Sylv helps with a class

24 10 2020

I get some assistance picking song and sub-song videos for my “behavioural development class…

More mouse publications hopefully on their way

16 10 2020

First, good news – our revised chapter on mouse behaviour for Kristine Coleman and Steve Schapiro’s new book got the thumbs up!

And Aileen and Agustina’s epic judgment bias journey has finally resulted in a neat little manuscript:

More news on research animal waste

16 10 2020

From fretting to smizing in 3 days

15 10 2020

After three 12-hour days in the lab (following meticulous and creative planning, trouble-shooting and prep-work from Lindsey)… all of Emma and Aimee’s former mice have finally had their brains sectioned, stained for cytochrome oxidase, and mounted: an incredible feat!

Here is Lindsey, trying to strum her anxieties away on Monday night, and her and Aileen, tired but happy having finished a few hours ago:

Feline research in the news

8 10 2020

And ….

(Full paper here:

More evidence that nature is good for you

8 10 2020

Partly it’s just bloody obvious, but also, a new study is just out!

Another lovely obit for Georgina Mace

7 10 2020

So glad I knew her, so sad I didn’t know her better.

One tiny, tiny bonus of the pandemic…

7 10 2020

… is that I can teach from Huntsville! At least for a week. Am combining teaching, walking, working, kayaking, more teaching, and trying to see if a kayak would fit in the Prius.

A role model (and not just because of her name)

2 10 2020

Pioneering ecologist and conservation biologist Georgina Mace died last week. I was so sad to hear this: she was a mentor and role model for me (ever on the lookout for women who were successful, nice and happy — a rare trio in the Oxbridge world). She had a sharp (and critical-but-in-a good-way) interest in the work Ros Clubb and I were doing on species differences in Carnivore welfare (the first time comparative methods had been applied to animal well-being) as well as in the train-wreck-that-in-the-end-came-good that was our later zoo elephant work.

One of my favourite memories is of visiting Georgina sometime in the early 2000s. The slightly ditzy ZSL receptionist asked who I was visiting, and, then, turning to the phone to ring up to her office, asked my name too so I told her. She carried on turning, but slowed and eventually froze, hand poised above phone, repeating very slowly as if to a child: “Noooo… what’s YOUR name?”. It was so fun telling Georgina this: it really her laugh a LOT.

There’s a lovely obituary from Eleanor Milner-Gulland here:

Final mouse brain pilots?

2 10 2020

Lindsey‘s been working soooo hard these past couple of weeks, ironing out the final kinks in her finicky CO staining protocol. Last question now: which is best, a 2 hour incubation or 3? (So far Elena thinks 2).