Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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Differences and similarities in exploration and risk-taking behaviours of two Myotis bat species.
AbstractDifferences and similarities in exploration and risk-taking behaviours of two Myotis bat species. Laura Michele Scott Behaviours that are repeatable across circumstances and time determine an individual’s personality. Personality and behavioural variation are subject to selective pressures, including risks related to the use of different habitat types. I explored the ecological and evolutionary consequences of habitat selection by comparing the behaviour of two sympatric bat species, Myotis leibii and M. lucifugus. These species display overlap in roosting preferences, however, M. leibii tend to roost in crevices on the ground, while M. lucifugus tend to roost in crevices or cavities that are raised off the ground. I hypothesized that the habitat selection patterns of these two species create behavioural reaction norms at the species level. I predicted that ground roosting behaviour favours bolder personality and more exploratory and active traits when compared with bats that do not ground roost. I examined inter- and intra-specific variation in behaviour using a modified, three-dimensional open-field test and quantified the frequency and duration of behaviours such as flying, landing, and crawling. Bats were continuously video-recorded over 1-hour nocturnal and diurnal trials. I used a priori mixed models with combinations of individual characteristics and life-history traits to select the models that best describe each species. We found that M. leibii (n = 15) displayed more exploratory and bolder behaviours than M. lucifugus while on the ground (n = 21) and higher overall activity during the trial. I also found that M. leibii displayed crawling behaviours and movements consistent with foraging while on the ground which is a rare behaviour in bats and only observed in a few species (Desmodus rotundus and Mystacina tuberculate to my knowledge). Future research should explore biomechanical adaptations associated with ground-foraging in M. leibii. Author Keywords: Bats, Behaviour, Exploration, Myotis leibii, Myotis lucifugus, Roosting
Help-Seeking Behaviours Of Individuals With Workplace Mental Health Injuries
The present study investigated the lived-experiences of individuals with workplace mental health injuries to better understand the thoughts, emotions, and behavioural processes that promote or inhibit help-seeking. This research investigated the interactions and relationships with relevant stakeholders and how they influence help-seeking. Qualitative methodology was employed by conducting semi-structured interviews with individuals (n=12) from various occupational classes who had experienced a workplace mental health injury. Interpretative phenomenological analysis and thematic content analysis were combined to analyze the data. Three main themes emerged: 1) self-preservation through injury concealment or distancing from workplace stressors 2) fatigue relating to complex help-seeking pathways, accumulation of stressors, and decreased ability in treatment decision-making, and 3) (mis)trust in the people and processes involved. These findings may help inform the mechanisms behind help-seeking for workplace mental health injuries, which may have implications for future research, policy development, and workplace processes to better facilitate a path to help. Author Keywords: help-seeking, mental health concealment, self-preservation, trust, workplace mental health, WSIB
Contributions of Mayflies (EPHEMEROPTERA
Walleye (Sander vitreus) are an ecologically and economically significant fish harvestedby recreational and commercial fisheries across Ontario. Adult Walleye are piscivores, but anecdotal evidence from anglers suggests that Walleye often target aquatic insects such as mayfly larvae (Ephemeroptera). My research examined the diet of Walleye caught from May to September in Lake St. Joseph in northern Ontario. I examined the stomach contents of angle harvested Walleye to identify the prey over two summers. Through morphological analysis of stomach contents, mayflies were found to be a significant prey source for Walleye, during larval emergence events in early summer, and to a lesser extent throughout the rest of the summer season. These findings are important for long term management of Walleye populations and associated resources. I also assess the potential and problems of Walleye management and research from my experiences of having worked with industry, government, and university partners on this project. Author Keywords: alternative prey, Food web interactions, invertebrate, piscivore, Predator prey interactions
Final Makeover, Deindividualization of Women in Contemporary Death Notices
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, print death notices have increased in number, length, and deviations, often as the only form of public recognition for the deceased. This thesis provides close readings through feminist and anti-ageist lenses of ninety print death notices, published in The Peterborough Examiner and Peterborough This Week between October 2019 and October 2021. These readings inform and illustrate the deindividualization of older women in death notices as the product not only of the limitations of language and format, but of a community that panders to regional public interests and traditional ageist tropes of femininity to create worthy public subjects. An exploration of ambiguities, contradictions, and overdeterminations that break with conventions of death notices reveals unintentional makeovers, deindividualization, and the sidelining of older women as subjects of their own memorials and photos in an extension of the systemic and internalized gendered ageism older women experience in life. Author Keywords: Ageism, COVID-19, Death Notices, Deindividualization of Women, Feminism, Older Women
The Desire to Be Authentic
Authenticity has been demonstrated as an important factor in relationships and sexual health (Impett et al., 2006; Impett, Breines, & Strachman, 2010). Although authentic behaviour is generally beneficial, sharing our true thoughts, feelings, and desires may be especially difficult in sexual contexts. Existing research has demonstrated that individuals find sexual communication awkward, uncomfortable, and embarrassing and may avoid such discussions overall (Shumlich & Fisher, 2020). Despite the evidence that behaving authentically in sexual contexts is uniquely challenging, research has yet to explore sexual authenticity. A primary objective of this study was to develop a measure to assess individuals’ level of sexual authenticity. Study 1 involved performing several exploratory factor analyses on the 23 proposed items, which yielded a 15-item scale that loaded onto three factors: 1) Honest Sexual Communication, 2) Sexual Placating, and 3) Sexual Self-Doubt. These subscales were statistically associated with related constructs such as relationship authenticity, honesty, and sexual deception. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on two independent samples which provided additional support for the model and evidence for generalizability for the scale. The resulting Sexual Authenticity Scale was then leveraged to examine the relationships between sexual authenticity and its proposed benefits. Overall, sexual authenticity was found to be associated with enhanced sexual communication, sexual consent behaviours, and higher sexual and relationship satisfaction. Author Keywords: authenticity, relationship satisfaction, sexual authenticity, sexual communication, sexual consent, sexual satisfaction
"Non-compliance" in the system
This thesis examines how co-creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s 2014 graphic work, Bitch Planet, is in all conceivable ways a seminal and prescient example of — to use their term — “non-compliance” in the comics form and industry. From its inception as a feminist dystopia, written by a white woman and illustrated by a Black man, in an industry that is over-represented by white men, Bitch Planet is a prime example of activist comics that is situated perfectly within the “Blue Age” of comics, to use the term coined by comic scholar Adrienne Resha. This is evident in the main narrative of Bitch Planet in which, in an industry still over-represented by white characters, the main cast of characters are four Black women and one Japanese-American woman, each of whom we see come up against a theologically patriarchal white supremacist system that imprisons them for crimes that are gendered, racialized, classist and ableist. DeConnick and De Landro’s collaboration with other artists extends from Laurenn McCubbin’s satirical paratextual in-universe advertisements on the back page of each comic which complement Bitch Planet’s main narrative to an invitation to world- building to the greater comic community, allowing creators with marginalized identities to craft short comic stories that satirically and deeply explore the socio-political issues developed in the main narrative of Bitch Planet. The final act of “non-compliance” comes out of the expansion of authorship of Bitch Planet to the readership via the letters pages, and beyond: highlighting readers’ Twitter messages, connecting with them through Tumblr, and posting pictures of fan “non-compliant” tattoos within the pages of Bitch Planet. Author Keywords: Bitch Planet, comics, critical race studies, dystopia , gender studies, intersectional feminism
Uplifting Her Voice
This thesis creates an adaptation of act five, scene three of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus that reshapes the play by focusing on female empowerment through the character Lavinia. Specifically, by using other Shakespearean characters’ dialogue that can speak towards her situation, I have written a monologue and stage directions for Lavinia. The same patriarchal superstructures which existed in the West during the time of Shakespeare and at the time of the play’s setting—and which still exist today—ensure that Lavinia remains silenced. Through my adaptation, I aim to challenge these structures in a meaningful way by returning both voice and agency to Lavinia. Author Keywords: Adaptation, Agency, Metamorphosis, Patriarchy, Revenge, Voice
Ripe for the Taking
This thesis considers the fanfiction genres of slash-fiction, and Alpha/Beta/Omega fiction through an analysis of fandom’s embedded gift economy structures. Previous research on fanfiction and fandom structures have often characterized the gift economy nature of these spaces as countercultural and as separate from the frequent exploitation inherent in economic-based systems. There has been less attention paid to considering the potential disruptions that can come with unregulated and large-scale sharing. This thesis undertakes a critical discourse analysis of Alpha/Beta/Omega slash-fiction with a focus on commodity fetishism to reveal how the subgenre’s relationship with the fanfiction gift economy complicates and at times counters the conception of these spaces as a ‘queer utopia.’ The purpose of this research is to dismantle traditional archetypes within Alpha/Beta/Omega fanfiction by exploring how male Omegan characters become fetishized cultural commodity objects internally through interactions with Alpha characters and externally through the desires of fanfiction readers and writers. Author Keywords: Alpha/Beta/Omega, Commodity Fetishism, Fanfiction, Gift Economy, Queer Theory, Slash-fiction
Impacts of Cover Crops on Soil Health, Soil Nitrogen Dynamics, and Cytokinin Profiles
In Ontario, the dominant cash crop rotations consist of soybean (SB), which is a leguminous crop grown in rotation with maize (MZ) and winter wheat (WW). In addition to these crops, some farmers integrate cover crops (CC) into crop rotation, especially during the fallow period and winter seasons, to reduce nitrogen (N) losses via nitrate (NO3-) leaching and emission of N2 and the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). This thesis focused on understanding the impact of crop phases in a MZ-(SB-WW)-CC rotation on the abundance of N-cycling bacterial communities that mediate nitrification and denitrification pathways. In addition, the influence of CCs on soil cytokinin (CK) profiles, which are plant growth-promoting hormones, were studied in a greenhouse trial to assess their potential impacts when integrating CCs into crop rotations. In particular, the relationship between traditional soil health parameters and the soil CK profiles was studied to understand how CKs might reflect biotic interactions and soil vitality. Results indicate N fertilizer application mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) and starter N:P: K (24:6:24) during WW planting in fall largely supported nitrifying bacterial communities (amoA) and potentially contributed to NO3- leaching. Management of MZ, which included spring-applied MAP resulted in larger denitrifying (nirK) bacterial communities, increasing the potential risk of N-loss via emission of dinitrogen gas (N2) and greenhouse gas N2O. However, CC soils had significantly lower nirK than MZ, reflecting the importance of strong and deep root systems of CCs, which have a higher ability to scavenge the substrates for denitrifying communities (NO3-). This highlights the importance of growing CCs in reducing the potential risk for N-loss via leaching and denitrification. Additionally, in the greenhouse trial, the ability of CCs to affect CK was detected, highlighting the importance of integrating CC in crop rotations. This is particularly noteworthy, given that total CK profiles showed strong associations with traditional soil health parameters such as labile or active carbon and soil microbial community diversity. It was concluded that total soil CK can be used as a novel and dynamic soil health measure. Future research on quantifying N2O fluxes and levels of NO3- in leachates would provide a more precise understanding of the impact of different crop rotation phases on N-dynamics in these fields. Further studies on single or combined measures of soil CKs are warranted to develop its potential as a practical and effective soil health parameter. Author Keywords: Cover crops, Crop rotations, Cytokinin hormone, Nitrogen Cycle, qPCR, Soil health
Nutrient Management in Forest Management Planning
This research evaluates the degree to which nutrients are included in forest management planning. First, the thesis evaluates forest management plans globally to determine the extent to which countries consider key nutrients (N, P, Ca, Mg and K) in their forest management plans. This is followed by a case study in Muskoka, Ontario, of a pilot wood ash recycling program with the goal of restoring calcium and other nutrients in the forests. This pilot project aims to evaluate the benefits of using wood ash as a forest fertilizer, as evidence that the practice merits approval by the provincial government. A text-based literature analysis of current regulations and the Environmental Compliance Approval (appendix 3) submitted to the provincial government for this project was undertaken as this project is currently a not approved practice by the government. Interviews were completed with key stakeholders and experts in the field to understand the benefits and policy hurdles of this program. Based on the documents analysed in this study, it was concluded that both globally and in Canada, nutrient management is not the focus of forest management plans. With respect to the pilot wood ash program, this thesis concluded that there is not enough data published to make the government departments comfortable with approving wood ash as a soil fertilizer. Nevertheless, there is much community support and many perceived benefits to this project, but more supporting data is needed. Author Keywords: Forest, Nutrients, Sustainability, Wood-ash
Deep learning for removal of non-resonant background in CARS hyperspectroscopy
In this work, a deep learning approach proposed by Valensise et al. [3] for extracting Raman resonant spectra from measured broadband CARS spectra was explored to see how effective it is at removing NRB from our experimentally measured “spectral-focusing”-based approach to CARS. A large dataset of realistic simulated CARS spectra was used to train a model capable of performing this spectral retrieval task. The non-resonant background shape used in creating the simulated CARS spectra was altered, to mimic our experimentally measured NRB response. Two models were trained: one using the original approach (Specnet) and one using the updated NRB “Specnet Plus”, and then tested their ability to retrieve the vibrationally resonant spectrum from simulated and measured CARS spectra. An error analysis was performed to compare the model's retrieval performance on two simulated CARS spectra. The modified model's mean squared error value was five and two times lower for the first and second simulated CARS spectra, respectively. Specnet Plus was found to be more effective at extracting the resonant signals. Finally, the NRB extraction abilities of both models are tested on two experimentally measured CARS hyperspectroscopy samples (starch and chitin), with the updated NRB model (Specnet Plus) outperforming the original Specnet model. These results suggest that tailoring the approach to reflect what we observe experimentally will improve our spectral analysis workflow and increase our imaging potential. Author Keywords:
Effect of Attending a Virtual Oncology Camp on Childhood Cancer Patient's Pyshcosocial Functioning and Parental Stress - A Pilot Study
Objectives/purpose: The current study examined whether attending a 1-month virtual oncology camp (VOC) improved resilience and hope in childhood cancer patients and parental/caregiver stress. Methods:Childhood cancer patients/survivors and their parent/caregivers enrolled for VOC, participated in an online anonymous survey: before, after and 3-months after VOC. The survey included the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) and the Snyder’s Children’s Hope Scale (CHS) for the childhood cancer patients/survivors and the Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP) for parent/caregivers. Results:CYRM scores increased from T1 to T2 (d=0.86). Compared to T1, at T2 CHS scores also increased (d=1.33). Both CHS and CYRM scores remained higher at T3 compared with T1 (d=1.34; d=0.86). There were no changes in PIP scores between any time points. Conclusion and significance: Our study demonstrated that participation in a VOC improved children’s resilience and hope but did not change parental stress. Highlighting the clinical significance of these VOCs and the impacts they have on childhood cancer patients/survivors. Author Keywords: cancer, children, hope, parental stress, resilience, virtual oncology camp

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