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Coming dissertations at Uppsala university

  • Monsoon Paper Dragons : Transparency, Accountability, Risk, and Compliance in Banking Regulation and Practice Author: Shruti Kashyap Link: Publication date: 2020-03-11 12:13

    This dissertation explores the overall research question of how transparency- and accountability-driven post-crisis financial regulations within the European Union (EU) have influenced risk control and compliance in banks. The dissertation consists of five substantive chapters: an introductory synthesis; a published law journal article; two published book chapters, one of which is an extensive literature review; and one working paper that has previously been presented at multiple international conferences and is currently under review with a European journal in the field of accounting. In answering the call of the main research question, the dissertation adopts an interdisciplinary analytical framework that combines perspectives from law and the social sciences in the context of empirical material from Scandinavia and the EU. The analysis within the four individual papers and the introductory synthesis chapter follow a qualitative research design. They provide several complementary theoretical and empirical contributions to current research, the most important of which are summarized as follows: Theoretically, an adapted framework that harnesses theories of regulation, institutional theory, principal–agent theory, and legal positivism is used to analyze and explain practice and regulatory developments in the Swedish and international banking sector over a pre- and post- 2008 financial crisis period. Additionally, the concepts of transparency and accountability are explored over a similar period in the context of the regulation-practice nexus of banking in Sweden and the EU. Empirically, this work contributes to current understandings and analysis of specific EU and Swedish regulatory instruments, as well as their impact at the firm and intra-firm level. Moreover, the identified conceptual framework of transparency and accountability is applied at the level of markets and regulations, as well as at the intra-firm level by tracing the influence of post-crisis EU regulation on the risk-control and compliance function within a large listed bank in Sweden that has a strong European presence. Collectively, this analysis offers relevant insights into the tensions between the aims and understandings encompassed within prudential regulation on one hand and organizational understandings and approaches towards risk control and compliance on the other hand. Identifying that there are few, if any, studies that address the interplay between regulatory developments and their impact on the internal processes, management, and control of banks, this dissertation offers an analysis of how transparency and accountability can surface and be operationalized within the regulation-practice nexus of banking. Specifically, it illustrates how regulatory impact can be traced further along the dimensions of transparency and accountability at the inter- and intra-firm levels, as well as at the level of financial markets and regulatory instruments in banking.

  • Bottom-up and top-down regulation of heterogeneous lake food webs Author: Fernando Chaguaceda Link: Publication date: 2020-03-10 13:09

    Food webs are networks of organisms linked by trophic interactions that regulate the responses of ecosystems to environmental change. Such regulation is a result of the effects of resources on the abundance of their consumers (i.e. bottom-up effects) and/or the influence of consumers on the abundance of their resources (i.e. top-down effects). Lake food webs comprise pelagic and benthic production pathways and are largely affected by fluxes of resources from/to adjacent terrestrial ecosystems. These pathways are often coupled by mobile generalist consumers, potentially leading to indirect interactions among prey that arise when sharing a predator. In contrast, consumers can also undergo resource specialization that restricts their ability to couple resources at a given time.

    In this thesis, I observed that top-down control of predators on benthic and pelagic prey at increasing productivity was highly dependent on apparent mutualism that was driven by switching behaviour of generalist fish. That, in addition to bottom-up responses of benthic pathways at increasing productivity, had important consequences for the fluxes of energy and high quality polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to terrestrial systems via insect emergence. I also found that PUFAs were highly regulated over the ontogeny of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis). Mismatches with PUFA composition in prey may in turn affect resource specialization and the timing of ontogenetic diet shifts, altering the role of perch in the food web. Finally, browning, which is a phenomenon affecting many temperate and boreal lakes, did not affect bottom-up and top-down control in open-water lake food webs. Instead, browning affected prey selectivity, probably changing the pathways of energy transfer within the open-water food web. Overall, this thesis demonstrates that predictions of food web responses in lake ecosystems and their exports to adjacent terrestrial systems depend on the coupling of different pathways and subsequent indirect interactions among prey through shared predation. This could not be explained by classic food chain theory, but rather by a framework including resource coupling and resource specialization over the ontogeny of consumers. These observations must not be overlooked when constructing a comprehensive model of food webs across time and space.

  • Towards Fast and Robust Algorithms in Flash X-ray single-particle Imaging Author: Jing Liu Link: Publication date: 2020-03-06 13:23

    Modern X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) technology provides the possibility to acquire a large number of diffraction patterns from individual biological nano-particles, including proteins, viruses, and DNA. Ideally, the collected data frames are high-quality single-particle diffraction patterns. However, unfortunately, the raw dataset is noisy and also contains patterns with scatterings from multiple particles, contaminated particles, etc. The data complexity and the massive volumes of raw data make pattern selection a time-consuming and challenge task. Further, X-rays interact with particles at random and the captured patterns are the 2D intensities of the scattered waves, i.e. we cannot observe the particle orientations and the phase information from the 2D diffraction patterns. To reconstruct 2D diffraction patterns into 3D structures of the desired particle, we need a sufficiently large single-particle-pattern dataset. The computational methodology for this reconstruction task is still under development and in need of an improved understanding of the algorithmic uncertainties.

    In this thesis, we tackle some of the challenges to obtain 3D structures of sample molecules from single-particle diffraction patterns. First, we have developed two classification methods to select single-particle diffraction patterns that are similar to provided templates. Second, we have accelerated the 3D reconstruction procedures by distributing the computations among Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and by proposing an adaptive discretization of 3D space. Third, to better understand the uncertainties of the 3D reconstruction procedure, we have evaluated the impact of the different sources of resolution-limiting factors and introduced a practically applicable computational methodology in the form of bootstrap procedures for assessing the reconstruction uncertainty. These technologies form a data-analysis pipeline for recovering 3D structures from the raw X-ray single-particle data, which also analyzes the uncertainties. With the experimental developments of the X-ray single-particle technology, we expect that the data volumes will be increasing sharply, and hence, we believe such a computational pipeline will be critical to retrieve particle structures in the achievable resolution.