Theses - Higher Degree by Research

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Contains the higher degree research theses completed by Griffith graduates.

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  • Griffith thesis
    Putting a price on biotechnology development: Examining the complexities of R&D collaboration valuation
    Neilson, Troy; Byrnes, Joshua M; Rohde, Nicholas (2024-04-30)

    The purpose of this thesis is to examine to what extent external effects impact deal valuation in biotechnology research and development collaboration in practice. To understand the mechanisms that impact this research, a new database was produced using machine learning to produce an understanding of market behaviour through the observation of sentiment analysis derived from microblogs focused on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. In conjunction with this database, a series of research questions with supporting econometric models were specified and designed to shed light on the impact of these external effects on biotechnology research and development collaborations. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Examination of the role of cell surface glycans in the Gram-negative bacterial genus Moraxella
    Ravikumaran, Kosala S; Wilson, Jennifer C; Grice, Irwin D; Peak, Ian (2024-05-01)

    The genus Moraxella of the Moraxellaceae family is composed of commensals and opportunistic pathogens residing within the mucosal surfaces of predominantly mammals. Certain species are the causative agents or affiliated with detrimental diseases such as otitis media (M. catarrhalis) in children and infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) in cattle (M. bovis, M. bovoculi and M. ovis). However, research examining the microbial profiles of young children have also associated early colonisation by Moraxella with improving URT health. M. lincolnii, has been frequently recovered in healthy individuals and experimentally shown to harbour certain mechanisms that are advantageous to URT health.

    Conversely, reports of severe diseases caused by typically dormant commensal species such as M. nonliquefaciens, M. atlantae, M. lacunata and M. osloensis also exist. Hence to understand the microbial interactions of Moraxella, the structures of their outer membrane (OM) glycans that interact with the host immune system such as the lipopolysaccharides/lipooligosaccharides (LPS/LOS) and/or capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and their related genetics, were investigated in this thesis. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Serotonergic neuromodulation and motor unit activity in humans
    Goodlich, Benjamin I; Kavanagh, Justin J; Horan, Sean A (2024-05-08)

    A motor unit, which is comprised of a motoneurone and the muscle fibres it innervates, forms the basic building block of motor control. Studying the behaviour of motor units affords insight into the properties of human motoneurones. Serotonin (5-HT) has strong modulatory effects on motoneurone excitability. 5-HT neurons form monosynaptic connections with motoneurones and converging lines of evidence indicate that 5-HT release onto motoneurones varies proportionally with the intensity of motor activity. Cellular preparations have indicated that the most significant modulatory effects that 5-HT has on motoneurones result from activation of somato-dendritic 5-HT2 receptors, which facilitate the generation of a type of electrical current that is resistant to inactivation known as a persistent inward current (PIC). However, a direct link between motor unit discharge, 5-HT2 receptor activity, and PIC activity, is yet to be demonstrated during voluntary muscle contractions in humans. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate the competitive antagonism of 5-HT2 receptors in human participants and quantify the impact this has on motor unit activity as measured by high-density surface electromyography (HDsEMG). [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Planning for climate adapted local futures - a realist evaluation of New South Wales land use planning governance and practice requirements
    McNicol, Ian H; Burton, Paul A; Nalau, Johanna O; Tomlinson, Rodger B (2024-05-08)

    Land use planning is widely identified as a local climate adaptation solution. Planning uses resilience concepts to inform the design of new development controls and support evidence based decision making. Under increasing weather extremes and hazards, resilience is proving a brittle approach unlikely to meet local community needs for climate adaptation.

    There is a large gap between the scope of the spatial problems managed by land use planning and the adaptive needs of whole communities. The thesis examines how this gap can be bridged. This adaptive capacity gap is framed as a systems learning problem. The thesis draws on a case study of the New South Wales (NSW) Australia to evaluate how local land use planning systems can become more adaptive and allow communities to actively participate in the creation of solutions for climate change impacts.

    Local government is expected to play a key adaptation role but enabling governance structures are not yet in place. Local governments, being on the adaptation ‘frontline’, are well placed to enable development of local adaptative capacities, but this depends on the creation of enabling policy frameworks and cooperative arrangements within state governments.

    The thesis is structured to answer the question, ‘How can land use planning best solve local adaptation problems?’ With local land use planning identified as a local adaptation solution that lacks adaptive capacity, what needs to be done to better enable local adaptation? Can planning capacities reflect the problems and community needs of the Anthropocene and the future? What can be done to improve local future-making? Calls for governance and institutional change, and systems transformation, as climate change solutions, are well documented but seldom address the practical details. The solution of adaptation pathways is widely agreed but the understanding of the required governance and practice mechanisms hasn’t extended beyond the conceptual stage. The governance changes needed to make specific regulatory systems such as land use planning more adaptive remain largely unexamined. As there are no established methods for investigating adaptive changes to regulatory systems, a combination of realist evaluation, realist science and systems thinking has been utilised for this thesis. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    The induction of anti-disease and anti-parasitic immune responses in primary Plasmodium falciparum exposure
    Dooley, Nicholas L; Boyle, Michelle; Lopez Ramirez, Jose Alejandro; Engwerda, Christian R (2024-05-08)

    Despite modern prevention and treatment therapies, malaria morbidity and mortality is on the rise. A major roadblock to malaria eradication is the failure of current vaccines to induce long-lasting disease protection in malaria-endemic children, who carry the highest burden of severe illness and mortality. Central to the slow acquisition of long-term anti-parasite immunity and low vaccine efficacy is the development of anti-disease regulatory immune cell responses. This thesis aims to investigate the global immune regulation of peripheral immune cells during blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum (Pf ) malaria and characterise the multi-functional activation of γδ T cell innate- and adaptive-like immune responses in malaria. To do this, we implemented a number of innovative strategies to characterise the transcriptional and protein profiles of peripheral immune cells in primary malaria infection models. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    The physician-patient relationship in the management of chronic health conditions
    Arentz, Jessica Ashleigh; Sheeran, Nicola J; Jones, Elizabeth S; Moffitt, Robyn L; Loxton, Natalie J (2024-04-03)

    The current thesis aims to understand the role of the physician–patient relationship in the treatment of chronic health conditions, paying particular attention to patient perspectives. Although stronger physician–patient relationships have been consistently linked to improved patient outcomes such as adherence to treatment and satisfaction with care (Farin et al., 2013; Kersting, 2019; Orom et al., 2018), a clear conceptualisation of the physician–patient relationship is lacking as is the identification of the specific behavioural skills needed to build a physician–patient relationship (McCabe et al., 2018; Nowak, 2011). Additionally, the psychological mechanisms that underpin the connection between the physician–patient relationship and patient outcomes remain unclear. Lastly, much of the information known about forming strong physician–patient relationships is informed by researcher and practitioner perspectives and not those of patients themselves. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Addressing the theory and practice gap to improve climate change adaptation
    Arteaga Valdivia, Estefania; Nalau, Johanna O; Howes, Michael J; Biesbroek, Robbert (2024-04-19)

    Adaptation to climate change in practice has been limited despite worldwide political attention and the availability of multiple tools to support mainstreaming. The latest IPCC reports show limited progress in adaptation, where efforts are primarily incremental, reactive and slow in responding effectively to current impacts or near-term risks. Despite the more than 380 guidelines, frameworks, tools, and methodologies available in the UNFCCC database that are designed to support climate adaptation, there remains limited evidence of their translation into practice leading to effective adaptation. The central starting point of this thesis is that there is a clear gap between theory and practice requiring urgent action, yet specific research on understanding and addressing the factors creating this gap is still lacking. This thesis aims to understand and conceptualise the theory-practice gap in climate adaptation and to identify drivers and solutions to address it. It makes a substantial contribution to the field of adaptation science and practice by laying the foundation for addressing the gap and, in doing so, improving adaptation efforts. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Survival and transcendence of prison: Initial steps towards a decolonised approach to understanding prison social climate for First Nations People
    Adams, Yolonda; Rynne, John G; Shannon, Cindy A; Thomsen, Lisa (2024-04-03)

    The over-representation of First Nations peoples in Australian prisons continues to rapidly climb at disproportionate rates. It is apparent that the criminal justice system as a whole is failing to meet the needs of First Nations prisoners despite efforts such as the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1991). The situation in Australia is dire and requires an urgent response towards a system that meets the cultural needs of First Nations prisoners. In order to achieve this, it is essential to have a better understanding of what this means for First Nations prisoners in order to improve the lives of incarcerated First Nations peoples. Gaining further insight into this area will achieve a deeper understanding of how cultural factors influence prison social climate/prison quality. The literature has demonstrated that prison social climate/prison quality has attracted extensive global research interest however, there is a paucity of research specific to the prison experience and in particular, how First Nations prisoners survive and transcend prison. The present thesis addresses this problem through exploring the history of the assessment of prison social climate/prison quality such as the Measuring Quality of Prison Life (MQPL), as well as actuarial assessment tools that are designed to assess risk factors. It is crucial that in researching a First Nations specific prison social climate/prison quality model, the focus is on decolonising perceptions and approaches to carceral detention. The unabashed purpose of this thesis is to deliver custodial services in a form safer for First Nations peoples and, in doing so, contribute to decarceration and lower recidivism. In no way should this thesis be seen as a legitimisation of prison for the over-representation of First Nations peoples.

    My research examines the factors that impact on incarceration and, in particular, the experience and survivability of First Nations prisoners. The aim of the research is to conceptualise First Nations prison social climate/prison quality and the factors that contribute to this, whilst understanding how cultural aspects impact on the experience of incarceration in understanding prison social climate/prison quality for First Nations peoples. As a First Nations researcher, and in line with First Nations research methodology, this thesis adopts a decolonising approach by incorporating First Nations knowledge and worldviews that is led by First Nations peoples to inform how prison is delivered in Australia. As such, I have incorporated a combined method of western qualitative research methods, integrated with the core constructs relevant to First Nations research methods. The adopted research approach ensures the recognition and inclusion of First Nations knowledge systems and values. In an attempt to identify alternative incarceration models to improve prison social climate/prison quality that can arguably lead to better outcomes, I have turned to Canada given it shares a similar incarceration history to Australia. Through an Endeavour Indigenous Research Fellowship, I explored an alternative culturally sensitive incarceration model, namely, First Nations healing practices through Canadian Healing Lodges. As with Australia, the First Nations rates of incarceration in Canada are overrepresented, however, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Peoples (1996) was the impetus to the establishment of Healing Lodges in partnership with government agencies (Trevethan et al., 2002). The intention of Healing Lodges is to deliver holistic services that are based on Indigenous law for Indigenous prisoners within the Canadian corrections system.

    As a result of undertaking qualitative based interviews in both the Northern Territory, Australia and Canada, the conceptualisation of prison social climate/prison quality as experienced by First Nations prisoners was identified through the emergence of dimensions and themes. Furthermore, distinctive from previous research, the data evidenced the critical need to incorporate cultural aspects into the carceral system that directly impacts on the experience of prison for First Nations peoples. For example, maintaining a strong sense of connection to culture, country, family, and community contributed to positive social and emotional wellbeing, including mental health.

    The data from my research revealed how systemic racism in the carceral system has significantly continued to oppress First Nations peoples, whether this be through the structural racism created through legislation, and policies and procedures, or individual racism. The high rates of First Nations deaths in custody suggest the prison experience adversely impacts an individual's wellbeing, precipitating in some cases major depression and successful suicide. The findings from my research not only demonstrate the vital need to develop culturally appropriate methods of assessing prison social climate/prison quality for First Nations prisoners, but also highlight the way in which colonisation has shaped and influenced prison social climate/prison quality today, and in particular, underscore the importance of decolonising prisons in order to achieve improved outcomes for First Nations prisoners.

    The findings reveal those factors that contribute to and improve First Nations prison social climate/prison quality. However, the development of a unique culturally appropriate assessment tool applicable to First Nations prisoners would be a significant improvement in developing a more sophisticated understanding of the experience of prison, and potentially improve lives and reduce the number of First Nations deaths in prison.

  • Griffith thesis
    Toward Scalable Control of Open Quantum Systems
    Chalermpusitarak, Teerawat; Paz Silva, Gerardo A; Wiseman, Howard M (2024-04-15)

    An open quantum system is composed of a quantum system of interest that one can control and extract information, and its environment that is uncontrollable and directly inaccessible. The environment acts as a source of noise, which influences the dynamics of the system in an undesirable way. With the advanced development of quantum technologies, the need to precisely control the quantum system has become more dramatic. Dynamical error suppression techniques, such as dynamical decoupling and quantum optimal control techniques, have emerged as key tools to mitigate the effect of noise and improve the quality of control. Importantly, they rely on some degree of knowledge about the environment in order to succeed in suppressing the noise. Therefore, noise characterization is a crucial step before deploying any dynamical error suppression tools.

    It can be shown that the environment affects the dynamics of the system of interest via its noise correlation functions, or equivalently the polyspectra. Thus, these quantities are what can be learned from the system's dynamics in the presence of control. The protocols for characterizing the noise in this way fall under the umbrella of quantum noise spectroscopy. Historically, most of these protocols have been restricted to characterizing classical noise processes affecting the quantum system of interest, mostly due to the difficulty of moving beyond this limit. Ideally, however, one would like to have spectroscopy protocols capable of characterizing arbitrary noise, such as the one that may be present in a real quantum device. Thus, there is a need to generalize existing quantum noise spectroscopy protocols. Only in this way, the information they provide will be useful to predict and eventually control realistic noisy quantum systems. In the first part of this thesis, we study the implications of having a quantum environment interacting with a system. We find that the quantum environment can generate correlations with a rich structure that prevents the direct application of existing spectroscopy protocols for classical noises. Specifically, we show that the polyspectra of the quantum noise can be non-smooth functions with Dirac delta-like constraints originating from the multiple nontrivial ways in which the stationary constraint can be satisfied. Accounting for these issues, we modify the original quantum noise spectroscopy protocol to be able to characterize the polyspectra of quantum noise. We consider the bosonic environment as an example model but identify the presence of delta sub-constraints as a key obstacle in the characterization of arbitrary noise processes in the frequency domain.

    In the second part of this thesis, we realize that characterization for the sake of identifying the full representation of the system's dynamics is perhaps too ambitious and not necessary if the goal is to control the system. Indeed, the characterization task is much simpler when the objective is control. For most optimal control protocols, one has to specify one's control capabilities and find the optimal control based on such capabilities. In other words, the type of control that one can implement is limited. This limited control also means that only partial information about the environment is necessary given a fixed control capability. With this intuition, we develop a framework for characterizing only the relevant component of the noise relative to one's control capabilities and show that this information is necessary and sufficient for predicting and controlling the dynamics of a qubit under arbitrary noise.

    In the last part of this thesis, we aim to develop an approach to use the characterized noise correlation functions to predict the dynamics of the system. The primary advantage of our approach is that it avoids using knowledge of the Hamiltonian of the environment and the bath state, which are typically assumed but cannot be experimentally verified. In addition, our approach is based on propagating not only the system information but also the relevant information about the environment, i.e., noise correlation functions through time, and thus does not keep track of the bath state. We show that we can predict the behavior of the system for longer times, as compared to existing tools such as various types of master equations with the same initial information, i.e., with the same perturbative order.

  • Griffith thesis
    Understanding investment pathways for water security in Brazil and Australia
    Lima de Figueiredo Teixeira, Alexandre; Bunn, Stuart E; Bhaduri, Anik (2024-04-09)

    Water security is fundamental to the sustainable economic development of countries. Ensuring sufficient and good quality water for the population and the freshwater ecosystem (Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation) is interconnected with other SDGs, and failure to achieve SDG6 may affect the achievement of other sustainable goals.

    Policymakers always face the dual challenge of meeting human and environmental water security. The economic developments and land use transformation on a river basin scale, combined with the impact of climate change on water resource systems, intensify the human and ecosystem threats to the catchments. Accelerated investments are required to mitigate these risks to human and environmental water security, stemming from many anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic factors. With the rise in water-hard infrastructure investment costs, particularly in developing countries' river basins, it is challenging to meet the investment needs. There is a knowledge gap in pinpointing priority areas and optimal timing for investment, which can allow the reduction of the risks in a cost-minimised way.

    This thesis aimed to develop an Economic Water Security Assessment Modelling framework to assess and track water security threats and assets in a river basin and construct an optimal spatial and temporal pathway of investments to mitigate these risks, illustrating a case study in Brazil and Australia.

    The thesis adds value to the water resources planning and management on a river basin scale because provides information to improve the steps of water resources planning, The method presents a better understanding of the water security vulnerabilities influenced by climate change and the ideal spatial and temporal distribution of water investments, contributing with the optimal distribution allocation of the financial resources available. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Exploring the self-efficacy of international academics in Australian universities
    Lindamulage Vidanaralalage, Sardha I; Shaw, Amie M; De, Sangita (2024-04-19)

    The globalisation of education has led to a notable rise in hiring international staff across countries like the US, the UK, and Australia. (Ambrose & Schminke, 2003; Bandura, 1977; Black et al., 1991; Selmer et al., 2017; Tight, 2022). This trend has made international academics (IAs) increasingly prevalent in higher education worldwide, including in Australia, where their role is pivotal. (Schartner et al., 2022). However, the personal and professional challenges IAs face in Australian universities have not been sufficiently studied (Welch, 2022). The study aims to investigate the self-efficacy (SE) of international academics (IAs) in Australian universities to address the challenges that the IAs face while working and living in Australia. The overarching research question focuses on "How HRM and organisational support practices influence the SE of IAs", supported by three sub-research questions 1. What are some of the main self-efficacy characteristics of IAs in Australian Universities? 2. How do particular HRM and organisational support practices facilitate the self-efficacy of IAs in Australian Universities? 3. Are there particular HRM and organisational support practices that reduce the self-efficacy of IAs in Australian Universities? [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Understanding nurses' perceptions of sexual dysfunction in people with kidney failure requiring haemodialysis
    Mckie, Amanda L; Bonner, Ann J; Saito, Amornrat S; Green, Theresa (2024-04-03)

    Background: Alterations in sexual function are common for people receiving haemodialysis, and many do not report sexual dysfunction to healthcare professionals. Renal nurses have an important role in providing care to people receiving haemodialysis, and as they are in regular contact with patients, discussions about sexual health matters should be occurring. Currently, there is limited understanding renal nurses' attitudes towards discussing sexual concerns with patients and whether these discussions occur.

    Aims: This study aimed to identify renal nurses' attitudes towards providing sexual healthcare and to determine their levels of confidence in discussing sexual dysfunction with people who have kidney failure and are receiving haemodialysis. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Exploring teachers’ perceptions and experiences when implementing Blurred Minds Academy (BMA) – a school-based prevention initiative targeting substance use
    Nguyen, Huyen Trang; Pendergast, Donna L; Dietrich, Timo H; Durl, James E (2024-04-03)

    Youth vaping has become the most prevalent adolescent health concern worldwide and in Australia, putting teachers on the front line of the vaping epidemic as they interact with students on a daily basis. Research indicates that teachers are not sufficiently involved during design and implementation of prevention programs targeting adolescent use of vaping, alcohol, and other drugs. Against this background, two studies were conducted concurrently as part of the research project to explore teacher perspectives on the implementation of the Blurred Minds Academy - a substance use prevention initiative. Following a mixed methods approach, Study 1 employed an online survey (n=27) while Study 2 utilised in-depth semi-structured interviews (n=7) to collect quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Quantitative data were analysed using predominantly descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. The collective learning from both studies generated three crucial findings. First, program implementation can positively influence teacher self-efficacy and enhance the learning environment. Second, teacher insights demonstrated approval of the Blurred Minds Academy in two key dimensions - acceptability and feasibility. However, the participants reported three major challenges during implementation including log-in issues, IT infrastructure, and student-related issues. Finally, teachers provided a number of valuable suggestions that inform future improvements to the Blurred Minds Academy. Regarding the technological aspect, they expressed the desire for a simplified enrolment procedure, enhanced reporting around student performance and interactions with the platform, improved load speed, and capability to restrict student access to specific modules. Three areas for improvement were identified for the BMA program. Firstly, the program should offer additional modules targeting various aspects of adolescent health. Additionally, it needs to incorporate more higher-order thinking skills activities. Lastly, there is a need for providing more comprehensive information and links to other support resources and services for substance use. Several implications are drawn from the study. First, future research should explore the relationship between the teacher outcomes (self-efficacy, classroom environment) arising from program implementation and teacher motivation, as well as its impact on student learning. Another significant avenue for future research is the co-designing of alcohol and other drug (AOD)-related resources with teachers to promote their autonomy and program flexibility. The third area recommended for future research involves investigation of effective learning analytics tools specific to AOD education to support teachers' data-driven decision making. In addition, inquiry into the interplay between the factors affecting implementation also merits attention from future research. Lastly, it is recommended that future research integrates a range of data collection methods (e.g. psychophysiological approach) to complement the self-report data typically used in the assessment of AOD program implementation.

  • Griffith thesis
    The Interconnectedness of Latvianness: Ethnic identity and heritage language in third generation Australian Latvians
    Ozers, Linda; Eisenchlas, Susana A; Walkinshaw, Ian S (2024-04-03)

    Australia has a long tradition of receiving migrants from around the world and is widely known as a multicultural country. Many migrants retain their heritage language and culture after their arrival in Australia and often transmit these to their Australian-born children, the second generation (Rubino, 2010). However, maintaining a heritage language is not an easy task, and considerable language attrition in many immigrant communities occurs within the second, or even the first, generation. Hence, third generation speakers of heritage languages are uncommon. In the case of Latvians in Australia, however, despite being a small immigrant community, Latvian is still being used, to some extent, by a number of those in the third generation of Australian Latvians.

    The focus of this qualitative case study was to explore the factors that have influenced this third generation in Australia to maintain their Latvian identity and use the Latvian language. Through interviews and focus groups, this study sought to identify the complexity of participants' understanding of their past and present experiences, which have contributed to the development of their Latvian language and ethnic identity today. This third generation of Australian Latvians are mostly in their teens and twenties, which is an important period of identity formation.

    Data emerging from the interviews and focus groups was analysed using thematic analysis and organised according to Isajiw's ethnic identity framework as either external or internal aspects of identity (Isajiw, 1990b). Active Latvian community involvement was a major external factor in participants' maintenance of their Latvian language and identity, particularly through participation in organisations such as Latvian schools, folk dancing, and singing groups. The participants' involvement is facilitated by their connections with family, friends, people, and organisations in Latvia, which creates in participants an individual internal sense of their belonging within the community and identification as Latvian. Participants strongly focused on their sense of identity - their 'Latvianness' - and speaking the language was only one aspect among many that contributed to their identity formation. Latvianness, or latvietiba, was commonly used by participants in this study to encompass what it means for them to be Latvian.

  • Griffith thesis
    Investigating the effects of occupational therapy in individuals with chronic respiratory conditions
    McCowan, Amanda J; Gustafsson, Louise; Bissett, Michelle N; Krishna, Bajee (2024-04-19)

    Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions experience debilitating symptoms including dyspnoea, anxiety and fatigue creating barriers to engagement in occupations. In this population, self-identified problematic occupations are extremely varied, amid weak associations with clinical determinants. This highlights the need for individualised assessment and person tailored interventions to address the unique occupational challenges experienced by people with chronic respiratory conditions. Historically, occupational therapists have been delivering services to this population often as part of multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programs. Though literature is emerging regarding the impact of occupational therapy for people with chronic respiratory conditions and when part of PR. There is a need however, to build this evidence-base further to support occupational therapists to meet the service needs of this population. Therefore, further exploration of the scope and impact of occupational therapy for individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, particularly as part of multidisciplinary PR is warranted.

    The objective of the research was to investigate occupational therapy services for people with chronic respiratory conditions inclusive of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Bronchiectasis and Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD). This was achieved through the following aims: (1) to examine and map the scope and impact of occupational therapy services for people with chronic respiratory conditions; (2) to explore the occupational challenges of individuals with chronic respiratory conditions participating in PR; (3) to examine the impact of occupational therapy when combined with PR on occupational performance, satisfaction with performance and dyspnoea management in occupations experienced as challenging; and (4) to examine occupational therapy interventions combined with PR through a process evaluation to determine active components and mechanisms for success. [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Comics as communication: Developing more awareness and understanding of high-functioning autistic individuals through depiction of their lived experience
    Keioskie, Meryl; Patterson, Dale; McAuley, Michael; Fleischmann, Katja (2024-04-12)

    Through creative synthesis, this research produced a comic in a bid to test whether comics could be utilized to effectively communicate a serious topic matter: the lived experience of autism spectrum disorder (HFA). Literature suggests that in-depth depictions of HFA individuals' consciousness are still left largely unexplored within fictional representations (Atwood, 2015; DSM-5, 2013; Grandin, 2012; Grandin & Panek, 2013; Silberman, 2015). Comics refer to a convergence of creative deliveries, which consists of many different formats. This project exclusively focuses on graphic narratives, which are also colloquially known by the term graphic novels. However, all terms are used interchangeably within. The means of address to the research inquiry posited is a comic titled Every Head A World (2023). The research argues that comics introduce a wealth of possibilities for communicating ideas effectively, through the medium's combination of word and imagery. The comic aimed to demonstrate a lived experience of HFA respectively and empathetically, through the synthesis of various lines of research, to address the aims and objectives outlined. Due to the vested motive of depicting human experience, the identified methodology deemed most appropriate is the qualitative research paradigm phenomenology. Both the pure and heuristic principles of phenomenology have been employed through methods of recorded interviews, surveys, case studies, and systematic review of relevant data. An auxiliary framework, also employed throughout this project is arts-based research (ABR). This is demonstrated through the process of creative synthesis, and the creation of the comic. The nature of arts-based research is noted to be largely multidisciplinary; therefore, phenomenological inquiry is identified as the core methodology in informing theoretical and ontological components of the research. The resulting comic proved the potential of graphic narrative for providing commentary on serious topic matters. The findings within this paper are based upon three phases of fieldwork conducted: Phase I surveys a subset of the population for their current perception and understanding of ASD; Phase II interviews high-functioning ASD individuals; and Phase III tests whether the comic addresses the research topic as well as question postulated.

  • Griffith thesis
    Composition techniques and experiments in Progressive metal
    Davidson, Roderick J; Weston, Donna M; James, Caleb P (2024-04-04)

    Despite its nearly four-decade existence, it can be contended that research in the realm of Progressive Metal music remains somewhat limited. This research aims to contribute to the knowledge of this genre by identifying some of its unique characteristics. The method of this study was to identify three prominent bands in the realm of Progressive Metal and analyse their music in order to uncover common musical characteristics. Some of these characteristics were then incorporated into an original composition and, through critical reflection, it was determined whether their inclusion allowed the composition to be perceived as belonging to the Progressive Metal genre. It is important to acknowledge that Progressive Metal is a genre known for its extensive stylistic diversity, and these shared traits may not encompass the entirety of the genre. Nevertheless, an examination of the traits shared by these three influential Progressive Metal bands can contribute to a better understanding of the genre and provide valuable descriptors. This research will contribute to the existing knowledge base of the broader Heavy Metal meta-genre and Progressive Metal in particular. Its insights may prove beneficial to musicians seeking to compose original music.

  • Griffith thesis
    Hive propagation and resin foraging behaviour of the stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria
    Newis, Ryan J; Wallace, Helen M; Hosseini-Bai, Shahla (2024-04-03)

    Stingless bees are important pollinators in natural, agricultural, and urban landscapes, and there are over 500 species of stingless bees in tropical and subtropical regions. Stingless bee colonies are increasingly in demand for crop pollination, and by hobbyist beekeepers. Propagation techniques such as hive splitting are being successfully used to multiply existing colonies to meet demand, however the impacts of hive splitting on colony foraging are largely unknown. Stingless bees are known to forage on a diversity of floral resources for pollen and nectar, however, knowledge of stingless bee foraging behaviour on another vital resource, resin, is lacking in comparison. Therefore, this thesis investigated how hive splitting impacts colony foraging on pollen, nectar and resin, and how long colony foraging takes to recover (Chapter 2). This thesis also investigated the resin foraging behaviour and resin sources collected by stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) in two landscapes they commonly inhabit: forests (high resin diversity) and gardens (low resin diversity) (Chapter 3). Finally, this thesis explored the relative importance of extrinsic factors such as resource availability and intrinsic colony needs and preferences in determining the network complexity, network overlap and exclusivity of resin choices by stingless bee colonies within and between sites in high (forests) and low (gardens) resin diversity landscapes (Chapter 4). [...]

  • Griffith thesis
    Impacts and implications of sediment redistribution in an estuary following significant rainfall events
    Purandare, Jemma; Brooks, Andrew P; Tomlinson, Rodger B; Cartwright, Nicholas B; Gibbs, Mark (2024-04-09)

    Estuaries are the confluence point at which rivers carrying freshwater and terrestrially derived sediments and nutrients meet the marine environments of the sea. They are extremely dynamic and are constantly changing and adapting to variations in climate, sediment source, and anthropogenic activities. Estuaries hold great ecological, social, cultural, and economic importance, with more than half of the world's population living along estuaries and the coast. Ecologically, they provide an environment where freshwater and saltwater meet and mix, are usually high in nutrients and shallow enough for photosynthesising benthic habitats and coastal ecosystems to grow and thrive. From a socio-economic perspective, estuaries provide sheltered natural harbours for establishing trade routes, accessing natural resources, and facilitating tourism and recreation. However, due to their dynamic location, they are vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events, climate change, and urbanisation, which can result in changes to their health, quality, and ability to continue to support ecological and socio-economic aspects.

    In the Australian region of southeast Queensland, estuaries are fed by complex river systems sourced by groundwater extrusion and rainfall occurring east of the Great Dividing Range. The climate of this region is subtropical with distinct dry and wet seasons and is further driven by climatic drivers occurring in and above the Pacific Ocean (El Niño Southern Oscillation - ENSO). During periods of El Niño, the region experiences less than average rainfall, higher than average temperatures, and the risk of drought and fire is increased. During periods of La Niña, higher than average rainfall is likely, often resulting in major flooding and the oversaturation of river catchments. The likelihood of cyclones and east coast lows are also increased during this time, which can result in short duration but high intensity rainfall. Climate change is also having an impact on the duration and severity of weather events associated with these climate drivers, resulting in extremes in salinity during drought and inundations of freshwater during flood. Flooding rains following periods of drought can generate increased pulses of sediments where accumulated sediments are washed downstream into estuaries in high concentrations.

    Our current understanding of the impacts of flooding and significant mobilisation and redistribution of sediment on estuaries in the region is relatively limited; however, there are various methods available and utilised globally to measure and assess the redistribution of sediments during flooding events. To determine these approaches, a comprehensive review of literature (Chapter 2) was conducted to consolidate the existing knowledge of the physical processes within estuaries, historical studies examining the impacts of flooding on water quality and sediment distribution, calculations of sediment transport in sub-tropical estuaries during drought, flood, and ambient conditions, and common catchment management practices as they relate to mitigating the impacts of flood-driven sediment loss and redistribution at a global and national scale. A local case study on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia (Chapter 3) provides an example to explore changes during flooding and possible adaptations to management. Here, the current knowledge of sediment distribution, geology, hydrodynamics, and catchment management was examined in the case study area. Studies that use methods to calculate and estimate sediment transport and redistribution were reviewed and referenced to develop a site-specific approach for estimating sediment redistribution in the study area (Chapter 4). The literature identified significant wealth of knowledge in methods for tracing sediments, monitoring redistribution, and further assessing the impacts of flooding events on benthic ecosystems. However, there was a significant gap in the knowledge available for the Gold Coast, likely due to the paucity of the data available and as most studies were performed to meet specific objectives usually linked to a development project, which limited the granularity of data and the frequency at which data were collected. This indicated that there was a need to improve the understanding of how the rivers are contributing sediments to the estuary during high rainfall events, to assist with more proactive management of the system.

    Two methods were tested using the Gold Coast case study: the utilisation of existing, publicly-funded, water quality monitoring program data (Chapter 5), and a targeted field sampling program that analysed benthic sediments for their physico-chemical characteristics prior to and following a significant flooding event (Chapter 6). An ambient baseline condition of the water quality in the rivers was able to be broadly established through the analysis of the available data. This baseline indicates that the case study system had low concentrations of mobile sediments during period of low and no rainfall. However, the analysis of the long-term water quality datasets demonstrated that the coarseness of long-term, multi-catchment water quality datasets is not appropriate for estimating sediment yields or spatial distribution where other data requirements (i.e., river discharge, soil characteristics, and spatial data) are not available. Sediment tracing studies and the development of catchment fingerprints from field measured data showed that high rainfall events have a significant impact on the redistribution of sediments in the system, as measured data showed notable changes in both the particle size of sediments present before and after major flooding, as well as in the concentrations of metals analysed. This study also determined that tracing studies are useful, low-cost, targeted methods for estimating sediment redistribution during different types of rainfall events.

    These findings of the studies were applied in the context of informing potential adaptations to management practices in the river catchments and the estuary (Chapter 7). While the results of the redistribution analysis represent a single event, they are useful in determining the impact of similar high rainfall events in systems that are affected by climatic seasonality. The impacts are necessary for enabling proactive and effective management of catchments and estuaries and can inform targeted approaches that reduce the risk of ecosystem loss and reduced public amenity.

  • Griffith thesis
    Physiotherapy and COVID-19: Acute management, impacts on research, and long-term biopsychosocial outcomes
    Trojman, Anthony; Hides, Julie A; Paratz, Jennifer D; Hough, Judith L; Gustafsson, Louise; Boots, Robert J (2024-04-04)

    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a rapid and comprehensive response from the global healthcare community, with physiotherapists playing a crucial role in managing patients affected by the virus. Physiotherapy researchers had to navigate their research projects through an unprecedented global event. The emergence of post-COVID-19 condition has further extended the scope of challenges these professionals face, necessitating a re-evaluation of clinical practices and research methodologies. The unanticipated burden on healthcare systems worldwide highlighted a pressing need for specialised training, adaptation to unprecedented clinical demands, and the flexibility of research paradigms within physiotherapy.

    Objectives: This thesis sought to: (i) elucidate the clinical management strategies employed by physiotherapists for patients with COVID-19 in hospital settings during the pandemic; (ii) uncover the personal and professional repercussions experienced by physiotherapists; (iii) investigate the impacts on physiotherapy research within Australia; (iv) suggest strategies to alleviate pandemic-related effects on research; (v) identify ongoing symptoms and physical impairments in post-COVID-19 condition sufferers; (vi) examine the correlation between various health outcomes and post-COVID-19 condition symptoms; and (vii) determine the potential improvement of post-COVID-19 condition symptoms over time without intervention. [...]