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.

Readers in the margins: Texts, paratexts, and reading audiences in Romantic-era fiction

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-10-19
Abstract: 

Readers in the Margins: Texts, Paratexts, and Reading Audiences in Romantic-era Fiction investigates how the form of the book influenced literary form in the Romantic period—not just how readers read and how publishers marketed, but how pre-existing paratextual norms shaped how writers conceived of and composed their writing. To do so, this project draws on a combination of book history and narratological strategies to explore how the material and historical realities of the Romantic-era book industry shaped fiction during the period. Contextualizing the narrative strategies of authors including Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, and Frances Burney within the early nineteenth-century material culture of the book reveals how Romantic-era cultural conceptions of genre, audience, and gender are encoded in the physical manifestations of their fiction. This argument builds on three critical discourses in the study of the period’s fiction: discussions of eighteenth-century and Romantic-era paratexts and the book as technology, by Janine Barchas, Christina Lupton, Andrew Piper, and Alex Watson; scholarship that engages with the commercialization of print, historical reading practices, and their relationship to the construction of Romantic-era reading audiences in the popular imagination, by Stephen Colclough, Jan Fergus, Michael Gamer, Jon Klancher, and William St. Clair; and studies of the gendering of audiences, genres, and authors, by Adriana Cracuin, Ina Ferris, and Jacqueline Pearson, among others. Bringing together these disparate strands of criticism demonstrates how the paratext is a necessary context for understanding literary innovation in the Romantic period. The first two chapters explore what kinds of explicit and implicit information paratexts conveyed to readers during the Romantic period and what kinds of implications those had for readers who had to navigate an increasingly overwhelming number of books by looking at title page design and Maria Edgeworth’s use of genre, respectively, while the third and fourth chapters take as case studies two authors, Jane Austen and Frances Burney who make use of their readers’ paratextual expectations to experiment with narrative for political ends.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michelle Levy
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of English
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Non-lethal human-shark interactions and their ecological consequences

Date created: 
2018-10-31
Abstract: 

Collapses of predator populations, caused mainly by unsustainable fishing, have been documented in many marine ecosystems. Predators are thought to play critical roles in marine environments where, through direct predation and fear effects, they can shape demographic processes and community structure. My thesis focusses on the effects of two non-lethal anthropogenic impacts on sharks: prey depletion and shark provisioning tourism. Using stable isotopes and a time series of shark vertebrae, I first examine the historical isotope ecology of seven shark species from the southwest Indian Ocean. Two species with generalist diets showed no change over two decades in δ15N or δ13C signatures. Large individuals of five primarily piscivorous species exhibited isotope signatures that deviate from historical baselines, suggesting long-term changes in diet and/or foraging strategy. Next, I measure the effects of tourism-related provisioning on the trophic signatures and movement patterns of Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi in the Bahamas. Combining stable isotope analyses, acoustic telemetry and direct observations, I show that individual sharks that are provisioned more frequently have elevated δ15N signatures, but similar residency and movement patterns to un-provisioned conspecifics, suggesting that their broader ecological roles are not affected by long-term provisioning. Finally, I use the gradient of shark abundance generated by provisioning for ecotourism to reveal the wider coral reef community corollaries of reef shark presence. Benthic community structure varied across this gradient, with less macroalgae and more turf algae at sites with more sharks. Herbivorous parrotfish were abundant but fed less selectively and consumed more macroalgae at sites with more sharks, suggesting that fear effects may drive the patterns observed. Teleost fish biomass was almost twice as high near the provisioning site than further away, a pattern driven by fisher avoidance of areas of more sharks. Effective shark conservation may thus deliver broad cascading benefits to coral reef communities. While most marine predator declines are due to direct fishing mortality, my thesis evokes additional mechanisms by which anthropogenic activities may drive change in predator populations and their communities.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Isabelle Côté
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The pollination ecology of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-28
Abstract: 

Agricultural systems often support low beneficial insect diversity because they reduce habitat quality. Agricultural management increases landscape homogeneity resulting in low habitat and resource diversity. Crops that rely on wild pollinators for fruit production or predators and parasitoids for pest control may lose access to these services as the agroecosystem becomes increasingly managed. I used yield data from pollination experiments conducted over four years, along with insect surveys, to better understand the dynamics between insect communities in agroecosystems and their use of the agricultural landscape in highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) in the Fraser Valley of southern British Columbia, Canada. Regional land use was identified as being an important component in structuring beneficial insect communities. Semi-natural habitat, such as pasture or fallow, was found to support greater abundances and diversity of all beneficial insects. Land use with greater disturbance, like conventional non-flowering agriculture, reduced pollinator species richness but increased the abundance of generalist predators. The differences between groups in their response to land use types might be driven by variability in access to resources (ex. floral resources or pest insects) in the larger agricultural landscape. However, surrounding landscape composition did not affect blueberry yield deficit, which was instead determined primarily by bumble bee visits and minimum daily temperatures. This finding highlights the importance of weather conducive to pollinator foraging for crop production. Despite the importance of bumble bees for reducing yield deficit, experimental introduction of two managed bumble bee species did not mitigate these deficits. Differences in bumble bee species characteristics associated with reproduction predicted pollen forager recruitment, which when coupled with differences in foraging preferences (blueberry pollen comprised 50% of pollen loads in one species, but less than 20% in the other and in managed honey bees) provides some insight into which managed species is best suited for further commercial development. My results highlight the complexity associated with predicting crop pollination levels and demonstrate how the impact of wild insects on production will vary with surrounding land-use, species characteristics, and abiotic factors. In crops highly reliant on wild pollinators, like highbush blueberry, understanding the needs of beneficial insects may allow farmers to modify practices to improve ecosystem services.

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

Three essays on customer-supplier networks and financial markets

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-11-23
Abstract: 

This thesis is composed of three independent essays on customer-supplier networks and financial markets. The first chapter, entitled "Economic Links and Return Volatility", is co-authored with Keyi Zhang and Ramazan Gencay. This study investigates the propagation of stock return volatility along supply chains. Our results show that the effect of customer volatility is approximately 10 times as large as trading volume on supplier's volatility. Our findings are robust to controlling for variables capturing the time-series properties of volatility and a set of idiosyncratic, industry and market factors; tested under various assumptions regarding the activeness of customer-supplier linkages; and to different estimation methods. Our out-of-sample tests provide consistent evidence that incorporating customer channel improves volatility forecasting. Furthermore, the transfer of volatility is more pronounced when investors are more aware of customer-supplier linkages. The second chapter, entitled "Resilience to the Financial Crisis in Customer-Supplier Networks" is also co-authored with Ramazan Gencay and Keyi Zhang. Inspired by the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) beta, we construct customer and supplier betas to separately investigate potentially different properties of downstream and upstream linkages. With the adjacency matrix acting as a "filter" to extract each company's return covariances with its trading partners, the cross-sectional dependence contained in the customer-supplier network is summarized by our betas. We explore how these two betas are related to a company's resilience to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. We observe that a higher customer beta is generally associated with more resilience during the crisis. The third chapter, entitled "Economic Links and Credit Spreads", is co-authored with Ramazan Gencay, Daniele Signori, Yi Xue and Keyi Zhang. This paper has been published in the Journal of Banking and Finance. This study describes a model of financial networks that is suitable for the construction of proxies for counterparty risk. We find that, for each supplier, counterparties' leverage and option implied volatilities are significant determinants of corporate credit spreads in the period after the 2008-2009 U.S. recession. Our findings are robust after controlling for several idiosyncratic, industry, and market factors.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ramazan Gencay
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Economics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Lessons learned from the 2013 Calgary Flood: How to prepare for the next disaster

Date created: 
2018-11-08
Abstract: 

Urban centres are constantly exposed to natural hazards. Recovering from natural disasters is a complex process that lacks a grounded theory and an operational definition. This thesis proposed a two-layer conceptual framework that can be helpful when exploring the implementation of recovery efforts. This research project explores the municipal approach of the City of Calgary during the recovery from the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood. The City of Calgary responded to this flood in a partially effective manner. The Calgary case study is a case where the local government had in place the right processes to develop an effective recovery. Nevertheless, the City requires guidance on what a recovery plan should address. Calgary’s approach proposes challenges related to the development of meaningful public participation methods and the slight assistance provided to the business community. Recovery is an action that requires the involvement of the affected and relevant stakeholders to help build governance capacity, which in turn creates a resilient community.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Urb.

Composition of aquatic microbial communities and their relation to water-column methane cycling among Mackenzie Delta lakes, western Canadian Arctic

Date created: 
2018-11-29
Abstract: 

Seasonal dynamics of water-column microbial communities and methanotrophs were monitored in six lakes of the Mackenzie River Delta using gene sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and qPCR of the 16S rRNA and methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes. Selected lakes varied in biogeochemistry based on annual river-to-lake connection times, which we hypothesized would impact bacterial community composition and methanotroph relative abundance. River-to-lake and seasonal influences on carbon bioavailability and quantity, nutrients, temperature and flooding correlated with seasonal changes in microbial composition. Methanotroph groups including Methylobacter and methylotrophs Candidatus Methylopumilus and Candidatus Methylophilaceae were detected in all lakes but at higher relative abundance in the winter and spring when lake-water methane concentrations were highest. Open-water methanotroph abundance was highest in spring. In experimental enclosures, methanogenesis was detected in oxygenated lake-water and rates varied by lake type. Nutrient enhancements altered microbial composition and increased rates of methane oxidation with increasing lake isolation.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Lance Lesack
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Fully hydrocarbon ionomer catalyst layers in proton- and anion-exchange membrane fuel cells

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-17
Abstract: 

The structure and morphology of fuel cell catalyst layers and concomitant system properties, particularly mass transport, were investigated through electrochemical and physical characterization techniques. Catalyst layers designed for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) incorporated a hydrocarbon ionomer (sP4c) soluble in low-boiling solvents. These were used to probe the property alterations effected by increasing ionomer coverage within the catalyst layer, and also to measure the impact an extremely small quantities (0.38 wt%) of a commonly employed high-boiling solvent, DMF, in the catalyst ink. High-boiling solvents are difficult to eliminate during electrode formation, and resultant solvent-annealed catalyst layers lost electrocatalytic surface area, resulting in markedly greater kinetic losses compared to catalyst layers formed without high-boiling solvents. Catalyst layers designed for anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) incorporating hydrocarbon ionomer in the catalyst layer (FAA-3) requiring high-boiling solvent (NMP, 2.3 wt% of total solvent) were formed over a broad array of conditions. Catalyst layers formed slowly at high temperatures to drive off high-boiling solvent displayed significantly enhanced mesoporosity, relating to enhanced transport characteristics, over solvent-annealed analogues with low mesoporosity, despite comparable total volumes. The impacts of solvent annealing on AEMFC electrode properties and resultant achievable power density and degradation were disproportionate compared to the similar PEMFC study. A new methodology for fuel cell membrane-electrode assembly construction, direct membrane deposition (DMD), enables lower interfacial resistances and enhanced water transport for a given thickness of membrane. These are desired properties for both PEMFCs and AEMFCs. Initially developed with inkjet printers designed for single-cell biological printing applications, this method was adapted to spray-coating systems in order to address issues with fuel and electrical crossover, suitability for hydrocarbon ionomers, and scalability / large-scale reproducibility. A perfluorinated sulfonic acid ionomer reference material (Nafion D520) was employed for direct comparison to initial methods. Highly reproducible DMDs with low fuel and electrical crossover resulted.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Holdcroft
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Empire and dispossession: Coal, communication, and the labour process at the origins of capitalism in British Columbia, 1849 – 1903

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-10
Abstract: 

Coal mining on Vancouver Island was a conjunctural point for two complementary systems of dispossession: capitalism and colonialism. Soon after London granted the island and its minerals to the Hudson’s Bay Company in January 1849, industrial mining began to replace the previously non-capitalist organization of the coalfield. The island shifted into industrialization in part through its entanglement in Pacific markets hungry for coal. The tools and capital that returned on homeward voyages hastened mining’s development, while transoceanic maritime networks provided inflows of labour power. As energy capital developed internally, strategies to displace Indigenous organization of the land were matched by efforts to alienate miners from acting as a class in their own interests. Through analysis of archival evidence, this project demonstrates that Vancouver Island mining before 1903 proceeded through a series of compounding deprivations, generally beneficial to islanders occupying dominant economic positions. Toward unpacking this history, “Empire and Dispossession” asks three questions: how did the coal industry support the development of capitalist social relations in the Pacific, north of parallel forty-nine; how did transportation systems sustain the expansion of empires operating on the island; and what social, political, and economic relationships conditioned technical change in the mines? Taken together, the answers to these questions root the development of capitalism in active power relationships of class and race. This project’s original contributions to communication studies include a historical narrative of Western Canadian capitalism, otherwise absent in the field; the development of a transportation-focused approach to communication, rooted in the work of Karl Marx; a history of Indigenous transportation and communication labour at the origins of capitalism on Vancouver Island; and a reinterpretation and application of labour-process theory to the mutually constitutive development of coal-mining machinery, social class, and race in the island’s mines.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Feenberg
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Indigenous community preferences for food and ceremonial fishery outcomes: Quantifying the importance of harvestable biomass and spatial distribution via a discrete choice experiment

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-17
Abstract: 

Fisheries are inherently complex, with important interactions among biological dynamics, the environment, and the socio-economic systems in which they are embedded. Managing fisheries for both short- and long-term sustainability requires taking a management-oriented paradigm focused on meeting goals and objectives that are important and acceptable to all fisheries participants. Indigenous communities regularly feel that they are under-represented in fisheries decision-making, and that their cultural and livelihood objectives are ignored. Governments want to integrate Indigenous criteria into their definition of fisheries management success, but to date there is a lack of tools and processes to help Indigenous communities quantify their objectives in a way that can effectively inform the DFO process. Using a case study on the West Coast of Vancouver Island (WCVI), this project examines how a simple survey with a discrete choice experiment (DCE) can be used to help quantify Indigenous objectives. I worked with the Nuu-chah-nulth Indigenous community to design and implement a DCE to determine their preferences for the outcomes of a food and ceremonial fishery. The DCE provided quantitative information to show positive preferences for increased layers of spawn on bough and quality of spawning area, and negative preferences for increasing number of spawning areas and increasing travel time. Additionally, we found evidence of a shifting preference baseline in the Nuu-chah-nulth community, highlighting a loss of traditional Nuu-chah-nulth knowledge caused by low herring abundances along the WCVI. DCE results are supported by qualitative comments from the Nuu-chah-nulth community, making us confident that the DCE was able to effectively represent community preferences. Overall, we found that DCE’s can help Indigenous communities translate their general fishery goals into specific measureable objectives, allowing their goals and values to be better represented and included in fisheries management decision-making.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Cox
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M.

Learning and its discontents: Three theories of study and the figure of the studier

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-14
Abstract: 

This thesis discusses alternatives to educational discourses that promote educational growth, self-actualization and the accumulation of knowledge that is observable and measurable. These learning discourses are evident in talking about the people we teach as learners, to schools as places of learning, to teachers as facilitators and to the curriculum as learning outcomes. The logic of learning has permeated educational discourses and placed emphasis on treating education as the means for students to develop skills in order to compete in the global market, which has led to impoverished perspectives on both education and the people we teach. In this thesis, I will argue that it is necessary to re-think the learning discourses and to discuss alternative educational experiences. I will refer to this kind of educational experience as study that unfolds without predetermined outcomes. It is necessary to make space and time for study in education because study is an educational experience that needs to be supported for its own sake. First, I will describe study as the experience of the human subject’s (im)potentiality whose function is to suspend the neoliberal logic in education that insists on the actualization of one’s potential in the name of generating more capital. Second, I will argue that the literature on study in education so far has not properly acknowledged study as a form of practice. So I will highlight another function of study as a practice of thinking. Next, I will develop a new theory of study as an educational experience that can shift the way we perceive the world and open new possibilities for being in the world. I will conclude this chapter with a call for a ‘new universality’ in education that acknowledges study as a legitimate form of education rather than as a waste of time and potential. Finally, I will discuss what can be done under the assumption that the people we teach are neither learners nor students but are rather studiers. Studiers are the human subjects of education who resist any classification and suspend the notion that we are willful human subjects always oriented towards action and the production of speech.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Charles Bingham
Roumiana Ilieva
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.