Neuroscience and Master of Wildlife Biology
About my research…
I and my lab study animal welfare. We're interested in how to create good living conditions for animals kept in labs, zoos and farms; in how scientists can assess well-being objectively; and in what happens to brain and behaviour when animals are raised and kept lifelong in confining, barren enclosures. We've worked on everything from elephants to zebra fish to chickens, but most our of our work involves experiments with mice and mink.
How my research improves life…
Our work aims to improve life for animals. Keeping animals in small barren enclosures is standard practice for farms and laboratories - they're cost effective, easy to clean, and mean that many animals can be kept in a small area. But animals pay a price for this efficiency: such conditions restrict their abilities to perform natural behaviour, and often cause them to develop abnormal repetitive behaviours like stereotypic pacing. We therefore work on how to evaluate and improve captive housing conditions for animals, so as to improve their well-being.