironomidae were the most prevalent food item, which accounted for 62% of the observed diet contents, followed by Copepoda (20%) and Algae (8%). Chironomidae commonly dominate small freshwater fish diets, and as predicted, larval galaxiid populations displayed a correlation between larval galaxiid length and prey item size, as expected in gape-size limited fish. Additionally, species was observed to be a much poorer predictor of prey item length than either larval length or site. Galaxiids also displayed higher selectivity when exposed to extreme resource abundance. However, there were no significant trends observed between galaxiid diets and elevation or life history categories. Conversely, invertebrate communities displayed significantly greater diversity at fast life history populations than intermediate life history populations. Additionally, diets consistently displayed significantly lower diversity than their respective invertebrate community. This research highlights the importance of investigating multiple selection pressures when attempting to discern causal effects of life history variation. It is likely that, while resource abundance is important in defining life history, other selection pressures, such as disturbance and predation may be acting as stronger selection pressures upon populations of larval galaxiids.

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