You are cordially invited to attend the EXPOSURE08 – Postgraduate Research Exposition Oral Presentations Final Event 6pm Tuesday 7 October 2008 Engineering Atrium, 20 Symonds Street The University of Auckland o 6pm – 6.30pm Wine & canapés + a chance to view the posters on display & meet the students o 6.30pm – Welcome o 6.35pm – Presentation 1:“Not all sand is created equal – The role of durability on the composition of sediment on a fringing reef, Lizard Island” by Murray Ford - School of Geography, Geology & Environmental Science, Faculty of Science o 6.55pm – Presentation 2: “Lifestyle and Obesity in Asian Adolescents” by Shirin Foroughian - Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences o 7.15pm – Presentation 3: “Loss of Interneurons in the Human Cerebral Cortex in Huntington’s Disease” by Eric Kim - Department of Anatomy with Radiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences o 7.35pm – Live Performance: “Hybridizing Movement Systems: Preparation and Replication in Improvisational Dance” by Kristian Larsen - National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries o 7.50pm – Presentation 4: “Optimisation of Wireless Communication Systems” by Liza Kaur Pujji - Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering o 8.10pm – Presentation 5: “ATP-Gated Cation Channels in the Lens – Their Role in Volume Regulation and Cataractogenesis?” by Haruna Suzuki-Kerr, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences o 8.30pm – Presentation 6: “And Again…Setting the Stage for Trauma Reinscription” by Emma Willis, Department of English, Faculty of Arts o 8.50pm – Judges feedback ORAL ABSTRACTS FOR THE FINALS Not all sand is created equal – The role of durability on the composition of sediment on a fringing reef, Lizard Island Murray Ford School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science Tropical landforms associated with coral reefs such as reef islands and cays are considered extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea-level rise. These landforms are often made entirely of carbonate sediments derived from surrounding reefs. Consequently, the supply of sediment has a direct control on the development of such landforms. Sediment is produced through the mechanical and biological breakdown of the reef framework and reef dwellers. The exchange between gross reef productivity and the production of sediment is poorly understood. This is considered a „black box‟ where the inputs and outputs are well understood, but little is known of the internal workings of the system. Furthermore, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding the fate of sediments produced on reefs. The objective of this study is to enhance the understanding of the role durability plays in the determining the composition of reef flat material and the implications of this on sedimentary systems and land-building processes. This objective is addressed utilising both a detailed field investigation and through rigorous laboratory experiments. Tumbling barrels were used to determine the durability of six common constituents of sediment from a fringing reef on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Each constituent was tested and a coefficient of durability determined. The results of these experiments show the durability of common sediment constituents vary on several orders of magnitude. The implications of this investigation are discussed within the context of the sediment budget and the availability of sediment for landform building processes. Lifestyle and Obesity in Asian Adolescents S Foroughian1, R Scragg1, DR Thomas2 1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 2Department of Social & Community Health, Faculty of Medial & Health Sciences Background: Obesity is a rapidly escalating, worldwide epidemic, which rates among the top 10 causes of the global burden of ill health. Whilst the topic of obesity has been widely studied, there have been few studies undertaken on Asian adolescents, particularly in New Zealand. Objectives: This study investigates the factors influencing young New Zealand Asian‟s nutritional and exercise behaviours and suggests means to empower them to improve their health. Methods: The study sample comprised adolescents aged 13-17 years who participated in one of the 12 focus groups based on their ethnicity, age and gender. This involved semi-structured interviews where they discussed their food and activity patterns, knowledge and experience, and opinions on practice. Results: After establishing in the quantitative part of the study that Asian adolescents are not less likely to be overweight/obese than European adolescents, have poorer health knowledge and problematic nutritional behaviour, a qualitative analysis was carried out to understand the factors influencing these behaviours. The results indicates that family and friends, media and advertisements, food availability, convenience, money, and knowledge all play a major role in Asian adolescents‟ eating patterns and exercise habits, whereas cultural considerations and school show very minimal influence. Conclusions: The data confirms the initial quantitative results that problematic nutritional behaviour in Asian adolescents and their incorrect knowledge regarding the field, in addition to exposure and contact with an „obesogenic‟ environment such as the type found in New Zealand, can lead to weight concerns and their related health issues later on in their lives. Of the many possible ways to tackle the issue, the population of interest in this study welcomes support from the government, school, and family. These measures include the monitoring of the media and school canteen, offering enjoyable and interactive educational health and nutrition programmes and activities at schools, and involvement of the family. Loss of Interneurons in the Human Cerebral Cerebral Cortex in Huntington’s Disease EHW Kim, HJ Waldvogel, RLM Faull Department of Anatomy with Radiology, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences Background: Huntington‟s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder that is characterised by a triad of motor, mood, and cognitive symptoms. Characteristic neuropathological features include profound cell loss in the striatum of the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex. Postmortem studies have provided evidence for abnormalities of the GABAergic systems in HD, and calbindin can be used as a marker for specific subpopulations of cortical GABAergic interneurons. The cortical degeneration observed in HD varies throughout the cerebral cortex and may be related to the symptoms of the disease. Objectives: This project aims to investigate changes in the interneuronal populations in the primary motor cortex and the cingulated gyrus in HD human brains compared to control brains and to compare these changes to the do minant symptomatology of each HD case. Methods: The overall pattern of neuronal loss was investigated on perfusion-fixed human tissue using standard immunohistochemical procedures with the marker calbindin to stain cortical GABAergic interneurons. Unbiased stereological cell counting technique was used to obtain total interneuron numbers. Results: The unbiased stereological cell counts demonstrated a significant loss of GABAergic interneurons in the primary motor cortex of HD cases with major motor symptoms, but relatively preserved numbers in HD cases with major mood symptoms. In the cingulate gyrus, a significant loss of GABAergic interneurons was found in HD cases with major mood symptoms, but these interneurons were relatively preserved for the major motor symptom HD cases. Conclusions: This study suggests that deficits of GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex, defined by the presence of calbindin, vary across cortical regions according to dominant symptomatology of the HD case. Characterisation of total numbers of subpopulations of neurons in the cerebral cortex will increase knowledge of the structure and its functional relationship of the human brain. Optimisation of Wireless Communication Systems Liza Kaur Pujji Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Wireless Communication Systems might be anything from a large-scale cellular telephony system serving thousands of users, down to a small scale wireless LAN with just a few users. The research is aimed at assessing the performance of wireless communications base station configurations and optimising such configurations for mobile units in an indoor environment. The analysis is being done for static systems as well dynamic systems consisting of base stations and mobile units by looking at daily call distributions and movement of users. Hand - off is the process of passing responsibility for communicating with a mobile user from one base station to another. The algorithm used to implement hand-off can have a dramatic effect on system efficiency and performance. Research is being conducted for CDMA systems and the outcomes are a set of algorithms that can be used to determine an optimal deployment of radio resources (including base stations) to provide the most effective and cost efficient wireless communications service to a set of mobile users in a specified radio propagation environment. ATP-Gated Cation Channels in the Lens – Their Role in Volume Regulation and Cataractogenesis? H Suzuki-Kerr1, J Lim1, PJ Donaldson2 1 Department of Physiology, 2Department of Optometry & Vision Science, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences Background: In diabetic cortical cataract, accumulation of glucose metabolites drives the osmotic water uptake that results in a localised zone of cellular swelling in the lens cortex. Studies to date have suggested that this cell swelling activates cation influx pathways that increase intracellular levels of Ca2+ or Na+. Although the molecular identity of the pathways responsible for the observed increase in cation permeability is currently not known, the P2X class of ATP-gated non-selective cation channels are potential candidates. Objectives: To characterize the expression of P2X receptors in the rat lens in normal and pathological conditions. Methods: RT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry were utilized to study the expression of P2X1-7 in rat lens. To investigate the role of P2X1-7 in the lens under stress, whole lenses were cultured in artificial aqueous humour (AAH) with differing osmolarity. Results: RT-PCR and western blotting showed that P2X1-7 were all expressed in the rat lens. Immunohistochemistry revealed distinct patterns of expression for the different P2X isoforms: P2X1&7 were found in the lens cortex only; P2X4-6 were found in both the cortex and the core of the lens; and P2X2 expression was restricted to membrane of cells near the surface of the lens. Furthermore the expression of the majority of P2X isoforms in the lens cortex appeared to be localized in the cytoplasmic vesicles suggesting that these P2X receptors may be inactive under normal conditions. However, upon culturing of lenses under osmotic stress, subcellular distribution of P2X1,4&6 shifted from cytoplasmic to more membrane-associated pattern. These changes were observed in a discrete region of outer cortex, which correlates with the same area typically affected by the diabetic cataract. Conclusions: The present study showed the expression of non-selective cation channels in the lens at the molecular level for the first time. The differential and dynamic expressions of P2Xs in the lens imply their role in lens volume regulation and cataractogenesis. And Again…Setting the Stage for Traumatic Reinscription Emma Willis Department of English, Faculty of Arts My thesis looks at two kinds of tragic spectatorship – that of theatre audiences and tourists. The tourists of my study are „dark‟ tourists, travellers who journey to sites of death, disaster and trauma. My theatrical case studies are works which seek to represent and offer an experience of those same sites and histories. Through looking comparatively at these experiences I hope to offer some insight into how theatrical action offers a meeting point between the spectator and the traumatic event. I will discuss the possibilities and problems of theatricalising tragic histories, both on stage and off, and will look at how theatre and theatrical action can offer a unique means of constructing a dialogue between the past and present moment. To illustrate the complications of restaging the past, for either tourists or theatre-goers, I will discuss a video work by Polish artist, Artur Żmijewski, 80064, which centres around the „renovation‟ of an elderly Auschwitz survivor‟s tattooed prisoner number. The questions which the short film raises, about authenticity, suffering and identity, and the public‟s need for spectacles of reproduction, are a useful basis for discussing the tension between aestheticization and authenticity as explored in my thesis. SPECIAL LIVE PERFORMANCE Hybridizing Movement Systems: Preparation and Replication in Improvisational Dance Kristian Larsen Department of Dance, National Institute of Creative Arts & Industries Improvisational dance, although growing rapidly in popularity as a performed art around the world, is often viewed academically as a formless unstructured art. This leaves a quandary regarding whether or not it can actually be taught, refined, practiced and evolved. Whilst much has been researched on the process of how to initiate improvisational actions for performance, there has been less focus on considering how these ideas may be furthered and developed. My research seeks to investigate several areas related to this concern. Of principle interest is understanding how one can actually prepare for improvised dance performances. This leads into enquiries into how ideas realized in studio practice can be moved into the public realm and how that performative experience can subsequently inform studio processes in a cycle that might enrich the art form. In examining this issue, I have undertaken practice-based research with a phenomenological paradigm (Barbour 2005). This has involved seeking intersections between Ralston‟s (1989) study of Cheng Hsin with Forsythe‟s (2000) improvisational tasks. Emerging from this have been realizations of how improvisation might be subjected to more rigorous methods of replication. As a dance artist working for more than 15 years in this field in New Zealand (and subsequently teaching dance improvisation at a tertiary level) this research has been heavily informed by my own practice. My presentation will involve an improvised dance/verbal monologue performance in which I will present and illustrate these ideas.