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USJ Theses and Dissertations

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  • Macao Creole Portuguese (MacCP) is a critically endangered language spoken in Southeastern China. The formation of MacCP is attributed to the speakers of Portuguese-based creole languages in Asia (Asian CPs), especially Papia Kristang, the Malayo-Portuguese of Malacca (MalCP). Since the 19th century, MacCP has been traditionally classified as Sino-Portuguese, but comparative methods incited some authors to treat MacCP within the Malayo-Portuguese group. In Macao, the Malaccan origin of MacCP, known as Patúa or Maquista, is generally underestimated or misunderstood by the local population, including the Macanese/Maquista community. The main goal of this research is to clarify the origin of MacCP from a typological perspective on grammatical features. Secondly, while considering a possible revitalization of Maquista, the research should assess the significance of the Malayo- and Sino-Portuguese classifications in popular narratives and relate the language to current practices. The grammar of MacCP emerged from the complex linguistic ecology of the Portuguese colonial expansion in Asia. The documentation of Asian CPs allows us to sketch possible scenarios that explain the formation of MacCP according to linguistic, historical and social factors. A digital corpus of MacCP containing archive documents, contemporary literature, and oral transcriptions was assembled in order to produce a systematic review of 130 grammatical features, as defined in the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures Online (APiCS Online – Michaelis et al. [eds] 2013). MacCP and MalCP share certain features that are not found in South Asian CPs, such as the in situ position of interrogative words, the reduplication for nominal plural, the form of reciprocal constructions, and the verb serialization of motion constructions, thus pointing to the Malayo-Portuguese origin. At the same time, other features suggest a certain influence from Sinitic languages, mainly Cantonese and Hokkien, such as the convergence between the genitive, adjective and relative clause constructions, the double-object construction, the verb-neg-verb polar question, the copular focus construction, the reduplication inducing a change of word class or semantics, and the use of certain deontic, imperative, and prohibitive verbal markers. The comparative analysis of the grammars of MacCP, MalCP and other Asian CPs can be represented quantitatively by the means of a phylogenetic network (SplitsTree4 – Huson & Bryant 2006). The results clearly indicate that, from a structural perspective, MacCP belongs to the Malayo-Portuguese group and the presence of Sinitic elements did not affect the core of the grammar. In fact, MacCP and MalCP appear to be more similar to each other than to the former Malayo-Portuguese of Batavia. However, the Malayo-Portuguese classification of MacCP does not resonate with the Macanese community. By contrast, the Sino-Portuguese classification translates current linguistic, social and semiotic practices. A socio-semiotic survey among the millennial generation of Macanese and the consideration of themes and motifs in Maquista literature indicates that the revitalization of Maquista simultaneously implies, in their views, the preservation of the Cantonese and Portuguese heritage

  • Mangroves are a unique group of plants, which offer a great variety of goods and services to the ecosystem and to the society. Regrettably, they have been globally threatened by urbanization and industrialization, among others, triggering overexploitation of the world’s mangrove forests despite their ecological and economic importance. As a result, mangroves are often under pollution stress as sinks or receivers for numerous man-made pollutants such as pesticides, which are the main focus of this thesis. One of the most widely applied chemicals in the word are the organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) that even after their supposedly worldwide ban between 1950s-1990s, they can still be detected in the environment. Numerous studies have been done in phytoremediation of pollutants by mangroves, but little attention has been given to the role of mangroves in the remediation of OCPs. For this reason, part of this thesis will focus on the occurrence and distribution of OCPs in intertidal tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world with and without mangroves. As a first goal (I), we evaluate —in a theoretical way— if the presence of mangroves affects or modifies the levels of OCPs in the surrounding environment. For this purpose, data from different matrices, such as water, sediment, benthic fauna and plants were included and discussed in this work. Moreover, and considering Macao’s location, we also quantified OCPs from surface waters of this region from areas with and without mangroves and included in this task. Besides this theoretical approach, this thesis also included some laboratoy and field work specifically focused on dicofol and 4,4’-dichlorobenzophenone (4,4’-DCBP, its main metabolite). Dicofol is an OCP strongly related to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which has been extensively used in China and more specifically, in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), a region under anthropogenic pressure. However, due to dicofol’s instability (i.e., sensitive to low pH, light exposure and high temperature), we expected to quantify 4,4′-DCBP (which is also common to DDT) as the main form present in the environment. As a second goal (II), we conducted a monitoring study in surface waters from Macao and Hong Kong, to evaluate the contamination status and water quality of these regions. Concentrations of 4,4’-DCBP, nutrients and physicochemical parameters were measured during transition and wet season, and at high and low tide. In addition, since the toxicity of this metabolite was totally unknown, we assessed it via two biological models: Daphnia magna and Artemia salina. Since 4,4’-DCBP was detected and quantified in both regions (2.8-30.0 ng/L), this thesis also includes experimental work focused on the assimilation and depuration pattern by a marine organism. For that purpose and as a final goal (III), we selected the common edible bivalve Meretrix as a model to evaluate the dynamics of accumulation and depuration of the pesticide dicofol. The Vietnamese clams were exposed during 15 days under two different concentrations of dicofol, and decontaminated for the same period of time. Quantification of 4,4’-DCBP was done during both phases (uptake and depuration) and at different sampling times. In summary, all these different works helped us to conclude that: I.1) As expected, vegetated areas with mangroves presented lower concentrations of OCPs for all the matrices, and also better quality in terms of pesticide pollution for water and sediments. Results obtained from Macao’s waters also revealed the same pattern, with mangroves areas having lower levels of contamination. Although the gathered data presented methodological variability (i.e. different quantification methods, extraction protocols, equipment used), the same pattern was observed among matrices, showing how robust and solid the results herein obtained are. II.1). Hong Kong presented higher concentrations of 4,4’-DCBP than Macao, which may be due to the use of dicofol as a pesticide and the use of antifouling-paint for ships. Moreover, concentrations of 4,4’-DCBP during wet season were below limits of quantification, demonstrating a seasonal pattern and a dilution effect due to higher river discharges during this period. II.2). Both regions showed possible eutrophication problems due to the high nutrient concentrations. These levels presented also a seasonal variability, with dissolved inorganic nitrogen and total dissolved solids higher during transition; and dissolved inorganic phosphorous, total suspended solids and chlorophyll a higher during wet season. II.3). Toxicity of 4,4’-DCBP was lower than the parent compound dicofol, and the levels quantified indicated a low environmental risk. However, it is important to pay attention to this compound since interaction with other contaminants could enhance their toxicity, or processes such as biomagnification or bioaccumulation could make low concentrations a threat for the environment. III.1). Different concentrations of dicofol presented different uptake and depuration kinetics. Animals exposed to higher concentrations (500 ng/L), had levels above limits of quantification (LOQ) after 24h exposure, unlike the ones exposed to lower concentrations (50 ng/L), which had levels <LOQ after the same period. The first ones also, presented lower uptake rates, and this could indicate that high dicofol concentrations in the system could affect the respiration rates of the organism. In addition, this work also showed that animals exposed to high concentrations of dicofol will need more than 15 days to depurate in order to reach safe levels for human consumption. The compilation of the work done in this thesis allowed us to better understand the role of mangroves ecosystems on the accumulation of OCPs and to provide solid information that could create strategies for mangroves management and conservation. Moreover, and as a first attempt, we were able to quantify this pesticide metabolite in the PRD (one of the most seriously contaminated areas in China), to determine its toxicity and to define its kinetics in an important organism such as the edible bivalve M. meretrix. We intend that this thesis will be helpful for the scientific community providing new insights regarding metabolite interactions (within and with other molecules) and toxicity (LC50 and theoretical risk assessment), which were unknown until now

  • Vehicles solely powered by electricity are a major technological innovation that combines individual transportation needs and environmental sustainability, yet their market penetration is low. Research has traditionally indicated factors such as the vehicle’s purchasing price, driving range, and charging time as the main barriers to adoption. However, the decision to adopt a technology also depends on what the technology represents to the user; therefore, other factors may be important to explain individuals’ behavior. This study is a quantitative and cross-sectional look at the behavioral intention to adopt battery electric vehicles (BEVs) technology in the context of Macau. The research builds on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2 (UTAUT 2) (Venkatesh et. al., 2012) to explain the characteristics of the local consumers. Besides the addition of image and environmental concern to the theoretical model, the study also put forward and evaluate the construct of technology show-off, an original measure of the visible and experiential characteristics of a technology. A sample of 236 Macau residents was analyzed by structural equation modeling (SEM). The analysis of the data supported the explanatory and predictive power of our model and helped to describe the idiosyncrasies of local residents. The results provide insights related to individual technology acceptance that could be useful in designing more accurate strategies and fostering the uptake of BEVs in Macau or markets that share similarities

  • Fishes are highly specialized in extracting ecologically relevant information from their diverse acoustic habitats since early developmental stages. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a valuable and well-stablished vertebrate model for investigating hearing functioning and disorders, development of the inner ear in vertebrates including humans, drug discovery, ecotoxicology assessments and behavioral research. Although the acoustic environment is known to shape the structure and sensitivity of auditory systems, there is no information on the natural soundscape of this species. Zebrafish are typically reared in large-scale artificial housing systems, which acoustic properties and potential effects on hearing remain largely unknown. Even though elevated levels of noise are widely present in most aquatic soundscapes and to an even greater extent in artificial environments, very limited information is known on how this important environmental stressor impacts species’ development and physiology, hearing capabilities and inner ear morphology, and behaviour. Considering that noise pollution is rapidly increasing in aquatic ecosystems, causing detrimental effects on survivability and growth and altering physiology and behaviour of organisms, it is of paramount importance to assess how this stressor affects wildlife, especially in early ontogeny, a critical period for development and establishment of phenotypic traits. For this thesis I aimed to 1) characterize the soundscape of both zebrafish natural habitats and laboratory captive conditions, and discuss possible impact on auditory sensitivity. Sound recordings were conducted in five distinct zebrafish habitats (Southwest India), from quieter stagnant environments with diverse biological/abiotic sounds to louder watercourses characterized by current and moving substrate, while artificial environmental characterization was conducted on three typical zebrafish housing systems. 8 In order to assess the impact of noise exposure on early development, my next goal was to 2) perform a split-brood experiment to test the effects of chronic noise exposure to increasing levels (130 and 150 dB re 1 μPa, continuous white noise) and different temporal regimes (mimicking shipping activity) on larval zebrafish in regards to general development, physiological stress, and behavioural patterns. Finally, the last objective consisted on 3) testing the effects of chronic noise exposure on auditory sensitivity measured based on inner ear saccular microphonics and acoustic-evoked startle responses (prepulse inhibition paradigm) in larval zebrafish, as well as evaluating whether sensitivity changes were paralleled by altered inner ear morphology. Based on bioacoustics methods, my first study found that zebrafish natural soundscape varied between 98 and 126 dB re 1 lPa in sound pressure levels. Sound spectra presented most energy below 3000 Hz and quieter noise windows were found in the noisiest habitats matching the species best hearing range. Contrastingly, recordings from zebrafish housing systems revealed higher sound levels (122–143 dB) and most energy below 1000Hz with more spectral peaks, which might cause significant impact such as auditory masking or even hearing loss. In my second research work, the acoustic treatments did not affect general development or hatching but increased noise levels led to a significant increase in mortality of larval zebrafish. The cardiac rate, yolk sac consumption and cortisol levels increased significantly with increasing noise level at both 3 and 5 dpf (days post fertilization). Variations in noise time presentations (different random noise periods similar to shipping activity) suggested that the presence of longer silent intervals is important to down-regulate physiological stress. Moreover, 5 dpf larvae exposed to 150 dB continuous noise regimes displayed increased dark avoidance in an anxiety-related dark/light preference test and displayed a significant 9 impairment in spontaneous alternation behaviour (SAB) a memory and sensorimotor related behaviour. Finally, in the last thesis goal, I found that noise-exposed specimens displayed significantly lower hair cell number and saccular epithelial area. This change in sensory morphology was paralleled by a significant decrease in inner ear saccular sensitivity at lower frequencies (100 to 200 Hz) in 5 dpf larvae. Sensorimotor hearing assessment revealed a hypersensitisation effect in noise-exposed group that displayed higher startle swimming velocity, but also significant decrease in sensitivity at 200 Hz. Altogether, this thesis provides an important ground for future research on the adaptation of zebrafish auditory system to the natural soundscapes, and highlights the importance of controlling noise conditions in captivity systems. Furthermore, results provide first evidence of noise-induced physiological stress, anxiety-driven behaviours and memory impairment in larval zebrafish larvae, showing that both noise amplitude and timing may negatively impact key physiological and behavioural endpoints in early ontogeny. The thesis also reports new findings on how acoustic stress may impact the structure and function of the inner ear in larval fish, which was followed by decreased sensitivity in sensorimotor responses to acoustic stimuli. My research highlights the importance of investigating how altered soundscapes and associated physiological and behavioural stress may affect important sensitive windows in development and impose new evolutionary challenges under a scenario of global change

  • This thesis aims to explore how learning accounting for non-accounting major students could be enhanced through a comprehensive framework connecting individual attributes and learning approaches. While accounting is considered an important and mandatory discipline for business students, it is also considered a difficult subject which deters students’ engagement in the subject. Although the issue has been widely recognized, there are relatively less discussions on possible remedies. Learning accounting is a dynamic process that go beyond the traditional one-to-many learning and teaching settings, all factors revolving the students’ learning environment and process, altogether determine and affect the learning efficiencies. A meta-analysis was first performed to understand the standings of accounting education and to identify gaps within existing literatures in the field of management, accounting, tourism and general education researches. A documentary review on the curricula of all Macau HEI programs involving compulsory accounting courses was also conducted to understand the role and significance of accounting courses for non-accounting college students in Macau. Based on the literature review, this study borrows constructs from theory of planned behavior (TPB) models in its research framework. It attempts to provide a comprehensive framework to understand how students learn accounting efficiently by delving into individual learning styles of the students and their perceived helpfulness and self-efficacy, in respective to different learning techniques. Due to its exploratory nature, a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative methodology is adopted, where both focus group discussions and in-depth interviews are performed with non-accounting students to elicit understandings on student’s difficulties in learning accounting and their preferences for different learning styles. Then, a full-scale quantitative survey is conducted in a Macau higher education institute to assess the learning efficiencies of accounting in different situations. A triangulation with feedback from faculties and administrators are also elicited to provide alternate dimensions on the issues. With no surprise, there is no one best 3 teaching style or method for all students, this thesis contributes to accounting education research by provide a comprehensive diagnosis on the all-round learning stimulus and hindrance in learning accounting. At the end, recommendations are provided for accounting educators to emphasize on the uniqueness of students and to encourage a more dynamic and open environment for learning. Limitations of the studies are also discussed

  • A combination of assessment, operational forecast, and future perspective was thoroughly explored to provide an overview of the existing air quality problems in Macao. The levels of air pollution in Macao often exceed those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). In order for the population to take precautionary measures and avoid further health risks during high pollution episodes, it is important to develop a reliable air quality forecast. Statistical models based on linear multiple regression (MLR) and classification and regression trees (CART) analysis were successfully developed for Macao, to predict the next day concentrations of NO2, PM10, PM2.5, and O3. Meteorological variables were selected from an extensive list of possible variables, including geopotential height, relative humidity, atmospheric stability, and air temperature at different vertical levels. Air quality variables translate the resilience of the recent past concentrations of each pollutant and usually are maximum and/or the average of latest 24-hour levels. The models were applied in forecasting the next day average daily concentrations for NO2 and PM and maximum hourly O3 levels for five air quality monitoring stations. The results are expected to support an operational air iv quality forecast for Macao. The work involved two phases. On a first phase, the models utilized meteorological and air quality variables based on five years of historical data, from 2013 to 2017. Data from 2013 to 2016 were used to develop the statistical models and data from 2017 was used for validation purposes. All the developed models were statistically significantly valid with a 95% confidence level with high coefficients of determination (from 0.78 to 0.93) for all pollutants. On a second phase, these models were used with 2019 validation data, while a new set of models based on a more extended historical data series, from 2013 to 2018, were also validated with 2019 data. There were no significant differences in the coefficients of determination (R2) and minor improvements in root mean square errors (RMSE), mean absolute errors (MAE) and biases (BIAS) between the 2013 to 2016 and the 2013 to 2018 data models. In addition, for one air quality monitoring station (Taipa Ambient), the 2013 to 2018 model was applied for two days ahead (D2) forecast and the coefficient of determination (R2) was considerably less accurate to the one day ahead (D1) forecast, but still able to provide a reliable air quality forecast for Macao. To understand if the prediction model was robust to extreme variations in v pollutants concentration, a test was performed under the circumstances of a high pollution episode for PM2.5 and O3 during 2019, and a low pollution episode during 2020. Regarding the high pollution episode, the period of the Chinese National Holiday of 2019 was selected, in which high concentration levels were identified for PM2.5 and O3, with peaks of daily concentration for PM2.5 levels exceeding 55 μg/m3 and the maximum hourly concentration for O3 levels exceeding 400 μg/m3. For the low pollution episode, the 2020 period of implementation of the preventive measures for COVID-19 pandemic was selected, with a low record of daily concentration for PM2.5 levels at 2 μg/m3 and maximum hourly concentration for O3 levels at 50 μg/m3. The 2013 to 2018 model successfully predicted the high pollution episode with high coefficients of determination (0.92 for PM2.5 and 0.82 for O3). Likewise, the low pollution episode was also correctly predicted with high coefficients of determination (0.86 and 0.84 for PM2.5 and O3, respectively). Overall, the results demonstrate that the statistical forecast model is robust and able to correctly reproduce extreme air pollution events of both high and low concentration levels. Machine learning methods maybe adopted to provide significant improvements in combination of multiple linear regression (MLR) and classification and regression vi tree (CART) to further improve the accuracy of the statistical forecast. The developed air pollution forecasting model may be combined with other measures to mitigate the impact of air pollution in Macao. These may include the establishment of low emission zones (LEZ), as enforced in some European cities, license plate restrictions and lottery policy, as used in some Asian, tax exemptions on electric vehicles (EVs) and exclusive corridors for public transportations. Keywords: Air pollution; Particulate Matter; Ozone; Macao; Statistical air quality forecast; Pollution episodes; Chinese national holiday; COVID-19

  • As societies globalize, mastery of a second or multiple languages has become an important index to enhance interaction in the society. In that English is a is a widely used medium of communication globally for engagement in international business, commerce, science, technology and governance, the benefits of an efficacious English language teaching force to facilitate the English acquisition process of students in classrooms around the world is highly valued. For the purpose of this study, the English language teacher efficacy instrument (ELTEI) was adapted to the local context to measure the professional efficacy of the English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher participants. The objective of the research was to investigate the degree of relationship between antecedent conditions and specific teacher efficacy in Macao. A mixed-method approach in a sequential phase design was adopted to explore the efficacy of English language teachers serving Chinese medium schools in a non-English speaking region in Asia. Phase-one employed a qualitative approach to contextualize the measurement instrument and to ascertain important characteristics of the target population. Phase-two ensured a quantitative approach to yield understanding regarding the influence of key antecedent conditions on the efficacy of English language teachers in Macao. As evidenced through multiple linear regressions and structural equation modeling, openness, neuroticism, and perceived school support were significant predictors for teacher’s self-efficacy in English teaching. Recommendations for the school management to enhance and sustain the efficacy of EFL teachers in Macao were discussed

  • This research examines the relationship between banking competition and efficiency using relevant data of Macau banking industry from 1999 to 2016. The key finding of this research is to demonstrate a clear causality between competition and efficiency in Macau’s banking industry throughout the study period. The interaction between two vital factors of the banking industry provides a solid empirical evidence for the practitioners and policymakers to make sound decisions accordingly. The most recent data show that there is a wide variation of key operational indicators of different banks in 2016. However, this study finds no evidence that the size of operations in terms of total bank loans would impact banks’ efficiency. Economies of scale or market share doesn’t necessarily bring cost efficiency in Macau’s banking industry

  • The territory of Macao is composed of several granitic intrusions belonging to one of the biggest granite provinces in the world, the Southeast China Magmatic Belt (SCMB), located in the southeast (SE) area of the Cathaysia Block. The SCMB is known by the occurrence of large volumes of Mesozoic magmatic rocks (over 90% are granitic rocks and equivalent volcanic rocks with minor basalts), occupying a total outcrop area of nearly 200.000 km2. The geology of Macao (~30 Km2) is dominated by granitic rocks displaying a wide range of textural, mineralogical and chemical features, making it an ideal region to study these rocks and the petrogenetic processes responsible for their diversity. This study employed a wide range of research methodologies, namely field studies, petrography, zircon geochronology, mineral chemistry, whole-rock elemental and isotopic geochemistry to determine the nature of the source, the petrogenetic processes and the tectonic regimes of the Mesozoic magmatism in this region. Thus, the data collected along this study aims to provide new knowledge on the tectono-magmatic evolution of Macao, in particular, and of SE China, in general. The results obtained from the high-precision U–Pb zircon geochronology, acquired through isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) and in-situ laser ablation multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS), revealed different ages for Macao granites. Despite its relatively small area, the determined ages tightly constrain the Macao granitic magmatism to two periods, ranging from 164.5 ± 0.6 to 162.9 ± 0.7 Ma (MGI – Macao Group I granites) and 156.6 ± 0.2 to 155.5 ± 0.8 Ma (MGII – Macao Group II granites). In addition, younger dacitic rocks were dated at 150.6 ± 0.6 Ma and <120 Ma. The existence of two proximal but distinct granitic pulses, spanning for a time of about 9 Ma and separated by ca. 6 Ma, in the Macao granitic suite suggests that it was incrementally assembled. This hypothesis is also extendable to the neighbouring Hong Kong region, where the magmatic activity occurred in four major pulses spanning for about 24 Ma. However, the MGII granites indicate the occurrence, on the Pearl River Delta region, of a magmatic pulse between those defined in Hong Kong at the origin of Lamma Suite (165–160 Ma) and the Kwai Chung Suite (148–146 Ma). In addition, Rare Element Earth (REE) ratios suggest that this pulse may only occur in Macao area, while MGI granites show evolving trends of REE ratios similar to those of Jurassic granites outcropping in vast areas of the Cathaysia Block (SE China). Inheritance patterns in the zircon U–Pb data indicate the presence of a population of antecrysts (165–180 Ma) crystallized from earlier magmatic pulses and a population of inherited zircons, from Precambrian to Phanerozoic sources, incorporated into the magmas during melting and/or ascent/emplacement at crustal levels. The oldest inherited ages (2.4 Ga and possibly 2.9 Ga) suggest contribution of Proterozoic and possibly of late Archaean crustal sources for the Macao magmatism. The granitic rocks of Macao are mainly high-K calc-alkaline metaluminous to weakly peraluminous I-type granites with variable degrees of fractionation. Fractional crystallization played an important role in the evolution of these granites, though the fractionation paths differ for the highly fractionated facies of both groups mainly due to distinct accessory fractionating phases. Such difference is evident by distinct REE evolution trends: while MGI magmas seem to have evolved by gradual enrichment in heavy REE relatively to light REE, originating progressively flatter REE patterns, magmas from MGII are marked by depletion of middle REE, leading to progressively concave upward REE patterns. However, while most of the geochemical variation of the MGII granites can be explained by fractional crystallization, the same is not true for MGI granites. The MGI highly fractionated granites show evidence for the REE tetrad effect and are characterized by non-CHArge-and-RAdius-Controlled (non-CHARAC) behaviour of trace elements, suggesting late-stage melt/fluid interactions involving F-rich fluids. The stage of evolution represented by the MGI highly fractionated granites corresponds to the onset of fluid/melt interaction in a highly evolved granitic system, which may have led to enhanced hydrothermal activity in more evolved stages, as those represented in neighbouring areas in SE China. Significant differences in isotopic composition were also observed, with the MGII being characterized by a much narrow range of initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios and εNd(t) and εHf(t) values than MGI. Based on these differences, the MGII granites are considered to be part of a comagmatic suite that has evolved in closed system, contrasting with what can be inferred for MGI. The increase in initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios with degree of evolution, the presence of metasedimentary enclaves and the high percentage of inherited zircon with Paleozoic ages in MGI, suggest the occurrence of an assimilation fractionation crystallization (AFC) process. The AFC processes were a major cause for the I-S transitional characteristics of the MGI highly fractionated granites and possibly of the other similar Jurassic biotite granites in SE China. The observed decoupling of Sr, Nd and Hf isotope systems might have resulted from magma mixing between the granitic and more mafic magmas, which caused the homogenization of Sr isotope ratios but not of the Nd and Hf ones. Such process is also supported by the occurrence of Microgranular Mafic Enclaves (MME) hosted by the granites. Isotope and major element compositions together with model ages strongly suggest that Macao granitic magmas were generated by partial melting of infracrustal medium-to-high K basaltic Paleo-Proterozoic to Mesoproterozoic protoliths heated by, and mixed to some degree with mantle-derived magmas. The temporal and spatial association of Macao and SE China Jurassic I-type granites with basaltic/gabbroic rocks, syenites and A-type granites, displaying typical intraplate chemical features, indicates an extensional regime rather than an active margin for the origin of these rocks. It also points to an important role of mantle-derived magmas in the production of SE China Jurassic granites. Adiabatic decompression melting of the asthenospheric mantle produced mafic magmas, which underplated at the base of the crust (Moho), subsequently triggering partial melting of the lower crust to generate the granitic magmas. The Jurassic Macao granites are interpreted as being produced in an intraplate extensional setting related to the break-off and foundering of a previously flat-slab (Paleo-Pacific plate) beneath the Eurasian plate. The boundary between east and west Cathaysia blocks is roughly along the Zhenghe-Dapu Fault (ZDF), which intersects the SE China coast near Hong Kong and is thought to have played a major role for the Mesozoic magmatic activity in this region. The stronger isotopic affinities of Macao granites with the other granitic rocks and lower crustal xenoliths from the western Cathaysia Block suggest that the ZDF is likely to pass south of Macao, a fact that has not been mentioned before. In addition to the Early Yanshanian (Jurassic) granitic magmatism in Macao, the younger ages obtained for the dacite dykes indicate that the territory was also affected, to a lesser degree, by Late Yanshanian (Cretaceous) magmatism. The transition from granitic to dacitic magmatism most likely corresponds to a change in the regional tectonic regime, which induced a significant change in the magma genesis processes. In contrast with the intraplate features of Macao and SE China Jurassic granites and coeval mafic rocks, the geochemical features of the Macao dacite dykes (e.g. high LILE/HFSE ratios and negative anomalies of Nb, Ta and Ti) are identical to those characterizing arc-like subduction-related magmas. These dacites are most likely evolved products of arc-like magmatism and may testify the reestablishment of a normal subduction system in this area of SE China.

  • This thesis introduces, implements and evaluates an innovative concept for assessing driving behavior in public transportation through Mobile Crowd Sensing (MCS), under the field of Advanced Public Transportation System (APTS) - a sub-group of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Aggressive driving behavior is known to be a cause of avoidable accidents and to increase fuel consumption. In public transportations, it is also a case for costumers’ dissatisfaction. Monitoring the quality of driving behavior is a key element to overcome this issue and to improve road safety and customer satisfaction. In this research project, a software application (app) for mobile devices was developed as an experimental tool / proof-of-concept, to monitor aggressive driving behavior in bus drivers, collecting data coming from mobile device’s accelerometer and passengers’ qualitative evaluation. The experimental procedure took place in public transportation in Macau (bus only) and consisted of data collection of drivers’ aggressive driving behavior using the developed application. The analysis of collected data suggests that MCS is a viable way to assess drivers’ behavior in public transportation, thus contributing to the improvement of the service and increase of road safety. Although the methodology has been tailor-made for Macau public transportation, it is believed that the same concept can be applied to other cities, leading them towards the goal of becoming smarter cities. Keywords: driving behavior; mobile crowd sensing; crowdsourcing; smart city; advanced public transportation system; intelligent transportation system; road safety; mobile device accelerometer

  • This dissertation reports on a study which aims to add to the theoretical understanding of how social capital is transferred from one generation to the next in business families. Studies in the field of family business have emphasized the importance of succession for the survival of family businesses, but while the succession process and planning have been widely studied, the examination of social capital succession is scarce. As for the studies in family business’s social capital, the importance of social capital as a source of competitive advantage which already exists in business families have often been expressed, but there is a lack of research in the means of transferring this form of capital from the family business leaders to their successors. The study presented here addresses this gap in family business succession literature and social capital literature, explaining the means of transgenerational succession of social capital in family businesses. This is a qualitative research using the multiple case study method which aims to investigate the means of social capital transmission by comparing the cases of five different Chinese family businesses in Macau, which are in the succession process, with the successor currently managing the firm while the former generation business leaders are in the process of handing over the business and preparing for retirement. In doing so, this research offers a theoretical framework of explaining how social capital is transmitted from the incumbents to the successors throughout a five-stage succession process developed for this research. The forms of social capital that exists in family businesses are identified from previous literature, in order to clearly explain how these different forms of social capital are passed on from generation to generation based on the review on succession process introduced in published literature. A theoretical iii framework is formed from the two parent theories on family business succession and social capital, and is then verified empirically from five Chinese family businesses in Macau. The cases are developed through in-depth interviews with the incumbents and successors of the family businesses, informal interviews with stakeholders (including family members, business associates, non-family employees and customers), direct observation on the premises of the Chinese family businesses and secondary data, in order to study the process of intergenerational transmission of social capital in these Chinese family businesses

  • Two billion users make Facebook of academic interest. This thesis creates a Facebook Divide Index, the delineated categories of Facebook Native, Facebook Immigrant, and Facebook Isolate, and develops Facebook inequality concepts. Macau has a fast- growing number of Facebook Immigrants who benefit from using the online social network. Data from participation-observation and surveys demonstrate social capital gain by Facebook Immigrants, with older generation Facebook users relatively happier than their younger counterparts. The thesis concludes that society needs to equip and empower the older generation or Facebook Isolates, so that they can benefit from online social network usage

  • Macau is a dynamic city with a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures, which has become a well-known travel destination. Macau is not only home to the casinos, but also a shopping paradise, where we can find international luxury brands and local designer brands. The local fashion industry has a strong follower base, taking a different route than that of the Textile and Garment Industry in the 1980s. Nowadays, the local Fashion Industry is not only focused on production, but more on the design and creativity. Macau is a city rooted in the casino industry, having shifted from an industrial economy into a service-based one. This study aims to assess the relations between Asia and Europe with regard to their impact on the creative process of local fashion designers, to understand how local designers balance between market, creativity and aesthetics. Also, it is important to understand how Macau government supports local brands such as: “Made in Macau”. In order to accomplish our goal, several academic areas will be addressed, such as fashion design and the cultural and creative industries in their broad sense, (aesthetics, history, creativity, identity, economy, ergonomics, cognition, and social value). A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods have been used, including questionnaires, open-ended interviews, case-study research, ethnographic methods, historical research and visual methodologies. In the following chapters, this studies will describe mainly the Macau fashion industry in a globalized era and the multiculturalism’s influence on the local fashion designer’s collections

  • Several internationalization theories have been developed over the past few decades that have made great contributions in explaining enterprise internationalization and their mode of entry strategy. It has been suggested that the determinants of entry mode choice of enterprises from emerging and frontier markets differ from those of comparable enterprises from advanced economies. Literature review appears to indicate that there is a need to expand the framework for entry mode strategies to accommodate the expansion issues enterprises from emerging and frontier countries face in the global marketplace. Nevertheless, not much information and acceptable conclusion has been made on how MNEs from frontier markets internationalize and what factors influence their choice of entry into those markets. This study investigated the internationalization strategies of Lusophone Africa MNEs from Angola and Mozambique, more specifically their entry mode. Information was gathered through a survey of 29 MNE’s upper management respondents and subsequent face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 24 of them in their countries. The results of this study suggest that most MNEs opted for equity-based investment strategies, mainly joint venture and M&E as their preferred mode of entry when internationalizing. A significant group of them opted for e- commerce/e-business strategies, and direct and indirect exports. A smaller portion of the interviewees chose Greenfield investment as a mode of entry. Many of these MNEs could be classified as born global/INV. Finally, this study presents a conceptual framework for use in studying the entry mode choice of enterprises from Lusophone Africa frontier markets and presents research propositions for better understanding the determinants of entry mode strategies of enterprise from Angola and Mozambique. Keywords: Internationalization, Entry Mode, Emerging Markets, Frontier Markets, Lusophone African MNEs, Angola, Mozambique

  • This research intends to analyze how the social, political, economical and cultural transformations of the retrocession of Macao S.A.R. to China influenced the contemporary grassroots artistic production, namely their response to the issue of One Country, Two Systems policy. This transitional state of these places in-between creates a somehow ambivalent situation where some of the core values of identity and heritage are fading away due to the forces of the current development. In this sense, it urges to consider the ways in which artists in the post-retrocession era in their lived experiences, form their own sense of community and consciousness of place, time and belonging and, by doing so, can contribute to the preservation of some of the local and specific characteristics, enhancing the cultural vitality of the region. The growing interest by the artists in the issues of preservation and engagement with the locality, trough memory and history, manifested in ‘alternative’ modes of production, is providing a different model of ‘place making’ and a narrative that contrasts and complements some of the top-down cultural policies. Since the focus of development in these territories has been on the idea of creative industries, entertainment and tourism as possible realities for the pressing economical diversification, these grassroots models, functioning as the ‘second system’ open up complexity, providing different questions and answers to the future of artistic production. Finally, departing from these examples, we analyze the possibility of a new image for these kinds of artistic practices, through their incorporation into the possibility of relational aesthetics ‘with Chinese characteristics’, within the perspective of integration, and as emergent features in the field of contemporary art

  • This study covers the limited research on how experiences with nature can foster Chinese students’ pro-environmental identity and behavior. The relevant literature outlines five areas – identity, human behavior, experiences, nature and transformation – in understanding how the Chinese culture of ‘face’ (lain/mian) shapes Chinese students’ identity and behavior today and why experience with nature can help to transform Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms, and shapes someone who manifests an environmentally sensitive behavior. Past research studies environmental behavior in various dimensions, including the correlation between environmental knowledge and positive environmental attitudes and behavior. Yet surveys of how students’ experience with nature fosters a pro-environmental identity and behavior, especially amongst Chinese students, are rare. The qualitative case study in this thesis seeks to find out whether senior students in the Design Department of IPM’s School of Arts who experienced nature in Southern Thailand show a stronger pro-environmental identity and behavior compared to those not in the experiential learning program. A survey which includes the Environmental Identity Survey (Clayton, 2003) and the Environmentally Responsible Behaviors Index (Smith-Sebasto & D’Acosta, 1995) was administered to all senior students, and an in-depth interview with students who had experience with nature in Southern Thailand was conducted. The findings suggest that a rainforest experience not merely fosters pro-environmental identity and behavior, but student all rounded development especially as a step towards internationalization. The findings also indicate to what extent the programmatic factors of the experience were important in changing Chinese students’ values, beliefs and norms in thinking and behaving environmentally, as well as in student personal development. Keywords: nature, experiential learning, pro-environmental identity, pro-environmental behavior

  • The study builts on Bateman and Schmidt’s (2011) and Tseng’s (2009) research on film as a form of “cinematographic document,” and continues their efforts to construct a semiotic mode of film. The author recognizes the complexity of undertaking research in the domain of semiotic discourse. This study argues that as film analysis is about ways of seeing and synthesizing different cinematic styles, strategies; learnt cinematic conventions and reflective viewing is imperative. The interaction of robust multimodal resources, well-defined analytic units, based on dependable models, and conducted through a discursive process should align to produce fruitful filmic discourse. The study premised on the assumption that film is more than a “self-enclosed signification system” but a crucial “cultural practice” that “reflect and inflect culture.” Taken together, this view underscores the importance and interactivity of cinema, culture and society. To this end, the study contributes to filmic meaning making, the New Hong Kong Cinema, and finally, the present study invariably serves as a form of “social document” or “cultural artifacts” in its exploration of Hong Kong ever changing identity, culture and moods.

  • Religion and migration are both phenomena that have endured perennially in the experience of humanity. However, studies on the relationship of these two subjects are not as prevalent compared to how widespread international migration has become especially among people coming from religious societies. This work contributes to the knowledge base on the significance of religion within the context of international migration by looking at how religious faith and practice evolve as a result of the experience of migration. Interviews about the migration narratives of Filipino Catholics working in Macau were conducted. These were supported by data collected through the use of survey questionnaires that look into changes in religious practices of respondents as well as their attitudes towards faith and belief. The study has found that there is constancy in the religious faith and practice of Filipino Catholics even amidst external changes to the physical and social environment brought about by moving to a predominantly secular society. Through recourse to anthropological analysis, this immutability of faith is attributable to the unique ethnographic feature of Filipinos’ high regard for the centrality and importance of interiority in their life. Keywords: migration, immigrant religion, faith, Filipino religiosity

  • The purpose of this research is to analyse the nexus between foreign aid and poverty reduction. In this research, aid provided by traditional and (re)emerging donors, China and France, was compared to understand their strategies toward poverty reduction and the impact of their aid in improving the conditions of their beneficiaries. Guinea, a Least Developed Country, was used as unit of comparison and assessment. Qualitative research methodology was used to collect data about the two aid donors, China and France. Among other research tools used, there are documents’ analysis (official documents from donors and recipients, declarations, scholarly works, media articles, etc.), interviews with various stakeholders, site visits and observation. As for main findings, this research found similarities and differences between China and France’s aid strategies in general and in Guinea in particular. There are similarities in the ways they integrate poverty reduction into their aid policies, motives and partly in their geographical and sectoral allocation systems. In terms of differences, they use different instruments and conditions to deliver their aid for poverty reduction. Regarding the impact of their aid, both donors have to some extent contributed to improving the access of the poor population in Guinea to basic services such as education, health, water and sanitation, etc. Finally, contrary to those who have denied the importance of foreign aid as a financial tool to reduce poverty, this research posits that aid is still a relevant tool to address poverty. However, more work needs to be done at donor, recipient and direct beneficiaries’ levels to ensure its effectiveness. On the other hand, it posits that the divide between traditional and (re)-emerging donors is becoming blurred as their strategies to address poverty are becoming increasingly alike

Last update from database: 1/30/23, 3:23 PM (UTC)