Graduate Theses & Dissertations


Memorable Movie Watching
Memorable Movie Watching: Viewer Ruminations about Memory in Four Canadian Films and their IMDb User Reviews explores how four Canadian films released in the decade around the turn of the millennium tell stories of memory and remembering, and how User Reviewers writing on the engage with, respond to, and re–remember those narratives filtered through their own remembered personal experiences. It embraces a new form of audience research by analyzing films alongside voluntary viewer contributions in order to bring these viewers’ voices into the conversation about memory in film and specifically Canadian film.Lilies (John Greyson, 1996), The Hanging Garden (Thom Fitzgerald, 1997), Marion Bridge (Wiebke Von Carolsfeld, 2002), and My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007) are each fiction films that focus on the main character’s deeply personal childhood memories. A textual analysis of the four films reveals trends in how the filmmakers create memory explorations and memory works [works based on memory] in Canadian film. A further textual and thematic analysis of the IMDb’s 117 User Reviews for these four films reveals how viewers engage with what I term memory narratives and the personal memories these films spark. The four films respectively privilege, through narrative and filmic techniques, each protagonist’s telling of remembered childhood events. Yet when User Reviewers of the films comment on the protagonist’s remembered childhood events, they choose to contest them, citing the unreliability of the remembered and of memory itself. User Reviewers interrogate the film narratives against their own personal experience, all the while asserting that there is significance to be found in the process of remembering. For User Reviewers, this process of remembering involves engaging with the film and then writing about their memories of watching the film and its narrative through their own sparked memories. In this process, they dig for significant meaning even though Users rarely articulate that meaning or specify for whom it is meaningful. In their writing, Users do reveal their own thoughts and beliefs about Canadian film, as well as their knowledge of filmmakers, related texts, Canadian locations, and their own childhood and youth experiences. Key words Memory, Remembering, Canadian Film, User generated content, Audience, Viewer, Thom Fitzgerald, John Greyson, Guy Maddin, Wiebke von Carolsfeld Content Warning Please note: the memory stories depicted in these films, discussed in the User Reviews and in this dissertation are extremely disturbing and may be upsetting to the reader. Author Keywords: Audience, Canadian Film, Memory, Social Media, User Generated Content, Viewer
Application of Data Science to Paramedic Data
Paramedic data has significant potential for research. Paramedics see many patients every year and collect a wide variety of crucial data at each encounter. This data is rarely used for good reason: it’s messy and hard to work with. But like theunderdog character in a classic movie, with a little bit of work and a lot of understanding, paramedic data has significant potential to change the world of medical research. Paramedics throughout the world are involved in research every day, but most of this research uses purpose-built data structures and never takes advantage of the existing data that paramedics create as part of their everyday work. Through a project-based approach grounded in developing a better understanding of the opioid crisis, this thesis will examine the quantity and structure of the existing paramedic data, the complexities of its current design, the steps necessary to access it, and the processes necessary to clean existing data to a point where it can be easily modelled. Once we have our dataset, we will explore the challenges of choosing key metrics by examining the effectiveness of metrics currently employed to monitor the opioid crisis and the influences public health programs and changing policies have had on these metrics. Next, we will explore the temporal distributions of opioid and other intoxicant use with an eye to providing data to support public health in their harm reduction efforts. And lastly, we will look at the effect of fixed- and floating-point temporal influences on intoxicant-related calls with an eye to how these temporal points can affect call volumes. By using this exploration of the opioid crisis, this thesis will show that with a more thorough understanding of what paramedic data is, what data points are available, and the processes needed to transform it, paramedic data has the potential to greatly expand the limits of health care data science into a more precise and more all-encompassing discipline. Author Keywords: Ambulance, Data Science, Opioid, Overdose, Paramedic, Pre-hospital
Assessing habitat suitability and connectivity for an endangered salamander complex
Habitat loss and fragmentation have significantly contributed to amphibian population declines, globally. Evaluating the state of remaining habitat patches can prove to be beneficial in identifying areas to prioritize in conservation efforts. Pelee Island, Ontario is home to a complex of salamanders including small-mouthed salamanders (Ambystoma texanum), blue-spotted salamanders (A. laterale) and unisexual Ambystoma (small-mouthed salamander dependent population). These populations have declined from intense landscape changes since the late 1800s, particularly from the historical drainage of wetlands. In this thesis, I evaluated the suitability and connectivity of habitat patches occupied by these salamanders to assess the size of, and dispersal capabilities between, remaining habitat patches. I found that there was a low amount of suitable terrestrial habitat available for this complex of salamanders, and existing habitat patches were small and isolated. Forested areas and non-breeding wetlands were considered to be suitable habitat when adjacent to existing breeding locations, suggesting that these habitats should be a focus for conservation efforts. Notably, intervention may be necessary to maintain this amphibian complex as many assemblages are isolated from one another and potential corridors currently consist of primarily unsuitable habitat. Given that much of the salamander complex is reliant on one species for reproduction, the long-term viability of this population of Ambystoma salamanders may rely on the enhancement of suitable habitat near current breeding sites by conservation organizations and local stakeholders. Ultimately, the approach used in this thesis emphasizes the value of evaluating habitat within a fragmented landscape to focus conservation efforts on imperilled species. Author Keywords: amphibians, connectivity, habitat suitability, landscape fragmentation, landscape resistance, unisexual
Family Experiences in Nature
Children may be spending less time outdoors in nature than in previous generations, with one potential reason being parents in their role as ‘gatekeepers’ to the outdoors. This study investigated how families are spending their time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how parents may influence children’s outdoor nature experiences. Parents (N = 121) from across Canada completed measures related to their family’s activities as well as their own connection with nature, attitudes about nature, and childhood nature contact. Results suggest that having easy access to nature, a greater connection with nature, believing in the importance of outdoor experiences, and doing outdoor activities in childhood may be associated with more current family time outside in nature. By understanding the reasons behind parental decisions regarding where and how families spend time outside, strategies can be developed to help parents increase their children’s nature time in the future. Author Keywords: children, family, nature, nature-relatedness, outdoors, parents
Molecular Architectures for Improved Biomaterials Derived from Vegetable Oils – Application to Energy Storage and Lubricants
The replacement of petroleum with renewable feedstock for energy and materials has become a priority because of concerns over the environment and finite nature of petroleum. The structures of the available natural biomass feedstocks fall short in delivering key functionality required in materials such as lubricants and phase change energy storage materials (PCMs). The approach taken in this thesis was to combine select functional groups with vegetable oil derivatives to create novel PCMs and lubricantswhich deliver desired functionality. One series of diester PCMs were prepared with terephthalic acid and fatty alcohols to address known shortcomings of esters. The second class of PCMs are sulfones prepared from oxidation of fatty sulfides to improve thermal energy storage. Overall, the new PCMs presented narrow phase change temperature ranges, high transition temperature (between 67 to 110℃), high transition enthalpy (210 to 266J/g), minimal supercooling and congruent phase transitions unaffected by cooling rates. They also demonstrated higher thermal degradation stability with onset of degradation from 290 to 310℃. The series of lubricants studied consists of sulfide and sulfonyl functional groups attached to the unsaturation sites of oleyl oleate as pendant groups to improve the thermal and flow properties. The new lubricants present subzero crystallization temperatures, very low crystallization enthalpy and dynamic viscosity as high as 180mPas. Furthermore, they also presented high onset of degradation (up to 322℃) and oxidation (up to 298℃). The PCMs and lubricants of the present thesis demonstrate that select functional groups can be used with common structural elements of vegetable oil such as fatty acids, ester groups and unsaturation sites to make a variety of molecular structures capable of delivering desired properties Author Keywords: Crystal Structure, Lubricant, Phase Change Material, Renewable, Structure-Property Relationships, Vegetable Oil
Keeping Circle
In the 1980’s, Hollow Water First Nation citizens created a healing movement to address community issues from an Indigenous perspective resulting in the development of the Community Holistic Circle Healing (CHCH) in 1989. The CHCH organization developed a Community (Restorative) Justice process as an alternative to a Western-based Justice approach to address issues such as domestic violence and sexual abuse. The CHCH organization addresses justice from a healing perspective (rather than the Western approach’s punitive/surveillance model) and includes the offender and offender’s family, the victim and the victim’s family, as well as the community to identify issues, develop plans, implement healing activities, and evaluate the outcome so that the root systemic issues affecting community can be addressed holistically. Hollow Water First Nation is much more engaged in addressing the roots of why the offence occurred and looks for Anishinaabek approaches to resolve community-defined issues. Western society tends to implement a symptomatic approach to violence deterrence through punishment rather than address issues through a healing process. My research looks at the complex history of the healing movement, the operation of the CHCH organization and the personal values that emerged from the healing movement, and Hollow Water’s next iteration of organization from the children of the people that began the healing movement. These people are now aged around mid-40’s and have seen their parents engage in a community justice movement, saw their parents develop their own way to address community issues through the emergence and operation of the CHCH organization, and now, themselves, have developed highly critical and creative skills around the workings of community development. I use Berger and Luckmann’s seminal 1966 book The Social Construction of Reality, Hallowell’s perspectives on the Anishinaabek culture in his anthropological research conducted in Beren’s River, Manitoba during the 1930’s, Max Weber’s The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (1915), interviews with the original activists, and my experiences living in Hollow Water for 4+ years (from 1997 to 2001) to give an account of the history of the healing movement and its consequent personal transformation of the people engaged in examining their thoughts, values and behavioural processes. I use the Learning Organization Theory, developed by Peter Senge (a management professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in his 1990 book The Fifth Discipline, interviews of CHCH staff and other community organization staff members, as well as, Indigenous authors, such as, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (2011) and Michael Hart’s Seeking Mino-Pimatisiwin (2002) to provide an understanding of Indigenous concepts as they apply to the process of CHCH’s healing/learning operations. From these sources and interviews, I provide an account of Hollow Water’s Healing Movement which includes the decline of the CHCH organization from late 1990s to 2020. Given the current hyperpolitical environment in Canada, Hollow Water’s next generation of community member activists are perhaps about to reclaim power and establish empowered relationships as the Indigenous Renaissance unfolds. Author Keywords: Community Healing Movement Process, Hollow Water First Nation, Indigenous Axiology and Praxis, Learning Organization, Restorative Justice, Systems-Thinking
Clonal structure and mating patterns in a natural population of Sagittaria latifolia
Increased plant size is expected to have negative consequences for mating by increasing pollen transfer among the same plant. However, recent theoretical studies have demonstrated that this may not be true for clonal plants. Instead, clonal expansion could enhance outcrossing opportunities without increasing selfing by reducing distances to potential mates. I investigated how the spatial structure of clones influences patterns of pollen dispersal, selfing rates and siring success in a natural population of Sagittaria latifolia. I found that pollen dispersal distances typically exceeded the spatial extent of clones and there was a positive association between clone size and the likelihood that clones were intermingled. Together, this resulted in a weak positive association between clone size and selfing rates, and a strong positive association between clone size and outcross siring success. This is the first empirical support for the theoretical expectation that any negative effects of selfing in large clones might be offset by increased siring success. Author Keywords: clonal growth, fitness gain curve, geitonogamy, plant mating, plant reproductive ecology, sex allocation theory
Food Practices in Transition
The onset of the Natufian sees the unfolding of a lasting dietary shift: the transition from foraging to farming. To understand this transition, we have to identify the exploited plants and explain why they were chosen. To that end, I used use-wear and residue analysis to isolate wear patterns distinctive of specific plants. I conducted a series of six grinding experiments on wheat, barley, fenugreek, lentils, roasted wheat, and rinsed/soaked fenugreek. I then examined the tools under multiple levels of magnification using established protocols and descriptive criteria. To ensure that my descriptive criteria are reproducible, a blind test was performed. The experimental data are then compared to previous studies and residue analysis on the tools used to process wheat and lentils was performed. My results have expanded the experimental database and support the idea that there are distinctions between cereals and legumes and differences between types of cereals and legumes. Author Keywords: Blind test, Cereals, Groundstone tools, Legumes, Starch analysis, Use-wear analysis
Modelling Request Access Patterns for Information on the World Wide Web
In this thesis, we present a framework to model user object-level request patterns in the World Wide Web.This framework consists of three sub-models: one for file access, one for Web pages, and one for storage sites. Web Pages are modelled to be made up of different types and sizes of objects, which are characterized by way of categories. We developed a discrete event simulation to investigate the performance of systems that utilize our model.Using this simulation, we established parameters that produce a wide range of conditions that serve as a basis for generating a variety of user request patterns. We demonstrated that with our framework, we can affect the mean response time (our performance metric of choice) by varying the composition of Web pages using our categories. To further test our framework, it was applied to a Web caching system, for which our results showed improved mean response time and server load. Author Keywords: discrete event simulation (DES), Internet, performance modelling, Web caching, World Wide Web
Isotopes of the Caribbean
This research represents the first stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of human bone collagen (n = 29) from the Escape Site (AD 300 - 1000), Saint Vincent. As a two-pronged investigation, this research had the following goals: (1) determining the ideal pretreatment for poorly preserved bones and (2) reconstructing the Escape Site sample population diet. By incorporating powdered specimens, shorter demineralizations and increased acid:sample exposure, higher collagen yields were produced, thereby expanding the sample size for isotopic analysis. Notably, the elemental data suggests that not all isolated collagen was biogenic and was perhaps contaminated by non-collagenous proteins. This highlighted the importance of using multiple criteria to rigorously evaluate collagen based on the full quality indicator profile. In the end, 5 individuals yielded useable isotope data which was consistent with a broad spectrum diet relying primarily on C3 plants as well as terrestrial, reef, nearshore and freshwater fauna. Within the broad region, the Escape Site data was comparable to other islands from the Lesser Antilles and Cuba emphasizing the influence of regional biodiversity as well as the likelihood that the studied population contributed and benefitted from the extensive Saladoid trade networks which existed at the time. Author Keywords: Caribbean, Collagen, Escape Site, Human diet, Saladoid, Stable isotope analysis
Reconceptualizing a Post-Secondary Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
The number of post-secondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities has been on the rise since the early 1990’s (Plotner & Marshall, 2015). However, research focused on student experiences within these programs has been predominantly from faculty, mainstream students and parent’s perspectives without accounting for what the students themselves are experiencing. This thesis however utilizes critical narrative inquiry as a methodology to listen the stories of students with disabilities, in conjunction with the researcher’s personal and professional experiences to reconceptualize the CICE program at Fleming College in Peterborough Ontario in order to provide students with more responsive and inclusive educational experiences. Six themes emerged from interviews conducted in the research: friendship/social opportunities, career/goals, supports, barriers/challenges, independence/freedom and finally identity/inclusion. A critical exploration of these themes is provided to develop programmatic, college and community level changes that forward a reconceptualized view of post-secondary education for adults with disabilities. Author Keywords: Critical disability theory, Critical narrative inquiry, Post-secondary programs for students with disabilities, Student voice
mycobiome and skin chemistry of bat wings in relation to white-nose syndrome
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a skin disease of bats caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) that damages flight membranes during hibernation and can lead to death. The disease causes mortality of multiple bat species in eastern North America and is spreading into western North America. Future impacts of WNS on naïve bat populations are unknown. Variation in host susceptibility occurs among and within species, but mechanisms driving this variation are unclear. Multiple studies have characterized immunological responses to WNS, but skin physiology as a barrier to pathogens is understudied. The unique ability of Pd to actively penetrate the normal, intact skin of its mammalian host makes WNS an interesting study system to understand skin defenses. Aspects of the mammalian skin environment that can influence disease susceptibility include pH, sebaceous lipids, and microbiomes. I found skin mycobiomes of WNS-susceptible species had significantly lower alpha diversity and abundance compared to bat species resistant to Pd infection. Using these data, I predicted that most naïve bat species in western North America will be susceptible to WNS based on the low diversity of their skin mycobiomes. Some fungi isolated from bat wings inhibited Pd growth in vitro, but only under specific salinity and pH conditions, suggesting the microenvironment on wings can influence microbial interactions and potentially WNS-susceptibility. I measured the wing-skin pH of bats in eastern Canada and found that Eptesicus fuscus (WNS-tolerant) had more acidic skin than M. lucifugus (WNS-susceptible). Differences in sebum quantity and composition among and within mammalian species may help explain variation in skin disease susceptibility and the composition of skin microbiomes. This is due to the antimicrobial properties of sebum and the use of sebum as a nutrition source by microbes. Outcomes of this work further our understanding of inter- and intra-specific differences among bat species and individuals in skin mycobiomes and physiology, which may contribute to variation in WNS-susceptibility. Future research should focus on characterizing the physical and chemical landscape of skin as this is essential for understanding mechanisms structuring skin microbial assemblages and skin disease susceptibility in wildlife. Author Keywords: bat, fungi, microbiome, mycology, physiology, white-nose syndrome


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