Theses Abstracts - STA

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection contains 1,871 abstracts of postgraduate theses held in the West Indiana Collection at the Main Library of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. The full text of the theses can be viewed or requested through Inter-Library Loan from the West Indiana Collection.

UWI Students can get further information on the submission of postgraduate theses at the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 2447
  • Item
    Citizen perception of police legitimacy and corrupt behaviour by police at the community level: a case for the community of St. Joseph
    (2018) Dhandoolal, Valerie S.
    The legitimacy of Trinidad and Tobago's police service has been under scrutiny due to its negative image which authenticated the need for research in this area. This study explored obligation to obey with community norms and connections, procedural justice, police eftectiveness and police corruption. The study sought to build on the limited research that encompassed community context when investigating police legitimacy. It tested the theoretical principle of the procedural justice theory. Additionally, it examined the general perception of police corruption along with personal and vicarious experiences of corrupt behaviour by the police. Further, this study assessed the most prevalent sourceresidence obtained information on police corruption. Data analysis was conducted from a non-probability sample survey of residents who had interaction with the police from the community of St. Joseph. The findings showed that community norms and connections, procedural justice, and police effectiveness are statistically significant with obligation to obey the police. The results challenged the principles of the procedural justice theory. Further, this study highlighted the discrepancy between resident's low personal experiences of police corruption and their general perception of police corruption. Lastly, the results revealed that social media and newspapers were the two leading channels that residents sourced information on the perception of police corruption
  • Item
    Climate change impact on Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS): a comparative study of Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba's mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change
    (2018) Ali, Ahmad
    The threat of climate change is becoming more real day by day. Its unpredictable nature and diverse effects make it a potential danger to all nations particularly Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Unfortunately, Caribbean SIDS share a number of characteristics that make them exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of climate change despite being low contributors to Green House Gases (GHGs). For Caribbean SIDS the only options are mitigation and adaptation. Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba are two Caribbean SIDS that are susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change; however, their responses to these impacts may not necessarily be the same. This paper examines, identifies and compares the mitigation and adaptation responses of these two Caribbean SIDS. The research highlights the strategies undertaken by each nation which can be used to identify new practices, policies and ideas that may assist in building resiliency. It may also be used to reassess the effectiveness of certain strategies as well as raise awareness to each nation distinct situation from climate change impacts. It may also inspire bilateral exchanges and collaboration between Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago
  • Item
    Establishing seamless vertical datums for land and marine use within Caribbean territories
    (2018) Nanlal, Cassandra
    Coastal regions of the Caribbean are invaluable to the economies of the island nations and as such there is a need to ensure sustainable development in this environment. Management initiatives will benefit significantly from a vertical separation model that facilitates the integration of vertical survey data acquired on land and at sea. The difficulty in integrating datasets in the coastal zone is that vertical reference systems vary across the land-sea interface. In this regard, the development of a vertical separation model is applicable, which incorporates tidal components that vary spatially and temporally. Resource and data deficiencies, imprecise definitions of vertical datums and vertical deformation of landmasses present particular challenges to the development of such models for the Caribbean region. As an almost enclosed basin leading to variations in tide and vertical deformation of the land mass, the Gulf of Paria offers an interesting area for study. The research examines the separations among five major vertical datums, MSL, LAT, National Land Datum, WGS 84 Ellipsoidal Datum and the Geoid. Data sources include: sea level observations, elevations from differential levelling, static GNSS surveys, sea surface heights (SSH) from satellite altimetry and GPS buoy data. A hydrodynamic model was also developed. The model was validated using independent sea level data sources. The separations between the WGS 84 ellipsoidal datum, MSL, LAT and the Geoid are now available on a 5‟ X 5‟ grid. The research shows that the increase in MSL-LAT separation is steeper at the coastline than offshore and new larger separation values are available for the coastline. The MSL-LAT separation at Port of Spain is 0.8 metres, at Pt. Lisas it is 0.9 metres and at Cedros the separation is 1.2 metres. Sea level at Port of Spain over the last 77 years was found to have a rate of change of 2.41 millimetres per year. Results also estimate rates of vertical deformation vary from -50 to 6 millimetres per year in the study area. These findings support the need for the establishment of a new gravity based vertical datum for Trinidad and an improved local geoidal model based on dense, observed gravity data
  • Item
    Prevalence of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pigs, broilers and workers at slaughter houses in Trinidad and Tobago and their resistance to other antimicrobial agents
    (2018) Stewart-Johnson, Alva Marie
    Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a major cause of zoonotic infections, has emerged globally in livestock. People with occupational contact with food producing animals are at high risk of colonization. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA in pigs, broilers and workers at slaughter houses throughout Trinidad and Tobago and their resistance to other antimicrobial agents. Nasal and skin behind the ear swabs from pigs, choanal, cloacal and pharyngeal swabs from broilers and nasal swabs from humans were enriched in Mueller Hinton broth with 6.5% sodium chloride followed by secondary enrichment in phenol red mannitol broth with 75 mg/L aztreonam and 5 mg/L ceftizoxime. Enriched samples were then plated on both CHROMagar MRSA and Brilliance MRSA. All incubation was at 37ºC for 18 to 24 h. Suspect MRSA isolates were identified as Staphylococcus aureus (SA) using standard biochemical procedures, then confirmed as MRSA by using the penicillin-binding protein (PBP2a) test kit and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the MecA gene. Resistance of the S. aureus and MRSA isolates to 16 antimicrobial agents was determined using the disc diffusion method. Of the 929 pigs, 287 broilers and 91 humans sampled, MRSA were isolated at a frequency of 0.9% (8/929), 0.7% (2/287) and 1.1% (1/91)) respectively. All S. aureus isolates exhibited resistance to one or more of the 16 antimicrobial agents and the highest frequency of resistance was observed in pigs. All MRSA isolates from pigs and broilers were resistant to cefoxitin, penicillin and ampicillin. The study demonstrated that pigs, broilers and workers at slaughter houses in Trinidad and Tobago harbour MRSA and multidrug resistant S. aureus. This is of public health significance as occupational exposure of humans can lead to an increased risk of infection and therapeutic failure
  • Item
    The entrepreneurship of the Portuguese of Georgetown, British Guiana 1840-1940
    (2014) Collins-Gonsalves, Joanne
    This dissertation examines the entrepreneurial ventures by the Portuguese during the period 1840-1940 as well the expansion and diversification into new enterprises. A study of the evolution of the types of partnerships in the 19th and 20th centuries was undertaken. The many challenges their businesses faced and their coping strategies are indispensable aspects of this thesis. A case for the recategorization of the Portuguese shopkeepers as merchants is presented and a comparative analysis of the ‘Cent bread’ and ‘Angel Gabriel’ riots is undertaken. The riots were addressed in a revisionist light with respect to the changing attitudes towards the Portuguese business community as well as an in-depth research on the fires of 1864 and 1867, the role of the Portuguese business persons and cases of arson. In the arena of politics, their non-participation for the majority of the 19th century and entry in the 20th century has been explored. The constitutional changes of the 19th and 20th centuries are analysed and the resulting hindrances of literacy requirements and nationality in light of the franchise examined. The use of petitioning to plead their cases is explored. A gender dimension has been included as an integral focus of the analysis. The emergence of Portuguese women as entrepreneurs and the economic impact of marriages and intermarriages are explored. This thesis therefore focuses on the extent of the entrepreneurial ventures of the Portuguese in a changing community into the 20th century
  • Item
    Optimizing collaborative strategies for improved watershed management in Trinidad West Indies
    (2018) Joseph, Jeanelle
    This research investigated suitable strategies for optimizing collaborative watershed management in Trinidad WI. It identified various stakeholders’ perceptions of the main watershed management problems, causes and solutions; determined stakeholders’ willingness to collaborate on various solutions to address watershed management problems; elaborated on stakeholders’ views on watershed management problems, causes and solutions and described the institutional roles, requirements and limitations regarding watershed management. Findings contributed towards recommending suitable strategies for optimizing collaborative watershed management in Trinidad WI. A mixed-methods approach was utilized to collect data for this study. Interviews were conducted with 266 stakeholders to identify their views on the main watershed management problems, causes and solutions and to get their views on collaboration. The main watershed management problems, causes and solutions were ranked in order of perceived importance and, cross tabulation analyses sought to identify similarities among the various stakeholder groups’ perceptions on watershed management problems, causes and solutions. A modified Wilder’s Collaboration Factor Inventory was used to create a collaboration index to determine stakeholders’ level of willingness to collaborate to address watershed management issues. Focus group discussions were also conducted in four watershed communities to further validate the findings obtained from the stakeholders’ perception and willingness to collaborate survey. Thematic analysis was used to compare the themes across the four focus groups. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives from nine key institutions with a role in watershed management to be able to describe institutional roles, requirements and limitations regarding watershed management activities. The roles of the institutions interviewed, institutions’ perceived level of importance regarding watershed management activities were summarized, and institutional requirements and limitations were ranked in order of importance. The findings were consistent with collaborative theories and a model, which proposes new protocols to optimize collaborative watershed management, is presented
  • Item
    The experiences and challenges of single mothers in tertiary education in Trinidad
    (2018) Mills, Janelle
    Despite women’s high participation rate in tertiary education in Trinidad, little is known about the lifeworld of female students. Specifically, there is a dearth of research on the issues facing vulnerable female students such as single mothers. A Descriptive Phenomenology design was used to explore the lived experiences of 10 single mothers in tertiary education institutions. Role Strain Theory and an Intersectionality perspective informed the theoretical framework. In-depth interviews revealed that all of the participants experienced role strain from the conflict among their various social roles. Despite the negative effects of role strain on their personal wellbeing, the women were strongly motivated to persist in their education to provide a better future for their children. Further, culture-specific findings were revealed related to the role of formal financial aid and kin networks to the women’s educational experiences. Recommendations for future research and practice focused on increased monitoring of educational participation of vulnerable women and fostering a supportive campus environment.
  • Item
    An examination of the relationship between workplace support, resources and work-related well-being among Administrative, Technical Services Staff (ATSS) at The University of the West Indies
    (2018) Myers-O’Connor, Aniva
    Work-related well-being is a complex phenomenon which is of critical importance in this current era of economic restructuring in Trinidad and Tobago. As such, with a sample size of 120 participants, an examination of workplace support, resources and work-related well-being among the ATSS at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago was conducted. The study aimed to measure their levels of work-related well-being, explore the relative significance if any, of the aforementioned variables for understanding their levels of work-related well-being, and to make recommendations on what can be done to enhance work-related well-being among the body of ATSS. Using theoretical triangulation (with the combined examination of Job Demand-Resources Theory and Social Exchange Theory), the researcher undertook a cross-sectional survey on the work-related well-being of ATSS at the UWI, St. Augustine campus. Data were analyzed through the use of inferential statistics that allow for the analysis of differences (t-test and correlations) and others that explore the relationship or association between the independent factors and work-related well-being (correlations and regression). Findings revealed that there were no direct relationship between trade union involvement and the well-being of workers. However, the findings also showed that trade union involvement was directly related to the levels of motivation among employees and their perception of social support. Younger employees with higher educational qualifications had lower perceptions of the involvement of the trade unions. Findings also revealed that perceptions of social support were also related to their perceptions of job demand and resources, and directly with workers well-being. Female ATSS had higher mean scores on well-being. Job resources and demands were the only two factors that had predictive value in the understanding of work-related well-being among UWI-ATSS. Implications of these for theory, research and institutional policies are also discussed
  • Item
    Assessment of health claims on retail packaged food products sold in Trinidad and Tobago in respect to omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular diseases
    (2018) Maynard-John, Tricia
    Health claims are very visible today more than ever, as there is an increasing quest for optimal health. This research paper aims to generate information regarding to: (1) whether or not food products sold in Trinidad and Tobago comply with food labeling laws and regulations of their respective countries with reverence to health claims made pertaining to omega-3 fatty acids and (2) the level of awareness, knowledge and purchasing behaviour of consumers on omega-3 fatty acids foods and their benefits pertaining to Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs). One hundred and twelve (112) products were identified to be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, however only 1.8% carried true health claims. Data collected from n=171 participants at 16 retail outlets using an online data survey application revealed that middle aged adults (35-44 years) were the majority of the participants with 42.9% (76% females and 24% males). These participants were of mixed ethnicity (40.4%), attained tertiary level education (80.1%), were aware of the nutrient omega-3 fatty acids (97%) and had some knowledge about this nutrient (78%). They also bought foods containing this nutrient (63%) such as fish or fish oils (84%) and consumed them daily (38%). Results showed that knowledge, gender, age and education held no statistical significance on the variables of purchasing, perception and reading of food labels pertaining to omega-3 fatty acids products. The study concluded that persuasive and true health claims maybe a key factor in the successful development, promotion and creation of demands for foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, as most consumers are customary food label readers. Thus generating an immense opportunity for omega-3 fatty acids fortified food products to be used as a primary and or secondary treatment of CVDs in Trinidad and Tobago, consequently reducing annual deaths and estimated cost in the management of such diseases
  • Item
    Molecular Analysis of Salmonella Enterica Strains Carried by Poultry Entering the Food Chain in Trinidad
    (2019) Kumar, Nitu
    The present study was carried out with the aim to isolate and identify Salmonella spp. from poultry caecal samples collected from pluck shops in four zones of Trinidad. The study was also conducted to determine antimicrobial resistance of 91 isolates of Salmonella to 13 antimicrobial agents, virulence and resistance genes profiles and genetic relatedness of Salmonella serotypes by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). A total of 1503 caecal samples of freshly slaughtered poultry were randomly collected from pluck shops across the country. The samples were screened for Salmonella by biochemical, serological tests and PCR was used for molecular characterization. Ninety-one (6.1%) of the 1503 samples were positive for Salmonella spp. The highest frequency of positivity for Salmonella spp. was recorded in North east zone (59.3%) of Trinidad. Ten different serotypes were detected from all Salmonella isolates. S. Molade (56.0%) was the predominant serotype identified. All 91 isolates of Salmonella spp. exhibited resistance to one of the 13 antimicrobial agents. The highest frequency of resistance was detected to Ampicillin (51.0%), followed by Kanamycin (49.5%) and Streptomycin (37.4%). Multiple drug resistance (MDR) was exhibited by 90.0% of Salmonella isolates. The frequency of detection of virulence genes in isolates of Salmonella ranged from 0.0% (viaB) to 100.0% for invA, mgtB, pipA and spi4D. PFGE profiles showed that Salmonella isolates were genetically diverse. A total of 20 PFGE groups were detected. The antibiograms of the isolates were clearly much more variable, which suggest that genotypic antimicrobial resistance may not relate to the phenotypic antibiograms in dendrograms except for qnrB gene. The findings provide evidence that poultry from pluck shops are colonized by pathogenic Salmonella harbouring antimicrobial resistance genes. It is evident that there is a need for prudent use of antimicrobial agents in poultry production systems and should be constantly monitored in Trinidad.
  • Item
    Determination of the efficacy of a killed, local, whole cell canine vaccine against clinical and renal carriage in dogs and production for use to prevent leptospirosis in dogs in Trinidad
    (2018) Noel, Teola
    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis that causes mild to severe clinical disease. Currently, in Trinidad and Tobago, the West Indies, recent serological studies on dogs have demonstrated that L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni is the predominant agent responsible for canine leptospirosis, which is not included in any of the commercially used canine vaccines for leptospirosis. A killed whole-cell vaccine containing serovar Copenhageni was produced and administered to 12 Beagle dogs, the first dose given at 8 weeks of age, and the second (booster) dose at 12 weeks of age. Ten unvaccinated control dogs of the same age group were included. A live, virulent inoculum of Leptospira (1.0 x 109 - 5.0 x 109 leptospires per dog) was used to challenge the dogs at two weeks (Study 1) and 14 months (Study 2) after administration of the booster vaccine. An antibody response, with booster effect was produced which persisted until 14 months post-vaccination. The antibody titres were protective in preventing leptospiral infection since, in Study 1 (onset of immunity), there was 100% (5 of 5) mortality rate due to acute disease in the unvaccinated dogs while only a mild conjunctivitis was observed in 20%, (1 of 5) of the vaccinated dogs, which disappeared after 1 day. In Study 2 (duration of immunity), mild clinical disease was observed in the 40 % (2 of 5) controls as expected being older dogs, while the vaccinated dogs were clinically normal. A high IL-10: TNF-α was observed in the unvaccinated dogs soon after challenge. Monitoring of urine samples of both the vaccinates and unvaccinated controls for leptospiruria revealed a lower frequency of shedding of leptospires in vaccinated dogs (16.7 %) compared to unvaccinated dogs (54.3 %) for both studies. The vaccine produced was therefore successful in preventing acute clinical leptospirosis, and in reducing the renal carrier state and leptospiruria.