Hens with benefits

9 05 2020

Last night Misha submitted the second paper from his PhD!  It shows how hens housed longterm in enriched environments become less reactive to stressors, not only startling less but also showing smaller autonomic responses to restraint and exposure to novelty (top image – hen in waiting, bottom image – a fearful hen whose comb has become cooler as she shunts blood away from the periphery).


1588992686573blobOur second submission in 2020 (we’re having a slow year so far), let’s hope it has better luck than Michelle’s, which Animal Behaviour bounced immediately as not being within the scope of their journal, sigh.

The lab’s first ever fish manuscript is IN!

1 02 2020

It was so satisfying sending this lovely paper, lead-authored by Michelle, off to Animal Behaviour.

Highlights: showing that zebrafish preferences for plants, gravel and combinations thereof are stable, transitive, and also strong despite the fish never actually engaging with the enrichments (they’re obviously valued more like views or houseplants are by humans, than like the typical enrichments given to birds and mammals).

Bittersweet lowlights: having Victoria as an author and honoring her in our cover letter.

Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 3.06.30 PM

Cat faces post-mortem: viral craziness!

2 01 2020

Now that the craziness has finally died down, I can report that according to Altmetric, the social media attention our paper got put it in the top 5% of papers EVER!

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 11.30.18 AM

So fun. In all honesty though, this feels disproportionate: yes it was a good paper, but it wasn’t my best paper ever — and we still don’t actually know what cats are doing! But it does prove, if proof be needed, that cats and the internet are a wild combination.



Congrats to Aileen!

16 12 2019

Her and Ian got their revised MS back to Animal Welfare last week. I’m hoping it deals a fatal blow to the Three Circles…

Screenshot 2019-12-16 05.18.50

I said I’d stop posting about cat faces…

6 12 2019

… but it turns out I was lying! Because the National Geographic just did a great piece:


It also turns out that over 130,000 people completed the easier of our two quizzes! (Though “only” 30,000 people finished the tough advanced one).

Screenshot 2019-12-06 09.54.27


Cat faces on CBC!

3 12 2019

Screenshot 2019-12-02 20.35.08

Came out not bad actually!


Go to 1:04.18


And so does Vice!

2 12 2019



Screenshot 2019-12-02 17.03.16