Student Research

  • eDissertations (175)
    A collection of dissertations authored by Oxford Brookes postgraduate students
  • eTheses (278)
    PhD theses authored by Oxford Brookes staff and students
  • Get published! collection (109)
    A full-text collection of research publications produced by Oxford Brookes Undergraduate and Postgraduate students as part of the Get Published! project
  • Oxford Brookes Student Art Collection (11)
    Fine Art and Architectural works produced by Oxford Brookes students and now owned by Oxford Brookes University
Results
1 to 10 of 573

Young people and organised outdoor activities: a study of opportunities in national parks

This thesis examines young people's opportunities to participate in organised outdoor activities. It is set within a context of changing leisure interests, a growth in private sector leisure provision, and increasing emphasis on consumer choice. It argues that whilst, in principle, there is widespread support for young people's participation in outdoor activities, in practice, opportunities are becoming increasingly limited. The study aims to examine the nature of outdoor facilities, to determine their use by young people, to identify changes occurring within the outdoor sector, and to consider the changes in relation to young people's access to the outdoors. The empirical research focuses~ on outdoor activity centres, in acknowledgement that the residential experience offered by such centres can contribute to the social and personal development of young people. It also focuses on the National Parks of England and Wales. These areas possess a wealth of natural resources suitable for a wide range of outdoor ac…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 14:25
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The effects of fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle on glucose homeostasis, energy balance, exercise and premenstrual syndrome

It is widely accepted that the loss of sex hormones after the menopause is strongly linked with cancer, insulin resistance and obesity, with variations in sex hormone concentrations being responsible in part, for the differences reported in energy metabolism and glycaemic control between genders. As such a greater understanding of the effects that oestrogen and progesterone may have on women's health and their potential long term consequences is required. This thesis reports evidence of three studies investigating the effects of oestrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle on glucose and insulin response, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The aim of the first study was to investigate glucose and insulin responses to a 75g glucose load during different phases of the menstrual cycle. Venous blood samples for baseline measurements of oestradiol and progesterone were collected every other week day from eighteen regularly menstruating women for one complete menstrul…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 13:07
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Spatial patterns of wheat grain composition in relation to nutritional quality and processing properties

The quality of wheat-based food. products, especially bread quality, is significantly affected by the characteristics of the wheat flour, both in term of processing quality and nutritional value. White flour, by far the most used flour in breadmaking, derives from grinding of the grain starchy endosperm. Several studies have demonstrated that the endosperm tissue shows significant inhomogeneity in its chemical composition, with both quantitative and qualitative patterns of tissue distribution observed for all its main storage components. This project has focused on a detailed study of the spatial distributions of proteins and starch within the wheat endosperm, how they are influenced by genetic and environmental factors and how they affect the processing properties of the flour. Multiple technologies, including protein/starch chemistry, immunocytochemistry and microscopy, have been used to achieve the research aims. The results show a clear deceasing gradient in total protein in the endosperm from the subaleu…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 12:35
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Geographical and temporal variation of biochemical and colour-pattern polymorphisms in the European moth, Noctua pronuba (L.).

Many small, numerically abundant animals of low trophic position exhibit polymorphisms for colour and pattern. This variation is assumed to be adaptive and maintained by frequency-dependent selection, the fitness of phenotypes being negatively correlated with their frequency in the population. Noctua pronuba is an abundant moth species of the western Palaearctic and is now established in north eastern America. When the moth is at rest it is apparently cryptically coloured with the visible surfaces polymorphic in colour and pattern. The limitation of this variation to the exposed surfaces of the moth suggests that the variation may be maintained by visual selection by predators. The forewing polymorphism in N.pronuba can be split into three distinct phenotypes: rufous, ochre and silver, with the variation probably controlled by a single locus, with three alleles in a dominance hierarchy. The expression of these alleles is influenced by sex with females lighter in colour than males. The aim of this work was to …

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 12:16
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Title Divine providence and epidemic cholera : a contribution to the study of secularization of thought in nineteenth century England

The idea of providence was a prominent and pervasive theme in public discourse on subjects of national importance, and upon momentous occasions in nineteenthcentury England. Perceptions of divine involvement and purpose in human affairs embodied in the notion of providence seemed to be at the heart of a religious world view in the Christian tradition, and thus essential elements for study in any historical investigation of religious change. The midcentury years, ostensibly a period of high religious consciousness, provide an opportunity to explore processes which were eventually to lead to the more secular nature of society apparent by the end of the century. The recurring cholera epidemics between 1831 and 1854 were alarming events which provoked reactions throughout society; they provide a means of tracing developments in perceptions of providential involvement in calamitous events during a critical twenty-four year period. Systematic surveys of a broad range of sources, including newspapers, periodicals an…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 11:45
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A legal study of the right to life in the European Convention on Human Rights and Islam

The right to Ii fe is provided by the European Convention n Human rights. The Convention has also offered provisions of how this right must be protected. This has entailed - at stages in a gradual move - the abolishment of the death penalty. Next to the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia and death occurring as a result of the excessive use of force are predominantly the main right to life issues. The European Court of Human rights by offering opinions and judgments encompassing its interpretations on these issues has generated the Conventionbased jurisprudence ofthe right to life. On the other hand this is a human rights regional system that is obliged to consider other legal systems because of the influence of those systems both inside its jurisdiction and outside it. Islamic law or Shariah is a major legal system that commands a great deal of respect and compliance in and around the geographical territories of the Council of Europe and thus the Convention. Shariah is a legal system based on religion. It of…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 11:10
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Regularisation methods for imaging from electrical measurements

In Electrical Impedance Tomography the conductivity of an object is estimated from boundary measurements. An array of electrodes is attached to the surface of the object and current stimuli are applied via these electrodes. The resulting volt ages are measured. The process of estimating the conductivity as a function of space inside the object from voltage measurements at the surface is called reconstruction. Mathematically the ElT reconstruction is a non linear inverse problem, the stable solution of which requires regularisation nwthods. Most common regularisation methods impose that the reconstructed image should be smooth. Such methods confer stability to the reconstruction process, but limit the capability of describing sharp variations in the sought parameter. In this thesis two new methods of regularisation are proposed. The first method, Gallssian anisotropic regularisation, enhances the reconstruction of sharp conductivity changes occurring at the interface between a contrasting object and the backgr…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 09:53
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Phytoremediation: a tool for restoring land degraded due to opencast coal mining

This research set on a former reclaimed opencast coal spoil in Varteg Hills, South Wales, UK explores the phytoremediation potential of Alnus glutinosa (Alder), Betula pendula (Roth) (Birch) and Larix decidua (Larch), which are commonly used in UK land reclamation, to sequester metals: Zn, Cd, Mn, Pb and Cu, from mine spoils. This study also compares the abilities of newly planted trees to sequester metals on a new experimental site, within the landscape and compares these with those from older plantations on adjoining land. This chronosequence is used to evaluate the overall impact of forestation on metals levels in soils over two decades. Metal concentrations in soil were measured over three years and those in tree leaves were measured over two years. The majority of the samples examined lie between the UK defined thresholds for contamination but below levels that trigger immediate action and treatment. Samples within this range are placed within a new 'critical soil' category. Mapping the spatial distribut…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:22 September 2017 09:27
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Motherhood experiences through transformations : narratives of intergenerational continuities and changes in post-Communist Poland

In 1989 the transition in Poland from autocratic communism to neoliberal capitalism precipitated a most fundamental and radical crossover from paternal state to social liberalism. This thesis is based on a narrative enquiry aimed at examining the impact of these shifting socio-historical contexts on mothers' lives in Poland through a focus on two groups of women who became mothers before and after 1989. This thesis examines the presumed new opportunities, greater choice and freedoms offered by this new neoliberal context in Poland through the narratives of the participants in this study. It investigates how the changing contexts facilitate the appearance of new but also sustain the presence of old cultural models of motherhood. The vast political, economic, social and cultural transformations were dictated by the globally overarching framework of the neoliberal or market metanarrative reshaping power relations and structures and impacting on everyday individual experiences. The changing role of the state, in …

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:21 September 2017 12:00
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Spatial structuring in trait variation in Polyommatus icarus in a functional context

The Common blue butterfly, Polyommatus icarus (Rott,) , is widespread throughout its Palaearctic distribution and persists in areas with differing climatic conditions. It is known to be a highly variable butterfly with marked within and between population variation in morphology, thermal biology, and voltinism. These traits together with allozymes and a neutral DNA marker (AFLP) variation are studied here to understand how geographic trait variation is related to environmental variation. The approach adopted here is to study this along a latitudinal cline of temperature and photoperiod, using four populations from south to north within mainland Britain. AFLP differences, but not allozyme variation, indicate genetic structuring, with an isolation by distance effect. Enzyme diversity of P. icarus butterflies in the British Isles is lower than on mainland Europe, indicative of a past bottleneck. This, combined with selection on, or drift in, the allozymes could cause for a lack of population structure in this ma…

Type: thesis
Status: Live|Last updated:21 September 2017 11:57
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