13,302 results for Masters

  • The Impact of Ocean Acidification on Parasite Transmission

    Harland, Hannah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study examines how ocean acidification affects parasite transmission. Ocean acidification is a global process which has already started to have negative impacts on the marine environment, and these are predicted to escalate with future acidification. These include impacts on reproduction, development, calcification, osmotic regulation, and survival. Parasites are key components of all marine ecosystems, influencing the survival of their hosts, and also indirectly affecting other species within marine communities. Many parasite species possess vulnerable life history stages, which are sensitive to abiotic changes. Intertidal parasites have therefore been proposed as good bio-indicators for the impacts of ocean acidification. This research used Maritrema novaezealandense and its first and second intermediate hosts as a model system to look at the impact of ocean acidification on parasite transmission. It was hypothesised that acidified conditions would affect transmission from the Zeacumantus subcarinatus snail host to the Paracalliope novizealandiae amphipod host. Parasite transmission was tested under three pH levels (pH 7.4, pH 7.6 and pH 8.1) and infection success within amphipod hosts was determined. Parasite infections in amphipods were significantly higher at the pH 7.4 level. Infection by this parasite may therefore increase with future ocean acidification. Amphipods were more vulnerable to parasitism under seawater acidification and may be the weak link in this model system. To see whether parasite genotypes vary in their sensitivity to acidified conditions, the transmission success of eight different parasite genotypes was examined. Genotype was not found to significantly impact infection success, with pH level being the main determinant of infection success, regardless of genotype. The virulence of parasite genotypes did vary, however, with some genotypes inducing greater amphipod mortality following infection. Parasites which are less virulent may therefore have an increased chance of reaching the definitive host and this could be particularly important when this sensitive amphipod species is faced with both the stress of parasitism and ocean acidification.

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  • The role of leadership in the experiences of Asian international students’ hospitality studies

    Dalosa, Diosdado

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research explores the experiences of Asian International Students (AIS) who were studying professional cookery at a private training institution after reports (Tan, 2011) indicated that AIS was being described in New Zealand as “a ghetto education destination” by students in order to express their disappointment during their study in New Zealand. The reports concerned the New Zealand export education industry. The Ministry of Education recognised that the sustainability of the New Zealand export education industry rested on educational and social factors including institutional capacity and client satisfaction. This study was undertaken, therefore, to enable deeper insights about issues which occur for AIS. A case study was designed to investigate one particular institution with a focus on the leadership behaviours, and interactions between host educators and students. Eight participants were interviewed. The participants were the institution leader, two tutors, and five AIS. The data obtained were analysed using QSR NVivo software. The study found that AIS’ attitudes about their study experiences are marked by a frustration that the skills they learnt from their host institution did not meet the demands of the hospitality industry. AIS believed that their host institution’s lack of adequate learning facilities prevented them from achieving their learning goal/s. The issues AIS raised in this study could, however, help educational leaders in designing adequate educational resources and facilities appropriate for AIS. In turn, this could influence overall perceptions about the study experiences of AIS in New Zealand.

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  • Reconsidering The Nonhuman Animal: A Multidisciplinary Approach

    Muirhead, Eliza Kate (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Nonhuman animals exist to humans in a myriad of different ways. As companions or entertainers, as tools for scientific endeavour, within the natural environment and lastly, for the majority of people they exist as a source of consumable food or materials. To study the human-animal relationship, as it is becoming increasingly popular to do, is to confront the complexity of these relations. The popularity of such an endeavour is exemplified by the rise of a relatively new discourse of academic enquiry called human animal studies (HAS). HAS places the nonhuman animal in the spotlight of a multidisciplinary discussion which explores the question of what the human relationship with nonhuman animals ought to be. However, before this question can be posed, we must first understand the rich and interconnecting history of epistemology that has formed our contemporary ‘way of knowing’ the nonhuman animal. As a result of examining how certain disciplines have sculpted our contemporary understanding of the nonhuman animal we can also demonstrate the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach. It suggests that without a dialogue between particular fields, such as philosophy and science, we are limited in our ability to construct a set of ethics that may articulate what our proper relationship with nonhuman animals ought to be. This thesis provides a brief overview of the epistemology that has formed our current understanding of this question and situates the discussion within the field of science communication. In much the same way that the field of deep ecology first suggested in the 1980’s, the field of science communication suggests that in order to bring in to question the contemporary ‘way of knowing’ the nonhuman animal and therefore our current use and treatment of them, we must create a dialogue between the theoretical, social, political and historical (Naess 1984). This dissertation will review areas where a disconnect between the fields of science and philosophy have resulted in producing ‘untruths’ in the way that we ‘know’, ‘value’, ‘think’ and therefore ‘act’ for and ‘represent’ the nonhuman animal. It will show that there is a disconnect between what we know about the nonhuman animal through science, on their intelligence, ability to experience the world, and the way that ethics have developed to guide in how we ought to treat the nonhuman animal. The artefact component of this dissertation, Human|Animal a 25min documentary, is a reply to this call. It acts as a piece of science communication and aims to create a personal response in the audience in order to elicit a re-evaluation of the current way in which the nonhuman animal is utilised in western society. By engaging in a multidisciplinary dialogue the film asks the audience to consider, and potentially form an opinion, on what our current treatment of the nonhuman animal ought to be.

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  • Targets of the QseM Antiactivator in Mesorhizobium loti

    Major, Anthony Scott (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Quorum Sensing (QS) is a system used by bacteria to coordinate gene expression in response to population density using secreted diffusible signalling molecules, known as autoinducers. Many QS systems are similar to the model LuxR/I system originally discovered in Vibrio fischeri, where constitutive expression of the autoinducer synthase luxI produces acyl homoserine lactone molecules (AHLs) known as autoinducers at low levels. Once the population density reaches a threshold level, the regulator LuxR recognises and responds to the AHLs, activating downstream gene expression. These systems may also involve an antiactivator, that acts on the LuxR protein to prevent premature activation of the system by low AHL levels. Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A contains a mobile 502-kb symbiosis island known as ICEMlSymR7A which can transfer to nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia in both the laboratory and the environment. The excision and transfer of ICEMlSymR7A is directly controlled through QS via the actions of the the regulator TraR that acts in conjunction with AHL made by the autoinducer synthase TraI1. TraR activity in turn is controlled by the antiactivator QseM, through direct interaction with the TraR+AHL signalling molecule complex to block promoter activation. In this work, RT-qPCR was used to demonstrate that QseM had an effect on downstream TraR-regulated gene expression. Strong expression of the ICEMlSymR7A excisionase gene rdfS or the TrbC protease gene traF is known to have an inhibitory effect on cell growth. These genes are regulated by QS through the intermediacy of the msi172-msi171 gene product which is a single protein, FseA, that is produced by frame-shifting. A conjugation-based growth-inhibition assay involving introduction of a potentially lethal plasmid overexpressing target proteins into cells either overexpressing or not expressing QseM was developed to detect targets of QseM. The assay confirmed that TraR was a target of QseM and further suggested that FseA was a further target. RdfS and TraF were eliminated as targets. Bacterial two-hybrid analyses confirmed FseA as a target and narrowed the interacting portion down to the Msi172 portion of the frame-shifted protein. Furthermore β-galactosidase assays showed that FseA was unable to activate the rdfS promoter in the presence of QseM. Overall, this work confirmed the role of QseM as an antiactivator within the ICEMlSymR7A transfer system regulatory network and revealed it has more than one target. A 6-His tag was attached to QseM and a high concentration of protein was purified. Attempts at determining QseM interacants through Mass Spectrometry from a R7AΔqseM lysate proved difficult despite distinct bands being seen. QseM was subjected to circular dichroism that inferred that QseM is composed solely of α-helices, as is TraM, an antiactivator that targets TraR from the Agrobacterium tumefaciens QS system.

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  • Supervision and the culture of general practice

    Wilson, Hamish John (1999)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Supervision is a well-known and well-theorised activity in some professions where experienced practitioners contract to facilitate, guide or educate the novice. Supervision is uncommon in medicine, which has traditionally employed more didactic teaching processes. In the general practice community in New Zealand, practitioners use a variety of methods of professional maintenance, with educative mentoring or supervision being a recent innovation. In this form of supervision, general practitioners (GPs) discuss their work with an experienced supervisor, with one focus being to learn counselling or psychotherapy skills. This study examined the experiences of GPs who use supervision, with particular reference to how supervision impacts on their practice of medicine. The context for this inquiry included the background philosophical assumptions of the biomedical paradigm, current problems in clinical practice and the culture of general practice in New Zealand. The research used a qualitative methodology, with seven GP respondents being interviewed at length about their use of supervision. A focus group with four of the participants followed initial analysis of the individual interviews. Interviews and group discussion were analysed within a social constructivist paradigm. The respondents' stories of learning about supervision led to the construction of a collective story. This could be outlined under the four broad themes of dissonance and exploration, self-awareness and professional development, the supervised practice, and defining supervision in general practice. However, before these GPs could make effective use of supervision, they needed to work through a number of personal and cultural barriers. The findings of the research suggest that supervision is a powerful method of learning, being an embodied experience through the supervisor-doctor relationship. Some of these GPs used their supervisor to learn how to do psychotherapy in general practice. The supervisor also acted as sounding board for all the respondents to discuss other work issues, such as practice management and peer relationships. One outcome of regular supervision was validation about their work, contributing to a heightened sense of self in the work environment. Supervision facilitated a model of reflective learning that is relatively uncommon in medicine. This was achieved through rigorous attention to self-awareness, resulting in facilitated career development. In a supervised practice, the GP incorporates an increasing acuity for patients' psychological problems. There is an emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship, with awareness of the roles and boundaries around the GP’s work. Supervision was seen to be different to work in peer-groups or in personal psychotherapy, but there were similarities. The role of the supervisor was defined to include sub-roles of teacher, facilitator, analyst and evaluator. In this study there was invariably no form of summative evaluation. The results led to a definition of supervision in general practice. Studying these successful supervisor-doctor relationships gave unique insights into the barriers that prevent further utilisation of supervision or other forms of mentoring in general practice. These barriers include broad issues of the traditional epistemological assumptions of modern medicine. Having supervision appeared to have a major impact on the style of medical practice that is exhibited by these GPs. There are implications of these findings for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. This research was grounded in a social constructivist paradigm that linked theory, research and clinical practice. From the evidence presented here, these practitioners have incorporated biomedicine into a wider medical model that offers a resolution to the current paradigmatic crisis of modern medicine.

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  • Environmental tolerances of resting stages of plumatellid bryozoans at Southern Reservoir, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Brunton, Michelle A (2005)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Freshwater bryozoans grow at Southern Reservoir, a water treatment station in Dunedin, New Zealand fouling surfaces in the microstrainer hall and requiring expensive and time consuming maintenance. Preventing or minimising germination is a potentially useful way to control bryozoan infestation. Germination trials were conducted to assess the effect of temperature, dry storage, and various chemicals on floatoblast germination. Plumatella vaihiriae is newly described from Southern Reservoir. A second, as yet unidentified, Plumatellid species was discovered through the presence of floatoblasts (Plumatella n. sp.). Storing dry floatoblasts of Plumatella n. sp. decreased germination. Storing dry floatoblasts of P. vaihiriae for 63 days or more prevented germination entirely. Sodium hydroxide, acid clean in place (CIP) and sulphuric acid were most successful of those chemical treatments tested in preventing germination of P. vaihiriae floatoblasts. Exposure to alkaline CIP and a combination of CIP solutions decreased germination of P. vaihiriae floatoblasts. Pre-heating acid CIP to 35°C prevented germination of P. vaihiriae floatoblasts. Exposure to alkaline CIP solutions at temperatures of 35°C and 50°C increased germination of P. vaihiriae and Plumatella n. sp. floatoblasts. The zooid wall provided protection for floatoblasts of P. vaihiriae from exposure to acid CIP. On initial release from the zooid P. vaihiriae floatoblasts produced in winter and early summer are obligate dormants entering a diapausal state for at least three weeks. As summer approaches P. vaihiriae floatoblasts become thermos-quiescent and germinate once temperatures increase. Dunedin City Council (DCC) water department staff must adhere to strict cleaning policies when moving both people and equipment between Southern Water Treatment Station and other water treatment stations and reservoirs. P. vaihiriae and Plumatella n. sp. floatoblasts could better sustain the effects of an acid environment during transport within a vector such as a water bird more so if eaten whilst within the zooid and remaining within the zooid walls during transport.

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  • A Study of Labour Negotiators: Orientation and Behaviour

    Ferguson, Kelly (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This exploratory study examined individual negotiator social value orientation (preferences for the distribution of negotiated outcomes) and individual negotiator behaviour (strategies and tactics) in a labour relations context. Interviews were conducted with professional labour-management negotiators and collective bargaining negotiations were observed. The findings reveal that the majority of negotiators are competitively oriented and that a number of negotiators have a mixed orientation (both competitive and collaborative). Furthermore, the study reveals that distributive strategies and tactics dominate in real-world negotiations. Most of the negotiators were found to adopt a distributive strategy exclusively. However, the study also revealed that a number of negotiators utilise both distributive and integrative behaviours (albeit within a predominantly distributive strategy). Furthermore, the study examined the rigour with which behaviours are implemented. Since distributive strategies and tactics were found to be dominant it was not possible to analyse the rigour of integrative behaviours. Notwithstanding, the strength of distributive strategies and tactics were analysed. The findings show that negotiators implement distributive tactics from along a continuum that ranges from “hard” to “soft”. In fact, the majority of negotiators were found to be operating at some mid-point along that continuum, adopting a “moderate” approach to distributive bargaining that was neither hard nor soft but fell somewhere in-between. Finally, this study considered whether orientation predicts negotiation behaviour. The findings show that competitively oriented negotiators adopt distributive strategies and tactics almost exclusively, whereas the negotiators with a mixed orientation were found to be far more likely to adopt some integrative behaviour (even though their overall approach is predominantly distributive). As mentioned, the findings reveal that distributive behaviours are implemented with different degrees of rigour. Competitively oriented negotiators were found to engage in hard, moderate and soft distributive bargaining. The majority of cases were categorised as moderate, but hard and soft approaches exist. In contrast, negotiators with a mixed orientation were found to implement a moderate distributive approach only. The implications for this research and avenues for future research are discussed.

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  • Efficacy of Secondary Level Short Term Study Abroad Programmes between Japan and New Zealand : The Case Study of Darfield High School

    Hayakawa, Sumiyo (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    International education has been a growing trend globally over the past thirty years. Since the late 1980s, the popularity of study abroad programme amongst Japanese students has also seen a significant increase following the international education trend. A more recent trend in international education has been the development of shorter term study abroad programmes and the value of these programmes has been widely recognised in Japan. In response to Japanese government initiatives, Japanese secondary schools have developed short-term programmes in order to develop students’ international awareness. As a result, a large number of Japanese high school students have participated in a short-term study abroad programme in the last 20 years. Japan and New Zealand have a long history of sister school relationships. By 2012, 191 Japanese high schools had established sister school relationships, and these school links have provided the impetus for exchange programmes; which means that many Japanese high school students visit New Zealand schools to study in short-term programmes (for less than 3 months) or longer. Several scholars have investigated the learners’ outcomes of the short-term study abroad of university students. From their studies, it has been established that the main learning objectives of study abroad programmes, are second language acquisition, intercultural competence and personal development. However, little is yet known about the outcomes of younger students who have participated in short-term programmes; only a few attempts have so far been made to analyse the case of Japanese secondary school students’ short-term programmes, and few still refer specifically to programmes in New Zealand. One of my main objectives was to determine a) what were the objectives of Japanese secondary students to participation in a short-term study abroad programme in New Zealand, b) whether they feel satisfied that their objectives have been. Also, as other researchers mentioned, could benefits such as second language acquisition, intercultural competence and personal development be claimed by secondary schools participating in these programmes – specifically the Darfield High School short-term programme that is my case study. In order to do this, I conducted two surveys with four different groups of Japanese secondary school students who visited Darfield High School from 2009 to 2012 as a case study. The findings suggest that many Japanese secondary school students expected to improve their English conversation skills, but they did not feel much improvement in this area after the programme, however, upon reflection, after the programme, students recognised that they had gained far more than they had expected in a general sense. For example, many participants expected to learn about some of the aspects of New Zealand culture as a result of the programme and indeed many students felt that they accomplished this objective, in addition to learning more about their own culture. It is anticipated that the results of my research will assist those who organise study abroad programmes, assist students to maximise their learning, and benefit organisations who host students from overseas.

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  • Treaty over the teacups : an exploration of teacher educators’ understandings and application of the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi at the University of Canterbury, College of Education.A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degreeof Master of Education in the University of Canterbury

    Stark, Robyn Ann (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Teacher educators at the University of Canterbury, College of Education, like all teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand, have ethical, legal, and moral obligations in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is an agreement that was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and representatives of independent Māori hapū (sub-tribe). The failure of the Crown to uphold the Treaty plus the colonisation of New Zealand has held wide-ranging ramifications for Māori, including a negative impact on Māori education. Policy guidelines both at a national level and locally at the University of Canterbury provide requirements and guidelines for teachers and teacher educators in relation to the Treaty. The aim of many of these guidelines is to address equity issues in education and to support Māori ākonga (students) to achieve success as Māori. This thesis draws upon data from interviews with five teacher educators from the University of Canterbury, College of Education to explore their understandings of the Treaty and how these understandings inform their practice. A qualitative research approach was applied to this study. Semi-structured interviews were used and a grounded theory approach to the data analysis was applied. Three key themes arose from the data and these provided insights into the teacher educator participants’ understandings of the Treaty, how they acquired Treaty knowledge and their curriculum decision making. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory approach was used as a framework to situate how the teacher educators’ understandings of the Treaty have developed. Critical theory and concepts associated with critical pedagogy underpin this research. Critical pedagogy highlights the importance for teacher educators in New Zealand to have an understanding of the historical and contemporary complexities of educational issues related to the Treaty.

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  • The Use of the Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) Method as an Initial Estimator of Liquefaction Susceptibility in Greymouth, New Zealand

    Gibbens, Clem Alexander Molloy (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Combined analysis of the geomorphic evolution of Greymouth with Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) provides new insight into the geotechnical implications of reclamation work. The MASW method utilises the frequency dependent velocity (dispersion) of planar Rayleigh waves created by a seismic source as a way of assessing the stiffness of the subsurface material. The surface wave is inverted to calculate a shear wave velocity (Park et al., 1999). Once corrected, these shear-wave (Vs) velocities can be used to obtain a factor of safety for liquefaction susceptibility based on a design earthquake. The primary study site was the township of Greymouth, on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Greymouth is built on geologically young (Holocene-age) deposits of beach and river sands and gravels, and estuarine and lagoonal silts (Dowrick et al., 2004). Greymouth is also in a tectonically active region, with the high seismic hazard imposed by the Alpine Fault and other nearby faults, along with the age and type of sediment, mean the probability of liquefaction occurring is high particularly for the low-lying areas around the estuary and coastline. Repeated mapping over 150 years shows that the geomorphology of the Greymouth Township has been heavily modified during that timeframe, with both anthropogenic and natural processes developing the land into its current form. Identification of changes in the landscape was based on historical maps for the area and interpreting them to be either anthropogenic or natural changes, such as reclamation work or removal of material through natural events. This study focuses on the effect that anthropogenic and natural geomorphic processes have on the stiffness of subsurface material and its liquefaction susceptibility for three different design earthquake events. Areas of natural ground and areas of reclaimed land, with differing ages, were investigated through the use of the MASW method, allowing an initial estimation of the relationship between landscape modification and liquefaction susceptibility. The susceptibility to liquefaction of these different materials is important to critical infrastructure, such as the St. John Ambulance Building and Greymouth Aerodrome, which must remain functional following an earthquake. Areas of early reclamation at the Greymouth Aerodrome site have factors of safety less than 1 and will liquefy in most plausible earthquake scenarios, although the majority of the runway has a high factor of safety and should resist liquefaction. The land west of the St. John’s building has slightly to moderately positive factors of safety. Other areas have factors of safety that reflect the different geology and reclamation history.

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  • The effects of an Alpine Fault earthquake on the Taramakau River, South Island New Zealand.

    Sheridan, Mattilda (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    An Alpine Fault Earthquake has the potential to cause significant disruption across the Southern Alps of the South Island New Zealand. In particular, South Island river systems may be chronically disturbed by the addition of large volumes of sediment sourced from coseismic landsliding. The Taramakau River is no exception to this; located north of Otira, in the South Island of New Zealand, it is exposed to natural hazards resulting from an earthquake on the Alpine Fault, the trace of which crosses the river within the study reach. The effects of an Alpine Fault Earthquake (AFE) have been extensively studied, however, little attention has been paid to the effects of such an event on the Taramakau River as addressed herein. Three research methods were utilised to better understand the implications of an Alpine Fault Earthquake on the Taramakau River: (1) hydraulic and landslide data analyses, (2) aerial photograph interpretation and (3) micro-scale modelling. Data provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research were reworked, establishing relationships between hydraulic parameters for the Taramakau River. Estimates of landslide volume were compared with data from the Poerua landslide dam, a historic New Zealand natural event, to indicate how landslide sediment may be reworked through the Taramakau valley. Aerial photographs were compared with current satellite images of the area, highlighting trends of avulsion and areas at risk of flooding. Micro-scale model experiments indicated how a braided fluvial system may respond to dextral strike-slip and thrust displacement and an increase in sediment load from coseismic landslides. An Alpine Fault Earthquake will generate a maximum credible volume of approximately 3.0 x 108 m3 of landslide material in the Taramakau catchment. Approximately 15% of this volume will be deposited on the Taramakau study area floodplain within nine years of the next Alpine Fault Earthquake. This amounts to 4.4 x 107 m3 of sediment input, causing an average of 0.5 m of aggradation across the river floodplains within the study area. An average aggradation of 0.5 m will likely increase the stream height of a one-in-100 year flood with a flow rate of 3200 m3/s from seven metres to 7.5 m overtopping the road and rail bridges that cross the Taramakau River within the study area – if they have survived the earthquake. Since 1943 the Taramakau River has shifted 500 m away from State Highway 73 near Inchbonnie, moving 430 m closer to the road and rail. Paleo channels recognised across the land surrounding Inchbonnie between the Taramakau River and Lake Brunner may be reoccupied after an earthquake on the Alpine Fault. Micro-scale modelling showed that the dominant response to dextral strike-slip and increased ‘landslide’ sediment addition was up- and downstream aggradation separated by a localised zone of degradation over the fault trace. Following an Alpine Fault Earthquake the Taramakau River will be disturbed by the initial surface rupture along the fault trace, closely followed by coseismic landsliding. Landslide material will migrate down the Taramakau valley and onto the floodplain. Aggradation will raise the elevation of the river bed promoting channel avulsion with consequent flooding and sediment deposition particularly on low lying farmland near Inchbonnie. To manage the damage of these hazards, systematically raising the low lying sections of road and rail may be implemented, strengthening (or pre-planning the replacement of) the bridges is recommended and actively involving the community in critical decision making should minimise the risks of AFE induced fluvial hazards. The response of the Taramakau River relative to an Alpine Fault Earthquake might be worse, or less severe or significantly different in some way, to that assumed herein.

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  • Tall Poppy Syndrome and its effect on work performance

    Dediu, Igorevna (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The aim of this study was to find out whether employees would perform worse if they perceived their work colleagues to have negative attitudes towards tall poppies (colleagues favoured the fall of tall poppies rather than rewarding tall poppies), thus displaying typical tall poppy syndrome perceptions. Performance measures were: decision-making vigilance, decision-making dependence, decision-making avoidance, problem solving, creativity, service quality, and the personality construct need for affiliation. Control variables were age, tenure and need for achievement. The design of the study was cross-sectional, online surveys were used to collect the data. The link to the survey was distributed using LinkedIn groups and Facebook advertising, yielding a sample of 229 participants. The data was analysed using regression; the results confirmed 3 of the 7 hypotheses. The results indicated that employees working in an environment that favoured the fall of tall poppies, showed lower decision-making dependability and higher decision-making avoidance. Internal service quality was partially confirmed, it was negatively associated with participants working in an environment that favoured the fall of tall poppies, rather than reward; Theories about the contribution New Zealand’s history has made to the development of tall poppy syndrome are considered. Practical implications of the results are discussed. Directions for future studies in industrial and organizational psychology on the effects of tall poppy syndrome on work performance are discussed.

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  • Investigating the porphyrias through analysis of biochemical pathways.

    Ruegg, Evonne Teresa Nicole (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    ABSTRACT The porphyrias are a diverse group of metabolic disorders arising from diminished activity of enzymes in the heme biosynthetic pathway. They can present with acute neurovisceral symptoms, cutaneous symptoms, or both. The complexity of these disorders is demonstrated by the fact that some acute porphyria patients with the underlying genetic defect(s) are latent and asymptomatic while others present with severe symptoms. This indicates that there is at least one other risk factor required in addition to the genetic defect for symptom manifestation. A systematic review of the heme biosynthetic pathway highlighted the involvement of a number of micronutrient cofactors. An exhaustive review of the medical literature uncovered numerous reports of micronutrient deficiencies in the porphyrias as well as successful case reports of treatments with micronutrients. Many micronutrient deficiencies present with symptoms similar to those in porphyria, in particular vitamin B6. It is hypothesized that a vitamin B6 deficiency and related micronutrient deficiencies may play a major role in the pathogenesis of the acute porphyrias. In order to further investigate the porphyrias, a computational model of the heme biosynthetic pathway was developed based on kinetic parameters derived from a careful analysis of the literature. This model demonstrated aspects of normal heme biosynthesis and illustrated some of the disordered biochemistry of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). The testing of this model highlighted the modifications necessary to develop a more comprehensive model with the potential to investigated hypotheses of the disordered biochemistry of the porphyrias as well as the discovery of new methods of treatment and symptom control. It is concluded that vitamin B6 deficiency might be the risk factor necessary in conjunction with the genetic defect to trigger porphyria symptoms.

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  • Intertidal foraminifera of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary; response to coseismic deformation and potential to record local historic events

    Vettoretti, Gina Josephine (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Avon-Heathcote Estuary, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, experienced coseismic deformation as a result of the February 22nd 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. The deformation is reflected as subsidence in the northern area and uplift in the southern area of the Estuary, in addition to sand volcanoes which forced up sediment throughout the floor of the Estuary altering estuary bed height and tidal flow. The first part of the research involved quantifying the change in the modern benthic foraminifera distribution as a result of the coseismic deformation caused by the February 22nd 2011 earthquake. By analysing the taxa present immediately post deformation and then the taxa present 2 years post deformation a comparison of the benthic foraminifera distribution can be made of the pre and post deformation. Both the northern and the southern areas of the Estuary were sampled to establish whether foraminifera faunas migrated landward or seaward as a result of subsidence and uplift experienced in different areas. There was no statistical change in overall species distribution in the two year time period since the coseismic deformation occurred, however, there were some noticeable changes in foraminifera distribution at BSNS-Z3 showing a landward migration of taxa. The changes that were predicted to occur as a result of the deformation of the Estuary are taking longer than expected to show up in the foraminiferal record and a longer time period is needed to establish these changes. The second stage involved establishing the modern distribution of foraminifera at Settlers Reserve in the southern area of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary by detailed sampling along a 160 m transect. Foraminifera are sensitive to environmental parameters, tidal height, grainsize, pH and salinity were recorded to evaluate the effect these parameters have on distribution. Bray-Curtis two-way cluster analysis was primarily used to assess the distribution pattern of foraminifera. The modern foraminifera distribution is comparable to that of the modern day New Zealand brackish-water benthic foraminifera distribution and includes species not yet found in other studies of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary. Differences in sampling techniques and the restricted intertidal marshland area where the transect samples were collected account for some of the differences seen between this model and past foraminifera studies. xiii The final stage involved sampling a 2.20 m core collected from Settlers Reserve and using the modern foraminiferal distribution to establish a foraminiferal history of Settlers Reserve. As foraminifera are sensitive to tidal height they may record past coseismic deformation events and the core was used to ascertain whether record of past coseismic deformation is preserved in Settlers Reserve sediments. Sampling the core for foraminifera, grainsize, trace metals and carbon material helped to build a story of estuary development. Using the modern foraminiferal distribution and the tidal height information collected, a down core model of past tidal heights was established to determine past rates of change. Foraminifera are not well preserved throughout the core, however, a sudden relative rise in sea level is recorded between 0.25 m and 0.85 m. Using trace metal and isotope analysis to develop an age profile, this sea level rise is interpreted to record coseismic subsidence associated with a palaeoseismic event in the early 1900’s. Overall, although the Avon-Heathcote Estuary experienced clear coseismic deformation as a result of the 22nd of February 2011 earthquake, modern changes in foraminiferal distribution cannot yet be tracked, however, past seismic deformation is identified in a core. The modern transect describes the foraminifera distribution which identifies species that have not been identified in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary before. This thesis enhances the current knowledge of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and is a baseline for future studies.

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  • The Function of TAR1 and the Evolution of the Retrograde Response

    Walker, Mark (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    TAR1 is a protein coding gene situated antisense to the 25S rRNA in S. cerevisiae. Tar1p is localized to the mitochondrial inner membrane, and expression is enhanced under conditions of respiratory dysfunction. One common cause of respiratory dysfunction in S. cerevisiae are selfish mitochondrial mutants known as ρ- mitotypes. ρ- mitotypes exhibit drive within the cell following sexual reproduction ; outcompeting host cells and inducing respiratory dysfunction. Respiratory dysfunction activates the Retrograde Response, which involves the expression of genes to compensate for loss of anabolic activity that accompanies respiratory dysfunction. The Retrograde Response also leads to the formation of lifespan shortening Extrachromosomal rDNA circles. Amplification of rDNA circles has the effect of increasing TAR1 at the same time as lifting transcription repression. This observation led to the hypothesis that the formation of rDNA circles was a positive effect of the Retrograde Response, and that TAR1 may serve to ameoleriate the spread of respiratory incompetent mitochondria following sexual reproduction. In this thesis, experiments are conducted that show that TAR1 does suppress the drive of selfish mitochondrial mutants. Additional bioinformatic analyses show that the Retrograde Response may be a recent adaption to selfish mitochondrial mutants.

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  • The use of head mounted displays (HMDs) in high angle climbing : implications for the application of wearable computers to emergency response work.

    Woodham, Alexander, Timothy (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    As wearable computers become more ubiquitous in society and work environments, there are concerns that their use could be negatively impactful in some settings. Previous research indicates that mobile phone and wearable computer use can impair walking and driving performance, but as these technologies are adopted into hazardous work environments it is less clear what the impact will be. The current research investigated the effects that head mounted display use has on high angle climbing, a task representative of the extreme physical demands of some hazardous occupations (such as firefighting or search and rescue work). We explored the effect that introducing a secondary word reading and later recall task has on both climbing performance (holds per meter climbed and distance covered), and word reading and recall (dual-task effects). We found a decrease in both climbing performance and word recall under dual task conditions. Further, we examined participant climbing motion around word presentation and non-word presentation times during the climbing traverse. We found that participants slowed around word presentations, relative to periods without word presentation. Finally, we compared our results to those found in previous research using similar dual-tasking paradigms. These comparisons indicated that physical tasks may be more detrimental to word recall than seated tasks, and that visual stimuli might hinder climbing performance more than audible stimuli. This research has important theoretical implications for the dual-tasking paradigm, as well at important practical implications for emergency response operations and other hazardous working environments.

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  • Enrichment facilitates recovery of spatial memory but not retrosplenial immediate early gene hypoactivation after anterior thalamic lesions

    Mercer, Stephanie Ann (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The anterior thalamus exists within an ‘extended hippocampal memory system’ and has extensive reciprocal connectivity with regions known to support spatial memory function such as the retrosplenial cortex (RSC). Damage to the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) in humans as a result of injury or neurodegenerative disease is associated with severe anterograde amnesia that is not therapeutically manageable. Rat models of ATN lesions have provided potential avenues of treatment through environmental enrichment, to ameliorate some of the lesion-induced deficits. Previously, behavioural recovery after enrichment did not accompany recovery of the striking immediate early gene (IEG) hypoactivation in the RSC found after ATN lesions, but the tasks used may not have been sensitive to RSC function. A modified radial arm maze (RAM) task sensitive to RSC lesions was therefore used to determine whether behavioural recovery was associated with improved expression of zif268, an IEG associated with spatial memory. Initially, water maze spatial tasks were used to establish spatial memory deficits prior to enrichment and to assess memory during the period of continuous enrichment and when overnight enrichment was continued thereafter. There was little or no evidence of recovery from substantial impairments in water maze memory tasks in rats with ATN lesions. However, subsequent testing on the RAM revealed clear, albeit partial, recovery of spatial memory in the enriched rats with ATN lesions. Nonetheless, levels of zif268 expression in the superficial layers of the granular RSC remained at the same level of hypoactivity of standard-housed ATN rats; instead, there was some evidence of recovered CA1 zif268 expression. ATN lesions were also associated with reduced cell counts in the mammillary bodies, which were also not recovered in enriched rats. These findings suggest that IEG expression in the RSC may not always be a critical biomarker for spatial memory function in rats.

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  • Small business tax compliance burden : what can be done to level the playing field.

    Ma, David (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    One of the major issues associated with taxation are the costs incurred by taxpayers when they comply with their tax obligations, this is particularly important for smaller business taxpayers. Compliance costs are found to be regressive, falling with disproportionate severity on smaller businesses. This trend can be found across the globe and more importantly, in New Zealand. Prior research has shown that the severity of the regressiveness has increased over time. The current, “one-size-fits-all”, approach used in the New Zealand tax system, and others alike, have created undue complexity for small businesses. This study reviews small business tax regimes and concessions currently implemented (or proposed) in different countries to relieve the compliance burden for smaller businesses. Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States have either implemented a separate tax regime, or offers tax concessions to smaller business taxpayers. New Zealand on the other hand, presents minor ad hoc tax concessions for small business taxpayers, but since 2009, there have been proposals to change this system. This study evaluates and compares all the implemented (or proposed) regimes and concessions of the selected countries. Following from the case studies, interviews are conducted with tax professionals that have worked closely with smaller businesses, in order to shed light on the possibility of implementing a similar regime in New Zealand. The findings show that a small business tax regime has many avenues to consider, however, there is general consensus that suggests small business taxation should be kept as simple as possible. This thesis puts forward a baseline for further discussion and development of a small business regime to reduce compliance costs for smaller businesses.

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  • A Capabilities Solution to Enhancement Inequality

    Swindells, Fox (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Human enhancements will dramatically alter individuals' capabilities and lead to serious harm if unregulated. However, it is unclear how states should act to mitigate this harm. I argue that the capabilities approach provides a useful metric to determine what action states should take regarding each enhancement technology. According to the capabilities approach, states are responsible for ensuring their citizens are able to function in certain ways that are essential to human life. I consider the impact of a range of enhancements on individuals' capabilities in order to determine what actions states should take regarding each technology. I find that in order to be just and prevent harmful inequality, states will need to ensure many enhancements are available to their citizens. I also explore a range of other regulations aimed at harm prevention. Considering the impact of enhancement technologies on human capabilities, and the appropriate regulatory options for states, under the guide of the capabilities approach allows me to demonstrate that the capabilities approach can provide valuable, realistic, advice to guide public policy in response to enhancement technologies.

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  • Refinement and Normalisation of the University of Canterbury Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test

    McClelland, Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Developed by O'Beirne and Trounson (Trounson, 2012), the UC Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test (UCAMST) is an auditory-visual speech test in NZ English where sentences are assembled from 50 words arranged into 5 columns (name, verb, quantity, adjective, object). Generation of sentence materials involved cutting and re-assembling 100 naturally spoken ‟original” sentences to create a large repertoire of 100,000 unique ‟synthesised” sentences. The process of synthesising sentences from video fragments resulted in occasional artifactual image jerks (‟judders”)‒quantified by an unusually large change in the ‟pixel difference value” of consecutive frames‒at the edited transitions between video fragments. To preserve the naturalness of materials, Study 1 aimed to select transitions with the least ‟noticeable” judders. Normal-hearing participants (n = 18) assigned a 10-point noticeability rating score to 100 sentences comprising unedited ‟no judder” sentences (n = 28), and ‟synthesised” sentences (n = 72) that varied in the severity (i.e. pixel difference value), number, and position of judders. The judders were found to be significantly noticeable compared to no judder controls, and based on mean rating score, 2,494 sentences with ‟minimal noticeable judder” were included in the auditory-visual UCAMST. Follow-on work should establish equivalent lists using these sentences. The average pixel difference value was found to be a significant predictor of rating score, therefore may be used as a guide in future development of auditory-visual speech tests assembled from video fragments. The aim of Study 2 was to normalise the auditory-alone UCAMST to make each audio fragment equally intelligible in noise. In Part I, individuals with normal hearing (n = 17) assessed 400 sentences containing each file fragment presented at four different SNRs (-18.5, -15, -11.5, and -8 dB) in both constant speech-shaped noise (n = 9) and six-talker babble (n = 8). An intelligibility function was fitted to word-specific data, and the midpoint (Lmid, intelligibility at 50%) of each function was adjusted to equal the mean pre-normalisation midpoint across fragments. In Part II, 30 lists of 20 sentences were generated with relatively homogeneous frequency of matrix word use. The predicted parameters in constant noise (Lmid = 14.0 dB SNR; slope = 13.9%/dB ± 0.0%/dB) are comparable with published equivalents. The babble noise condition was, conversely, less sensitive (Lmid = 14.9 dB SNR; slope = 10.3%/dB ± 0.1%/dB), possibly due to a smaller sample size (n = 8). Overall, this research constituted an important first step in establishing the UCAMST as a reliable measure of speech recognition; follow-on work will validate the normalisation procedure carried out in this project.

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