211 results for Masters, Modify

  • Ideological choice in the gravestones of Dunedin's Southern Cemetery

    Edgar, Philip Gerard (1995)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xxv, 136 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Anthropology. "December 1995."

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  • Satire and Dickens

    White, Richard (1997)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    People have a fundamental need to feel good about themselves, and sometimes we can achieve this at the expense of others. If I can laugh at someone who does something stupid, or feel superior to someone who does something unjust, or rebel against an institution which violates some natural law, then so much the better for me. Essentially, this is why I read satire. Until recently this sort of approach does not seem to have appealed to literary critics - perhaps because it demeans their subject matter - but there are many essential human needs which are satisfied by a reader's imaginative response to satire, and there is nothing ignoble in that. Satire allows us to escape the constrictions that society places on us. When we read satire we can behave badly: we laugh at other people, cackle at their stupidity, and snigger at their pomposity or hypocrisy; we revenge ourselves upon people who have bored, annoyed, or cheated us. All of this misbehaviour is sanctioned by moral propriety, and by the figure who establishes what is proper and what is not, the satirist. It is the satirist who sets up little moral victories for us, made possible by satiric attack. However, when satire becomes part of a novel, it must there vie for ascendancy with other guises of the author. The satirist must compete with the moralist, the comic, or the sentimentalist, and when this happens the reader too must evaluate their satiric victories alongside the other emotions they feel when they read other parts of a novel. Charles Dickens has many such guises, and consequently he particularly challenges the reader to cope with many different responses. This is where satire becomes even more interesting, because the victories are tempered by other, perhaps more noble emotions. The novels of Dickens present the reader with a constant battle between good and bad: both the author's and the reader's.

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  • How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

    Sun, I-Chen (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.

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  • Evaluating methane outputs from an area of submarine seeps along the northern Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    Higgs, Benjamin (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Collated global marine surveys have documented large volumes of gaseous methane able to escape from deeply-buried deposits into global oceans as seeps. Seeps are evident where permeable faults and fracture networks allow for the upward transportation of methane from buried deposits into the water column as plumes of rising bubbles. Seep bubbles dissolve the majority of their constitutive methane into the surrounding water column as they rise; however there is evidence of more-prominent seeps transferring undissolved methane through the water column and into the atmosphere. Due to the biologic origins of methane, the global distribution of buried methane de-posits is highly varied and difficult to predict. High uncertainties in seep locations have resulted in all previous estimations of the global proportion of atmospheric methane attributed to seeps to have very large associated errors. These are mainly due to large extrapolations over global oceans based on findings from surveyed seep fields. A 2014 NIWA research voyage saw the discovery of an abundant seep field situated at uncharacteristically shallow water depths (150–300 m below sea level) along the raised continental shelf of the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. In comparison to other globally documented seep fields, the Hikurangi Margin seeps are numerous (estimated between 585 and 660 surveyed seeps) and cover a large area (∼ 840 km²). Prior to the discovery of this seep field, there was only evidence of 36 seeps along the entire Hikurangi Margin. Acoustically surveyed bubble-rise paths of newly discovered seeps also show evidence of seeps extending the entire height of the water column. The large number of shallow flares present in the abundant seep field represent the potential for considerable amounts of gaseous methane outputs. To further investigate these seeps, NIWA voyages TAN1505 and TAN1508 that took place in June and July of 2015 employed a range of scientific equipment to analyse features of the rising seep bubbles. Part of these investigations involved the video recordings of rising seep bubbles from the seafloor as well as acoustically surveying rising bubbles using a singlebeam and multibeam echsounder. We have used video and acoustic data sets to create multiple tools and computational techniques for better assessing features of seeps. We have developed photogrammetric tools that can be used in Matlab to compute bubble-size distributions and bubble-rise rates from still frames of underwater video footage. These bubble parameters have then been combined with singlebeam recorded flare profiles to calculate the flux of emitted methane at the seafloor. These calculations were carried out using the FlareFlow Matlab module, devised by Mario Veloso. To assess the number of seeps in a multibeam surveyed region, we have created vertically-summed intensity maps of the obtained water column data. Summed-intensity maps display localised high-amplitude features, indicative of seeps. Seep indicators have been used to (1) map the distribution of seeps of the surveyed Hikurangi Margin, (2) assess the total surveyed seep count, and (3) identify regions where seep concentrations are particularly high. We have combined methane fluxes from analysed seeps with regional seep-distribution maps to approximate the rate at which gaseous methane is escaping from the seafloor across the seep field. Extrapolating seep emissions over the surveyed area approximates 0.99×10⁵ ±0.64×10⁵ m³/yr of undissolved methane is being released across the seep field. Using models of methane preservation, combined with staggered depth models of flares, we have approximated that ∼ 0.2% of the methane emitted at the seafloor is able to reach the atmosphere.

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  • Identifying Human Host Cell Protein Targets of the Bartonella Effector Protein (Bep) Fic Domains

    Trounson, Vaughan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The genus Bartonellae represents an increasing number of emerging bacterial pathogens that utilises an unusual infection strategy, parasitising the red blood cells of their mammalian host. The most common species to infect humans are B. henselae and B. quintana. B. henselae is transmitted between cats by the cat flea, although occasionally infects humans via cat scratches or bites, causing cat-scratch disease (CSD). CSD is characterised by enlarged tender lymph nodes and fever. B. henselae also infects the endothelial cells of both its hosts; likely a factor in disease progression. B. quintana, the cause of trench fever during WWI, is spread people by the body louse. Trench fever is characterised by relapsing fever, headache, and bone pain. B. quintana is also able to infect human endothelial cells. These bacteria secrete a range of Bartonella effector proteins (Beps) via a Type IV secretion system, directly into endothelial cells, subverting host cell processes and resulting in internalisation of the bacteria. Beps have a range of functions, many of which are not fully characterised. B. henselae secretes three Beps (BepA-C) that contain a filamentation induced by cAMP (Fic) domain and a Bartonella Intracellular Delivery (BID) domain, with BepA being the best studied. BepA’s BID domain is responsible for intracellular delivery as well as inhibition of apoptosis by the host cell, however the exact function of the Fic domain remains unknown. Fic-containing bacterial toxins catalyse the transfer of an AMP moiety from ATP onto a host cell protein. This AMPylation frequently inactivates these proteins resulting in disrupted host cell processes and cytotoxicity. BepA has previously been shown to possess AMPylation activity, although the host target protein(s) are unknown. Evidence suggests that these proteins are novel targets. The aim of this study was to create protein constructs containing these Fic domains, and to develop techniques to identify the host cell target proteins post AMPylation. To this end, both a fluorescent ATP analogue and a fluorescent click chemistry based approach were utilised. While no target protein was identified, a basic methodology was developed for protein production and target protein identification that could be further developed.

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  • Putting wellbeing back into welfare: Exploring social development from beneficiaries' perspectives

    Sudden, Alicia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    New Zealand implemented the first definitive welfare state in 1938, institutionalising the responsibility held by the state to protect citizens and uphold their wellbeing. Since then, the swift and pervasive implementation of neoliberal reforms in New Zealand have transformed the social development landscape, and the wider economic setting. New Zealand is now in the midst of unprecedented levels of inequality and child poverty. Yet in the face of increasing hardship, the welfare system has become increasingly residual and punitive towards those in need. The most recent overhaul of the welfare system occurred in July 2013. These reforms came with a marked push toward reducing benefit recipient numbers, evidenced in the use of off-the-benefit figures as a measure of a successful system. However, this narrative obscures the experiences and wellbeing of people behind these figures, which is particularly problematic given the increased employment instability and financial insecurity fostered by the current labour market. This thesis aims to explore the experiences of those who have come off the benefit since July 2013, either temporarily or permanently, in order to understand how the current welfare system is impacting those it is intended to support. In order to best capture the voices of former and current beneficiaries, this thesis utilised a mixed methods approach. A survey was conducted to identify patterns and trends from the voices of over 200 participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to enrich the quantified results, and understand the narratives and experiences of individuals in more depth. By drawing on a post-development framework, this thesis works toward creating a space for an alternative discussion around welfare that goes beyond the hegemony of economic-centric dialogues. The findings suggest that the welfare system is failing to adequately support those facing hardship or facilitate positive off-the-benefit transitions. Instead, it is fostering the neoliberal assault on citizenship and social rights, and deepening the growing inequalities within New Zealand society.

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  • Roster-Based Optimisation for Limited Overs Cricket

    Patel, Ankit (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The objective of this research was to develop a roster-based optimisation system for limited overs cricket by deriving a meaningful, overall team rating using a combination of individual ratings from a playing eleven. The research hypothesis was that an adaptive rating system accounting for individual player abilities, outperforms systems that only consider macro variables such as home advantage, opposition strength and past team performances. The assessment of performance is observed through the prediction accuracy of future match outcomes. The expectation is that in elite sport, better teams are expected to win more often. To test the hypothesis, an adaptive rating system was developed. This framework was a combination of an optimisation system and an individual rating system. The adaptive rating system was selected due to its ability to update player and team ratings based on past performances. A Binary Integer Programming model was the optimisation method of choice, while a modified product weighted measure (PWM) with an embedded exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) functionality was the adopted individual rating system. The weights for this system were created using a combination of a Random Forest and Analytical Hierarchical Process. The model constraints were objectively obtained by identifying the player’s role and performance outcomes a limited over cricket team must obtain in order to increase their chances of winning. Utilising a random forest technique, it was found that players with strong scoring consistency, scoring efficiency, runs restricting abilities and wicket-taking efficiency are preferred for limited over cricket due to the positive impact those performance metrics have on a team’s chance of winning. To define pertinent individual player ratings, performance metrics that significantly affect match outcomes were identified. Random Forests proved to be an effective means of optimal variable selection. The important performance metrics were derived in terms of contribution to winning, and were input into the modified PWM and EWMA method to generate a player rating. The underlying framework of this system was validated by demonstrating an increase in the accuracy of predicted match outcomes compared to other established rating methods for cricket teams. Applying the Bradley-Terry method to the team ratings, generated through the adaptive system, we calculated the probability of teami beating teamj. The adaptive rating system was applied to the Caribbean Premier League 2015 and the Cricket World Cup 2015, and the systems predictive accuracy was benchmarked against the New Zealand T.A.B (Totalisator Agency Board) and the CricHQ algorithm. The results revealed that the developed rating system outperformed the T.A.B by 9% and the commercial algorithm by 6% for the Cricket World Cup (2015), respectively, and outperformed the T.A.B and CricHQ algorithm by 25% and 12%, for the Caribbean Premier League (2015), respectively. These results demonstrate that cricket team ratings based on the aggregation of individual player ratings are superior to ratings based on summaries of team performances and match outcomes; validating the research hypothesis. The insights derived from this research also inform interested parties of the key attributes to win limited over cricket matches and can be used for team selection.

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  • The Ethics of Infectious Disease Control: Lessons from the Ebola outbreak and an ethical framework

    McIvor, Joshua (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Ebola virus disease (EVD) devastated its way into news headlines in 2014, destroying communities across three West African countries and costing the lives of over 11,000 people. The global health response was widely scrutinised and criticised, and though the outbreak is now over, there are still many lessons that can be learned from the 2014 EVD outbreak. This thesis will use the EVD outbreak in two ways. Firstly, I will use the EVD outbreak as a case study through which I will strive to address the ethical concerns for using experimental treatment during the outbreak, and I will address ethical concerns of the use of quarantine during the outbreak. Second, I will use the EVD outbreak as a launch pad to examine broader and more abstract ethical principles of the ethics of infectious disease control, such as the principles of reciprocity, transparency, proportionality, and the harm principle. This discussion will highlight how physical, biological features of a disease very much impact the application of the above principles when it comes to controlling the disease in an ethical manner. Finally, from this observation, I have created a ‘disease taxonomy’ that categorises infectious diseases based upon, what I argue, are the most ethically relevant biological features of infectious diseases. The taxonomy can aid in preparing for, understanding, and responding to the most pertinent ethical issues that surround various infectious diseases. The thesis should leave the reader with not only a greater understanding of some of the ethical issues raised by the 2014 EVD outbreak, but also a solid framework to utilise in discussing the most pertinent ethical issues of any future outbreak of any infectious disease.

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  • Impact of Environmental Stressors on the Metabolic Functioning of a Temperate Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis

    Bone, Oliver (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses occur across a wide latitudinal range, from temperate to tropical locations in both hemispheres. In the tropics, this association provides the foundation for the development of highly diverse coral reef ecosystems. Tropical associations are particularly sensitive to thermal variability, however, leading to dysfunction of the relationship and eventual expulsion of the symbiont, known as ‘coral bleaching’. In contrast, temperate associations maintain stable symbiotic relationships in highly fluctuating thermal environments. The reason behind the relative thermal tolerance of temperate associations is still unclear, though the ability to maintain cellular homeostasis through adjustments to metabolic processes is likely a core feature of their resilience. Both a field study and laboratory experiment were conducted to determine the metabolic responses to thermal change of the symbiosis between the temperate anemone Anthopleura aureoradiata and the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium. For the field component, A. aureoradiata were collected from Point Halswell in Wellington Harbour in both summer and winter. For the laboratory experiment, specimens collected at Pautahanui inlet were thermally acclimated in the laboratory, after which temperatures were altered over the course of one week to either 8°C (cold) or 28°C (hot) and maintained at these temperatures for six weeks. Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was then employed to determine the identity and relative quantity of a wide range of metabolites involved in primary metabolism including organic acids, fatty acids, amino acids and sugars. Based on these data, pathway activity profiling was used to determine the activity of different metabolic pathways both between seasons and in response to cold and heat treatment. A wide range of changes to metabolic processes were observed in both host and symbiont. Photosynthetic capacity was reduced in the symbionts at low temperatures and increased at high temperatures. The only organic acid to be significantly impacted was propanedioic acid, which increased in the host in response to cold treatment, potentially related to increased translocation from the symbiont. Altered fatty acid content in both host and symbiont was related to the role of fatty acids as energy sources and storage compounds and in cell signalling processes. Changes in fatty acid-associated metabolic pathways were exemplified by arachidonic acid and linoleic acid metabolism. Alterations to free amino acids and amino acid related pathways in both host and symbiont were associated with their role as antioxidants and osmoprotectants and the catabolism of amino acids for the production of energy. In symbionts only, altered amino acid content was associated with the role of amino acids in the production of alkaloids. Changes in a number of sugar derivatives in both host and symbiont were associated with their role as antioxidants and osmoprotectants. Altered sugar metabolism in the symbiont clearly indicated an increase in the production of energy rich sugar molecules and production of cellular energy in summer/hot conditions and a decrease in winter/cold conditions. Notably impacted pathways included the Calvin cycle, glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway and oxidative phosphorylation. Patterns of sugar related pathway activity in the host were generally opposite to that observed in the symbiont. Overall, prominent but opposing changes in the host and symbiont were detected in the central carbohydrate and energy metabolic pathways. In general, the activity of these pathways increased in the host in winter/cold conditions and decreased in summer/hot conditions, while in the symbiont the pattern was the opposite. These findings highlight the role of metabolic processes in enabling the persistence of a temperate cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis in the face of large temperature fluctuations. This work provides a foundation upon which a deeper understanding of metabolic functioning in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis can be built and provides a comparative platform for studies of the more thermally sensitive tropical associations.

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  • Virtual Recollection: Artifact Engagement in Three-Dimensional Environments

    Achten, Ryan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Cultural institutions, specifically libraries, museums, and archives, have long been recognised for their collection and preservation of artifacts as a means of conserving cultural memory. With an emergence of digital modes of archiving, an emphasis has been placed on reproducing existing physical artifacts as digital representations and archival of born-digital media. Within the common practice of representing three-dimensional digital artifacts as two-dimensional counterparts, only a facet of the original artifact is represented; omitting valuable spatial and contextual information while precluding opportunities for new forms of artifactual engagement. By adopting the gaming engine Unity3D, software for interfacing with archive collections was developed to explore how digital three-dimensional spatiality within cultural institution practice may enhance interaction between users and artifacts. Using a combination of configuration, probe, and abstract experimentalist devices, this research explored ways users may engage with digital artifacts in their native spatiality, and the opportunities or limitations these interactions may give rise to. By exploiting diegetic space intrinsic within interfaces, environmental narratives may become powerful tools when communicating and understanding artifactual information. This paper delineates aspects of narrative potential within artifacts and their surrounding environment possible through three-dimensional representation.

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  • A Great Wall? Migration, Political Socialisation and Political Participation among Chinese in New Zealand

    Clayton, Ameera (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Chinese political participation is low by comparison with other migrant and ethnic groups despite high socioeconomic status. This suggests that other barriers to participation are present among this group. This study examines how pre- and post-migration political socialisation affect the electoral participation of Chinese in New Zealand. Fifteen one-on-one, in-depth interviews allowed me to consider the relationship between both length of residence and socialisation in a democratic versus non-democratic regime and electoral participation among this sample. In this case, analysis of each participant’s migration and political participation experiences revealed no correlation between either length of residence and socialisation in a democratic versus non-democratic regime and electoral participation, although it highlighted the significance of demographic factors such as age and life-cycle, and social capital and political interest for electoral participation. Few studies have focused on Chinese migrant political participation specifically in New Zealand and even fewer on the subject of Chinese electoral participation. However, understanding what drives and inhibits electoral participation among this group is both important for the development of New Zealand’s Asia-Pacific identity and ultimately as an indicator of the health of democracy in New Zealand.

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  • Characterising Gas Hydrate Deposits on New Zealand's Southern Hikurangi Margin using Seismic Reflection Data

    Wang, Hanyan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Reprocessed Bruin 2D seismic data (recorded in 2006) from New Zealand Hikurangi Margin are presented and analyzed to show the presence of gas hydrates. We choose six seismic lines that each showed bottom-simulating reflections (BSRs) that are important indicators for the presence of gas hydrate. The aim is to obtain a higher resolution image of the shallow subsurface structures and determine the nature of the gas hydrate system in this area. To further investigate the presence of Gas Hydrates was undertaken. There is a strong correlation between anomalous velocities and the depths of BSRs, which supports the presence of gas hydrates in the research area and is useful for detecting areas of both free gas and gas hydrate along the seismic lines. The combination of high-resolution seismic imaging and velocity analysis is the key method for showing the distribution of gas hydrates and gas pockets in our research area. The results indicate that the distribution of both free gas and gas hydrate is strongly localized. The Discussion Chapter gives several concentrated gas hydrate deposits in the research area. Idealized scenarios for the formation of the gas hydrates are proposed. In terms of identifying concentrated gas hydrate deposits we propose the identification of the following key seismic attributes: 1) existence of BSRs, 2) strong reflections above BSRs in the gas hydrate stability zone, 3) enhanced reflections related to free gas below BSRs, 4) appropriate velocity anomalies (i.e. low velocity zones beneath BSRs and localized high-velocity zones above BSRs). This study contributes to the understanding of the geological conditions and processes that drives the deposition of concentrated gas hydrate deposits on this part of the Hikurangi Margin.

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  • 12-12: A Physiotherapeutic Rehabilitation Game for Older Adults Recovering from Stroke

    Brebner, Scott (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Stroke is one of the most common diseases affecting older adults in Western societies. Suffering a stroke can result in a loss or weakness of mental and motor functions, severely impacting the individual’s quality of life. With effective rehabilitation it is possible to recover from stroke and regain some lost capabilities. However, rehabilitation can be very taxing on the individual, both physically and mentally, and many struggle with maintaining the motivation to continue. Those who are unable to stay motivated tend to struggle with recovery. Without regular rehabilitation of an appropriate level of intensity, the individual’s progress will wane. They may lose interest or faith in their ability to recover, maximizing the negative impact of the stroke. To combat this, we explored the incorporation of a digital game system into the rehabilitation process. Such a system introduced a more engaging alternative to existing mundane physiotherapy exercises. The system converted prescribed exercises into gameplay using a special shoe controller designed to target lower-limb rehabilitation. Health professionals were involved in its development, ensuring the validity of the gameplay as a substitute for traditional rehabilitation methods. Tests were conducted with older adults to explore the target audience’s needs and refine the system accordingly. The final output was a digitized dominoes game (called 12-12) that required players to perform lower-limb physiotherapy exercises to progress gameplay. 12-12 incorporates Dr. Signal’s Strength for Task Training (2014), a novel and contemporary rehabilitation scheme, supported by the custom shoe controller developed by co-researcher William Duncan. 12-12 explored engagement through the themes of adaptability, connectivity and meaningful interactions.

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  • Program Verification with Separation Logic and Rely Guarantee

    Tabilog, Allan (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis explores two kinds of program logics that have become important for modern program verification - separation logic, for reasoning about programs that use pointers to build mutable data structures, and rely guarantee reasoning, for reasoning about shared variable concurrent programs. We look more closely into the motivations for merging these two kinds of logics into a single formalism that exploits the benefits of both approaches - local, modular, and explicit reasoning about interference between threads in a shared memory concurrent program. We discuss in detail two such formalisms - RGSep and Local Rely Guarantee (LRG), in particular we analyse how each formalism models program state and treats the distinction between global state (shared by all threads) and local state (private to a given thread) and how each logic models actions performed by threads on shared state, and look into the proof rules specifically for reasoning about atomic blocks of code. We present full examples of proofs in each logic and discuss their differences. This thesis also illustrates how a weakest precondition semantics for separation logic can be used to carry out calculational proofs. We also note how in essence these proofs are data abstraction proofs showing that a data structure implements some abstract data type, and relate this idea to a classic data abstraction technique by Hoare. Finally, as part of the thesis we also present a survey of tools that are currently available for doing manual or semi-automated proofs as well as program analyses with separation logic and rely guarantee.

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  • Perceptions of procedural justice and police legitimacy: A life history perspective

    Dorgan, Jody (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Prior research on attitudes towards the police has largely focused on the relationship between demographic factors and perceptions of the police. These studies have produced inconclusive results, and there is no general consensus why and how demographic factors account for individual differences in attitudes towards the police. Life history theory, a “middle-level” evolutionary theory, is one that has largely been neglected in mainstream criminology, but has been used in the current research to explain individual differences in attitudes towards the police. Two studies, both using an online survey, were conducted to explore the extent to which life history strategy explained individual attitudes towards procedural justice, police legitimacy and police socialization after controlling for demographic factors, previous police interaction and prior arrest. Study one, a university sample of 305 participants and study two, a general population sample of 75 Wellington residents both found support for the application of life history theory being used to explain individual differences in attitudes towards the police. Overall, the current research showed that those with a slower life history strategy were more likely hold more positive perceptions of police legitimacy, procedural justice and police socialization regardless of demographic factors, previous police interaction, and prior arrest.

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  • Three rivers and a fish: body shape variation in adult inanga (Galaxias maculatus) and implications for reproductive output

    Wood, Vincent (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Inanga (Galaxias maculatus) are the major component of New Zealand’s whitebait fisheries. Monitoring of freshwater-based adult populations in both North and South Island river systems suggests a general decline in numbers of fish, and specific streams and watersheds are of particular concern for some regional councils. Given this context, improved information about the environmental conditions that influence inanga’s reproductive output may help to inform appropriate management actions and improve the long term viability of these populations. The breeding biology of adult inanga has been the focus of considerable research effort, with restoration of spawning grounds further extending our knowledge of spatio-temporal patterns of spawning. However, the behaviour patterns and fates of adult fish outside of the spawning locations and seasons are poorly known, as are the factors that may influence the survival and development of pre-spawning stages of inanga. Variation in body shape and size influences multiple performance and fitness attributes, and has major implications for reproduction. My thesis aims to quantify relationships between morphology and reproductive output for adult inanga, and to investigate environmental factors that may influence morphological development. I collected inanga at two discrete stages of adult development: (i) pre-spawning stage adults at upstream habitats and (ii) spawning-stage adults collected at known breeding grounds during the spawning season. I photographed inanga in the field using a purpose-built aquarium and measured a set of morphological characteristics related to reproductive output and swimming ability. Specifically, I measured standard length, head depth, body depth and caudal peduncle depth. A subsample of adult inanga collected during the spawning season were returned to the laboratory and euthanized to measure aspects of their reproductive biology. Specifically, I measured reproductive output using gonad weight, I estimated maturity using the gonadosomatic index (GSI: weight of the gonad relative to total body weight), and I estimated energetic reserves using the hepatosomatic index (HSI: weight of the liver relative to total body weight). Pre-spawning stage inanga in the Waiwhetu Stream displayed deeper bodies than fish in either the Hutt or Wainuiomata Rivers, potentially due to higher concentrations of food. Inanga in the Wainuiomata River displayed slightly larger sizes prior to the spawning season and substantially larger bodies during the spawning season. Although the Waiwhetu Stream may have had a greater supply of food, high densities of fish in smaller stream systems could constrain adult growth. Spawning-stage adults collected from the Waiwhetu Stream had greater reproductive output than fish collected from the Hutt River, with a peak in spawning activity during May. Fish collected from spawning grounds in the Hutt River had lower reproductive output and two peaks in spawning activity during March and May. Inanga in the Hutt River also displayed greater within-month variation in the maturity of fish. My results suggest that spawning grounds in larger, more complex river systems (e.g., the Hutt River) may be supplied by inanga from a diverse range of main stem habitats and smaller tributaries further inland. Smaller systems (e.g., the Waiwhetu Stream) may be comprised of a more homogeneous population of inanga, and reproductive output of the system as a whole may be greater, but concentrated over a shorter time period. I hypothesise that the reproductive output from larger river systems may be more resilient to disturbance events (e.g., stock trampling of spawning grounds) because these systems (by virtue of their greater diversity of habitats and phenotypes of fish) may enable multiple opportunities for spawning. I suggest that larger rivers, such as the Hutt River, may be of disproportionate importance (independent of their total reproductive output) for the replenishment of inanga stocks.

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  • Digital Indigenous Craft: Expressing Māori Culture through Computational tools in Architecture

    Durcan, James (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Within present architectural discourse, there is universal concern that contemporary architectural processes efface the culture of indigenous communities, resulting in the homogenisation of architecture globally. The imminent question therefore is; how can the assimilation of digital tools and indigenous culture be a catalyst to empower culturally embodied architecture that responds to our indigenous Māori identity and spirit, without falling into architectural homogeneity? Working in direct conjunction with Ngai Tāmanuhi-ri Iwi (tribal group), on the poignant site, Te Kurī-a-Pāoa (Young Nicks Head), this thesis initiates dialogue to investigate the amalgamation of progressive digital fabrication techniques and the rich cultural identity and Mātauranga Māori (cultural knowledge) of Ngai Tāmanuhiri. Subsequently, a pavilion, incorporatinga locally inspired ‘whai’ (stingray) motif has been designed providing an architectural framework to facilitate design-led research. One-uku (clay), has been identified early as an indigenous material with enormous potential and led to the development of custom-built additive fabrication tools that can elevate this abundant local material for use within the architectural sphere. A secondary focus of this research is the development of computational (parametric) and analogue workflows to enable the production of architectural scale ceramic modules. Ultimately, this thesis argues that when computational design skills are ulilised alongside indigenous knowledge, digitally produced artefacts are capable of becoming meaningful for all.

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  • Quantitative PCR Analysis of the Bartonella henselae carD Gene during Bacterial Stress

    Simmonds, Jacob (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Bartonella genus is comprised of arthropod-borne, intracellular bacterial pathogens that colonise the mammalian bloodstream. A large number of mammalian species are hosts for one or more Bartonella species, as either reservoir or incidental hosts. Bartonella species are only able to invade and replicate in host red blood cells in the reservoir host, and to be taken up by an associated haematophagous arthropod vector to complete transmission and the bacterial life cycle. Humans are the reservoir hosts for B. quintana and B. bacilliformis, and are incidental hosts for more than 16 additional zoonotic Bartonella species, including B. henselae, which is normally carried by cats. B. henselae infection, usually acquired through cat scratches or bites, can result in several clinical manifestations, with varying degrees of severity; the most common of these is cat scratch disease, where symptoms commonly range from enlarged lymph nodes to severe fever. Although usually a mild illness, B. henselae infection can occasionally lead to severe symptoms, affecting neurological and other major organ systems. During their life cycle the Bartonellae must adapt to various toxic host environments; such adaptation is mediated by several bacterial stress pathways, which modify bacterial transcription. However, many gaps remain in the understanding of B. henselae stress response pathways. The object of this study, the carD gene, was identified as a possible component of the Bartonella stress response. The carD gene has been shown to be critical for stress defence in other bacterial species, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Thermus thermophilus, and Myxococcus xanthus. Our study aimed to investigate whether carD played as significant a role during the B. henselae response to stresses as it does in other bacterial genera. We first attempted to perform growth comparisons between a B. henselae carD mutant strain and a wild type strain during exposure to stress conditions; however, our mutagenic carD plasmid interfered with bacterial growth of Escherichia coli cultures, which hindered transformation and generation of a B. henselae carD mutant. As an alternative, we investigated the expression of B. henselae carD under stress conditions, comparing carD expression during stress against a non-stressed B. henselae control, using quantitative PCR. We found no significant difference of expression of the carD gene between the control and any of our conditions, although a trend of increased carD expression was found in several stress conditions. We believe that these findings merit further study into the role of carD in the B. henselae stress response.

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  • Pigs in Cyberspace: A Design and Culture Exploration of NZ Farming

    Mañetto Quick, Madelena (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Public concern surrounding agriculture has been growing in the past decade with the rise of factory farming and the decline of independent family farms. Producers have reacted to this concern and desire to learn more about farming practices in various ways. This thesis focuses on understanding how one New Zealand pig farm has taken to social media to present stories of sustainable and ethical farming and uses design research to explore and present alternative narratives. Using Wairarapa-based Longbush Pork as a case study, the first part of this project includes a narrative and visual analysis of popular social media posts, an online survey of social media followers, and an in-depth interview with the farm owners and operators to understand the stories being presented and how they engage with specific publics. Concentrating on the kind of human-animal relationships that emerge in these narratives and online discussions, the second part of this project uses co-design methods to create new narratives that can be exhibited and shared online for public feedback. Ultimately, this thesis aims to critically reflect on the way stories of farming are told and understood, and how they can serve to creatively explore public concerns surrounding livestock farming practices.

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  • Introducing remote printing into the publishing industry of a small, remote economy: The case of New Zealand

    Fabling, Timothy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research investigates the expected effects on developed business models of introducing remote printing technology into the New Zealand book publishing industry. Remote printing technology will both address and improve on the constraints of geographical proximity and market size, enabling the New Zealand book publishing industry to collectively grow and experience future prosperity. Aspects of technological innovation and consumer behaviour are examined to explore issues surrounding geographic proximity and supply chain inefficiencies. Criteria are developed using Just-In-Time (JIT) theory and Supply Chain Management (SCM) to evaluate where remote printing technology might best be integrated in the New Zealand book publishing industry’s supply chain. The mutual effects between remote printing technology adoption and the expected effects on business models are evaluated, identifying which model is expected to provide the most significant benefits in a New Zealand context. A case study of six New Zealand book industry respondents was conducted. Qualitative data was collected in semi-structured interviews with members associated within different sectors of the New Zealand book publishing industry. The interview data was supplemented with secondary data sources, including publicly available information about the New Zealand book industry. A within-case and cross-case analysis was performed around the research identified above. By evaluating developed business models and assessing which model/s effectively address the New Zealand context, remote printing offers brick-and-mortar booksellers the ability to better compete with offshore online booksellers. The expected effects remote printing technology will have on the New Zealand book industry are presented. A major contribution to this study is that remote printing technology could in fact have a revolutionary impact on the New Zealand book industry, compared to what has been previously considered.

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