12,115 results for 2000, University of Canterbury Library

  • The Scientist-Practitioner in the 21st C: Responding to evidence that the evidence-base for practice is flawed.

    Blampied, N.M. (2013)

    Oral Presentations
    University of Canterbury Library

    The ideal of the scientist-practitioner as the basis for applied psychology was one of the great achievements of 20th C psychology. Unfortunately, the idea became inextricably linked to the adoption by Psychology of a research methodology (I call it the Standard Model) based on a fusion of the ideas of Fisher and of Neyman and Pearson that are internally incompatible, and poorly adapted to the needs of applied research. Methodological criticism of the Standard Model has grown in intensity and comprehensiveness in the past 50 years. It has been almost completely ignored by researchers. We now have the paradox of applied psychologists, as scientist-practitioners, being expected to conduct evidence-based practice, while researchers themselves persistently ignore the evidence that their methods are flawed. I will review some of this history, and consider some of the ways that we might change our methods to better meet the needs of scientist-practitioners and evidence-based practice. I will particularly discuss the utility of single-case research approaches to applied practice.

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  • Sedimentology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Paparoa Coal Measure Lacustrine Mudstones

    Cody, Emma-Nell Olivia (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Potential lacustrine source rocks have been recognised in several Cretaceous syn-rift basins including the producing Taranaki Basin, but have not been officially recognised from drill core and seismic data. The late-Cretaceous Paparoa Coal Measures contain three lacustrine mudstone formations which outcrop in several localities and have been extensively drilled for coal mining. These formations are considered to be an easily accessible analogue for late-Cretaceous lacustrine source rocks in New Zealand and also provide valuable information regarding syn-depositional tectonics and basin formation during the late-Cretaceous. Stratigraphic columns and isopach maps were constructed from field work and drill hole descriptions and results showed variations in lithofacies across the basin. The western side of the basin is characterised by sandy lithofacies, abundant proximal turbidites and debris flows. The transition to a sub-aerial environment is marked by thick conglomerate and meter wide rip-up clasts. The central and eastern sections of the basin show massive mudstone, distal turbidites, low energy fluvial sandstones and thin, discontinuous coal. Isopach maps constructed from drill hole data identified three NNE – SSW oriented lakes with lacustrine sediment of up to 180m thick truncated by the eastern Roa – Mt Buckley Fault Zone. It was determined fault control during deposition was to the west and the basin extended further than its current location. Revisions to isopach models highlighted a lack of change in basin orientation during deposition of the Paparoa sediments. Plate reconstructions combined with direct evidence from the basin indicate formation of the Paparoa Coal Measures could have occurred in either a rift or transtensional basin. The mudstones were geochemically assessed for hydrocarbon potential using a Source Rock Analyser (SRA). Preliminary analysis of the three mudstones has shown TOC values ranging from 1.0 to 4.5 wt.%, HI values ranging from 68 to 552 mHC/gTOC and Tmax results show the mudstones to range in maturity from immature to late – mature. A sample from the Waiomo Formation has excellent potential for oil generation and the low maturity results for the Goldlight Formation make it a potential shale gas resource. These results have shown the potential for hydrocarbon bearing lacustrine source rocks to exist in the Greymouth Coalfield. In addition, revisions have been made to basin formation which should be considered. Due to the availability of data from the Paparoa lacustrine source rocks, they should be used as an accessible analogue for Taranaki and other Late Cretaceous basins.

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  • Accounting for the business start-up experiences of Afghan refugees in Christchurch, New Zealand

    Najib, Hedayatullah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    New Zealand is rapidly becoming a strongly multicultural society with nearly one in four of its citizens born overseas (Statistics New Zealand, 2006). Immigrants enter New Zealand under many different classifications, such as skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, investors, and refugees. Finding employment and a means of survival in their new society is an undeniable challenge for most, if not all, of these immigrants and people from refugee backgrounds. Some of them find employment in established Kiwi organisations while others establish their own businesses and become entrepreneurs. A review of the literature revealed that there has been considerable research on entrepreneurial behaviours of immigrants and refugees in general, but little is known about the experiences of entrepreneurs from refugee backgrounds in New Zealand, specifically Afghan entrepreneurs and how their experiences differ from their counterparts who came to New Zealand from other countries. This qualitative research project studies Afghans (N=23) from Christchurch who established their own businesses and the sense they have made of their experiences, both as refugees and as business owners. It also briefly compares the major findings with those of their refugee counterparts from other countries (N=6) to see if there are any major differences between the two groups’ start-up experiences in New Zealand. Participants were selected from those in the Afghan community in Christchurch who are from a refugee background, using a snowballing technique. The comparison group consisted of six refugees from Zimbabwe, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. The findings of this study have been categorised into two parts. The first part discusses the initial experiences of the participants in New Zealand society, how they settled into New Zealand, what strategies they used to integrate into their new society, how they financed their lives in New Zealand, and eventually how they became economically independent. The second part of the findings discusses the motivators behind the participants’ business start-ups, the types of businesses that they established and how these businesses assisted them as a gateway to other business ventures or activities. This section further investigates the challenges the refugees faced during their business start-up stage and the strategies they adopted to address these challenges. The data indicated that, while the Afghan refugees faced many challenges in establishing their own businesses, three were of particular importance to them. These were (1) financial challenges (2) licensing requirements and (3) English language ability for obtaining business licenses. These were different from the comparison group because of the different industries the two groups of business owners chose to start. This research presents a very important finding. When participants’ experiences were examined to see how they account for personal and business success it was clear it is the social fabric of a collectivist and religious way of life and the associated sense of obligation to support each other that are the most significant factors shaping Afghan refugees’ business start-up behaviour. These factors led them to guide and mentor each other towards economic security and a lifestyle that fitted well with their family and religious obligations and self-identity. In addition to showing how Christchurch Afghan refugees’ business start-ups were used as a means to meet their social objectives, this research and the model that emerged from it offer unique insights into three key drivers: economic security, lifestyle–enterprise fit, and self-identity. These factors, together with age and family circumstances, shaped the decisions associated with starting businesses in New Zealand to determine the pathway chosen. The findings of this research are important as New Zealand is opening its doors to more refugees and very little is known about more recent refugee groups like those from Afghanistan. The findings provide a rich and unique contribution to refugee entrepreneurship and enterprise development literature in New Zealand and a model that could be used as a framework for further studies on the subject by those agencies that support refugees and their business start-up ventures as well as government agencies dealing with refugee resettlement and employment.

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  • Literature of the Holocaust perpetrator. A comparative literary analysis of Jonathan Littell's "The Kindly Ones" with German Väterliteratur (Father literature).

    Schnippering, Claudia (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Undoubtedly the historical settings and aspects of the Nazi Holocaust have been examined for many decades. Research has focused much on the victims of the Holocaust. However, the examination of the perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust continues to cause anxiety and controversy. In my thesis I examine what possible constraints are imposed on authors/narrators and also readers by the sensitive and explosive subject of the representation of Holocaust perpetrators. I compare four texts of German Väterliteratur with Jonathan Littell’s “The Kindly Ones” to examine the questions of aesthetics and ethics in the literary representation of Holocaust perpetrators, and if we can deduce their motives and motivations from these representations. The examination of these Holocaust perpetrator representations is an important contribution to our understanding of the past as well as a contribution to the formation of public cultural memory and identity. All of the examined narratives form part of a continuously growing body of literary expressions of the Holocaust perpetrator and highlight a distinct obligation to the history they narrate – be it fictional or real. My research includes a comparative literary analysis of authentic narratives featuring fictional perpetrators in order to find meaning in these representations that enable the reader to form not only a connection with a dark part of the German past but also with post-war and post-unification debates on the representation of the Holocaust. It also demonstrates a recognition that Holocaust perpetrators are as multifaceted and multidimensional as the narratives they occupy. My thesis is not an exhaustive compilation but rather forms a small sample discussion that enables the reader to emphasise the Holocaust perpetrator. The narratives representing Holocaust perpetrators in contemporary literature serve to transmit history into the future as part of public and personal memory discourse, and the remembrance of history.

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  • Evolution Of The Unnecessary : Investigating How fMet Became Central In Bacterial Translation Initiation

    Catchpole, Ryan Joseph (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    All bacteria initiate translation using formylated methionine, yet directly after translation, the formyl-group is removed. This sequence of addition and removal appears futile, yet every sequenced bacterial genome encodes the enzymes for formylation and deformylation, suggesting this process is essential. Puzzlingly, the process is absent from both Archaea and Eukaryotes, and moreover, bacterial mutants lacking both the formylase and deformylase activities are viable, albeit with a diminished growth rate. We created an Escherichia coli strain devoid of formylase and deformylase activity. This strain was then allowed to evolve over 1500 generations whereupon it reached wild-type growth rate, demonstrating that formylation can be completely dispensed with. This raises an additional question: if the formylation cycle is unnecessary, how did it emerge and why has it persisted? Our results show that the formylation-deformylation cycle could have evolved as a toxin-antitoxin pair (TA) with post-segregational killing (PSK) activity. TAs ‘addict’ cells to the plasmids that carry them by inducing PSK. We measured the stability of formylase-deformylase encoding plasmids and their ability to elicit PSK in our evolved E. coli strain. We report several lines of evidence consistent with the formylation-cycle having evolved from a plasmid-borne PSK element: 1) in the absence of deformylation, formyl-methionine on proteins is cytotoxic in bacteria 2) deformylation relieves the cytotoxicity of formyl-methionine, 3) the loss of a plasmid containing formylase and deformylase genes from evolved cells results in cessation of growth – a standard PSK phenotype. In addition, we introduced the E. coli formylase and deformylase genes into yeast and demonstrate that Met-tRNA formylation is not lethal, even in the absence of deformylation. This suggests PSK would be ineffectual in yeast, accounting for the absence of formylation from eukaryotic cytoplasmic translation. We also report the presence of formylase and deformylase genes in the two representative members of the archaeal Methanocopusculum genus. Moreover, we demonstrate that these genes have been acquired by a recent horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. Our results indicate that formylmethionine use in bacteria evolved, not through a direct functional benefit to cells, but through competition between infectious genetic elements.

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  • An Investigation into the Habitat Requirements, Invasiveness and Potential Extent of male fern, Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott, in Canterbury, New Zealand

    Ure, Graeme Alfred (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The vegetation of New Zealand has undergone extreme changes during the period of European settlement, with not only forest clearance but a deliberate attempt to replace the native vegetation with species from Europe and later from other parts of the world. Garden escapes continue this process to the current day. Several European ferns that have been introduced to New Zealand gardens have subsequently escaped. At the time of writing D. filix-mas is the most obvious and probably the most abundant in the rural areas of Canterbury having been observed in a wide range of habitats from suburban to farm, to forests both plantation and montane and in shrublands. This thesis investigates some of the ecology of D. filix-mas and explores its potential as a weed detrimental to New Zealand’s indigenous ecosystems. An extensive literature review revealed that in the Northern Hemisphere D. filix-mas grows over a wide range of climates, vegetation types and soils. However the literature review did not clearly show the forest light conditions under which D. filix-mas grows nor could the Northern Hemisphere experience in deciduous woodlands and coniferous forests be directly carried over into New Zealand’s podocarps, evergreen hardwood and evergreen beech forests. An experiment was designed to investigate tolerance to shade and field data was collected at several sites across North Canterbury for subsequent investigation with ordination and standard statistical methods. Records from around New Zealand were collated and used to generate a map of potential extent using the Land Environments New Zealand dataset. Positive growth was achieved under all shade treatments including the heaviest at 96% shade. However the field data suggests that under some of the lowest light availability D. filix-mas does not grow. In the field D. filix-mas is found in diverse habitats with a preference for sheltered sites with more southerly than northerly aspects. Interpretation of the ordination output combined with knowledge of the sites suggests that D. filix-mas is mostly associated with degraded sites and sites of past disturbance. Regenerating kanuka is a reliable place in which to find D. filix-mas but relatively natural beech forest is not. D. filix-mas can potentially grow over much of the South Island particularly in drier areas and can be invasive following disturbance and when grazing is removed, making it a potential problem for indigenous forest restoration efforts.

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  • Luck egalitarianism and educational equality.

    Calvert, John Sinclair (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis investigates whether luck egalitarianism can provide a cogent and coherent interpretation of educational equality. Historically, the belief that each child should receive an equally good education has exerted a strong influence on policy makers and thus on educational practice, and this despite the vagueness of the egalitarian formula. More recently however, the ideal has been undermined in practice by the rise of neoliberalism and in theory by a number of thinkers advocating other principles of educational justice. But it is vital to be clear about what each child is owed because of the profound effects of education on a person’s life prospects. The motivation for this work is therefore to determine whether educational equality can be rescued as a desirable and animating ideal of educational justice. In order to achieve this, I examine luck egalitarianism, a theory of distributive justice that has its origins in the work of John Rawls, but is now the major rival to his account of egalitarian justice. I probe at the fundamental moral intuitions underpinning luck egalitarianism and how it brings together the morally potent ideas of equality, luck and choice. I argue that these are of relevance for the education each child is owed and I propose a luck egalitarian conception of educational equality, argue that it is a cogent interpretation of egalitarian justice, and conclude that a luck egalitarian conception shows educational equality to be an ideal that is relevant, coherent and what morally matters most for justice in education. I describe luck egalitarianism as resting on three basic moral beliefs: that distributive equality is a fundamental demand of justice; that luck undermines fair equality; and that a person’s genuine choices can sometimes, under certain background conditions, render some otherwise objectionable inequalities not unjust. I then examine whether these three beliefs are compatible with each other and what, if anything, links them. Next, I consider luck egalitarianism’s status as a theory of distributive justice and argue that far from this being a weakness, as Elizabeth Anderson (1999) has notably argued, it is a strength of the position. But to appreciate this it needs to be seen that luck egalitarianism makes no claim to being all of justice and that the equalisandum of equality is complex and egalitarianism is intrinsically pluralist in nature (with a particular understanding of what is meant by pluralist). I consider too whether it is a mistake to say that inequalities that are largely due to luck can really be thought of as unjust. Thomas Nagel (1997) has argued that it is merely misfortune, unless the result of deliberate actions or social structures for which someone is responsible. I reject that position and argue that no one has to be responsible for an inequality for it to be unjust. Having interrogated luck egalitarianism and found it to be a sound account of egalitarian distributive justice, I turn to looking at whether it can illuminate our understanding of educational equality. Educational equality is often interpreted in terms of equality of educational opportunity. I look particularly at a conception of equality of educational opportunity, strongly influenced by Rawls, that has been thoughtfully and carefully articulated by Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift (2008). I find their conception powerful, but flawed, and argue that a luck egalitarian conception can account for the appeal of their conception, but is an advance on it. I end by looking at a specific question of educational justice to test the luck egalitarian conception – is there anything inegalitarian about ability grouping? I conclude that, while still needing to have its implications worked out in full, particularly as regards choice, a luck egalitarian conception provides a compelling account of educational equality and reasserts that equality matters for justice in education.

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  • The quantification and visualisation of human flourishing.

    Henley, Lisa (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Economic indicators such as GDP have been a main indicator of human progress since the first half of last century. There is concern that continuing to measure our progress and / or wellbeing using measures that encourage consumption on a planet with limited resources, may not be ideal. Alternative measures of human progress, have a top down approach where the creators decide what the measure will contain. This work defines a 'bottom up' methodology an example of measuring human progress that doesn't require manual data reduction. The technique allows visual overlay of other 'factors' that users may feel are particularly important. I designed and wrote a genetic algorithm, which, in conjunction with regression analysis, was used to select the 'most important' variables from a large range of variables loosely associated with the topic. This approach could be applied in many areas where there are a lot of data from which an analyst must choose. Next I designed and wrote a genetic algorithm to explore the evolution of a spectral clustering solution over time. Additionally, I designed and wrote a genetic algorithm with a multi-faceted fitness function which I used to select the most appropriate clustering procedure from a range of hierarchical agglomerative methods. Evolving the algorithm over time was not successful in this instance, but the approach holds a lot of promise as an alternative to 'scoring' new data based on an original solution, and as a method for using alternate procedural options to those an analyst might normally select. The final solution allowed an evolution of the number of clusters with a fixed clustering method and variable selection over time. Profiling with various external data sources gave consistent and interesting interpretations to the clusters.

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  • Calculating the potential increase in Pinus radiate stem value through selection for higher stiffness

    Ferguson, George (2014)

    Bachelors thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    New Zealand grown Pinus radiata is limited in its application for structural purposes by its stiffness deficiencies. This dissertation aims to estimate potential improvements in stem value through selection for improved stiffness. A new method to model and value volumes of structural wood grades within a stem was used to calculate these value improvements. Data for each stem from a stand in Kaingaroa Forest bred for improved wood quality was used to perform this analysis. This data was from a stand bred for improved wood quality and included information on the stiffness, density and width of each growth ring for each stem. The data was in the form of cores. Height and volume data was not recorded and therefore needed to be modelled. The volumes of MSG8, MSG11 and MSG13 wood were estimated by modelling the stem volume at the age when wood is produced that is stiff enough to qualify for each grade. The majority of stems had merchantable volumes between 1-2.5m3 with the largest stems containing 3.6m3. Average stiffness ranged between 5.2GPa and 11.3GPa with the stand average being 8.4GPa. There was no relationship between average stiffness and merchantable volume. Stem values were found to range between $60-$131/m3 with the stand average being $91/m3. The 10 most valuable stems had a total stem value ($318) twice that of the stand average ($157). The most valuable stem ($411) showed a 160% increase in stem value from the average. The increases in value/m3 were caused by large increases in the proportion of MSG11 and MSG13 wood held within the merchantable volume. These potential gains in stem value could help tree breeders assign an accurate economic weighting to stiffness improvements. Forest managers wanting to justify using a more expensive, improved stiffness seedlot may also find these results valuable.

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  • Digital Holographic Interferometry for Radiation Dosimetry

    Cavan, Alicia Emily (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    A novel optical calorimetry approach is proposed for the dosimetry of therapeutic radiation, based on the optical technique of Digital Holographic Interferometry (DHI). This detector determines the radiation absorbed dose to water by measurement of the refractive index variations arising from radiation induced temperature increases. The output consists of a time series of high resolution, two dimensional images of the spatial distribution of the projected dose map across the water sample. This absorbed dose to water is measured directly, independently of radiation type, dose rate and energy, and without perturbation of the beam. These are key features which make DHI a promising technique for radiation dosimetry. A prototype DHI detector was developed, with the aim of providing proof-of-principle of the approach. The detector consists of an optical laser interferometer based on a lensless Fourier transform digital holography (LFTDH) system, and the associated mathematical reconstruction of the absorbed dose. The conceptual basis was introduced, and a full framework was established for the measurement and analysis of the results. Methods were developed for mathematical correction of the distortions introduced by heat di usion within the system. Pilot studies of the dosimetry of a high dose rate Ir-192 brachytherapy source and a small eld proton beam were conducted in order to investigate the dosimetric potential of the technique. Results were validated against independent models of the expected radiation dose distributions. Initial measurements of absorbed dose demonstrated the ability of the DHI detector to resolve the minuscule temperature changes produced by radiation in water to within experimental uncertainty. Spatial resolution of approximately 0.03 mm/pixel was achieved, and the dose distribution around the brachytherapy source was accurately measured for short irradiation times, to within the experimental uncertainty. The experimental noise for the prototype detector was relatively large and combined with the occurrence of heat di usion, means that the method is predominantly suitable for high dose rate applications. The initial proof-of-principle results con rm that DHI dosimetry is a promising technique, with a range of potential bene ts. Further development of the technique is warranted, to improve on the limitations of the current prototype. A comprehensive analysis of the system was conducted to determine key requirements for future development of the DHI detector to be a useful contribution to the dosimetric toolbox of a range of current and emerging applications. The sources of measurement uncertainty are considered, and methods suggested to mitigate these. Improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio, and further development of the heat transport corrections for high dose gradient regions are key areas of focus highlighted for future development.

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  • The effects of clumped log distribution on line intersect sampling

    Tansey, Joshua (2014)

    Bachelors thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Line intersect sampling (LIS) is a method used for quantifying post-harvest waste. It is often used by forest managers to quantify merchantable volume remaining on the cutover so that compensation may be exacted under stumpage contracts. The theory has been extensively studied and will produce an accurate measure of harvest waste given the basic theoretical assumptions that: all logs are cylindrical, occur horizontally, are randomly orientated and randomly distributed. When these assumptions are violated, the method is not biased, although precision decreases substantially. A computer simulation was completed to determine whether or not the LIS method is appropriate, given a clumped distribution of logs produced by processing at central sites in cutover before using a forwarder to extract to the landing. The software ArcGIS with the application ModelBuilder was used to produce the LIS Model for running LIS assessments. It was determined through simulation that the conventional LIS method is not appropriate given these harvesting methods, as a level of bias was found in sampling determining that the LIS method underestimated true volume. T-tests confirmed the significance of this bias. LIS volume estimates were not precise, with the range of estimates ranging from 0 m3/ha to double the true volume. An increase in sampling length by a third was found to increase precision by only a small amount. Therefore, it was determine that increased sampling is not worthwhile as the costs associated with it do not justify the small increase in precision.

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  • Reducing the food stealing and pica of a young adult with multiple disabilities in respite care.

    van Eyk, Corrina Joanne (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Problem behaviours occur in approximately 10 to 15% of individuals with intellectual disabilities and these behaviours most often include aggression and self-injury. Families who support young adults with multiple disabilities and problem behaviour at home often experience costs to their psychological, physical, financial and emotional wellbeing. Respite care evolved to allow families short breaks from care giving and to support families in looking after their family members at home. Furthermore, problem behaviour severely limits opportunities for individuals with multiple disabilities to interact adaptively with their environments and develop positive behaviour skills that increase the possibility of living independently in their adult years. The present study aimed first to demonstrate the utility of functional analysis of problem behaviour in respite care, and then, to reduce food stealing and pica exhibited by a young adult with multiple disabilities attending a respite care centre. Following a functional analysis that indicated food stealing and pica had the probable function of hunger reduction, two positive behaviour support plans were developed. These interventions, conducted at the respite centre three days a week by centre staff, involved strategies to teach the participant to sign “eat” in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) to gain access to food and increase accessibility of food in the environment to reduce pica. The results showed that introducing the NZSL sign reduced food stealing to near zero within three weeks and pica was eliminated following the combined approach of functional communication training and antecedent manipulation. Use of the communicative sign was maintained at follow-up and food stealing remained at near zero, while pica remained at zero one-month following the intervention.

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  • Exploring the Relationship Between Chocolate Cake-Related Guilt, Eating, and Individual Differences

    Castaneda Castellanos, Paola Maria (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Food and eating are often associated with both positive and negative emotions: pleasure and enjoyment, and also worry and guilt. Guilt has the potential to have both adaptive and maladaptive consequences on health behaviours. The present study aimed to further explore the relationship between a default association of guilt with a ‘forbidden’ food item (i.e., chocolate cake) and healthy eating behaviours, attitudes, intentions, and perceived behavioural control. Individual difference variables (self-control, self-compassion, and neuroticism) and stress were also examined in relation to guilt. This study investigated the influence of a default guilt association on hypothetical and actual food choices. The findings suggest that food-related guilt can have both adaptive and maladaptive consequences on healthy eating behaviours and on individual difference variables. Individuals with chocolate cake-guilt associations reported healthier eating intentions and higher perceived behavioural control in relation to healthy eating. Those with guilt associations did not report more positive attitudes toward healthy eating nor higher self-control. They reported lower levels of self-compassion and higher levels of neuroticism and perceived stress. In regard to a hypothetical food choice, no differences were found between those with guilt or celebration associations. With one exception, guilt did not have adaptive effects during a taste test in regard to sweet and savoury food intake and post-eating guilt. Self-control appeared to be a protective factor from the maladaptive effects of guilt: self-control moderated the relationship between a guilt association and healthy eating intentions and savoury food intake. The overall findings from this research indicate that an alternative approach to promoting healthy eating and living should be considered.

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  • Do individual differences interact with lexical cues during speech recognition in adverse listening conditions?

    Kerr, Sarah Elizabeth (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Purpose: This thesis examines the effect of listener characteristics (i.e., cognition and vocabulary) and language-based factors (i.e., lexical frequency and phonological similarity) on speech recognition accuracy in adverse listening conditions. Method: Fifty listeners (40 females and 10 males) aged 18-33 years and with normal hearing (puretone thresholds ≤ 20 dB HL, 0.25-8 kHz) participated. They completed a speech perception experiment, which required listeners to repeat back non-sensical English phrases presented at a variety of signal-to-noise ratios (-5, -2, +1, and +4 dB SNRs). In addition, all listeners undertook assessments of vocabulary knowledge (PPVT-IV) and cognition (WAIS -IV). The primary dependent variable was individual content word recognition accuracy, and results were analysed using binomial mixed effects modelling. Results: Listeners demonstrated variability in their speech recognition abilities, and their vocabulary and cognitive scores. Statistical analysis revealed that listener-based factors affected word recognition. Listeners with faster processing speed and larger working memories exhibited higher word recognition accuracy. Surprisingly, listeners with higher non-verbal intelligence scores exhibited lower word recognition accuracy. Vocabulary knowledge interacted with SNR, such that as the listening conditions became more favourable, listeners with larger receptive vocabularies identified more words correctly. Similarly, main effects were also present for language-based factors. The more phonologically distinct a word was, the more likely it was to be correctly identified; higher frequency words were more likely to be accurately recognised. In addition, higher frequency words were identified more accurately at higher SNR levels. Finally, listener- and language-based factors interacted. The positive effect of working memory on word recognition was reversed as word frequency increased; on the other hand non-verbal intelligence’s negative influence on word recognition was reversed as word frequency increased. Conclusion: In the current cohort, listener and language-based factors interacted in the process of word recognition in noise. These results provide an insight into the underlying speech recognition mechanisms in adverse conditions. Further understanding of how these listener differences affect an individual’s speech processing may lead to the development of improved signal processing techniques and rehabilitation strategies.

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  • ElectroFenton process applied to the degradation of an anti-inflammatory drugs mix using BDD electrodes

    Villanueva-Rodríguez, M.; Ruiz-Ruiz, E.; Bello-Mendoza, R. (2013)

    Conference Contributions - Other
    University of Canterbury Library

    Several micro-pollutants found in water and wastewaters have caused great concern because they represent a threat to aquatic organisms and the human health. Many of these compounds are pharmaceutical drugs such as the anti-inflamatories. Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) can not totally remove this kind of molecules. On the contrary, electrochemical advanced oxidation process such as electroFenton, are a potential alternative to degrade this compounds. Boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes have proved to be effective for this purposes. This study was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the electroFenton process with BDD electrodes sheets in an undivided cell to remove an anti-inflammatories mixture (naproxen, ibuprofen and diclofenac) in water. Here we present and compare preliminary results on the performance of this oxidation process in ultrapure water and WWTP final effluent. Reaction conditions like current density (40 mA cm-1) and Fe2+ concentration (3 mmol L-1) were established by surface response analysis. Degradation was followed by UVVis spectrophotometry and total organic carbon (TOC) measurements. Two initial concentrations were tested: low (LCL) and high (HCL) concentration level, with 5 mg L-1 and 50 mgL-1 each drug respectively. According to our results, the first 30 min, the absorbance keeps its value (Fig. 1a) in HCL and after that, occurs a value decrease (faster than LCL). It is maybe due to more organic radicals formed which participate in the oxidization. In TOC removal (Fig. 2b) after 2 hours, is reached a similar mineralization percent (90%) in all the cases. The organic matter present in the WWTP effluent affects lightly the absorbance and TOC removal (Fig 1a and 1b) in both levels. This process shown to be effective in two matrix and two concentration levels in relatively short time, which makes it attractive in the final WWTP´s treatment stages.

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  • The application of electrofenton and heterogeneous photocatalysis on the degradation of anti-inflammatory drugs mixture

    Alvarez del Castillo, M.; Villanueva-Rodríguez, M.; Ruiz-Ruiz, E.J.; Hinojosa-Reyes, L.; Hernández-Ramírez, A.; Bello-Mendoza, R. (2013)

    Conference Contributions - Other
    University of Canterbury Library

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  • Asymmetrical neutrino induced decay of nucleons

    Pons, D.J.; Pons, A.D.; Pons, A.J. (2015)

    Journal Articles
    University of Canterbury Library

    Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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  • Bio-inspired locomotion and control – A long march towards demanding applications, Keynote Speaker at 2014 International Conference on Robotic Welding and Intelligent Automation

    Chen, X.Q. (2014)

    Oral Presentations
    University of Canterbury Library

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  • Treatment of pulping water from coffee harvest by Fenton and electro-Fenton process

    Villanueva-Rodríguez, M.; Bello-Mendoza, R. (2012)

    Conference Contributions - Other
    University of Canterbury Library

    Introduction. In the initial coffee process exist two principal methods to remove the pulp and skin from cherries of coffee: dry method and the wet method . Wet processing consists of mechanical removal of exocarp in the presence of water using machine-pulping of the drupes , and this process requires a lot amount of water, which began after in wastewater. The pulping water contains high concentration of organic matter . This effluent is highly polluted with elevated chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemichal oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids. Further influence over dissolved oxygen available and human health among people that live near to this water bodies, water pulping can affect aquatic life because of elevated acidity, strongly colored and occurrence of many toxic compounds present in coffee1,3. There are few studies about treatment of wastewater in coffee process ; and other studies employ commercial soluble coffee . The aim of this study is show the use of electrochemical process to mineralize and to reduce the color and organic matter on pulping water.

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  • Bioimprinted polymer platforms for cell culture using soft lithography

    Murray, L.M.; Nock, V.; Evans, J.J.; Alkaisi, M.M. (2014)

    Journal Articles
    University of Canterbury Library

    Background: It is becoming recognised that traditional methods of culture in vitro on flat substrates do not replicate physiological conditions well, and a number of studies have indicated that the physical environment is crucial to the directed functioning of cells in vivo. In this paper we report the development of a platform with cell-like features that is suitable for in vitro investigation of cell activity. Biological cells were imprinted in hard methacrylate copolymer using soft lithography. The cell structures were replicated at high nanometre scale resolution, as confirmed by atomic force microscopy. Optimisation of the methacrylate-based co-polymer mixture for transparency and biocompatibility was performed, and cytotoxicity and chemical stability of the cured polymer in cell culture conditions were evaluated. Cells of an endometrial adenocarcinoma cell line (Ishikawa) were cultured on bioimprinted substrates. Results: The cells exhibited differential attachment on the bioimprint substrate surface compared to those on areas of flat surface and preferentially followed the pattern of the original cell footprint. Conclusions: The results revealed for the first time that the cancer cells distinguished between behavioural cues from surfaces that had features reminiscent of themselves and that of flat areas. Therefore the imprinted platform will lend itself to detailed studies of relevant physical substrate environments on cell behaviour. The material is not degraded and its permanency allows reuse of the same substrate in multiple experimental runs. It is simple and does not require expensive or specialised equipment. In this work cancer cells were studied, and the growth behaviour of the tumour-derived cells was modified by alterations of the cells’ physical environment. Implications are also clear for studies in other crucial areas of health, such as wound healing and artificial tissues.

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