25,587 results for Thesis

  • Optimising capture methods for the evaluation of parasitoid wasp diversity

    Saunders, Thomas (2016)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Parasitoid wasps are mega-diverse, ecologically dominant, but poorly studied components of global biodiversity. Despite their intensive application within pest management as biocontrol agents, little is known about native species. To understand their basic biology they must be collected in sampling programs. However, invertebrate surveys are increasingly subject to funding and time constraints that often preclude complete faunal inventories. In order to maximise the efficiency and reduce the cost of their collection, the application of optimal sampling techniques within a Rapid Biodiversity Assessment framework is proposed. Two sites in the Waitakere Ranges were sampled three times over the summer. An intensive sampling effort of 840 Malaise-trap-days over a three month period was used to determine the relationship between sampling effort and observed species richness. Rarefaction techniques and non-parametric estimators were used to predict true species richness and to evaluate the completeness of sampling. Results show that an intensive Malaise-trapping regime over the summer can capture two-thirds of parasitoid wasp species present. Sampling recommendations are provided to guide optimal usage of Malaise traps for both ecological studies and faunal inventories. Modern taxonomic methods are reviewed and a new species of parasitoid wasp is described, representing the first New Zealand species from the genus Lusius (Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae). Morphological measurements confirm the new species represents a significant range expansion for the genus. Greater collaboration between ecologists and taxonomists is encouraged, in order to make more efficient use of resources, data, and expertise unique to each discipline. This is the first study to investigate the relationship between sampling effort and parasitoid wasp diversity in New Zealand. It shows that very high sampling effort fails to catch all species present. Parasitoid wasps are known to be keystone species that show promise as indicators of environmental quality and as surrogates for the diversity of other taxa. The development of optimal sampling strategies will therefore provide an important foundation for their future study.

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  • Cognitions and practices of teachers of Spanish in New Zealand

    Tolosa Izquierdo, Constanza (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis examines cognitions and practices of teachers of Spanish in New Zealand secondary schools. Cognitions are personal frameworks of knowledge and beliefs through which teachers interpret and interact with their professional environments. While previous studies have signalled the complex interaction between cognitions, practices and contexts, there is little evidence concerning the linguistic and pedagogic decisions of native speaker and non-native speaker teachers of languages other than English in secondary school contexts. A multifaceted research design in two stages was used to capture teachers??? cognitions, teachers??? decision-making processes, and teachers??? practices. Responses from 64% of participants in a national survey were triangulated with data from an in-depth study of twelve teachers gathered through interviews, classroom observations, document analysis and introspective reflection. Analysis of explanations of formal aspects of the language provided evidence of teachers??? pedagogical and linguistic reasoning. Findings support the argument that language teachers??? instructional decisions and practices are grounded on their cognitions; they are contextually determined, and result from the judicious application of theoretical constructs. The study found that teachers??? cognitions integrated teachers??? knowledge of the language and pedagogy, as well as their experiences as language learners and language teachers. In addition, cognitions were informed by a range of theoretical constructs that teachers pragmatically applied in their practices, rejecting a unique and immutable view of pedagogic and methodological paradigms. Analysis of the language methods and the strategies used by teachers to explain formal aspects of the language revealed that teachers??? pedagogical and linguistic decisions were strongly influenced by students??? characteristics and needs. Teachers??? consideration of their students was embedded in the broader contexts and characteristics of schools where academic expectations place particular demands on teachers. Comparative analyses between native speaker and non-native speaker teachers indicated that differences in cognitions ascribed to language background were overridden by contextual factors. This study argues that, guided by their cognitions, New Zealand teachers of Spanish engage in differentiated and purposive practices that dynamically respond to the demands of their contexts.

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  • Bit-Streams: Applications in Control

    Patel, Nitish (2006)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The hardware implementation of a parallel system is often addressed by the creation of dedicated Very Large Scale Integrated Circuit (VLSI) technology. The intent of this thesis is to demonstrate the use and hence the potential of bit-streams in the implementation of parallel, real time systems. The focus of this research is on the implementation of controllers using bit-streams on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) platform. There is a significant body of literature devoted to parallel paradigms. Researchers intending a hardware implementation of these paradigms or solutions usually address it by creating a dedicated VLSI device. Alternative strategies may consider multi-tasking software or a multiprocessor environment. The VLSI solution may not be accessible but more importantly, it may not be necessary. A multi-tasking solution could certainly work provided a fast processor is deployed. A multi-processor solution on the other hand may be hampered by the inter-processor communication overhead. The intent of this thesis is to demonstrate the use and hence the potential of bit-streams in the implementation of parallel, real time systems. The focus of this research is on the implementation of controllers using bit-streams on a FPGA platform. First an attempt to justify the suitability of a bit-stream representation of bipolar analogue signals is made. Another view is given that this representation maybe interpreted as a combination of a zero signal and a non zero signal. Bit-stream convertors are analysed and the equations which characterise their performance are presented. Arithmetic operators like addition, multiplication and others have been encapsu- lated into bit-stream functional elements. In addition to these operators, Fuzzy Systems also require fuzzy operators, membership function generators, inference engines and de- fuzzification elements. These have also been created. All the elements have operands (inputs) as bit-streams and also have their results (outputs) as bit-streams. The be- haviour of each element is explained conceptually as well as analytically. Each element is characterised using typical test signals and its behaviour is verified using simulations as well as by physical measurements. Finally the functional elements are assembled into a library of components which can be used as building blocks for larger or more complex systems. Two case studies are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of bit-streams in real time control. This assertion is based on simulations as well as practical experiments. Two dis- tinctly different simulation engines, MatlabTM and Very High Speed Integrated Circuits Hardware Description Language (VHDL), are used for verification. The Matlab simula- tion serves as a benchmark while the VHDL simulation is used for verification of an ideal system response. The first example is a thermal process control plant. Using the library of bit-stream functional elements, a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller is implemented. The bit-stream simulations confirm the expectations of the ideal response of the thermal plant. Although Matlab and VHDL are distinctly different simulation en- gines, they report comparable results. The physical experimental results are well within expectations. The second case study is a servo mechanism. The verification methodology used for this example is identical to the first plant. These two experiments clearly show that the behaviour of this plant with a bit-stream controller is very comparable in VHDL simulations as well as in practice. A bit-stream fuzzy controller, with 2 inputs, 4 rules and one output, is also implemented. The physical experiments show very good agreement with the results from VHDL and Matlab benchmarks. Three examples of bit-stream implementations of neural networks are presented. In all cases, Matlab is used to determine the structure of the network. The simulations of the bit-stream equivalent networks are comparable to the performances in Matlab. Finally a novel method of producing a sigmoid activation function is presented. This research shows that a bit-stream solution is a viable platform for a variety of controllers and paradigms. The FPGA technology base is far more readily accessible than VLSI and hence this parallel implementation is ideal for applications requiring several simultaneous outputs or control actions.

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  • Study in Germ Cell Number Trait of Gilts and in Silico Discovery of Genes Expression

    Pan, Zengxiang (2006-07)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Temporal and spatial differences and the theory of the use of edible fungi in Polynesia

    Fuller, Rebekah (2009)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The aim of this dissertation research is to identify the gap in knowledge surrounding the temporal, spatial and the theory of the use of fungi in Polynesia and explain why it exists. Three research objectives were associated with this aim: First, to describe the past and present use of fungi in Polynesia; second, to compare New Zealand and Mangaian knowledge of fungi in an attempt to understand the transfer and creation of ethnomycological knowledge within Polynesia; and third, to discuss the current theories relating to the use of edible fungi, and to suggest a predictive model for the associated decision making process. A number of methods, tools and theories from a range of disciplines were implemented during this research. These include the comparative method from historical linguistics, interview methods from ethnobotany, and theoretical considerations from anthropology and economics. Using the comparative method four Proto Polynesian terms for fungi were reconstructed from the current Polynesian lexicon. Differences between the Proto Polynesian lexicon and current lexicon suggest temporal and spatial changes in the use of fungi in at least two Polynesian cultures, New Zealand M??ori and Marquesan. Other changes are suggested for the Cook Islands and Samoa. In general, even though fungi were not considered to be an important resource in Polynesia, the presence of terms for macro fungi suggests that they were recognized as part of the environment. However, one folk genus based on the scientific genus Auricularia *talinga kimoa was widely distributed and recognized to be of cross cultural Polynesian significance. Spatial and temporal changes were identified between the ethnomycological knowledge of the New Zealand and Cook Island M??ori; the latter being represented by the island of Mangaia. Similarities include the association with the supernatural and the presence of a general term for fungi. Differences include the amount of terms used, number of fungal species described and the type of information itself. The differences between the two Polynesian cultures strongly suggest the depth seen in New Zealand M??ori ethnomycological knowledge is in fact an innovation. Reasons for this innovation are outlined as being an adaptation to the newly encountered environment. New Zealand M??ori were only able to cultivate a limited number of crops. If protein became limited, New Zealand M??ori were more likely to choose to risk eating fungi as a source of food for survival. Not only was the New Zealand environment generally temperate, thus preventing the cultivation of important Polynesian crops, New Zealand also had a distinctly different fungal diversity. In an effort to create a predictive model of the local, regional and global use of edible fungi applicable to Polynesia, linkages were made between economic and evolutionary theory. Connecting the idea of the use of edible fungi as an adaptive strategy with the prospect theory of risk, has provided a model for the decision making process. This predictive model suggests the variance in the use of edible fungi at a local, regional and global level is based on the availability of other protein sources. The preliminary results from the pilot study used to test the predictive model suggest that fungi eating cultures rely on plant foods as a major source of protein. If our assumptions are correct, cultures heavily utilizing plants are more likely to face subsistence failure. Species of fungi may in fact provide protein to agricultural societies during these times of hardship. In Polynesia this model can be used to explain the differences seen between New Zealand M??ori and Mangia use of edible fungi. A tropical climate with a number of cultivated crops has less of a chance of becoming protein-limited; therefore, an individual is less likely to risk eating fungi. This is compared to New Zealand???s temperate climate where only a small number of crops were cultivated successfully. As such New Zealand M??ori were more likely to face subsistence failure and risk eating fungi as a food source. To test this model further, empirical methods from the disciplines of nutrition and ethnobotany are required to link famine, crop failure and meat scarcity to the use of edible fungi.

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  • Discovery and Investigation of Genes of Novel Relevance to Melanocyte and Melanoma Biology

    Feisst, Vaughan (2010-09-28)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • The Voice of Wh??nau M??ori in their Child???s Success ???as M??ori??? in Mainstream Early Childhood Education

    O'Loughlin, Barbara (2014)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This research examines success ???as M??ori??? in mainstream early childhood education. As a p??r??kau qualitative narrative inquiry research, informed by Kauapapa M??ori research methodology, this study draws on the voice of four wh??nau M??ori whose child either attends or who has recently attended mainstream early childhood education. The research found that each wh??nau desires for their child to succeed ???as M??ori??? is personal, for example, one wh??nau placed emphasis on the importance of their child???s teacher knowing their child???s name and not labelling them as just another M??ori child who has limited abilities. At the same time, participants??? also held common aspirations for wh??nau. This included their desire for mainstream early childhood education to deliver an authentic bicultural practice, where te reo me ona tikanga M??ori is naturally enacted and embraced within all areas of the daily programme. A number of participants argued the need for mainstream early childhood education to genuinely commit to collaboration and co-construction with wh??nau M??ori. Most importantly, wh??nau participants want their children to have a true sense of belonging, identity, security and pride in being M??ori. This p??r??kau qualitative narrative inquiry has provided a traditional way of narrating M??ori stories through a M??ori framework. Kaupapa M??ori philosophy ensured wh??nau M??ori were culturally safe when sharing their stories.

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  • Unleashing the Power of Human Genetic Variation Knowledge: New Zealand Stakeholder Perspectives

    Gu, Yulong (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis reports a qualitative study that collected multiple perspectives of New Zealand genetic services stakeholders concerning genetic information management issues. With the rapid development of human genetic variation knowledge and medical testing technologies, the demand for clinical genetic services is expanding in many healthcare systems. There are, however, many challenges in managing genetic testing and understanding test results. Taking a grounded theory approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 participants in order to understand their experiences, expectations, and concerns. The interview data were triangulated with our field notes, literature, and by applying a semantic space modelling technique - hyperspace analogue to language. The data analysis took a general inductive approach with a constant analytic comparison strategy. Three themes emerged from the data that identify gaps in the use of information relating to genetic services. Firstly, four service delivery models were identified in operation, including both those expected models involving genetic counsellors and some variations that do not route through the formal genetic services program. Secondly, a number of issues were perceived by the participants as barriers to sharing and using genetic information, including technological, organizational, institutional, legal, ethical, and social issues. Thirdly, the wider use of genetic testing technology is also impeded by the mixed understanding of genetic test utilities, particularly among clinicians, and is limited by the capacity of clinical genetic services. Due to the effect of these three themes, the potential of human genetic variation knowledge to enhance healthcare delivery has been put on a "leash." Targeting these problems, information technologies and knowledge management tools may support key tasks in genetic services delivery, improve knowledge processes in the domain, and enhance knowledge networks. Promising technologies include decision support systems, electronic referral systems, electronic health record or personal health record systems, data submission and other knowledge processing tools, ontology, and knowledge networking tools. The establishment of effective ethics and policy frameworks is also important in leveraging the power of genetic information for better healthcare outcomes.

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  • Effectiveness of tailored nutrition education for improving household supermarket food purchases

    Eyles, Helen (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background There is a growing interest in tailored nutrition education, which personalises information to the individual. However, little research has been undertaken with priority population groups, or in supermarkets, where most food is purchased. Aim To investigate the long-term (??? six-months) effectiveness of tailored nutrition education for improving the supermarket food purchases of New Zealand adults, including priority groups. Methods A randomised controlled trial was undertaken in eight New Zealand supermarkets from February 2007 to February 2009. Participants were 1,104 ethnically and socio-economically diverse primary household shoppers 18 years and older. The trial compared tailored nutrition education, developed using a participatory approach, with control (no intervention). Household supermarket sales data were used to tailor education resources and to assess trial outcomes. The primary outcome was change in saturated fat purchased at six-months. Secondary outcomes were changes in other food and nutrient purchases at six- and 12-months. Two sub-studies which assessed aspects of internal validity of the trial were also undertaken. Results At six-months, the difference in saturated fat purchased by tailored nutrition education vs. control was -0.09% total energy (95% CI, -0.47% to 0.30%); p=0.66. Corresponding differences for purchases of saturated fat at 12-months and all other food and nutrient outcomes assessed (at six- and 12-months) were non-significant. Sub study one found 65% of all food purchases were made at participating supermarkets. The validity of household electronic supermarket sales data as a surrogate measure of individual nutrient intakes was also demonstrated. Sub study two demonstrated the validity of the modified Heart Foundation (HF) Tick nutrient profiling model to appropriately identify ???healthier??? options for promotion in the trial. Conclusion: Tailored nutrition education cannot be recommended as a stand-alone public health strategy for improving the supermarket food purchases of New Zealand adults. More effective approaches to improve population dietary intakes must be sought. Due to their Abstract iii potential reach and impact, supermarket-based nutrition interventions should be a medium for such approaches, and household supermarket sales data considered as an objective surrogate measure of effectiveness.

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  • The Development of PI3K Inhibitors as Anticancer Drugs

    Marshall, Andrew (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a lipid enzyme family that are vitally important regulators of intracellular signalling pathways which control cellular activities including cell survival, growth and proliferation. Deregulation of the PI3K signalling cascade has been observed in a broad range of human diseases including cancer, diabetes, thrombosis, immunity and inflammatory disorders. With the discovery of PI3K???s link to a variety of diseases, there has been a race to produce ATP competitive inhibitors as therapeutic agents against the Class I PI3K isozymes. Herein, compounds from two structurally distinct chemotypes were synthesised and their activity and specificity characterized against isolated Class PI3K enzymes and two cellular lines. The aryl morpholine containing pyrido[1,2-a]pyrimidines probed the requirements of the Class IA PI3K active sites through modification of the pendant C9 position. Interestingly, no compound synthesised exhibited superior activity towards the p110?? enzyme than TGX-221 (1.14). The second series of compounds probed the requirements of the thiazole-linked pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine 4.41B, identified through scaffold hopping studies using the novel p110?? selective inhibitor PIK-75 (1.34). Although 4.41B was not synthetically accessible, analogues explored alternative linkers and substitution of the 2-methyl-5-nitrobenzene ring, to investigate the effect on p110?? selectivity and potency. The sulfone-pyrazole linker group in (5.5) was found to be critical, with alternative linker groups in the thiazole series SO2CH2 4.123, CH2 4.122, CHOH 4.114 and linker absent 4.108 ablating activity, while activity was retained by thiazole-CH2SO2 4.124. As the complexes between the pyrido[1,2-a]pyrimidine and pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine chemotypes with the active sites of p110?? and p110?? respectively are not known, docking simulations were performed using structural p110?? models and p110?? (pdb:2RD0) respectively to understand the molecular basis for the isoform selectivity exhibited by the two chemotypes. Suitable docking methods were obtained by first investigating the ability of three docking protocols GOLD, SURFLEX and AutoDock to find and correctly rank an experimentally derived conformation both retrospectively (rescoring), where the compounds were docked back into the p110?? crystal, and prospectively, where the ligands were docked into the apo p110?? (2RD0).

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  • Reinforcement sensitivity theory, personality, and senior executive performance

    Hutchison, Ann (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis explores the extent to which Jeffrey Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality can predict and explain the job performance of top-level executive leaders. In this study, 189 senior executives underwent a battery of psychometric, biographical and performance measures. The dimensions of approach and avoidance motivation were measured using Carver and White's (1994) 'BIS/BAS Scales', and the predictive power of these dimensions was compared to R. Hogan and Hogan's (1997) ambition and adjustment traits. Overall, a model of senior executive performance prediction was tested using structural equation modelling. The results showed that the 'BIS/BAS Scales' did not predict the selected aspects of executive performance. However, the Hogan ambition and adjustment traits did, but only when certain facets of these traits were used. Most notably, the executives' levels of experience and perceived reward at work were stronger predictors of performance than personality was. The results suggest that reinforcement sensitivity theory does not provide a particularly promising explanation for senior executive job performance, with the chosen measures, but that selected Hogan measures do. However, executive performance prediction is very much a nuanced phenomenon, and these nuances only emerge when the performance and predictor domains are measured and analysed at a facet level.

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  • The Epidemiology and Management of Hypothyroidism in General Practice

    Gibbons, Veronique (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Hypothyroidism is a common condition in general practice. Evidence of long-term outcomes and the effectiveness of treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism are lacking. This thesis provides new knowledge to support practice in relation to subclinical hypothyroidism. Methods and Results Several research methodologies were utilised: ??? A cross-sectional study in general practice showed that prevalence of hypothyroidism in Hamilton City was 2.5%, with an overall level of thyroid dysfunction at 3.2%. ??? Examining retrospective laboratory data of thyroid function tests showed that 1 in 6 patients without known thyroid disease are tested within a 12-month period. ??? Focus groups of general practitioners found that patients with a raised thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) assay posed a dilemma for general practitioners. ??? Retrospective laboratory data and note review of the management of patients with raised TSH found that two percent of patients were managed according to New Zealand Best Practice Advocacy Centre (BPACnz) recommendations. ??? Note review and interviews with patients with central hypothyroidism showed that a first-line TSH strategy was not the cause of delayed diagnosis but indicated a reliance on biochemical results over manifest signs and symptoms. ??? Survival analysis comparing patients with thyroid dysfunction against cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality found that patients with both subclinical and overt hypothyroidism had an increased risk of cardiovascular events [Hazards ratios 1.22 (1.12-1.33) and 1.58 (1.44-1.73)] and death [1.29 (1.17-1.42) and 1.45 (1.31-1.62)] compared to euthyroid individuals after adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity and social deprivation. The increased cardiovascular event risk was greatest in those under 65 years of age with subclinical hypothyroidism [1.26 (1.07-1.49)] compared with those 65+ years [1.14 (1.03-1.27)]. A systematic review of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism treated with thyroxine found that treatment had a positive effect on lipids, BMI, cardiac function and systolic blood pressure in individuals less than 65 years of age with stable subclinical hypothyroidism. Conclusions Subclinical- and overt hypothyroidism are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and all-cause mortality with the greatest excess risk in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism who are less than 65 years of age. Treatment with thyroxine should be considered in these patients to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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  • The Pedagogical Realisation of Education for Sustainability

    Birdsall, Sally (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The aim of this research was to investigate teachers' understandings of sustainability and ways in which they could be developed. How teachers translate these understandings into their pedagogy and its effects on children's understandings were explored. The impacts of learning about sustainability on teachers' identities were also investigated. This research used a qualitative-interpretivist mode of inquiry with a case study approach that utilised a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions that explored teacher participants' initial and developing understandings of sustainability during professional development. Two case studies describing and analysing practising teachers' translation of their understandings of sustainability into their pedagogy were constructed using interviews and documentary data that included planning and children's work. The final research focus explored the relationship between their understanding of sustainability and their sense of identity as education for sustainability (EfS) teachers. A definition of sustainability comprised of five components was developed. Three tools were constructed to measure the complexity and levels of teachers' understandings and identities. The first tool measured the complexity of their understandings using the five-component definition. Initially these understandings were simplistic and environmentally focused. The second tool measured their metacognitive awareness of sustainability which showed that about half of the participants were unaware of the complexity of this concept. The findings established that this tool could be used metacognitively by teachers to monitor their developing awareness. The third tool provided a mechanism by which teachers' understanding and awareness of sustainability, personal practices and professional beliefs could be analysed to place the teachers in categories of identity that provided information about their outlook on sustainability. All of these tools provided evidence that the pedagogical realisation of education for sustainability is a complex process. The professional development programme was thematically analysed and evaluated using a research-based generic model. Data from children's learning provided a further evaluation and demonstrated that a pedagogy that developed a deep understanding of sustainability is complex and is easily influenced by a teacher's identity and perception of sustainability. Consequently these teachers demonstrated their environmentally-scientific focus and these young children's understandings of sustainability did not reflect such a focus but they did develop a temporal awareness of sustainability. This research has highlighted the significance of identity that influences ontological change in teaching and learning about sustainability and recognises that changes in behaviour and values of teachers are the lynch-pin of any significant change in classroom pedagogy for sustainability.

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  • Inside the city walls: Mental health service users??? journeys towards full citizenship

    Hamer, Helen (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This study was undertaken at a time when mental health service users were lobbying to be treated as full citizens with the same participation, rights and responsibilities as other citizens. It explores mental health service users??? understandings of citizenship and whether the recovery approach helps or hinders their journey towards full citizenship. The study uses Isin???s (1999, 2002, 2008b) conceptual framework of citizenship to interpret data from indepth individual and focus group interviews with 17 service users and 12 key stakeholders. Isin???s conceptual framework focuses on the social, civil and political dimensions of citizenship. The overarching finding was that service users experience conditional citizenship, which includes barriers and restraints to their participation and to the rights and responsibilities that others in society enjoy. Conditional citizenship results from labelling which has its genesis in the bio-medical model, the predominant treatment approach used in mental health services. The labelling of service users leads to stigma and discrimination in wider society and results in service users being Othered. In an attempt to blend in with the rest of society service users shape their behaviour through self-surveillance and self-policing to mitigate risk to themselves and others. Additionally in an attempt to be accepted they engage in practices of inclusion. These practices include self-disclosing about their illness, working in education and leadership roles to bring about acceptance of those with mental illness, and the expansion of the prevailing behavioural norms. For service users, deeper, existential and spiritual connections with others is essential for their sense of belonging. In some cases they make a claim for their full rights by engaging in acts of citizenship such as private and public practices of responsible subversion. The findings from this study have important implications for the recovery approach that should ideally underpin mental health service delivery. The thesis concludes by outlining recommendations for nursing practice, nursing education and policy.

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  • Obesity-Related Metabolic Syndrome: Investigations into Novel Clinical Markers and Possible Causes

    McGill, Anne-Thea (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Obesity-related metabolic syndrome (MetS) increases risks for degenerative cardiovascular disease (CVD), and has become widespread. Efforts to stem the increase of obesity are inadequate. New approaches to the problem may be required. Novel CVD Risk and Prediction Markers were investigated for use in enhancing the utility of MetS. Subsequently, a unifying hypothesis on causes of MetS was developed. MetS comprises central obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and hyperglycaemia, but insufficiently reflects underlying oxidative, metabolic, inflammatory, and nutritional stresses. Novel CVD laboratory (1) Risk Markers; consisting of clinical routine screening haematology and biochemistry (CRSHaem&Biochem): Leukocytes: neutrophils; monocytes; lymphocytes; eosinophils; erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR); haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c); urate; ferritin; liver function tests (LFT): alkaline phosphatase (AlkPhos); alanine transferase (ALT); aspartate transferase (AST); gamma glutamyl transferase (??GT); bilirubin (2) Protective Markers; (a) serum fat cell-derived, adiponectin (Adpn) with oligomers (high, medium, low molecular weight (HMW, MMW, LMW) (b) serum fat soluble vitamins (sFSVitamins) beta carotene (s??Caro), vitamins (sVit)D, sVitA, sVitE, and VitK(INR) were investigated. Baseline, and mean over 6months (m), oxidants HbA1c and urate were strongly related to MetS marker count, a MetS index. Over 6m, on wide-ranging multivariable mixed modelling, ??GT and ESR changed with MetS marker count. Adpn showed anti- and pro-inflammatory correlations. sVitA and sVitE correlated with MetS marker count, and dyslipidaemia. s??Caro and sVitD correlated with protective markers. Thus 1) HbA1c, urate, ??GT, ESR, and 2) s??Caro, sVitD may be acceptable Novel CVD Risk and Protective Markers, respectively, for use with MetS. The unifying hypothesis on obesity and MetS was predicated on humans evolving proportionately large, energy demanding brains requiring co-adaptive mechanisms to: (1) increase dietary energy by developing strong neural self-reward/motivation systems for the acquisition of energy dense food and (2) economise on body energy metabolism by the co-option of many of antioxidant phytonutrients to confer long-lived cell protection. The study indicated that strong risk markers in MetS are oxidant, and associate with degenerative change, and antioxidant cytoprotection is augmented by plant food micronutrients, such as food-derived or dietary ??Caro (f??Caro). The unifying hypothesis was compatible with the study results. Whole-food diets need studying for prevention and reversal of MetS.

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  • Safeguarding a liberal system of states : Reinterpreting states' freedoms in increasing interdependence

    Hertogen, An (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    A crucial issue for international law is how to deal with situations where one state's policies affect another state's domestic affairs. The traditional answer is that international law is a liberal system centred on relative sovereignty, in which states' freedom to exercise their sovereignty (positive freedom) is inherently limited by the need to protect other states' domestic affairs against interference (negative freedom). Ideally, when facing global problems, states co-operate with each other to limit their positive freedom. However, states often fail to agree on bilateral or multilateral co-operative responses or only agree on a lowest common denominator that provides an inadequate response. This creates tension between states' positive and negative freedom and exposes states to the adverse effects of other states' policies. Two transboundary problems that feature prominently on the international agenda - climate change mitigation and macro-financial instability - serve as case studies to examine whether international law protects states against such adverse effects. The case studies reveal how international law fails to protect states' negative freedom against the adverse effects of other states' actions or omissions. The starting position under the Lotus Principle is the freedom of states to act. As the case studies demonstrate, limits on this freedom in general and specialized international law are insufficient or inadequate to avoid adverse effects. Moreover, trade liberalization obligations restrict states' ability to respond unilaterally to transboundary problems when these responses potentially have a negative impact on trade. Rather than advocating fundamental changes to the international order, the thesis proposes an evolutionary process of rebalancing existing rules and principles on the exercise of state sovereignty. This rebalancing can take place through dialectical processes of reinterpretation, in which states, non-state actors and international institutions interact to argue and refine the limits on the exercise of state sovereignty. The thesis identifies locality, reasonableness and good neighbourliness as interstitial norms that can guide the reinterpretation of the existing rules and principles on the exercise of state sovereignty. The goal of this reinterpretation is to strengthen international law's structure as a liberal system of states that ensures co-existence and co-operation in a pluralistic society.

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  • Investigating the effects of an acute dose of benzylpiperazine (BZP) and trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) alone and in combination on the human brain using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

    Curley, LE (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Party pills containing benzylpiperazine (BZP) and trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) have been widely used for recreational purposes in the past decade, despite a paucity of knowledge about their effects on the human brain. This thesis investigated the effects of an acute dose of BZP (200 mg), TFMPP (60 mg) and the combination of BZP+TFMPP (100 mg + 30 mg) on the neural activity involved in reward and executive function using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). A validation task was also used to evaluate the direct effect of each drug on the vasculature of the brain. A randomised double blind cross-over study recruited 13 participants. Ninety minutes after an acute dose of BZP, TFMPP, BZP+TFMPP, dexamphetamine (DEX; 20 mg) or placebo, participants performed gambling (guessing), Stroop and validation tasks while undergoing fMRI. To compare these effects, imaging data was pre-processed and analysed then regional activation was identified using SPM8. Behavioural responses were analysed with SPSS. During anticipation, BZP reduced the neural responses in areas associated with uncertainty and inhibition, and increased activation in regions associated with monetary losses during outcome, possibly by dopaminergic modulation. When BZP was compared to DEX, BZP reduced activation in regions associated with uncertainty and risk, whereas DEX did not, and in the outcome stage of reward BZP induced a greater response to loss. TFMPP increased activation in regions associated with emotional processing during anticipation and modulated activation during outcome reflecting serotonergic effects on aversion. BZP+TFMPP reduced activation during anticipation, but caused a wider network of activation during reward outcome, possibly due to opposing drug effects on dopaminergic transmission. During the Stroop task, BZP and TFMPP affected inhibitory control and/or selective attention, resulting in the compensatory recruitment of additional regions. A direct comparison of BZP with DEX revealed distinct differences, BZP increased activation in regions associated with inhibition whereas DEX had the opposite effect. The combination of BZP+TFMPP induced activation which reflected the direct and indirect effects of TFMPP. A validation task demonstrated that drug-induced regional activations in the tasks were not due to the direct effects of each drug on cerebral vasculature. These results indicate that BZP, TFMPP and BZP+TFMPP have differential effects on reward and executive function which might lead to sub-optimal decisions being made whilst under their influence. In addition, although similar drug-induced effects on mood have been reported, this work demonstrates distinct differences between the underlying pharmacological effects of BZP and DEX on the brain.

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  • An Analysis of Nurse-Related Sentinel Adverse Events in New Zealand Public Hospitals

    Rowe, Deborah (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Response of the anophthalmic socket to prosthetic eye wear

    Pine, Keith (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    A regular complaint of anophthalmic patients is excessive mucoid discharge associated with their prosthetic eyes. This problem has received little attention in the literature and no evidence-based treatment protocol has been developed to deal with it. This unsatisfactory situation has provided the motivation for the studies reported in this thesis and its two broad aims which are: to investigate mucoid discharge associated with prosthetic eye wear and to help address gaps in the literature by reporting findings that impact on current clinical practice. The thesis provides a background to the field of ocular prosthetics and describes the results of a systematic set of individual investigations that guide the research towards a greater understanding of the response of the socket to prosthetic eye wear. The data for the research was obtained from two surveys of New Zealand prosthetic eye wearers, from clinical evaluations and interventions and from in-vitro experiments. Equal interval photographic grading scales to measure conjunctival inflammation in anophthalmic sockets and the intensity and extent of deposits on prosthetic eye surfaces were developed and used for the first time in this research programme. Mucoid discharge associated with prosthetic eye wear was found to be prevalent in the anophthalmic population of New Zealand and a major concern for prosthetic eye wearers. Surface deposits accumulate on prosthetic eyes that are not cleaned frequently. The results of the investigations in this thesis showed that the presence of these deposits improved the wetting characteristics of the prosthetic eye surface and facilitated the lubricating function of socket fluids. This evidence provided a causal link for the association between more discharge and more frequent cleaning and was a key finding that led to the development of a simple three phase model of the response of the socket to prosthetic eye wear and an evidence based protocol for managing mucoid discharge. The work reported in this thesis has resulted in the preparation of six published papers and nine future research opportunities were identified.

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  • Can Architecture Increase Productivity? The Case of Green Certified Buildings

    Onyeizu, Eziaku (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Green certified buildings have been marketed largely on the claim that they increase the productivity of occupants. It is claimed that the extra investment required to construct a Green building not only helps the environment but could also be recovered by the increased productivity of its occupants. This relationship between building design and productivity has been purported to be achieved with compliance to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) criteria of Green building rating tools. With productivity being so central to the characteristics of a Green certified building, one would expect there to be substantial and robust research relating the criteria of Green rating tools to the measure of productivity. This research investigated the proposition that IEQ of Green certified buildings increases occupant productivity. This was carried out by reviewing methods of measuring productivity in offices, evaluating the significance of IEQ over other factors to productivity and examining the appropriateness of the IEQ criteria in representing occupant perception of the environment. The Building in Use Studies (BUS) questionnaire was evaluated to ascertain its ability to measure the perception of occupants on their productivity and IEQ in office buildings. The findings showed that past research has not produced sufficient evidence to support the claim that IEQ increases productivity. Rather, it was observed that IEQ factors were not as significant to productivity as purported. Other factors such as social, organizational and personal factors were perceived to be more important to productivity. It was also found that the research supporting the Green IEQ criteria is insufficient in representing occupant perception of the environment let alone occupant productivity. Further observations of occupant comfort in office buildings showed that, despite a building???s compliance with IEQ criteria, occupants were not comfortable with the IEQ in these buildings. Occupants still resorted to exceptional measures to alter their working environment. This research concluded that the current methods of measuring occupant productivity are insufficient; that IEQ is not more significant to productivity than other factors; and that the IEQ criteria for building design are not good indicators of how occupants perceive the environment.

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