829 Works

Woodland Natures: Knowing Vegetal Nature Through Sympathy and Anthropomorphism in Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders

Tasha Chanel Harris
This thesis proposes that the depictions of the trees in Thomas Hardy's novel "The Woodlanders" shares resonance with current posthumanist theory through its recognition of the trees as subjects entangled in mutual relationships with the humans and also through the humans' attempts to gain knowledge of and interact with the trees.

The Lyric Mode of Voice: Song and Subjectivity in Italy, 1769–1815

Jessica Gabriel Peritz
This dissertation traces the emergence in late eighteenth-century Italy of an ideological connection between voice and subjectivity, arguing that this link was forged as a means of assuaging anxieties about Italy’s role in European culture. For most of the century, virtuosic voices had dominated Italian “serious” opera: onstage, singers flaunted flashy embellishments while projecting the static categories of the Cartesian passions. But after midcentury, as new epistemologies of emotion converged with neoclassical aesthetics, Italian musicians...

The Evolutionary Anatomy, Biomechanics, and Diversification Dynamics of Repeatedly Evolved Masseter Muscles in Rodents

Dallas Krentzel
Explaining large scale transitions in discrete morphology is one of the most challenging problems in biology, requiring input from anatomy, biomechanics, ecology, paleontology, development, and genomics to appropriately contextualize evolutionary events. Rodents evolved discrete masseter muscle arrangements including novel muscle units that evolve homoplastically in clades of diverse ecological strategies and differing levels of species richness. These derived conditions, sciuromorphy, hystricomorphy, and myomorphy, differ from the primitive condition, protrogomorphy, in the anterior attachment of novel...

Does exposure to wind turbines affect cancer incidence? A quasi-experimental analysis linking SEER and Geological Survey data in a hierarchical framework.

Jason Semprini
Objective: To conduct a series of multi-level regression models to identify any association between wind turbines and cancer incidence between counties, within counties over time, and between cancer types. Background: In a recent campaign speech, President Trump declared that the noise from wind turbines may cause cancer. This statement resulted in tremendous outcry from political opponents and wind energy advocates. But this question does not lack merit from a scientific perspective. In fact, public health...

Fully Nonlinear Stochastic Partial Differential Equations

Benjamin Seeger
This thesis is concerned with the theory and applications of certain fully nonlinear stochastic partial differential equations. First, we present several new results regarding the well-posedness of the equations. Among these are proofs of the comparison principle for equations with nontrivial spatial dependence. We also prove some new path-stability estimates, and we give a very general proof of existence using Perron's method, which characterizes the unique solution as the maximal sub-solution. We also discuss a...

Ultrafast Energy Transfer and Orientational Dynamics in Photosynthetic Bacterial Membranes

Sara Chamberlin Massey
Photosynthetic organisms have adapted to survive in their diverse native habitats, whether by maximizing light-harvesting efficiency in low-light environments or by quenching excess excitations to prevent the formation of damaging reactive oxygen species. Photosynthetic species follow a number of principles in the design of pigment-protein light-harvesters, including the dense packing of chromophores, repeating the same pigment many times, and using interactions with other pigments and the environment to tune the absorbance spectrum. We seek to...

“Floating Bridges,” “Knotty Points,” and “Boroughmonger Tools”: Malthus, Extra-Parliamentary Politics, and the 
Debates on Emigration, 1798-1834

Kirsty Montgomery
This dissertation analyzes and refines the extra-parliamentary basis of popular politics in early nineteenth century Britain through the lens of the debates on surplus population and emigration. It asks whether civil society, influenced by the liberal writings of politicians and political economists, was a potent enough movement to address issues such as population pressure and assisted emigration in a time of crisis. Chapter one charts Britain’s transition from agricultural to industrial society and provides context...

Statistical Machine Learning Methods for Complex, Heterogeneous Data

Mahtiyar Bonakdarpour
This thesis develops statistical machine learning methodology for three distinct tasks. Each method blends classical statistical approaches with machine learning methods to provide principled solutions to problems with complex, heterogeneous datasets. The first framework proposes two methods for high-dimensional shape-constrained regression and classification. These methods reshape pre-trained prediction rules to satisfy shape constraints like monotonicity and convexity. The second method provides a nonparametric approach to the econometric analysis of discrete choice. This method provides a...

High-Resolution Mapping of mRNA Modifications

Lisheng Zhang
Transcriptome carries a wide range of different chemical modifications. Among these modifications, RNA methylation is the most abundant, exerting important functions in multiple biological processes in eukaryotes. Especially, the recent discoveries of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in transcriptome with reversible dynamics and regulatory roles have drawn considerable attentions from world-wide scientists. While N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is widely observed to regulate gene expression in mammals, our lab has also reasoned that positively-charged mRNA modifications such as N1-methyladenosine (m1A) could...

Genetic and Genomic Approaches to Investigate the Roles of Cis-regulatory Elements in Development and Disease

Lindsey Elizabeth Montefiori
Gene regulation describes the totality of molecular events that result in precisely orchestrated gene expression patterns which collectively drive organismal development and define cellular states. Much of this logic is encoded in the genome itself, which is subject to mutation and natural variation. Because of the fundamental role that gene regulation plays in cellular biology, perturbations to gene expression patterns may have pathophysiological consequences, and these are far from being well understood. In my dissertation...

Capable Agents and Just Institutions: A Reconstruction of Paul Ricoeur's \"Ethical Aim\" Using Anthony Giddens' Theory of Structuration

Darryl Scott Dale-Ferguson
This dissertation aims at greater justice in society by addressing questions of moral and institutional existence. In particular, this work focuses on the contributions to ethical thought made by the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur’s “ethical aim” makes the just institution a central component of the ethical life. By appealing to key elements in the theory of structuration developed by Anthony Giddens, I will restructure Ricoeur’s initial “ethical aim” around the idea that institutions are...

Expectations, Perceptions, and Social Roles: The Effects and Performance of Gender in Campaigns for the United States Congress

Megan Marie Savel Hawryluk
I argue that the effects of gender on political actors must be considered within the context of other social identities, specifically motherhood. Motherhood, or the expectation that women will be mothers, places a distinct bind on women as candidates: women who emphasize motherhood and families too much may be evaluated as less capable of governing given their family commitments, while women who do not emphasize motherhood may fail to adhere to social norms regarding families....

The Relationship between Acute Psychosocial Stress, Hormones, Cognition, and Social Behavior in Men and Women

Nora Catherine Nickels
Human social endocrinology research has shown that hormones are sensitive to social stimuli and may show predictable fluctuations during brief social interactions. I present an investigation of the function of potential hormonal and cognitive changes that occur during a brief social interaction by manipulating both the ecological stimuli and physiological state of male and female participants before a potential courtship opportunity. Chapter 2 examines the relationship between psychosocial stress, social interaction, and hormonal reactivity (testosterone...

Race, Risks, and Responses: Mapping Black Americans' Reactions to Group Threat

Jennifer Marcella Jackson
My dissertation is concerned with socialization in American Politics and the role of group threat in Black Americans’ political behavior. In it, I analyze both quantitative and qualitative data to examine the forms of threat that instigate political action among young Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 35. Through survey experiments and questionnaires, I find that young Black Americans are more likely to express concerns about threat than non-Black groups. Additionally, when considering...

Curating Value: The Politics of Language and Leisure in Huangshan, China

Britta Elisabeth Ingebretson
This dissertation investigates the semiotics of state power in rural China through an ethnographic and linguistic examination of state influence in the daily lives of rural Chinese women in Huangshan, Anhui Province, China. I examine how large-scale processes like urbanization, globalization, and economic development are reshaping the political economy of rural China and, by extension, altering social class and gender roles. Rapid social transformation has created a perceived crisis of values, particularly for rural women...

Kinship, Capital, and the Occult on the South Coast of Kenya

Zebulon York Dingley
This dissertation is an historical ethnography of occult ritual and rumor among the Mijikenda peoples of the southern Kenyan coast from the nineteenth century to the present. Taking “occult” in the etymological sense of “hidden from view,” I analyze ritual and rumor as modes of rendering visible or tangible forces that cannot themselves be observed, but whose effects are keenly felt. Because of the secretive, proprietary, or exclusionary (and thus also “occult”) nature of the...

Essays on Inequality, Fairness and Taxation

Lancelot Henry De Frahan
This dissertation is a collection of two essays on inequality. The first chapter takes a normative approach to inequality. We start from the normative assumption that not all inequalities are unjust. In particular, we assume that public policy ought to correct inequalities that are caused by differences in skills insofar as they generate poverty but ought to remain neutral towards inequalities generated by different individual preferences over labor choices. We construct social preferences that are...

The Metaproteomic Analysis of Arctic Soils with Novel Bioinformatic Methods

Samuel Miller
Microbes control the decomposition of soil organic matter, a key biogeochemical process significant to global climate. The complex chemistry of soils and the great diversity of microbial strains with flexible metabolic capabilities have impeded the elucidation of degradation pathways from plant tissues to greenhouse gases. A mechanistic understanding of soil processes can improve models used to predict the fate of vast quantities of carbon stored in Arctic soils. Arctic warming is accelerating microbial decomposition but...

Deferred Dreams: How Non-Profit Governance Structures Impact Minority Political Participation

Sherrilynn Jill Bevel
ABSTRACT This dissertation considers external control of non-profit institutions located within African American communities and examines the effect of this control on these institutions as potential sites of representative democracy, leadership development and political agenda setting. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 addressed discrimination in public accommodation and brought much needed reform to the electoral process. Through interviews with key stakeholders within non-profit organizations and other methods of data...

Group 6 Metal-Oxo and -Alkylidyne Complexes with High Reactivity Derived from π-Antibonding Orbitals

Hunter Baksa Vibbert
Photoredox catalysis has become a useful synthetic technique to make and break chemical bonds in chemical structures relevant to medicinal chemistry and renewable energy. Few general approaches, however, have been reported that can prepare synthetically useful organic radicals whose parent molecules are reduced negative of –2.6 V (vs FeCp20/+). One such approach to accessing these molecules is to design photoredox chromophores that can directly prepare these radical species. The central hypothesis investigated here is that...

Design and Synthesis of Colloidal Metallic Nanostructures for Programmable Self-Assembly

Kyle Gibson
Reliability and predictability in methods that produce pure, consistent, and monodisperse products is a hallmark in all aspects of chemistry. Within the subfields of nanomaterials and nanotechnology, due to the relatively short amount of time these areas of chemistry have had research dedicated to their study, there is room for improvement in the methods and techniques that are often used to synthesize these materials. I have been working on two aspects in this area of...

Crisis Management and Socio-Political Risk in the Hellenistic Age

Paul Vadan
Today, the public has unprecedented access to the political decision-making process thanks to democratic norms, technological advancements in telecommunications, and archival capacities. Office-holders and prominent public figures are routinely placed under a social microscope, as their every move is dissected in an attempt to learn more about their character, intentions, and possibly their consequential decisions. However, students of ancient socio-political history do not benefit from similar levels of knowledge about the collective decision-making process, because...

Computational Benefits and Behavioral Implications of Multidimensional Sensory Tuning

Matthew Macellaio
Organisms’ behaviors and perceptions are shaped by the manner in which the brain processes incoming sensory information. Different sensory streams of the brain manage and process disparate types of inputs from sensory receptors in order to transform sensory information into decision and action. To adequately achieve this goal, neurons in many areas simultaneously encode multiple features of the outside world. Jointly encoding various features can, however, lead to ambiguity in the decoding process: single-trial fluctuations...

Individual Differences in Young Children's Responses to Stress: The Role of Perception

Karen Emily-Lois Smith
Early life stress is associated with a host of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral difficulties for children later in life. These negative effects of early life stress are thought to be in part a consequence of chronic and/or extreme perceptions of stress leading to extended activation of physiological, psychological, and behavioral stress response systems, ultimately resulting in dysregulation in these systems. However, not all children who experience early life stress, even the same type of...

Identification of a Superfamily of Membrane Protein Biogenesis Factors

Stefan Andrei Anghel
Cells possess specialized machinery to direct the insertion of membrane proteins into the lipid bilayer. In all organisms, the Sec61/SecYEG channel inserts most membrane proteins into the membrane in concert with various accessory subunits. Additionally, other membrane protein insertion systems have been described. In bacteria, the essential protein YidC inserts certain proteins into the plasma membrane. Eukaryotic orthologs of YidC are present in the mitochondrial inner membrane and the chloroplast thylakoid membrane (where they are...

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