Recent Submissions

  • Investigating the Role of MicroRNAs in Regeneration and Axonal Pathfinding

    Walker, Sarah; Department of Biological Sciences
    During both development and regeneration, axons must navigate through a complex and changing environment to reach their proper synaptic target. To do so, axons utilize a specialized structure, the growth cone, which senses and interprets guidance cues in its surrounding environment to change the direction of axonal outgrowth. MicroRNAs, which regulate mRNA translation, have recently been shown to regulate both neurite outgrowth and growth cone guidance in response to classical guidance cues during vertebrate development. However, little is known of their regulation of neuronal regeneration in an invertebrate. Thus, the main aim of this thesis was to study the role of microRNAs during CNS regeneration of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Specifically, I determined the expression patterns and relative abundance of microRNAs in the regenerating CNS in response to retinoic acid (RA). Using miRNA-Sequencing, I identified one neuronally enriched microRNA, miR-124, that was up-regulated in RA-induced regenerating CNS. Using PCR and in situ hybridization, I characterized its distribution in the snail CNS, and discovered it shared similar expression patterns to that of vertebrates. In cell culture, I found miR-124 was abundant within regenerating motorneurons and was localized to their growth cones. I next determined that miR-124 contributed to RA-induced growth cone turning behaviour. During attractive growth cone turning to RA, the abundance and distribution of miR-124 was altered, in both a cue and context-dependent manner. Finally, I demonstrated that miR-124 targeted the Rho kinase, ROCK, during turning responses to RA, likely to promote the formation of a neurite shaft, or to maintain growth cone polarity. Together, these findings provide the first evidence for a role of microRNAs in mediating growth cone behaviours to RA in regenerating motorneurons.
  • Perceptions of Change in Self-Efficacy to Pursue Postsecondary Education for Students with Exceptionalities Participating in a Postsecondary Transition Program

    Ismailos, Linda; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This mixed-methods study explored a postsecondary transition program’s effect on the development of self-efficacy for post-secondary studies and the likelihood to apply to post-secondary studies among students with exceptionalities. The study also examined how their perceptions of change in self-efficacy compared to their non-exceptional peers in the program. Participants included Grade 11 and 12 students with and without exceptionalities who were at risk of non-completion of their secondary school diploma from 2 participating boards of education at a college in Ontario, Canada. Students participated in a series of pre- and post-program completion surveys and were further invited to participate in a personal follow-up interview to explore the impact of their experience in the program on their plans for postsecondary education. Secondary school teachers working in a supportive role with students in this program were also interviewed to explore their perceptions of change in the students over the duration of the program. Findings demonstrated that students both with and without exceptionalities benefitted from the program through a number of elements that resulted in increased self-efficacy to succeed in postsecondary education, and an increased likelihood to apply to a postsecondary program in the future. Findings, however, indicated that the two groups of students did not share the same perceptions of how the program might have contributed to their increased self-efficacy. Following program completion, students with exceptionalities were more likely to describe their personal mastery experiences in a postsecondary academic program and their process of metacognitive skill development, whereas their peers without exceptionalities were more likely to describe a positive experience on a college campus as the primary contributing factor for their increased academic self-efficacy. The study further discusses the elements that contributed to the change experienced by the students with exceptionalities and offers a visual framework for the elements involved in the development of academic self-efficacy for students with exceptionalities. Interpretations and suggestions as to how these insights could inform future policy and practice are discussed.
  • A study on the dynamics of the symbiosis between Metarhizium and plants

    Barelli, Larissa Ruth; Centre for Biotechnology
    Members of the Metarhizium genus exist as both insect pathogens and plant endophytes. Agricultural formulations of these fungi are utilized for their biocontrol of insect pests and numerous additional benefits for crop plants (i.e., nutrient transfer, pathogen antagonism, increased biomass, etc.). In order to develop improvements to these formulations, it is vital to understand how specific factors, such as the nutrient availability and microbial community of the soil, as well as production of secondary metabolites, influence the interaction of Metarhizium with target crop species. Metarhizium is capable of translocating nitrogen obtained through insect parasitism to plant hosts in exchange for carbohydrates. Using wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) injected with 15N-ammonium sulfate, it was demonstrated that nutrient-rich soil effectively inhibited transfer of insect-derived 15N from Metarhizium into the leaves of haricot bean, Phaseolus vulgaris. Colonization was maintained under all conditions and was not correlated with nitrogen transfer. Nitrogen application reduced initial colonization, but it recovered at later timepoints. The persistence of Metarhizium within the rhizosphere is influenced by the microbial community but, reciprocally, the structure of the community may respond to Metarhizium application. Although soil amendment with M. robertsii did not affect overall diversity of the root microbiome of P. vulgaris, Illumina sequencing demonstrated significant effects on particular bacterial and fungal taxa. The relative abundance of several plant growth promoting microorganisms (e.g. Bradyrhizobium) increased after Metarhizium application. When challenged with the specific bean root rot pathogen Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli, both the microbiome and M. robertsii were able to suppress disease. The production of fungal secondary metabolites such as destruxins may dictate interactions with plant hosts. During co-culture with bean or corn, destruxin production varied by species of Metarhizium and plant. Similar to previous reports, M. robertsii and M. acridum generally produced relatively high and low levels of destruxins, respectively. However, numerous destruxins were synthesized by M. acridum during co-culture with corn. Unraveling the metabolomic profile of these fungal-plant interactions may provide insight into mechanisms behind maintaining symbioses and patterns of strain compatibility, as well as aid in strain selection for agriculture and discovery of novel bioactive metabolites.
  • Future-proofing: Exploring the value of a therapeutic recreation positive psychology intervention for supporting youth experiencing mental health challenges

    Cripps, Lauren C.; Applied Health Sciences Program
    In Canada, suicide remains the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 24, exceeded only by unintentional injuries (accidents). In 2012, suicide accounted for 15% of deaths among youth aged 10-14 years, 29% among youth aged 15-19 years and 23% among young adults aged 20-24 (Statistics Canada, 2017). Recovery supports the development of a meaningful life (as described by the individual) that includes enhanced traits and practices that are specifically intended to maintain one’s level of satisfaction in everyday life, while supporting the management of recurring symptoms and/or changes in current life circumstances (Andresen, Oades, & Caputi, 2011; Kleiber, Hutchinson, & Williams, 2002; McCormick & Iwasaki, 2008; McCormick & Iwasaki, 2008; McCormick, 1999). This recovery-oriented project was a qualitative, interpretative phenomenological study guided by the evidenced-informed process as a framework for program design, implementation and evaluation. This project sought to critically explore mental health as it pertains to adolescents through the design, implementation and evaluation of a therapeutic recreation intervention designed for youth living in a residential treatment setting. This project provides evidence that the BYBS-Y program has the potential to support change with the participants. This project also demonstrates new learning and is an illustration of the potential connection between a strengths perspective and supporting essential tasks assigned to development and recovery. By implementing a three-phase process this research shows the value of feedback from both practitioners and clients, affirming that our greatest insights are always gained from those with lived experience. Finally, this project provides evidence for the contribution of TR services in the recovery process, suggesting that by focusing on the development of skills and capacities that are likely to generate emotion, highlight strengths, support choice and create opportunities for positive social connections, it is likely that youth can increase the resiliency necessary to buffer the effects of chronic symptoms and in turn begin to envision (and obtain) a life that includes, but is not defined by illness.
  • Investigating the Cluster Chemistry of α-Methyl-2-pyridine methanol (mpmH) with Select 3d Ions

    Abbasi, Parisa; Department of Chemistry
    This thesis describes an investigation of the coordination chemistry of the potentially chiral bridging, chelating ligand, α-methyl-2-pyridinemethanol (mpmH) with select 3d ions for the discovery of polynuclear clusters with single molecule magnet (SMM) properties. Chapter 1 introduces the theory of molecular magnetism, SMMs and the concepts of chiral SMMs, magnetochiral dichroism and multiferroics. In Chapter 2, two NiII clusters, {Ni8} and {Ni18} prepared from rac-mpmH are reported. The {Ni8} cluster crystallizes in a trapezoidal prismatic topology and contains tetrazolate ligands that are formed via a metal-assisted click reaction. The molecular structure of the second {Ni18} cluster is highly disordered comprising of eight edge-sharing cubane subunits. Dc magnetic susceptibility measurements reveal dominant ferromagnetic interactions down to ~18 K, stabilizing spin states with large values, whereas at T < 18 K the antiferromagnetic contribution results in the population of smaller, but appreciable non-zero spin states. Ac magnetic susceptibility measurements confirm the presence of two relaxation processes at two temperature regimes that is extremely rare for a 3d-metal based SMM. The first at low temperature (5 K) is attributed to conventional SMM behavior with τ0 = 3.26 × 10-10 s and Ueff = 11 K. The origin of high temperature (15 K) relaxation process with a large Ueff = 381 K and τ0 = 2.7 × 10-15 s is less clear, but tentatively assigned to spin-glass properties. In Chapter 3, the synthesis and structure of a large mixed-valence [MnII2MnIII28MnIV] polynuclear cluster with a closed cage-like conformation is presented. Ac magnetic susceptibility measurements show the compound is an SMM with Ueff of 58 K, that is large for a 3d cluster, and a τ0 = 3 × 10−8 s. Chapter 4 describes the coordination chemistry of racemic and chiral-mpmH with CuII and FeIII, where the synthesis and magnetostructural properties of a chiral {Cu4} tetramer, a non-chiral 1-D chain, as well as a chiral {Fe6} and a non-chiral{Fe8} cluster are reported. Dc magnetic susceptibility measurements on all four complexes reveal the presence of dominant antiferromagnetic exchange interactions affording S = 0 spin ground states at low temperature that precludes the observation of any SMM behavior.
  • Testing a Hypothesis of Non-REM Sleep Reinforcement and REM Sleep Refinement for the Benefits of Post-Learning Sleep on Memory Retrieval

    MacDonald, Kevin John; Department of Psychology
    It is well established that post-learning sleep benefits later memory retrieval, but there is still much to learn about the processes involved and the nature of these benefits. Sleep is composed of stages of non-REM (NREM) and REM sleep: NREM sleep, especially slow wave activity of NREM sleep, and REM sleep have been implicated in memory performance benefits, but the specific contributions of each state remain unclear. This thesis presents a hypothesis proposing that post-learning NREM sleep supports memory accessibility, benefitting the likelihood of successful memory retrieval, and that post-learning REM sleep supports memory fidelity, allowing for more accurate retrieval when retrieval is successful. This hypothesis was tested over studies examining the effects of an afternoon nap (Chapter 2), targeted memory reactivation during NREM slow wave sleep (Chapter 3), and both targeted memory reactivation during NREM slow wave sleep and selective deprivation of REM sleep (Chapter 4) on measures of memory accessibility and memory fidelity in visuospatial memory tasks. In each study, measures of sleep architecture and electroencephalographic power in sleep were examined as predictors of memory performance. Several identified associations and interactions further inform an understanding of how NREM sleep and REM sleep may benefit memory performance. Most notably, these studies consistently found greater slow wave activity of NREM sleep to be specifically associated with better maintenance of memory accessibility. These studies did not identify a clear effect of REM sleep. It is hoped that the hypothesis and findings presented stimulate additional inquires that will further our understanding of the individual and combined contributions of NREM and REM sleep.
  • Self-Care as a Pedagogical Ontology in the Professional Care Practice of Others and with Others: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Self-Care in Nursing Education

    Docherty-Skippen, Susan Maureen; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Healthcare practitioners work in reciprocally dynamic roles in which their health and well-being directly impact their professional competence. This interplay is often understated in ways that regulatory colleges influence training and education programs. In Ontario, for example, we see this in nursing. Although the College of Nurses of Ontario stipulates nursing professional competencies, it does not provide explicit performance expectations related to nursing self-care (i.e., the intentional way one takes care of one’s self). Accordingly, not all Ontario nursing education programs teach self-care. Different from research that deliberates nursing as a discipline or body of knowledge, this research examined how self-care is articulated, prioritized, taught, and assessed in nursing education. As such, the scholarly contribution it offers in the context of education is a pedagogy supporting self-care as a professional competency. Eight nursing faculty shared their lived experiences (through one-on-one interviews) surrounding the notion and phenomenon of self-care in nursing. Through a reiterative hermeneutic interchange that focused on whose voice is missing, an art-informed method that paralleled knowledge creation metaphorically according to the depth and breadth of “delving beneath the surface,” transformed participants spoken words into interpretive texts. Study conclusions suggest that self-care in nursing may be understood and taught through emotionally engaged self-reflection, not as a prescribed set of behaviours or individual task-based activities, but instead, as a pedagogical ontology in the professional care practice of others and with others. To foster successful self-care practice in nursing, educators should consider using arts-based methods to help learners enter and navigate spaces for emotionally engaged self-reflection. Given the urgent need for innovative and rigorous curriculum to support successful self-care practices as part of a healthcare practitioner’s professional role, this research is both timely and relevant.
  • The role of mobile elements in recent primate genomes

    Tang, Wanxiangfu; Department of Biological Sciences
    Mobile elements (MEs), which constitute ~50% of the primate genomes, have contributed to both genome evolution and gene function as demonstrated by ample evidence discovered over the last few decades. The three studies in this thesis aims to provide a better understanding of the evolutionary profile and function of MEs in the primate genomes by taking a computational comparative genomics approach. The first study represents a comprehensive analysis of the differential ME transposition among primates via identification of species-specific MEs (SS-MEs) in eight primate genomes from the families of Hominidae and Cercopithecidae using a comparative genomics approach. In total, 230,855 SS-MEs are identified, which reveal striking differences in retrotransposition level in the eight primate genomes. The second study represents a more focused analysis for the identification of a new type of MEs, which we term “retro-DNA” for non-LTR retrotransposons derived from DNA transposons, in the recent primate genomes. By investigating biallelic DNA transposons that have both the insertion and pre-integration alleles in ten primate genomes, a total of 1,750 retro-DNA elements representing 750 unique insertion events are reported for the first time. The third study provides an analysis of the mechanism underlying the differential SINE transposition in the primate genomes. In this study, Alu profiles are compared and the Alu master copies are identified in six primate genomes in the Hominidae and Cercopithecidae groups. The results show that each lineage of the primates and each species owns a unique Alu profile exclusively defined by the AluY transposition activity, which is determined by the number of Alu master copies and their relative activity. Overall, work in this thesis provides new insights about MEs and their impact on the recent primate genomes by revealing differential ME transposition as an important mechanism in generating genome diversity among primate lineages and species through discovering a new type of MEs and preliminary analysis of the mechanism underlying the differential ME transposition among primates. Furthermore, taking advantage of the recently available primate genomes and transcriptomes data, the work in this thesis demonstrates the great potential of the comparative genomic approach in studying MEs in primate genomes.
  • The Larger Stages: The 'Becoming Minor' of South African Theatres.

    Planche, Jill; Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
    ABSTRACT The Larger Stages: The Becoming ‘Minor’ of South African Theatres. By Jill Planche South Africa is layered with entangled histories that have created a fragile landscape of ambiguities where fractured memories are revealed yet remain concealed. The social architecture of apartheid still persists in a legacy of hostile urban geographies and land inequity, while global capitalism and economic disparity are seen in the dramatic contrast between the developing middle class and the poverty of millions. This research project interrogates the way in which contemporary theatre in South Africa is implicated in the country's complex cultural, economic and social realities. Pursuing rigorous qualitative research in the history, practice and criticism of South African theatre; contemporary studies in theatre spatiality; and philosophy, cultural theory and human geography, I explore precisely whose voices are being heard and which audiences are being reached. What role does – and might – theatre play in addressing South Africa’s socio-economic and artistic challenges, both as a barrier and a bridge to audiences? Drawing on the work of such thinkers as Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Rosi Braidotti and Achille Mbembe, can we anticipate what we might describe as a ‘minor’ theatre that will tell the stories that resonate twenty years after the end of apartheid? The term ‘minor’ refers to the Deleuzian concept of affirmative and dynamic processes to create new political subjects; processes of “becoming” that break from the fixed, proscribed “being,” which in the South African context has been created by centuries of colonialism and decades of state-imposed racial construction. Given the insights afforded by such theorization, I argue that the spaces of performance are potentially dynamic spaces of intersection within this landscape of layered socio-economic and artistic challenges created by a milieu of rooted physical and mental boundaries that have informed the country’s inherited theatrical practices.
  • Lessons learned from a critical appraisal of a fall break policy in higher education: A case study

    Pilato, Kelly A.; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The incidence, severity and persistence of mental health issues is increasing across post- secondary campuses (Zivin et al., 2009; Canada Newswire, 2012) with these students now viewed as a high-risk population (Stallman, 2010). Many Canadian universities are implementing a policy for a fall break in hopes of alleviating students’ stress and anxiety in order to improve mental health, heighten retention, and increase academic productivity. To date, there is limited empirical evidence to guide the development of policy and the delivery of effective practices to alleviate school-related stress and anxiety. This thesis is presented as a three paper, manuscript approach. The focus of this project was to appraise the development and implementation of a fall break and then evaluate its effectiveness in an effort to address rising concerns related to mental health for post-secondary students. Three thousand and seventy-one students in years one to four completed a post-break survey during one week in January of 2013, 2014, 2015. Of those, 1019 were male and 2052 female. Thirty-three students varying in years from one to four participated in focus groups in February of 2013, 2014, 2015. Of those 4 were male and 19 were female. Ten faculty from varying faculties and one informant participated in interviews in spring, 2018. Analyses from the surveys revealed that overall, students are in favour of having a fall break. Even though a small percentage of participants perceived their workload to go up before and after the break, 90% of students agree that the fall break was useful in reducing school related stress levels. However, the focus group, faculty and informant interviews revealed that the timing of the fall break had an impact on how students and faculty experienced the break and thus influenced perceptions on the impact that the break had on student mental health. Comprehensive evidence about whether a fall break policy supports or undermines the mental health of students needs to be assessed using a range of indicators before its implementation. This will help post-secondary institutions determine whether a break in the fall semester can be an effective approach to addressing students’ stress and anxiety.
  • Negotiating a Gendered Neo-Calvinist Pillar: Immigrant Loss, Transformation, and Lifelong Learning

    VanderVliet, Catharina F.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Employing a critical feminist perspective, I conducted a sociocultural analysis of the lifelong learning of Dutch neo-Calvinist women who immigrated to Canada shortly after World War II. The purpose of the research was a critique of the institutional ruling relations (schooling, religion, family, workplace) that shaped and influenced the trajectory of these women’s lifelong learning. More specifically, the inquiry included an interrogation of their Canadian schooling experience, in the context of an immigrant family life, their pillarized Dutch culture, and Calvinist religiosity. In choosing a life history methodology, the scope of the research broadened where one’s life story was juxtaposed to a theory of context. Applying this methodology, I critically analyzed structures, operations, and contestations of power in lifelong learning institutions through an exploration of the multiple contexts that shaped the lives of immigrant women. It is within that relationship that the critical feminist was possible. The life histories were not a description of the mainstream but rather were positioned to dialectically interrogate the meaning and significance of the past as it influenced the present and future. Applying a dialectic method to the participants’ life histories, 7 tensions were raised that made visible ruling relations relevant to the participants’ everyday experiences and brought awareness to the underlying contextual and ideological assumptions related to their trajectory of lifelong learning. Employing a critical feminist perspective, I examined how 3 neo-Calvinist immigrant women interpreted and negotiated the ambiguity created by cultural contradictions experienced in a Canadian context. As a researcher who herself has been shaped by this specific immigrant experience, a key attribute of life history methodology was its capacity for the researcher self to be visible in the research.
  • Chemoenzymatic Formal Total Syntheses of Tetrodotoxin and an Approach to Daphenylline

    Baidilov, Daler; Department of Chemistry
    This thesis describes chemoenzymatic formal total syntheses of tetrodotoxin and a concise synthetic approach to daphenylline. Advanced intermediates for the syntheses of tetrodotoxin reported by the groups of Fukuyama, Alonso, and Sato were prepared. Key steps included toluene dioxygenase-mediated dihydroxylation of either iodobenzene or benzyl acetate and a [4+2] hetero-Diels-Alder cycloaddition/Kornblum–DeLaMare rearrangement sequence to construct a common enone intermediate. The resulting key enone was transformed into Fukuyama's intermediate in four steps, into Alonso's intermediate in six steps, and into Sato's intermediate in seven steps. Fukuyama’s route employed a highly stereoselective allyl cyanate-to-isocyanate rearrangement to install the nitrogen atom at C8a. This protocol was also successfully applied in designing a synthetic avenue to daphenylline. The ABC tricyclic skeleton of daphenylline was successfully constructed in just eight steps starting from readily available (S)-carvone.
  • Magnetically Interesting Coordination Complexes Based on Macrocyclic Ligands

    Ras Ali, Zineb; Department of Chemistry
    The synthesis and study of select 3d and/or 4f coordination complexes prepared from crown ether and Schiff-base dual compartmental macrocycles are described herein, working towards the discovery and study of new families of macrocyclic-based single molecule magnets (SMMs). Chapter 1 introduces the general theory of magnetism, molecular magnetism and SMMs and provides the reader with a brief overview of the relevant coordination chemistry of the two families of macrocycles. In Chapter 2, two 15-crown-5 complexes [Ln(NO3)3(OH2)2(MeOH)], (where Ln(III) = Tb (I) and Dy (II)) have been prepared and characterized. X-ray diffraction studies reveal the two complexes crystallize as 1-D chains. Variable temperature ac magnetic susceptibility studies reveal that (II) is an SMM with two effective energy barriers, Ueff = 26 K (18 cm−1); τ0 = 4.10 × 10−7 s and Ueff = 41 K (29 cm−1); τ0 = 1.35 × 10−8 s, whereas ab initio studies suggest that the observation of slow relaxation of magnetization in the Tb complex (I) is hindered by the presence of rapid quantum tunneling mechanisms (QTM). Solid state photoluminescence measurements reveal the two complexes have well-resolved f–f transitions, where a Gaussian fit of the fine structure of the highest-energy emission band for the Dy(III) complex allows the Stark splitting of the ground state to be determined. In Chapter 3, select Ln(III) complexes with benzo and dibenzo 15-crown-5 macrocycles were synthesized and characterized. Reaction of Dy(III) together with benzo 15-crown-5 afforded a unique [Dy(OH2)8]3+ complex (III), where the hydrated Dy(III) cation is fully encapsulated within a supramolecular cage formed by three benzo 15-crown-5 macrocycles. Interestingly, the close to perfect square antiprismatic geometry of the 4f ion enhances its axial anisotropy, which suppresses quantum tunnelling mechanisms (QTM) in the ground and first excited states, resulting in the observation of SMM behavior in zero dc field. For this system the magnetic data were further supported by solid-state photoluminescence and ab initio studies, The introduction of a second benzene ring into the organic framework of the macrocycle increases its rigidity, where on coordination to Dy(III), affords the partially encapsulated complex (IV), which displays slow relaxation of magnetisation, consistent with SMM properties. In Chapter 4, the coordination chemistry of a dual compartmental Schiff-base macrocycle H2L3 containing O3O2 and N3O2 cavities was explored together with select 3d and 4f ions. In the first part of this chapter, the coordination chemistry of H2L3 with 3d metal ions is presented, where in the presence of NaOH, the Na(I) ions reside in the O3O2 cavity and the 3d ions occupy the second N3O2 cavity. Three coordination complexes containing Cu(II), Zn(II), and Mn(II) ions were prepared and characterized. The Cu(II), and Zn(II) complexes are monomeric with molecular formulae [CuNa(L3b)ClCH3OH]‧6H2O (V) and [ZnNa(L3b)(CH3COO)(CH3OH)]‧H2O (VI) respectively, while the Mn(II) complex crystallizes as a trimer with stoichiometry [Mn3Na2(L3)2(CH3COO)4]·5.75CH3OH·0.5H2O (VII). For complexes (V) and (VI), nucleophilic addition of the NH of the N3O2 cavity to the carbon atom of the adjacent imine results in a contraction of the N3O2 cavity and the formation of a five-membered imidazoline ring to afford the modified ligand L3b.The magnetic properties of (V) and (VII) are also reported. In the second part of this chapter, coordination of the macrocycle to select 4f ions in the absence of any base afforded the mononuclear complexes [Dy(H2L3)(H2O)2(CH3OH)2]Cl3·CH3OH, (VIII), and [Ln(H2L3)(H2O)3(CH3OH)] Cl3, where Ln(III) = Tb (IX), Er (X), and Gd (XI), in which the Ln(III) ion is coordinated in the O3O2 cavity. Magneto-structural studies on these complexes reveal that the Dy complex has a slightly different structure than the other three complexes, however all four 4f ions crystallize with square antiprismatic geometries, where only the Dy(III) complex (VIII) displays SMM properties.
  • Utilizing ESL Learners’ Socio-Cognitive Resources to Enhance General Academic Vocabulary Acquisition

    Makulloluwa, Enoka; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This study examined the extent to which English as a Second Language Learner (ESL) graduate students’ socio-cognitive resources (the combination of culturally relevant imagery and first language (L1) facilitate their Second Language (L2) general academic vocabulary acquisition in a social learning setting. The study investigated whether the use of culturally relevant imagery and L1 translation equivalents facilitate retrieval of new general academic vocabulary. The study was informed by the following theories: Levels of Processing Theory (Craik & Lockhart, 1972), Vocabulary Learning Strategy Taxonomy (Gu & Johnson, 1996), Social Constructivist Theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and the Bilingual Dual Coding Theory (Paivio & Desrochers, 1980)—which assumes that bilinguals’ cognitive activity is mediated by their two verbal systems and the image system representing their knowledge of the world. Utilizing a sequential explanatory mixed method strategy, the study first explored the general vocabulary learning strategy (VLS) preferences of 41 ESL graduate students with a survey. Then with a sub-sample of nine ESL graduate students, in a collaborative setting. the study used a case study approach to determine the extent to which a VLS that utilizes the socio-cognitive resources of the bilingual might activate the connections in the verbal systems and image system that lead to deep processing and retrieval of new vocabulary. The findings of the study indicate that the ESL learners’ socio-cognitive resources have a positive impact on their general academic vocabulary acquisition. Outcomes of the study inform students and educators alike on how a VLS honouring ESL learners’ socio-cognitive resources can be utilized to enhance general academic vocabulary acquisition. It also contributes to a domain of teaching and learning where there is a dearth of literature
  • Synthesis and Derivatization of Amaryllidaceae Constituents – Narciclasine and Pancratistatin

    Lapinskaite, Ringaile; Department of Chemistry
    This thesis describes the synthesis and derivatization of narciclasine and pancratistatin. A detailed description is given to the total formal synthesis of pancratistatin through a reductive transposition approach and the total and semi-syntheses of 2-epi-narciclasine and its discovery as a new natural product. The last part of this work focuses on the search for a divergent approach to access C-1 narciclasine and C-1-pancratistatin derivatives from natural narciclasine. Experimental and spectral data are provided for the new compounds.
  • Investigating the Impact of Lessons Based on Marzanoʼs Theory of Learning on Student Attitude, Engagement, and Achievement in Grade 10 Academic Mathematics

    IRVINE, JEFF; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Motivation is an important construct in education, both for its links to student learning and in its own right as a factor in student development. The relationship between motivation and student learning is particularly important in mathematics since numerous studies have demonstrated that motivation in mathematics is linked to student achievement, and that student achievement and student attitudes toward mathematics are reciprocally related. This study investigated the impact of an instructional intervention that specifically addressed two dimensions of motivation: engagement and student attitudes. Based on Marzano’s (1998, 2007) New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives©, a unit of study in Grade 10 Academic Mathematics was developed that utilized targeted activities and complete lessons to positively influence student engagement and attitudes. This mixed methods study used pre–post comparisons as well as treatment-control comparisons of 70 students in 3 classes of Grade 10 mathematics to investigate the impact of the instructional intervention on student engagement, attitude, and achievement in order to determine whether such an intervention could function as an exemplar for development of similar interventions that positively impacted student learning. The results of the study showed statistically significant changes in student engagement and student attitudes, but not for student achievement. Implications of these results pointed to directions for future research in this area.
  • Facebooking for Feminism: Social Network Sites as Feminist Learning Spaces

    Lane, Laura; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
    Social media such as Facebook have become a significant space where social interactions increasingly take place. Within these spaces, users construct and engage with information that may facilitate social movements such as feminism. This study explored ways feminists learn, challenge, and reproduce discourses related to gender and feminism through Facebook. This research is positioned within current literature and theory related to gendered contexts of social media engagement and feminist social movement learning. Using qualitative interviews and a digital focus group, I investigated the experiences of 9 women who either learn about or engage with feminism through Facebook. Using critical feminist discourse analysis, I coded and analyzed themes that related to ways feminism is represented, constructed, navigated, and limited through Facebook. Specifically, I considered ways in which feminism can be learned, ways Facebook can be used as a learning platform, and ways gendered power relations can influence feminist engagement online. I advocate for continued exploration of and engagement with feminist uses of Facebook.
  • Examining Student Preparation for Certification Examination: An Exploratory Case Study

    TAYLOR, HELEN CATHERINE; Applied Health Sciences Program
    This research paper explores three university-level programs with mandatory licensing exams for graduates who wish to attain professional certification. Specifically, the study explored the affordances and constraints associated with curricular alignment and program accreditation, student success on licensure, and student satisfaction. The specific programs and the licensure exams are: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), who are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN), the Master of Applied Disability Studies (MADS), who write the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Exam, and the Bachelor of Accounting/Master of Accountancy (BAcc/MAcc), who are eligible to take the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Common Final Examination (CFE). The study used a scoping review of the literature specific to the NCLEX-RN to help inform an exploratory case study of three academic programs that are offered through a University in Ontario, all leading to licensure exams. The programs are designed to ensure that students are prepared to write the licensure exams and provide more material that is integral to the practice but is not necessarily tested on the licensure exam. Using curriculum and accreditation review processes, administrators/faculty and students can provide insight into processes that could aid future students for licensure exams. When comparing the findings from analyses of transcripts from one program and documents across all three programs, it is apparent that there are many similarities across the programs despite the differences in the actual curricular goals and licenses. However, there appears to be a disconnect in the Nursing program, since they use the greatest number of the identified techniques/tools, but still have lower percentages of first-time pass rates than the other two programs. This provides an area for future study and analysis.
  • Influence of adolescent social instability stress on the intake of ethanol and sucrose in a rodent model

    de Lima Marcolin, Marina; Department of Biological Sciences
    Adolescence is a sensitive period in which the effects of stress and alcohol can have long-lasting impacts. Social instability stress in adolescent rats (SS; postnatal day 30-45, daily 1 hour isolation + new cage partner) alters behavioural responses to psychostimulants and increases anxiety-like behaviour, but differences in voluntary consumption of natural and drug rewards are unknown. The main goal of my thesis was to investigate the effects of adolescent social instability stress (SS) on immediate and long-lasting changes on reward-related behaviours in male rats using voluntary alcohol intake paradigms. Another goal was to investigate the influence of social context on the propensity to drink alcohol, as well as the influence of these factors on sucrose intake. In chapter 2, I found that adolescent SS increased alcohol intake irrespective of social context, and adolescents drank more alcohol than adults. The intake of sucrose was not altered by stress, except during context of competition. In chapter 3, I found that history of alcohol drinking reduced synaptic plasticity markers in the dorsal hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and this reduction was sometimes further reduced by SS. The propensity to drink alcohol was found not to differ between SS and CTL rats in the first experiment, and reduced among SS rats in the second experiment. After nine days of alcohol absence, the propensity to drink alcohol was not increased by previous alcohol access, and SS increased intake only in alcohol-naïve rats. History of alcohol drinking reduced anxiety-like behaviours and blunted SS-induced reduction in social interactions. Both SS and alcohol decreased corticosterone levels at baseline and after fear recall without changing freezing behaviour. My findings indicate that using a model of mild social stressor can have great impact on adolescent rats, but moderate effects in adult rats. The behavioural changes caused by stress can be enhanced later in life by history of alcohol drinking, but that does not necessarily cause an increase in the propensity to drink during adulthood, as other studies have shown. Adolescent stressed rats drink more alcohol than other groups, but they don’t seem to continue drinking more when they reach adulthood. These results indicate that the effects of social instability stress are transient in regards to propensity to drink, and can be the basis for alterations caused by both alcohol and stress.
  • INHUMAN TARGETS: Psychopathy, Dehumanization, and Sexist and Violent Attitudes Towards Women

    Methot-Jones, Tabitha; Department of Psychology
    The current work presents three studies that examined the role of dehumanization in the association between psychopathy and sexist and violent attitudes towards women. This program had two overarching goals in examining psychopathy, dehumanization, and sexist and violent attitudes towards women. The first goal was to examine whether an indirect association between psychopathy and negative attitudes towards women existed through dehumanization. The second goal was to explore if, by introducing information that humanizes women, levels of dehumanization could be mitigated for individuals high on psychopathic traits. Employing mixed samples for both studies (student and community), Study 1 (n = 514) and Study 2 (n = 202) provided evidence that psychopathy demonstrated an indirect relationship with sexist and violent attitudes towards women via dehumanization. Study 2 also expanded on Study 1 by including a behavioural measure of violent attitudes towards women. Finally, Study 3 (n = 206), again using a mixed sample, attempted to manipulate dehumanization to see if it, and the sexist and violent attitudes associated with it, would be mitigated. Unfortunately, the manipulation failed, but we were able to use the data from Study 3 to provide a replication of the results of Study 2. Across three studies results suggested that the path from psychopathy to negative attitudes towards women was at least partially (if not fully) indirect through dehumanization. This suggests that dehumanization may be an important mechanism to consider when examining the tendency of individuals high in psychopathic traits to engage in violence towards women. Furthermore, because psychopathic traits are associated with violence perpetrated against women, dehumanization could be an important construct to consider when examining potential avenues for clinical interventions. Even more broadly, dehumanization could be an important construct for mitigating the association between psychopathy and violence generally.

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