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  • Public defence: 2024-04-26 13:00 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Khaef, Samaneh
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Migration Trajectories and Education: Measurement, Spatial Patterns and Integration Pathways of Adult Migrants2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Following the substantial influx of migrants to Sweden in recent decades, the socioeconomic integration processes of migrants have become a key focus for scholars and policymakers. In this thesis, I acknowledge the multifaceted role of education for both individuals and society, and aim to describe, explain, and examine the determinants and geographical manifestation of educational attainment and educational enrollment trajectories of adult migrants in Sweden, employing quantitative analyses and longitudinal register data. This thesis consists of an overarching introduction and three scientific articles, building upon empirical studies and a wide-ranging body of theories and conceptual frameworks, including human capital and neoclassical theories, the aspirations-capabilities framework, and the concept of lifelong learning, reflecting different conventions and assumptions relevant to this thesis.

    Paper I examines the sources of educational information for migrants upon arrival and the time to registration of migrants’ education over a ten-year follow-up period. The paper shows that the Swedish Employment Service and a survey of foreign-born individuals are the primary sources providing self-reported information about migrants’ education upon arrival. Using event history analysis, I show that registration of migrants' education improves with longer residency in Sweden, particularly two years after arrival, with variations among migrant groups. The majority of refugees and family migrants have their education registered after two years, while for Nordic migrants, length of residency has little impact on registration of their education.

    Paper II, drawing upon neoclassical migration theories and the aspirations-capabilities framework, characterizes migrants’ initial settlement patterns across the urban hierarchy, considering their educational attainment, alongside region of origin, migration purpose, and stage in the life course. The findings reveal that education strongly influences the spatial settlement patterns of migrants, with higher- and medium-educated migrants being more likely to reside in metropolitan areas. The results also show that rural settlement is particularly common among Nordic and African migrants, resettled refugees, older migrants, and families with young children.

    Paper III uses sequence analysis to examine the educational enrollment trajectories of refugees. Five typical pathways are identified: exclusion, short language courses and early career, mixed career, long participation in municipal adult education and late career, and emigration. The results show that refugees from vulnerable backgrounds, including women, older, lower educated refugees, and those originating from less developed countries, often face marginalization and exclusion in Sweden, while those from less vulnerable backgrounds are more likely to follow an early career path.

    The thesis increases awareness of the advantages and disadvantages associated with using register data on migrants' education. It also demonstrates that migrants' educational attainment is a strong determinant affecting their initial spatial sorting patterns. Furthermore, it shows that refugees follow different educational enrollment pathways with varying labor market outcomes depending on their pre-migration educational level, gender, age, place of living in Sweden, presence of children in the family, use of parental leave, as well as structural factors.

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  • Public defence: 2024-04-26 13:00 Auditoriet, Manne Siegbahnhusen, Stockholm
    Barrdunge, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    Upplysningens ljus i Norrland: Om fyra aktörer vid Härnösands gymnasium under 1700-talet2024Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the occurrence of Enlightenment ideas in the central Northern part of Sweden during the 18th century, focussing on a carefully chosen set of characters: one bishop and three senior lecturers at the gymnasium of Härnösand, in the province of Ångermanland. This dissertation uses a perspective of circulation of knowledge, inspired by the research field of history of knowledge. 

    The methodological approach in this study is to use a complex thematic definition with eight different components of Enlightenment in the analysis of relevant texts and writings by selected characters, supplemented with a contextual perspective.

    A center for the ecclesiastical culture of learning in Norrland was Härnösand, and the gymnasium was Norrland´s only higher education institution, north of Gävle, for 200 years between 1650 and 1850. During the 18th century, three senior lecturers were employed there, each working for the dissemination of Enlightenment ideas, through both writing and practical action: Magnus Stridsberg (1696–1772), Nils Gissler (1715–1771) and Pehr Hellzén (1744–1811). At the same time as these, the diocese was governed by Bishop Olof Kiörning (1704–1778), who was also the Supervisor of the gymnasium. He was influenced by Enlightenment ideas and showed a strong interest in advanced agriculture and contributed to the church taking greater part in the social and economic development. The first lecturer, Magnus Stridsberg, created new methods in agriculture concerning soil mixing, manure production and grain nurseries, but has mainly been remembered for his threshing machine which came into general use in central Norrland during the second half of the 18th century. The next lecturer, Nils Gissler, was Norrland´s first provincial physician and introduced a scientific approach to practical medicine in the region. With the dissemination of knowledge and a great deal of personal commitment, he showed interest in mental illness and treated his patients in his own home. He laid the foundation for an infrastructure for public health care in the province. He was a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences and wrote many scientific papers, and in modern times has received international scientific recognition for the discovery of the inverted barometer effect. The third lecturer, Pehr Hellzén, was a pre-industrial contractor in the sawmill and shipbuilding industry in central Norrland and founded the shipyard and shipping company Wifstavarf in 1798. Hellzén gave an important inaugural speech when the new gymnasium was built: Om uplysningens verkan på människors och samhällens sällhet (On the effect of Enlightenment on the happiness of people and societies), printed in Swedish 1794. He gave Härnösand a special role within the Enlightenment, described as a driving force behind the development of science, education and economic in the region.

    The Enlightenment that developed in Härnösand can be summarized as a Christian ‘utilism’ with clear Enlightenment traits such as reason, experience-based science, the dissemination of knowledge, humanity, social reforms, religious tolerance & religion of reason, and utility & virtue. It rested on an evangelical Lutheran foundation, it regarded the meaning of ‘utilism’ in a broader sense than just financial gain, and included central Enlightenment ideas. 

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  • Public defence: 2024-04-29 10:00 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Kättström, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science.
    Inconsistencies and missing links in EU chemicals legislation2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The EU chemicals legislation consists of the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the Regulation on Classification, Labelling, and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP), complemented by over fifty regulations and directives regulating specific uses and products. While regulating individual uses may offer a faster and simpler approach to protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals, it can also lead to inconsistencies, such as gaps and overlaps. These inconsistencies may arise for chemicals with multiple uses, each governed by separate legislation.

    The overall objective of this work was to understand the links between different pieces of EU chemicals legislation, to identify inconsistencies in the regulation of chemicals covered by multiple regulations and, in particular, to explore the implications of these inconsistencies for the protection of human health and the environment. First, we compared how antimicrobial substances are regulated when used in biocidal products compared to cosmetics (Paper I). The risk assessment of cosmetic preservatives focused solely on human health, omitting environmental data and environmental risk assessment. Once granted, the approval of cosmetic preservatives remained valid indefinitely until revoked by the European Commission, with no requirement to update the dossier based on new information. Based on these findings, we examined whether the approved cosmetic preservatives were hazardous to the aquatic environment or persistent, and if so, whether the risks were efficiently managed by REACH (Paper II). The analysis showed that environmental hazards of cosmetic preservatives and other ingredients are overlooked by the Cosmetic Products Regulation and might not be effectively managed by REACH. Next, the linkage between the CLP and other pieces of chemicals legislation was examined, mapping out regulatory obligations, arising from the new CLP hazard classes for endocrine disruption for human health (ED HH), endocrine disruption for the environment (ED ENV), PBT/vPvB, and PMT/vPvM (Papers III and IV). Meeting criteria for human health hazards under the CLP triggered more regulatory obligations across multiple regulations, compared to when fulfilling the criteria for physical or environmental hazards. Implementation of the new CLP hazard classes will require revision of regulations with existing risk management measures connected to the CLP hazard criteria.

    The results and conclusions of the studies included in this thesis highlight the need for addressing the existing inconsistencies in order to strengthen the protection of human health and the environment. The provided recommendations address the need for harmonisation of the chemicals legislation and more efficient management of hazardous chemicals.

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    Inconsistencies and missing links in EU chemicals legislation
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  • Public defence: 2024-04-30 13:00 sal FB54, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Stockholm
    Setzer, Christian N.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
    Modelling and Detecting Kilonovae in the Rubin Observatory Era2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Survey astronomy is a powerful tool for discoveries in astrophysics and cosmology. In the coming years, this field will be revolutionised with the start of the ten-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), to be conducted at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. This survey, with its unique capabilities in temporal sampling, single-image depth and covered sky-area, will explore a new discovery space for astrophysical transients in the Universe. The 2017 discovery of an electromagnetic and gravitational-wave transient presents a unique opportunity to influence the design of the LSST observing strategy for the detection of binary neutron star (BNS) mergers. This will be scientifically beneficial, not only for studies of the astrophysics of these sources, but also for developing new cosmological probes. Given the sensitivity of the Rubin Observatory, it is expected that this instrument will detect these binary neutron star mergers to greater distances than detectable by current and near-term gravitational wave detectors. This presents further opportunities to study the characteristics of the BNS population that will be selected into these surveys. If we understand the underlying BNS merger population and associated electromagnetic emission, it may also be possible to recover the previously undetected counterpart gravitational wave signals.

    In this thesis I discuss kilonovae (kNe) from BNS mergers with a focus on detection of kNe in the LSST survey. I will discuss the physics and modelling of kNe, including my work incorporating a viewing-angle dependence in the optical light curve modelling of BNS kNe. After setting the context for the Rubin Observatory and the LSST, I will describe work on optimising the observing strategy of the LSST to detect kNe from BNS mergers and the observing strategy features that impact detection. This work also indicates that a portion of the BNS mergers associated with kN detections in the LSST will be below the threshold for detection of their gravitational wave emission. Furthermore, I will discuss modelling a population of kNe from BNS mergers that is consistent with each merger’s associated gravitational-wave signal. This modelling includes a dependence of the kN on nuclear physics calibrated with detailed emulation of radiation-transport simulations. I conclude by summarising the scientific impact of this research and discussing future directions, such as: studying the BNS multi-messenger observational selection function for the LSST and concurrent gravitational wave detectors, detection of subthreshold signals, and the problem of classifying kN light curves.

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  • Public defence: 2024-04-30 13:00 Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Kista
    Sadique, Kazi Masum
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Securing IoT Using Decentralized Trust Privacy and Identity Management2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a multidisciplinary area where technology meets people, enriching their quality of life with an improved working environment and efficient productivity. As the number of IoT devices increases, many new technology areas are being integrated with the IoT. IoT devices mainly connect and collaborate with central cloud servers for data management. The IoT paradigm is built upon the Internet and accesses different layers of Internet architectures. IoT devices are at the access layer of the Internet, and cloud servers are located at the top layer. The innovative use cases of IoT applications drive the requirement for quick decision-making that occurs as close to the source of information as possible. IoT devices need to be authenticated near the source for rapid request processing. Trustworthy interaction and secure communication between different entities of an IoT paradigm are crucial. A centralized cloud-based implementation of IoT solutions can be problematic for ensuring trustworthy and authenticated interactions in which quicker decision-making is involved. Additionally, privacy leakage possibilities increase with cloud-based solutions, as they involve multiparty interactions, introducing more complexity into ensuring data privacy. Due to IoT application and service heterogeneity, traditional security models are unsuitable for the IoT. There is no generic model for IoT data security and user data privacy that can facilitate trustworthy collaboration and identity management near the source.

    The thesis focuses on creating a generic state-of-the-art artefact for IoT security, utilizing decentralized trust, user data privacy, and localized identity management for heterogeneous IoT devices and services. The main contributions of this thesis include a novel decentralized model for secure and reliable interaction between components of the IoT paradigm, complemented by a decentralized trust management model, an edge gateway-based privacy enhancement scheme, and a decentralized identity management model with new authentication and authorization mechanisms for IoT devices where access to new resources is granted locally, and activities are recorded with context information. The proposed models are generic and can be easily adapted to real-life IoT use cases with minor amendments.

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  • Public defence: 2024-05-02 13:00 Vivi Täckholmssalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Larm, Malin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Relationship between wildlife and tourism - interdisciplinary insights from Arctic fox tourism in Sweden2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Interactions between wildlife and tourism can be studied from several different perspectives and the effects of such interactions can influence animals both positively and negatively with effects on both individual and population levels. This thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining both natural and social perspectives, when studying the effects of tourism activity on a small population of the endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). We have studied arctic foxes inhabiting disturbed and undisturbed den sites in Helagsfjällen, which is the southernmost population of arctic foxes in Sweden and a popular area for recreational activities such as hiking, skiing and camping. The overall objective of the thesis has been to contribute to good management of both arctic foxes and tourism within the study area, as well as to contribute with a comprehensive study of simultaneous disturbance effects and fitness consequences of wildlife tourism activities to the scientific field of wildlife-tourism interactions. The first two papers focus on different aspects of behavioral responses of arctic foxes towards human activity, the third paper evaluates potential fitness consequences and the fourth paper focus on the tourist aspect of the interaction. Behavioral changes in response to tourism disturbance that have been identified in the foxes include changes in vigilance and probability of hiding (Paper I), temporal activity shift at the den site (Paper II) and increased tolerance to human activity (Paper I, Paper II). Juvenile summer survival was higher at disturbed dens compared with undisturbed dens during years of declining small rodent densities (Paper III). Small rodent decline years is when the predation on arctic foxes is presumed to be highest and we suggest that the positive fitness effect could be mediated by a human-induced predator refuge for the foxes in close proximity of human activity. On the tourist aspect, we have identified effects on behavior, knowledge and awareness of the situation for arctic foxes and related conservation work (Paper IV). Overall, results in this thesis showed a high level of context-dependency, which highlights the importance of considering factors such as food availability, intra-species interactions and individual traits such as previous experience with humans. Consequently, the work in this thesis together with ongoing studies of hormonal stress responses constitutes one of the more comprehensive scientific studies of tourism effects on terrestrial mammals. The output from this thesis brings important deliverables for species-specific management and conservation, but also for other species given the rapidly growing interest for wildlife tourism.

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    Relationship between wildlife and tourism - interdisciplinary insights from Arctic fox tourism in Sweden
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  • Public defence: 2024-05-03 09:00 William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Hällberg, Lars Petter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
    Paleoclimate and seasonality on Sumatra during the Late Glacial and Holocene: Insights from biomarkers and climate model simulations2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Deep atmospheric convection in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) is a key driver of the Hadley and Walker Circulations that modulate the Asian-Australian monsoons and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Temperature and rainfall seasonality, i.e., the amount and timing of precipitation, impacts ecosystems, carbon content in soils and peats, and human livelihoods. Yet, past climate variability in the IPWP is poorly constrained. The Maritime Continent, located in the center of the IPWP remains a “quantification desert”, with a scarcity of terrestrial paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

    This thesis investigates the evolution of temperature, precipitation amount and seasonality over the Late Glacial (14.7-11.7 ka BP) and the Holocene (last 11.7 ka). This is achieved by combining climate model simulations and lipid biomarker analyses of terrestrial peat archives from Sumatra. Temperature and seasonality were explored by analysis of climate model simulations for the Late Glacial and Holocene. Microbial membrane-derived glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) were investigated as temperature and hydro-environmental proxies. Using n-alkane distributions, the abundance of algae, aquatic and terrestrial plants was reconstructed and linked to past hydroclimate variability. The hydrogen isotopic composition (dD) of the n-alkanes was then used to disentangle seasonal and annual precipitation signals.

    The analysis of Sumatran GDGTs revealed that bacterial community shifts of the GDGT producers had a strong impact on reconstructed temperatures, and that H-shaped branched GDGT isomers are good tracers of such community shifts. The branched GDGT temperature reconstruction indicates gradual warming over the Holocene, consistent with models and nearby marine records.

    Rainfall seasonality has shifted drastically over the studied time frame, in particular during the end of the Late Glacial, and between 6-4.2 ka BP. The Late Glacial climate was characterized by a much stronger seasonality, with a cold and dry Asian winter monsoon suppressing atmospheric deep convection in the region. The resulting mean state conditions resembled the atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature patterns during extreme El Niño events in the modern climate. The Mid-Holocene (6-4.2 ka BP) was characterized by increased seasonality, with alternating droughts and heavy rains due to strong monsoon precipitation and longer dry season.

    The Early Holocene was relatively dry. Wetter conditions started around 7-6 ka BP, and peaked at 4.5-3 ka BP. This is consistent with a dD reconstruction on Sulawesi, but 1.5-2 ka later than indicated by speleothem oxygen isotopic (d18O) records on Sumatra and Sulawesi. However, the speleothem records closely follow algal dD values, interpreted here as a seasonal monsoon signal, suggesting that speleothems in the region reflect monsoonal precipitation rather than an annual signal. Rapid drying was reconstructed for the Late Holocene, starting at 3 ka BP, co-occurring with the onset of strengthened ENSO variability. The Late Holocene drying caused drying out and decomposition of peat in one of the studied cores which resulted in a hiatus of 1700 years, highlighting the importance of hydroclimate for peat and carbon accumulation in tropical wetlands.

    In conclusion, this dissertation enhances our understanding of past climatic conditions in the Maritime Continent and contributes toward constraining the evolution of temperature, precipitation, and monsoon-driven seasonality over the Late Glacial and Holocene in a region that has a scarce coverage of paleoclimate proxy information. Additionally, the methodological aspects of this thesis advance terrestrial paleoclimatological reconstructions by constraining source shifts of GDGTs and proposing a novel approach to disentangle seasonal and annual precipitation signals from dD.

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  • Public defence: 2024-05-03 10:00 Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Stockholm
    Åhlén, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Arthropods in Constructed Wetlands: Ecosystem Processes and Riparian Biodiversity2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Constructed wetlands in the agricultural landscape are known to harbor immense arthropod biodiversity, however, riparian arthropod communities have often been neglected compared to aquatic communities when studying environmental responses. These wetlands are highly productive, but vary in form and composition based on its purpose, which influences the communities that inhabit them. Both biotic and abiotic wetland characteristics are known to drive aquatic arthropod community compositions, whereas knowledge is currently lacking as to the influence from characteristic wetland properties on riparian arthropods.

    This thesis aimed to shed a light on characteristic wetland drivers on riparian arthropod populations and communities. We explored how chironomid emergence rates and diversities responded to wetland nutrient loads and primary production (Chapter I), and subsequently if trophic cascading relationships could be observed across the aquatic-terrestrial boundary to riparian predator abundances (Chapter II). We also explored how riparian arthropod community compositions responded to wetland hydrologic dynamism, shoreline inclines and vegetation height, and grazing management (Chapter III), and finally how characteristic wetland shoreline properties influenced riparian arthropod diversities and habitat specializations (Chapter IV).

    In Chapter I we found that emergence rates and diversities of chironomids increased with aquatic chlorophyll concentrations during parts of the season but decreased during others, and that chironomid taxonomic diversity correlated with the aquatic concentration of methane. These findings support previously suggested trade-offs relationship between emerging chironomids and methane. We expanded on these findings in Chapter II, where we found that both primary-and secondary consumer abundances responded to wetland nutrient loads and chlorophyll concentrations, but that this trophic pathway was more complex than from primary producers, through primary consumers to secondary consumers. In Chapter III we found that some riparian arthropods responded to hydrological dynamism, but that surprisingly many groups were unaffected. We also found that many groups responded to shoreline vegetation height, but that responses were group specific. Similarly, in Chapter IV we found that shoreline properties greatly influenced spider, beetle and predatory Diptera diversities in constructed wetlands, and that their habitat specialized species richness varied greatly between groups.  

    Altogether, these findings illustrate the complexity of wetland arthropod ecology, and the need for attention to these previously understudied systems. It also highlights the importance of comprehension regarding constructed biodiversity wetlands if the aim is to improve biodiversity across multiple taxa. 

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    Arthropods in Constructed Wetlands
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  • Public defence: 2024-05-03 13:00 Auditoriet (215), Manne Siegbahnhusen, Stockholm
    Bergman, Elin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    Trädgårdens textur: Rumsliga, materiella och sociala perspektiv på den privatägda trädgården i Sverige cirka 1900-19302024Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The subject of this dissertation is privately owned gardens in Sweden circa 1900–1930 and aims to identify and make visible their meaning and impact on different societal levels. Sweden, like many other European countries, faced profound societal changes during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was in part due to a major increase in population, the development of new urban environments, a growing working class, and migration within and out of the country. The culmination of these circumstances had an impact on the development of society, more broadly, and on housing, in particular.

    Prior scholarly inquiries across multiple disciplines have studied the home as a locus for various social relations and expressions of aesthetic ideals. However, the outdoor space of the home has not been specifically included or emphasized in previous research. The focus of this dissertation is therefore to examine gardens within the private sphere – in physical form as well as in their conceptions –  concentrating on spatial organization and material constitution within the social context of the time. The aim is to make visible the ways in which the garden acted as an important part of the construction of the ideal home, in theory as well as in practice. In so doing, gardens and garden practices of the early twentieth century are historically, culturally, and socially situated.

    The theoretical framework is built upon the concept of texture which combines the theoretical fields of spatial theory and materiality. The approach and the use of texture emphasize the material elements that are essential in the constitution of the garden (but not always considered meaningful in their own right), as well as the relationship between humans and their surroundings, particularly with regard to home-making and relating practices. It includes analyses of individual materials’ physical conditions and the way they are experienced with the senses. Furthermore, it highlights the material and visual merging of materials as a perceived whole and the relation of the parts to that whole. Finally, it elucidates the socio-cultural relations between objects and environments which are then experienced, used, and changed by human subjects. 

    The dissertation demonstrates the various meanings of the garden and garden practices, based on a vast set of empirical sources selected on principles of geographical and demographical diversity during the selected time period. The result is presented in case studies. These include analyses of garden literature, the work of county gardeners employed by the Agricultural Society, and educational institutions such as Lillie Landgren’s Torshäll (Dalarna County). Furthermore, particular sites are investigated, such as the mining town of Boliden (Västerbotten County), and the private gardens of Crown Princess Margareta at Sofiero (Skåne County) and Ellen Key at Strand (Östergötand County). The study reveals the multifaceted functions of the garden. The conception of the garden’s potential was made visible in publications and visual material, which provided exemplary gardens, cultivated by – and at the same time cultivating – the human actors. The study’s emphasis on the manual elaboration of materials with a certain aesthetic ideal or practical purpose as the objective confirms that the garden is a result of spatial, material, and social prerequisites, all coalescing as the texture of the garden.

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    Trädgårdens textur: Rumsliga, materiella och sociala perspektiv på den privatägda trädgården i Sverige cirka 1900-1930
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  • Public defence: 2024-05-03 14:00 Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Stockholm
    Ivanov, Mikhail
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Development of large-scale molecular and nanomaterial models2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Molecular simulations can access unique atomic-scale information about new materials, pharmaceuticals, and biological environments, making cost-effective predictions and aiding experimental studies. They are particularly useful for describing the mechanisms of nanoscale phenomena and the biological/inorganic interfaces. However, the computational cost of molecular simulations increases with the size of the system as well as with the model complexity, which is related to the accuracy of the simulation. This thesis aims to develop efficient large-scale molecular models that capture important structural details of the atomistic simulations. In particular, we focus on the TiO2-lipid interface, which forms in the living cells, exposed to TiO2 nanomaterials, but is also relevant in the context of biomedical applications. We have studied the interface using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and found that the characteristics of the lipid adsorption depend on the type of the TiO2 surface, lipid headgroup composition, and the presence of cholesterol. We then derive a coarse-grained molecular model of the TiO2-lipid interface to enable the large-scale simulations of TiO2 nanoparticles interacting with model cell membranes. We show that the strength of the lipid adsorption increases with the size of the nanoparticle and that a small TiO2 nanoparticle can become partially wrapped by a lipid membrane. To improve the transferability of the coarse-grained model, we design and test an artificial neural network that learns the interactions in coarse-grained water-methanol solutions from the structural data obtained in multiple reference simulations at atomistic resolution. We show that in the studied system, the neural network learns the many-body interactions and accurately reproduces the structural properties of the solution at different concentrations. 

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    Development of large-scale molecular and nanomaterial models
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  • Public defence: 2024-05-07 10:00 Lärosal 7, hus 1, våning 2, Albano, Stockholm
    Riad, Rasmus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Exploring language skills and well-being in inclusive preschools: The impact of a dialogic reading intervention2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Language skills during the preschool years are important for cognitive and social development, learning, and well-being, especially for children that are less proficient in the language that peers and teachers use for communication and teaching, known as the majority language. The overall aim of this thesis is to explore the effect of a practice-embedded introduction of dialogic reading in preschool, a method that engages children in conversation, using language-promoting strategies. Teachers performed dialogic reading for 85 five-year-old children in preschools. Children's linguistic progress was observed, while also recording their self-reported state of well-being. Based on the theme of language and well-being in early education, three studies were conducted. 

    In Study I, a British well-being measure for young students, “How I Feel About My School (HIFAMS),” was translated, validated, and assessed for psychometric properties. In total, N = 228 children self-reported their well-being in early education. Study I included a combined sample of school-aged children (n = 143) and a preschool sample (n = 85), where the latter also participated in Study II and Study III. Study I confirmed a one-factor structure of HIFMAS in a confirmatory factor analysis with good model fit. The results showed that the HIFAMS can be used in Sweden to measure child well-being in preschool and early school years.

    In Study II, structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationship between language skills and self-reported well-being among preschoolers (N = 85). The assessment of language skills comprised both narrative and vocabulary abilities, while well-being was measured by HIFAMS. Language background (home language exposure) and gender were examined in relation to language abilities and well-being. Study II discovered no association between language skills and well-being. Children with a non-Swedish language use at home (additional language learners) displayed similar narrative skills but had less vocabulary. The results of Study II align with previous research, highlighting the significance of extensive language exposure for children whose home language differs from the language encountered in preschool.

    In Study III, language development and child well-being were analyzed after a dialogic reading intervention. Ten preschool teachers delivered the intervention in small groups (four to eight children). The teachers performed the dialogic reading during two periods, and the children at each preschool were randomized to attend direct (group A) or delayed intervention (group B). The outcome measures were the same as in Study II and assessed pre-, mid-, and post-intervention. Study III showed that children improved their language skills after engaging in a dialogic reading intervention, with improvements regardless of language background. The well-being remained steady during the course of the trial. 

    Taken together, the results of these three studies indicate that language development in terms of vocabulary can be promoted by dialogic reading, and children that are additional language learners show a similar progression as their peers. Furthermore, these studies show that self-reported well-being can be measured in the early education context and that children’s self-perceived well-being in preschool was not associated with early language skills. The implications of these studies and the significance of the results for educational practice are addressed.

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  • Public defence: 2024-05-08 10:00 Hörsal 4, hus B, Södra huset, Stockholm
    Peters, Steffen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Who starts a family?: The prospective association between psychological factors and family formation processes2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The role of psychological factors for family formation processes has been underexplored in demographic research. However, psychological concepts such as personality, identity, or skills may have become increasingly relevant for family formation processes such as marital behavior, childbearing, or partnership dissolution, in particular in countries with high levels of individualism. This dissertation aims to address this research gap in various ways. First, the dissertation chapters examine the prospective associations between personality and family formation (marriage, fertility, dissolution) (chapters 1 and 2), identity and marriage (chapter 3), and leadership skills and family formation (marriage, fertility) (chapter 4). Second, the potential mediating role of socio-economic status indicators (income, education) for these relationships is explored (chapters 2, 3 and 4). Third, full siblings are compared to each other when applicable in order to control for shared background factors such as genetics or parental background (chapters 2 and 4). For these purposes, different data sources are used including large and representative survey data from Germany (chapter 1), Swedish register data (chapters 2 and 4), and survey data from Finland (chapter 3). Methodologically, a mix of widely used analytical methods have been applied such as event-history analyses, linear probability models, or Poisson regression models including individual and sibling fixed effects. The findings of this thesis suggest that psychological factors shape family formation processes across the selected European countries (Germany, Sweden, Finland) with high levels of individualism. Personality factors linked to social abilities (extraversion, social maturity, agreeableness) generally show positive associations with childbearing (chapters 1 and 2) and the probability to get married, and negative correlations with dissolution processes (chapter 2). Emotional stability is also positively associated with family formation processes (marriage, fertility), and negatively linked with partnership dissolution (chapter 2). However, these associations only relate to patterns for males whereas females do either not show clear associations (chapter 1), or had to be neglected based on data restrictions (chapter 2). Furthermore, certainty and commitment with future life plans (as indicator for identity) are positively linked with marriage risks over time (chapter 3). Regarding leadership skills (LS), as one specific type of skills, similar associations to personality effects from study 1 and 2 have been found, i.e. LS are positively correlated with marriage and fertility (chapter 4). The mediating effects of income and education, are relatively small for all associations so that future research may examine the role of other potential mechanisms such as intentions, attitudes, or health. Additionally, sibling fixed effects approaches do not show large difference compared to the patterns that are described above.

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