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  • Public defence: 2016-12-08 09:30 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Masterson, Vanessa Anne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Masterson, Vanessa Anne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Sense of place and culture in the landscape of home: Understanding social-ecological dynamics on the Wild Coast, South Africa2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Development for sustainable poverty alleviation requires engagement with the values and cultural frames that enable or constrain communities to steward ecosystems and maintain their capacity to support human well-being. Rooted in a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective, this thesis explores the concept of sense of place to understand how emotional and cultural connections to place mediate human responses to change and influence interventions for development. Sense of place is both the attachments to place, as well as the descriptive meanings to which one is attached. Paper I presents an approach and agenda for studying sense of place in SES that emphasizes place attachment and meaning underlying stewardship actions and responses to change.

    This is empirically explored through a case study on the Wild Coast, South Africa - an area with multiple contested meanings. In this former Bantustan (an area set aside for black South Africans), Apartheid created interdependence between small-holder agriculture and labour migration, where rural homesteads relied on remittances from migrant household members. Today, the contribution of agriculture to livelihoods has declined and many households rely on income from social grants. Interacting social and ecological factors in this region have resulted in social-ecological trap conditions and circular migration continues to be the pattern.

    Community conservation and ecotourism is one strategy for local socio-economic development. Papers II and III explore community tensions around a proposed nature reserve declaration. In Paper II, a focus on the meanings of locally-defined ecotopes (e.g. forest and abandoned fields) illuminates the interpretations of underlying social-ecological processes. Paper III examines the use of place meanings in narratives of change to show tensions in the discourse of win-win conservation. The stalling of this particular intervention indicates the importance of engaging with multiple meanings of place and the cultural importance of nature.

    Papers IV and V focus on declining agriculture and continued labour migration. From a theoretical model of people’s abilities, desires and opportunities, Paper IV develops a typology of responses that may contribute to maintaining or resolving social-ecological traps. For this case study, the model identifies the mismatch between i) cultural expectations that frame the desire to farm, and ii) the decline in opportunities for off-farm income to support agriculture. Paper V demonstrates that these expectations are expressed in the idea of emakhaya (the rural landscape of home) as well as reinforced through cultural rituals. The paper identifies a place-based social contract between the living and the ancestors that helps to maintain circular migration and agricultural practices. This suggests that sense of place contributes to system inertia but may also offer opportunities for stewardship.

    Sense of place is socially constructed as well as produced through experience in ecosystems, and thus constitutes an emergent property of SES. The thesis demonstrates the use of participatory methods to produce an inclusive understanding of place and SES dynamics. The application of place meanings through these methods facilitates critical engagement with imposed interventions. Finally, the thesis shows that sense of place and culture are key for understanding inertia in SES and the capacity for transformation towards stewardship.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 10:00 Magnéli Hall, Arrhenius Laboratory, Stockholm
    Laine, Tanja M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry.
    Laine, Tanja M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry.
    Development of Ruthenium Catalysts for Water Oxidation2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    An increasing global energy demand requires alternative fuel sources. A promising method is artificial photosynthesis. Although, the artificial processes are different from the natural photosynthetic process, the basic principles are the same, i.e. to split water and to convert solar energy into chemical energy. The energy is stored in bonds, which can at a later stage be released upon combustion. The bottleneck in the artificial systems is the water oxidation. The aim of this research has been to develop catalysts for water oxidation that are stable, yet efficient. The molecular catalysts are comprised of organic ligands that ultimately are responsible for the catalyst structure and activity. These ligands are often based on polypyridines or other nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds. This thesis describes the development of molecular ruthenium catalysts and the evaluation of their ability to mediate chemical and photochemical oxidation of water. Previous work from our group has shown that the introduction of negatively charged groups into the ligand frameworks lowers the redox potentials of the metal complexes. This is beneficial as it makes it possible to drive water oxidation with [Ru(bpy)3]3+-type oxidants (bpy = 2,2’-bipyridine), which can be photochemically generated from the corresponding [Ru(bpy)3]2+ complex. Hence, all the designed ligands herein contain negatively charged groups in the coordination site for ruthenium.

    The first part of this thesis describes the development of two mononuclear ruthenium complexes and the evaluation of these for water oxidation. Both complexes displayed low redox potentials, allowing for water oxidation to be driven either chemically or photochemically using the mild one-electron oxidant [Ru(bpy)3]3+.

    The second part is a structure–activity relationship study on several analogues of mononuclear ruthenium complexes. The complexes were active for water oxidation and the redox potentials of the analogues displayed a linear relationship with the Hammet σmeta parameter. It was also found that the complexes form high-valent Ru(VI) species, which are responsible for mediating O–O bond formation.

    The last part of the thesis describes the development of a dinuclear ruthenium complex and the catalytic performance for chemical and photochemical water oxidation. It was found that the complex undergoes O–O bond formation via a bridging peroxide intermediate, i.e. an I2M–type mechanism.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 10:00 William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Lennartson-Hokkanen, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism.
    Lennartson-Hokkanen, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism.
    Organisation, attityder, lärandepotential: Ett skrivpedagogiskt samarbete mellan en akademisk utbildning och en språkverkstad2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation examines Swedish writing centers’ pedagogical positions in relation to surrounding conditions through a case study of organization, attitudes and learning potential in a pedagogical collaboration project on writing with many multilingual students. The data consists of steering documents, students’ texts, interviews, observations, and recorded tutorials. The general aim of the thesis is to explore the learning potential for participants in the collaborative project. The theoretical framework has a sociocultural approach drawn from New Literacy Studies, Wenger’s Social Learning Theory and Dialogism.

    Three studies are included. The first study examines organizational conditions in the specific context and shows that the writing center and its tutors have marginalized positions separated from relevant research. The second study finds that conceptions of writing as a skill, alongside those of writing as a process limit students’ opportunity for meaning-making and contesting. The third study focuses on tutorial interaction and results show that  tutors support students by i) discussing norms and conventions, ii) strengthening students as writers and second language learners and iii) stimulating meaning making and participation, which seems to increase potential for negotiation and developing academic writing.

    General conclusions suggest that writing centers have potential to be sites for pedagogical development where tutors can share, with students and staff, their expertise gained when working with a diverse student population. To strengthen writing centers’ position at universities professionalization of tutors is needed and most importantly research needs to be conducted in writing centers. Students from diverse backgrounds are entering higher education and to value their knowledge and experiences is crucial, not least from a democratic perspective. The writing center can play an important role in this effort. 

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 10:00 Högbomsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Krzymowska, Adriana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Krzymowska, Adriana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Avyttring: En studie av det skatterättsliga avyttringsbegreppet vid beskattning av kapitalvinster och -förluster enligt inkomstskattelagen2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The taxation of capital gains and losses is dependent on the concept of divestment. Only those transactions that fall into the definition of divestments in accordance with §§ 3-10 in chapter 44 of the Income Tax Act are considered taxable events. Since the repealing of inheritance and gift tax in December of 2004, a transaction that falls outside of the concept of divestment is tax free. In shaping the capital income taxation, the principle of tax-paying capacity has been an important argument.

    The objective of this thesis is to examine and analyze the concept of divestment in regards to the taxation of capital gains and losses. The purpose is to identify (a) what components, or requirements are necessary in order to form at transaction that is a divestment and (b) how those requirements are defined. This purpose requires an inventory of applicable law and practice as well as a study of the context of capital gains taxation.

    The conclusion of the study is that Legal certainty sets boundaries for the interpretation of the concept of divestment. The taxation should as far as possible be neutral, take into account if the transaction creates an (at least theoretical) ability to pay tax and if possible avoid solutions that create unnecessary lock-in effects. The context in which an assessment problem has occurred, principles of reciprocity, continuity, symmetry and consistency in the tax system should be taken into account when assessing unclear cases. In the assessment of whether there has been a divestment, the transaction should be broken up in pieces and analyzed. The essential questions are:

    1. if necessary compensation has been exchanged for the asset (in order for it to not be considered a gift); and
    2. if the asset or part of the asset has been definitely divested from the previous owner.

    The second question can in turn be divided into three issues:

    1. if there is ownership of the asset in question;
    2. if the essential components of the asset have been changed; and
    3. if the owner has disposed of the asset in a definitive manner.

    A divestment is a transaction by which a person in exchange for sufficient compensation disposes of the rights and obligations associated with a particular asset in such a way that the ownership of the asset expires. A divestment typically requires at least two parties. In an unclear situation the assessment of whether a divestment was made or not must always be based on the motives of capital gains and loss taxation.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 13:00 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Paleoglaciology of the Tian Shan and Altai Mountains, Central Asia2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The mountain-systems of Central Asia, act as barriers to atmospheric circulation patterns, which in turn impose striking climate gradients across the region. Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate change and respond to changes in climate gradients over time by advancing during cold and wet periods and receding during warm and dry periods. The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether there are large-scale patterns in how past glaciers in the Tian Shan and the Altai Mountains of Central Asia responded to climate change. Multiple methods have been used, including: remote sensing, terrain analysis, field investigations, and cosmogenic nuclide (CN) dating. The glacial landform records indicate that the region experienced mainly alpine-style glaciations in the past. Large complexes of ice-marginal moraines in high elevation basins are evidence of outlet glaciers sourced from large valley glaciers, ice caps and ice-fields, and these moraine sequences, record the maximum extent of paleoglaciation. In the Ikh-Turgen Mountains, located in the continental, eastern Altai Mountains, deglaciation of these moraines occurred during marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 3 at ~45 ka. This is consistent with a colder and wetter climate during this time, inferred from ice core and lake level proxies. Another deglacial phase occurred during MIS 2 at ~23 ka, synchronous with the global Last Glacial Maximum. In the Russian Altai Mountains, lobate moraines in the Chuya Basin indicate deglaciation at ~19 ka, by a highly dynamic paleoglacier in the Chagan-Uzun catchment, which experienced surge-like behaviour. Furthermore, across the Tian Shan, an evaluation of new and existing CN glacial chronologies (25 dated moraines) indicates that only one regional glacial stage, between 15 and 28 ka (MIS 2), can be defined and spatially correlated across the region. These paleoglaciers were mainly restricted to valleys as a result of arid conditions during this time and variation in their extents is interpreted to reflect topographic modulation on regional climate. The ages of the oldest evidence for robust local glacial stages in the Tian Shan are not yet well constrained, however, moraines in the central Kyrgyz Tian Shan and the eastern Chinese Tian Shan have apparent minimum ages overlapping with MIS 5 and MIS 3 (with missing MIS 4 and 6 stages). However, different geological processes, such as inheritance and post-depositional shielding (e.g. deposition by surging glaciers or hummocky terrain deposition), have influenced the dating resolution, making several moraine ages inappropriate for regional comparison. Finally, to quantify regional patterns of paleoglaciation, the hypsometry (area-elevation distribution) of glacial landforms is used to estimate average paleo equilibrium line altitudes for the region. This analysis shows that while present-day ELAs mirror strong climate gradients, paleoglaciation patterns were characterised by more gentle ELA gradients. The paleo-ELA depressions across Central Asia were most prominent in the continental southern and eastern regions (500–700 m). Finally, the results from this thesis, show that Central Asia was repeatedly glaciated in the past, but underscore the importance of considering 1) catchment characteristics and styles of glaciation and 2) other non-climatic factors controlling glacier dynamics when interpreting CN chronologies to make paleoclimate inference.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 13:00 Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Schwabe, Siri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Schwabe, Siri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Promised Lands: Memory, Politics, and Palestinianness in Santiago de Chile2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is a comprehensive attempt to grapple with diasporic Palestinianness in Santiago de Chile. Based on long-term fieldwork from 2013 to 2014 within Palestinian-Chilean networks, organizations, and places it explores how an inherently political Palestinianness is constituted, expressed and explored via memory on the one hand and processes related to space and place on the other. Palestinianness is employed here as a concept that captures all that goes into maintaining a Palestinian presence in Santiago. Rather than a fixed category, Palestinianness is something that works and is worked upon in ways that are inseparable from, in this case, the context of lived life in the Chilean capital. It is a host of experiences and practices that cannot be neatly separated, but that are constantly weaved together in steadily recurrent, but sometimes disruptive and surprising patterns. By interrogating Palestinianness within the distinct context of present-day Santiago, the thesis unsettles and reconfigures conceptualizations of the relationship between memory, space, and politics. It does so by delving into the ambiguities at play in Palestinian-Chilean relationships to the often uncomfortable memory politics of post-dictatorship and the ongoing Palestinian struggle respectively. To shed light on the dynamics at play, transmemory is introduced as a concept that seeks to capture the spatial and spatially mobile qualities of memory. The thesis argues that by engaging with traveling memories of life and conflict in the old land and simultaneously rejecting involvement with continuously troubling memories of the recent Chilean past, Palestinian-Chileans form a collective politics of Palestinianness that is nonetheless distinctly marked by an inescapable Chileanness.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-09 14:00 William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Nyberg, Elisabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Nyberg, Elisabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Improved Assessment in Environmental Monitoring of POPs: Using monitoring data from the aquatic ecosystem and human milk2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis deals with several aspects of monitoring of persistent organic contaminants (POPs) in biological matrices, for example choice of sample, sampling design, and statistical treatment of data both for temporal and spatial trends and for compliance towards a set target value. The efficiency has been evaluated through statistical power analyses. Contaminant data from more than 4 decades from the Swedish National Monitoring Programs for monitoring of contaminants in biota (marine, freshwater and human health), has been quantitatively evaluated both temporally and spatially and for compliance. The aim was also to evaluate the suitability of different matrices, i.e. herring (Clupea harengus), guillemot (Uria aalge) egg, cod (Gadus morhua), perch (Perca fluviatilis), eelpout (Zoarces viviparous), blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), pike (Esox lucius), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and human milk, for monitoring of POPs with the overall aim to improve the assessment within monitoring programs.

    The results show that variation can be reduced by using pooled samples including more specimens but fewer chemical analyses, which in turn generate a higher statistical power to a lower cost, at least in cases where the cost of collection and sampling is considerably lower than the cost of chemical analysis. However, there are also a number of advantages using individual samples, such as information of sample variance and maximum value, which allows the choice of an appropriate central measure and direct adjustment of confounding factors.

    Generally, the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have decreased both in marine and freshwater biota but concentrations are still higher in the Baltic compared to e.g. the North Sea. The levels of dioxinlike-PCBs and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) have decreased in human milk over time, but not to the same extent in fish and guillemot egg from the Baltic and the freshwater environment. This may be explained by the dietary advice developed by the Swedish Food Administration with the goal that girls, reproductive aged, and pregnant women should eat less food containing high levels of PCDD/Fs. Thus the levels in milk could continue to decrease at the same rate although the temporal trend in the environment has slowed down or leveled out.

    The most essential regarding the choice of species and matrices for contaminant monitoring, is that the species and organ fit the purpose of the monitoring.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-10 13:00 Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Stockholm
    Strand, Daniel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    Strand, Daniel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    No alternatives: The end of ideology in the 1950s and the post-political world of the 1990s2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the 1950s, scholars in Europe and the United States announced the end of political ideology in the West. With the rise of affluent welfare states, they argued, ideological movements which sought to overthrow prevailing liberal democracy would disappear. While these arguments were questioned in the 1960s, similar ideas were presented after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Scholars now claimed that the end of the Cold War meant the end of mankind’s “ideological development,” that globalization would undermine the left/right distinction and that politics would be shaped by cultural affiliations rather than ideological alignments.

    The purpose of No alternatives is to compare the end of ideology discussion of the 1950s with some of the post-Cold War theories launched at the time of, or in the years following, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Juxtaposing monographs, essays and papers between 1950 and 2000, the dissertation focuses on three aspects of these theories. First, it analyzes their concepts of history, demonstrating that they tended to portray the existing society as an order which had resolved the conflicts and antagonisms of earlier history. Second, the investigation scrutinizes the processes of post-politicization at work in these theories, showing how they sought to transcend, contain or externalize social conflict, and at times dismiss politics altogether. Third, it demonstrates how the theories can be understood as legitimizing or mobilizing narratives which aimed to defend Western liberal democracy and to rally its citizens against internal threats and external enemies. As the title of the dissertation implies, the end of ideology discussion of the 1950s and the post-Cold War theories of the 1990s sought to highlight the historical or political impossibility of any alternatives to the present society.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-12 09:00 sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Stockholm
    Larsson, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
    Larsson, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
    Students' understandings of multiplication2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Multiplicative reasoning permeates many mathematical topics, for example fractions and functions. Hence there is consensus on the importance of acquiring multiplicative reasoning. Multiplication is typically introduced as repeated addition, but when it is extended to include multi-digits and decimals a more general view of multiplication is required.

    There are conflicting reports in previous research concerning students’ understandings of multiplication. For example, repeated addition has been suggested both to support students’ understanding of calculations and as a hindrance to students’ conceptualisation of the two-dimensionality of multiplication. The relative difficulty of commutativity and distributivity is also debated, and there is a possible conflict in how multiplicative reasoning is described and assessed. These inconsistencies are addressed in a study with the aim of understanding more about students’ understandings of multiplication when it is expanded to comprise multi-digits and decimals.

    Understanding is perceived as connections between representations of different types of knowledge, linked together by reasoning. Especially connections between three components of multiplication were investigated; models for multiplication, calculations and arithmetical properties. Explicit reasoning made the connections observable and externalised mental representations.

    Twenty-two students were recurrently interviewed during five semesters in grades five to seven to find answers to the overarching research question: What do students’ responses to different forms of multiplicative tasks in the domain of multi-digits and decimals reveal about their understandings of multiplication? The students were invited to solve different forms of tasks during clinical interviews, both individually and in pairs. The tasks involved story telling to given multiplications, explicit explanations of multiplication, calculation problems including explanations and justifications for the calculations and evaluation of suggested calculation strategies. Additionally the students were given written word problems to solve.

    The students’ understandings of multiplication were robustly rooted in repeated addition or equally sized groups. This was beneficial for their understandings of calculations and distributivity, but hindered them from fluent use of commutativity and to conceptualise decimal multiplication. The robustness of their views might be explained by the introduction to multiplication, which typically is by repeated addition and modelled by equally sized groups. The robustness is discussed in relation to previous research and the dilemma that more general models for multiplication, such as rectangular area, are harder to conceptualise than models that are only susceptible to natural numbers.

    The study indicated that to evaluate and explain others’ calculation strategies elicited more reasoning and deeper mathematical thinking compared to evaluating and explaining calculations conducted by the students themselves. Furthermore, the different forms of tasks revealed various lines of reasoning and to get a richly composed picture of students’ multiplicative reasoning and understandings of multiplication, a wide variety of forms of tasks is suggested.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-13 10:00 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Pan, Darcy
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Pan, Darcy
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Laboring Through Uncertainty: an ethnography of the Chinese state, labor NGOs, and development2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study sets out to understand how international development projects supporting labor activism work in contemporary China. It focuses on the lived experiences of and relationships among a group of grassroots⁠ labor NGOs in the province of Guangdong, South China; intermediary NGOs in Hong Kong; and Western funding agencies that try to bring about social change in postsocialist China where the political climate is still highly restrictive and the limits of the state’s tolerance for activism are ambiguous and uncertain. Foregrounding the notion of uncertainty, this study investigates how state control is exercised by examining a specific logic of practices, discourses, and a mode of existence that constantly mask and unmask the state. More specifically, this study explores how the uncertainty about the boundaries of permissible activism is generative of a sociopolitical realm in which variously positioned subjects mobilize around the idea of the state, which in turn leads to articulations and practices conducive to both self-censorship and a contingent space of activism. Viewed as such, the idea of uncertainty becomes an enabler through which certain kinds of practices, relationships, and networks are made possible and enacted, and through which a sociopolitical realm of intimacy is constituted by and constitutive of these relationships, networks, and practices. Situated in the domain of uncertainty, this study examines the ways in which uncertainty, both as an analytical idea and an ontological existence, produces an intimate space where labor activists not only effectively self-censor but also skillfully map the gray zone between the relatively safe and the unacceptably risky choices.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-14 13:00 Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Kista
    Svee, Eric Oluf
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Svee, Eric Oluf
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Utilizing Consumer Preferences to Promote Values Awareness in Information Systems Development2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The challenges of developing the information systems (IS) that support modern enterprises are becoming less about engineering and more about people. Many of the technical issues of the past, such as hardware size and power, connectivity, and robust software, are engineering problems that have largely been solved. In the next stage of computing, the human factor will be far more important than it has been in the past: the colors of an interface or the shape of an icon are the engineering problems of the past, and the availability and usefulness of such basic solutions is rapidly coming to a close. A new paradigm is needed that provides a roadmap of higher level conceptions and values, one about humane computing.

    A part of this older, mechanistic approach are quantitative, economic values whose impact on IS are readily visible and acknowledged within software engineering. However, qualitative values, and in particular consumer preferences, have been researched to a lesser degree, and there has been very little direct application.  To create the next-generation information systems, requirements engineers and systems developers need new methods to capture the real preferences of consumers, conceptualize these abstract concepts, and then relate such preferences to concrete requirements for information systems.

    To address this problem, this thesis establishes a conceptual link between the preferences of consumers and system requirements by accommodating the variations between them and expressing them via a conceptual model. Modeling such preferences and values so that they can be used as requirements for IS development is the primary contribution of this work. This is accomplished via a design science research paradigm to support the creation of the works’ primary artifact—the Consumer Preference-aware Meta-Model (CPMM).

    CPMM is intended to improve the alignment between business and information systems by capturing and concretizing the real preferences of consumers and then expressing such preferences via the requirements engineering process, with the eventual output being information systems. CPMM’s development relies on theoretical research contributions within three areas in information systems—Business Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, and Requirements Engineering—whose relationships to consumer values have been under-researched and under-applied.

    The case studies included in this thesis each demonstrate the significance of consumer preferences to each of these three areas.  In the first, a set of logical mappings between CPMM and a common approach to business strategy (strategy maps/balanced scorecards) is produced. In the second, CPMM provides the conceptual undergirding to process a massive amount of unstructured consumer-generated text to generate system requirements for the airline industry. In the concluding case, an investigation of foreign and domestic students at Swedish universities is structured through CPMM, one that first discovers the requirements for a consumer preference-based online education and then produces feature models for such a software product line-based system. The significance of CPMM as a lens for discovering new concepts and highlighting important information within consumer preference data is clearly seen, and the usefulness of the meta-model is demonstrated by its broad and beneficial applicability within information systems practice and research.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-15 09:30 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Ek, Caroline
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Ek, Caroline
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Towards understanding stable isotope signatures in stressed systems2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Stable isotope analysis (SIA) is a valuable tool in ecotoxicology because δ13C and δ15N may provide insights into the trophic transfer of contaminants in a food web. The relationship between a species’ trophic position (TP, determined from δ15N) and internal concentration of biomagnifying contaminants can be established and used for regulatory purposes. However, the exposure of organisms to xenobiotics incurs physiological costs, and the stable isotope signature of a consumer reflects not only diet but also a physiological state. The latter raises questions regarding the interpretation of stable isotope signatures in contaminated areas. Therefore, the aim of this Thesis was to evaluate the behaviour of consumers’ stable isotope signatures in stressed systems, with a primary focus on the effects of environmental contaminants.

    In paper I, the physiological costs of chemical exposure were found to alter incorporation rates of dietary nitrogen and carbon in a consumer by influencing both growth and metabolic turnover, with resulting changes in isotope signatures relative to a control system. In paper II, the diet-consumer discrimination factors for 15N and 13C were confirmed to increase under chemical exposure mediated via increased metabolic costs. However, the physiological response was low and translated into only minor shifts in the δ13C and δ15N. The predictability of exposure effects on the stable isotope signature was demonstrated in paper III, in which animals exposed to a chemical with a known mode of action presented expected effects on elemental composition, body size, biomarkers of oxidative stress and the stable isotope signatures. Moreover, consumers’ oxidative balance was found to be related to their δ15N values, thus providing evidence of the kinetic isotope effect on the oxidative status. However, despite the alterations in stable isotope signatures observed in laboratory settings (papers I-III), the effect of xenobiotics on the TP estimates was nil or minor in the field-collected animals. Moreover, the TP values were not significantly different between the animals in the contaminated and the reference habitats because of the high overall uncertainties in the TP estimates (paper IV). Also, the TP estimates based on δ15N in bulk material were more similar between the contaminated and the reference systems than TP estimates based on δ15N values in amino acids. Therefore, the latter method appears more sensitive towards xenobiotics (and, possibly, other environmental stressors) and thus less suitable for TP assessment in contaminated areas.

    This Thesis improved the overall understanding of the applicability of SIA in stressed systems by establishing relationships between various exposure regimes, physiological responses and the stable isotope signatures in consumers. In model species at low trophic levels, the exposure to xenobiotics was found to significantly affect δ13C and δ15N values, which can be expected whenever physiological responses are detected. However, because of the overall high uncertainty in TP estimates, no significant differences between contaminated and control systems were detected, although the estimated TP were consistently higher in the contaminated systems. Future research should focus on higher trophic levels, in which effects of a greater magnitude can be expected. Moreover, the effects in entire food webs should be addressed rather than single prey–consumer relationships as well as other environmental variables that may contribute to the stable isotope variability in and among systems under various environmental pressures.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-15 10:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    El Beqqali, Aziza
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    El Beqqali, Aziza
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Novel Microextraction Techniques for Bioanalysis of Neurotransmitters and Biomarkers in Biological Fluids2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sample preparation (sample pre-treatment) is the initial step and an essential part in bioanalysis procedure. The main role of sample preparation is to extract and transfer the analyte(s) of interest from a complex matrix to a purified media such as a pure solvent for analysis and quantification. Biological fluids are complex and contain, in addition to the target analyte(s), many different unwanted compounds from salts to proteins. Thus, the analysis of these samples requires an effective sample preparation method prior to the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) assays. The aim of the present work was to evaluate micro-extraction by packed sorbent (MEPS) and develop new sample preparation techniques for the extraction of neurotransmitters and biomarkers from biological samples. Moreover, two new sample preparation techniques were developed. The first developed technique is molecular imprinting on polysulfone membrane (MIPM), and the second one is molecularly imprinted polymer in tablet form (MIPT).

    MEPS is a well-known sample preparation technique that can be used online with analytical instruments without any modifications. In this thesis, MEPS was used online with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for the quantification of dopamine and serotonin in human urine samples (Study I) and with GC/MS for the analysis of methadone in humane urine (Study II). Polystyrene polymer and silica-C8 were used as sorbent in Study I and Study II, respectively. In both studies, small sample volumes (50 µL) were used and full method validation was performed. In both studies (I and II), MEPS enhanced the limit of detection (LOD) and reduced the extraction time compared to the previously published methods. In Study I, the mean accuracies of quality control (QC) samples of dopamine and serotonin were 99–101% while the precision values (RSD) were 6–11%. In Study II, the accuracy values of methadone were between 97 and 107% while the precisions (RSD) were between 11 and 15%.

    MIP-sol-gel on polysulfone membrane (MIPM) was developed and used in combination with MEPS for the extraction of hippuric acid (HA) in plasma and urine samples (Study III). A good selectivity was obtained using plasma and urine samples. The precision of QC samples in plasma and urine samples were 2.2–4.8% and 1.1–6.7%, respectively. The method recovery was above 90%.

    In Study IV, a new technique was developed using a tablet form of molecularly imprinted sol-gel (MIPT) for the extraction of methadone from human plasma samples. Methadone-d9 was selected as the template for accurate recovery, and 3-(propyl methacrylate) trimethoxysilane (3PMTMOS) was used as a precursor. The extraction recovery was higher than 80%. The LOD and LLOQ were 1.0 and 5.0 ng mL-1, respectively. The validation showed good selectivity, accuracy and precision.

    In Study I, III and IV, LC/MS/MS system was used while GC/MS was used in Study II for the separation and detection of target analytes.

    There will always be a high demand for rapid, selective, reliable and sensitive techniques for sample preparation. It is convenient to use molecular dynamics simulations as a theoretical tool for the optimization of molecularly imprinted system. Suitable monomers and cross-linkers are crucial to synthesize the new membrane and tablet molecular imprinted polymer platforms for all kinds of molecules.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-15 13:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Röst, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Röst, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Fragmenterade platser, ting och människor: Stenkonstruktioner och depositioner på två gravfältslokaler i Södermanland ca 1000–300 f Kr2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is generally considered that cairns and stone constructions of different shapes and sizes make up the grave monuments of the Late Bronze Age (1000–300 BC) in the province of Södermanland in Sweden. However, these “monuments” often contain only small amounts of burnt bone, and often no human remains at all. At the same time, human bones are found in settlement sites and other "non-grave" contexts. The materiality of human remains thus appears to be far more complex than a modern definition of "burial" or "grave" would allow. 

    This thesis investigates practices beyond the common terminology of burial archaeology, and focuses on the practices of collecting, enclosing and scattering stones, human remains, pottery and metal objects in stone constructions traditionally labeled "graves".  The study is conducted through a detailed micro-level analysis combining constructions, depositions of artefacts and human remains in a perspective of perception, formation processes and temporality.

    Based on the results from studies of two Late Bronze Age burial grounds in Eastern Sweden, it is argued that there is a need to differentiate the meaning content of cremated bone within in what we refer to as burial grounds. Results indicate that the passage rituals in connection with death and disposal of remains do not end when the cremated bone is deposited in the stone constructions. The constructions and deposits are subject to further attention and actions, altering the meaning of the cremated bones while the individual undergoes transformation to a fully transformed substance. The stone constructions themselves do not appear to have been built for eternity, but rather as functional nodes of transformation, constructed to facilitate the passage rituals.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-16 10:00 William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Olsson, Gabriella
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Olsson, Gabriella
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Expressions of context: Studies of schools, families, and health risk behaviours2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis explores the health behaviours of young people. The main focus is on risk behaviours, i.e. those which may have adverse consequences for health. Two fields of interest are looked at. On the one hand, the thesis explores social determinants of such behaviours, with particular focus on the influence of schools’ structural and social environment on health risk behaviours among youth. On the other hand, the thesis addresses the role of such behaviours in the relationship between childhood social inequalities and adult health. In terms of theory, the study sets out from Coleman's view of the association between structure and agency and the assumption that macro level structures and patterns can be understood on the basis of individual actors’ actions. The thesis consists of four studies addressing different, but related, aspects of the above areas of interest. The overall conclusion of studies I-III is that the school context has direct and indirect effects on young people's risk behaviours. The results of multilevel analyses indicate, more specifically, that students who attend more advantaged schools report more risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol- and drug use than students at more disadvantaged schools. Self-reported crime is however higher in the more disadvantaged school settings. Further analyses show that a school's social and normative climate also is important for the extent to which youth consume alcohol, smoke, or have used drugs. These risk behaviours are most prevalent in schools where a large proportion of the parents have a more permissive attitude towards alcohol and smoking, and where teacher-rated levels of trust and informal social control (collective efficacy) are high. The results show, further, that school contexts also act indirectly on youth risk behaviours. Young people who reports weak bonds with their parents tend generally to be more involved in risk behaviours than those who report strong bonds. This tendency is reinforced in more advantaged school settings. Finally, Study IV demonstrates that youth risk behaviours act accumulatively and indirectly on later health, rather than directly. Moreover, the importance of risk behaviours for later health varies between the birth cohorts. Health behaviours explain a larger part of the relationship between socioeconomic conditions in childhood and health as an adult in the younger cohort.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-16 10:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Jeppsson, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
    Jeppsson, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
    Characterization of Diagnostic Tools and Potential Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease: PET ligands and BACE1 inhibitors2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a very complex disorder and the most common form of dementia. The two pathological hallmarks of AD are extracellular amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques in cerebral cortex, and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles. In the early stages of the disease it can be difficult to accurately diagnose AD, as it is difficult to distinguish from normal signs of aging. There is thus a need for sensitive non-invasive tools, able to detect pathophysiological biomarker changes. One such approach is molecular imaging of Aβ plaque load in brain, using PET (positron emission tomography) ligands.

    We have developed and characterized two novel Aβ plaque neuroimaging PET ligands, AZD2184 and AZD4694. The 2-pyridylbenzothiazole derivate AZD2184, is a 11C-labeled PET ligand with a higher signal-to-background ratio compared to the widely used PET ligand PIB, a 11C-labeled phenylbenzothiazole based tool. This makes it possible to detect smaller changes in Aβ plaque deposition load, and therefore theoretically, also earlier diagnosis. A drawback with 11C-labeled PET ligands is the relatively short half-life. To meet the need for PET ligands with a longer half-life, we developed the pyridylbenzofuran derivate [18F]AZD4694. Although development of fluorinated radioligands is challenging due to the lipophilic nature of aromatic fluorine, we successfully developed a 18F-labeled PET ligand with a signal-to-background ratio matching PIB, the most widely used 11C-labeled PET ligand in clinical use. 3H-labeled derivates of AZD2184, AZD4694, and PIB, showed lower binding specificity towards Aβ plaques containing ApoE. The ApoE genotype per se did not significantly affect ligand binding, instead, the amount of ApoE incorporated to the Aβ plaques appears to be of importance for the binding characteristics of these amyloid PET ligands.

    Beta-secretase 1 (BACE1) mediates the first step in the processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) to Aβ peptides, making BACE1 inhibition an attractive therapeutic target in AD. We developed and characterized three novel BACE1 inhibitors, AZD3839, AZ-4217, and AZD3293. AZD3839 and AZ-4217 contains an amidine group which interacts with the catalytic aspartases Asp-32 and Asp-228 of BACE1, effectively inhibiting the enzyme. All three compounds are potent and selective inhibitors of human BACE1, with in vitro potency demonstrated in several cellular models, including primary cortical neurons. All three compound exhibited dose- and time-dependent lowering of plasma, brain, and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ levels in several species, and two of the compounds (AZD3839 and AZD3293) were progressed into clinical trials.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-16 10:00 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    West, Simon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    West, Simon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Meaning and Action in Sustainability Science: Interpretive approaches for social-ecological systems research2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Social-ecological systems research is interventionist by nature. As a subset of sustainability science, social-ecological systems research aims to generate knowledge and introduce concepts that will bring about transformation. Yet scientific concepts diverge in innumerable ways when they are put to work in the world. Why are concepts used in quite different ways to the intended purpose? Why do some appear to fail and others succeed? What do the answers to these questions tell us about the nature of science-society engagement, and what implications do they have for social-ecological systems research and sustainability science? This thesis addresses these questions from an interpretive perspective, focusing on the meanings that shape human actions. In particular, the thesis examines how meaning, interpretation and experience shape the enactment of four action-oriented sustainability concepts: adaptive management, biosphere reserves, biodiversity corridors and planetary boundaries/reconnecting to the biosphere. In so doing, the thesis provides in-depth empirical applications of three interpretive traditions – hermeneutic, discursive and dialogical – that together articulate a broadly interpretive approach to studying social-ecological complexity. In the hermeneutic tradition, Paper I presents a ‘rich narrative’ case study of a single practitioner tasked with enacting adaptive management in an Australian land management agency, and Paper II provides a qualitative multi-case study of learning among 177 participants in 11 UNESCO biosphere reserves. In the discursive tradition, Paper III uses Q-method to explore interpretations of ‘successful’ biodiversity corridors among 20 practitioners, scientists and community representatives in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. In the dialogical tradition, Paper IV reworks conventional understandings of knowledge-action relationships by using three concepts from contemporary practice theory – ‘actionable understanding,’ ‘ongoing business’ and the ‘eternally unfolding present’ – to explore the enactment of adaptive management in an Australian national park. Paper V explores ideas of human-environment connection in the concepts planetary boundaries and reconnecting to the biosphere, and develops an ‘embodied connection’ where human-environment relations emerge through interactivity between mind, body and environment over time. Overall, the thesis extends the frontiers of social-ecological systems research by highlighting the meanings that shape social-ecological complexity; by contributing theories and methods that treat social-ecological change as a relational and holistic process; and by providing entry points to address knowledge, politics and power. The thesis contributes to sustainability science more broadly by introducing novel understandings of knowledge-action relationships; by providing advice on how to make sustainability interventions more useful and effective; by introducing tools that can improve co-production and outcome assessment in the global research platform Future Earth; and by helping to generate robust forms of justification for transdisciplinary knowledge production. The interventionist, actionable nature of social-ecological systems research means that interpretive approaches are an essential complement to existing structural, institutional and behavioural perspectives. Interpretive research can help build a scientifically robust, normatively committed and critically reflexive sustainability science.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-16 13:00 Stora Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Stockholm
    Adams Lyngbäck, Liz
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adams Lyngbäck, Liz
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Experiences, networks and uncertainty: parenting a child who uses a cochlear implant2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this dissertation project is to describe the ways people experience parenting a deaf child who uses a cochlear implant. Within a framework of social science studies of disability this is done by combining approaches using ethnographic and netnographic methods of participant observation with an interview study. Interpretations are based on the first-person perspective of 19 parents against the background of their related networks of social encounters of everyday life. The netnographic study is presented in composite conversations building on exchanges in 10 social media groups, which investigates the parents’ meaning-making in interaction with other parents with similar living conditions. Ideas about language, technology, deafness, disability, and activism are explored. Lived parenting refers to the analysis of accounts of orientation and what 'gets done' in respect to these ideas in situations where people utilize the senses differently. In the results, dilemmas surrounding language, communication and cochlear implantation are identified and explored. The dilemmas extend from if and when to implant, to decisions about communication modes, intervention approaches, and schools. An important finding concerns the parents’ orientations within the dilemmas, where most parents come up against antagonistic conflicts. There are also examples found of a development process in parenting based on lived, in-depth experiences of disability and uncertainty which enables parents to transcend the conflictive atmosphere. This process is analyzed in terms of a social literacy of dis/ability.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-16 13:00 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Granquist, Sandra M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Granquist, Sandra M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Ecology, tourism and management of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina)2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In cases where human and wildlife are co-using the same geographical areas and resources, management issues often get complex and stakeholder conflicts are common. The Icelandic harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) population is rapidly decreasing, but direct culling of seals still occurs. At the same time seals are becoming an important resource due to increased interest in wildlife watching. Despite the complicated management situation, the Icelandic harbour seal population is one of the least studied pinniped populations in the world. Mapping the typical haul-out pattern is an important foundation for further studies. In paper I haul-out behaviour of harbour seals was investigated and a seasonal haul-out pattern was detected with the maximum number of seals hauling out during summer. A bimodal distribution curve was found during the summer time, suggesting that pupping period occurs in late May to early June, while moulting occurs in late July to early August. Tidal state, air-temperature and wind-speed affected the haul-out boots. Today, the main reason for culling harbour seals in Iceland is to reduce harbour seal predation on salmonids, despite limited knowledge on the effect of seal predation on salmonid populations and salmon angling. The diet of harbour seals that haul out in the estuary area of Bjargós and Ósar in NW-Iceland was therefore investigated using hard-part (paper II) and DNA metabarcoding analysis (paper III). Both methods showed that the main prey species were sand eels, flatfishes, gadoids, herring and capelin, while salmonids were not an important prey in this area. Based on these results, culling of harbour seals in the area is not likely to have a positive effect on salmonid angling. These results have crucial management implications, especially in the light of the severe decline in the Icelandic harbour seal population. Potential effects of seal watching tourism on the harbour seal population must also be considered in management plans. In paper IV, we investigated the effects of land based seal watching on seal behaviour and found that spatial distribution and vigilance was affected by tourists. Calm tourists behaviour had less effect, meaning that disturbance could be reduced if tourist behaviour is modified. In paper V, this line of investigation was followed by analysing knowledge transfer from academia to the tourist industry and a model was presented where a synergy effect of working interdisciplinary is hypothesised. Finally, in paper VI, the effect of signage on tourist behaviour was studied. Empirical testing showed that teleological information is more effective than ontological in terms of modifying general tourist behaviour. In this thesis, I present new knowledge on behaviour and diet of harbour seals, as well as new empirical findings on tourist behaviour in wildlife tourism settings. Further I explore interdisciplinary management approaches for seal watching tourism. The findings presented in this thesis have an important value within academic research in environmental-, life- and social sciences and the knowledge can be applied in several areas of harbour seal management in Iceland and elsewhere.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-19 13:00 L50, NOD-huset, Kista
    Jalali, Amin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Jalali, Amin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Aspect-Oriented Business Process Management2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Separation of concerns has long been considered an effective and efficient strategy to deal with complexity in information systems.One sort of concern, like security and privacy, crosses over other concerns in a system. Such concerns are called cross-cutting concerns.As a result, the realization of these concerns is scattered through the whole system, which makes their management difficult.

    Aspect Orientation is a paradigm in information systems which aims to modularize cross-cutting concerns.This paradigm is well researched in the programming area, where many aspect-oriented programming languages have been developed, e.g., AspectJ.It has also been investigated in other areas, such as requirement engineering and service composition.In the Business Process Management (BPM) area, Aspect Oriented Business Process Modeling aims to specify how this modularization technique can support encapsulating cross-cutting concerns in process models.However, it is not clear how these models should be supported in the whole BPM lifecycle.In addition, the support for designing these models has only been limited to imperative process models that support rigid business processes.Neither has it been investigated how this modularization technique can be supported through declarative or hybrid models to support the separation of cross-cutting concerns for flexible business processes.

    Therefore, this thesis investigates how aspect orientation can be supported over the whole BPM lifecycle using imperative aspect-oriented business process models. It also investigates how declarative and hybrid aspect-oriented business process models can support the separation of cross-cutting concerns in the BPM area.This thesis has been carried out following the design science framework, and the result is presented as a set of artifacts (in the form of constructs, models, methods, and instantiations) and empirical findings.

    The artifacts support modeling, analysis, implementation/configuration, enactment, monitoring, adjustment, and mining cross-cutting concerns while supporting business processes using Business Process Management Systems. Thus, it covers the support for the management of these concerns over the whole BPM lifecycle. The use of these artifacts and their application shows that they can reduce the complexity of process models by separating different concerns.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-20 13:00 hörsal 11, hus F, Stockholm
    Richter, André
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
    Richter, André
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
    Essays on the Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: The Role of Prenatal Health and Fertility2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four chapters on the role of prenatal health and fertility on the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. The first two are related, and the third and fourth chapters are independent essays. The abstracts are provided in the following:

    Multigenerational effects of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic on educational attainment: Evidence from Sweden

    We use the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Sweden as a natural experiment to estimate the effects of a prenatal health shock on the children of those who experienced the pandemic as a prenatal insult. We find that for women educational attainment decreases by 3-4 months of schooling if their mothers potentially experienced the Spanish flu as a prenatal insult. For men, educational attainment decreases by 4-7 months of schooling if their fathers were potentially prenatally exposed. We find no mother-son or father-daughter transmission.

    Second generation effects of prenatal health shocks: Disentangling social from biological pathways

    Second-generation effects of prenatal health shocks can represent direct biological effects and indirect effects via the parental household environment, but the relative importance of these two effects remains unknown. We combine an exogenous source of variation in fetal health with an adoption design and exploit the fact that adoptees do not inherit health conditions from their adoptive parents, which rules out direct effects. Adoptees are furthermore not exposed to the home environment of their biological parents, which rules out indirect post-birth effects. Our results are imprecisely estimated and need to be interpreted as suggestive at best, but seem to suggest that direct second generation effects may be positive, whereas indirect effects may be negative.

    Intergenerational income mobility and fertility patterns in Sweden & USA

    I contrast the USA and Sweden to shed light on the question if differences in fertility patterns can explain differences in intergenerational income mobility. I document substantial fertility differences between both countries and I quantify the importance of these differences using a simple decomposition of persistence metrics. I find that intergenerational persistence increases (decreases) in the number of children in Sweden (USA). A substantial part of the difference in intergenerational mobility estimates between Sweden and the USA originates from differences in the family size distribution.

    Low birth weight and parental investments in an intervention context

    Using data from a reading intervention targeted at disadvantaged households in Chicago, we investigate whether children’s initial health endowment affects parental behavior and their responsiveness to behavioral tools aimed at increasing parental investments. We find that parents with low birth weight children increase parental reading time twice as much than their normal birth weight counterparts after receiving a simple nudge to do so. These parents do not differ in their pre-intervention time investments, although there is some albeit weak evidence that their subjective beliefs about the returns to their time investments could be lower. There is no strong evidence for higher subjective costs of reading. Goal setting behavior is markedly different, though. While both groups of parents typically do not reach their reading goals, parents of normal birth weight children adjust their goals downwards in reaction to past failure of goal attainment.

  • Public defence: 2016-12-21 13:00 DeGeersalen, Stockholm
    Siewert, Matthias Benjamin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Siewert, Matthias Benjamin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    High-resolution mapping and spatial variability of soil organic carbon storage in permafrost environments2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Large amounts of carbon are stored in soils of the northern circumpolar permafrost region. High-resolution mapping of this soil organic carbon (SOC) is important to better understand and predict local to global scale carbon dynamics. In this thesis, studies from five different areas across the permafrost region indicate a pattern of generally higher SOC storage in Arctic tundra soils compared to forested sub-Arctic or Boreal taiga soils. However, much of the SOC stored in the top meter of tundra soils is permanently frozen, while the annually thawing active layer is deeper in taiga soils and more SOC may be available for turnover to ecosystem processes. The results show that significantly more carbon is stored in soils compared to vegetation, even in fully forested taiga ecosystems. This indicates that over longer timescales, the SOC potentially released from thawing permafrost cannot be offset by a greening of the Arctic. For all study areas, the SOC distribution is strongly influenced by the geomorphology, i.e. periglacial landforms and processes, at different spatial scales. These span from the cryoturbation of soil horizons, to the formation of palsas, peat plateaus and different generations of ice-wedges, to thermokarst creating kilometer scale macro environments. In study areas that have not been affected by Pleistocene glaciation, SOC distribution is highly influenced by the occurrence of ice-rich and relief-forming Yedoma deposits. This thesis investigates the use of thematic maps from highly resolved satellite imagery (<6.5 m resolution). These maps reveal important information on the local distribution and variability of SOC, but their creation requires advanced classification methods including an object-based approach, modern classifiers and data-fusion. The results of statistical analyses show a clear link of land cover and geomorphology with SOC storage. Peat-formation and cryoturbation are identified as two major mechanisms to accumulate SOC. As an alternative to thematic maps, this thesis demonstrates the advantages of digital soil mapping of SOC in permafrost areas using machine-learning methods, such as support vector machines, artificial neural networks and random forests. Overall, high-resolution satellite imagery and robust spatial prediction methods allow detailed maps of SOC. This thesis significantly increases the amount of soil pedons available for the individual study areas. Yet, this information is still the limiting factor to better understand the SOC distribution in permafrost environments at local and circumpolar scale. Soil pedon information for SOC quantification should at least distinguish the surface organic layer, the mineral subsoil in the active layer compared to the permafrost and further into organic rich cryoturbated and buried soil horizons.