1,589 results for Thesis, 2013

  • Geospatial process modelling for land use cover change

    Nti, Isaac Kwadwo (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Human activities and effects of global warming are increasingly changing the physical landscape. In view of this researchers have developed models to investigate the cause and effect of such variations. Most of these models were developed for specific locations with spatial variables causing change for that location. Also the application areas of these models are mainly binary transitions, not complex models which involve multiple transitions, for example deforestation models which deal with the transition from forest lands to non-forest areas and urban growth transition from non-urban areas to urban. Moreover these land simulation models are closed models because spatial variables cannot be introduced or removed, rather modellers can only modify the coefficients of the fixed variables. Closed models have significant limitations largely because geospatial variables that cause change in a locality may differ from one another. Thus with closed models the modellers are unable to measure and test the significance of variables before their inclusion. This work investigated existing land use cover change (LUCC) models and aimed to find a geospatial workflow process modelling approach for LUCC so that the influence of geospatial variables in LUCC could be measured and tested before inclusion. The derived geospatial workflow process was implemented in DINAMICA EGO, an open generic LUCC modelling environment. For the initial calibration phase of the process the Weight of Evidence (WoE) method was used to measure the influence of spatial variables in LUCC and also to determine the variables significance. A Genetic Algorithm was used to enhance the WoE coefficients and give the best fitness of the coefficients for the model. The model process was then validated using kappa and fuzzy similarity map comparison methods, in order to quantify the similarity between the observed and simulated spatial pattern of LUCC. The performance of the workflow process was successfully evaluated using the Auckland Region of New Zealand and Rondônia State of Brazil as the study areas. The Auckland LUCC model was extended to demonstrate vegetative carbon sequestration scenario. Ten transitions were modelled involving seven Land Use Cover (LUC) classes and a complex dynamic LUCC for Auckland was generated. LUC maps for 1990 and 2000 were used to calibrate the model and 2008 was used to validate the model. The static spatial variables tested were road networks, river networks, slope, elevation, hillshade, reserved lands and soil. The hillshade and soil variables were found to have no significant impact in the LUCC for the Auckland area, therefore they were excluded from the model. If a closed model had been used these insignificant variables would have been included. The calibration phase revealed that wetland and cropland LUC areas in Auckland have not changed between 1990 and 2000. The validated LUCC model of Auckland, served as a foundation for simulating annual LUC maps for advance modelling of Carbon Sequestration by vegetation cover. In order to test the generic nature of the workflow process model a second case study was introduced that had a different data resolution, area extent and fewer LUC transitions. Compared to Auckland, the new Rondônia case study was a simple LUCC model with only one transition, with coarse data resolution (250m) and large area extent. The evaluation of the Rondônia LUCC model also gave good result. It was then concluded that the derived workflow process model is generic and could be applied to any location.

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  • Food waste New Zealand: a case study investigating the food waste phenomenon

    Parr, Harriet (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Food waste is an increasing concern for Governments in developed countries and in New Zealand it is estimated that the annual value of household food waste is 750 million dollars. The looming crisis in global food security including food waste has resulted in a detailed report from the United Kingdom’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE’s (2013) which concluded that education is critical to help consumers lower their generation of food waste; and that policy changes led by Governments, must be introduced, to tackle this escalating problem. In New Zealand information on food waste is scarce however statistical evidence does show each household discards food valued at 450 dollars annually (Davison, 2011) yet ironically, 270 000 children in New Zealand live in poverty, where many do not have enough food to eat (Collins, 2012). This research aims to investigate the issues of household food waste, from the perspective of consumers, to discover if practical techniques can be applied to alleviate household food waste. Currently, advertising and marketing campaigns to enable consumers to think about their household’s food waste, instigated by Government or educational organisations are nonexistent. Also co-operation with supermarkets and food manufacturers to educate their consumers about the implications of creating food waste which would begin to address some consumer concerns raised in this research is unavailable. As with other issues of sustainability will it be consumer pressure or economic policy makers who will drive information transparency and best practice? Disposal methods, and landfill diversion of food waste was not the focus of the case study. Rather the practical implementation of food waste reduction methods from website information and suggestions was important. Adding to the case study family’s problem was that alternative food waste disposal methods, to divert food waste such as composting, or green waste collection services, were unavailable, in Auckland the service was not provided by Government. A case study methodology was used to underpin this research. The importance of using an in depth case study is highlighted by determining whether or not website information is informative enough to induce household behavioural change. The value of website information is a priority for this research as the thesis tested if informative suggestions from websites could encourage a change in waste behaviour. The relationship between the case study family, website information and amounts of food waste is analysed throughout the project and is vital to inform the research about successful methods of reduction. The outcomes of this study outlined information techniques which the family applied to the experiment. In theory these methods could be used in further research to test another family’s waste calculations. Overall findings from this research revealed that with the correct education, tools and techniques, a household can reduce food waste to a minimum. Connecting waste reduction methods via a virtual knowledge sharing system would provide consumers, producers and Government agencies with the option to create and exchange food waste reduction concerns and techniques.

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  • Object-centric Intelligence: Sensor Network and Thermal Mapping

    Yamani, Naresh (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Quality of product is an important aspect in many commercial organizations where storage and shipment practices are required. Temperature is one of the main parameters that influence quality and temperature treatments of agricultural products therefore require special attention. The temperature variation in a meat chiller has a significant effect on tenderness, color and microbial status of the meat, therefore thermal mapping during the chilling process and during chilled shipment to overseas markets is vital. The literature indicates that deviations of only a few degrees can lead to significant product deterioration. There are several existing methods for thermal mapping: these includes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Methods (FEM) for examination of the environmental variables in the chiller. These methodologies can work effectively in non real-time. However these methods are quite complex and need high computational overhead when it comes to hard real-time analysis within the context of the process dynamics. The focus of this research work is to develop a method and system towards building an object-centric environment monitoring using collaborative efforts of both wireless sensor networks and artificial neural networks for spatial thermal mapping. Thermal tracking of an object placed anywhere within a predefined space is one of the main objectives here. Sensing data is gathered from restricted sensing points and used for training the Neural Network on the spatial distribution of the temperature at a given time. The solution is based on the development of a generic module that could be used as a basic building block for larger spaces. The Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) perform dynamic learning using the data it collects from the various sensing points within the specific subspace module. The ANN could then be used to facilitate mapping of any other point in the related sub-space. The distribution of the sensors (nodes placement strategy for better coverage) is used as a parameter for evaluating the ability to predict the temperature at any point within the space. This research work exploits the neuro Wireless Sensor Network (nWSN) architecture in steady-state and transient environments. A conceptual model has been designed and built in a simulation environment and also experiments conducted using a test-bed. A Shepard’s algorithm with modified Euclidian distance is used for comparison with an adaptive neural network solution. An algorithm is developed to divide the overall space into subspaces covered by clusters of neighbouring sensing nodes to identify the thermal profiles. Using this approach, a buffering and Query based nWSN Data Processing (QnDP) algorithm is proposed to fulfil the data synchronization. A case study on the meat plants cool storage has been undertaken to demonstrate the best layout and location identification of the sensing nodes that can be attached to the carcasses to record thermal behavior. This research work assessed the viability of using nWSN architecture. It found that the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) at the infrastructural nodes has a variation of less than 0.5C. The resulting MAE is effective when nWSN can be capable of generating similar applications of predictions.

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  • Crossing the borders of play and learning: ethnic Asian-Chinese perspectives on the value and purpose of a play-based early childhood curriculum

    Huang, Ming-Hua (Rita) (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    “Learning through play” is an important component of Western early childhood education, and plays a key role in the play-based curriculum in New Zealand (Ministry of Education, 1996; White, O’Malley, Toso, Rockel, Stover, & Ellis, 2007). However, this concept is challenged in New Zealand by Ethnic Asian-Chinese (EAC) immigrant families, who question the educational value of play for young children (Guo, 2006; Li, 2001a; Liao, 2007; Wu, 2003, 2009). For the early childhood education sector in New Zealand, this tension is compounded by the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996), because it affirms both the valuing of play and the valuing of diverse cultural perspectives. Further research and discussion of EAC immigrant parental perspectives on play in early childhood education will be essential to addressing this tension. The objective of this research is to investigate EAC parental perspectives on the value and purpose of a play-based early childhood curriculum and to explore the implications for early childhood teachers in order to support the building of effective partnership with immigrant families in New Zealand. This research involved eight EAC immigrant parents who had or currently have at least one child attending a play-based early childhood setting in New Zealand. A qualitative approach was employed to allow EAC parents’ experiences, values and beliefs of a play-based curriculum to be explored and examined in detail. Factors that EAC parents perceive as being most important for children to learn at a play-based early childhood curriculum were explored through interviews with the volunteer participants. Findings from the study revealed that although EAC parents may view learning as distinct from play, they agree that children should have an opportunity to play and expect their children to learn through play. The results of the study contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural background of EAC parents and how they perceive children’s learning and play. Practical suggestions for pedagogy and future research were also identified.

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  • The effect of stroke rate on performance in flat-water sprint kayaking

    McDonnell, Lisa Kelly (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Stroke rate has been implicated as an important determinant of sprint kayaking performance via correlation analysis. This thesis determined the effect of stroke rate on sprint kayaking performance including: (1) What stroke rates are required to achieve medal winning times?; (2) What are typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand paddlers?; (3) Do paddlers respond well to stroke rate feedback?; and (4) What is the effect of increasing stroke rate on performance and technique? Two literature reviews, one quantitative descriptive performance analysis, two quantitative experimental reliability studies, two quantitative experimental biomechanical studies, and one quantitative experimental intervention study were completed. Elite K1 200-m world championship medallists’ average stroke rates ranged 144-168 spm for men and 131-147 spm for women in competition. New Zealand elite paddlers (males and females) typically rated 98-101 spm, but tests were limited to 300-m sprint training at “race pace” and during the last stage of an incremental ergometer test. It was best to assess stroke rates using time-trials. The typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand male sub-elite paddlers were 122 ±11 spm during K1 200-m time-trials. While metronome feedback targets were not fully achieved when increasing stroke rate by 5-10 spm, the metronome was effective for increasing stroke rate by 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%). The stroke rate increase led to a 200-m performance time enhancement of 0.9-1.0% for sub-elite paddlers, where a general trend existed that faster paddlers responded better to the stroke rate increase. Other key variables that indicated better performances were shorter water phase times, aerial phase times, entry sub-phase times and exit sub-phase times. Overall, absolute phase and sub-phase times reported in seconds were more associated with performance than relative phase and sub-phase times. Increasing stroke rate using metronome feedback also caused reductions in water and aerial phase times. Water phase times were reduced primarily by reductions in pull sub-phase times. Pull sub-phase times were not significantly associated with performance, possibly indicating variability in the efficiency of the pull phase between skill levels on-water. Key segmental sequencing variables important for inducing a stroke rate increase between intensities were shorter durations of the pull arm, trunk, and leg actions. Decreasing forward reach was inevitable and decreasing pull arm time was the most important variable for increasing stroke rate, so paddlers should focus on reaching as far forward as possible without hindering their ability to quickly direct the paddle backward. Trunk rotation and leg extension movements increased with intensity and are considered important for performance theoretically for achieving greater paddle tip velocity when the blade enters the water by utilising a greater leg pedalling motion. In conclusion, New Zealand paddlers typically rated well below the recommended stroke rates required to achieve medal winning times in the K1 200-m event. Metronome feedback was effective for eliciting an acute stroke rate increase of 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%), which led to performance enhancements of 0.9-1.0% in K1 200-m time-trials. Further research is needed to determine the ideal training strategies for making larger increases in stroke rate without losing efficiency in the pull sub-phase.

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  • Perceived and measured health benefits of aqua-based exercise for older adults with osteoarthritis

    Fisken, Alison Lesley (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Ageing is associated with a number of physiological and psychological changes. These include declines in muscle mass, strength, functional ability, and balance, which are associated with increased risk of falling and reduced quality of life. In addition, many older adults have osteoarthritis and the associated symptoms of joint pain and stiffness may exacerbate the age-related changes in physical function. Regular exercise can help offset the age-related declines in muscle strength, functional ability and balance, however many older adults do not regularly exercise. In particular older adults with osteoarthritis tend to have lower levels of physical activity than older adults without osteoarthritis. Aqua-based exercise is recommended for older adults with osteoarthritis due to the properties of water, however relatively few studies have investigated this type of exercise among this population. The first aim of this thesis was to investigate perceived benefits and barriers to participation in aqua-based exercise among older adults with and without osteoarthritis, who regularly engage in this form of exercise. The key perceived benefit for those with osteoarthritis was pain reduction, whilst those without osteoarthritis identified general health and fitness as the primary benefit. Both groups identified social interaction as an important benefit. Cold changing facilities, particularly during winter, was a key potential barrier for both groups. The second study examined perceived barriers and benefits of aqua-based exercise among older adults with osteoarthritis who had tried, but no longer participated in aqua-based exercise. Key barriers were a lack of suitable classes and insufficient instructor knowledge, as well as cold changing facilities and pool temperature. Benefits included the cushioning effect of the water and the ability to move around more freely. The third study was undertaken to gain greater insight into the effect of different types of aqua-based exercise on pain and heart rate response of older adults with osteoarthritis. In addition, participants’ opinions and attitudes towards each exercise mode were explored. Participants tried different types of aqua-based exercise including: hydrotherapy, which is a therapist-supervised programme which takes place in warm water; aqua-jogging, which simulates running in deep water whilst wearing a flotation device; resisted-aqua jogging, which is similar to aqua jogging but utilises resistance equipment to increase drag; aqua-fitness, which involves strength and cardiovascular exercises to music in the shallow end of the pool and resisted aqua-fitness, which is similar to aqua-fitness but resistance equipment is used to increase drag. Pain scores immediately post-exercise decreased for all modes of aqua-exercises. Heart-rate response and rating of perceived exertion was also similar for all aqua-exercise modes. Overall, participants enjoyed the hydrotherapy session most, however the aqua-fitness session (un-resisted) was also enjoyed and identified as an acceptable alternative to hydrotherapy. The final study explored the potential health benefits of a 12-week aqua-fitness intervention for older adults with osteoarthritis. An active control group, who undertook a seated aqua-based exercise session once a week, was used help minimise any effects of social interaction on the outcome measures. Positive physiological outcomes were associated with the aqua-fitness group who improved scores in several functional measures, as well as significantly reducing their fear of falling compared to the control group. The findings of this thesis are relevant for future design of aqua-based exercise interventions aimed at older adults with osteoarthritis. The research undertaken may help to identify and therefore address barriers to this mode of exercise for this population. Furthermore, the findings of this thesis offers some insight into the acute responses to different modes of aqua-based exercise, as well as long longer-term chronic adaptations to an aqua-based exercise programme similar to those which are readily available in the community.

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  • Monitoring training-induced fatigue in snowboard and freeski halfpipe athletes

    Turnbull, Jonathon (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Snowboard and freeski halfpipe (HP) are relatively new skill-based high-risk alpine sports which have received very little attention in sport science research. It therefore appears prudent that initial studies first focus gaining a more detailed understanding of the sport. Information on the type and amount of load and consequent fatigue from normal halfpipe training is an important first step and will help coaches to better plan training sessions and adapt to athlete energy states. Such information is also essential for sport scientists to effectively prepare and recover athletes from training and competition. This thesis considers various forms of fatigue measurement and their sensitivity to training load. Ten male and 14 female elite snowboard and freeski HP athletes (21.8±3.3y, and 23.4±4.6y respectively) participated over the course of a 2-week on snow training camp. Immediately prior to on-snow training sessions, subjects’ countermovement jump (CMJ) and level of perceived fatigue (LPF) were recorded as were post-session CMJ and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). A GymAware linear position transducer was used to measure mean power (MP), peak velocity (PV) and jump height (JH). Reliability was established using coefficient of variation, and a repeated-measures generalised estimating equations (GEE) model used to examine relationships between variables within-day and between-day over the course of the camp. No significant relationships were found between subjective and objective variables when compared within-days indicating our variables may not be sensitive to changes in training load and fatigue from a day of HP training. Significant relationships were found between post-session RPE and load measures, and next day’s MP and PV. Specifically, as the subjective variables increased following training, the next day’s objective variables reduced by varying factors. When considering subjective and objective variables in isolation, subjective LPF was found to increase over the course of the 2 week training camp despite rest days, while neither of the pre-session objective CMJ variables exhibited significant trends. CMJ variables tended to increase after a day’s riding. It was concluded that traditional RPE scales used in conjunction with subjective fatigue ratings and/or MP and PV measurement using GymAware LPT can be useful tools to assist coaches and scientists in prescribing training and monitor fatigue over time. Some evidence of overreaching was found in this study and longer term monitoring of these objective and subjective variables may assist in alerting to signs of overtraining. Further research is required to determine methods of monitoring acute effects of fatigue from HP training.

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  • The immediate effects of dry needling levator scapulae on neck rotation range of motion

    Tan, YewJin (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the immediate effect of dry needling levator scapulae on neck rotation. DESIGN: Within subject pre-post intervention design. PARTICIPANTS: 31 participants (n=19 males; n=12 females; mean age 31.7 ± 9.96 y) recruited from a general population completed the study. METHODS: Participants received a single session of dry needling to levator scapulae on one side only. Prior to needling, each participant reported current pain intensity on a visual analogue scale. Pre-test and post-test measurements of neck range of motion in rotation were taken using an electrogoniometer to both left and right sides independently. A laser pointer was used to relocate neck rotation back to a participant defined neutral. Dry needling involved insertion of a single acupuncture needle into a taut band in levator scapulae and manipulated until no muscle twitch response was able to be further elicited and there was a palpable difference in levator scapulae with respect to the taut band. RESULTS Neck rotation relative to the side needled revealed a mean difference on the ipsilateral side of 2.71o (95% CI = 1.12o to 4.29o; t = -3.49; df = 30; p= 0.002) and no significant change in mean difference to the contralateral side of 0.99o (95% CI = 0.29 to 2.27o; t = -1.58; df = 30; p= 0.13). No significant difference was found after subcategorising by pain or dysfunction. CONCLUSION: Dry needling of levator scapulae improves neck rotation to the same side as needling, however the clinical relevance of this increase is unclear. An approach to analysis that involves categorisation of participants by dysfunction and pain status may be useful in determining responsiveness to dry needling for functional changes, however, this requires further investigation.

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  • Aerobic Capacity in Individuals With Osteoarthritis of the Knee

    Steele, Brydie Elizabeth (2013-11-28)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Objective The objective of this study was to assess if individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee have reduced aerobic capacity compared with age and gender matched healthy controls. This study also assessed the accuracy of submaximal exercise testing for predicting aerobic capacity in individuals with OA. Study design A cross sectional comparison study was undertaken with 24 participants with radiographic evidence of knee OA and 20 age and gender matched healthy participants within the control group. Background OA of the knee is a musculoskeletal condition that affects a large number of individuals. With an aging population the incidence of OA is set to increase. OA is associated with pain, joint stiffness and reduced muscle strength. It has been demonstrated some years earlier that OA is associated with a reduction in aerobic capacity. This is thought to be as a result of reduced physical activity, and exercise avoidance. In recent years there has been increased emphasis on physical exercise as a treatment approach to OA, and a series of guidelines have been introduced to promote physical activity in elderly and diseased individuals. Theoretically the increased awareness of the benefits of exercise should result in improvements in aerobic capacity in individuals with OA. However, no studies have examined this. As maximal effort exercise testing is expensive to undertake and requires significant training it is not practical in the clinical setting therefore submaximal effort exercise testing is a preferred alternative. However to date there have been no studies that provide evidence of the accuracy of submaximal exercise tests for predicting aerobic capacity in individuals with OA. Method Forty four participants aged 47-81 years were recruited. Four participants were excluded from the study for failing to achieve two of the three determinants of aerobic capacity. Therefore total numbers for the study were 22 participants in the OA group (12 males, 10 females) and 18 participants in the control group (9 males, 9 females). Both groups had a mean age of 67 years with a SD of 10 years A submaximal cycler ergometer test was utilised to predict aerobic capacity. Aerobic capacity was predicted from an equation that utilised exercise work rate (WR) and heart rate (HR) at the completion of the test. A ramped cycle ergometer exercise protocol was used for the measure of maximal aerobic capacity. The incremental resistance for the test was calculated so participants reached maximal exertion between 8-12 minutes. A breath by breath analysis of expired gas, participant HR and perceived exertion was used to determine if maximal effort was reached. Results There was a significant (P<0.05) reduction in aerobic capacity observed between individuals with OA of the knee (mean: 22 ml/kg/min) compared with age and gender matched healthy controls (mean: 27 ml/kg/min). The mean predicted values from the submaximal test were 19ml/kg/min and 22ml/kg/min for the OA and control groups respectively. The submaximal exercise test under-predicted aerobic capacity in both groups. The Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were .75 and .72 for the OA and control groups respectively. Conclusion The findings of this study are consistent with other literature indicating that individuals with OA of the knee have reduced aerobic capacity when compared with age and gender matched healthy controls. This study also indicates that submaximal exercise testing is a safe and accurate predictor of aerobic capacity in individuals with OA.

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  • Effects of the Environment on Physical Activity in New Zealand Children

    Mc Grath, Leslie Julian (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Childhood obesity rates have risen steadily in recent decades along with increased urbanisation that has changed where children can play and roam freely, potentially reducing their daily energy expenditure. The relationship between aspects of the built environment and children's physical activity has therefore been identified as a public-health issue. This thesis represents a review, two studies that examined built-environment effects on children's activity, one play intervention study and two studies that investigated issues with accelerometer measurement of physical activity. Chapter two addresses the need for a quantitative review of the effects of objectively measured built-environment factors on children's objectively measured physical activity. The review included studies that used geographical information systems (GIS) or street audits to quantify the built environment with physical activity quantified by accelerometers, pedometers or global positioning systems. A key insight was that danger from vehicle traffic appears to underlie the association between physical activity and some measures of the built environment. There was inadequate research on effects of neighbourhood walkability and on the confounding effects of weather, compliance and the intensity threshold for moderate-vigorous activity. In Study 1, habitual physical activity of 227 children living in 48 residential neighbourhoods within four cities was measured with accelerometers and related to built-environment factors defined using GIS analysis and street-audit measures. Disparate built-environment effects on children’s physical activity were rationalised by classifying neighbourhoods as either safe for children’s walking or play or those where traffic danger constrained activity, which suggests that unsafe neighbourhoods need redesigning. In Study 2 the same data were analysed with a particular focus on children’s daily pattern of accelerometer steps at light and moderate-vigorous intensities. It was revealed that reductions in moderate-vigorous activity were associated with poor weather, darkness and non-school days. These reductions might be offset by interventions that encourage children to self-select outdoor or indoor activities at step cadences of ~80 per minute. Modifying the built environment is a long-term health strategy towards developing child-walkable neighbourhoods where children can roam and play independently to increase their daily physical activity. A short-to-medium term intervention plan was implemented in Study 3, a crossover design for promoting children’s increased physical activity through self-determined play during a supervised play period before school (08:00-09:00) with free access to play equipment. There were no clear changes in total activity, but during the play intervention there were trivial-small reductions in girls’ body-mass index (BMI) while boys’ BMI remained constant when normally BMI would be expected to increase. Reasons for excluding data from analysis in the intervention study were investigated in Study 4 and it was found that non-compliance and discomfort with wearing accelerometers along with monitor failure excluded half of the children from providing activity data for analyses. In the final study, the effect of accelerometer-count thresholds on the amount of activity classified as moderate-vigorous intensity was investigated and thresholds from published articles are recommended rather than manufacturer thresholds. In conclusion, future studies should investigate the effects of neighbourhoods designed to increase safety to encourage children’s habitual activity. Measurement of physical activity should be undertaken by continuously wearing accelerometers (and global positioning system watches) and analysed using published count thresholds.

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  • Assessment of Standing Herbage Dry Matter Using A Range Imaging Sytem

    Benseman, Mark (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    It has been known for a long time that a device that could quickly and accurately ascertain dry matter content would be very useful to pastoral farmers. Despite many years of various products being developed there is still a lack of consistent and accurate measurements available. We present a proof of concept using a time of flight imaging system to measure standing herbage dry matter. Scenes of herbage were captured using the SoftKinitec DS325 range imaging camera. Each scene included range and intensity images as well as colour images. Simple statistical analysis of the images was carried out and related to dry matter content. Twenty data points were gathered in late autumn growing conditions. The best correlation achieved was 0.9 with a standard deviation of 337 kgDM/ha. This was achieved used a multivariate linear regression. The predictors used were average depth, and standard deviations of both depth and intensity frames. The worst correlation achieved using a multivariate linear regression was 0.89 with a standard deviation of 365 kgDM/ha. Thirteen data points were also gathered during severe drought conditions. The same statistical analysis resulted in a best fit of 0.52 and a standard deviation of 533 kgDM/ha. Range cameras show promise when compared to currently available methods of dry matter measurement.

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  • An Investigation of Factors that Contribute to Dihydroxyacetone Variation Observed in New Zealand Leptospermum scoparium

    King, Jessica (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Honey derived from Leptospermum scoparium (commonly known as mānuka) is known to have anti-bacterial activity that is not entirely accounted for by the presence of hydrogen peroxide.1 This is known as non-peroxide activity (NPA). The discovery of this medical benefit has led to mānuka honey being a major export for New Zealand. In order to assure supply, mānuka trees are being investigated to determine why certain specimens yield honeys with a greater NPA than others. This might result in plantations of L. scoparium that would yield honey with a consistently high NPA. The compound responsible for the NPA is a 1,2-dicarbonyl known as methylglyoxal (MGO).2 The precursor to this molecule was found in nectar of the mānuka flowers and was identified as dihydroxyacetone (DHA).3 An investigation of DHA in the nectar of L. scoparium across different regions of New Zealand was carried out by Williams (2012).4 It was confirmed that trees vary within and between regions across New Zealand. This thesis describes different investigations into why the variation of DHA observed in various mānuka flowers is so great. Flowers were collected during flowering periods from 2011-2013 and were frozen prior to processing. The extraction method used ten flowers (10F) and samples were analysed by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID). The DHA quantity was expressed with respect to the total sugar (Tsugar) in the nectar (DHA/Tsugar) in order to allow for comparison between samples. The study by Williams (2012) was extended to include the Northland region.4 Wild L. scoparium var. incanum specimens were collected from this region and it was determined that these trees only produced a low to moderate amount of DHA/Tsugar. Williams (2012) also investigated the DHA variability of trees in close proximity to each other as these are supposed to be genetically similar.4 This study was repeated in a different region and the findings were the same; that is trees that were in close proximity to each other can have different DHA/Tsugar. One possibility of why DHA is observed in mānuka flowers is that it is used to combat stress as a compatible osmolyte. This was tested using chemical additives and it was found that the DHA/Tsugar varied as a result of the Tsugar as opposed to the amount of DHA. This response was cultivar dependent. Different flower physiologies were also investigated. This included the andromonoecious nature of mānuka and the specific colour change in the hypanthium of the flower. Male flowers were found to have a larger amount of DHA/Tsugar as a result of a higher level of DHA than hermaphrodite flowers. This could suggest that DHA is being used in the hermaphrodite flowers for processes such as seed production. The DHA/Tsugar of flowers with different hypanthium colour was shown to be dependent on the variety type. The source and reason for DHA still remains unclear and therefore further study is required.

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  • Synthesis of Perfluoroaryl Heterocycles To Provide Synthons For Crystal Engineering Using π−π Stacking Interactions

    Althagbi, Hanan Ibrahim (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Approximately 42 new arene-perfluoroarene compounds were synthesised by the reaction of pentafluorophenyl derivatives (C₆F₅R; R= CN, Br, Cl, I, CHO, CF₃, H) with imidazole, benzimidazole, parazole, indazole and their derivatives such as 2-methylimidazole, 4-methylimidazole, 2-phenylimidazole and 2-methylbenz-imidazole. Attempts to synthesize 1-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridyl)pyrazole and 1-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridyl)indazole were unsuccessful. However, these reactions were achieved using different solvents, varying amounts of solvents and varying temperatures. Various chemical analytical techniques, such as NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, single-crystal X-diffraction and micro-elemental analysis, were used to characterise the compounds. The crystallization of these compounds was performed by the slow evaporation of their solutions in different solvents at ambient temperature. Single crystal structures were obtained for 1-(2,3,5,6- tetrafluoropyridyl)-2-methylbenzimidazole, 1-(4-bromo-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorobenzyl)-3-benzyl-4-methylimidazolium bromide and 1-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridyl)-3-benzyl-4-methylimidazolium bromide and this result has shown that π-π stacking interactions have an essential role in the packing of these compounds.

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  • Development, Validation and Preliminary testing of A Novel Indwelling Wireless Intraoral pH Telemeter

    Lee, Jennifer Jae Won (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Maintaining intraoral pH is important in protecting both hard and soft tissues from acids. When this balance is breached, some detrimental effects can be expected such as demineralisation, tooth erosion and reduced buffering capacity. Telemetric measurements have been previously used for monitoring changes in the intraoral pH in the past but most of the studies included bulky leads in the mouth, limiting optimal measurements outside the laboratory setting. The aim of the current research was to develop a novel wireless device that transmitted data real-­‐time to a smart phone to allow continuous monitoring of changes in the intraoral pH. A number of preliminary in vitro and in vivo (although in one participant) experiments have been carried out to validate the measurements of the wireless device. In vitro experiments included determination of drift over 24 hours and temperature effects to validate the pH probe. In vivo experiments investigated measurements during the daytime and sleep as well as following swallows of acidic drinks. Among various appliances constructed, the clear-­‐retainer type appliance turned out to be of the most time-­‐efficient and successful way of enveloping the wireless device. A distinct difference was observed between the pHs of the upper and lower arches. During sleep, there was a great deal of fluctuations of the pH values in the upper arch, while the recordings from the lower arch showed little change. When an acidic drink was introduced, a pronounced drop in pH in the upper arch was obvious with gradual increase to normal level, compared to minimal changes in the lower arch. An excellent cross-­‐correlation was demonstrated between the reference pH measurement system and the wireless device. The development of the wireless device will lead to exciting applications in the future in the areas of erosive tooth wear, gastro-­‐esophageal reflux and orthodontics.

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  • Nasal drying during pressurised breathing

    White, David Edward (2013-11-19)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The human nose not only provides the main portal through which air passes to and from our respiratory system, it also plays an important role in maintaining airway health. This function takes the form of heating and humidifying inhaled air to prevent airway drying, as well as trapping and disposing of inhaled particles and pathogens within the mucus lining. The ability of the nose to perform these duties appears compromised during the nasal breathing of pressurised air, with many users reporting symptoms associated with nasal airway drying. There are many situations where nasal breathing of pressurised air occurs. The cause of airway drying is currently not known, but is typically relieved through the use of supplementary humidification. This investigation examines the role air-pressure has on nasal airway drying by the development of a nasal air-conditioning model to predict inter-nasal airway hydration throughout the breathing cycle during ambient and pressurised breathing. Furthermore, the effect air pressure has on mucosal water supply and airway geometry is investigated in tissue experiments as well as in-vivo MRI clinical trials. Together the latter two investigations demonstrate that augmentation in air pressure adversely effects water supply and cause an opposing response in airway geometry between airways. Implementation of these previously unknown behaviours into the nasal air-conditioning model provides additional new insight into the actual function of the nose and its pathophysiology during pressurised air breathing. For the first time, a different airway hydration status during ambient air breathing is identified between the airways. During inhalation, the patent airway experiences drying that likely disables mucocilary transport, while the patent airway remains fully hydrated. This work sheds new light as to the purpose of the nasal cycle. Modelling pressurised nasal breathing demonstrates drying occurring within both airways and that supplementary humidification prevents this from occurring by effectively relieving the nose of its air-conditioning function. Modelling also demonstrates how supplementary humidification assists in the removal of entrapped particles and pathogens by providing ideal conditions for mucus transport to occur. An alternative method to relieve nasal airway drying is proposed. This method maintains normal airway hydration conditions during pressurised air breathing and avoids the problems of perceived stuffiness and congestion commonly encountered with supplementary humidification.

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  • Architecture as nature

    Shi, Yuan (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    “A building is something that protects us and differentiates itself from the natural environment. I like the idea of energy ; in a sense, the energies are about thermodynamics and about the real forces that we are creating. The history of nature is about evolution and specialization of form following some reaction to place. Architecture from that point of view should be trying to understand more about this interaction.—Vicente Guallart” Architecture can own the same flexibility, wideness, diversity with nature. This project discusses the relationship between architecture and natural environment. Project site: Auckland Botanic Gardens, Hill Road, Manurewa. Development of existing visitors' centre, and plans for new library. “Clouds appear in all sorts of places, and come in all shapes and sizes. They also disperse in different ways : rain clouds may disappear after making it rain, for instance, while morning mist dissolves in a moment. How much justification can there be for permanence in architecture within the natural environment?—Junya Ishigami”

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  • Aotearoa Sikh architecture : a place for worship

    Singh, Pardeep (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Very little research about “Sikh Architecture” is currently available. When it comes to identifying Sikh temples, the perception of the majority assumes that Sikh temples are the same as Hindu temples and Islamic Mosques; following the same rituals, customs, and design strategies. The research that does exist offers very little understanding of “Gurudwaras” (Sikh Temples). New Zealand has a unique demographic and diversity of cultures. It is home to a multitude of different faiths and cultures from around the globe. Each community has a desire to create its own sense of place, one that resembles the native land and also reflects its culture. The purpose of this project is to explore what are fundamentally the most important elements of Sikh Architecture, those elements which must be present and those which are less important to the sense of “Sikh.” This research will explore the design possibilities of “Gurudwara” within the New Zealand context. It will also allow to investigate the negotiable and non negotiable design features of contemporary Gurudwaras in a New Zealand context and what features of Gurudwara identifies as Sikh architecture? Proposed site: Shirley Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland.

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  • Exploring Men's Coping With Psychological Distress Within the Context of Conforming to Masculine Role Norms

    Moodley, Komala G. (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among masculine and coping variables with psychological distress. It also identified the extent to which masculine variables and coping styles contributed to psychological distress, in a sample of New Zealand men. The study sample comprised of 80 adult men, recruited from tertiary and community organisations in Hamilton. Participants were required to read and complete a questionnaire comprising of a series of questions relating to adherence to masculine gender role norms, gender role conflict, coping styles and recent levels of anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms. The Conformity to Masculine Role Norms Inventory and the Gender Role Conflict Scale were used to assess the men’s degree of conformity to socialised masculine ideals, and the degree to which they experienced conflict, as a result of their gendered role. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale was used to measure psychological distress, the outcome variable. Coping style was assessed using the Brief COPE Scale. The main findings were that some aspects of conformity to masculinity, such as the strict adherence to norms of Emotional Control and Self-Reliance were associated with higher levels of psychological distress, Emotional Control (r=.279, p=.008) and Self-Reliance (r=.395, p <.01), highlighting the benefits of using active, direct coping strategies to mitigate the effects of psychological distress. Results of the multiple regression indicated that coping styles in comparison to the gender variables accounted for more than half of the variance of the outcome variable (psychological distress), and was a better predictor of psychological distress in the sample of men. Furthermore, the gender variables helped to explain psychological distress over and above what was explained by coping strategies alone. These findings have highlighted that masculine gender role may be inextricable linked to the way men cope with psychological distress. It should therefore be considered together with coping styles in future studies examining psychological distress. Implications of these findings for the development of effective clinical interventions, and directions for future research were also discussed.

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  • Detection, Desire and Contamination: The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes

    Laven, Eleni (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, is often viewed as a fictional embodiment of justice and order in nineteenth-century Britain, a fantasy of epistemological mastery precisely calibrated against the social flux and uncertainty of the fin-de-siècle. Holmes solves perplexing crimes through logic and reason, and affirms a positivist conservative ideology that upholds the status quo. This thesis will challenge this comforting reading of Holmes by arguing, firstly, that he is in fact a highly ambivalent figure - morally problematic, culturally marginalised and sexually ambiguous. Secondly, it will demonstrate how Holmes should be situated within the context of various historical and contemporary discourses, including inquisitorial modes of punishment and surveillance, the discourse of atavism, contemporary anxieties about degeneracy in the upper classes and the cultural problematics of bachelorhood and bohemia in Victorian society. Finally, it will trace a continuum in which Holmes, as an archetype in a discourse of detection extending back to the work of earlier writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, sets the pattern for the legion of brilliant, eccentric and ambiguous detectives who have followed in his wake. Understood in terms of this genealogy, the detective’s characteristic flaws, traits, eccentricities and methodologies can be seen to have a specific relation to their historical moment: indeed, part of the lingering appeal of the eccentric detective lies in the fit between their eccentricities, the nature of the crimes they solve, and their ability to restore order. This thesis will demonstrate the fit in the case of Sherlock Holmes, but will also demonstrate that he is more ambiguous, ambivalent and even subversive than his consoling conservative appeal might suggest.

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  • Language death = identity death?: The role of Provençal in speaker identities

    Pickett, Jessica Valerie (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the role the Provençal language plays in the identities of those who speak, or are learning to speak the language. Twelve individuals, who were either teaching, learning or had been involved with Provençal, were interviewed in semi-structured interviews that lasted from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. The interviews were analysed to find the participants’ motivations and opinions in learning or teaching Provençal and how this reflected or impacted on their identity. Language-and-identity is a popular discourse amongst activists, linguists and academics in the field of language revival and maintenance. By interviewing the participants who were directly involved with Provençal, and analysing the role that Provençal plays in their identities, this research strengthened the arguments for the revival and maintenance of Provençal voiced in the language-and-identity argument. The participants’ opinions mirrored those set out in the language-and-identity discourse. The emergence of several themes – identity, aesthetics and status – showed the different ways in which Provençal was reflected in or impacted on the participants’ identities. Personal connection through personal history, family, regional ties and interest were the main factors in the identity theme. Aesthetics dealt with the Provençal language, and the way the participants perceived it, and how this reflected on them. Status was about the other, how other groups in society are perceived to feel about Provençal, and the actions they take (or do not take) because of these feelings. These findings constitute the need for further research into language and identity in a Provençal context, particularly the economic effects of a non-validated linguistic identity, and the role of technology in facilitating the validation of speakers’ identities.

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