Page Table of Contents 1 Letters of Welcome (not included in on-line version) 2 Sponsors/Organizing Committee/Adjudicators 5 Detailed Program 7 Abstracts … listed in alphabetical order

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Student Research Day 2004, St. Francis Xavier University


Table of Contents 1
Letters of Welcome (not included in on-line version) 2
Sponsors/Organizing Committee/Adjudicators 5
Detailed Program 7
Abstracts … listed in alphabetical order, by department
Biology 10
Business Administration 14
Chemistry 19
Earth Sciences 21
Human Kinetics 25
Human Nutrition 30
Nursing 41
Physics 42
Political Sciences 43
Psychology 44
Angus L. MacDonald Library 50
St. FX Service Learning Program 51

Thank you to the following generous sponsors of the Second Annual Student Research Day at St. Francis Xavier University:
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation

Dr. Ron Johnson, Academic Vice President

Dr. Ed. McAlduff, Dean of Science

Dr. Mary McGillivray, Dean of Arts

Mr. John Blackwell, Director Research Grants Office

Mr. Andrew Kendall, Industry Liaison Officer

Angus L. MacDonald Library

NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

Bergengren Credit Union



St. Francis Xavier University Bookstore

Students’ Union: Union Station Clothing Store

Theatre Antigonish

Thank you to the following people for helping organize the Second Annual Student Research Day:

Angie Thompson, Organizing Committee, Chair

Dave Risk, Organizing Committee

Susan Cameron, Moira Galway, Bill Marshall, Beverly Moylan, Hayley Russell, Judy Shaw, Laurie Wadsworth, Margo Watt

A special thank you to Dave Risk, Kelly Thompson, Casey Smith, Matt Gilchrist, Angie Thompson, Ingrid Risk and Sarah O-Brian for their generous gift of time and energy in creating new poster boards.

Thank you to the following people for adjudicating presentations at the Second Annual Student Research Day:

Lou Bilek

Moira Galway

Winston Jackson

John Phyne

Ozeas da Silva Costa

Heidi Stanish

Detailed Program
12:00 p.m. Session 1: Opening Addresses

Dr. Ron Johnson, Academic Vice President

Ms. Mary Ann Skaro Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation

1:30 p.m. Session 2: Opening Address Dr. M. McGillivray, Dean of Arts

3:00 p.m. Session 3: Opening Address Dr. Ed McAlduff, Dean of Science

4:30 p.m. Awards Presentation: Mr. John Blackwell, Director, Research Grants

List of Presentations

Titles of presentations are numbered and listed in alphabetical order, according to St. Francis Xavier University affiliation. The number indicates the poster board the presentation will be on. The time the presenter is scheduled to be standing next to their presentation ready to answer questions is listed in bold font following the presenter’s name.


1. Interactions among autotrophs in three northern Nova Scotia estuaries. J. Bennett, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

2. Increasing juvenile salmonid production through habitat rehabilitation. T. Floyd, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Withdrawn
3. Fibronectin enhances Campylobacter fetus adherence to extracellular matrix components. T. Friel, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
42. How do fish adapt to fresh water? M. Gilchrist & M. MacIsaac, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Business Administration

4. Revenue streams for musicians: turbulent waters. D. Beaton, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

5. Comparison of ethics of accounting students in the U.S. and Canada: A preliminary investigation. A. Belliveau, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
6. The impact of external determinants on the ethical perceptions of earnings management. L. Chisholm, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
7. Examining student financial literacy. M. Ledwell, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
8. Corporate governance and financial performance: Is there a relationship? E. Moore, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.


9. Synthesis of novel heterodinuclear inorganometallic complexes. L Boudreau, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

10. Isolation and identification of components in pseudomonas cultures. D. Chisholm, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Earth Sciences

11. Deformational history of the piaxtla group within the actlan complex. M. Middleton, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

12. Greenhouse gas production processes in forest soils of Nova Scotia: Site description and instrumentation of analyses of N2O and CO2. A. Myette and K. Kavanaugh, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
13. Anthropogenic influences on the subsurface temperatures: Land-use changes. D. Nitoiu, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
14. Air-ground temperature coupling and seasonal snow cover variations. L. Zhao, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Human Kinetics

15. Ability of adults with intellectual disabilities to perceive exertion during treadmill exercise. M. Aucoin, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

16. The effects of a ten-week physical activity intervention on the physical fitness of children in grades 4 and 5. K. Faloon, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
17. The effect of sodium bicarbonate and creatine supplementation on indices of anaerobic exercise performance. T.L. Matthews, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
18. Play your way to fitness. B. Moylan, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
19. The influence of sodium bicarbonate and creatine supplementation on post fatigue recovery. L. Wilson, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Human Nutrition

20. An aspect of food insecurity: nutritional contribution of basic bags from the Antigonish community food bank. K. Brennan, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

21. The development and progression of sarcopenia in institutionalized and free-living elderly. L. Carroll, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Withdrawn
22. The beneficial role of flaxseed implementation in long term care. A. Childs, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
23. A multiperspective view of organic food availability in Antigonish town and county. L. Coyle, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
24. The phenolic content, antioxidant potential, and biological activity of blueberries and grapes sold in the Antigonish area. S. Grant, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
25. Breaking down barriers to healthy eating: The female adolescent perspective. S. LeBlond, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
26. The role of social support networks in promoting healthy eating. L. MacDonald, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
27. Issues related to socioeconomic status and body image: exploring the experiences of women with limited literacy. J. McLaren, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
28. The role of dietary fibre in managing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in female university students. S. Murphy, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
29. A study of factors influencing preschooler's ability to self-regulate energy intake. K. Sheffield, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
30. Perceptions of the influence of diet on bone health of women limited in literacy. J. Yeung, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.


31. Prenatal education- how does it promote a mother's comfort with infant care:  A grounded theory analysis. P. Myette, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.


32. The collapse of 4f orbitals and inner shell excitations in 3d-, 4d- and 5d - subshell ions. M. Campbell, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Political Science

33. Defining Japan as a green state. K. Neufeld, M. MacDonald, S. Boyne, S. McCormick, L. Hillan, and C. Bennet, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.


34. Repeated exposure to the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55, 212-2 in a model of persistent pain: A behavioural test of tolerance. J. Chisholm, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
35. Effects of synthetic cannabinoid, administered into the dorsal and ventral areas of the anterior cingulate cortex, on pain behaviour in the formalin test. M. Embrett, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
36. Effects of a Brief Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment on the Experience of Pain in High versus Low Anxiety Sensitive Participants. A. Johnson, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
37. An investigation of anxiety sensitivity in a sample of varsity athletes. D. MacDonald, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
38. An investigation of the relations between anxiety sensitivity and physical activity in adolescence. T. MacDonald, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
39. Mind-mindedness as a predictor of attachment in the preschool years. J. McLaughlin, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
40. Angus L. MacDonald Library
41. St. FX Service Learning

Presentation time: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

J. Bennett

Biology Department
PURPOSE: This study was intended to compare the relative abundances of three autotroph groups (eelgrass (Zostera marina), epiphytes, and phytoplankton) among three estuaries with varying degree of disturbance by the green crab (Carcinus maenus). The effect that these conditions had on eelgrass photosynthesis was also observed. METHODS: Eelgrass density, shoot biomass, and belowground biomass was measured at each site. Epiphyte abundance was measured at the same time as the eelgrass, but phytoplankton concentration was measured using a fluorescence measuring device, WATER-PAM. Eelgrass photosynthesis was also measured using fluorescence, but with DIVING-PAM. RESULTS: The undisturbed site had higher density and biomass of eelgrass, whereas the disturbed sites had higher densities of both epiphytes and phytoplankton. Photosynthetic efficiency was generally higher at the disturbed sites, as would be expected of plants growing under light limiting conditions. Maximum photosynthetic rate, however, was highest in one of the disturbed sites. CONCLUSIONS: The shift in autotroph abundances is hypothesized to result from sediment disturbance by the green crab. When the sediments are disturbed, many of the available nutrients are released into the water column where fast growing algae easily outcompete the eelgrass. This change in competitive interactions may have large scale implications for estuarine biodiversity and productivity in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The higher maximum photosynthesis at the disturbed sites is likely an artefact of the sampling procedure which shows that the plants are using facultative mechanisms for bicarbonate uptake.

Presentation time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

T. Floyd

Department of Biology
Many maritime streams have been historically abused due to poor land use and channel modifications. These activities lead to increased silt deposition resulting in degraded streams that have a limited ability to support healthy salmonid populations. Despite improved habitat protection, many streams have not restored themselves and salmonid populations remain in decline and under stress. In the fall of 1992 restoration was begun in Brierly Brook in the Town of Antigonish NS, and has continued for the next ten years. Restoration involved the construction of digger logs and deflectors to restore the pool-riffle sequences commonly found in pristine rivers, while protecting banks and adding cover to degraded reaches. Atlantic salmon and brook trout habitats and populations were sampled for each life stage before the installation of digger logs and deflectors. This survey has been repeated for the past ten year to determine the effectiveness of restoration in restoring habitat. Also, salmon redd surveys were conducted each year to determine if the restored sections were more attractive than un-restored sections for spawning and if there was an overall increase in spawning success. Although there is some information on the success of river restoration in restoring salmon habitat and populations, few studies have looked at the effects of river restoration on other aspects of the stream ecosystem. Brierly Brook offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of restoration due to the large historical data set and the presence of a restored reach, a degraded reach and an undisturbed reach in close proximity to one another. In our study we intend to fill these knowledge gaps while continuing the salmonid monitoring project. This work would involve restoring a control portion of the river that is classified as degraded habitat and monitor the changes to this reach and the previously restored and undisturbed reaches for the aforementioned variables. Monitoring would continue for two years and result in a better picture of the abiotic and biotic changes due to stream enhancement.

Presentation time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

T.M. Friel and L.L. Graham

Department of Biology
For Campylobacter fetus, a bacterial pathogen, adherence is essential for establishment within a host. The extracellular matrix (ECM), located basal to epithelial surfaces contributes to bacterial adherence. The ECM is composed of structural proteins and glycoproteins including collagen, fibronectin, and laminin embedded within a proteoglycan matrix composed of hyaluronic acid and heparan sulfate. To determine whether ECM components contribute to C. fetus adherence, a solid phase binding assay was used. C. fetus adherence to type IV collagen, vitronectin, hyaluronic acid, and heparan sulfate was minimal compared to binding to poly-L-lysine (positive control), and only marginally greater than binding to bovine serum albumin (negative control). C. fetus did however bind well to fibronectin. Since fibronectin is also present in human saliva, contact with fibronectin is likely when C. fetus is ingested. Fibronectin has binding domains for collagen and heparin and could therefore mediate C. fetus adherence to these and other ECM components. Pretreatment of C. fetus with fibronectin (5 µg/ml), significantly increased (p≤0.001) bacterial adherence to type I collagen, type IV collagen, laminin, heparan sulfate, and hyaluronic acid in a modified solid phase binding assay. To determine if fibronectin could also enhance C. fetus adherence to epithelial cells, an in vitro infection assay using INT 407 cells, a human small intestinal cell line, was used. C. fetus adherence to INT 407 cells did increase though not significantly (p≥1.0) following fibronectin (5 µg/ml) pretreatment. These studies show that fibronectin enhances C. fetus adherence to ECM components and to intestinal epithelial cells, which may facilitate C. fetus establishment in the host and contribute to pathogenesis.

* Funding for this research was provided by a St. Francis Xavier University, University Council for Research, summer student research award to TF and by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery grant to LLG.

Presentation time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

M. Gilchrist & M. MacIsaac

Department of Biology

This study examines the regulation of Cl- active secretion and its regulation in estuarine teleost fish. Small estuarine fish such as the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, forage in shallow water following advancing tides and are exposed regularly to very dilute microenvironments. Using the killifish opercular epithelium, the regulation includes a reduction of active Cl- secretion and passive diffusive ion loss in a three-stage process spanning approx. 30 minutes. There is a combination of sympathetic neural reflex mediated by 2-adrenoceptors operating via intracellular inositol tris phosphate and intracellular Ca2+ and a cellular hypotonic shock response, followed by covering over of ion secreting cells by pavement cells. This effectively minimizes salt loss in dilute media. The upregulation of salt secretion on return to full strength sea water may be via hormones (arginine vasotocin and urotensin I) and neurotransmitter (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide) in combination with hypertonic shock. A hypothetical model includes involvement of protein kinase A and C and protein phosphatases 1 and 2A in regulation of the NKCC1 cotransporter on the basolateral side and protein kinase A regulation of the CFTR-like apical anion channel.

Business Administration
Presentation Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

D. Beaton

Department of Business Administration
PURPOSE: To examine current knowledge levels for full time musicians regarding various types of royalties. If little knowledge was present, the objective was to determine the reason for such a lack of knowledge. For example, were working relationships set up in a trustful manner that allowed the artist to concentrate on just their music? Should the artists exhibit knowledge of royalties, the intent was to fully explore why this was the case and what factors and possible experiences led to such a state. METHODS: With little initial literature, a qualitative method was chosen over quantitative. Grounded theory methodology was utilized in order to understand relationships in a professional context. A qualitative study, using in-depth interviews was used to fully understand the many intricacies in the life of a musician in the Maritime Region. Artists who fit the criteria of living in the Maritime Region and have completed and marketed at least one CD were interviewed either in person or over the phone. The number of respondents was eleven to reach saturation. Grand tour questions and planned prompts were prepared in advance based in part on known variables from the literature review and my knowledge of a musician’s life. RESULTS: The necessary data for the study has been collected but as of yet has not been completely analyzed and formalized. Examination of such data should occur prior to the March 18th presentation date. CONCLUSIONS: As the data has yet to be analyzed no conclusions can be drawn.

Business Administration
Presentation Time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

A. Belliveau

Department of Business Administration
PURPOSE: The purpose of this research is to improve our understanding of the impact of culture on ethics. This study will compare the levels of idealism and relativism, the ethical perceptions, and the ethical decisions of American and Canadian accounting students. METHOD: To conduct this study, questionnaires were administered to accounting students in a Canadian and an American university. The levels of idealism and relativism were measured using Forsyth’s (1980) EPQ instrument and ethical perceptions were measured using Sighapakdi’s (1996) PRESOR instrument. Actual ethical decision-making was measured with 4 ethical scenarios and basic demographic data was also gathered. Analysis of the data will be conducted using SPSS statistical software. RESULTS: The necessary data for the study has been collected but as of yet has not been analyzed. Examination of such data should occur prior to the March 18th presentation date. CONCLUSIONS: As the data has yet to be analyzed no conclusions can be drawn.

Business Administration
Presentation Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

     K.L. Chisholm

    Department of Business Administration


PURPOSE: Earnings management is a major issue in accounting due to recent accounting scandals. The primary purpose of this research study is to investigate ethical perceptions of earnings management when the contextual variables of pressure and outcome are manipulated. While the majority of research examined focused primarily on professionals, this study uses students as its subject group. METHODS: The study is conducted as a between subjects design using auditing students, marketing students and first year business students to test ethical perceptions of earnings management. Case scenarios into which the two independent variables (pressure and outcome) are embedded are used to elicit responses. A demographic survey was also administered. RESULTS:  The necessary data for the study has been collected but as of yet has not been analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: As the data has yet to be analyzed no conclusions can be drawn.

* Supported by the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and Information Systems.

Business Administration
Presentation Time: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

M. Ledwell and W. Cormier

Department of Business Administration
PURPOSE: Personal financial knowledge is crucial regardless of age or financial position. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the level of financial literacy of students at St. Francis Xavier University. METHODS: A quantitative study was used to examine personal financial knowledge of university students across all faculties in each year of study. Surveys were distributed to obtain background information on each of the students involved in the study. This information was then compared to each student's score on both objective and subjective measures of financial literacy. RESULTS: The necessary data for the study has been collected but has not yet been analyzed. Examinations of such data should occur prior to the March 18th presentation date. CONCLUSIONS: As the data has not yet been fully analyzed only preliminary conclusions can be drawn.

* Supported by the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and Information Systems.

Business Administration
Presentation Time: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

E.A. Moore

Department of Business Administration
PURPOSE: This research builds on the current body of literature on corporate governance by specifically examining the governance practices of Canadian firms. The primary purpose of this research is to document the governance practices of Canadian public companies and determine if these practices are related to financial performance. METHOD: Using two different measures to assess corporate governance practices, 120 public Canadian companies were assigned to two different groups. One included those which achieved either a corporate governance rating of AAA+ on a Board Shareholder Confidence Index (BSCI) or complied with all 14 TSX governance guidelines. The second group of companies was comprised of those which achieved the lowest rating on the BSCI (rating of C) and/or complied with 10 or fewer of the TSX governance guidelines. Using standard tests of means, and controlling for industry effect, five-year financial returns for the companies in these samples were compared to determine if corporate governance practices affect firm performance. RESULTS: The necessary data for the study has been collected but as of yet has not been analyzes. Full analysis should be complete by the March 18th presentation date. CONCLUSIONS: As the data has yet to be analyzed, no conclusions can be drawn.

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