Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

Hepatic proteome and toxic response of early-life stage rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to the aquatic herbicide, Reward®

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-07
Abstract: 

The objective of this study was to examine the acute toxicity and sub-lethal effects of the commercial formulation of diquat dibromide, Reward® Landscape and Aquatic Herbicide, on multiple early-life stages of rainbow trout exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations. The continuous exposure 96 h LC50 derived for juvenile feeding fry aged 85 d post-hatch was 9.8 mg/L. Rainbow trout eyed embryos and juvenile feeding fry were also exposed to concentrations of Reward® ranging from 0.12 to 10 mg/L during two 24 h pulse exposures separated by 14 d of rearing in fresh water to mimic the manufacturers instructions for direct applications to water bodies. Effects on growth and development were evident at 9.25 mg/L during the embryo/alevin exposures, but not in feeding juveniles, indicating a higher sensitivity of the early life stage fish. Quantitative proteomic assessment and subnetwork enrichment analyses were conducted on hepatic proteins for both life stages to evaluate protein expression changes after 0.37 mg/L diquat via Reward® exposure. Unique cellular process expression profiles for pre-feeding swim-up fry and for feeding juvenile fish were observed, reflecting differences between the two life stages in sub-cellular responses after diquat dibromide exposure. Hepatic proteome effects were more dramatic in the pre-feeding swim-up fry with 315 proteins significantly different between the control and fish exposed to Reward®, while in the later life stage feeding fry, only 84 proteins were significantly different after Reward® exposure. This study is the first to report the sub-cellular and whole organism level effects of diquat dibromide in a commercial formulation and demonstrates that numerous changes at the protein level occur at environmentally relevant concentrations based on aquatic application rates.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Vicki Marlatt
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.E.T.

Political-cultural formation and food sovereignty: Constituting the indigenous peasantry in Argentina

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-30
Abstract: 

Under what conditions does social mobilization for food sovereignty (FS) lead to agrarian class formation (CF)? This question concerns the constitution of the indigenous peasantry into a social agent that gets organized to struggle beyond bread-and-butter demands. I address CF based on the case of Argentina's National Peasant and Indigenous Movement (MNCI). My aim is both to develop a class-analytical approach to FS and contribute to the theory of CF while advancing empirical knowledge on Argentina’s FS movements. My integrative literature review identifies a total of five challenges on the conceptual ambiguities of FS, which mostly revolve around tensions between (a) state-movement relationships, (b) local-national interests, (c) rural-urban conflicts, (d) individual-collective choices, and (e) sporadic mobilization-organizational continuity. I conceptualize FS as a mobilization outcome that potentially leads to agrarian CF beyond class-reductionist, culturalist and state-centric approaches to collective action. Four determinants of CF are distilled from the literature on social movements and FS: economic-class structures, regional cultures, state intervention, and leadership. Drawing on fieldwork evidence and secondary sources, I argue that the class-structural context in which Argentina’s FS struggles emerge is marked by the decline of small farming, deterioration of public health, destruction of native forests and violent land evictions under the state-promoted soy monoculture. Most agrarian mobilization instances do not result in CF, as the groupings may become coopted or dispersed by failing to sustain their collective position and unity. How grievances generated by class-structural processes become elevated to CF depends on the mediation of the three other factors. First, regional cultures speak to the creation of a unifying movement language organized around indigenous communitarianism and a broader claim to re-peasantization. Second, class agents’ collective position and unity are mediated by MNCI’s ability to interact with the state extracting popular-democratic policies without giving up its independence. Third is MNCI’s close coordination of active, participatory leadership mechanisms from the ground-up. This unified and engaged leadership at the community, provincial and national level is further consolidated thanks to the presence of movement-institutionalized mechanisms of leader training and stronger alliances with the classes of labor extended towards urban slums and student mobilization.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gerardo Otero
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The effect of mowing and hand removal on the regrowth rate of Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus)

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-19
Abstract: 

Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus Focke) is an invasive species in the Pacific Northwest. Mowing and hand removal are two of the common treatments used for controlling Himalayan blackberry. I examined the effectiveness of mowing, hand removal, and control treatments by measuring the mean number of stem and mean stem length during a growing season. Treatments were applied on March 2017. Bi-weekly sampling was from April to August 2017. Data were analyzed with a two-factor split-plot Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test. The overall trend showed no statistically significant difference between mowing and hand removal treatments in one growing season. Integrated treatments (e.g. mowing + hand removal + planting) are recommended to be used to effectively reduce Himalayan blackberry cover because one removal treatment showed to be insufficient to eliminate Himalayan blackberry.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Scott Harrison
Department: 
Environment:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

An in-depth study on Power Line Communications

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-13
Abstract: 

Power Line Communication has acquired tremendous interest from the research community since its applications and development in the field of Smart grid, in-home & vehicular communication, and its role in Internet of Things (IoT). In this project, I study the features of power line communication and provide an overview of applications in both narrowband and broadband systems, listing applicable standards and specifications. We study the problems in the technology and how recent developments have led to resolve them. A number of tests were conducted for the in-home Power Line Communication (PLC) setup, and different PLC modules were tested for a variety of wiring systems. Further, we conducted tests on two transformers to list the frequencies that can pass through the system, and to study general behaviour of the system to high frequencies.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ash M. Parameswaran
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Eng.

The impact of early adversity on mental health in young adulthood: Findings from the Romanian Adoption Project

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-26
Abstract: 

This longitudinal study is a part of the fifth phase of the Romanian Adoption Project and explored the impact of early adversity on mental health and behaviour problems in adolescence and early adulthood in a group of Romanian adoptees (N= 47; 22 males; mean age at assessment= 26.77) who were adopted to Canada in 1990/91 and have been followed in this project since early childhood. Behaviour problems in adulthood were assessed with parent reports on the Adult Behaviour Checklists (ABCL, Achenbach, 1997). In adolescence behaviour problems were assessed with the parent report form of the Child Behaviour Checklist (Achenbach, 1991). Mental health problems both in adolescence and adulthood were assessed using parents’ responses to 12 questions asking if adoptees had received any of a list of mental health diagnosis. The effect of duration of deprivation was examined by dividing adoptees into two groups based on time they spent in adversity pre-adoption; those who spent less than 4 months in adversity, and those who spent more than 8 months in adversity. Statistical analyses showed that in adolescence 34% of the sample had at least one mental health diagnosis and this number increased to 50% in adulthood. Levels of behaviour problems were relatively stable from adolescence to adulthood. Females had higher levels of Internalizing behaviour problems than males in adulthood, but no other gender differences were found. Adolescents with more behaviour problems were more likely to have a mental health diagnosis in young adulthood. Also, adoptees with more than one diagnosis in adulthood had more behaviour problems both concurrently and in adolescence than adoptees with one or no mental health diagnoses. Longer experience of early adversity prior adoption was not associated with either more mental health diagnoses or more behaviour problems at either 16.5 or 26.5 years of age.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Lucy Le Mare
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Characterization of present biological conditions in the intertidal community across Howe Sound, British Columbia

Date created: 
2018-04-25
Abstract: 

Howe Sound is a Pacific Northwest fjord located north of Vancouver, British Columbia. This fjord has been impacted by effluents from several industries including two pulp mills and a copper mine. After Environment Canada undertook more stringent enforcement on environmental standards in the 1980s, the Britannia copper mine and the Woodfibre pulp and paper mill were shut down. Historical data from the intertidal community indicate that recovery of the ecosystems in these areas has been minimal, particularly at sites in close proximity to industrial activities. The goal of this study was to begin a characterization of several present biological conditions in the intertidal community across Howe Sound. Six sites were selected and grouped based on degree of exposure to industrial activities. High exposure sites included Britannia Beach, Darrell Bay and Port Mellon, while moderate exposure sites included Porteau Cove and Lions Bay. Chaster bay was selected as a reference site for this study. Two biomarkers of exposure; ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and metallothionein (MT) were measured in mussels to assess the availability of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and metals at these sites. When compared to the Chaster Bay reference site, EROD activity was significantly higher in mussels collected from the two high exposure sites (Britannia Beach (~2.1 increase) and Port Mellon (~1.5 increase)) and the two moderate exposure sites (Porteau Cove (~1.8 increase) and Lions Bay (~1.6 increase). MT levels were significantly higher in mussels from the Britannia Beach (~4.2 increase), Darrell Bay (~2.8 increase) and Porteau Cove (~2.4 increase). Results from another ecological bioindicator (giant kelp) showed that germination rates were significantly lower at Lions Bay, Port Mellon and Darrel Bay (> 60% reduction compared to the reference site). A 16% reduction in germination rate was also noted for Britannia Beach. Germination tube length were only found to be significantly reduced at Lions Bay (~20 % decrease), Darrell Bay (~37% decrease) and Britannia Beach (~10% decrease). Finally, in an intertidal community assessment using species richness as an index, Chaster Bay contributed 39.94% to the total species richness, a range of 17.78% - 19.02% for moderate exposure sites and 4.50% - 12.79% for the high exposure sites.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Chris Kennedy
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.E.T.

An improved synthesis of gold nanorods with tunable dimensions and localized surface plasmon resonance properties

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-19
Abstract: 

Gold nanorods have been pursued due to their unique optoelectronic properties, which have led to potential uses in multiple applications. We sought to prepare gold nanorods that would potentially be used in biomedical applications, such as bio-imaging, photothermal therapies, and drug delivery systems. Typically in biomedical applications, gold nanorods with a localized surface plasmon resonance band that lies in the near infrared window between 650 to 1350 nm is highly desirable to obtain better images and an efficient photothermal effect over a range of depths within biological tissues. In addition, the dimensions of gold nanorods also play an important role in terms of cellular uptake and retention, as well as controlling the ratio between their absorbance and scattering properties. Thus, a primary goal of our study was to regulate dimensions and localized surface plasmon resonance of the gold nanorods to improve their potential utility in applications requiring both cellular uptake and photothermal triggered processes through the use of localized surface plasmon resonance bands in the near infrared “window”. We have modified the seed-mediated method by sequentially varying concentrations of hydrochloric acid and chloroauric acid to tune the dimensions, and thus the properties of the gold nanorods. The average dimensions of the gold nanorods were tuned from 24±4 nm in length and 7±1 nm in width, to 47±10 nm in length and 11±2 nm in width from these adjustments in the concentration of hydrochloric acid and chloroauric acid in the growth solution.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Byron D. Gates
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Developing effective and culturally appropriate speech-language services for First Nations children living on-reserve

Date created: 
2018-03-19
Abstract: 

Research conducted by the First Nations Information Governance Centre and Aboriginal Child Survey have found speech and language delays to be the most common developmental challenge facing First Nations children. Despite the prevalence of these challenges, many First Nations children in B.C. are unable to receive adequate speech and language services due to barriers such as geographic location, service coordination, and the lack of culturally appropriate services. This capstone employs a literature, jurisdictional scan, and expert interviews investigate these barriers and to propose three policy options to address them. The proposed options are then evaluated using a multi-criteria analysis. Through this analysis, this capstone makes a series of short and long-term recommendations to promote language development and improve the ability of First Nations children in B.C. to access culturally appropriate speech-language services.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Olena Hankivsky
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Use of digital records for studying skill learning

Date created: 
2018-04-27
Abstract: 

The present work uses a novel data source, real-time strategy video game play in StarCraft 2, to study complex skill learning. Chapter One discusses some important desiderata of a large dataset. Chapter Two discusses domain specifics about StarCraft 2, and introduces the process by which survey respondents donate digital archives which are parsed to reveal second-by-second information about in-game performance of players. Chapter Three asks how experience should be defined in a complex domain. I find that the common-sense definition, that experience should be measured soley in terms ot task-specific experience, misleads researchers by being both overly permissive and restrictive. A better definition can be achieved by focusing on other forms of experience, such as experience with different game modes. Chapter Four extends a previous study of age-related declines in a StarCraft 2 cross-sectional dataset. Segmented regression models are used to estimate the onset of age-related differences. Secondly, I examine the theory that large swaths of age-related differences, across a wide array of variables, are attributable to a single general cognitive, but not psychomotor, factor. I find support for this theory, as a simplified measure of redundant click-speed accounts for about 19\% of the shared age-related variance in established measures of StarCraft 2 speed. In Chapter Five I examine some of the common responses to the idea that Big Data, and the emerging data sources they employ, could effectively replace the role of theory in science. I argue, instead, that emerging data sources are a threat to overzealous generalizations from laboratory grown theories to complex behaviour. If emerging data sources fulfill their potential as tools for evaluating theory generality, then scientific standards for making claims about generality could change in pronounced ways. This would create a bigger gap between empirically grounded generalizations from the laboratory to life and careless generalizations which Frankfurt would call ``bullshit.'' Finally, I examine two very different research strategies for going about the evaluation of theory using Big Data, and point to the virtues and limitations of both.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mark Blair
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Effects of farming practices and landscape composition on wild invertebrate pollinator and bird abundance, richness and health

Date created: 
2018-04-11
Abstract: 

Wildlife biodiversity is threatened by agricultural intensification, which reduces and fragments natural habitat. I examine how farming practices and landscape composition influence wild pollinators and birds that inhabit these ecosystems. I also assess pollen foraging preferences of wild bumble bees and the effect of foraging preferences on their health. Forest cover was the main predictor of wild pollinator and bird abundance and richness, and floral resource availability also increased the abundance and richness of pollinators. There was no effect of farm management type (organic vs. conventional) on abundance or diversity of either pollinators or birds. Bumble bees showed a strong foraging preference for flowers not found on farms, and those collected in natural areas had higher body fat content than bees collected on farms. These results emphasize the importance of the conservation of natural habitat adjacent to agricultural areas for biodiversity, and of floral resources in natural areas for pollinator health.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Elizabeth Elle
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.