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GRADUATION PROGRAM - Charles Darwin University

GRADUATION PROGRAM - Charles Darwin University

8 Doctor of Philosophy

8 Doctor of Philosophy Lisa Petheram Thesis Title: Applying Visual Methods for Learning and Communication in Natural Resource Management An action research approach was used to investigate the potential for visual methods to facilitate learning and communication in natural resource management (NRM). Research was conducted in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam, and Dhimurru Protected Area, northern Australia. The first aim was to explore the use of visual techniques for community inquiry on NRM topics. Techniques such as diagramming, photography and video were used in interviews and workshops, to help facilitate learning on two topics payments for environmental services (PES) and adaptation to climate change. The second aim was to assess the potential of visual products (derived from community inquiry) to inform NRM policy. Subsidiary aims were to better understand local perspectives of PES and climate change adaptation. The results contribute to knowledge for practitioners and researchers working to enhance NRM inquiry among remote local communities, and provide guidance on theoretical concepts relating to visual methods, social learning and communication, and the NRM topics of interest. Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo Thesis Title: Maternal and Child Health in Papua-Indonesia: The Epidemiology of Malaria and Strategies for its Treatment and Prevention This thesis defines the burden of malaria in women and children in Papua Indonesia and assesses the impact of a changing antimalarial treatment policy to an artemisinin combination therapy. It makes three significant contributions. Firstly it highlights the considerable negative health impact of malaria in pregnant women and infants in Papua (Indonesia), which has been quantified for the first time. Secondly, it reveals the importance of Plasmodium vivax on morbidity and mortality in an area coendemic for drug resistance malaria. Thirdly, it demonstrates that the introduction of dihidroartemisinin-piperaquine for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy is associated with a significant reduction in key adverse outcomes in both mother and baby. This body of work prepares the way for further studies to define the most effective method of service delivery of ACT in order to scale up treatment and prevention programs. Philippe Puig Thesis Title: The role of fuzzy logic in GIS modelling This thesis investigates the application of fuzzy logic to the analysis of data defined by their location. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) used to manipulate this data play a fundamental role in this investigation. GIS case studies of natural marine resource management demonstrate the contribution of fuzzy rule-based modelling to our understanding of marine ecology. Fuzzy rule-based modelling, the most successful implementation of fuzzy logic to engineering systems, proves to be equally promising in its application to natural systems. Fuzzy logic provides, through the technique of fuzzy rule-based modeling, a generic approach to predictions on the basis of vague information. Fuzzy logic is a particularly useful complement to statistics when human knowledge is the only source of data. Fuzzy logic can eliminate the ambiguity that typifies loose statistical associations between cause and effect in complex environmental datasets. Charles Darwin University October Graduation Ceremony 2011

Doctor of Philosophy Stephen John Reynolds Thesis Title: Body fluid osmolality and hydric relations of frogs from monsoonal northern Australia The osmolality and solute composition of body fluids, water exchange with the substrate, and response to seasonal water availability were examined in frogs from monsoonal northern Australia. Using a technique involving temporary ligation lymph accumulated more rapidly in hydrated frogs. Cyclorana australis without cocoons exchanged water depending on the direction of the frog-substrate water potential difference, whereas the intact cocoon acted as a barrier. The mass of Cyclorana australis on moist soil or with water access was variable and the bladder store was regularly replenished. With no water available, the osmolality of the bladder store increased. However, water reabsorption modulated plasma osmolality. Burrowed Cyclorana australis during the dry season were initially fully hydrated. As the soil dried the frogs developed cocoons and plasma osmolality increased despite retention of bladder fluid. Rhinella marina collected in the late dry season absorbed water cutaneously from moist soil and osmolality indicated dehydration. Timothy Graeme Whiteside Thesis Title: Multiscale vegetation characterization of tropical savanna using object-based image analysis This thesis applies object-based image analysis (OBIA) to mapping spectrally variable land cover from moderate to high resolution satellite imagery. OBIA involves the segmentation or partition of images into spectrally homogeneous objects representative of the real world objects under observation. The study was undertaken over 2600ha within tropical northern Australia exhibiting typical vegetation characterised by continuous grass cover and discontinuous woody overstorey. The study demonstrated that OBIA is suitable for mapping land cover in spectrally variable landscapes at multiple scales. More specifically, OBIA has statistically better accuracy over per-pixel methods for moderate resolution data; rule sets can be used to map land cover from high spatial resolution data; and, OBIA methods can extract dominant vegetation structures such as tree crowns. Finally, the limitations of site-specific accuracy assessments can be addressed through area-based accuracy measures. Andrea Ursula Whiting Thesis Title: Sampling efficiency for monitoring nesting sea turtle populations Using a global meta-analysis approach comprising data from five species and 51 populations, this thesis explores the efficiency of sampling regimes for monitoring nesting sea turtles. The life history of sea turtles, spanning multiple and often remote habitats through their life, means nesting adult females are most commonly used to assess population size and for conservation and management planning. This thesis shows how timing and effort of surveys, and type of modelling procedures, greatly impacted on accuracy and precision in estimating nesting abundance and trend detection. Climatic and environmental indices linked with nesting abundance were identified greatly reducing the sampling required to detect trends with the same confidence. Optimal sampling regimes identified were then trialled on a remote population of nesting flatback turtles with unknown seasonality and abundance, and identified it as one of the world’s largest populations of nesting flatback turtles. Charles Darwin University October Graduation Ceremony 2011 9

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