Graduate Theses & Dissertations


Genetic Networks to Investigate Structure and Connectivity of Caribou at Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales
Understanding genetic structure, connectivity, and movement of a species iscritical to management and conservation. Genetic network approaches allow the analysis of genetic information with flexibility and few prior assumptions. In chapter one, I tested the ability of individual-based genetic networks to detect fine-scale structure and connectivity in relation to sampling efforts. My findings revealed individual-based genetic networks can detect fine-scale genetic structure of caribou when using 15 highly variable microsatellite loci. Sampling levels less than 50% of the estimated population size resulted in highly disconnected networks which did not allow for accurate structure analysis; however community detection algorithms were robust in grouping closely related individuals despite low sampling. In chapter two, I used individual-based and population-based genetic networks to investigate structure, connectivity, and movement of caribou across a large study area in Western Canada. A community detection algorithm partitioned the population-based genetic network at multiple spatial scales which uncovered patterns of hierarchical genetic structure and highlighted patterns of gene flow. The hierarchical population structure results aligned with the known distribution of different caribou Designatable Units (DUs) and additional structure was found within each DU. Furthermore, individual-based networks that were constructed with a subset of samples from the Mackenzie Mountains region of the Northwest Territories revealed patterns of long-distance movement and high connectivity across the region. Author Keywords: Biological Conservation, Caribou, Community Detection, Connectivity, Genetic Networks, Structure
Effects of Agricultural Land Use Change on Nitrogen and Phosphorus in North Shore Lake Ontario Tributaries
Row crop agriculture and associated land use practices including tile drainage and conservation tillage have been cited as a probable cause of re-emerging eutrophication in the lower Great Lakes. In this thesis, I sought to quantify and evaluate the effect of agricultural land cover and land use changes on total phosphorus (TP) and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations and export in north shore Lake Ontario tributaries. This included (a) a long-term data analyses at 12 large watersheds (47 to 278 km²) using historical land cover and water quality data (1971-2010), and (b) a space-for-time study examining 12 small sub-catchments (< 8 km²) with majority (> 50%) row crop, pasture, or forest cover. Concentrations of TP were greatest in urbanized watersheds and declined particularly during the first decades of the study period, while NO3-N concentrations were greatest and steadily increased in agricultural catchments with increasing row crop cover. The space-for-time approach revealed that TP concentrations were similar across agricultural land uses and that export was most dependent on runoff. Meanwhile, NO3-N concentrations and export were greatest in row crop catchments and were positively related to row crop area. These results suggest that increases in row crop cover and associated agricultural practices including increased nutrient amendments and tile drainage may be responsible for increased NO3-N concentrations and export in northern Lake Ontario tributaries. Author Keywords: agriculture, Lake Ontario, nitrogen, phosphorus, streams, Water quality
Marginalization and Alternative Education in Ontario
In Ontario, mainstream education often does not meet the individual learning needs of high school students who experience marginalization. Alternative school programs may offer these students greater support and flexibility in completing their high school diploma. While previous research on alternative education in Ontario is thorough, it is limited to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). To address the lack of research within smaller communities, this project uses the experiences of alternative education students in the City of Peterborough to explore how alternative programs meet student needs. Using a narrative methodology, the project relies on interviews with six students who offer their stories of attending alternative education programs. Research findings suggest that alternative education programs offer a meaningful and effective way for students to complete high school. Participants emphasize the importance of positive relationships with teachers and staff, student-driven curriculum, paid co-operative credits, and material benefits. Author Keywords: Alternative Education, Critical Pedagogy, Marginalization, Narrative Inquiry, Ontario, Student Experiences
Community and conservation
Faced with the intersecting environmental crises of the 21st century, conservation organizations are searching for practices that produce better, more sustainable outcomes. However, they have often relied on forms of conservation which shore up rather than disrupt settler relationships to land in the form of fortress conservation and assumptions about the human-nature dualism. In this thesis, I examine a local land trust that intends to include community[-based] conservation into its conservation practices. In particular, I explore how the organization’s volunteers understand and construct the relationship between community and conservation, and the ways this might impact operations. Using a community-based research approach, interviews (n=17) were conducted. The findings indicate that the volunteers are demographically homogenous, leading to a homogenous, Western-science informed understanding of community[-based] conservation. This perspective views involvement of community as a direct trade-off with optimal ecological goals. As the volunteers wield uncommon power in organizational governance, difference in opinions toward missions or operations could lead to constraints on the organization. This study contributes to larger academic discourses on environmental volunteers, land trusts, and frames of conservation, and provides tangible recommendations to an organization attempting to include community[-based] conservation in its practices. Author Keywords: community-based conservation, environmental governance, environmental volunteers, frames of conservation, land trusts, power
Statistical Analysis of the Hidden Patterns Found in the Burial Customs of MM/MH III – LM/LH IIIA1 Mainland Greece and Knossos
This study explores different ways of interpreting mainland and Knossian burial customs and assessing the manner in which they were used to explore themes of political and social status. In order to complete this study, correspondence analysis was applied to 98 tombs from Bronze Age (1700-1360 BCE) Knossos, Pylos, and Mycenae. Through the use of CA 14 hidden clusters and two hypotheses were generated and then analyzed in order to answer the following three research questions: can traditional explanations for the changes seen in Final Palatial Knossian burial customs be challenged; does the nature of Final Palatial burial customs support the theory of a mainland invasion; and can these patterns inform us about Knossian, Pylian, and Mycenaean society and the manners in which burials were used for social and political display. By answering these questions it became possible to understand Knossian, Pylian, and Mycenaean societies and their diverse uses of burial customs to display social and political status. Author Keywords: Burial Customs, Correspondence Analysis, Final Palatial Period, Mortuary Studies, Mycenaean Crete
Larval lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) recruitment dynamics in Lake Huron
Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) recruitment has declined substantially in several regions of the Laurentian Great Lakes since the establishment of non-native dreissenid mussels in the early 1990’s. In Lake Huron, the reasons for the observed recruitment declines are currently unknown and there is limited knowledge about larval life stage. In our study, we determined whether larval hatching and growth rates have changed before and after dreissenid mussel invasion, and the role of several key environmental variables in influencing annual variation in larval densities. Larval fish were collected in the Fishing Islands spawning shoal during two time periods: a historical period (1976-1986) and a contemporary period (2017-2019). Larval densities and growth were lower in recent years, suggesting that recruitment is being limited at the larval life stage and that reduced food availability may be further limiting the growth during the larval stage. Annual variation of larval densities were influenced by spawning stock biomass, water levels, and dreissenid mussel presence, with higher water levels and the presence of dreissenid mussels being associated with higher larval densities. The direction of the effect of spawning stock biomass was either negative or positive depending on the model. We also found that larval density was a significant predictor of age 4 recruitment, indicating that year-class strength may be partly established at the larval life stage. Author Keywords: Coregonus clupeaformis, Great Lakes, Lake Huron, Lake whitefish, Larval, Recruitment
Entertain Me
The scope of my scholarship has undergone a primarily interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on historiographic scholarship and method, with the support of communication and sociological theory to underpin my core arguments in each chapter. I use the theories of Third Space, commodified racism, and common sense racism in combination to provide an in-depth analysis of prior scholarship on professional wrestling, contemporary and historic fan activities, and biographic information about professional wrestlers. My first chapter examines prior scholarly methodologies and approaches for broaching the topic of professional wrestling while providing a unique and effective alternative for negotiating with the complex and often-tenuous relationship between professional wrestling, race, and collective memory. I evaluate the seminal works that make up the body of previous professional wrestling scholarship, specifically focusing on dramaturgy as a scholarly approach that limits focus to in-ring performance. In Chapter 2, I provide an in-depth analysis of first-hand accounts by and about Black professional wrestlers, charting the ways in which commodified and common sense racism affect both their careers and personal perspectives on race. Drawing on the tradition of minstrelsy, the chapter defines the ways that Black professional wrestlers have been categorized as mere sources of entertainment rather than being portrayed as skilled, athletic, or serious contenders for wrestling titles. My third chapter assesses twenty-first century fan engagement with professional wrestling content within the context of online Third Spaces. The chapter highlights the points of ideological division amongst fans, who both support and resist the wrestling industry’s common sense and commodifying racism. Keywords: Pro wrestling; commodified racism, common sense racism, Third Space, critical race theory, American history, fan studies Author Keywords: commodified racism, common sense racism, critical race theory, fan studies, Pro wrestling, Third Space
Cartoons Ain't Human
Why show things that aren’t people acting like people? In the field of animation, it’s a surprisingly big “why?”, because it’s a “why?” that doesn’t lead to any sort of doctrine of ontology, of inevitability, of manifest destiny, or of anything like that. But it does lead to another “why?”—“why did anthropomorphic depictions of animals and non-human entities come to define an entire era of American short-form animation?” When we think about ‘classic era’ cartoon shorts, the first names that come to mind are likely to be those of anthropomorphic animal characters—Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and a list of others so numerous that any machine Wile E. Coyote tried to build to count them all would probably explode. This can make us lose sight of the fact that human characters had their place as well in these films: Bugs and Daffy regularly tangled with Elmer Fudd; the studio that made cartoon stars of Betty Boop and Popeye produced no famous animal characters at all in its heyday. And yet, it’s the animals that steal the show in the animated shorts produced by major studios in America from the 1920s through the 1960s. Part of their appeal lies in the fact that they were useful and recognizable substitutes for humans. Without making things too ‘personal’ for the audience, they could be used to examine and deconstruct social practices in the full-speed-ahead period that took America from World War I to the war in Vietnam. Animals weren’t the only ones to get a full-on anthropomorphic treatment in these shorts. Machines and other artefacts came to life and became sites of interrogation for contemporary anxieties about the twentieth century’s ever-expanding technological infrastructure; parts of the natural world, from plant life to the weather, acted with minds of their own in ways that harken back to the earliest animistic folk beliefs. No matter when or how it’s being used, anthropomorphism in animation is a device for answering, not one big “why?”, but a lot of little “why?”s. What you’re about to read is an exploration of a few of those little “why?”s. Author Keywords: America, Animation, Anthropomorphism, Cartoons, Deconstruction, Popular Culture
Assessing factors associated with wealth and health of Ontario workers after permanent work injury
I drew on Bourdieu’s theory of capital and theorized that different forms of economic, cultural and social capital which injured workers possessed and/or acquire over their disability trajectory may affect certain outcomes of permanent impairments. Using data from a cross-sectional survey of 494 Ontario workers with permanent impairments, I measured workers’ different indicators of capital in temporal order. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the unique association of workers’ individual characteristics, pre-injury capital, post-injury capital, and the outcomes of permanent impairments. The results show that factors related to individual characteristics, pre-injury and post-injury capital were associated with workers’ perceived health change, whereas pre-injury and post-injury capital were most relevant factors in explaining workers’ post-injury employment status and income recovery. When looking at the significance of individual predictors, post-injury variables were most relevant in understanding the outcomes of permanent impairment. The findings suggest that many workers faced economic and health disadvantages after permanent work injury. Author Keywords: Bourdieu, hierarchical regression, theory of capital, work-related disability, workers with permanent impairments
How Did We Get Here? Exploring Socio-Political Influences in Canadian Penitentiaries
This thesis examines how political and social issues have molded and alteredCanada’s penal system since the nineteenth-century. From early Anglo-Canadian society to Joseph Archambault’s 1938 Report of the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System of Canada, the Canadian penal system waxed and waned against social and political tides. As rehabilitative justice took hold throughout the developed world in the early twentieth century, Canada attempted to shift its justice ideologies only to find that punitive justice had created strong footings. This made reform challenging to implement. Author Keywords: Archambault Report, Canadian penal system, Canadian prisons, prison press, prison systems, prison writing
Using Fluorescent Carbon Dots for Biosensing Applications of Amino Acids
Amino acids make up proteins, which are the building blocks of life. A balance of amino acids is needed to maintain a healthy state. Tyrosine (Tyr) is synthesized from the metabolism of phenylalanine, which is an essential amino acid, meaning it can only be obtained from the diet. It is related to many metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Tyr can undergo post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and nitration, which are implicated in cancer and nitrative stress, respectively. Although there are many methods to detect Tyr and its analogues, phosphotyrosine (pTyr) and nitrotyrosine (nTyr), these methods are time-consuming, involve expensive instruments and involve tedious process. This research proposes a new type of nanomaterials, carbon dots (CDs), to detect these amnio acids. Data indicate that CDs can be used to detect nTyr with a limit of detection of 34 μM in the linear range of 20 - 105 μM. The amenability of CD-nTyr assay was also tested in various biological matrices and biological molecules and was shown to be sensitive to nTyr. Nitration of Tyr was carried out in the presence of sodium nitrite and hydrogen peroxide catalyzed by either Cu(II) or Fe(III) to mimic biological reactions and CDs were tested as both inhibitors and indicators of Tyr nitration. Although CDs did not inhibit the nitration reaction of Tyr, they did not serve as indicators of Tyr nitration due to the quenching of CDs by the nitrating agents. This shows the importance of using CDs to detect nTyr and further use it for biological applications to detect diseased states. Author Keywords: amino acids, carbon dots, nanomaterials, sensor, spectroscopy, tyrosine
Determinants of Deviance
Background: Researchers have provided evidence that attachment may be independently linked to early adversity and criminal behaviour. In this study, I examined the combined associations among these variables in a student and community sample. Method: The first study consisted of undergraduate students (n = 590) who completed surveys to assess early adversity (Felitti, et al., 1988), attachment (Scharfe, 2016), and criminal behaviours. Participants were grouped based on their reports of adverse experiences and engagement in criminal behaviour. The second study was a replication of the first using a community sample (n = 294). Results: My hypotheses were partially supported, and my findings were consistent across Study 1 and Study 2. As I expected, there was a significant main effect for adversity when examining the mean scores of the attachment representations for attachment to mothers (Study 1 F (16, 1763.402) = 3.61, p < .001; Study 2 (F (16, 849.942) = 2.377, p = .002) and attachment to fathers (Study 1 F (16, 1763.402) = 4. 349, p < .001; Study 2 (F (16, 840.776) = 3.067 p < .001)). From examining the means, I concluded that participants who reported greater adversity reported higher insecure-avoidant and lower secure attachment to mothers and fathers. There were no significant main effects for criminal behaviour or significant interaction effects. Impact: To date, no study has explored all three variables explicitly. My findings are able to highlight the critical importance of secure attachment relationships and add further comprehension to exploring factors associated to criminal behaviour. Author Keywords: Attachment, Criminal Behaviour, Early Adversity


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