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.


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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


Researcher Profiles


  • Aspects of bioorganic chemistry - a). Development of caffeine-aptamer for coffee decaffeination; b). Study of 1,8-naphthalimide derivatives as fluorescent probes; c). Encapsulation of DNA by silica nanoparticles

    Betancourt, Frank; Centre for Biotechnology
    Research described in this thesis encompass three aspects of bioorganic chemistry: Caffeine- binding aptamers were sought to remove caffeine from coffee brew. Toward this goal, theophylline carboxylic acid and caffeine carboxylic acid were synthesized, and immobilized to ω-aminohexyl–agarose. The immobilized compounds were used for aptamer selection. The ionic composition of medium roast coffee grinds was determined by ICP-MS. In addition, the amounts of caffeine and theophylline in these brews were also determined by UV/vis and HPLC. The work described in this thesis provided the foundation for future aptamer selection. The development of 1,8-naphthalimide derivatives was motivated by an ability to stain biomolecules based on differences in their hydrophobicity. 1,8-naphthalimide derivatives were synthesized, and their photophysical and staining properties were investigated. The fluorescence intensity of 4-phenyl-1,8-naphthalimide was found to be very sensitive to solvent polarity, where the compound is virtually non-fluorescent in DMSO, large folds of fluorescence turn-on were seen in less polar solvents. Furthermore, this compound showed aggregation-induced emission characteristics. 4-Aryl-N-ethoxyethyl- and N-[2-(2-hydroxyethyoxy)ethoxy]ethyl-4-aryl-1,8-naphthalimide derivatives were also synthesized, with various aryl substituents (methoxy, amine, dimethyl amine, acetanilide). These compounds were found to be highly fluorescent in chloroform but were drastically reduced in DMSO and methanol. These dyes were found to be suitable probes for protein hydrophobicity, with up to 80 fold fluorescence turn on in the presence of BSA, but virtually no change in myoglobin. The thesis also explored the encapsulation of DNA by SNPs as an approach to protect DNA. Toward this goal, commercial SNPs were functionalized by the treatment with TMAPS and TEOS introducing a surface positive charge. Upon deposition of DNA to the positively charged surfaces, encapsulation was carried out by treatment with TMAPS and TEOS in the presence of ammonium hydroxide. This encapsulation protocol was first demonstrated using Reactive Green-19. In addition, DNA was readily encapsulated and released by the treatment with ammonium hydroxide at 60°C for six hours, and amplified by polymerase chain reaction and detected by gel electrophoresis. The SNP-encapsulated DNA was found to pass through beds of sand and could therefore be used in environmental tracking in sandy conditions.
  • Multi-Scale Analysis of Climate Change: Case Study of Major Canadian Wine Areas

    Simiganoschi, Pierre; Department of Earth Sciences
    The release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (primarily CO2) is estimated to have caused an average increase of 1.2 ℃ in global warming since pre-industrial times (1850–1900) and is projected to continue its rise based on Global Climate Models. This study uses Regional Climate Models to evaluate the effects of climate change on three well-known wine regions in Canada: the Niagara Region, the Annapolis Valley, and the Okanagan Valley. Nineteen models were evaluated against historical trends from 1950 to 2021 to find the most accurate and precise model for each region. Using model data, two types of climate indices, Climate Suitability and Climate Risks, with a total of ten parameters, were used to assess the impacts of climate change on the wine and grape industry. All of these are important for winegrowers with more focus put on the number of heat (GS-HD), frost (GS-FD), and growing degree days (GDD). Under the business-as-usual scenario (GHG emissions, RCP 8.5) from 2020 to 2100, the Niagara Region, Annapolis Valley, and Okanagan Valley will likely experience increases in GS-HD of 30, 23, and 55, respectively. Additional impacts arise from the change in the number of GDD increasing by 764, 980, and 912 in respective regions. Thus, all three regions will move into a “hot” climate based on the Winkler Index. When we, as a society, are successful in mitigating CO2 emissions to an RCP 4.5 scenario, then GS-FD are predicted to decrease between 2020 and 2100 by just 10, 11, and 35 in Niagara, Annapolis, and Okanagan, respectively. During the same period, the GDD will increase by 465, 306, and 443, allowing them to grow more varieties of grapevine that thrive under a warmer climate. Overall, each locality will reap more benefits from increasing temperatures under the RCP 4.5 scenario than the RCP 8.5 one. It is regional-scale studies of Climate Change, employing Regional Climate Models, that the wine industry needs to make sustainable decisions appropriate to the local level, whether they are established or emerging wine growing regions. Finally, location-specific Regional Climate Models may be invaluable instruments in aiding/sustaining the agricultural industry.
  • Picture this: Representing Local Discourses of Poverty Reduction through Graphic Notetaking

    Paetkau, James
    Poverty researchers, and in turn the poverty reduction practitioners they inform, often fail to conceptualize poverty as structural, evolving, systematic, complex and above all, political (Harriss 2012). A key aspect of this failure is the tendency to define and measure poverty in primarily economistic terms (Yapa 1996). Objective, economistic constructions of poverty are often depoliticized, as Elwood and Lawson (2018) assert, “to stabilize political-economic orders and power hierarchies” (p. 2). Understandings of poverty that fail to acknowledge its social and political dimensions can lead researchers to focus on questions such as “Why are poor people poor?” (Yapa, 1996). Such questions reinscribe poverty as a normal part of the social order and localize conversations of poverty to the individual. To avoid taking poverty for granted, we need to ask why specific groups of people in specific times, locations, and contexts are experiencing hunger, houselessness, lack of safety, mobility, health care, and barriers to participation in social life. We also need to ask the concomitant question, why do specific groups of people in particular times, locations, and contexts have differential access to material wealth, political legibility, and social value? Taking such a political approach, my research examines discourses of poverty within a local context. Additionally, I examine how engaging in these discourses visually, through the drawing of graphic notes, offers a way to excavate and explore some of the shortcomings and possibilities of poverty politics in Niagara. My research involves drawing a series of graphic notes for ten community consultations organized by the Niagara regional government which aimed to gather community input to inform the region’s process of writing a poverty reduction strategy.
  • From Twentieth Century Socialism to Twenty-First Century Socialism: Experiences of Venezuela’s Bolivarianism 1998-2013

    Badger, Alexandrea
    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into stark relief the pitfalls of global capitalism as disparities between classes increase and the cycle of crisis continues jeopardizing human well-being across the globe. Seeking alternatives requires investigating the viability of socialism. This project explores how Bolivarian Socialism compares to the key tenets of scientific socialism to analyze the successes and failures of a contemporary socialist revolution. To inform a framework for scientific socialism the key theorists Frederick Engles, Vladimir Lenin, and Rosa Luxembourg are reviewed. Their works offer insight into the tangles of socialist thought as illuminations of Marxism and of social movements. Latin America has a rich history of anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal, and anti-imperialist social movements that uphold socialist values. To explore how scientific socialism applies in a contemporary setting, the case of Venezuela under then-President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) and his project of Twenty-First Century Socialism, or more broadly Bolivarian Socialism, is analyzed. Adopting a historical materialist approach supports research that is attendant to local conditions and global impacts. Investigating the case of Venezuela offers insight into the way contemporary socialist social movements arise, the obstacles they face, and the character of their successes. While the rise to power of Chavez and the implementation of his Twenty-First Century Socialism may not meet the requirements for a proletariat led revolution intending to dismantle the state apparatus, the policy changes implemented by the regime and their clear goals of improving human well-being and capacities is worth examining.
  • Science curriculum-making for the Anthropocene: perspectives and possibilities

    Fazio, Xavier, E.,; Cambell, Todd (2024-05-20)
    This paper illuminates how science curriculum-making can be reinvigorated to address urgent local and global socioscientific issues that centres place as an interconnected part of larger socio-ecological and socio-technical systems. Given how industrial and capitalistic extractive practices have pushed the planet beyond its complex life-sustaining limits, we draw on theoretical perspectives that recognize schools as complex systems, nested within local, regional, and global social-ecological-technological systems. Science curriculum-making in these systems prompt dialogue regarding knowledge and competencies required to address planetary sustainability, as well as ontological questions connected to systems, relations, and responsibility. Consequently, schools are important places for curriculum enactment practices. Furthermore, teachers, students, administrators, and school community members are enmeshed with local ecologies that are constituted in the cultural, material, and social arrangements found in or brought to a school and its local community. In our work, we draw on a curriculum commonplaces perspective to investigate curriculum-making practices. Specifically, we use empirical data from two cases of elementary and secondary science teachers developing and enacting curriculum and adopt a philosophical-empirical deductive approach illustrative of how to apply complexity theory, systems thinking, and associated ontological and epistemological views to practical reasoning of science curriculum-making for schools.

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