5,109 results for 2015

  • Evolution Made Visible: The Worlds of Thomas Jeffery Parker (1850-1897) the Noted New Zealand Zoologist

    Crane, Rosemary Helen Beatrice (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    A biographical approach to the working life of Thomas Jeffery Parker FRS (1850-1897) provides scope for an in-depth investigation of how zoological knowledge became visible in late-nineteenth century New Zealand. A noted zoologist, Parker arrived in Dunedin in 1880 to a joint appointment as Professor of Biology in the University of Otago and Curator of the Museum. He had spent eight years working as demonstrator in Thomas Henry Huxley’s (1825-1890) laboratory in London. He brought with him a conviction that evolution provided the fundamental organising principle of biology. Once in Dunedin he set about making evolution visible. This study examines the various facets of Parker’s work that achieved this goal. I explore the lively debates arising from the public lectures he gave, in which he promoted evolution. In Dunedin, founded by Scottish Free Church Presbyterians in 1848, public interest in science-and-religion remained high throughout the late-nineteenth century. This study suggests that Parker’s own religious sensibilities lay between the agnosticism of Huxley and the faith of his Wesleyan father, the anatomist William Kitchen Parker (1823-1890). I also investigate Parker’s role in disseminating popular versions of biology, from the podium and through articles, to various audiences. His roles in the sociable side of scientific activities included organizing exhibits for conversaziones and international exhibitions. Parker’s efforts are placed within the context of Dunedin’s vibrant rational entertainment scene. Parker exchanged, bought, sold and collected specimens for the Otago University Museum in order to provide a comprehensive teaching collection. I appraise Parker’s previously little-understood role in museum collection building and explore his material practices in creating objects and their display according to evolutionary principles. Parker’s embryological studies of kiwi and phylogeny of the moa formed a major contribution to New Zealand biology. Methodologically speaking, he followed a traditional path of comparative anatomy. A close-reading of his more than forty papers of technically dense work reveal a conservative mind and a dedication to developmental morphology. Aware of changing epistemologies, he incorporated a statistical approach to his analyses. In this study, I suggest Parker created knowledge through drawing. Analysis of his illustrations reveals his concern with clear exposition. I show how the he used illustrations as part of the process of visual communication not simply as an adjunct. Generations of students learnt zoology using Parker’s system of ‘types’ a pedagogy he inherited from Huxley. They assimilated evolutionary principles via A Textbook of Zoology, which organized the animal kingdom in a typically late-nineteenth century progressive fashion. This two-volume book, co-authored with William Aitcheson Haswell (1854-1925) in Sydney and published posthumously, remains in print. An analysis of its creation shows how disciplinary shifts within zoology were fixed to the page. This study also uses Parker to explore wider concerns in the history of science. These include praxis and materiality, the popularization of science, the rise of the learned journal and broader aspects of print culture, and the geographic location of knowledge creation.

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  • Maximising the Potential of Existing Urban Infrastructure: Can Infrastructure Reuse Provide Successful Public Spaces?

    Kean, Gemma (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    There is great potential for innovative and creative public spaces beyond the traditional park or plaza to exist, yet this is still what most local authorities provide for in their public space policies. As cities intensify there is a need to provide additional public space in what may not have been considered to conventionally be a part of the public realm. Infrastructure is one example which can be used to provide additional public space through the adaptive reuse of a site, instead of abandonment or demolition when infrastructure is no longer required due to technological advancement. This research investigates whether the adaptive reuse of infrastructure can help create successful public spaces, and whether reuse can contribute towards improving the connectivity of an area. This is done using two case studies: Paddington Reservoir Gardens and the Ultimo Pedestrian Network in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project explores whether there is too much focus on reusing the space with minimal adaptation, and the extent to which the planning processes enable or inhibit development, and allow for or discourage stakeholder involvement. The findings indicate that the adaptive reuse of infrastructure can provide interesting public spaces, however, success is dependent on the surrounding context. The two case studies employed in the research are vastly different. Despite this, the results show that infrastructural public spaces need to be active, provide for a range of users, and incorporate themes such as stickability and fine grain design to contribute positive outcomes to an urban environment.Often with infrastructure there is a risk of focusing too much on the preservation of heritage sites or making do with what already exists, instead of taking a greenfield approach to development. This can lead to spaces which are not integrated with the surrounds and which are not frequented or used as well as they could be. Further research needs to be undertaken to better understand the extent to which these particular public spaces-adaptively reused infrastructure differ to other spaces in the public realm.

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  • The Experience of Depression in the Tokelauan Culture in Two North Island Communities

    Loan, Iain Stuart (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background and Aims: The Tokelauan language lacks a word that corresponds to the western term ‘depression’. Furthermore, there is no research on the experience of depression in Tokelauans, and yet doctors continue to apply a western biomedical model of depression to Tokelauan patients and those from other Pacific cultures. This research aims to describe the experience of depression in Tokelauans and provide insight into its management. Better awareness of the symptoms and signs of depression as experienced by Pacific Islanders will enhance diagnosis and treatment of the illness by general practitioners. Method: Following extensive consultation with the Tokelauan community in Taupo, and using purposive stratified sampling, ten respondents contributed to this study. Semi-structured in depth interviews were performed and recorded verbatim. The transcripts of the interviews were thematically analysed using an immersion crystallisation technique, with further analysis to detect sub themes. Results: There is no specific word for depression in the Tokelauan language but an illness involving extraordinary sadness does exist. Ordinary sadness is regarded as just ‘part of life’ but extraordinary sadness can be classified as “unwellness” or “a burden". Tokelauans use several indicators to recognise someone with extraordinary sadness. The main indicator is isolation and withdrawal from family and community activities as well as absence from work and church. Tokelauan men are more likely to hold their feelings in and may indicate their unwellness with increased alcohol use or violent tendencies. For Tokelauans, privacy and pride are important cultural characteristics and these may be barriers to recognising sadness. The shame and loss of status associated with displaying sadness may also cause a person to hide his or her feelings. Often the smiling Tokelauan face becomes the mask that hides sadness. The main causes of extraordinary sadness are the changes caused by western influences on the Tokelauan culture and the stress of poverty and unemployment. The family, community and church are all important avenues for caring and for counselling the Tokelauan with extraordinary sadness. Discussion: This research documents some of the features of depression experienced by Tokelauans that are different from those that doctors may be trained to detect and manage using a western biomedical model. This research demonstrates the complexity of relationships between the patient, their illness and their culture that impacts on how the illness manifests. Similarly, this research indicates that therapy must have a holistic approach that includes the family, the community and that accounts for the patient’s spiritual beliefs. Te Vaka Atafaga is a metaphor for Tokelauan wellbeing involving a canoe. Its structure is representative of different components of health, and it provides a holistic model for the general practitioner involved in assessing and treating Tokelau Islanders with a possible depressive illness. The model does not exclude the use of western medical approaches, but it emphasises the need for social disharmony to be corrected to allow healing. Conclusion: The presentation and management of depression in Tokelauans may differ from that of other patients in a general practice setting. The Te Vaka Atafaga model provides the general practitioner with a tool to assess the different components that comprise health in the Tokelauan. A holistic approach involving the family, spirituality and correction of social factors along with palagi medicine is then necessary for treatment.

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  • Rib Fractures in Infants: Retrospective Survey of Fractures and Biomechanical Study.

    Blackburne, William Bligh (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Literature suggests that rib fractures are highly associated with abuse and the present understanding is that antero-posterior compression associated with the ‘shaken baby syndrome’ is their cause. However, this mechanism rests on a number of assumptions with little experimental data to support them. Recent work using a porcine model of fractures suggests that, in the case of lateral fractures this may be highly unlikely. This work shows a feasible alternate mechanism, that of blunt force trauma (BFT), for the cause of these lateral fractures. A piglet model is used and shows the ease with which ribs fracture as a result of BFT, compared to the difficulty of fracture seen previously in compressive injury. The initial development of a computational simulation of these ribs for use in injury scenarios is also outlined here. Secondly, skeletal surveys from New Zealand’s largest children’s care facility, Starship Hospital, were examined to give a picture of non-accidental injury (NAI) and how its patterns compare with accidental injury in New Zealand. It has been found that, as in foreign studies, there are a number of lesions highly associated with abuse and these include rib fractures, which are highly specific (97%) for NAI. Unusuallyhigh frequencies of lateral-type rib fractures (46.4%) were found and half the cases were found to be unilateral. This is not wholly in line with the currently accepted idea that rib fracture is due to antero-posterior compression, in which bilateral, posterior fractures are said to be most common. Overall, this work brings into question the traditional mechanism of rib fractures, provides a highly useful snapshot of abusive injury in NZ and also sets a strong foundation for future work.

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  • A Qualitative Exploration of the Barriers and Enablers to New Zealand City Councils Developing and Implementing Food and Nutrition Policy

    Gower, Jacinda Ruth (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Diet- related non communicable diseases and obesity are the biggest cause of ill health and mortality in New Zealand. Current government public health approaches do not appear to be effective in preventing non- communicable diseases and obesity as rates continue to increase. To combat the obesity epidemic research suggests government regulative policy which positively shapes food environments is needed. New Zealand’s current government’s ideologies’ reject public health nutrition regulative policy so are unlikely to be an effective agency to reduce obesity and non- communicable disease rates. Local Authorities have been proposed as an alternative government organisation that has the ability to positively influence local food environments through developing and implementing food and nutrition policy. However, no New Zealand Local Authorities have food and nutrition policy and currently, there is no research regarding Local Authority food and nutrition policy in a New Zealand context. Objective: This research project aims to explore factors which enable, hinder and influence New Zealand City Councils’ ability to develop and implement food and nutrition policy. Methods: This public health nutrition study is set in a policy context so qualitative research was used to explore the social and organisational factors influencing City Councils’ development of food and nutrition policy that supports health food environments. Semi- structured in depth telephone and face-to-face interviews were carried out with 21 participants with representation from each of the 12 City Councils and Auckland Council. These interviews consisted of nine core questions which were informed by a review of the literature. All interviews were recorded and selectively transcribed. A general inductive approach was used to thematically analyse the data to categorise it into six major themes underpinned by minor themes. A single case study design was used to portray emerging themes and to understand the context of New Zealand City Councils’ capacity to develop food and nutrition policy. Results: The results of this study identified an array of factors which influenced City Councils’ decision making to develop and implement food and nutrition policy to improve local food environments. Six overarching categories emerged as being prominent to explaining City Councils’ capacity to influence food environments. These categories are council resources, community influence, political factors, long term plans, national-level governments and research, case studies and nutrition guidelines. All of these influencing factors had the potential to act as a barrier or an enabler dependant on the local political environment. The main finding is City Councils’ have the capacity to develop food and nutrition policy when there is a widespread awareness and prioritisation of food environment issues in the agenda of three key groups; the community, elected members of council and council staff. Conclusion: New Zealand City Councils capacity to develop and implement food and nutrition policy is determined by a host of external, internal, national and local influence factors. A multi pronged approach of strong local political support, partnerships, credible champions and local or case study research are needed for food environment issues to be addressed by City Councils through the LTP and subsequent food and nutrition policy. To achieve this New Zealand’s public health community need to be active advocates at a City Council level and be involved with activating communities and raising awareness around food and nutrition issues.

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  • The role of cytoskeletal elements in the trafficking of KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells

    Farquhar, Rachel (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    The intermediate conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa3.1) is targeted to the basolateral membrane in polarized epithelia where it plays an essential role in promoting trans-epithelial ion transport. KCa3.1 is found in many tissues in the body and plays an important role in many physiological and pathological processes (e.g., regulation of salt and fluid transport in the gastrointestinal tract, atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease and asthma). Functional KCa3.1 must be targeted to the basolateral membrane, a process that is dependent upon proper cytoskeletal function. The cytoskeleton is comprised of actin and microtubule filaments. Actin filaments are comprised of polymerised G-actin monomers bound to form filamentous F-actin strands. Microtubules are long filamentous structures comprised of tubulin subunits, made from α-tubulin and β-tubulin monomers. This study examines the role of microfilaments and microtubules in the trafficking of KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells. To address this, Fischer Rat Thyroid cells grown on filter inserts to form a confluent epithelium were stably transfected with the Biotin Ligase Acceptor Peptide (BLAP)-KCa3.1 construct. This construct allowed for the selective labeling of basolaterally expressed KCa3.1 using streptavidin. Selective labeling of membrane bound KCa3.1 allowed for the measurement of changes in KCa3.1 expression, in response to drugs that disrupt cytoskeletal elements, to reflect changes in KCa3.1 located on the basolateral membrane. This measure allowed for a direct correlation to be drawn between targeted disruption of specific cytoskeletal elements, e.g. microtubules and microfilaments, and expression of basolaterally-located KCa3.1. PCR was used to determine the mRNA expression levels of KCa3.1 in stably transfected cell lines and SDS-PAGE techniques were employed to investigate protein expression levels of KCa3.1. Western blotting was used to explore the effects of Cytochalasin D (Cyto D), Latrunculin A (Lat A), and Myosin Light Chain Inhibitor-7 (ML-7) which inhibit the function of actin (Cyto D, Lat A) and myosin light chain kinase (ML-7) respectively. Toxicity tests were performed to determine cell survival under a range concentrations of 0-20 μM (0, 3, 5 hr) for all three drugs with cell survival reduced with 20 μM at t = 5 hr for Cyto D and Lat A. Cyto D was administered over intervals of 0, 3 and 5 hr at 10 μM resulting in a decreased relative expression of KCa3.1 (compared to control) of 0.6±0.14 at t = 3 and further decrease in the expression of the channel at t = 5 hr with a relative expression of 0.12±0.035 (n = 5, p < 0.05). Lat A was also administered over intervals of 0, 3 and 5 hr at 10 μM causing a relative reduction in the expression of KCa3.1 at the basolateral membrane compared to the control. At t = 3 hr the expression of KCa3.1 was reduced to 0.7±0.065 and decreased to 0.3±0.049 at t = 5 hr (n = 4, p < 0.001). Finally, cells treated with microtubule inhibitor ML-7 showed a relative reduction in KCa3.1 expression of 0.55±0.12 at t = 3 hr, the expression was further decreased to 0.33±0.11 at t = 5 hr compared to the control. These data confirm that microtubules and microfilaments of the cytoskeleton are crucial in trafficking KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells.

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  • Adapting a Hyper-heuristic to Respond to Scalability Issues in Combinatorial Optimisation

    Marshall, Richard J. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The development of a heuristic to solve an optimisation problem in a new domain, or a specific variation of an existing problem domain, is often beyond the means of many smaller businesses. This is largely due to the task normally needing to be assigned to a human expert, and such experts tend to be scarce and expensive. One of the aims of hyper-heuristic research is to automate all or part of the heuristic development process and thereby bring the generation of new heuristics within the means of more organisations. A second aim of hyper-heuristic research is to ensure that the process by which a domain specific heuristic is developed is itself independent of the problem domain. This enables a hyper-heuristic to exist and operate above the combinatorial optimisation problem “domain barrier” and generalise across different problem domains. A common issue with heuristic development is that a heuristic is often designed or evolved using small size problem instances and then assumed to perform well on larger problem instances. The goal of this thesis is to extend current hyper-heuristic research towards answering the question: How can a hyper-heuristic efficiently and effectively adapt the selection, generation and manipulation of domain specific heuristics as you move from small size and/or narrow domain problems to larger size and/or wider domain problems? In other words, how can different hyperheuristics respond to scalability issues? Each hyper-heuristic has its own strengths and weaknesses. In the context of hyper-heuristic research, this thesis contributes towards understanding scalability issues by firstly developing a compact and effective heuristic that can be applied to other problem instances of differing sizes in a compatible problem domain. We construct a hyper-heuristic for the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem domain to establish whether a heuristic for a specific problem domain can be developed which is compact and easy to interpret. The results show that generation of a simple but effective heuristic is possible. Secondly we develop two different types of hyper-heuristic and compare their performance across different combinatorial optimisation problem domains. We construct and compare simplified versions of two existing hyper-heuristics (adaptive and grammar-based), and analyse how each handles the trade-off between computation speed and quality of the solution. The performance of the two hyper-heuristics are tested on seven different problem domains compatible with the HyFlex (Hyper-heuristic Flexible) framework. The results indicate that the adaptive hyper-heuristic is able to deliver solutions of a pre-defined quality in a shorter computational time than the grammar-based hyper-heuristic. Thirdly we investigate how the adaptive hyper-heuristic developed in the second stage of this thesis can respond to problem instances of the same size, but containing different features and complexity. We investigate how, with minimal knowledge about the problem domain and features of the instance being worked on, a hyper-heuristic can modify its processes to respond to problem instances containing different features and problem domains of different complexity. In this stage we allow the adaptive hyper-heuristic to select alternative vectors for the selection of problem domain operators, and acceptance criteria used to determine whether solutions should be retained or discarded. We identify a consistent difference between the best performing pairings of selection vector and acceptance criteria, and those pairings which perform poorly. This thesis shows that hyper-heuristics can respond to scalability issues, although not all do so with equal ease. The flexibility of an adaptive hyper-heuristic enables it to perform faster than the more rigid grammar-based hyper-heuristic, but at the expense of losing a reusable heuristic.

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  • Nutritional assessment of older New Zealand adults living in rest homes in the lower South Island

    Greenwood, Daniel (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: The increasing numbers of New Zealanders aged over 65 years will place a large burden on healthcare resources and rest home facilities around the country. Malnutrition is a major contributor to adverse health outcomes in the elderly, leading to higher mortality, morbidity and lower quality of life. There is very little information on the prevalence of malnutrition among New Zealand rest home residents, and there is not any information on the adequacy of nutrient intakes in this population. However, international data show very high rates of malnutrition and poor nutrient intakes amongst elderly residents in long-term low-level care. Objective: The specific aims of the study are in residents of two rest homes in the Lower South Island: i) To describe the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes; ii) To describe the prevalence of malnutrition risk; and, iii) To describe the prevalence of anaemia. Design: This cross-sectional study included 35 participants (14 men and 21 women), aged 69-102 years who lived in 2 rest homes in the lower South Island. Information on demographics, medical history, medications and supplement use were collected from medical notes. Malnutrition screening was done using two different screening tools- Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool. Cognitive function and mood were examined using the Clock Drawing Test and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Anthropometry measurements collected were; height, ulna length, weight, using standard protocols and body mass index (kg/m2) was calculated using average ulna length measurements. Dietary intake data were collected with 3-day food records, over 2 non-consecutive week days and one weekend day. Food intakes were matched to nutrient lines in the New Zealand Food Composition Tables to determine nutrient intakes. Nutrient intakes were then compared with current recommendations to estimate the prevalence of inadequate intakes. Blood and urine samples were taken for later analysis of biochemical nutritional status. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health) (H13/118). Results: The duration of stay in the rest homes ranged from 4 to 161 months (mean = 47months. Fifty percent of participants had a BMI over 25kg/m2, and 11% were underweight (BMI <20 kg/m2). Overall energy intakes were low, with 43% of men and 76% of women having suboptimal energy intakes (P=0.046 for differences between men and women). Sixty-three percent had inadequate protein intakes. Mean saturated fat intake was high, (16% of total energy intake), and average fibre intakes were low (19 g/day). All participants had suboptimal selenium and vitamin D intakes, although 83% of participants were on a monthly vitamin D supplement. Over 90% had inadequate intakes of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E, and over 20% had inadequate intakes of thiamin and vitamin B12. When assessed with the MNA-SF tool, 53% were classified as being at risk of malnutrition. When using the MUST screening tool, 39%, were classified as being at risk of malnutrition. Anaemia rates were high in both men and women (57%). Conclusion: We have shown that malnutrition and inadequate micronutrient intakes are prevalent in rest home residents in the lower South Island. More research and strategies are needed to ensure that rest home residents are gaining the appropriate level of nutrition required to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible. 

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  • What lies within? : an exploration of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)

    Winther, Tracy (2015)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) has in recent times been gaining visibility in community development practice. Practice is asset based, internally focused and relationship driven. Dimensions of community development are explored including the specific values, principles and processes that characterise ABCD as an approach, a strategy and a methodology. Critical success factors and principles of effective community development practice. These findings are consolidated in a framework of praxis indicators which is used to specifically examine ABCD practice application in current community development practice. Three community projects are explored using an integrated methodology which explores practice through questioning of key informants and examination of relevant project artefacts. Through this approach it was possible to demonstrate how ABCD is mobilised in practical application demonstrating the positive impact on community led participation and enhanced local social capital within localised community. Particular strengths of ABCD practice can be seen in the identification and mobilisation of local community resources through bonding, bridging and linking across sector networks which through its processes enhances social capital within defined local neighbourhoods. The impacts of practice are explored through the application of a community capitals framework which additionally highlights mobilisation of natural, built, human, cultural, financial and political capital. Specific enablers identified include the necessity for a catalyst to both ignite and sustain community led ABCD initiatives and consideration of scale in its effectiveness. Potentially ABCD practice could be further enhanced through intentional application of a community capitals framework and social network analysis and further research into its intentional application in these ways would be beneficial. ABCD is shown to be a particularly powerful approach, strategy and methodology in its application to activating the local physical environment such as local food security initiatives and also as a mechanism to enable the localised sharing of knowledge and resources within a defined geographic neighbourhoods. Innovative financial models were developed including community resource banks, time banks and diverse alternative economy potential. Project location: Lyttelton, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch. Project Lyttelton - the soul of a sustainable community.

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  • Larval drift and development of amphidromous fishes, particularly the bluegill bully (Gobiomorphus hubbsi)

    Jarvis, Matthew Graham (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Amphidromy is a distinct life history strategy found in many aquatic organisms, involving a return migration (‘drift’) to a pelagic feeding habitat (usually the sea), undertaken by newly hatched larvae. The freshwater fish faunas of many Indo-Pacific islands are dominated by amphidromous species, yet they remain understudied, especially their larval stages. Amphidromous larvae hatch out exceptionally small and undeveloped, and so face a range of specific challenges during migration such as irreversible starvation and failed development if migration is delayed, as well as management difficulties due to their small size. Basic ecological knowledge such as timing and extent of migration remains unknown, but is crucial to the management of amphidromous species. It was therefore the aim of this thesis to further our knowledge on the larval ecology and migration of a number of New Zealand’s amphidromous fish species. This thesis examines patterns of larval drift and development, focussing on the bluegill bully (Gobiomorphus hubbsi), an endemic eleotrid. A distinct diel and spatial drift pattern was documented, with the vast majority of fish larvae migrating to sea within a few hours of sunset. It is suggested that targeting conservation measures within this window of drift represents a potentially beneficial management strategy for amphidromous species. Development and starvation of larvae was also examined, both through field studies and lab experiments. No distinct pattern of starvation was observed in larvae during their seaward migration, however larvae retained in freshwater failed to develop to as complete a state as those transferred to seawater, implying delayed migration may adversely affect amphidromous fishes developmentally, ultimately reducing their success upon reaching the sea. These results indicate both threats to amphidromous fishes during their larval migration, and a potential approach which may prove beneficial in conserving these fascinating and vulnerable species.

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  • Self-Regulation During A Reading-To-Write Task: A Sociocultural Theory-Based Investigation

    Wall, Bunjong (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Most composition studies focus on students’ writing processes and written products without integrating reading into their research activities. More recently, researchers have acknowledged the reciprocal reading-writing relationship and begun to examine reading-to-write or discourse synthesis processes. Research shows that discourse synthesis is cognitively demanding and that most second language writers lack linguistic, mental, and sociocultural resources to perform this task effectively. Existing studies have not emphasised the role of self-directed speech as a self-regulatory strategy while students read multiple texts in order to write. This thesis addresses this gap in the literature. Informed by sociocultural theoretical notions that cognition is socially mediated and that speech is instrumental in learning and development, this qualitative multiple-case-studies thesis examined how five Thai EFL tertiary students applied their knowledge and skills, following explicit concept-based instruction on discourse synthesis, textual coherence, and argumentation. The researcher designed and delivered a four-week intervention in which the learning concepts, materials, and verbalisation were instrumental in promoting conceptual understanding and reading-to-write performance. Explicitly taught verbalisation or self-directed speech, together with learning materials specifically designed as schemes for task orientation, was a key for self-regulation as participants read multiple texts in order to compose an argument essay. The study adopted an activity theoretical framework and microgenetic analysis. The analysis aimed to describe the participants as social beings and to outline their self-regulation as it unfolded during a mediated reading-to-write activity. Data from a pre-task questionnaire on strategy use and from a post-task written self-reflection form together with video-recorded data during the end-of-intervention discourse synthesis task and interview data were triangulated to examine how reading-to-write activities were mediated and regulated. Findings were organised around four main themes: participants as readers and writers of English, essay argument structure, microgenetic findings of unfolding self-regulatory behaviour during the discourse synthesis activity, and developmental gains as perceived by the participants during concept-based instruction. The findings in this study show that participants’ reading and writing difficulties and argumentation were, in part, shaped by the social, historical and cultural factors in the Thai EFL context, and that participants’ strategic application of verbalisation and learning materials mediated their developmental changes and self-regulation. During the discourse synthesis task, participants used self-directed speech as a strategy and demonstrated varying degrees of self-regulation over various task aspects. Successful task completion indicated purposeful mediated learning with strong orientation towards the task, based on conceptual understanding, specific goals, and voluntary inclusion of learning materials as psychological tools. All participants reportedly viewed verbalisation as a useful strategy and most participants were able to describe their increased theoretical understanding of the concepts explicitly taught. However, their conceptual understanding did not always translate into their actual performance. These findings raise pedagogical implications and highlight the need for human mediators to make explicit the learning concepts, materials and strategies, so that theoretical understanding and learning tools can lead to meaningful task performance. Based on the above findings, this thesis proposes a self-regulation model and calls for future research to investigate how explicit verbalisation training can be systematised.  

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  • Hostility in the House of God: An "Interested" Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy

    Thornton, Dillon T. (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    To my knowledge, Pietersen’s study (2004) is the only monograph published in the last twenty years that has focused on the opponents in the Pastoral Epistles, but his work is not exegetical. In this thesis, I concentrate on 1 and 2 Timothy, the two letters purportedly dispatched to Ephesus. I assemble the relevant pericopae of the letters and offer an exegetical analysis of them, with the intention of providing, first, a composite sketch of the ideology of the opposing group and, second, an in-depth account of the way the faithful Pauline community was to engage these opponents. The first chapter of the thesis is devoted to preliminary issues and methodology. I argue that 1 and 2 Timothy constitute two types of letter, both dispatched in the late first century to the Christian community in Ephesus, each addressing a stage of the conflict in which the community was engaged. I further argue that the polemical portions of the letters reveal specific information about this conflict. I then formulate a stringent method for the study of Paul’s opponents. I summarize and critique historical-critical methodologies and bring the most recent work on theological interpretation of Scripture into dialogue with these methodologies. The result is a new approach to the study of opponents, one that remains rigorously tethered to the primary text and that is characterized by ecclesial concern. In chapters two to six, I apply this method to 1 and 2 Timothy. In chapter two, I offer an exegetical analysis of the explicit units of 1 Timothy, those units where we have clear and certain reference to the opponents (1:3-7, 18-20; 4:1-5; 6:2b-5, 20-21a). Chapters three and four focus on the implicit units in 1 Timothy, those units where we have highly probable reference to the opponents (1:8-11; 2:9-15; 4:6-10; 5:9-16; 6:6-10). In chapter five, I turn to 2 Timothy, analyzing the three explicit units (2:14-26; 3:1-9; 4:1-5) and the one implicit unit of the letter (2:8-13). In chapter six, I bring together the full gamut of data uncovered in the exegetical chapters, offering overall conclusions about the opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy. As a follow-up to this, I enumerate what I perceive to be the most important implications of the findings for the house of God today. My findings may be summarized as follows. I conclude that the opponents came from within the Christian community in Ephesus and that their teaching is best described as an erroneous eschatological position that derived from the complexity of Paul’s views. Each doctrinal and ethical issue raised in the explicit and implicit units of the letters can be explained as a distortion of Pauline doctrine. Additionally, I contend that the opponents had an active “didactic/evangelistic ministry” in Ephesus, for which they received remuneration. They likely set out to recruit as large a following, and as large an income, as possible, but found a particularly fruitful field among the women in Ephesus. As I formulate my view of the opponents, I critique a number of the extant theories, including “Gnostic,” Jewish, and Proto-Montanist identifications. I also conclude that the author engages with the false teachers in significant ways throughout the letters. I draw attention to a number of literary and theological maneuvers that are intended to counteract the opponents’ influence and/or to bolster the faithful community’s confidence as they struggle against the opponents. These include the way the author turns features of the opponents against them, his use of the faithful saying formula, the way he relates the Triune God and the principal adversary, Satan, to the opponents, and the way the author portrays the gospel as an unstoppable force in his own ministry. Though the author pictures the opponents as enemies of God, he also highlights the fact that the opponents are not beyond the reach of God’s grace; thus, Timothy is called to minister the saving word to them. In the explicit and implicit units, the author instructs Timothy to occupy himself with five specific activities: reflection on his commissioning and on the apostolic gospel, rejection of the opponents’ claims, proclamation of the healthy teaching, demonstration of the gospel in actions that are pleasing to God, and correction of the false teachers themselves. The wider faithful community is at least implicitly included in the activities of rejection, demonstration, and correction.

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  • Public Theology, Core Values and Domestic Violence in Samoan Society

    Ah Siu-Maliko, Mercy (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The purpose of this research is to formulate a theologically coherent perspective on the complex social and moral questions facing contemporary Samoan society. It does so by constructing a contextual Samoan public theology, based on the core Samoan-Christian values of alofa (love), fa’aaloalo (respect), soalaupule (consensual dialogue), tautua (selfless service) and amiotonu (justice). Drawing on scholarship on public theology, as well as relevant interdisciplinary sociological, cultural and religious studies, the thesis examines the nature and constituent elements of public theology, both in the West and in Samoa. To construct a framework for a public theology for Samoa based on its core values, the study examines the significance of the fa’asamoa (Samoan way of life) and its value system. Key to this framework is an understanding of the fusion between Samoan values and Christian values. Because ‘the public’ are the subjects of public theology, a crucial element of the construction of a Samoan public theology is the incorporation of the views of representative voices within Samoan society. Using constructivist grounded theory and talanoa Pacific research methodologies, seventy-five interviews from representatives of government, civil society, churches and villages garner valuable information on Samoans’ core values and their relevance for a public theology. The information on core values gleaned from research participants and other scholarship reveals how they can be brought to bear on social issues in the Samoan public sphere – the ‘why, who, what and how’ of a Samoan public theology. This collective knowledge suggests concrete ways of shaping theological discourse and moral action in contemporary Samoan society. The thesis ends with a contextual application of core Samoan-Christian values, as a public theology response to the social problem of domestic violence in Samoa.

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  • The X-ray Crystal Structure of Alanine Racemase from Acinetobacter baumannii

    Davis, Emily (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterium, which is a common cause of hospital acquired infections. Numerous antibiotic resistant strains exist, emphasising the need for developing new antimicrobials. Alanine racemase is a pyridoxal 5’-phosphate dependent enzyme, responsible for racemisation between enantiomers of alanine. As D-alanine is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall, its inhibition is lethal to prokaryotes, making it an excellent antibiotic drug target. In this study, A. baumannii alanine racemase (AlrAba) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. A purification protocol was then developed involving ammonium sulphate fractionation and chromatography steps (Hydrophobic interaction, anion exchange and size exclusion). This purification protocol was able to produce 11.5 mg/L of AlrAba with a purity of greater than 95 %. The kinetic parameters of AlrAba were determined using spectrometric coupled enzyme activity assays. The Vmax and Km for the L-alanine to D-alanine reaction were found to be 220.5 U/mg and 1.56 mM, respectively. The Vmax and Km for the D-alanine to L-alanine reaction were found to be 11.3 U/mg and 0.56 mM, respectively. AlrAba was successfully crystallised and the structure was determined using X-ray crystallography. The structure was initially solved to 1.9 Å resolution via molecular replacement using the monomer of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alanine racemase as the search model. The final structure had an Rfactor of 19.7 % and an Rfree of 23.4 %. The resolution was then extended to 1.65 Å with an Rfactor of 20.6 % and Rfree of 23.6 %. The tertiary structure AlrAba was established to be a homodimer, in which the two monomers interact in a head to tail manner, resulting in two active sites per enzyme. Each active site is comprised of residues from the N-terminal domain of one monomer and the C-terminal domain of the second monomer. The N-terminal domain corresponds to residues 1 – 230, and consists of an eight-stranded α/β barrel. The C-terminal domain corresponds to residues 231 – 356, and mainly contains β-strands. Comparison of AlrAba with alanine racemases from closely related bacteria demonstrated a conserved overall fold, substrate entryway and active site. The structure of AlrAba will provide a template for future structure-based drug design studies.

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  • Living in Two Cities: Lessons for the church today from Augustine's City of God

    Broome, Deborah Louise (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Reading Augustine’s City of God through the lens of public theology, as well as in conversation with some of his leading commentators, provides an opportunity to discover how Augustine’s account of the two Cities (the civitas Dei and the civitas terrena) might inform the role of Christians in contemporary New Zealand, those who are living both as citizens in temporal society (the secular realm) and members of an alternative, Christian, society. There are parallels between Augustine’s society and our own which make a reading of City of God instructive for the Church today. The occasion of Augustine’s writing of City of God is briefly discussed, as is the theme of the two cities in the Bible and elsewhere in ancient literature. Attention is given to the nature of public theology and significant issues which public theologians must address, including the location of the debate (a secular public square), the language used, and the right to speak. A key notion is ‘seeking the welfare of the city’. Augustine is considered as public theologian and as apologist. The structure of City of God is analysed, key themes considered, and a précis offered which focuses on Augustine’s treatment of the two cities throughout the work. The nature of the City of God and the Earthly City are examined, in discussion with major commentators: the cities are societies defined by their members and by what their members love. The Church is not the City of God, but is rather a sign and an anticipation of it. Likewise, the Earthly City is not Rome, nor the State. The two cities are interwoven and intermixed, perplexae and permixtae with one another, and interact in this present age, in the saeculum. Central to Augustine’s thinking is that members of the City of God on pilgrimage in the world should not withdraw from that world but be involved in its society and institutions. Ways in which Christian communities might engage with the surrounding culture are examined, including the idea of work as loving service; and a number of lessons for the Church today are drawn. Dealing with ‘the other’ and encountering diversity are important issues. The relationship between the Church and the State is considered, as is the nature of the Church as public space in its own right. A deeper relationship between Christian faith and public engagement is encouraged. Central to the application of City of God to our current setting is the idea of the citizens of the civitas Dei on pilgrimage, and what it means to be part of a pilgrim city. Viewing City of God through an eschatological lens is crucial. A major conclusion is that ‘living in two cities’ is not merely a description of what it feels like for Christians today: it is an indication of how our life is actually meant to be.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Enhancing the performance of wastewater microalgae through chemical and physical modifications in High Rate Algal Ponds

    Sutherland, Donna Lee (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    High rate algal ponds (HRAPs) are an advanced pond that provide efficient and cost-effective wastewater treatment, as well as the ability to recover nutrients in the form of microalgal biomass. Microalgal photosynthesis, nutrient uptake and subsequent growth, coupled with aerobic bacteria degradation of organic compounds, are fundamental to the process of wastewater treatment in HRAPs, yet are often limited in these ponds and, in particular, microalgal photosynthesis is well below the reported theoretical maximum. Understanding how the physico-chemical environment affects microalgal performance is therefore critical to improved wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery, yet has been the subject to few studies to date. This research focused on the enhancement of microalgal photo-physiology, growth and nutrient removal efficiency (NRE) through modification to the physical and chemical environment in wastewater HRAPs. In this study, I first examined the seasonal dynamics of microalgal performance in full-scale wastewater HRAPs. While both retention-time corrected chlorophyll biomass and photosynthetic potential increased from winter to summer, the summer-time performance was considered to be constrained, as indicated by the decreased light absorption, light conversion efficiency and NRE. The physico-chemical environment in the full-scale HRAPs were characterised by high day-time pH, high light attenuation and long, straight channels with low turbulence. This led to questions regarding 1) effects of nutrient supply, in particular carbon and 2) the role of the HRAP light climate on microalgal performance. I addressed these questions using a series of experiments that involved either changing the nutrient concentration and its supply or by modifying the light environment, through changes in pond operational parameters including CO2 addition, influent dilution, pond depth, hydraulic retention time (HRT), mixing speed and frequency. The overall results from these experiments showed that carbon was the primary and light the secondary limiting factors of microalgal performance. These limitations negatively affected light absorption, photosynthesis, productivity and NRE. While each operational parameter tested impacted on microalgal performance, to some degree, CO2 addition had the greatest influence on light absorption, photosynthetic efficiency and productivity, while continuous mixing had the greatest effect on NRE. Adding CO2 increased light absorption by 110% and 128%, maximum rate of photosynthesis by 185% and 218% and microalgal biovolume by between 150 – 256% and 260 – 660% (species specific), when cultures were maintained at pH 8 and 6.5, respectively. Providing sufficient mixing to achieve continuous turbulence enhanced NRE by between 300 – 425% (species specific), increased biomass concentrations between 150% and 4000% (species specific) compared to intermittent and no mixing, respectively, and increased harvest-ability of colonial species. However, at present, both CO2 addition and mechanical mixing attract high capital and operational costs. Modification to these technologies would be required to meet the objectives of cost-effective wastewater treatment and biofuel production. A more immediate and cost-effective solution demonstrated in this study was the altering pond depth, influent concentration and HRT. Doubling pond depth from 200 to 400 mm increased both microalgal nutrient removal and photosynthetic efficiencies which led to areal productivity increasing by up to 200%. When increased pond depth was coupled with decreased HRT, light absorption and photosynthetic performance further increased due to decreased internal self-shading and improved pond light climate. For nutrients, high influent loads increased productivity, while moderate loads increased effluent water quality. Overall, this work demonstrated that optimising the chemical and physical environment of wastewater treatment HRAPs (CO2 addition to maintain pH at 6.5 – 7, 400 mm pond depth, continuous mixing with vertical speed of 200 mm s-1, moderate nutrient load (15- 30 g m-3) and moderate HRT (4 / 6 days summer / autumn) can enhance microalgal biomass productivity, nutrient recovery as well as improve effluent water quality, particularly during summer when growth can be constrained.

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