Brock University Digital Repository 


Brock University’s Digital Repository is an online archive showcasing and preserving the Brock community’s scholarly output as well as items from the Library’s Special Collections and Archives. Researchers can disseminate their work by depositing it in this Open Access repository, which provides free, immediate access to users while also allowing Brock scholars to track downloads and views of their scholarship.

For more information, see the repository's policies and procedures.

 

You can make a submission through the following methods:

  1. Self Submission – Follow these instructions to deposit your work directly into the repository using the Brock Portal Login.
     
  2. Assisted Deposit – Complete the assisted deposit request form and Library staff will submit articles on your behalf.

 

Questions? Contact digitalrepository@brocku.ca

 

Graduate Theses & Major Research Papers (MRP)

If you need to submit your thesis or MRP to the repository to complete your graduation requirements you can do so directly in the repository. Use the Brock Portal Login and fill in the form following the submission instructions.

Question about thesis or MRP deposits can be directed to the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs at graduatestudies@brocku.ca

 

Researcher Profiles

 

  • Edge Communication Efficiency with GNN in the Internet of Vehicles

    Graham, Jessica L.
    Vehicular edge plays a central role in ensuring an effective allocation of resources to provide services and applications. Resource allocation and communication in dynamic vehicular environments face numerous challenges in efficiently managing resources and data sharing, specifically managing the intricate balance of connectivity, storage, energy, computing, and cost of resources. These challenges are also affected by mobility, resulting in the demand for precision in communication range, density, and resource availability. Efficient resource allocation is a critical objective within vehicular networks, and to achieve this, intelligence, prediction, optimization, and incentive modelling are often employed. However, challenges persist, such as sporadic connectivity, transmission delays, and the inherent uncertainty of highly dynamic environments. In response to these challenges, this paper introduces the use of graph neural networks (GNNs) to learn hidden spatial and functional patterns in complex vehicular networks. Combining with clustering-based methodologies. This approach enables the intelligent organization of network nodes, reducing transmission delays and enhancing connectivity in dynamic environments. The resulting framework supports predictions and estimates based on evolving communication and mobility patterns. They are further improving the efficiency of connectivity and communications in vehicular edge networks. Using graph neural networks (GNN) and clustering techniques to address connectivity challenges, reduce transmission latency, and manage the inherent unpredictability of rapidly changing vehicular settings, this study is poised to enhance the delivery of services and applications in vehicular networks. It also lays the foundation for prospective research into resource management.
  • Dynamics of Simultaneous Arboviral Infection in Host and Vector Cells

    Garrido de Castro, Mariana; Department of Biological Sciences
    In this study, simultaneous infection dynamics were investigated in mammalian and insect cells. Mayaro virus (MAYV; genus Alphavirus), West Nile virus (WNV; genus Flavivirus), and Zika virus (ZIKV; genus Flavivirus) were the arboviruses used in the pairings. Arboviruses are transmitted by arthropods, and Aedes sp. mosquitoes are vectors of multiple viruses, including all three used in this study. In addition to sharing some of the same vectors, MAYV, WNV, and ZIKV can all infect humans. To understand whether the presence of another virus affected viral infection dynamics, mammalian-derived Vero and insect-derived C6/36 cells were infected with either MAYV and ZIKV or WNV and ZIKV. In nature, a simultaneous infection can occur through either coinfection or superinfection, and both conditions were studied here. Infection dynamics were assessed by quantifying viral RNA production for 6 days following infection, using RT-qPCR. Simultaneous MAYV + ZIKV and ZIKV + WNV infections impacted infection dynamics. Interestingly, the outcomes seen in simultaneous infections of Vero cells were similar for both pairings. Viral accommodation was seen in coinfection conditions, as no change was seen in RNA levels for either virus in the pairing. The order in which the viruses infected the cells changed the outcome in superinfection conditions in Vero cells – viral accommodation was observed when ZIKV was the first to infect the cells, while superinfection exclusion was seen when ZIKV tried to infect Vero cells already infected with either MAYV or WNV. In C6/36, replication differed between the virus pairings studied but did not differ between coinfection and superinfections. Viral interference was observed for conditions where MAYV and ZIKV simultaneously infected C6/36 cells, while virus accommodation was at play when the virus pairing consisted of WNV and ZIKV.
  • Academic Competition in the School System: At What Cost?

    Matusof, Perla; Department of Psychology
    Competition pervades our culture across sports, entertainment, politics, and corporations, seeping also into educational institutions. Today, children are urged not only to "play to win" but also to "learn to win." Despite awareness of competition's negative psychological and social impacts, it remains a cornerstone of the educational system as it is perceived as a strong motivating factor for academic achievement. However, academic competition has received less attention than its athletic and social counterparts, with previous research often overlooking its effects on interpersonal relationships. Existing studies have either used inappropriate measures for academic settings or failed to differentiate between other-referenced and task-oriented competition, which respectively focus on surpassing peers for status and on personal growth. This thesis introduces new scales tailored for assessing academic competition among adolescents. A pilot study involving 532 adolescents in southwestern Ontario (Mage =15.23) validates these scales through factor analysis using Principal Component Analysis, distinguishing between other-referenced and task-oriented competition. The new scales demonstrate reliability, with Cronbach's alpha coefficients of .789 for other-referenced competitiveness and .825 for task-oriented competitiveness. Regression analyses reveal a significant positive association between other-referenced competitiveness and bullying perpetration, while task-oriented competitiveness shows a moderate inverse relationship with bullying. These findings underscore the need to differentiate between competition for skill development and for status, as the latter may inadvertently foster bullying tendencies. This study emphasizes the importance of nuanced understanding in academic competition and its implications for student well-being. The discussion encompasses implications, limitations, and avenues for future research in this area.
  • Diversity of cover crops in two organic vineyards in the Niagara Region, Canada, as an adaptation measure to climate change

    Tosato, Diana Ribeiro; Department of Biological Sciences
    Vineyards are agroecosystems of great importance in the Niagara Region, Ontario (Canada). Due to its microclimate, this region is projected to be impacted by climate change with temperature increases, changes in precipitation patterns in all seasons, and greater frequency of extreme weather events. The aim of this thesis was to explore the projected changes for the weather in the Niagara Region, Canada, summarize which seasonal changes are expected and assess how such changes are likely to affect the key components of the vineyard ecosystem (i.e., soil, vines, invertebrates, and pathogens). It is expected that by 2080 the region will experience an increase in temperature in all four seasons; an increase in precipitation during the fall, winter, and spring; and a decrease in precipitation during summer months. Impacts of the projected changes will likely lead to vine water stress, yield loss, increases in incidents of diseases, increases in the spread of new pests, and changes in grape quality ultimately resulting in lower wine quality and/or production. Current management practices will need to be better understood and adaptive strategies introduced to enhance grape growers’ ability to minimize these impacts. The research also aimed to test the performance of four different cover crops in monoculture or in mixture in two organic vineyards. Of the planted species, rye grass and hairy vetch showed a great establishment, while pearl millet did not establish due to weed pressure. The ecological indexes (Shannon, Simpson’s, and Evenness) values showed that there is significant difference in cover crop diversity between growing seasons and collection months (June/September) in Vineyard #2, and in richness in Vineyard #1, indicating fluctuations in community composition over time. These results suggest a dynamic ecosystem response to seasonal and annual variations. These results may be used to increase the knowledge about the expected future for the vineyards in the region in face of climate change, and into one of the alternative management techniques that can help mitigate the impacts of changes in temperature and rainfall increase of extreme events in the region.
  • Determining the effect of different cover crops on nematode communities in vegetable production

    Aubry, Elyse; Department of Biological Sciences
    Agricultural soil environments contain different types of nematodes, part of several trophic levels that aid in balancing the soil food web. Beneficial free-living nematodes (FLNs) consist of bacterivores, fungivores, predators and omnivores that help in the mineralization of the soil and the top-down control of damaging plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs). Conversely, PPNs feed directly on plant roots and cause $125 billion in worldwide crop losses annually, making them a plant pathogen of great concern for growers. Farmers have started to implement the use of cover crops in agricultural systems for the protection and enrichment of soil but research on how different covers affect nematode populations is lacking and in demand. This study aims to determine the effect of legume and grass cover crops, cow pea and pearl millet, as well as their mixture on the abundance and diversity of FLN and PPN populations. Soil samples were taken prior to, during, and after cover crop implementation to analyze nematode communities using morphological and DNA metabarcoding techniques. Results showed that the implementation of cow pea and pearl millet covers as well as their mixture in a spinach agricultural system led to the control of PPNs and the proliferation of FLN communities. Specifically, we found that the mixture of both cover crops and the use of pearl millet as a single species generated healthier nematode populations with significantly less PPNs and more FLNs when compared to the control and fallow plot treatments using both nematode identification methods. However, the choice of cover crop to implement by growers should be based on specific soil health needs to promote a healthy soil and nematode population. Ultimately, understanding how different cover crops impact nematode populations can inform sustainable agricultural management practices. By strategically selecting legume and grass cover crops, farmers can optimize soil health, reduce crop losses caused by PPNs, and promote a balanced soil ecosystem to improve crop productivity.

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