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  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 09:30 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Tay, Joo Hui
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    What contributes to human body burdens of halogenated flame retardants?: An experimental approach2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Flame retardants (FRs) are chemicals added to a broad range of consumer products such as textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture and building material to meet flammability requirements. Most of these chemicals are additives that can continuously leach out from the applied products during usage. FRs are studied because of their abundance in indoor environments and concerns about their impact on human health. The restrictions on many brominated FRs have resulted in a need for their replacement with a variety of emerging halogenated FRs (EHFRs). Humans are exposed to these chemicals mainly through dust and diet ingestion, but there is still insufficient data about the relative importance of other exposure pathways. In this thesis, a Norwegian cohort of 61 adults (age 20-66, 16 males and 45 females) was studied for their exposure to legacy and emerging HFRs. Duplicate diet, stationary air, personal air, settled dust, hand wipe and serum samples were collected from the participants and analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) and EHFRs. External exposures via dietary intake, air inhalation, dust ingestion and dermal exposure (in pg/kg body weight/day) were estimated from the measured concentrations. The intake values were then compared to elucidate which of these exposure pathways were most important for the Norwegian cohorts’ exposure to specific HFRs. Dietary intake was the predominant exposure route for most of the PBDE congeners and EHFRs, whereas dust ingestion contributed significantly to the exposure of some less volatile HFRs. Inhalation exposure was negligible for most of the target HFRs except for those with higher volatility, such as tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH), 2-bromoallyl 2,4,6-tribromophenyl ether (BATE) and 1,2,3,4,5-pentabromobenzene (PBBz). Dermal exposure seems to be a significant exposure pathway for HBCDDs and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) but the relevance of hand wipes to represent total dermal exposure remains uncertain. Overall, the median and 95th percentile total intakes for all target HFRs did not exceed the regulatory reference doses (RfD). Estimated serum concentrations were calculated from total intakes from all exposure pathways using a one compartment pharmacokinetic model and these were compared to measured concentrations. The estimated median serum BDE-47 and BDE-153 concentrations were slightly over-estimated by a factor of 5.5 and 4.3, respectively whereas BDE-197 and -209 were under-estimated by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude compared to the measured concentrations. Statistical analysis suggested that age, number of electronic equipment at home, certain dietary habits, hand washing and house cleaning frequency were possible contributors to HFR exposure.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 13:00 Högbomsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Plikk, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    The Eemian Interglacial at Sokli, northern Finland: A multi-proxy environmental and climatic reconstruction based on a 9 m long lacustrine sediment sequence2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the fundamentals of the Earth’s climate system during the Quaternary Period (the past ca 2.6 million years) is of imminent interest in light of the reported recent climatic changes. The Eemian Interglacial (ca 129,000-116,000 years ago) is the last period before the present interglacial (the Holocene, the last ca 11,700 years) when temperatures were as warm as or warmer than today and may serve as an analogue to future climatic warming. The Eemian is a relatively well-studied period, but many aspects of the interglacial climatic dynamics still remain unresolved. One reason for this is the chronological uncertainties of many records from this time period; another is the relatively uneven distribution of palaeoarchives. Especially from high latitude areas, terrestrial records from the Eemian are few due to the impact of glacial erosion during the Weichselian Glacial (ca 116,000-11,700 years ago).

    This thesis is based on data from Sokli, N Finland, where cold-based conditions of the Weichselian ice sheets and non-typical bedrock conditions have allowed preservation of an unusually thick Eemian lacustrine deposit in stratigraphic sequence with overlying Weichselian and Holocene deposits. The main purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge of climate variability in Fennoscandia and the North Atlantic region during the Eemian, and it involves a qualitative multi-proxy reconstruction of the Eemian lake and its development as well as a quantitative reconstruction of the regional Eemian July temperature evolution using subfossil chironomids. Attention is paid also to the identification and characterization of short-term climatic events in the Sokli record.

    The main contribution of this study is to increase the spatial coverage of Eemian palaeoclimatological data. Specific results include the description of the lake development, identifying phases where non-climatic variables likely affect the quantitative chironomid-based temperature reconstruction, as well as qualitative and quantitative reconstructions of climatic features such as changes in seasonality and temperature. Five major lake phases are distinguished. A glaciolacustrine phase is followed by an early Eemian lake phase characterized by short mixing periods and rising nutrient levels. The following early mid-Eemian lake phase is characterized by a prolonged open water season and high productivity and possibly corresponds to the Eemian climatic optimum. The late mid-Eemian lake phase is characterized by infilling and eutrophic conditions while the late Eemian lake phase reflects shallow, dynamic and cooling conditions.

    The qualitative study suggests a shift from a higher seasonality in the early Eemian towards more oceanic conditions during the mid-Eemian, while chironomid-inferred July temperatures indicate that near present-day temperatures prevailed at Sokli already from the beginning of the interglacial and that optimum temperatures were only moderately (ca + 1°C) higher  than at present. These results suggest that the climatic development at Sokli followed that of central Europe during the Eemian. Two events characterized by colder and more arid conditions are identified, and can be tentatively correlated to meltwater events registered in marine records from the Nordic seas and subpolar north Atlantic, possibly reflecting the effect that meltwater pulses and related disruptions in the thermohaline circulation had on adjacent continental areas.


  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 09:15 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Grip, Kjell
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Marine environmental governance and management in Sweden from the 1960s until today: Did the actions suit the needs?2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis investigates how governance and management relevant to the use and protection of the marine environment has emerged in Sweden from the 1960s until today. Focus is on how the modern environmental and nature conservation administration in Sweden developed the legal and organizational frameworks needed for proper management. More specifically – did the available tools suit the needs?

    The Swedish National Physical Planning system, initiated in the mid-1960s, pioneered the concept of ecology as basis for physical planning in Sweden. This introduced environmental considerations in societal planning, inter alia, through special national guidelines (geographical and for certain activities) for local authority planning. The National Physical Planning system strengthened the cooperation between local and regional (county) authorities and with central governmental bodies. With some delay, marine spatial planning became the instrument for coordinating and balancing competing demands on coastal and marine environments.

    Marine environmental governance and management are commonly linked to intergovernmental agreements, usually in the form of international conventions. Measures against pollution and other threats to the marine environment, as well as conservation of its natural resources and biodiversity, become more efficient when countries work together through global or regional organizations, rather than each country is acting on its own (Article I). However, it should be noted that in practice many intergovernmental agreements are less binding than first appears.

    While marine pollution began to be addressed and remedied in the 1980s, it was only in the 2000s that marine nature conservation and the establishment of marine protected areas began to receive increased attention and effective action (Article II).

    Marine nature conservation and fisheries often conflict, as the establishment of a marine protected area commonly involves a restriction on some ongoing fishing. Usually, such conflicts are related to differences in the objectives between marine protected areas established for environmental and fishery purposes, which often leads to strongly conflicting opinions on how to manage them (Articles II–III).

    Initial environmental and nature conservation efforts focused on measures against land, air and freshwater pollution, and the conservation of terrestrial environments. Excepting inner coastal areas, the open marine environment was not a focus of Swedish marine research although ecosystem research began early in the Baltic Sea. However, by the mid-1980s large-scale effects of pollution also on the open seas along the Swedish west coast, had become apparent and required environmental management actions (Article IV).

  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 10:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Hartung, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Paths to improving atmospheric models across scales: The importance of the unresolved scales2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Correct representation of physical processes, the parametrizations, and their interaction with the resolved circulation is crucial for the performance of numerical models. Here, focus is put on understanding model biases and developing tools to alleviate existing biases. Atmospheric blocking can divert the typical atmospheric flow for several days up to weeks and thereby impacts the mean climate of the region experiencing blocking. Models typically underestimate the frequency of atmospheric blocking. Based on results from the global climate model EC-Earth, it is found that the atmospheric model resolution is not strongly influencing the representation of atmospheric blocking once the grid reaches about 80 km grid length in the horizontal. Updating several physical parametrizations, and thereby the model version, is the largest contributor to advancements in simulating atmospheric blocking. The importance of the topography for the large-scale atmospheric flow is further investigated with the reanalysis ERA-Interim by applying a simplified theoretical analysis. It is found that the idealized topographic forcing theory can explain some part of the observed large-scale properties of the flow, though the method does mainly produce relative results. The explained part of the large-scale structure is increased during periods of northwesterly flow and when the flow impinges the mountain ridge almost orthogonally.

    Small-scale processes acting in air masses transported from midlatitudes to the Arctic are also discussed. Numerical models often struggle with representing the stable conditions in the Arctic and tend to underestimate the downward longwave impact during cloudy conditions. A comparison of single-column models (SCMs) indicates that most models can capture the bimodal longwave distribution which develops from alternating cloudy and clear-sky conditions. SCMs are often used for model development as they allow to decouple the parametrized physical processes from the large-scale environment and enable many parameter sensitivity tests. A new tool is presented which can be used for the development of physical parametrizations in marine and polar conditions. It combines one-dimensional models of the atmosphere and ocean, including sea-ice, into a coupled atmosphere-ocean SCM (AOSCM). The presented setup constitutes an advantage compared to SCMs of one component because the coupling is directly modelled and the interaction between the respective boundary layers does not dependent on prescribed boundary conditions.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 10:00 Hörsal 9, hus D, Stockholm
    Vafaeian, Ghazaleh
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Progressives in use and contact: A descriptive, areal and typological study with special focus on selected Iranian languages2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Progressives are grammatical patterns primarily used to refer to events that are ongoing at a specific time. This thesis investigates uses of such patterns in a number of languages as well as the interaction of a number of progressives in contact. The dissertation includes a typological study of the uses of 89 progressive patterns in two parallel corpora, an investigation of the uses and origin of the Persian dāštan progressive and an areal linguistic investigation of 50 Iranian varieties spoken around the Caspian Sea.

    The dissertation presents features that increase the likelihood that a progressive is used. Such features are 1) a focalized (punctual) reference point, 2) the engagement or ‘busyness’ of the agentive subject on the event, 3) an emotive component and 4) the desire to turn the attention of the addressee towards an ongoing event. The significance of these features is expected to weaken as progressives grammaticalize.

    There is a cross-linguistic tendency for progressives to occur more often with present time reference than with past time reference. In some cases, they are even restricted to the former. Among the varieties of the Iranian language Taleshi, on the other hand, we find asymmetric temporal paradigms as a consequence of former progressive patterns having expanded and lost their progressive character in the present but not in the past.

    The study also shows that progressives are used differently in the present and the past: while events with present time reference often have the features mentioned above in 1-4, events with past time reference are often, although not exclusively, background contexts to other events pushing the narration forward.

    The thesis also discusses various peripheral uses of progressives, such as uses in habitual and performative-like contexts, proximative, iterative and futurate uses, uses with stative verbs and temporary and subjective uses. Some of these tend to be found in patterns with higher frequencies and can be regarded as expansions towards the imperfective. Other uses are linked to the type of event to which the progressive applies: the proximative reading is shown to arise with achievements and the iterative use with repeated punctual events.  

    The data from the varieties of the Iranian languages Mazandarani, Gilaki, Taleshi and Tati, as well as from varieties under the influence of Persian, suggests that the progressive in these varieties is highly borrowable. Among the varieties discussed in Chapter 5, an areal cline is noted where constructional schemas used for ongoing events shift towards the imperfective. In the borrowing process, on occasion, a shift from progressive to proximative is also noted. As expected, the data from Caspian varieties shows that there are more progressive patterns than imperfective patterns.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-15 14:00 Nordenskiöldssalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Harmenberg, Karl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Essays on Income Risk and Inequality2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Consumption Dynamics under Time-Varying Unemployment Risk We study the response of households' demand for durable goods to fluctuations in unemployment risk. First, using survey data, we document that household durable expenditures react strongly to unemployment risk, while the effect on nondurable expenditures is indistinguishable from zero. Second, we construct a buffer-stock savings model that includes adjustment frictions for durable goods. We show that although not targeted in the calibration, the model reproduces the semi-elasticities of expenditures to unemployment risk estimated in the data. Third, using the model, we find that the inclusion of adjustment frictions raises the aggregate demand response of durable goods to fluctuations in perceived unemployment risk by approximately 200 percent. Moreover, the aggregate consumption dynamics are state dependent. Upon experiencing an adverse risk shock, the responsiveness of durable goods demand to the interest rate and income changes is dampened, thus constraining monetary and fiscal transfer policies in stabilizing consumption during recessions.

    The Labor-Market Origins of Cyclical Income Risk We use Danish administrative data 1980-2013 to study the underlying mechanisms generating fluctuations in income risk. We partition the population into 37 narrowly defined educational categories and document the cyclicality of labor income risk for each category separately. For the individual educational categories, mean income growth is strongly correlated with income growth skewness, with an average correlation of 0.87-0.88. We show that the connection between income growth skewness and mean income growth is not only strong in the time dimension, but also in the cross section. Across the 37 educational categories, the correlation between mean income growth and income growth skewness is 0.93-0.96. We show that labor-market frictions together with variations in productivity growth generate the relationship between mean income growth and income growth skewness. In a quantitative job-ladder model, variations in productivity growth quantitatively capture both the time-series and cross-sectional relationship. In contrast, variations in the job-finding rate, the job-separation rate and the offer-arrival rate for employed fail to generate the relationship between mean income growth and income growth skewness in our framework.

    A Pareto-Distribution Perspective on Top-Income Gender Disparities We propose a novel decomposition of top-income gender disparities into a top-income gender gap coefficient, capturing the absolute underrepresentation of women in the top, and a glass ceiling coefficient, capturing the relative underrepresentation of women at the very top given the representation of women at the top. The decomposition uses that the top of both the male and female income distributions are well approximated by Pareto distributions. We apply our decomposition to Danish labor income data 1980-2013. We find that the gender gap coefficient is slowly and steadily falling over the whole period while the glass ceiling coefficient has been stable since 1995. We perform heterogeneity analysis along three dimensions. First, we perform the decomposition for different age groups. The glass ceiling coefficient has been largely stable across both time and age groups since 1995. Second, we perform the decomposition for parents and non-parents. The glass ceiling coefficient is larger for parents, but this stems from the different income distribution of fathers and non-father men. Mothers and non-mothers have similar glass ceiling characteristics. Third, we perform the decomposition for the two most represented educational degrees in the top one percent, medical doctors and lawyers. Whereas the glass ceiling coefficient is small for medical doctors, it is much larger for lawyers.

    A Note: The Effect of Assortative Mating on Income Inequality I provide a theoretical upper bound on the effect of assortative mating on income inequality by comparing perfect assortative mating with random mating. The percentage drop in the Gini coefficient from perfect assortative to random mating is bounded by 1−   ≈ 29%. Furthermore, I compare the Gini coefficient of the income distribution of actual households with the Gini coefficient under random mating using US census data. Under all specifications, the effect of randomization on the Gini coefficient is never larger than 0.015. 

  • Public defence: 2018-06-14 13:00 Högbomsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Waldén, Emelie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Restoration of semi-natural grasslands: Impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and stakeholder perceptions2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Humans play a major role shaping the living conditions for not only ourselves, but also all other species on Earth. In fact, some species-rich habitat types require human management to uphold the biodiversity and related ecosystem services. One of the world’s most biodiverse habitats on small spatial scales, semi-natural grasslands, have been formed over the course of centuries through extensive grazing and mowing. However, due to political and economic reasons, up to 90% of the European semi-natural grasslands have been lost during the 20th century. To counteract these drastic losses, restoration actions are implemented in environmental policies across Europe. Yet, knowledge of the long-term restoration effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services is still limited. The vast need for future restoration also requires a better understanding of how different pre-conditions affect the restoration outcome, as well as how stakeholders perceive restoration, to be able to prioritise between sites and recognise the limitations of the restoration process. In this thesis, I examine restoration outcomes in Swedish semi-natural grasslands, in terms of plant diversity, associated ecosystem services and from the farmers’ and land-owners’ perspective. The outcome is also analysed in relation to environmental factors at the local and landscape scale. I found that the overall community composition recovered to resemble intact reference communities, but it took relatively long time (12-20 years). Moreover, the reference sites still had higher species richness both at large and small spatial scales, more grassland specialist species and a higher abundance of plant species important to the five tested ecosystem services (meat production, pollination, water retention, temperature regulation and cultural heritage). My results show that prioritising large, unfertilised, newly abandoned grasslands situated in landscapes containing a large grassland specialist species pool and high amounts of intact and remnant semi-natural grasslands, could speed up the plant recovery. However, prioritising fast results does not necessarily ensure long-term success at a larger spatial scale. Since restoration success can be interpreted differently depending on evaluation measure used, pre-defined, clear and realistic goals are essential. While the surveyed farmers and landowners overall perceived the restoration as successful, 40% were unsure whether the grasslands will be managed in the future. Low profitability still poses a threat to their maintenance and thus, also to the coupled biodiversity and ecosystem services. Policy changes are therefore urgently needed to facilitate incentives for sustained management of restored and intact European semi-natural grasslands in a long-term perspective.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-14 13:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Neagu, Alexandra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Local structure of perovskite ferroelectric ceramics as revealed by 3D electron diffuse scattering: A walk in between the Bragg peaks2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Local structural disorder in crystalline materials plays a crucial role in understanding their properties. The means to study structural disorder is diffuse scattering (DS). Even though DS was observed since the early days of X-ray diffraction the weak intensity and the sheer number of different kinds of disorder hindered the development of a unique solution strategy. However, the advent of X-ray and neutron synchrotron sources together with recent advances in automated electron diffraction techniques have unraveled a new world in between Bragg peaks where a wealth of information is available.

    In this thesis electron diffraction is used to explore the different kinds of DS in three-dimensions, for several perovskite ferroelectric ceramics. Based on the information presented in the reconstructed 3D reciprocal space volumes, disordered atomic structures were proposed and verified by the calculated electron diffraction patterns. A complex structural model for the local disorder in 85Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3-10K0.5Bi0.5TiO3-5BaTiO3 piezoceramic was developed by analyzing the morphology and intensity of electron DS in 3D. Next, the influence of potassium-content on the octahedral-tilt disorder for three different piezoceramics was studied by a combination of dark-field imaging and electron diffraction. Further on, the temperature-dependence of electron DS for 95Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3-5BaTiO3 piezoceramic revealed a local structural phase transition that was correlated with the depolarization mechanism. Lastly, strong electron DS was recorded from a Pb-based relaxor and simulations of disordered atomic structures showed that the local structure resembles a dipolar glass state. These demonstrate that electron diffraction is a powerful tool for the study of local structural disorder in crystalline materials, especially for ceramics. The major advantage is that we are able to record single-crystal electron diffraction data from individual grains. Moreover, since we are analyzing a 3D reciprocal volume several orientations can be studied simultaneously and we are not limited to zero-Laue zones. Finally, the models for local structural disorder provided valuable insight into how macroscopic properties are influenced by local structural disorder, in addition to the average structure.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-14 13:00 sal 14, hus 5, Kräftriket, Stockholm
    Gonçalves, Iara Cristina Alvarinho
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Decomposition of perverse sheaves2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This PhD thesis consists in three papers in which we describe irreducibility conditions and the number of factors in a composition series of certain perverse sheaves. We study some particular cases, providing examples and showing how to explicitly use perverse sheaves to obtain precise results. The aim is to add to the class of concrete applications of perverse sheaves and exploit their role in the cohomology of hyperplane arrangements. In the three papers the perverse sheaves considered are given by the derived direct image of locally constant sheaves defined in the complement  U of a hyperplane arrangement. In Paper I, we start with a locally constant rank 1 sheaf on U and use a category equivalence, developed by MacPherson and Vilonen, to obtain a criterion for the irreducibility in terms of a multi-index that determines the locally constant sheaf. We then determine the number of decomposition factors when the irreducibility conditions are not satisfied. In Paper II we consider the constant sheaf on U, show that the number of decomposition factors of the direct image is given by the Poincaré polynomial of the hyperplane arrangement, and furthermore describe them as certain local cohomology sheaves and give their multiplicity. In Paper III, we use the Riemann-Hilbert correspondence and D-module calculations to determine a condition describing when the direct image of a locally constant sheaf contains a decomposition factor as a perverse sheaf that has support on a certain flat of the hyperplane arrangement.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-14 13:00 Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    de Bont, Chris
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Modernisation and farmer-led irrigation development in Africa: A study of state-farmer interactions in Tanzania2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    After years of relatively low investment, irrigation development in Africa has been put back on the policy agenda as a way of increasing agricultural productivity. In spite of existing evidence of farmers’ irrigation initiatives across the African continent, current policy prescriptions still revolve around (large-scale) state intervention. Farmers’ irrigation initiatives are generally considered traditional, backward, and unable to contribute to the agrarian transformation that many African nations are after.

    This study aims to problematize this narrow notion of farmers’ irrigation initiatives, and explores how underlying ideas of modernity/modernisation influence irrigation policies and interactions between farmers and the state. Focusing on Tanzania, this thesis consists of an introductory chapter and three separate studies.

    The first study is a historical analysis of the state’s attitude towards irrigation development and farmers’ irrigation initiatives in Tanzania. It shows how historically, the development narrative of ‘modern’ irrigation as a driver for agricultural transformation has been successful in depoliticizing irrigation interventions and their actual contribution to development.

    The second study engages with a case where farmers have developed groundwater irrigation. The study analyses how differentiated access to capital leads to different modes of irrigated agricultural production, and shows the variation between and within farmers’ irrigation initiatives. It also illustrates how an irrigation area that does not conform to the traditional/modern policy dichotomy is invisible to the government.

    The third study concerns a farmer-initiated gravity-fed earthen canal system. It shows how the implementation of a demand-driven irrigation development policy model can (inadvertently), through self-disciplining by farmers and a persistent shared modernisation aspiration, turn a scheme initiated and managed by farmers into a government-managed scheme, without actually improving irrigation practices.

    Together, these studies show how modernisation thinking has pervaded irrigation development policy and practice in Tanzania, influencing both the state’s and farmers’ actions and attitudes, often to the detriment of farmers’ irrigation initiatives.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-14 10:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Aasa, Jenny
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Cancer Risk Assessment of Glycidol: Evaluation of a Multiplicative Risk Model for Genotoxic Compounds2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Humans are exposed to chemical compounds in everyday life, both from the environment and from endogenous processes. Some compounds constitute a risk for cancer development. One such compound is glycidol, which is genotoxic and an animal carcinogen. It is the model compound of this work, partly due to its presence in food. Glycidol, often together with 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD), occurs in the form of esters particularly in refined cooking oils, which are used in a variety of food products. The esters are hydrolyzed in the gastrointestinal tract to form glycidol (and 3-MCPD).

    The aim of the thesis has been to evaluate an approach for cancer risk estimation of genotoxic carcinogens based on a multiplicative (relative) risk model and genotoxic potency. Further, the aim was to estimate the cancer risk for exposure to glycidol via food. Measurement of the internal doses (concentration × time) of glycidol in the studied biological systems, including humans, has been crucial. Glycidol is electrophilic and forms adducts with nucleophilic sites in proteins and DNA. The doses of glycidol were quantified by mass spectrometry: in vivo from adduct levels to hemoglobin (Hb); in vitro from adducts to cob(I)alamin.

    The first part of the thesis concerns the genotoxic potency (genotoxic response per internal dose) of glycidol, measured in vitro by mutation studies and in vivo by micronuclei as a biomarker for genotoxicity (short-term studies in mice). The results were compared to that of ionizing radiation, used as a standard, to estimate the relative genotoxic potency of glycidol: 10 and 15 rad-equ./mMh from mutations and micronuclei, respectively. No induction of micronuclei was observed for the related compound 3-MCPD.

    Tumor incidence from published carcinogenicity studies of glycidol in mice and rats, together with the measured in vivo doses, was evaluated with the relative cancer risk model. A good agreement between predicted and observed tumor incidence was shown, and no significant difference of the obtained cancer risk coefficients (risk per dose) between mice (5.1 % per mMh) and rats (5.4 % per mMh) was observed. The overall results support that the relative risk coefficient (β) is independent of sex, tumor site, and species, and indicated that it can be transferred also to humans. The doubling dose, expressed as 1/β, is the dose that is required to double the background tumor incidence. The mean of the doubling doses from mice and rats (19 mMh) was assumed valid for risk estimation for humans. Transfer of β of glycidol to rad-equ. via its relative genotoxic potency showed a risk coefficient in agreement with the relative cancer risk coefficient of ionizing radiation.

    In the final work, the lifetime (70 years) in vivo doses of glycidol were calculated from measured Hb adduct levels in blood from 50 children and 12 adults, and compared to the doubling dose. A fivefold variation was observed in the in vivo doses. The estimated lifetime excess cancer risk from glycidol exceeds 1/1000. This is much higher than what is considered as an acceptable risk.

    To conclude, the multiplicative (relative) risk model together with relative genotoxic potency is promising to use in an approach for cancer risk estimation and in line with 3R (reduce-refine-replace) initiatives.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-13 13:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Dehdari, Sirus Håfström
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Radical Right, Identity, and Retaliation2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Economic Distress and Support for Far-right Parties – Evidence from Sweden. This paper studies the effects of economic distress on support for far-right parties. Using Swedish election data, I show that layoff notifications among low-skilled native-born workers account for 31 percent of the increased vote share for the Swedish far-right party the Sweden Democrats. The effect of layoff notifications on support for the Sweden Democrats is larger in areas with a high share of low-skilled immigrants, and in areas with a low share of high-skilled immigrants. These findings are in line with theories suggesting that voters attribute their impaired economic status to immigration, due to labor market concerns. Furthermore, I find no effects on voting for other anti-EU and anti-globalization parties, challenging the notion that economic distress increases anti-globalization sentiment. Using detailed survey data, I present suggestive evidence of how increased salience of political issues related to immigration channels unemployment risk into support for far-right parties.

    The Origins of Common Identity: Division, Homogenization Policies and Identity Formation in Alsace-Lorraine. We exploit the quasi-exogenous division of the French regions Alsace and Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 due to disagreements in the German leadership to provide evidence of group identity formation within historically homogeneous regions. People in the treated area, which was exposed to repressive homogenization policies aimed to suppress group identity, express a stronger regional identity and support more regional autonomy today. Using a regression discontinuity design at the municipal level, we find that support for two crucial referenda, which would have increased regional autonomy, subscription rates to regional newspapers, and regionalist party votes are significantly higher in the treated area. The results are robust across different specifications and bandwidths, and not driven by language differences, large agglomerations or distance to foreign countries. The differences in regional identity are strongest for the first two age cohorts after World War II and become weaker for later generations.

    Gender Differences in Revenge and Strategic play: A Natural Experiment. This paper provides new evidence of gender differences in retaliatory behavior. Using game show data from a natural setting where stakes are high, we ask whether men are more likely to retaliate following an attack and whether the gender of the target matters for this decision. The behavior studied in this paper is the decision of whom to send the question to in a quiz show setting. We observe a 23 percent gender gap in the propensity to retaliate: women are less likely to seek revenge. The gender of the target matters for women but not for men, with women being more likely to retaliate against men than women. In addition, we show that retaliation is a successful way to avert future attacks in the short term. This is especially true for women, yet we find that women seek less revenge than men.

  • Pagin, Amos
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Exploring the conjunction fallacy in probability judgment: Conversational implicature or extension neglect?2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    According to the conjunction rule of probability theory, a conjunction of events cannot be more probable than either conjunct. However, participants often violate this rule in experimental settings, thus committing the conjunction fallacy. Why do participants commit this fallacy? One hypothesis suggests that participants interpret a task-critical statement designating the event A as designating the event A&notB. If so, participants do not commit the conjunction fallacy. Another hypothesis suggests that participants fail to take task-relevant relations of set inclusion into account when judging probabilities. Both hypotheses were tested in an experiment utilizing a between-subjects design with 145 participants. The results, analyzed using Bayes factors, provide evidence for the null hypothesis in both cases, thus suggesting that neither hypothesis explains the fallacy. However, the unexpectedly low prevalence of the fallacy in the baseline group may have masked the true effects of the manipulations.

  • Axelsson, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    HR-medarbetares upplevelser kring spelprevention och policyimplementering på arbetsplatsen2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The complex concept regarding harmful use of different nature, could be related to the use of alcohol, drugs or gambling. Such activities could affect the efficiency and productivity of an employee in a workplace environment in a negative way. At the request of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, a group of scientist was given the task to evaluate a project regarding education concerning problematic gambling. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate a project regarding education concerning gambling and gambling prevention, and was carried out by the organization Alna. Thematic analysis was used and collection of data was done with semi structured interviews, with ten HR-employees whose five organisations was included in the project Gambling and gambling preventive efforts directed towards the labour market. The results show that the methods and tools used by Alna is perceived as efficient and valuable by the participants. Some obstacles which works against efficient implementation of updated policies and guidelines were identified and these could consist of time constraints, under staffing or subordinated priority of the gambling issue per se. Furthermore it seems that the education project regarding gambling prevention performed by Alna has contributed to the development of policies and guidelines regarding harmful use of different kinds with focus on the gambling issue.  

  • Public defence: 2018-06-12 14:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Kaduk, Mateusz
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Functional Inference from Orthology and Domain Architecture2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Proteins are the basic building blocks of all living organisms. They play a central role in determining the structure of living beings and are required for essential chemical reactions. One of the main challenges in bioinformatics is to characterize the function of all proteins. The problem of understanding protein function can be approached by understanding their evolutionary history. Orthology analysis plays an important role in studying the evolutionary relation of proteins. Proteins are termed orthologs if they derive from a single gene in the species' last common ancestor, i.e. if they were separated by a speciation event. Orthologs are useful because they retain their function more often than other homologs. 

    Inference of a complete set of orthologs for many species is computationally intensive. Currently, the fastest algorithms rely on graph-based approaches, which compare all-vs-all sequences and then cluster top hits into groups of orthologs. The initial step of performing all-vs-all comparisons is usually the primary computational challenge as it scales quadratically with the number of species. 

    A new, more scalable and less computationally demanding method was developed to solve this problem without sacrificing accuracy. The Hieranoid 2 algorithm reduces computational complexity to almost linear by overcoming the necessity to perform all-vs-all similarity searches. The algorithm progresses along a known species tree, from leaves to root. Starting at the leaves, ortholog groups are predicted conventionally and then summarized at internal nodes to form pseudo-species. These pseudo-species are then re-used to search against other (pseudo-)species higher in the tree. This way the algorithm aggregates new ortholog groups hierarchically. The hierarchy is a natural structure to store and view large multi-species ortholog groups, and provides a complete picture of inferred evolutionary events. 

    To facilitate explorative analysis of hierarchical groups of orthologs, a new online tool was created. The HieranoiDB website provides precomputed hierarchical groups of orthologs for a set of 66 species. It allows the user to search for orthology assignments using protein description, protein sequence, or species. Evolutionary events and meta information is added to the hierarchical groups of orthologs, which are shown graphically as interactive trees. This representation allows exploring, searching, and easier visual inspection of multi-species ortholog groups.

    The majority of orthology prediction methods focus on treating the whole protein sequence as a single evolutionary unit. However, proteins are often composed of individual units, called protein domains, that can have different evolutionary histories. To extend the full sequence based methodology to a domain-aware method, a new approach called Domainoid is proposed. Here, domains are extracted from full-length sequences and subjected to orthology inference. This allows Domainoid to find orthology that would be missed by a full sequence approach.

    Networks are a convenient graphical representation for showing a large number of functional associations between genes or proteins. They allow various analyses of graph properties, and can help visualize complex relationships. A framework for inferring comprehensive functional association networks was developed, called FunCoup. A major difference compared to other networks is FunCoup's extensive use of orthology relationships between species, which significantly boosts its coverage. Using naïve Bayesian classifiers to integrate 10 different evidence types and orthology transfer, FunCoup captures functional associations of many types, and provides comprehensive networks for 17 species across five gold-standards.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-12 10:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Gewert, Berit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Chemical Pollutants Released to the Marine Environment by Degradation of Plastic Debris2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the beginning of the mass production in the 1940s, plastic has been manufactured in quickly increasing amounts. Plastic debris accumulates in the environment and lately much attention has been drawn to the pollution in the world’s oceans. Despite the rapid development and ubiquitous presence of plastic, degradation in the marine environment and potential risks associated with plastic are not fully understood. Thus, these knowledge gaps were addressed in this thesis, which adds information about exposure and hazards of marine plastic debris.

    Although sampling studies have been conducted all over the world, the concentrations of plastic debris in the Baltic Sea have hardly been investigated. In Paper I, the level and distribution of plastic debris in the Stockholm Archipelago were assessed. Plastic concentrations were higher close to suspected point sources compared to remote areas. Fibers accounted for the most common form and the predominant polymer types were polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).

    In Paper II, the literature was critically reviewed for the most important degradation pathways for plastic under environmentally relevant conditions. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, leading to photo-oxidation, is the most important initiating factor for buoyant plastic. Consequently, a UV lamp was used in Paper III for an artificial weathering setup in the laboratory to degrade pristine plastics and analyze the chemical leachates by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for degradation products using a nontarget approach. Carboxylic acids and dicarboxylic acids of polymer fragments were the most commonly identified degradation products of the plastic polymers, confirming predictions made in Paper II.

    To evaluate potential hazards posed by leachates from weathering plastic debris to marine organisms, an acute toxicity screening study with Nitocra spinipes was conducted in Paper IV. Field-exposed plastic and the corresponding newly purchased plastic were artificially aged with the same weathering setup as in Paper III. Poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) and PP leachates were generally most toxic, while leachates from polystyrene (PS) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) were least toxic among the tested materials. For plastics, which were supposed to contain only few additives, we observed no difference in toxicity between leachates from the field-exposed and the newly purchased plastic. However, the other plastic products exposed to the marine environment were more toxic than their corresponding newly bought products. This indicates that the toxicity of the leachates not only depends on the polymer type, but also on the weathering condition of the plastic.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-12 13:00 FB53, Stockholm
    Khan, Shehryar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
    Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Dynamics study of paramagnetic complexes: Towards an understanding of electronic spin relaxation2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The prime objectives of contrast agents in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is to accelerate the relaxation rate of the solvent water protons in the surrounding tissue. Paramagnetic relaxation originates from dipole-dipole interactions between the nuclear spins and the fluctuating magnetic field induced by unpaired electrons. Currently Gadolinium(III) chelates are the most widely used contrast agents in MRI, and therefore it is incumbent to extend the fundamental theoretical understanding of parameters that drive the relaxation mechanism in these complexes. In compounds such as Gadolinium(III) complexes with total electron spins higher than 1 (in this case S=7/2) the Zero-Field Splitting (ZFS) plays a significant role in influencing the electron spin dynamics and nuclear spin dynamics. For this purpose, the current research delves into an understanding of the relaxation process, focusing on ZFS in various complexes of interest, using multi-scale modelling by combining quantum, semi-quantum and newtonian methods.

    We compare and contrast Density Function Theory (DFT) with multi-configurational quantum chemical calculation and find that DFT is highly functional dependent and unreliable in accurately reproducing experimental data for the static ZFS. It was found that long-range corrected functionals (in particular LC-BLYP) perform significantly better as compared to other functionals in predicting the magnitude of the static ZFS. We study hydrated Gd(III) and Eu(II) systems to compare and contrast these isoelectronic complexes (both contain 7 unpaired electrons in their valence shell) and through ab-initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) sampling followed by multi-reference quantum chemical calculations, it was established that inclusion of the first shell has a dominant influence (over 90%) on the ZFS. We also studied the complex [Gd(III)(HPDO3A)(H2O)], which is of clinical relevance as a contrast agent for MRI, through post-Hartree-Fock and DFT calculations by utilizing configurations derived from AIMD trajectories. From the fluctuations in the ZFS tensor, we extract a correlation time of the transient ZFS which is on the sub-picosecond time scale, showing a faster decay than experimental data.

  • Kurasov, Pavel
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Suhr, Rune
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Abstract [en]

    The theory of almost periodic functions is used to investigate spectral properties of Schrödinger operators on metric graphs, also known as quantum graphs. In particular we prove that two Schrödinger operators may have asymptotically close spectra if and only if the corresponding Laplacians are isospectral. The case of general vertex conditions and integrable potentials is considered. In particular, our result implies that a Schrödinger operator is isospectral to the standard Laplacian on a may be different metric graph only if the potential is identically equal to zero.

  • Kurasov, Pavel
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Suhr, Rune
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Abstract [en]

    Schrödinger operators on metric graphs with general vertex conditions are studied. Explicit spectral asymptotics is derived in terms of the spectrum of reference Laplacians. A geometric version of Ambartsumian theorem is proven under the assumptionthat the vertex conditions are asymptotically properly connecting and asymptotically standard. By constructing explicit counterexamples it is shown that the geometric Albartsumian theorem does not hold in general without additional assumptions on the vertex conditions.

  • Lundborg Eman, Simon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    Historicism som moderniserande verktyg: Ferdinand Bobergs vattentorn vid Mosebacke och det sena 1800-talets svenska arkitektur2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Uppsatsen utgår i stora drag från Wolfgang Kemp's receptionsteorier för att diskutera arkitekten Ferdinand Bobergs bidrag till den svenska arkitekturen inom industrin under 1800-talets andra hälft. Vattentornet vid Mosebacke i Stockholm fungerar i detta arbete som en utgångspunkt för att förstå Bobergs arkitekturella värdegrund och formmässiga ideologi. Uppsatsen ägnar också att etablera en övergripande förståelse av vattentornets plats i arkitekturrummet – hur vattentornet samverkar med den omedelbara miljön i både dess samtid och nutid. Mosebacke vattentorns återvändande till tidigare stilepoker inom arkitekturen diskuteras i detta arbete utifrån begreppet historicism och fungerar här som en central frågeställning som kontinuerligt bearbetas i uppsatsen.

    Utifrån dokumentation i form av artiklar, målningar och fotografier, som berör vattentornet vid Mosebacke, har det kunnat konstaterats att det välkomnades av samtiden och är än idag en påminnelse av den ”nya” arkitekturens frammarsch i den moderna staden.

    Sökord: Ferdinand Boberg, arkitektur, Stockholm, Genius Loci, industri, historicism, plats, vattentorn, Mosebacke.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-11 10:00 Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Mercer, Andrew
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Studies in Glacier Mass Balance: Measurement and its errors2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The study of the surface mass balance of valley glaciers has a long history but one that is dogged by uncertainty and errors, and uncertainty about those errors. These problems are acknowledged by the glaciological community and have been examined and formalised in several publications. The latest of these stems from a workshop organised by the World Glacier Monitoring Service, the results of which are presented in the first paper of this thesis. The paper examines two common methods and some of their associated errors, with the aim of unifying them and providing more robust data sets. New methodologies, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), are used in the second paper herein to provide richer and alternative data sources for approaching measurement problems related to snow depth and, to some degree, snow density. The third paper is concerned with both technical survey issues and glaciological definitions when surveys of glacier surfaces are performed for use in mass balance calculation. Many of these issues are common to remote sensing methods and ground based surveys but the paper attempts to make this commonality more explicit. Whilst the first three papers concern themselves with the act of measurement and calculation the fourth paper considers errors brought about by logistical constraints restricting the timing of surveys. Such errors are technically avoidable to a large degree but inevitable in practice. In the case presented here the error is one of unobserved accumulation, falling late in the season, after the last survey. By modelling expected ablation from minimal data, such as temperature, and comparing this with measured mass balance an estimate of unobserved accumulation is made.

    Also contained in this work is an assessment of glacier front surveys, specifically those performed by the Tarfala Research Station. Such surveys are assumed to act as a monitor of glacier response to climate change and are assumed to be a large scale proxy of mass balance but the resolution of the response as well as the resolution of survey methods indicates that the frequency of such surveys should be reduced and that remote sensing methods may be more effective.

    Common to all glaciological field surveys is the relative sparsity of data rendering error analysis and many statistical methods ineffective but new technologies such as Lidar, Global Navigation Satellite System, GPR and remote sensing indicate a way forward and the potential for future work to deliver detailed and reliable data.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-11 10:00 Gröjersalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Stockholm
    Markowski, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Collaboration Routines: A Study of Interdisciplinary Healthcare2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis deals with routines for collaboration among specialists from different domains in healthcare. Healthcare policy is increasingly directed at transforming clinical healthcare into an interdisciplinary organization where diverse medical specialists collaborate in delivering complete treatments to the patient. However, as both practice and research repeatedly reports, achieving interdisciplinary collaboration is difficult. Due to the divides in knowledge and practice which exist between the medical disciplines, multidisciplinary clinics do not automatically lead to collaboration involving integration of disciplinary knowledge. Based on recent conceptualizations of organizational routines as sources of both stability and flexibility, this thesis concentrates on the type of routines that enable collaboration across domain boundaries. Collaboration routines, as they are called here, are suggested to support the interdisciplinary clinic in making use of its diversity in knowledge and practice. The thesis is comprised of four papers, including three empirical case studies of clinical healthcare. The combined findings indicate that collaboration routines support idea generation, testing of new joint practices and trial-and-error learning. Contrary to the common underlying conception of routines as blueprints, these findings bring to the surface an underlying logic of shared learning. Collaboration routines continuously support the formation and maintenance of shared cognition and shared motivation among different domain specialists, thereby assuming a function of continuous routinizing. The thesis contributes to the literature on routines by advancing research on how routines can support collaboration across domain boundaries within an organization.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-11 13:00 David Magnussonsalen (U31), Stockholm
    Dwyer, Helen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Children at risk Securitization theory and special education reforms2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Special education is to a significant extent based on special education programmes and support to children who are identified as children at risk. These programmes and support are often framed in educational reforms that aim to reduce risk and barriers to equal opportunities for learning and wellbeing. This thesis sets out to explore processes of special education reforms, with a special focus on the implementation of certain reforms. Here, a theoretical framework almost unknown in special education – securitization theory – is introduced, drawing on a tradition of securitization studies within the fields of Political Science and International Relations. The Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization referred to in the thesis describes the handling of vulnerabilities, insecurities and perceived threats through the initiation and implementation of securitization processes, such as, for example, education reforms. In short, securitization theory helps us understand processes of educational reforms in terms of identified threats, such as, for example, those against equal education for a specific group of pupils. Firstly, the reforms themselves are understood as securitization projects aimed at reducing threats to the young generation and as a consequence for society.  Policies that concern children who are at risk by not receiving equal education, are handled differently among various securitization actors depending on how they perceive threats and education reform as a way to handle the perceived threat.  Secondly, I introduce a new term into the examination of securitization processes – extended securitization actor. This assists the comprehension of additional implementation procedures and turns of securitization processes in the analytical procedure. Thirdly – and here I also add to the existing securitization theory – I show how a specific reform might itself be experienced as a threat to the goals and interests of actors at the lower levels of the implementation chain, which as a consequence, produces counter securitization processes that seem to influence the implementation of the education reform. The empirical parts of the thesis consist of empirical studies from South Africa and Sweden. Discussed are those education reform policies between the mid 1940s and 1970s in South Africa and Sweden that were directed towards the indigenous populations.  Children “at risk” here concern educational issues linked to identity- and ethnic belonging and access to equal education for all children.  Another study brings up the perception of environmental threats and international claims of incorporating Education for sustainable development (ESD) into national education. Children at risk can here be understood as those exposed to environmental hazards and in exposed land areas. Still another study deals with threats concerning political and societal exclusion of ethnic and vulnerable groups. Education reform should here be seen against the historic background of former Apartheid policies and the need for democratic development with a special emphasis on teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and perceived threats by teachers in connection with implementing inclusive education. 

  • Östling, Robert
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Radboud University, Netherlands.
    Courtaux, Servane
    École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées, ParisTech, Paris, France.
    Visual Iconicity Across Sign Languages: Large-Scale Automated Video Analysis of Iconic Articulators and Locations2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 725Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We use automatic processing of 120,000 sign videos in 31 different sign languages to show a cross-linguistic pattern for two types of iconic form–meaning relationships in the visual modality. First, we demonstrate that the degree of inherent plurality of concepts, based on individual ratings by non-signers, strongly correlates with the number of hands used in the sign forms encoding the same concepts across sign languages. Second, we show that certain concepts are iconically articulated around specific parts of the body, as predicted by the associational intuitions by non-signers. The implications of our results are both theoretical and methodological. With regard to theoretical implications, we corroborate previous research by demonstrating and quantifying, using a much larger material than previously available, the iconic nature of languages in the visual modality. As for the methodological implications, we show how automatic methods are, in fact, useful for performing large-scale analysis of sign language data, to a high level of accuracy, as indicated by our manual error analysis.

  • Korpi, Tomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
    Tåhlin, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
    On-the-job training:A skill match approach to the determinants and outcomes of lifelong learning2018Report (Other academic)
  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 10:00 Vivi Täckholmssalen (Q-salen), Stockholm
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Seagrass productivity: from plant to system2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrasses form one of the most productive habitats on earth and are recognized as very efficient carbon sinks. The levels and patterns of productivity within and across different seagrass systems vary widely due to natural or human-induced factors. Seagrass plants, being the foundation species of seagrass meadows, have a substitutional role as primary producers to the overall productivity of their habitat. Clarifying the variation in the carbon capture potential of these plants on physiological and ecological levels is essential to understand of the whole system’s carbon balance. In this thesis, the photosynthetic performance and productivity of seagrass plants were studied in relation to factors that have large impact on productivity, such as tissues age, season and water depth. Furthermore, the seagrass response, in terms of capacity to capture and sequester carbon, to human-induced stress factors such as shading and simulated grazing was evaluated in a tropical seagrass meadow. The research has included a multitude of seagrass productivity assessments from plant- to system level.

    The results showed that age has a significant effect on the photosynthetic performance of the temperate seagrass Zostera marina L., both within a single shoot and between shoots. When comparing leaves among the same shoot, the photosynthetic capacity and efficiency were highest in mature tissues and significantly reduced in very young tissues as well as in tissues undergoing senescence. In response to high light stress, very young tissues seemed to cope better with dissipating excess light energy, which was demonstrated by the higher values of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) observed compared to mature and senescent tissues. Such an effect was also observed when comparing the oldest and youngest shoots from the same genet; the youngest shoot showed higher ability to dissipate excess light energy compared to the oldest one, and might thus be able to better withstand light stress.

    On a larger spatiotemporal scale, the areal productivity of seagrass plants was significantly affected by light availability and temperature, leading to a strong seasonal variation. In addition, depth had a strong site-specific effect on plant productivity in terms of biomass. On a yearly basis, productivity rates varied substantially, reaching up to 20 g C m-2 24h-1 in the summer months. This high carbon capture potential was, however, outbalanced by the high respiration rates of the benthic community. Overall, the whole system had a low but positive yearly carbon balance.

    Both shading and simulated grazing negatively affected seagrass plants and the whole habitat after five months of experimental disturbance. On the plant level, photosynthesis, productivity and growth were all reduced. On the system level, a reduction in community productivity was recorded. The long-term refractory carbon was, however, not affected although erosion was observed in treatments subjected to simulated grazing.

    In summary, this thesis has established that age, season, depth and exposure are factors highly responsible for natural variation in seagrass plant- and habitat productivity, and that seagrasses respond to human-induced stress by significantly reducing their productivity. Even though seagrass plants are generally capable of surviving stress periods, these results suggest that prolonged deteriorating stress conditions will lead to serious harm on the plants as well as the entire habitat, and thereby compromising the carbon burial capacity of the seagrass system.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 09:00 David Magnussonsalen (U31), Stockholm
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Human olfaction: Associations with longitudinal assessment of episodic memory, dementia, and mortality risk2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A declining sense of smell is a common feature in older age. Above and beyond diminished smelling capacity due to normal processes of human aging, impairments in olfactory function have also been linked to numerous ill-health related outcomes, such as cognitive dysfunctions, dementia pathology and even an increased risk of death. Based on population-based data from the Swedish Betula Prospective Cohort Study, the aim of this thesis was to further our understanding regarding the role of olfaction in long-term memory decline, dementia, and mortality. Furthermore, this thesis investigated the predictive utility of self-reported olfactory dysfunction for assessing the risk of conversion to later dementia and to mortality, as well as the predictive utility of long-term subjective olfactory decline for an actual long-term decline in odor function. Study I explored associations of olfactory deficits with memory decline and found that impairments in an odor identification test were related to an ongoing and long-term decline in episodic memory only in carriers of the e4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Study II investigated the predictive utility of olfactory ability for conversion to common forms of dementia in participants with intact baseline cognition during a follow-up time-span of 10 years. The results showed that lower odor identification scores, as well as subjectively assessed odor impairment, were associated with an increased risk for dementia conversion, and that the effects of objective and subjective odor function were cumulative. Study III investigated whether olfactory ability could predict mortality and showed that lower odor identification scores, as well as subjective odor impairments, were associated with an elevated risk of death within a follow-up time-span of approximately 10 years. Crucially, this effect could not be explained by dementia conversion prior to death. Study IV showed that a subjectively assessed long-term and ongoing olfactory decline was predictive of an objectively assessed long-term and ongoing decline in odor function. Subjective olfactory impairments might thus be indicative of an actual olfactory decline in older adults. Overall, the findings of this thesis indicate that sense of smell is closely related to processes of memory decline and dementia as well as mortality in older adults. Furthermore, the results of these investigations shed a new light on the role of subjectively experienced olfactory decline, which might reflect an actual intra-individual change in olfactory ability in older adults.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 09:30 Magnéli Hall, Arrhenius Laboratory, Stockholm
    Zhu, Chuantao
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Nanocellulose and Its Biohybrids for Water Purification: Atomic Force Microscopy as a Tool to Probe Surface Properties and Interactions2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Nanocellulose has been explored extensively in recent years as an adsorbent due to its promising performance in the removal of charged contaminants from water. In this thesis, various atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques are used to understand the surface characteristics and specific interactions of nanocellulose with water contaminants (heavy metal ions and dyes) and nanoscale entities (Graphene Oxide (GO) and Graphene Oxide nanocolloids (nanoGO)), and explain the mechanisms related to adsorption, metal ion clustering, self-assembly and mechanical reinforcement.

    AFM probes functionalised with microscale and nanoscale celluloses were used as colloidal probes to study specific surface interactions with heavy metal ions and dyes in the aqueous medium. This approach enabled quantitative measurements of the adhesion force between nanocellulose and the water pollutants under in situ conditions by direct or in-direct methods. Adhesion forces, including the piconewton range, were measured, and the forces depended on the surface groups present on the nanocellulose.

    AFM imaging in dry and/or wet conditions was successfully used to investigate the adsorption, self-assembly, morphology and mechanical properties of nanocellulose and its bio-hybrids. The self-assembly, the metal nanolayer and the nanoclusters on the surface of nanocellulose and its biohybrids after adsorption were confirmed and explained by advanced microscopy, spectroscopy and computational modelling.

    The adhesion and stiffness measurement of single nanocellulose fibers using in situ PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical (PF-QNM) characterization confirmed the adsorption of metal ions on the surface in the liquid medium. PF-QNM mapping of the freestanding biohybrid membranes also revealed the enhanced modulus of the biohybrid membrane compared with the TEMPO(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxylradical)-mediated oxidation nanofibers (TOCNF) membrane, which explained the hydrolytic stability and recyclability of these membranes.

    The established methodology, which combines advanced microscopy with spectroscopy and modelling techniques, can be extended to other biobased macromolecular systems to investigate the adsorption behaviour and/or surface interactions in bio nanotechnology.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 13:00 sal 14, hus 5, Kräftriket, Stockholm
    Marseglia, Stefano
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Computing abelian varieties over finite fields2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis we address the problem of developing effective algorithms to compute isomorphism classes of polarized abelian varieties over a finite field and of fractional ideals of an order in a finite product of number fields.

    There are well-known methods to efficiently compute the classes of invertible ideals of an order in a number field, but not much has previously been known about non-invertible ideals. In Paper I we produce algorithms to compute representatives of all ideal classes of an order in a finite product of number fields. We also extend a theorem of Latimer and MacDuffee about  conjugacy classes of integral matrices.

    There are equivalences established by Deligne and Centeleghe-Stix between the category of abelian varieties over a finite field and the category of finitely generated free abelian groups with an endomorphism satisfying some easy-to-state axioms, which in certain cases can be described in terms of fractional ideals of orders in finite products of number fields. In Paper II we use this method to produce an algorithm that computes the isomorphism classes of abelian varieties in an isogeny class determined by an ordinary square-free q-Weil polynomial or by a square-free p-Weil polynomial with no real roots (where p denotes a prime and q is a power of a prime). In the ordinary case we also produce an algorithm that computes the polarizations up to isomorphism and the automorphism groups of the polarized abelian varieties. If the polarization is principal, we can compute a period matrix of the canonical lift of the abelian variety.

    In Paper III we extend the description of the second paper to the case when the Weil polynomial is a power of a square-free polynomial which fulfills the same requirements as in Paper II.

    In Paper IV we use the results of the second and third papers to study questions related to base-field extension of the abelian varieties over finite fields.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 13:00 JMK-salen, Garnisonen, Stockholm
    Thor, Tindra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
    Painting the City: Performative Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Space and Art2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding everyday urban practices as performative, political, and potentially transformative, this dissertation aims to explore how graffiti- and street art use, subvert, and, via media, extend urban space in Stockholm. Drawing upon a performative ethnographic approach, the study focuses on both the practice of and the various forms of social commentary and critique generated by graffiti and street art in Stockholm. The findings illustrate the diversity of positionalities that abide in this cultural cluster, noting, in particular, the ambiguities, juxtaposition and tensions therein. Furthermore, the dissertation explores the cosmopolitan potentials of graffiti and street art as transnational movements, which create connections through shared imaginaries and senses of belonging. The analysis is based upon in-depth interviews, nine months of fieldwork, and numerous photographs, and addresses three research questions: (1) how is contemporary Stockholm graffiti- and street art culture articulated and performed by its makers and in what ways the culture collapse with other media than “writing”/painting?, (2) what characterizes the scope of social critique articulated as part of the performative repertoires of Stockholm graffiti and street art discourses? and, (3) what are the critical and aesthetic cosmopolitan potentials and/or deficits of graffiti- and street art culture and under which conditions do they materialize?

    Theoretically, the study draws on the concept of aesthetic cosmopolitanism in order to explore and analyze the acts and practices of “world-making” through aesthetic performances. By linking aesthetic cosmopolitanism with ancient Cynic philosophy, the concept of performative cosmopolitanism is introduced. Performative cosmopolitanism captures the varieties of outlooks and spaces that open up through critical, sensorial, and, in certain cases, even transformative, interventions in the city and their mediated extensions. Using mediatization as a paradigmatic approach, both an increase in digital dissemination and visibility and a decrease in actual performances and visibility are observed. In this respect, the mediatization of graffiti and street art remains a paradoxical process. Given the entanglement of different media with graffiti and street art performances, the study further introduces the concept of hyper-mediatization to articulate an interdependent relationship between the actual and virtual forms of these urban performances: they fundamentally affect and extend each other by both sustaining and expanding existing imaginaries and connections and generating emergent ones. 

    The dissertation paints the image of a contested, controversial and subversive urban culture and its contemporary mediatized extensions. It shows how graffiti and street art can be understood, both culturally and politically, as a critical, alternative and essentially anti-capitalist aesthetization of the urban. Utilizing the concept of regimes of cosmopolitanism, the author highlights the potentials and deficits of “comingtogetherness” through and during creative practice and the dual dynamics of hospitality and encapsulation. Particular emphasis is placed upon the tensions related to gender and the ways in which such tensions factor into the social relations within these artistic communities and the aesthetics they produce. 

  • Public defence: 2018-06-09 10:00 Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Stockholm
    Ohlsson, Hélène
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    ”Gudomlig, ingenting mindre än gudomlig!”: Skådespelerskan Ellen Hartmans iscensättningar på scen och i offentlighet2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the thesis is to examine the diva femininity, career strategies, and acting style of the Swedish actress Ellen Hartman (1860-1945). The aim is to highlight her importance to Swedish theater during the fin-de-siècle. The dissertation is a contribution to the history of actresses and explores her gender performance and diva codes and how they influenced her career strategies and acting style. The analysis is based on Tracy C. Davis’s feminist historiography, Mimi Schippers’s notion of pariah femininity, and Wayne Koestenbaum's concept of diva codes.

    Historical contextualisation, critical imaginativeness, and actors’ embodied knowledge are the methodologies used in the present thesis. The study emphasizes the close interplay of the gendered contexts and structures that framed Hartman’s career strategies, acting style and performance. The conclusion thereby underlines the idea that Hartman as a popular actress challenged the gender norms of her time and contributed to the empowerment of women in Sweden. As an actress, Hartman was a forerunner and thereby became a pioneer of Swedish modern acting.

  • Hansén, Nora
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    The Human Right to Water and its Status in International Law2018Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Public defence: 2018-06-08 10:00 William Olsson-salen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Blomqvist, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Samtal om skrivbedömning: Lärares normer, beslut och samstämmighet2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis reports and discusses results from a qualitative study of Swedish teachers' writing assessment in upper secondary school. Based on teacher group discussions, the study investigates teachers' interactions, expressions of norms and decisions when assessing and grading students' writing in the subject of Swedish.

    The aim of the study is to describe and analyze how teachers interact and what they pay attention to when discussing writing assessment. In relation to this aim the following three research questions were posed: (1) What characterizes the teachers' conversations about writing assessment? (2) What assessment norms do the teachers express? (3) What decisions do they make?

    The theoretical perspectives are dialogical and pedagogical. From a dialogical point of view, the assessment conversations are considered as social acts where teachers in interaction collectively create meaning. Furthermore, the assessment conversations are considered as pedagogical, as a part of teachers' reflective work to discuss how to assess students' work and how to make decisions about further instructions and grading. The methods used to describe and analyze interactional patterns, expressions of norms and decisions in these assessment conversations are topic analysis and initiative-response-analysis.

    The empirical data consists of audio and video recordings from three teacher groups' conversations about writing assessment, comprising a total of 17 Swedish teachers from three upper secondary schools. Data was also collected via a questionnaire with the individual teacher's grading of the students' writing and evaluation of the assessment conversations.

    The results show that teachers' assessments of students' writing focus on much more, and partly other, criteria than their pedagogical decisions. The quality standards that teachers express in the discussions about student texts focus mostly on communicative quality, language style and text structure but also on content and the use of sources. The pedagogical decisions, on the other hand, almost exclusively focus on text structure and the use of sources.

    The results also show that shortcomings in the students' texts are crucial for teachers' summative assessments. Meanwhile, the teachers also express that students' age, their writing development in the course and the national test must be considered. These assessment norms can be compensatory and have a substantial impact on these teachers' decisions on summative assessments. The teacher groups show considerable variation in the basis for their decisions regarding summative assessment of students' writing.

    Finally, the teachers demonstrate a high degree of consistency within each teacher group when discussing summative assessment of students' writing. However, the assessments that individual teachers make after the discussions comply only to some extent with the group's decisions. The least degree of consistency was shown by the teacher group who, in the discussion, seemed the most consistent. Decision-making processes in these discussions are characterized by low intensity, where few assessment alternatives are being considered. The overall assessment consistency between the teacher groups was found to be low.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-07 13:00 Gröjersalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Stockholm
    Servadio, Luigi
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Customer Rituals: Ethnographic explorations of wine rituals with families and friends2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Marketers are increasingly adopting rituals as a powerful technique to spur product engagement and enhance customer value creation. From a customer perspective, rituals and value creation may entail broader purposes and meanings that go beyond the company’s intentions. Service research has extensively studied everyday value creation as emerging in the interaction between companies and customers. Increasingly, service scholars are nuancing understanding toward a more focussed perspective of value creation, which primarily is dominated by customers. By expanding on this bourgeoning literature, the present thesis provides an alternative view suggesting that customer value creation in certain instances can be better understood through the lens of rituals. Rituals are customer-centric processes of value creation orchestrated by customers within their realm, with little or no control from companies. Rituals are sacred moments in customers’ lives separated from the everyday, in which value creation appears to be not only a mundane action, but broadly these actions are loaded with extraordinary experiences. Rituals are cocreated by broader customer ecosystems, including not only customers and their contexts, but also other subjects and contexts, collectively determining value. The purpose of this thesis is to provide a framework to explore the relationship between rituals and value creation from a customer’s point of view by taking a customer-dominant stance on service as a starting point and leveraging insights from a theoretical ritual construct to provide a fuller understanding of how customers create and determine value. 

    The field of wine is chosen as a fertile empirical context in which to research rituals due to its rich ritualistic connotations. The research adopts ethnography as method of investigation and exploits reflexivity as a strategic asset to elicit and interpret data. Data was collected during a period of 2 years in two sites (Sweden and Italy) to moderate research biases and to broaden the empirical setting. Various techniques, including participant observation and interviews, were chosen in order to obtain detailed descriptions of how families and friends ritualized their value creation through drinking wine. 

    The thesis provides a customer rituals framework, its main contribution. In adopting this framework, the study illustrates in two ethnographic episodes how wines (i.e. distribution mechanism of service provision) become embedded in customers’ lives through rituals. Particularly, value creation in rituals emerges as an ongoing, multilayered process (script-based) exerted by customers meant to feed their needing for rituals. Furthermore, ritualizing customers gather in communitas,that is an extended, temporary customer ecosystem, wherein value is intersubjectively and dynamically determined by multiple subjects and contexts. Service providers may benefit from this study by using the framework to better facilitate customer value creation in rituals and to gain interesting insights on product and service innovation.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-07 13:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Liu, Yingxin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK). Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Sweden.
    Nanocellulose-based materials: from colloidal assembly to functional films2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The assembly of nature-based nanomaterials into complex architectures is both a design principle of biological composites, e.g., wood and nacre with outstanding properties and a promising route for developing functional macroscopic materials. This thesis aims to investigate and understand the colloidal and self-assembly behaviour of nanocellulose in aqueous dispersions. Moreover, composite films of nanocellulose and nanoclay/lignin with diverse functionalities, e.g., mechanical and optical properties, are fabricated by tailoring the electrostatic interactions of these building blocks.

    The evaporation induced assembly of sulfonated cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) has been followed in either an aqueous droplet on substrates or a levitated droplet by real-time small angle X-ray scattering. The evolution of structural features, e.g., an isotropic phase, biphasic phase, fully liquid crystalline and contracted helical structures of drying CNC dispersions were related to the power-law scaling of the particle separation distance (d) with concentrations (c, from 1 vol% to 38 vol%). Below 2 vol%, CNC dispersions consolidated isotropically with a scaling of d c-1/3, while the fully cholesteric liquid crystalline phase showed a unidimensional contraction of the nematic structure (d c-1) with increasing concentrations. Competition between gelation and the ordered assembly of CNC was quantitatively evaluated in nanoscale for the first time, which was reflected by a scaling of d c-2/3.

    The rheology of composite dispersions of carboxylated cellulose nanofibril (CNF) and nanoclay was investigated, which was influenced by the surface charge of CNF, the morphology of nanoclays and interactions between CNF and clay particles. Optically transparent films of synthetic aminoclay (50 wt%) and CNF were fabricated, of which tensile strength and strain to failure (205 MPa and 7.5%) were significantly higher than those of nacre and other nacre-mimicking nanocellulose-based materials, e.g., montmorillonite-CNF films, due to the formation of ionic bonding between the cationic clay and anionic CNF.

    Lignin nanoparticles were testified to enhance the colloidal stability and dispersity of carboxylated CNF in dispersions, and showed a remarkable strengthening and stiffening effect on the matrix of CNF. The mechanical properties of lignin-CNF films were superior to previously reported polymer/nanoparticle-CNF composites, such as polyvinyl alcohol-CNF films and even reduced graphene oxide-CNF films.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-07 13:00 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Tang, Xiongzhuo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Isoform-specific regulation of Drosophila gut immunity and regeneration by the POU/Oct transcription factor Nub/Pdm12018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Innate immune reactions protect organisms against a variety of infections.  In metazoans, these reactions involve both cellular and humoral responses. The immune responses have to be well-tuned, as excessive immune activation is associated with tissue-specific pathologies. However, the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms underlying how immune responses are balanced are still not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the Drosophila POU/Oct transcription factor Nubbin (Nub) in regulating Drosophila innate immunity, with a special focus on intestinal immune and epithelium homeostasis.

    In Paper I, we show that the nub gene encodes two independent transcription factor isoforms, Nub-PB and Nub-PD. The short isoform, Nub-PD, acts as a repressor of NF-κB/Relish-dependent antimicrobial peptide (AMP) gene expression in healthy flies. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Nub-PD directly binds to Oct sequence motifs located in the distal promoter region of several AMP genes, thereby inhibiting gene transcription. In addition, loss of Nub-PD diminishes the number of cultivatable gut bacteria, possibly due to high expression levels of AMP genes. In Paper II, we show that the large isoform, Nub-PB, in a sharp contrast to Nub-PD, activates AMP gene expression, both independently of and together with Relish. Importantly, Nub-PB and Nub-PD regulated the same target AMP gene expression antagonistically. In addition, Nub-PB expression in gut enterocytes (ECs) negatively correlated with gut microbial loads and host lifespan. Finally, we found that enforced Nub-PB expression in ECs promotes a pro-inflammatory signature and stimulated epithelium renewal. In Paper III, we show that Nub-PB and Nub-PD are not only expressed in differentiated gut ECs, but also present in midgut progenitor cells. Depletion of Nub-PB in gut progenitor cells results in hyperproliferation of intestinal stem cells (ISCs), via direct or indirect de-repression of Escargot expression. Furthermore, enforced Nub-PB expression in ISCs and enteroblasts (EBs) inhibited Notch RNAi-induced tumor formation. In addition, Nub-PD was necessary for both basal and infection-induced ISC proliferation. Strikingly, Nub-PB and Nub-PD regulated ISC proliferation in antagonistic manners. In Paper IV, we created a Nub-PB-specific mutant and found that this mutant impairs normal gut development, giving rise to short and wide anterior midguts. Furthermore, loss of Nub-PB promoted rapid ISC proliferation, increased EC delamination, and increased numbers of enteroendocrine cells in the anterior midgut.

    Taken together, we have characterized a novel isoform-specific regulatory mechanism, involved in maintaining Drosophila intestinal immune homeostasis and epithelial regeneration. 

  • Gerholm, Tove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    Pagmar, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The MINT-project: Modeling infant language acquisition from parent-child interction2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • Granvik Saminathen, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Brolin Låftman, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Almquist, Ylva B.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Modin, Bitte
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Effective schools, school segregation, and the link with school achievement2018In: School Effectiveness and School Improvement, ISSN 0924-3453, E-ISSN 1744-5124Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines whether 3 teacher-rated aspects of school effectiveness differ across school segregation profiles in Stockholm, and to what extent these indicators are associated with the academic achievement of 9th-grade students. Analyses were based on 2 cross-sectional data collections performed in 2014 and 2016, respectively (147 school units), one among teachers (= 2,024) and the other among 9th-grade students (= 9,151). Multilevel analysis was applied, estimating 2-level random intercept linear regression models. Results show that teachers’ ratings of school leadership, teacher cooperation, and school ethos, as well as student-reported marks differ across school segregation profiles. Findings further reveal significant associations between these school effectiveness indicators and student performance, even when taking student family background and the school’s student body composition into consideration. In part, these associations are also identified within segregation profiles. Moreover, results show that school ethos acts as a mediator between school segregation profile and student achievement.

  • Svendsen, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Reklambranschen liksom alla andra behöver ta ansvar för sitt agerande2015In: Resumé, ISSN 0036-1887, no 27 novemberArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • Svendsen, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Bekämpa dålig reklam – inte adblockers2016In: Resumé, ISSN 0036-1887, no 15 marsArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • Svendsen, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Östberg, Jacob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Cambridge Analytica-skandalen en chans för branschen att tänka om2018In: Resumé, ISSN 0036-1887, no 7 majArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • Svendsen, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Reklamkritikerna bör rannsaka sitt samvete2018In: Resumé, ISSN 0036-1887, no 11 majArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • Asgharian, Hossein
    et al.
    Liu, Lu
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Finance. Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies, Sweden.
    Larsson, Marcus
    Cross-border asset holdings and comovements in sovereign bond markets2018In: Journal of International Money and Finance, ISSN 0261-5606, E-ISSN 1873-0639, Vol. 86, p. 189-206Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We analyze the importance of different asset holdings for the interdependence of the yield curves in the Euro area using a spatial VAR model. We find that the cross-border holdings of long-term debt and bank lending are important for the interdependence. We also find that comovement in the Euro area declines after 2008. We show that this decline is not related to the difference among countries in reacting to shocks from the US during the financial crisis. Rather, it largely reflects the segmentation between GIIPS and non-GIIPS countries. Our analysis of dispersion in sovereign-CDS-spread term structure shows that the differential in sovereign creditworthiness in the Euro area is a main driver of the yield-curve divergence after 2008.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-05 09:30 Vivi Täckholmssalen (Q-salen), Stockholm
    Alonso Aller, Elisa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Effects of Marine Protected Areas on Tropical Seagrass Ecosystems2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrass beds are highly productive coastal ecosystems that sustain a rich and diverse associated fauna and flora. Increasing anthropogenic pressures threaten seagrass ecosystems and have already led to major seagrass losses across the world. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have become one of the key strategies to manage coastal ecosystems and associated resources worldwide and have been often shown to successfully protect marine ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have assessed the effects of MPAs on seagrass ecosystems, and there are indications that MPAs may not be able to fully protect seagrasses, especially from disturbances originating outside their boundaries. Within this context, this thesis aimed to investigate the direct and indirect effects (those mediated by biotic interactions) of MPAs on tropical seagrasses, associated fish communities, and ecosystem processes.

    The thesis consists of three parts. First, we used 10-years of seagrass monitoring data within a MPA to evaluate the temporal variability in seagrass cover and species composition in relation to changes in environmental conditions (Paper I). Second, we investigated the potential of MPAs to enhance the temporal stability of seagrass ecosystems using a 10-month field study. We surveyed seagrass-associated fish communities (Paper II) and estimated seagrass growth and herbivory rates (Paper III) during three different seasons within MPAs and unprotected sites. Finally, to evaluate the effects of MPAs and land-use on seagrass ecosystems we surveyed seagrass species and trait composition within government-managed MPAs, community-managed MPAs, and unprotected sites (Paper IV).

    The seagrass bed monitored in Paper I showed a high temporal and spatial variability, with a temporal decline in cover and change in species composition, followed by a period of recovery. This pattern could not be associated with any of the climate and tidal variables considered, suggesting that potential drivers of decline may have originated outside MPA boundaries. The results from the seasonal field study showed that MPAs increased the temporal stability of seagrass-associated fish communities, particularly juvenile fish (Paper II), and strengthened a positive link between herbivorous fish, herbivory rates, and seagrass growth (Paper III), suggesting the presence of a positive feedback that promotes stability. Finally, MPAs affected seagrass species and trait composition (by selecting for more stress-sensitive species) but did not seem to be able to protect seagrasses from land-use effects, with seagrasses showing similar changes in species and trait composition within and outside MPAs (Paper IV). Considering these results, this thesis builds to a body of literature indicating that MPAs alone may not be sufficient to protect seagrass ecosystems and that improved management strategies may be necessary to preserve these important coastal habitats.

  • Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Conventions for annotation and transcription of the MINT-project: Modulating child language acquisition through parent-child interaction, MAW:2011.0072018Report (Other academic)
  • Sjöstrand, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    En arbetarförfattare som gav fan i allt: En analys av Sture Dahlströms ambivalenta förhållande till den svenska arbetarlitteraturen2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Den här uppsatsen undersöker Sture Dahlströms ambivalenta förhållande till den svenska arbetarlitteraturen. Den kvalitativa analysen är inspirerad av den franska kultursociologen Pierre Bourdieu och syftar till att synliggöra de valmöjligheter, orienteringspunkter och handlingsalternativ som låg till grund för Sture Dahlströms omstörtningsstrategier och motstridiga ställningstaganden för att positionera sig i riktning mot det arbetarlitterära delfältet givet hans bakgrund, erfarenheter, referensramar och medhavda kapitaltillgångar samt vilka konsekvenser det fick för litteraturkritikernas framställning av hans litterära profil. Materialet utgår huvudsakligen från Sture Dahlströms egen föreställningsvärld, framför allt gestaltat genom hans romaner, men även från ett antal intervjuer, biografier och artiklar under 1980-, 1990- och 2000-talet. 

    Uppsatsen visar att Sture Dahlströms biografiska erfarenheter och sociala bakgrund genererade en naiv övertygelse om den svenska arbetarlitteraturens förändringspotential samtidigt som han var oförmögen att investera i de drivkrafter som grundlägger det arbetarlitterära delfältets spelregler. Hans radikala omstörtningsstrategier och motstridiga ställningstaganden resulterade snarare i att han motarbetades av de kritiker som redan innehade en dominerande position i det litterära fältet. Uppsatsen visar därtill att Dahlströms perifera avantgardeposition var en förutsättning för utvecklingen av hans erhållna kultstatus.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-04 13:00 L50, NOD-huset, Kista
    Aasi, Parisa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Information Technology Governance: The Role of Organizational Culture and Structure2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Information Technology Governance (ITG) is among the most important challenges for the managers today. IT is not anymore just a supportive tool but also a strategic driver for the businesses. In the dynamic and competitive world of today, it is crucial for organizations to know how to govern IT rather than just to use it. IT governance deals with specifying responsibilities and decision rights to encourage the desirable behaviour from IT and generate value from IT investments. IT governance can impact the overall performance of organizations, however there are still difficulties in understanding IT governance and the factors that may influence it.

    Organizational culture and structure are among the factors that have significant influence on many issues in an organization. According to previous research, organizational culture and structure need to be considered when implementing IT governance. However, there is a lack of research focusing on how organizational culture and structure can influence IT governance performance and implementation. Thus, the main research question addressed in this thesis is: How are organizational culture and structure related to IT governance? To address this question, this research has performed literature reviews and conducted case studies to investigate the role of organizational culture and structure on IT governance. As the first step, the previous literature was reviewed to find the gaps in the research on culture and IT governance. As the next step, four case studies were conducted to explore the influence of organizational culture and structure on IT governance. Two case studies have investigated the relation between organizational structure and IT governance implementation and performance in large organizations; and two other case studies investigated on how different types of organizational culture influence IT governance performance outcomes.

    The results of this research respond to the research question by specifying the role of culture in IT governance through a categorization of prior research both from research and practice perspectives; specifying the influence of different organizational culture types on IT governance performance outcomes in different organizations; and by specifying IT organizational structure relationship with IT governance performance outcomes and IT governance implementation.

    The research presented in this thesis provides both theoretical and empirical contributions to the IT governance research and practice.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-01 10:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Cerrato, Carmine Pasquale
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Mitochondrial Targeting2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Mitochondria have simply been known as the cell’s powerhouse for a long time, with its vital function of producing ATP. However, substantially more attention was directed towards these organelles once they were recognized to perform several essential functions having an impact in cell biology, pharmaceutics and medicine. Dysfunctions of these organelles have been linked to several diseases such as diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Mitochondrial medicine emerged once the relationship of reactive oxygen species and mutations of the mitochondrial DNA linked to diseases was shown, referred to as mitochondrial dysfunction. This has led to the need to deliver therapeutic molecules in their active form not only to the target cells but more importantly into the targeted organelles.

    In this thesis, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) used as mitochondrial drug delivery system and the pathways involved in the uptake mechanisms of a CPP are described. In particular, Paper I describes a novel cell-penetrating peptide targeting mitochondria with intrinsic antioxidant properties. Paper II expands upon this first finding and show that the same peptide can carry a glutathione analogue peptide with improved radical scavenging ability into cytoplasm and mitochondria. Paper III introduces mitochondrial targeting peptides for delivery of therapeutic biomolecules to modify mitochondrial gene expression. In Paper IV, the uptake mechanisms of the CPP delivery strategy has been investigated to gain a better understanding of the used transfection system.

    Overall, this thesis summarizes our current effort regarding cell-penetrating peptides delivery system to target mitochondria and the progress made towards a potential gene therapy. It contributes to the field of CPPs and drug delivery with a set of peptides with radical scavenging ability, a strategy to deliver oligonucleotides to mitochondria as proof-of-concept for mitochondrial gene therapy, and to help understanding the pathways involved in CPPs uptake.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-01 13:00 Hörsal 9, hus D, Stockholm
    Mohedano Roldán, Alba
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Equality and Participation: Distribution of Outcomes in Participatory Processes for Managing Natural Resources2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Social justice has become an intrinsic feature of sustainable development. One of the ways in which it is expected we will reach more just and sustainable societies is through stakeholder participation in natural resource management. However, entrenched inequalities among participants have generated scepticism about the potential of participation to improve social justice and, until now, the literature has not provided sufficient evidence to disentangle such contradictory views. Approaching social justice from the viewpoint of equality, this dissertation contributes to the debate by studying how the socio-political structure in which participation is embedded affects how far participation outcomes respect equality. The political regime, the distribution of power at the local level, and the characteristics of the participatory process are conceived as embodiments of such socio-political structure. The impact of these three structural factors on outcome equality is studied in biosphere reserves, areas designated by UNESCO as sites for experimenting with sustainable development strategies through stakeholder participation. Survey panel data from biosphere reserve managers and interview data with stakeholders are used in large-n, medium-n, and small-n analyses to explore to what extent, and under which circumstances, participation can lead to equal outcomes. The results suggest that, although in nondemocratic states participation has more difficulty promoting equal outcomes than in democratic states, and that although participation leads to generally unequal outcomes in unequal contexts, some participation outcomes can approach an egalitarian ideal even in these unexpected settings. The results suggest as well that inclusiveness and moderate empowerment of participants can contribute to equal outcomes. In short, participation has the potential to contribute to equality, but such potential varies across outcomes, contexts, and processes.

  • Public defence: 2018-06-01 10:00 Hörsal 11, Hus F, Stockholm
    Shahbazian, Roujman
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Sibling Configuration and Adulthood Outcomes: The Case of Two-Child Families2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis includes three empirical studies, analyzing how sibling configuration (i.e. birth order, birth spacing and sex-composition) influences siblings’ long-run income and educational choice. This is done by utilizing the unique linkage opportunities of administrative registers covering the entire population of Sweden.

    Study I: This paper focuses on how different birth spacing intervals are associated with income rank from ages 33 to 42 years, for siblings in two-child families. The results show clear differences between first- and second-born siblings. At the more common spacing intervals (less than 5 years), spacing has a negligible association to second-born children’s long-term income rank. However, first-born children have lower income rank when a younger sibling is born when they are very young. Having relatively high spacing intervals (over 5 years) is associated with somewhat lower long-term income-rank than having mid-length intervals for both first- and second-born siblings.

    Study II: This study focuses on the association between combinations of sibling configuration (i.e. birth order, birth spacing and sex composition) and long-run income rank of siblings. The results show that the significance of different family factors in two-child families vary by sibling sex-composition. The findings suggest that both birth order and birth spacing are important factors for first born boys independent of the younger sibling’s sex. First-born girls, however, only have an advantage if they have a younger sister. More surprisingly is that this advantage does not seem to vary by birth spacing.

    Study III: This study examines how sibling gender configuration in Swedish two-child families influences the choice of so-called STEM educational fields (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The results show that younger siblings, net of parental characteristics, are more likely to choose a STEM field if their older sibling already has attended a STEM program. The findings indicate that boys’ choice of STEM fields is independent of having an older brother or sister who has attended a STEM program. However, girls seem to be more likely to choose a STEM-field if they have a sister who has attended a STEM program, than if they have a brother with a similar program. Given that STEM-fields are markedly male dominated, this indicate the importance of having a same-sex role model for making gender atypical educational choices.