1,033 results for Doctoral, 2014

  • Education and the boarding school novel : examining the work of José Régio

    Santos, Filipe D. Saavedra (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis is centred on the work of Portuguese writer José Régio (1901-1969). He was a teacher-writer and, arguably, the most philosophical of Portuguese school novel authors. In his novel ‘A Drop of Blood’ (1945), Régio shows interest in the formation of the artist as the special object of education – the ‘marked man’ –, whose sensitivity distances him irremediably from the crowd. He adopted the radical individualism of Nietzsche not in order to be ‘for’ or ‘against’ this or that schooling model but to exemplify the perpetual clash, inherent in mankind, between the individual and the group, the artist and the non-artistic person, the young and the adult, the son and the father and the self and the world. Published Proquest ebook version: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/canterbury/detail.action?docID=4799556 (UC Staff and Student use only)

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  • A spatial analysis of dengue fever and an analysis of dengue control strategies in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia

    Alkhaldy, Ibrahim (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Dengue fever poses a constant serious risk and continues to be a major public health threat in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the city of Jeddah where, since 2006, despite formally introduced Control Strategies, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases. International literature suggests that a range of variables can influence the persistence of dengue, including climatic conditions, the quality of the urban environment, socioeconomic status and control strategies. The overall aims of this research are to understand neighbourhood influences on the pattern of dengue fever across Jeddah City and to make a preliminary determination of the enabling factors for, and barriers to, the effective implementation of the Control Strategies for dengue fever in Jeddah City. A mixed methods research design using quantitative and qualitative data was used. Quantitative data were obtained from administrative sources for dengue fever cases and some of the spatial and temporal variables associated with them, but new variables were created for neighbourhood status and the presence of surface water. Qualitative data are drawn from key informant interviews with 15 people who were, or who had been, working on dengue fever Control Strategies. A qualitative descriptive analysis was based on pre- determined and emergent themes. The spatial and temporal analysis of the variables related to dengue fever in Jeddah City neighbourhoods revealed that neighbourhood status has a direct relationship with dengue fever cases, which is mediated through population density and the presence of non- Saudi immigrants. While there was no relationship with the presence of swamps, seasonal variations in the incidence of dengue were most pronounced in neighbourhoods of low socioeconomic status. The qualitative review of dengue Control Strategies indicated five themes: (1) workforce characteristics and capability, (2) knowledge about dengue fever in Saudi Arabia and Jeddah City, (3) operational strategies for dengue fever control in Jeddah City, (4) the progress of implementation, and (5) overall view of the Government strategies in Jeddah City. This analysis found that the Strategies were well regarded but that aspects of implementation were not always effective. Nevertheless, both quantitative and qualitative results showed the persistence dengue fever problems in Jeddah City neighbourhoods and suggested how cases might be controlled. The number of dengue fever cases in Jeddah City neighbourhoods could continue to rise if the direct and indirect variables affecting dengue fever at the neighbourhood level are not well controlled. Careful attention to the further monitoring of patterns of dengue and specific neighbourhood Control Strategies are recommended, and established Control Strategies need to be implemented as designed. Nonetheless, there is still a need to develop new approaches that can examine and address neighbourhood level issues of dengue fever control.

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  • Predation risk and the evolution of odours in island birds

    Thierry, Aude (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    It is only recently that studies have explored the use of olfaction in birds. Birds are now known to use odour cues for navigation, and locating food. Odours produced by the birds themselves can also function in nest recognition and even mate choice. The odours of most birds stem from the preen wax produced by the uropygial or preen gland. The wax is comprised of a complex mixture of esters and volatiles, and is known to vary in some species with age, sex, season, or environmental conditions. Its function has been associated with feather maintenance, but it may also play a role in sexual selection and chemical communication. In this thesis, I used the preen gland and its preen wax to perform comparative studies on the evolution of odours between island birds and their continental relatives. I used the birds of the Oceania region as a model system, where most passerines originated from continental Australia but have colonised numerous surrounding islands such as New Zealand and New Caledonia. As islands generally lack mammalian predators, and have less parasites and less interspecific competition than continents, these differences in environmental conditions likely shaped functional differences in the preen gland and its products. I measured the size of the preen gland and collected preen wax from a variety of forest passerines in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. I found that island birds have larger preen glands and therefore likely produce more preen wax than their continental relatives. I also found that the preen wax composition differed among species, with a shift to birds on islands producing disproportionately lighter and more volatile compounds. I suggest that selection favoured the gain of more volatile molecules in island birds as they were released from the constraint to camouflage their odours that is imposed by mammalian predators on continental areas. It is possible that this also allowed greater communication through olfactory channels in island birds, and such communication is enhanced through the use of more volatile compounds. To support this hypothesis I showed that the South Island robin (Petroica australis) was able to detect and react to the odour of a conspecific (odours produced by preen wax) in the absence of any visual cues. From a conservation perspective, increased volatility of the preen waxes of island birds might place them at increased risk from introduced mammalian predators that use olfaction to locate their prey. However, in both laboratory tests using Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), a common exotic predator, and in field trials using rodent tracking tunnels, I found only limited evidence to suggest the odour of island birds places them at greater risk, and more experiments are needed to test this hypothesis. Finally, my findings of more conspicuous odours in island birds suggest new avenues of research for their conservation, including whether island species that seem especially prone to predation have preen waxes (and thus odours) that are also especially attractive to exotic mammalian predators. Conservation programmes to protect endangered island birds may even benefit from considering whether olfactory cues can be minimised as a method of reducing predation risk.

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  • New Zealand learning environments: The role of design and the design process

    Alsaif, Fatimah Mohammed (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Learning environments are important spaces because these are where primary school children spend many hours. These environments can vary from single cell classrooms to modern open plan learning studios. As the design of these learning environments can affect the learning outcomes of students, their design and the design process behind them are important fields of investigation. Involving the users of learning environments in the design process is an important factor to be considered. Studies overseas stress the importance of involving teachers and students in the design process of learning environments. However, studies about learning environments in New Zealand show less consideration for the internal layout of classrooms and the involvement of users in their design process. Thus, this thesis studies and compares the design process behind learning environments in New Zealand with those overseas and the effect of this involvement on the design of primary school internal learning spaces, specifically classrooms. The aim of this thesis is create an understanding of the design process behind primary school classroom learning environments in New Zealand. To achieve the aim, this thesis undertakes five phases of study. The first phase is surveying primary school teachers and architects who design educational spaces, about the design and design process of learning environments in New Zealand. The survey results show that both teachers and architects support participatory design in schools and wish for more student user involvement. The second phase is a trial using social media to encourage more teacher and student participation in designing learning environments. Wordpress and Facebook groups were used for this experiment and teachers and students of primary schools in New Zealand were invited to participate. The trial result appears to indicate that social media does not work in encouraging students and teachers in thinking about the design of learning environments in general without having a specific project as a focus. The third phase is a workshop gathering five teachers and one architect to discuss the detail of the design process behind learning environments in New Zealand. The workshop result suggests that again participants support participatory design but suggest the need for guidance on how to do this, possibly from the Ministry of Education. The fourth phase is a case study of the early stages of a re‐build project for Thorndon Primary School in Wellington city. The case study included interviews, focus groups, observations, and collecting documentation. The main conclusion from the case study is that all parties to the project were in support of participatory design but would have benefitted from guidance as the whole design process and user involvement in it is unclear. The last phase is also case studies but here the focus is on the design process for rearranging the internal layout of two classrooms in two primary schools in Wellington city. The case studies covered observing the involvement of students in the design process, some classroom and brainstorming sessions, and interviews with teachers. The main result of this phase is the observation that students enjoy working on the design of their own environments and that they are able and ready to work as part of such a design process. The key conclusions of this thesis are that all parties involved in this research supported user participation in the design process, but in all the cases investigated there is almost no proper participatory design; students enjoy designing their learning environments and that enjoyment makes them belong and connect to these more; and proper preliminary guidelines for participatory design in learning environments could improve and encourage user involvement in designing learning environments in New Zealand.

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  • The Potential for Augmented Reality to Bring Balance betweenthe Ease of Pedestrian Navigation and the Acquisition of Spatial Knowledge

    Wen, James (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Being completely lost in an unfamiliar environment can be inconvenient, stressful and, at times, even dangerous. Maps are the traditional tools used for guidance but many people find maps difficult to use. In recent years, new tools like outdoor Augmented Reality (AR) have become available which allow virtual navigation cues to be directly overlaid on the real world, potentially overcoming the limitations of maps. However, it has been hypothesized that lower effort invested in processing navigation guidance may lead to diminished spatial knowledge (SK) thereby making users of such navigation tools far more vulnerable to getting lost should the tools fail for any reason. This thesis explores the research question of how AR and maps compare as tools for pedestrian navigation guidance as well as for SK acquisition and if there is a potential for AR tools be developed that would balance the two. We present a series of studies to better understand the consequences of using AR in a pedestrian navigation tool. The first two studies compared time-on-task performance and user preferences for AR and Map navigation interfaces on an outdoor navigation task. The results were not aligned with expectations, which led us to build a controlled testing environment for comparing AR and map navigation. Using this simulated setting, our third study verified the assumption that AR can indeed result in more efficient navigation performance and it supported the hypothesis that this would come at the cost of weaker SK. In our fourth study, we used a dual task design to compare the relative cognitive resources required by map and AR interfaces. The quantitative data collected indicated that users could potentially accept additional workload designed to improve SK without incurring significantly more effort. Our fifth and final study explored an interface with additional AR cues that could potentially balance navigation guidance with SK acquisition. The contributions of this thesis include insights into performance issues relating to AR, a classification of user types based on navigation tool usage behavior, a testbed for simulating perfect AR tracking in a virtual setting, objective measures for determining route knowledge, the capacity that pedestrian navigation tool users may have for performing additional tasks, and guidelines that would be helpful in the design of pedestrian navigation tools.

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  • Restricted Verb Phrase Collocations in Standard and Learner Malaysian English

    Abd Halim, Hasliza (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The English used in Malaysia is one of the varieties of New Englishes and this variety has emerged due to the spread of English around the world (Platt, et al., 1983; Pillai, 2006). In the case of Malaysia, Malay is the national language and standard English exists to be the language of an elite (Bao, 2006), also as a language of interaction. Over years of playing its various roles as a language of interaction, there has emerged a variety of English that is distinctively Malaysian (Asmah, 1992). Baskaran (2002) points out that English is now adopted and adapted in the linguistic ecology of Malaysia, and all Malaysians should be proud of it with all its local ‘nuances and innuendos’. Malaysian English today is ‘a rich tapestry of a typical transplanted variety of English’. Malaysian English (ME) is one of the new varieties of English, with some distinct features include the localized vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar as well as pragmatic features (Pillai, 2006; Pillai and Fauziah, 2006, p.39). The present study has embarked on a specialised study of vocabulary. In particular, it examined the English collocations produced by non-native speaker English users in Malaysia. The study provided insight into the nature of the internal norms of English used in Malaysia to see how these English restricted collocations being used by this group of learners. The investigation focused on the learners’ productive knowledge of Verb-Noun collocations of their written English with the impact of exposure and frequency. Nesselhauf (2003) has the opinion that verb-noun combinations are the most frequently mistaken so they should perceive particular attention of learners. Investigating collocation in English language learning is paramount as such study may inform us on the use of restricted collocations in English language teaching and learning in Malaysian context. The findings in Chapter 4 and 5 suggest that the frequency of the cloze verb does have an effect as predicted by Kuiper, Columbus and Schmitt (2009). This is so because frequency is a measure of likely exposure. The more frequent an item is in corpora, the more likely a learner is to be exposed to it. What is needed is a much more nuanced notion of exposure. The findings in Chapter 6 proves that the malformed collocations make sense could be a way of making the World English perspective relevant after all. A new testing approach is proposed; semantic plausibility metric, which is used as a tool for this study, can be useful used as a measure of vocabulary acquisition as well as looking at learners’ test taking strategies. The findings of the present research on Malaysian English collocations contribute new knowledge to the existing understanding and literature on the acquisition of collocations.

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  • Screening for Antisocial Development

    Tyler-Merrick, Gaye Margaret (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Teachers report that there are an increased number of students engaging in persistent antisocial behaviour in their classrooms. Teachers need to identify these students early because if there is early identification then there is the potential for early intervention, which in turn may prevent negative long-term outcomes for these students as well as long-term costs to society. The aims of this study were (1) develop a psychometrically sound, cost effective, three-step multiple gating behaviour screening procedure that teachers could use in their kindergarten/classroom so that they could identify those students at-risk of antisocial development, (2) examine if the third gate of this procedure was necessary for the accurate identification of these students, and (3) could such a screening procedure be adapted for classroom teacher use in New Zealand kindergartens and schools. Forty eight teachers from three kindergartens and 10 primary/intermediate schools volunteered for the study, of which 34 teachers completed all three gates of the screening procedure. Results indicate the three gate screening procedure was easily adapted for kindergarten and classroom use with, at Gate 3, teachers’ self-recording 30 direct observations of a nominated and control student during their normal teaching lesson with good accuracy. All three gates were effective in identifying those students at-risk of antisocial development but Gates 1 and 2 were the most effective in terms of accuracy, time and resourcing. The teachers found the three gate procedure manageable, required very little training and did not interrupt classroom routine or schedules. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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  • International Student Mobility and Internationalisation of Universities - The role of serendipity, risk and uncertainty in student mobility and the development of cosmopolitan mind-sets through knowledge and intercultural competence. Employability, students’ future mobility aspirations and the EU’s support of international student mobility

    Weibl, Gabriel (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The background to this study lies in the discrepancy between the perceptions of international student mobility in the context of the internationalisation of higher education by the EU and universities on one hand and international students themselves in terms of their motivations to study abroad on the other hand. This is a comparative study based on three main case studies, of six universities in New Zealand, Oxford University in the UK and the Charles University in the Czech Republic. It explores the students’ experiences abroad in terms of their intercultural competence, the shaping of identities, the acquisition and transfer of knowledge, the possible forming of cosmopolitan mind-sets and empathy, perceptions of employability and their future mobility aspirations. This thesis also considers the barriers and ‘push and pull’ factors of mobility, perceptions of risk and uncertainty in regards to mobility and the role of serendipity in student mobility, which has been overlooked in the literature on mobility and migration. The theoretical framework of the study builds on social capital theory, Europeanisation and the ‘do-it-yourself biography’ theory. The nature of this topic, however, suggested the employment of the concepts of globalisation, transnationalism and consideration of other forms of capital, such as the total human capital, mobility capital and transnational identity capital. This is predominantly a qualitative, mixed-method and longitudinal research project, which uses surveys, case studies, interviews and the data collecting tool called grounded theory. It triangulates data to support and enhance the analytical validity of the thesis. This research concludes that student experiences abroad as well as the internationalisation efforts of universities and the EU would benefit from the introduction of education for global citizenship, which should focus on the intercultural competencies of students. The thesis suggests sociocultural elements for example the cosmopolitan mind-set can enhance the economic, academic and political rationales of internationalisation, such as employability.

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  • Luck egalitarianism and educational equality.

    Calvert, John Sinclair (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

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

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  • Characterisation of Novel Nitric Oxide and Carbon Monoxide Donors

    Kumari, Sweta (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Nitrogen monoxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) are small messenger molecules which play multiple roles in mammalian physiology. Currently, available NO and CO donor drugs are limited in therapeutic potential due to a lack of organ or tissue specificity and stability. These limitations have stimulated great interest in the development of compounds that can generate NO and CO in a controlled and sustained manner with minimal toxicity. Two new therapeutic agents are under development at the University of Otago, New Zealand, tDodSNO, a photoactivated NO donor and CO-13, an organic based CO donor. This thesis examines some of their pharmacological characteristics trialing as cardiovascular and anticancer therapeutics. Our data demonstrate that photosensitive tDodSNO had a half life of > 4 h under photoactivation (25 W/m2) and was highly stable in vitro in the absence of photoactivation (0 W/m2). The NO release kinetics of tDodSNO was then compared to other commonly studied SNT’s, GSNO and SNAP. We found a steady state concentration of 8 ± 2 μM NO was achieved under photoactivation (300 W/m2) of 100 μM tDodSNO which could be regulated by modulating intensity of photostimulus. The CO release kinetics of CO-13 was also investigated and we found that CO-13 was a slow releasing CO donor compared to commonly studied metal based CO donor (CORM-2). To test the efficacy as vasorelaxing agent, vasorelaxation on vascular smooth muscle tissue was investigated. There was an 8 fold decrease in EC50 value of tDodSNO upon photoactivation. In contrast, both GSNO and SNAP induced NO dependent vasorelaxation, at lower concentrations than tDodSNO, but this activity may be due to their rapid metabolic decomposition, and could not be modulated by photoactivation. Similar to tDodSNO, CO-13 was found to be a potent vasorelaxing agent compared to CORM-2. We also evaluated the cytotoxicity of tDodSNO and CO-13 on A549 lung cancer cell line. Our data with tDodSNO revealed that the photoactivation (25 W/m2) induced highly significant increases in cytotoxicity compared to nonphotoactivation. A time and concentration dependent decrease in cell viability was observed with CO-13, which was substantially different compared to its CO depleted form BP-13. In conclusion, our study suggests that photosensitive tDodSNO and CO-13 have the potential to be promising novel cardiovascular and anticancer therapeutic agents.

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  • One dose of Architecture, taken daily: Building for Mental Health in New Zealand

    McLaughlan, Rebecca (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Thousands of New Zealanders were treated in the nation’s mental hospitals in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Existing research has examined this history of institutionalisation from the perspectives of policy, psychiatric medicine and nursing culture, but to date little has been written about the built fabric of this type of institutional care. This dissertation asks what does the architectural approach taken to Seacliff Asylum (1878-84), Kingseat Hospital (1927-40) and Cherry Farm Hospital (1943-71) indicate about official attitudes to mental illness in New Zealand. Architecture was thought to be capable of performing a curative role in the treatment of mental illness; the administrators of New Zealand’s mental hospitals stated this belief publically in various press releases and reports to the government between 1878 and 1957. This dissertation examines Seacliff, Kingseat and Cherry Farm against current thought regarding the treatment of mental illness and against best architectural practice in mental hospital design. While these three institutions were the jewels in the crown of New Zealand’s mental hospital network, only Kingseat could be considered an exemplary hospital of its time. The compromises that occurred in the construction of Seacliff, Kingseat and Cherry Farm hospitals indicate that meeting the needs of the mentally ill was only one of a number of agendas that were addressed by the officials involved in the design of these institutions. Many of these agendas were peripheral to the delivery of mental health care, such as the political desire for colonial propaganda and professional concerns of marginalisation, and conflicted with the attainment of ideal environments for the treatment of mental illness. The needs of the mentally ill were a low priority for successive New Zealand governments who exhibited a reluctance to spend taxpayer funds on patients who were not considered curable. The architects and medical advisors involved in the design of these facilities did attempt to meet the needs of these patients; however, they were limited by a design and procurement process that elevated political and operational concerns over the curative potential of these hospitals. This dissertation also examines the role of individuals in the design of these institutions. Architect Robert Lawson was reproached for deficiencies in the curative potential of Seacliff Asylum. Similarly, medical administrator Theodore Gray has received criticism for limiting the development of New Zealand’s wider network of mental hospital care. This dissertation establishes that Lawson and Gray deserve greater recognition for their relative contributions to the architecture created, within New Zealand, for the treatment of mental illness.

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  • Designing accurate and effective means for marine ecosystem monitoring incorporating species distribution assessments

    Jones, Timothy (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Monitoring marine ecosystems is essential for the conservation and management of marine biodiversity as it is central to the development of sustainable management practices and for assessing the effectiveness of the increasing number of marine reserves (MR) globally. Monitoring data are often collected in MRs to assess the state of natural marine systems in the absence of anthropogenic disturbance or to assess recovery of previously impacted species. In recent years, MR designation has attempted to move away from ad hoc approaches to MR establishment and towards using existing species distribution and abundance data to define protected areas. Given the logistics and cost of collecting biological data in the marine environment, effective methods are required to successfully demonstrate changes associated with MRs and to identify the spatial distribution of organisms and habitats for the planning of further MRs. The aim of this thesis was to identify effective protocols for the monitoring of fish and invertebrate species inside MRs in New Zealand, and to develop and apply methodologies to identify spatial distribution patterns relevant to marine spatial planning. Using baseline data of fish and invertebrate species abundances for the Taputeranga MR I performed prospective power analyses to identify the most cost-effective monitoring approach for subsequent monitoring. Based on before-after-control-impact (BACI) tests the power to conclude statistically that abundances were higher at MR sites was low for even large simulated changes in abundance (two-fold or four-fold increases) for most species. Due to differences in baseline abundance and spatio-temporal variance terms, power varied considerably among species, highlighting the difficulty of monitoring all species to the same degree, whilst also remaining cost-effective. Furthermore, the results highlight the need for temporally replicated survey designs as “one-off” surveys had much lower power than those that were temporally replicated. Longer term monitoring effectiveness was analysed using three long-term datasets from MRs in the South Island of New Zealand. I analysed the power of alternate underwater visual census (UVC) monitoring configurations to conclude statistically that there were increasing/decreasing trends in abundance, as well as the precision and accuracy of trend estimates. Overall even the highest replication designs considered had low power (< 80%) to conclude there was a non-zero trend even when simulated data represented trends equivalent to the population doubling or halving over ten years. The most cost-effective monitoring design varied among species and MRs, further highlighting that monitoring choices need to be location- and species-specific. A general finding, however, was that increasing the number of sites was almost always more beneficial than increasing the number of transects per site. Based on these results, I recommend that monitoring design planning focuses more specifically on assessments of precision and accuracy of estimated parameters, with less focus on power, as this places greater emphasis on interpreting monitoring data in terms of potential biological significance rather than testing for statistical significance. Monitoring can never achieve complete coverage of large areas therefore methods for extrapolating or predicting species or habitats to un-surveyed locations are necessary for evaluating large-scale spatial distributions. To address this I used modelling techniques to identify the spatial variation in species and habitats along the Wellington south coast, with a particular focus on elucidating the potential and realised effects of wave exposure. A wave simulation model (SWAN) was used to identify the spatial variation in wave exposure relevant to intertidal and subtidal communities. In particular the spatial variation in wave forces was compared to the distribution of two subtidal macroalgal species, Macrocystis pyrifera and Ecklonia radiata, taking into consideration the biomechanical thresholds of damage for these plants. Despite considerable wave forces during winter storms, healthy E. radiata is unlikely to be damaged, whilst larger (>15 m stipe length) M. pyrifera plants are likely to be damaged in certain locations dependent on local sheltering effects. Furthermore, the distribution of M. pyrifera from aerial imagery coincided with areas that were predicted to have lower wave forces, suggesting that the distribution of M. pyrifera may be related to wave exposure. I subsequently constructed species distribution models revealing the relationship between intertidal species distributions and environmental factors, as a predictive baseline of the current distributions of species. The abundances of Chamaesipho barnacle species were found to be best described by wave exposure, with increased cover correlated with increasing wave exposure, while contrasting patterns were observed for C. brunnea and C. columna with respect to distance from the harbour entrance, suggesting differential larval supply or differential responses to changing water column characteristics. Macroalgal assemblage composition was explained predominantly by wave exposure, with a rich macroalgal assemblage at the less exposed locations, and more exposed locations exhibiting a community consisting of coralline algal species and the large brown alga Durvillaea antarctica. The predictive models were then used to predict species distributions for a section of coastline demonstrating how this form of modelling can be used to maximise the potential of monitoring data. Finally, a literature keyword search along with methodological developments and results from previous chapters are used in the final chapter to develop a framework for the collection of data from the planning phase all the way through to long-term monitoring of MRs.

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  • Feature Extraction in Edge Detection using Genetic Programming

    Fu, Wenlong (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Edge detection is important in image processing. Extracting edge features is the main and necessary process in edge detection. Since features in edge detection are implicit, most of the existing edge features only work well on specific images. Using a moving window has a trade-off between noise rejection and localisation accuracy. Genetic Programming (GP) has been widely applied to image processing, and GP has potential for extracting edge features, although there is little work in GP for edge detection. The overall goal of this thesis is to investigate GP for automatic edge feature extraction using different amounts of existing knowledge from only using raw pixel intensities and ground truth to more advanced domain knowledge such as Gaussian filters. First of all, this thesis conducts an investigation on fundamental low-level edge detector construction with very little prior edge knowledge. Search operators based on a single raw pixel, a block of pixels, and two blocks of pixels are proposed to construct edge detectors. Unlike most existing methods, this GP system automatically searches neighbours and avoids manually predefining a window size. The results show that the evolved edge detectors outperform some existing edge detectors, such as the Sobel edge detector. Secondly, from the pixel and image views, localisation of detected edges, and observations of GP programs, new fitness functions are suggested in this thesis. It is found that the pixel view is better than the image view to design fitness functions without allowing a distance from predictions to ground truth. However, in terms of edge localisation, the pixel view is worse than the image view to design fitness functions. A new fitness function combining detection accuracy and localisation effectively improves the performance of evolved edge detectors. When utilising observations of GP programs to construct soft edge maps, two new fitness functions including a restriction on the range of observations are proposed to evolve edge detectors with good soft edge maps on test images. Thirdly, pixels implicitly selected by the GP system based on full images are analysed. A set of pixels are extracted from the evolved programs and used to construct edge filters. A merge operation is proposed to extract six pixels to construct second-order edge filters. The results show that a rich but compact set of pixels can be extracted from the evolved edge detectors. Fourthly, GP is utilised to evolve edge detectors based on the Gaussian-based technique. These GP evolved edge detectors are significantly better than the Gaussian gradient and the surround suppression technique. An efficient and effective sampling technique is proposed for evolving Gaussian-based edge detectors. From the results, there are no significant differences between the Gaussian-based edge detectors evolved by a full set of images and by the sampling technique on the training set. Fifthly, GP is employed to construct features using an existing set of basic features. The distribution of observations of GP programs is estimated. Evolved composite features are proposed using known distribution models to indicate the probability of pixels being discriminated as edge points. It is found that the composite features effectively combine advantages of basic features and can richly indicate edge responses. Finally, a Bayesian-based GP system is proposed to construct high-level edge features via employing two general algebraic operators and a function developed from a simple Bayesian model. The simple Bayesian model utilises a general multivariate normal density to combine basic features. Experiments show that the GP evolved programs perform better than the simple Bayesian model to obtain composite features. Overall, this thesis shows that GP has the capability to effectively extract edge features using different degrees of prior knowledge about edges.

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  • Families and the 1951 New Zealand waterfront lockout

    Millar, Grace (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    From February to July 1951, 8,000 New Zealand watersider workers were locked-out and 7,000 miners, seamen and freezing workers went on strike in support. These workers and those who were dependent on their income, had to survive without wages for five months. The dispute was a family event as well as an industrial event. The men were fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, and their lack of wages affected the family that they lived with and their wider kin networks. The thesis examines families in order to write a gendered social history of the 1951 waterfront dispute. The discussion starts by exploring the relationship between waterfront work and watersiders' families before the lockout. Then it turns to examine the material support that families received and the survival strategies used during the dispute. It examines the decisions union branches made about relief and other activities through the lens of gender and explores the implications of those decisions for family members. The subsequent chapters examine the dispute's end and long-term costs on families. The study draws on a mixture of union material, state archives and oral sources. The defeat of the union has meant that union material has largely survived in personal collections, but the state's active involvement in the dispute generated significant records. The oral history of 1951 is rich; this thesis draws on over fifty existing oral history interviews with people involved in the dispute, and twenty interviews completed for this project. The thesis both complicates and confirms existing understandings of 1950s New Zealand. It complicates the idea of a prosperous conformist society, while confirming and deepening our understanding of the role of the family and gender relationships in the period. It argues that union branches put considerable effort into maintaining the gender order during the dispute and set up relief as a simulacrum of the breadwinner wage. Centring workers' families opens the dispute outwards to the communities they were part of. Compared to previous historical accounts, the thesis describes a messier and less contained 1951 waterfront dispute. This study shows that homes were a site of the dispute. The domestic work of ensuring that a family managed without wages was largely women's and was as much part of the dispute as collective union work, which was often organised to exclude women. The thesis argues that homes and families were the sharp edges of the 1951 waterfront dispute, the site of both its costs and crises.

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  • The effect of lexical content on sentence production in nonfluent aphasia

    Speer, Paula (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Individuals with nonfluent aphasia are able to produce many words in isolation, but have great difficulty producing sentences. Most research to date has compared accuracy across different types of sentence structures, focussing on grammatical aspects that may be compromised in nonfluent aphasia. However, based on the premise that lexical elements activate their associated grammatical frames as well as vice versa, lexical content may also be of vital importance. For example, rapid access to lexical elements – particularly ones appearing early in the sentence - may be crucial, especially if the sentence plan is weakly activated or rapidly decaying. The current study investigated the effect of different aspects of lexical content on nonfluent aphasic sentence production. Five participants with nonfluent aphasia, four participants with fluent aphasia and eight controls completed two picture description tasks eliciting subject-verb-object sentences (e.g., the dog is chasing the fox). Based on existing evidence suggesting that common words are accessed more rapidly than rarer ones, Experiment 1 manipulated the frequency of sentence nouns, thereby varying their speed of lexical retrieval by varying the frequency of sentence nouns. Nonfluent participants' accuracy was consistently higher for sentences commencing with a high frequency subject noun, even when errors on those nouns were themselves excluded. This was not the case for the fluent participants. Experiment 2 manipulated the semantic relationship between subject and object nouns. Previous research suggests that phrases containing related words may be challenging for individuals with nonfluent aphasia, possibly because lexical representations are inadequately tied to appropriate structural representations. The nonfluent participants produced sentences less accurately when they contained related lexical items, even when those items were in different noun phrases. The fluent participants exhibited the opposite trend. Finally, the relationship between the patterns observed in Experiment 1 and 2 and lesion location in the aphasic participants was explored by analysing magnetic resonance scans. We discuss the implications of our findings for theoretical accounts of sentence production more generally, and of nonfluent aphasia in particular. More precisely, we propose that individuals with nonfluent aphasia are disproportionately reliant on activated lexical representations to drive the sentence generation process, an idea we call the Content Drives Structure (COST) hypothesis.

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  • Language Learning Strategies: An Action Research Study from a Sociocultural Perspective of Practices in Secondary School English Classes in the Seychelles

    Simeon, Jemma Christina (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research on language learning strategies (LLS) suggests that LLS are indispensable to helping second language learners learn English (Oxford, Crookall et al. 2008). However, most research studies to date have been experimental and have focused on listing certain aspects of learners' strategy use. By contrast, I have taken a sociocultural approach and carried out a collaborative Action Research project in which I have looked at learners' strategy use as "a cognitive choice and an emergent phenomenon" (Gao 2010, p.20). I have studied English language learning as embedded within social events and occurring as learners interact with people, objects and events in one secondary school in the Seychelles. I used an ethnographic approach which included classroom observation, interviews with teachers and journals, audio-recording and field notes. Phase 1 of my study focused on current practices in three classes. In Phase 2, I analysed the data and reported back to the participating teachers. Common practices in the three classrooms were that the teachers taught students content knowledge only. For example, English lessons emphasized the development of English language literacy skills. In particular the teachers were concerned with getting students to understand ideas and facts about a topic being learnt such as writing a notice. They would also focus on linguistic topics such as grammar and vocabulary knowledge and writing mechanics in general. The teachers were seen as the main transmitters of knowledge while the students had very little voice in their learning, for example, choosing topics, purposes and audience. The students were given very few opportunities to talk among themselves about their work or strategies they used to solve their problems. Teacher talk consisted of giving instructions and asking students questions that tested their knowledge. There were few occasions where the teachers provided instruction that provoked new thinking and understanding about what was being taught. The teachers felt that students depended too much on them for learning and wished to see their students becoming more independent learners, particularly in writing. Thus in Phase 3 of the research, the teachers and I focused on strategy instruction in the process approach to writing instruction with the aim of fostering dialogue among teachers and students about writing processes and problem-solving strategies. The analysis of findings of Phase 3 show that compared to Phase 1, the teachers minimised the practice of being merely transmitters of knowledge. Instead, they altered instruction and mediated learner writing strategies in a number of ways in a dialogic process through classroom instruction, use of collaborative writing tasks, questions and students' L1. However, while this was a step forward in making their students strategic, the teachers were yet to emphasise writing as a more holistic strategic activity which could have been accomplished by modelling their own thinking or self-talk or strategies related to planning, drafting, revising and editing of texts. Evidence also suggests that students used a number of strategies to mediate their own writing processes. These included using their film knowledge, humour, mother tongue, thinking aloud, teacher and peers to help them create text. There were also times when a few students drew on teaching techniques such as teacher-like scaffolding questions to mediate their own and their peers' learning.

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  • A Seychelles case of beginning teachers' perspectives of support and challenges in their pursuit of effective teaching practices

    Confait, Steve Paul (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Supporting teachers at the start of their career can help them to develop their pedagogical practice, and to understand the educational, political, and school systems within which they teach. Similarly, effective support can enhance the professional development and learning of beginning teachers, and contribute towards their overall path towards greater effectiveness, ensuring quality teaching. Recent education reforms in the Seychelles have placed an expressed focus on improving quality teaching. This study explores the support for and challenges faced by beginning teachers in the Seychelles in their efforts to implement effective teaching practices. In order to understand the phenomenon of beginning teacher support, a mixed methodology within an ethnographic, sociocultural framework with an emphasis on qualitative data was used. Research was conducted in two sequential phases within the Seychelles: in-depth, site-based qualitative cases studies of three beginning teachers and their school-based contexts, followed by a national quantitative survey completed by 56 beginning teachers. The qualitative phase generated data through interviews (with beginning teachers, deputy heads, and heads of department), document analysis and classroom observations in three schools across the main island, Mahe. The findings of this research identified that both the policy context and the more localised practical factors such as resource allocation, confidence in working with student diversity, and collegial relationships, combined to contribute to how beginning teachers experienced their induction period. The research revealed that whilst the central policy advocates for a school-based mechanism that would support and evaluate beginning teachers, schools' policies and practices around induction were for the main part, inadequately supporting beginning teachers. These results highlighted that the developmental and learning needs of beginning teachers were not clearly understood, either by school leaders or by beginning teachers. This limited understanding combined with a general conservative approach towards teaching within the schools impacted on how beginning teachers were supported and how they learnt from their pedagogical practices. The findings showed how participating beginning teachers endeavoured to align themselves with their schools' expectation for effective teaching, challenging their own beliefs about effective practice. In order to comply with routine expectations, they embraced predominantly teacher-centred practices, rather than a student-centred approach to their teaching. In view of the ongoing effort to augment the quality of education in the Seychelles, supporting beginning teachers could be recognised as part of this endeavour. For effective ongoing support, the research findings identified the need for contexts where open dialogue around teaching is culturally encouraged, and that embrace effective support policies, professional learning, and development for all teachers. It is in such contexts that beginning teachers are more likely to work alongside colleagues, address their professional issues, and join in the collective endeavour to improve their own and their students' learning and achievements.

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  • Workplace email communication in New Zealand and Malaysia: Three case studies

    Yeoh, Jackie Lay Kean (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis is an analysis of authentic communication between professionals at work in three workplaces (Company NZ1, NZ2 and M). The research involves a contrastive study of internal emails in two different countries (New Zealand and Malaysia) with very distinct cultures. In addition to the email corpus comprising 1745 emails, the analysis is supported by data collected using a mixed-methods approach: fieldwork observations, a questionnaire and interviews. The analysis suggests that workplace culture influences people’s linguistic and non-linguistic behaviours. A Community of Practice (CofP) approach provided insights into characteristics of workplace culture such as the participants' behaviours, language, values and beliefs. This approach also facilitated analysis of how these behaviours were negotiated among the staff members, and how practices were established to signify membership of communities of practice. Using an adapted version of Speech Act Theory, the email messages were coded initially for their main communicative function. The next layer of analysis involved exploring the interpersonal and power dimensions of the communicative function of making requests. To this end, Spencer-Oatey's Rapport Theory was applied as the primary theoretical framework and Halliday's three metafunctions were also used to interpret the emails. The analysis indicated that all three workplaces use email for the same communicative functions, but the proportions of usage differed. In the New Zealand workplaces, providing information is the predominant function, followed by making requests. By contrast, making requests dominates the use of email in the Malaysian workplace. The analysis demonstrates that rapport is managed differently in the three communities of practice. The greater use of informal greetings and closings and various linguistic strategies such as modalised interrogatives and mitigating devices in one New Zealand workplace suggests that participants are attending to rapport, and that they are aware of the importance of maintaining harmonious collegial relationships when making requests of their work colleagues. On the other hand, a greater use of formal greetings and closings, bare imperatives and boosting devices in the Malaysian workplace suggests the converse. Furthermore, the analysis indicates that rapport is managed quite differently even when participants are from the same country (New Zealand) which practises an egalitarian culture. The analysis also demonstrates how superiors and subordinates 'do' power and construct authority through the use of various linguistic strategies, such as imperative mood, use of the personal pronoun ‘I’, and boosting devices. The greater use of these linguistic strategies in the other New Zealand workplace and the Malaysian workplace suggests that more importance was placed on getting the job done than on maintaining rapport. In addition, the analysis identifies different attitudes towards the manifestation of power. In New Zealand where egalitarianism is highly valued, an overt display of power could damage work relationships. By contrast, in Malaysia, inequality in power is accepted as normal. People do not question superiors' authority, rights and entitlement to privileges. Recognising such culturally different values proved important in interpreting the data. To conclude, this research illustrates how the use of a rapport management framework can provide new insights in relation to online workplace communication. Email not only 'does' power and performs transactional work, it also accomplishes relational work. Furthermore, the CofP approach provides insights concerning how each workplace establishes different linguistic and non-linguistic practices which form the basis of a distinct workplace culture. Finally, the analysis makes a contribution to the field of email communication from a cross-cultural perspective.

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  • International Migration Decision-Making: The Peculiar Case of New Zealand

    Tabor, Aidan (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    New Zealand is a peculiar case because it has both high immigration (roughly 23% born abroad) and high emigration (24% of highly skilled New Zealanders live overseas). Within this context, the purpose of this research is to a) examine why some people selfselect to migrate internationally and others do not, b) explore how people make a decision to leave their country of origin, c) investigate how they select a destination, and d) consider how insights learned can contribute to Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) theory of how decisions are made in the real world. In the first study, three of the largest immigrant source countries were selected for inclusion: United Kingdom/Ireland (with higher wages than New Zealand), South Africa (similar wages), and India (lower wages). Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 20 pre-departure and 26 post-arrival migrants to New Zealand. A thematic analysis was conducted separately for each country’s data, resulting in a total of 1564 coded extracts in 43 themes and subthemes. The findings support the view that the migration decision process contains three decisions: whether to go, where to go and when to go. Regarding the question of whether to go, Indian and British participants had very similar reasons for leaving their country of origin: lifestyle and work/life balance, opportunities for work and children, and environment. South Africans were overwhelmingly concerned with quality of life, particularly safety. New Zealand was selected as a destination of choice due to quality of life, climate, accessibility of nature, cultural similarity, career opportunities, visa process transparency and the perception that migrants were wanted. On the question of when to go, unlike much of the decision-making in the research literature, this decision process was a negotiation between partners that occurred over a long period of time, quite often years. The second study explored individual differences, such as personality characteristics, in the international mobility intentions of New Zealanders. In a sample of 205 adults born and currently living in New Zealand, 38.5% were planning to move abroad. Using logistical regression techniques, it was found that higher persistence, openness to experience, extraversion, and promotion focus all increased the chances that a participant was planning departure. Higher agreeableness and conscientiousness lowered the odds of a move. Gender moderated the relationship between sensation seeking and intention to migrate, with women’s decision being influenced to a greater extent than men’s by sensation seeking. Also, gender moderated the relationship between emotional stability and intention to migrate, as men who were lower in emotional stability were more likely to leave. The implications from this research include the following NDM-based assumptions: migration decision-making is a process driven by individual differences, occurs over time, has multiple decision-makers, exists within a social (family) context, has real consequences for the parties involved, is bound by cultural norms, takes place in a dynamically-changing environment (including immigration policy changes, life-stage, family health and resources changes), and is the expression of goals that may change during the process.

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  • Stand dynamics of mixed-Nothofagus forest

    Hurst, Jennifer Megan (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Sustainable management of mixed-species forests for timber is underpinned by research on forest stand dynamics and quantification of tree recruitment, growth and mortality rates. Different performance among species across light gradients theoretically prevents more shade-tolerant species from excluding shade-intolerant species, driving succession and allowing species coexistence. This research investigates stand dynamics and performance trade-offs for co-occurring tree species: Nothofagus fusca (red beech) and Nothofagus menziesii (silver beech), which together dominate extensive areas of New Zealand’s indigenous forest. Using permanent plot data, measurements of permanently tagged individuals are used to quantify recruitment, growth and mortality rates for each species, across size classes and life-history stages (i.e. seedlings, trees). First, seedling growth and mortality is examined in relation to microhabitats (e.g., light, substrate type) and contrasted with patterns of seedling abundance. Second, spatially explicit permanent plot data are used to examine tree growth in relation to competition, local disturbance and tree size over a 23-year period. Third, the influence of competition and disturbance on tree mortality and spatial patterns of tree mortality are examined. Fourth, a simulation model for tree population dynamics is parameterised for mixed-Nothofagus forest and used to evaluate long term consequences of disturbances (e.g. alternate harvesting regimes) on structure and composition. Small-scale disturbance favoured each species at different life stages and for different measures of performance (i.e. recruitment, growth or mortality). N. fusca seedlings and trees grew fast in high light microhabitats, such as those created by small-scale disturbances, but adult N. fusca mortality was elevated near sites of recent disturbance. By contrast, N. menziesii trees grew faster near sites of recent disturbance, which may help this species persist. Consequently, simulation results showed that small-scale disturbance frequency was a major determinant of forest composition and structure, determining whether N. fusca or N. menziesii is dominant. The simulation model could be developed further and used to inform the sustainable management of mixed-Nothofagus forests.

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