959 results for Doctoral, 2012

  • An Approach to Embedding ITSs into Existing Systems

    Amalathas, Sagaya Sabestinal (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) have proven their effectiveness in many domains, but very few attempts have been made to embed them with existing systems. This area of research has a lot of potential in providing life-long learning and work place training. This PhD project makes several significant contributions. This is the first attempt to embed a Constraint-Based Tutor (CBT) with an existing system, in order to investigate the benefits of providing on-the-job training. We also propose a framework for embedded ITSs, and develop DM-Tutor (Decision-Making Tutor) embedded with the MIS for palm oil. DM-Tutor is the first ITS for the domain of oil palm plantation decision making, and was developed in the ASPIRE authoring system. Our hypothesis was that DM-Tutor embedded with the MIS for palm oil would provide effective instruction and training for oil palm plantation decision making. We also wanted to investigate the role of feedback messages in helping to provide effective training.

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  • Foraging behaviour of female Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) during lactation: new insights from dietary biomarkers

    Lenky, Crystal (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Despite extensive studies on Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in McMurdo Sound since the 1960s, uncertainty still remains regarding female foraging habits during the lactation period. Based on their large body mass at the start of lactation and large relative mass loss at the end, the current hypothesis is that Weddell seals fast or feed to a neglible extent during lactation. However, this hypothesis has not been fully tested to date, as evidence for foraging is indirect and is based primarily on dive behaviour. The work presented in this thesis describes the development of a new dietary method, the biomarker method, and its application for studying the foraging behaviour of female Weddell seals during lactation. Biomarkers were used to (1) monitor the onset of feeding in individual animals, and (2) determine what prey females were feeding on using characteristic/taxon-specific biomarker patterns. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assays were developed to detect and quantify dietary biomarkers in biological samples, mainly tissues, serum and plasma. Trimethylamine N-oxide, arsenobetaine, dimethylsulfoniopropionate, homarine and glycine betaine were first measured in thirty-three prey and potential prey species of Weddell seals collected from the Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound regions of Antarctica. These same compounds were then measured in the plasma of twelve female Weddell seals over the lactation period at the Hutton Cliffs seal colony, McMurdo Sound in 2006. Time-depth recorders monitored seal dive activity over the same period. The data obtained from both NMR and LC-MS/MS assays showed that biomarkers in Antarctic species varied both in content and concentration. The compound homarine, which occurs primarily in cephalopods, is suitable for distinguishing between major food groups of known prey of Weddell seals (i.e., fishes versus cephalopods). DMSP, a compound that occurs primarily in fish common in McMurdo Sound (e.g., Trematomus bernacchii and Pagothenia borchgrevinki) but not in significant amounts in Dissostichus mawsoni or Pleuragramma antarcticum, two main prey items for Weddell seals, may also be a suitable biomarker for distinguishing between major and minor prey types. The detection of plasma TMAO, AsB and homarine indicated that 75% of Weddell seals studied fed during lactation. The presence of these three compounds indicates the seals were preying upon a combination of fish and cephalopods. Two lactating females started foraging as early as 9 to 12 days postpartum and elevated biomarker levels were concurrent with increased dive activity. The onset of foraging and dive behaviour amongst individuals was highly variable; however, the results suggests that the number of females who feed during lactation may be more prevalent and initiated at an earlier stage than previously thought. This may have implications for future reproductive success given effects of climate change on sea ice abundance and resource availability. Overall, the work presented in this thesis provides new insights into the foraging behaviour of female Weddell seals during lactation and has added to the current knowledge of the biomarker distribution within the Antarctic ecosystem.

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  • Investigation into the functional nature of Frc locus conditioning fructan levels in onion

    Revanna, Roopashree (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Frc, a major gene on chromosome 8, conditions fructan levels in onions (Allium cepa L). In order to assist genetic dissection of this locus, this study aimed to determine the factors influencing varying fructan levels in high- and low-fructan genotypes. Mapping families were developed and analysed to study the genetic architecture for the fructan trait, and to check the association of the identified variables with the Frc locus. To facilitate reliable and practicable sugar assays in onions, a newly-adapted high-throughput microplate enzymatic assay was validated in this study. The reliability of using leaf sugars as a representative of bulb sugars in a mapping population was studied. Microplate enzymatic sugar assays were carried out on a segregating onion cross to validate the use of maltases in sugar analysis, and the results obtained were validated against HPLC-PAD. Sucrose measured in microplates employing maltases as the hydrolytic enzyme was in agreement with HPLC-PAD results. Maltase enzymes specifically hydrolysed sucrose in onions, providing an alternate tool in place of expensive sugar assay kits. Use of the microplate-enzymatic assay provided a rapid, cheap and practicable method for sugar analysis in onion. Differences in carbohydrate content, sucrose metabolising enzyme activities and their expression levels were monitored in developing leaf blades and leaf bases of four high- and four low-fructan genotypes. The variation in fructan accumulation between high- and low-fructan genotypes was due to the variation in sucrose metabolism. SPS expression and activity did not vary between high- and low-fructan genotypes. Acid invertase and 1-SST showed significant variation in their activities between the two fructan groups. Post-transcriptional and translational regulation of AI and 1-SST respectively, are suggested. Mapping populations analysed for non-structural carbohydrates showed very wide segregation for fructan (80 to 600 g kg⁻¹) and other NSC content, and were well-suited for detailed genetic and physiological analysis. Single marker analysis was carried out to study the association between the combined enzyme activity (CEA; acid invertase + 1-SST) and the Frc markers. Significant association between CEA and Frc markers has suggested genes regulating acid invertases or 1-SST or both underlie Frc. Leaf blade NSC did not correlate with bulb sugars and thus cannot be used as a phenotypic marker for early selection of bulb NSC traits.

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  • The Post-LGM Evolution of Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand: Timing of Ice Retreat, the Role of Mass Wasting & Implications for Hazards

    Dykstra, Jesse Leif (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The plate-boundary Alpine Fault runs immediately offshore of the popular tourist destination of Milford Sound, which is visited by more than half a million tourists each year. Glaciers retreated from the fiord between ~24-16 ka, leaving behind a legacy of extreme topography, including some of the world's highest sea cliffs, which tower nearly 2 km above the fiord. Visitors come to view the spectacularly steep and rugged landscape, with many cruising the fiord by boat. This project utilizes surface exposure dating (TCND) of glacially modified surfaces, to gain further insight into the glacier retreat history of Milford Sound. Exposure dates from strategic locations near the entrance to the fiord indicate that the main trunk glacier had retreated about 9 km from its peak LGM position by ~18 ka. Additional TCND and calibrated Schmidt Hammer data from a range of positions within the Milford catchment provide strong evidence that the main trunk glacier receded rapidly after about 18 ka, retreating a further 16 km to a position near the present-day confluence of the Tutoko and Cleddau rivers, by ~16 ka. Available seismic reflection data suggest that post-glacial sediment infill has been strongly influenced by massive deposits of rock avalanche debris. New high-resolution bathymetric and seismic reflection data reveals the presence of at least 18 very large post-glacial rock avalanche deposits which blanket ~40% of the fiord bottom. Geomorphic mapping and field investigation reveal the presence of at least ten additional very large to giant terrestrial landslide deposits in the lower Milford catchment; radiocarbon and surface exposure dating indicate that these events occurred during the Holocene, between ~9-1 ka. Ages of six of these deposits are in agreement with published rupture dates on the southern on-shore portion of the Alpine Fault.

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  • Mathematical Modelling of Cancer Cell Population Dynamics

    Daukšte, Liene (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Mathematical models, that depict the dynamics of a cancer cell population growing out of the human body (in vitro) in unconstrained microenvironment conditions, are considered in this thesis. Cancer cells in vitro grow and divide much faster than cancer cells in the human body, therefore, the effects of various cancer treatments applied to them can be identified much faster. These cell populations, when not exposed to any cancer treatment, exhibit exponential growth that we refer to as the balanced exponential growth (BEG) state. This observation has led to several effective methods of estimating parameters that thereafter are not required to be determined experimentally. We present derivation of the age-structured model and its theoretical analysis of the existence of the solution. Furthermore, we have obtained the condition for BEG existence using the Perron- Frobenius theorem. Amathematical description of the cell-cycle control is shown for one-compartment and two-compartment populations, where a compartment refers to a cell population consisting of cells that exhibit similar kinetic properties. We have incorporated into our mathematical model the required growing/aging times in each phase of the cell cycle for the biological viability. Moreover, we have derived analytical formulae for vital parameters in cancer research, such as population doubling time, the average cell-cycle age, and the average removal age from all phases, which we argue is the average cell-cycle time of the population. An estimate of the average cell-cycle time is of a particular interest for biologists and clinicians, and for patient survival prognoses as it is considered that short cell-cycle times correlate with poor survival prognoses for patients. Applications of our mathematical model to experimental data have been shown. First, we have derived algebraic expressions to determine the population doubling time from single experimental observation as an alternative to empirically constructed growth curve. This result is applicable to various types of cancer cell lines. One option to extend this model would be to derive the cellcycle time from a single experimental measurement. Second, we have applied our mathematical model to interpret and derive dynamic-depicting parameters of five melanoma cell lines exposed to radiotherapy. The mathematical result suggests there are shortcomings in the experimental methods and provides an insight into the cancer cell population dynamics during post radiotherapy. Finally, a mathematical model depicting a theoretical cancer cell population that comprises two sub-populations with different kinetic properties is presented to describe the transition of a primary culture to a cell line cell population.

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  • Water Performance Benchmarks for New Zealand: Understanding Water Consumption in Commercial Office Buildings

    Bint, Lee Ellen (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    There is an increasing amount of literature outlining the issues underlying water shortages and restrictions to come in most regions of New Zealand. The problem is not helped by rising demands and climatic changes, as well as both a lack of measured data, and a lack of any demand-side incentives. No attempt has been made to assess how the users of commercial buildings are consuming potable water. There are no benchmarks for water performance in buildings, hindering attempts to improve water efficiency. This study investigated the water use in 93 Auckland and Wellington commercial office buildings. The data collected from both survey level water audits (on-site investigations, historic billing analysis) and full water audits (water monitoring), were used to develop market-based water performance benchmarks, and a Water Efficiency Rating Tool (WERT). This was done to understand water consumption in these buildings, and to determine the feasibility of using performance based data for the development of a water benchmarking system. The principal results were in the form of both a benchmarking index system, and the WERT. The benchmarking study found that Net Lettable Area (NLA) was the most statistically and pragmatically appropriate driver for water use. lt also found that, due to the distinct difference in tariff structures and incentives between Auckland and Wellington, different benchmarks for the two regions (Auckland 'Typical' use 0.76m³ / m² / year, and Wellington 'Typical' use 1.03m³ / m² / year) were required. The WERT calculates a building Water Use Index (WUI- m³ / m² / year) , estimates its end-use disaggregation, and provides recommendations through outlining the financial viability of implementing specific water efficiency measures. This tool utilised six design criteria to ensure target market usability: accuracy (demonstrated at ±8. 5%) ; relevance and realism; practicality; promotion of understanding and action; objectivity; and effective communication. Further recommendations included satisfying some of the many knowledge gaps present in the New Zealand water industry concerning office building water use. These included: introducing a national legislative or standard document providing guidelines on demand-side management of water; investigation into changing tariff structures to include a volumetric charge for all building types to increase individual awareness and education of water use; research into the durability of water meters; and expanding the research to include other New Zealand regions.

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  • Inter-regionalism of nation-states: Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) as a case-study

    LAI, Suetyi (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Writing a thesis is like writing a story book, this book is a story of the 17-year-old Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). It serves as a case-study of inter-regionalism, one of the newest cooperative mechanism in today’s international arena. Among a variety of cooperative frameworks, namely, multilateral global governance, effective multilateralism, regionalism, regionalisation, inter-regionalism is much less explored. This research determines how the rise of inter-regionalism influences the actors in the international arena and vice-versa. The key actors in inter-regionalism and their interaction are explored. Existing studies in the field of inter-regionalism in general and on the ASEM process in particular have been theory-led. There is a significant deficit of empirically-driven research in the field. In order to comprehensively understand inter-regionalism and the ASEM process, this research incorporates a substantial empirical focus. An unprecedented array of primary data is used. A variety of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods are employed to generate this unique and comprehensive empirical analysis of ASEM. Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates the persistent state-centrism and lack of actorness of regions and regional organisations as independent actors in the ASEM process. Nation-state remains the primary actor in inter-regionalism; yet, they turn to bilateralism when more concrete cooperation or affairs have to be handled. The proliferation of sideline meetings, although as by-product, becomes one of ASEM’s key added-value to international relations. The empirical analysis also finds that inter-regional fora like ASEM offer participants regular information and views updates and promote socialisation among government officials in the official track and among the involved individual from civil society in the unofficial track.

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  • A Cascade Analysis for the IceCube Neutrino Telescope

    Hickford, Stephanie Virginia (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    IceCube is the largest operating neutrino observatory. An array of photomultiplier tubes deployed throughout a cubic kilometre of the Antarctic ice at the South Pole detect the Cherenkov radiation from neutrino-nucleon interactions. IceCube is capable of detecting neutrinos over a large energy range. The physics manifesto includes dark matter searches, cosmic ray observation, all sky point source searches, and particle physics parameter constraints. Astrophysical neutrinos are expected to originate from hadronic interactions in some of the most energetic regions in the Universe. The detection of high energy astrophysical neutrinos will provide direct information about the astrophysical sources that produced them. This thesis concentrates on the cascade channel for neutrino detection. Two separate studies are performed; a high energy cascade analysis and a parameterisation of the production of muons within hadronic cascades. The experimental data for the cascade analysis was taken by IceCube from April 2008 to May 2009 when the first 40 IceCube strings were deployed and operational. The analysis was designed to isolate the astrophysical neutrino signal from the atmospheric and muon background. Fourteen cascade-like events were observed, on a background of 2.2 ⁺⁰·⁶ ₋₀·₈ atmospheric neutrino events and 7.7 ± 1.0 atmospheric muon events. This gives a 90% confidence level upper limit of ΦlimE²≤ 7.46 × 10⁻⁸ GeVsr⁻¹s⁻¹cm⁻² , assuming an E⁻² spectrum and a neutrino flavour ratio of 1 : 1 : 1, for the energy range 25.12 TeV to 5011.87 TeV. Decay of hadronic particles in cascades produces muons. If the muons are energetic enough they can significantly alter the topology of the cascade and hence the reconstruction of the event in an analysis. The production of high energy muons within hadronic cascades was simulated and parameterised using Pythia and GEANT simulation programs.

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  • Microseismicity in the central Southern Alps, Westland, New Zealand

    Boese, Carolin (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Present-day seismicity associated with the central Alpine Fault and the zone of active deformation and rock uplift in the central Southern Alps is reported in this thesis. Robust hypocentre locations and magnitude estimates for ~2300 earthquakes have been obtained analysing 18 months of data from the Southern Alps Microearthquake Borehole Array (SAMBA), designed for this study. The earthquakes are distributed between the Alpine Fault and the Main Divide Fault zone and confined to shallow depths (90% of events ≤12.2 km). The thickness of the seismogenic zone follows lateral variations in crustal resistivity: earthquake hypocentres are restricted to depths where resistivities exceed 390 Ω m. Rocks at greater depth are interpreted to be too hot, too fluid-saturated, or too weak to produce detectable earthquakes. A low-seismicity zone extends between the Whataroa and Wanganui rivers at distances 15–30 km southeast of the fault, which is concluded to be a relatively strong, unfractured block that diverts deformation around it. A new magnitude scale is developed incorporating the effects of frequency-dependent attenuation, which enables magnitudes to be calculated consistently for earthquakes of different sizes and frequency contents. Focal mechanism solutions for 379 earthquakes exhibit predominantly strike-slip mechanisms. Inversion of these focal mechanisms to determine the prevailing tectonic stress field reveals a maximum horizontal compressive stress direction of 115±10°, consistent with findings from elsewhere in South Island. The 60° angle between the strike of the Alpine Fault and the direction of maximum horizontal compressive stress suggests that the Alpine Fault is poorly oriented in an Andersonian sense. Earthquake swarms of at least 10 events with similar waveforms frequently occur within the region, of which some were remotely triggered by two major South Island earthquakes. Focal mechanisms of the largest event in each swarm (ML≤2.8) reveal at least one steeply-dipping nodal plane (≥50°) and one well-oriented nodal plane in the tectonic stress field. The swarms exhibit a distinctly different inter-event time versus duration pattern from that of typical mainshock-aftershock sequences. The triggered seismicity commences with the passage of the surface waves, continues for ~5 and ~2 days, and is followed by a quiescence period of approximately equal length. Remotely triggered swarms occur delayed by several hours and their delay and locations are consistent with fluid diffusion from a shallow fluid reservoir. Estimated peak dynamic stresses (≥0.09 MPa) imposed by the surface waves are comparable to observations of triggering thresholds (>0.01 MPa) elsewhere. The triggered swarms have no apparent differences from the background swarms, and appear to have been clock-advanced. Tectonic tremor in the vicinity of the Alpine Fault coincides with a low-velocity, high-attenuation zone at depth. The tremor occurs at the downdip extension of the Alpine Fault and in the region where bending of the Australian and Pacific plates is largest at depths spanning 12–49 km. Similarities with tremor occurring on the San Andreas Fault near Cholame in terms of tremor duration, depth, spatial extent and amplitude distribution, imply property variations in the lower crust and upper mantle along the strike of the Alpine Fault.

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  • Mathematical Modelling of Cancer Cell Population Dynamics

    Daukste, Liene (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Mathematical models, that depict the dynamics of a cancer cell population growing out of the human body (in vitro) in unconstrained microenvironment conditions, are considered in this thesis. Cancer cells in vitro grow and divide much faster than cancer cells in the human body, therefore, the effects of various cancer treatments applied to them can be identified much faster. These cell populations, when not exposed to any cancer treatment, exhibit exponential growth that we refer to as the balanced exponential growth (BEG) state. This observation has led to several effective methods of estimating parameters that thereafter are not required to be determined experimentally. We present derivation of the age-structured model and its theoretical analysis of the existence of the solution. Furthermore, we have obtained the condition for BEG existence using the Perron-Frobenius theorem. A mathematical description of the cell-cycle control is shown for one-compartment and two-compartment populations, where a compartment refers to a cell population consisting of cells that exhibit similar kinetic properties. We have incorporated into our mathematical model the required growing/aging times in each phase of the cell cycle for the biological viability. Moreover, we have derived analytical formulae for vital parameters in cancer research, such as population doubling time, the average cell-cycle age, and the average removal age from all phases, which we argue is the average cell-cycle time of the population. An estimate of the average cell-cycle time is of a particular interest for biologists and clinicians, and for patient survival prognoses as it is considered that short cell-cycle times correlate with poor survival prognoses for patients. Applications of our mathematical model to experimental data have been shown. First, we have derived algebraic expressions to determine the population doubling time from single experimental observation as an alternative to empirically constructed growth curve. This result is applicable to various types of cancer cell lines. One option to extend this model would be to derive the cell cycle time from a single experimental measurement. Second, we have applied our mathematical model to interpret and derive dynamic-depicting parameters of five melanoma cell lines exposed to radiotherapy. The mathematical result suggests there are shortcomings in the experimental methods and provides an insight into the cancer cell population dynamics during post radiotherapy. Finally, a mathematical model depicting a theoretical cancer cell population that comprises two sub-populations with different kinetic properties is presented to describe the transition of a primary culture to a cell line cell population.

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  • Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art, 1965 – 2007 By Means of Duchamp’s Peripheral Vision: Case Studies in a History of Reception

    Moore, Marcus T. G. (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the reception to Marcel Duchamp in New Zealand from 1965 to 2007. It takes as its subject two exceptional occasions when Duchamp’s work arrived in New Zealand and the various ways in which select New Zealand artists have responded to his work since that date. In doing so, this thesis acknowledges the shifting ideologies that underpin the reception of Duchamp which are characteristic of each decade. Thus it reads Duchamp’s reception through the conceptual and ‘linguistic turn’ in post-formalist practices in the late 1960s and 1970s; the neo-avantgarde strategies of the late 1970s and 1980s; a third-wave response to the readymade in the 1990s − which leads to an expanded notion of art as installation practice in the mid- to late 1990s. Finally, it offers a take on the readymade paradigm after post-modernism, as seen in a return to artisanal craft. This historical account of artistic practice in New Zealand is woven around two remarkable events that entailed Duchamp’s works actually coming to New Zealand, which I reconstruct for the first time. These are: Marcel Duchamp 78 Works: The Mary Sisler Collection (1904–1963), the exhibition that toured Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in 1967; and the bequest of Judge Julius Isaacs and Betty Isaacs to the National Art Gallery in 1982 which included three works by Duchamp. The first took place in the 1960s during the first wave of exhibitions that brought Duchamp to a global audience. Here I argue that, rather than a belated response, this was contemporaneous with other events, proving that New Zealand was an active participant in the initial global reception of Duchamp. The second concerns the process by which Duchamp’s works entered a public collection. Here, I offer an account that reveals the uniqueness of Duchamp’s gifting of artworks to friends, and argues for the special importance of this gift, given the scarcity of Duchamp’s work, due to his limited output. This thesis also reads Duchamp through the lens provided by New Zealand’s situation on the periphery. Thus it offers an analysis of Duchamp’s life and work that, while acknowledging his centrality in twentieth-century art, takes from his example those components of his practice deemed relevant to the situation of art and artists here in New Zealand. By this means I locate those elements of Duchamp’s life story, his work and legacy that tell us something new about how to diffuse the power of the centre. Drawing on the consequences of the processes of decentralisation that have reshaped the landscape of global culture, this account reveals new relationships between margin and centre that provide new ways to connect Duchamp with subsequent generations of New Zealand artists. The aim here is to defy the assumed separation of New Zealand from international trends, rethink our subservient ties to England, to offer a new version of a local art history that knits our artists into a global mainstream without rendering them beholden to a master narrative that derives from elsewhere.

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  • The Effects of Surrounding Vegetation, Building Construction and Human Factors on the Thermal Performance of Housing in a Tropical Environment

    Misni, Alamah (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Increasing energy consumption is having a detrimental effect on the environment. This issue combined with rising energy costs, is motivating people to reduce energy consumption. Moderating a building’s surrounding microclimate naturally through strategic landscaping has the potential to benefit the environment, save energy, save money and provide comfortable living environments. The urban heat island effect is a well documented phenomenon, which influences the climate of most of the major cities around the world. It occurs when the air temperature in densely built urban areas is higher by 2°C to 8°C compared to the temperature of the surrounding rural environment. This issue is of particular concern in tropical areas, which experience high temperatures and humidity all year round. In these areas, solar heat passes through a building’s envelope via glazed windows and the walls and roofs resulting in uncomfortable interior spaces. The increased purchasing power of the population has resulted in greater use of air-conditioners to create and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This study found that the average household uses up to 37% of their electricity consumption for cooling. Careful planning of exterior spaces can help reduce energy consumption for cooling by reducing the adverse impact of some climatic factors. Strategically placed vegetation around a building has long been recognised as a means of cooling. It can reduce temperatures and humidity through shading, evapotranspiration and wind channelling. The aim of this study was to examine and quantify the relationship between surrounding vegetation, and the thermal performance of housing in a hot-humid tropical environment. The primary objective was to determine the energy saving potential of vegetation for the tropical residence. The secondary objective was to investigate the effect of vegetation on modifying the outdoor temperature around a single-family house in a hot-humid climate. Monitoring of household electricity use in the two Malaysian cities, Shah Alam and Putrajaya, has shown that at night time, when families are at home, is when airconditioning is used the most. Building surfaces on the east and west side are most affected by the sun, gaining and storing heat throughout the day until night time, when it is released into the house as the outdoor temperatures cool. Planting the right species, size and shape of trees, shrubs, vines, groundcover, and turf in strategic positions around a garden can greatly reduce the temperature around buildings. This in turn reduces the energy used for air conditioning. This study found that strategic landscaping, which resulted in shading and encouraged evapotranspiration and wind channelling, could reduce electricity use and costs by as much as 20%. The physical characteristics of buildings including their construction, size and age, combined with their landscape designs were looked at in 50 private houses in Malaysia. Measurements were taken from several outdoor and indoor locations around the houses. The findings showed that strategic design of landscaping could reduce heat build-up in a house, by shading, evapotranspiration and wind channelling by as much as 4°C for the exterior and 3°C for the interior spaces. These results demonstrate how strategic landscaping can assist in creating a favourable microclimate in a house, which will help reduce energy consumption. Its effect can extend beyond the residential to have a positive influence on an area’s macroclimate and at a regional scale.

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  • Vocal Communication Within a Forest Bird Community

    Azar, Joseph Fawzi (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis takes a community approach to investigate the acoustics of forest birds in Zealandia sanctuary, Wellington. Initially, the annual changes in vocalisation output of 16 study species and their possible effect on bird conspicuousness were described. Environmental factors that may shape these avian vocalisations were addressed though invoking two key hypotheses, the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, and the acoustic niche hypothesis. In addition, the songs of selected species are investigated: the role of song harmonics in the native North Island saddleback, Philesturnus rufusater, and their role in ranging, change in song dialect through time and space in the introduced song thrush, Turdus philomelos, and temporal change in the song of the native grey warbler, Greygone igata. Vocal activity of the study species varied seasonally, affecting their detectability in bird counts. Some species were mostly first heard rather than seen and viceversa. The results lend support to the acoustic niche hypothesis in that vocalisations within the forest bird community appear to have evolved towards divergence, with native species’ vocalisations being more dispersed within the community acoustic space than those of the introduced species. However, all species concentrated their energy within relatively narrow frequency bands, supporting the predictions of the acoustic adaptation hypothesis. Adaptation to different transmission properties associated with different singing elevations or physiological parameters such as body weight may have an effect on shaping such bird vocalisations. Forests provide a complex acoustic space for sound transmission and a “sound window” may not be a constant property of a given forest. The study revealed that a prominent sound window persists in the lower frequency range that is less affected by habitat. Some high frequencies may have similar average attenuation values to those of low frequency, however, with greater fluctuation in attenuation. Ground effect is a further factor in determining how well different frequency ranges transmit and birds may use acoustic characteristics of their habitat to enhance their signal. Harmonics in North Island saddleback chatter song were found to play a potential role in ranging (estimating the distance of signaller), for playback songs with more relative energy within higher harmonics were evidently perceived as coming from a nearby individual. The repertoire size of the song thrush population studied in Zealandia has apparently evolved to become larger and more varied than the source population of song thrushes in the UK, with more syllables delivered with less repetition than the UK song recordings examined. Over a period of 7 years, syllables in grey warbler song have shifted to a higher frequency, but there was no difference in the temporal structure of the song. Habitat effect, competition on the acoustic signal from reintroduced birds and ambient noise level are considered as possible casual factors.

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  • Sister Are You out of Place on Top?: Indigenous Perspectives on Women in Top-Management from New Zealand and South Africa

    Ndaba, Zanele Theodorah (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the interactions between issues of race and gender as they affect top-management positions. Specifically, it asks how these issues affect access to top jobs and experiences in those positions for ethnic „minority‟ women. In response to this question, I conducted empirical research with Māori and Black indigenous women in two former British settler States, New Zealand and the Republic of South Africa. I investigated issues, lessons and strategies for indigenous women entering top-management roles. I investigated the experiences and perceptions of these women within their own historical and political contexts to interpret my findings. I drew on the management literature which theorises issues of race and gender for women in top-management positions. In the broad context of theorising the interactions of race and gender in top-management, I focused in particular on studies which developed the metaphor of the „concrete ceiling‟ to explore the issues facing ethnic „minority‟ women trying to reach top-management roles and to succeed in them. To carry out this research in a way that was culturally appropriate, I developed a combination of methodologies, which drew on Māori and African cultural protocols, as well as western paradigms. I explored the experiences of 15 Māori women (10 in the public sector and 5 in the private sector) in New Zealand, and 12 Black women in the private sector in South Africa through qualitative interviews. My findings added new perspectives to the „concrete-ceiling‟ literature, while also confirming some familiar themes. The „concrete-ceiling‟ theory focuses on barriers to accessing top positions, but, by contrast, the women in my study were actively recruited. In my findings I discuss how my participants used strategies, such as mentoring, which are familiar in the literature, from new perspectives based on their cultural and political backgrounds. The lives of the women I interviewed were part of a historical and political moment of change in both countries, where political struggles led to new opportunities for indigenous women. These changes included the post-apartheid Broad-Based Economic Programmes (BEE) in South Africa and the ratification of the Treaty of Waitangi as well as Government sponsored Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) programmes in New Zealand. The effects of these policies were that my participants were „head-hunted‟ in South Africa and „shoulder-tapped‟ in New Zealand without actively seeking new roles. My participants entered their initial top-management roles through these initiatives and they believed that they were perceived as tokens by their organisations, upon initial entry. They encountered familiar „concrete-ceiling‟ challenges based on negative stereotyping in terms of „racialised-gender‟. But in most cases my participants were able to go beyond token positions to become genuinely influential as top managers. My project contributes primarily to studies focusing on ethnic „minority‟ women in top-management. The existing literature is based mainly on studies conducted in the United States of America and Europe. These studies therefore embed historical and political contexts of issues such as slavery and migration, present in these countries. In contrast, by studying indigenous women in Settler States, my project provides different perspectives and also highlights the importance of local context for any such research.

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  • An Investigation into Organisational Learning by Public Officials Creating and Maintaining Multi-Channel Service Delivery Information Systems in the New Zealand Public Sector

    Sylvester, Allan John (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Public sector organisations in New Zealand increasingly use multi-channel service delivery strategies to achieve better, faster and cheaper services to citizens. Within these organisations, public sector officials envision, define and implement complex service delivery information systems. This study examines the organisational learning mechanisms that those officials use. This provides a deeper insight into the role that organisational learning plays in multi-channel service delivery systems definition in the context of the New Zealand Public Sector. A constructionist multiple-case study was undertaken with twenty nine officials from six public sector agencies that explores and characterises the learning mechanisms and knowledge transfer mechanisms that they use to understand and deliver services via physical and virtual channels. In addition, the research led to the development of a candidate conceptual model that integrates organisational learning, information systems and the unique organisational aspects of public sector service delivery.

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  • Habitat Structure, Resources and Natural Enemies: Their Influence on Population Fluctuations of the Kowhai Moth Uresiphita Polygonalis Maorialis (Felder)

    Mundaca, Enrique Arturo (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The importance of habitat structure has been historically discussed in terms of its influence on diversity, distribution and abundance of living organisms. In this regard, the population fluctuations of any particular species, particularly outbreaking insect species, can be expected to be profoundly influenced by the structure of the habitat. A set of ecological hypotheses, such as, the associational resistance, plant decoy, habitat heterogeneity and resource concentration have implicitly included the structure of the habitat determined by the structure (size, density, physical location) of the host plant and other surrounding plant species. Moreover, type, quality and availability of resources, in addition to the presence of other interacting organisms, e.g. competitors, predators and parasites, have also been considered determining factors in the population fluctuation of outbreaking species. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of how the outbreaks of the kowhai moth, U. polygonalis maorialis, relate to the physical structure of the habitat, the availability of resources, specific host plants and to natural enemies. In the first experimental chapter of my thesis I studied the fluctuations of the U. polygonalis maorialis larvae and their impacts on the defoliation levels of Sophora spp. plants. I carried out a survey in urban and suburban areas of Wellington city. I examined levels of defoliation of the host plants and population fluctuations in terms of a set of biotic and abiotic variables. These variables were selected in order to cover a range of measures of habitat structure, resource availability and invertebrate community. I modelled such responses to find which variables better explained the observed defoliation and larval population fluctuations. The best fitted model showed that levels of observed defoliation were explained by the structure of the vegetation surrounding the main host plant (vertical and horizontal) and the species of host plant. Population fluctuations of the kowhai moth were explained by the following predicting variables: density of natural enemies, structure of the vegetation surrounding the main host plant (vertical and horizontal), host plant size, level of habitat disturbance, type of habitat (urban/suburban) and the Sophora spp. In my second experimental chapter, I focused on the importance of availability of resources to explain observed densities of U. polygonalis maorialis and phytophagous insects. In my observational experiment I tested the resource concentration hypothesis and the natural enemies hypothesis, by studying the fluctuations of U. polygonalis maorialis larvae on individuals of Sophora microphylla plants located in gardens across Wellington city. Larval densities were found to be higher on smaller plants than large plants, whereas natural enemies did not show specific responses to plant size. In my manipulative experiment I originally aimed for the establishment of U. polygonalis maorialis in the experimental plots. Unfortunately, these were not colonised by U. polygonalis maorialis, instead I studied phytophagous insects that colonised the plots. I found no differences among the S. microphylla treatments for the levels of establishment of phytophagous invertebrates. On the contrary, the amount of nil records was high and there was an overall high variability among treatments and low rate of establishment throughout the sampling season. Nevertheless, natural enemies were found to occur more often at higher densities in plots with lower plant density in only two specific dates. Uresiphita polygonalis maorialis is the main defoliator of Sophora spp in New Zealand. In this context I studied the feeding and oviposition preferences of the moth for the three most commonly found species of Sophora plants in Wellington city. Sophora tetraptera was the preferred species chosen by the female moth. The same species was also the most palatable and preferred when confronted to S. microphylla and S. prostrata. These patterns observed in controlled conditions are coincident with observations made in the field throughout the study. Within the set of variables determined by the invertebrate community, the influence of natural enemies on an herbivorous population is one of the most important in terms of population regulation. In my last experimental chapter I found a positive correlation among the parasitism by M. pulchricornis and U. polygonalis maorialis larval densities, which opens the possibilities for future research to explore the potential existence of population regulation mechanisms between these two taxa. Overall, the results of my thesis highlight the importance of understanding the influence of the structure of the habitat, types of resources provided by plants and natural enemies in determining the fluctuations of outbreaking insect species.

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  • The Sub-Lethal and Density-Dependent Effects of an Invasive Wasp on an Endemic Ant

    Burne, Allan (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The detrimental effects of invasive species on recipient taxa are most frequently reported in terms of displacement or extinction. However, there may be other less obvious effects. For example, a reduction in resource availability mediated by a novel competitor may affect growth and development in recipient species. The cost of aggressive competitive interactions with invasives may promote niche shifts or altered spatial distribution to minimise competition, and intense predation by exotic species may result in a reduced effective population size with a concomitant reduction in genetic diversity. In this thesis I examined the sub-lethal effects of varying densities of the invasive competitor and predator Vespula vulgaris on the morphology, behaviour, population genetics and spatial distribution of the New Zealand endemic ant Prolasius advenus. The restriction of food resources can result in reduced worker size and altered scaling relationships of adult body parts in ants. Measurements of nine morphological characters from P. advenus worker ants collected from sites of varying wasp density revealed that workers were significantly smaller where there were more wasps. I also found evidence of allometric scaling relationships among body parts, which varied between areas of high and low wasp density. In particular the scaling relationships between the abdominal segments and overall size were found to be weaker where there were more wasps. This scaling variation resulted in ant workers with proportionally smaller abdomens in areas where wasps were most abundant, which might reduce their resource gathering and defensive efficiency. I tested the hypothesis that tasks performed by workers would be size correlated. In the presence of high densities of wasps, honeydew collection and brood care was undertaken by larger workers, whereas foraging in leaf litter was undertaken by smaller workers. In contrast, no relationship was found between task and worker size where wasp densities were lower. I suggest that in addition to increased efficiency in the collection of liquid carbohydrate resources larger workers may also serve a defensive role. I also tested the hypothesis that where the exclusively diurnal wasps were most abundant P. advenus workers would minimise potential competitive interactions by foraging predominantly at night. However, P. advenus were found to forage as much or more by day in the presence of high densities of wasps and to forage more nocturnally where wasps were sparse. Increasing the number of foragers by day may improve P. advenus’ competitive ability with wasps, but has the potential to come at the cost of other nest functions, energetic gains and increased worker mortality. Competitive mechanisms might influence ant population genetics, but wasps have also been shown to prey on dispersing ant queens. Analysis of microsatellite DNA markers revealed evidence of a genetic bottleneck in P. advenus populations where invasive predatory wasps have persisted at high population densities for more than twenty years. Ant populations at all wasp densities displayed significant heterozygote deficit, which may indicate that even at comparatively low densities predation by wasps has a detrimental effect on P. advenus genetic diversity. Alternatively, the observed heterozygote deficit may be the result of limited dispersal, population substructure or the peculiarities of the ant species‟ mating system. An examination of the broader population genetic structure of P. advenus from the seven sites sampled indicated that they were derived from two distinct populations. However, no individual assigned entirely to either population suggesting either some remaining admixture between the two populations or that they are derived from a common ancestral population. Finally I examined the effects of increasing wasp density, honeydew availability and habitat diversity on the distribution of P. advenus. Prolasius advenus nests tended to be smaller and populations displayed less variation in nest size where wasp densities were highest, which could indicate reduced longevity. Nest distribution was overdispersed relative to both con-and hetero-specific neighbours in high wasp density sites, but apparently randomly distributed in low wasp density sites. Both wasp and ant nest densities were greatest where honeydew was most abundant and plant diversity was lowest. These results suggest that intra- and inter-specific competition in combination with resource and nest site availability influences P. advenus nest distribution. Competition and predation by invasive species may influence recipient species‟ morphology, behaviour, genetic diversity and spatial distribution over a comparatively short period of time. These effects are much more subtle than under situations of direct predation. Such effects may not be immediately obvious in terms of abundance, but have potential long-term implications for the fitness and persistence of P. advenus in the presence of high densities of wasps.

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  • Connected Readers: Reading Practices and Communities across the British Empire, c. 1890-1930

    Liebich, Susann (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The thesis is a study of reading practices and communities across various sites of the British Empire between 1890-1930, a period marked by near universal literacy levels and affordable, mass print production. It draws on the extensive archive of Fred Barkas (1854-1932), an English-born New Zealand resident, whose reading and writing has left a uniquely rich record of reading practices over a forty-year period, and the records of other individual and group readers in Canada, Britain and Australia. As a social history of reading, the study explores how reading shaped personal relationships, fashioned individual and collective identities, and contributed to the processes of community formation, locally and across space. The remarkable depth of Barkas's records allows an examination of how a reader situated in a provincial centre on the outskirts of empire could be at the "centre" of a British reading world. Barkas's records are supplemented by library records, by the minute books and scrapbooks of the Canadian reader Margaret McMicking (1849-1944) and the Victoria Literary Society, B.C., and by the publications of the National and the Australasian Home Reading Union, active in the British Empire between 1889 and 1930. Like Barkas, McMicking and members of the Home Reading movement participated in a social world of reading that was simultaneously defined by local specifics and by imperial connections. The study considers reading within a variety of spaces, times and social environments. The discussion leads from an exploration of local reading networks in Timaru which connected in a number of spaces, to a particular place of reading: the Timaru Public Library. Reading, and writing about reading, was central to Fred Barkas‘s relationship with his daughter Mary. Mary lived in England for most of her adult life from 1913; the lengthy and detailed correspondence between Fred and Mary provides a basis for the exploration of reading in a family intimacy spanning space and time. Group reading cultures are discussed through Barkas's involvement with several reading and discussion groups in Timaru, and McMicking's membership in the Victoria Literary Society in British Columbia. These local reading groups were embedded in existing associational cultures and constituted important spaces for sociability within prevailing notions about class and gender. The empire-wide Home Reading movement addressed concerns about the right kind of reading, stressing in particular the importance of reading in circles. The Union extended the debate about reading to notions of citizenship of nation and empire, a responsibility especially emphasized during World War One. During the war, civilians in different sites across the empire used their reading for information as well as escape, and reading turned into a mechanism to cope with heightened anxiety. A diversity of reading practices is evident across these spaces and included reading that was variously entertaining, recreational, productive, instructive, informative, social and solitary. Connections to other readers influenced the choice of reading material and reading practice. Reading alone and silently, reading out loud at group meetings or with friends, taking notes, reflecting on reading in writing, re-reading texts, and discussing one's reading in writing or talk with others all contributed to reading cultures that were highly social. The thesis argues that in order to understand the place of reading in specific localities and in the wider British Empire in this period, we need to train our gaze simultaneously on the local and on the imperial, and move beneath and beyond national histories of reading. The readers in this study connected to places outside their local communities, and to a larger reading world not only through what they read but how they read. Recent scholarship on the new imperialism has emphasized the notion of the British Empire as a "web" – a set of networks facilitating the flow of people, goods and ideas across the empire. Print and other forms of the written word formed an important part of this movement and exchange. Reading material and suggestions for reading flowed back and forth, books were bought and shipped as commercial goods, were sent as gifts in private mail, or lent to other readers within existing networks. Across the lines of connections, discussion about reading flowed profusely in newspapers, journals, NHRU magazines and letters. This study offers insights into the ways in which reading and reading practices operated across the webs of empire.

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  • Effectiveness of the Beneficial Ownership Test in Conduit Company Cases

    Jain, Saurabh (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Countries enter into double tax agreements with the economic objective of preventing double taxation of cross-border transactions. To achieve this objective, the contracting states agree reciprocally to restrict their substantive tax law. That is, a major policy of double tax agreements is to reduce double taxation of residents of states that are parties to the agreement. Residents of third states sometimes contrive to obtain treaty benefits typically by interposing a person or a conduit entity in one of the contracting states. In order to ensure that a resident of a contracting state who claims treaty benefits is entitled to them in substance, double tax agreements should be interpreted according to their substantive economic effect. Generally, double tax agreements follow the pattern of the OECD Model Tax Convention. The OECD Model Convention addresses the double taxation of dividends, interest and royalties, commonly collectively known as "passive income", in Articles 10, 11 and 12 respectively. These provisions usually operate by reducing withholding tax imposed by a source state on passive income that flows from the source state to a resident state. In order to prevent a resident of a third state from obtaining a source state withholding tax reduction by interposing a person or a conduit entity in the resident state, the OECD Model Convention requires the immediate recipient of passive income to be the "beneficial owner" of that income. That is, the OECD Model Convention requires the immediate recipient to be an owner in a substantive economic sense. Courts and commentators have difficulty in interpreting and applying the concept of beneficial ownership to conduit entities that are corporations, commonly referred to as "conduit companies". They have attributed the cause of the difficulty to the absence of a definition of the term "beneficial owner" in the OECD Model Convention. This thesis argues that the difficulty in applying the beneficial ownership concept to conduit companies has arisen not because of the absence of the meaning of the concept, but because logically and from an economic perspective the concept cannot be applied to companies in general, not to conduit companies in particular. The beneficial ownership test was meant to be a test of economic substance. From an economic perspective, the benefit or the burden of a contract entered by a company is economically enjoyed or borne by its shareholders. That is, in substance a company cannot be considered as owning income beneficially. From this consideration, it follows that conduit companies can never be considered entitled to treaty benefits. Nevertheless, the OECD Model Convention applies the beneficial ownership test to conduit companies pursuant to an assumption that at least in some cases conduit companies can be the beneficial owners of passive income. The Model Convention's assumption is based on the legal perspective that courts conventionally adopt. According to this legal perspective, companies hold income beneficially because they exist as separate legal entities from their shareholders. Courts find themselves battling these opposing perspectives when applying the beneficial ownership test to conduit companies. In order to make income tax law work efficiently, courts that are obliged to determine whether to honour claims to treaty benefits made by conduit companies have preferred to employ the legal perspective. Courts have justified this approach by adopting surrogate tests for the actual beneficial ownership test. Most of the surrogate tests do not relate to the concept of ownership at all. This thesis categorises the surrogate tests as "substantive business activity" and "dominion". By analysing reported cases, the thesis identifies deficiencies in these tests. One of the proposed outcomes of the thesis is to suggest an alternative approach for deciding conduit company cases. The thesis suggests that courts should consider an arrangement as a whole and investigate reasons for the existence of an immediate recipient of passive income in the specific corporate structure. The thesis also recommends amendments in the official commentary on Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the OECD Model convention in order to address the conceptual shortcomings inherent in those Articles.

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  • Children and Young People's Developing Concept of Perceived Value

    Williams, Janine (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines value perception as part of the decision to purchase, from the perspective of the child consumer. To date no academic research has defined the concept of value perception from a child‟s perspective. On the basis of a two stage qualitative investigation with children aged eight to fourteen years, value for children was found to be an important concept in consumer decisions. Even from the age of eight years, evidence emerged that children were quite „canny‟ in their purchasing. While value was found to be comprised of benefits and costs of purchase for children from this young age, the nature of these factors and the way they contributed to value perception varied considerably as they grew older. Six distinct dimensions emerged from diaries and a series of in-depth interviews with children. The benefits which were identified were functional value, emotional value, social value and curiosity/novelty value while the costs included both price and risk related factors. The way in which the dimensions were considered was found to vary with age, changing from separate consideration of benefits and costs to a more adult like trade-off between the two. The emotional value of products was consistently important for children of all ages, sensory response in particular. Several concepts were found to become increasingly complex. Conceptual understanding of quality emerged as children grew older. Branding was found to be central to children‟s value perceptions despite limited conceptual understanding for very young consumers and the way price was considered changed markedly with age and experience. A conceptual model defining perceived value from a child‟s perspective is detailed and a series of propositions relating important conditions to perceived value are advanced. A discussion of the findings as they relate to the extant literature is provided along with directions for future research, building on the results of this work. Finally, a discussion of the implications of this work for the field of Marketing is presented.

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