Boredom-like states in mink – again!

28 10 2017

Me and Becky’s boredom replicate study, achieved (a while ago now) thanks to Dana and some of her data from her last experiment here. is now out, along with a nice freebie link good ’til Dec. 15th:

Screenshot 2017-10-27 21.24.00

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And I should mention this great review paper on boredom too, published by Charlotte Burn a couple of months ago:

Screenshot 2017-10-27 21.28.17

The Curse of the Play Paper: fading … but not yet over

25 10 2017

Today, Jamie at last submitted what we hope are final revisions to our ‘play as a welfare indicator’ paper!

Screenshot 2017-10-24 20.37.11

This was definitely a case where the referees’ comments, which chimed with our own misgivings about our original submission, helped us make the paper way better. So, we’re cautiously optimistic.

But it wasn’t laziness had us first submitting something we weren’t wild about: this MS has been more dogged by disaster than any paper I’ve ever worked on, and with a “special edition” deadline to meet (Mollie Bloomsmith and Terry Maple were putting together a volume on ‘optimal welfare’), we couldn’t just wait ’til all was well.  First I had terrible tendinitis, and was awash with inflammatory molecules that made me low and slow-witted; then Julia hurt her wrist, while Jamie broke his finger; and then Julia also cut a finger badly with a kitchen knife (see below, with added hurty faces).

Then when it came to revising the MS once we’d heard back from the journal, poor Julia now had serious concussion from a bicycle accident (you can tell she’s kind of the weakest link here, though it’s her sections on human children that most make this paper original).

Finally, now pretty much the last authors to get their acts together, we were ready to submit!  But this time it was the Elsevier site that was broken and out-of-action. After two days of technical trouble, it grudgingly let Jamie submit, but still Mollie can’t actually see the MS: for some reason it’s now invisible.  Before she does eventually get her hands on it, I really think I should warn her to be careful…

New papers submitted

16 10 2017

In last week’s flurry of activity, Andrea submitted a paper to Animal Behaviour. We aimed higher than normal with this MS as it’s on three inter-connected studies that nicely show that different stereotypic behaviours have different triggers and are best treated in different ways, even within the same individual. Fingers crossed they send it out to review!

Screenshot 2017-10-16 19.32.46

And Emma (that’s ‘Little Emma’) and Aimee sent a paper off to Lab Animal, validating live observation as a data collection for mice. These results were a major relief as the video-watching this required, even though of just 8 cages, nearly killed them.

Screenshot 2017-10-16 19.33.23

Welfare benefits of preferred natural stimuli

16 10 2017

Link to me and Misha‘s new paper (which I love, though of course I’m highly biased), good for 50 days:

Or if that doesn’t work:

Screenshot 2017-10-16 15.54.46

Papers papers papers

10 08 2017

Minor revisions only (unheard of!!) for a paper with Anne Lene Hovland:Screenshot 2017-08-09 21.50.41

Me and Becky‘s boredom replicate study is now back in, improved after one referee’s feedback (the other’s? No comment):

Screenshot 2017-08-09 21.53.15

And last but not least, I can stop nagging Aimee about lichens!

Screenshot 2017-08-09 21.49.29

Papers paper papers!

15 07 2017

Maria‘s cage height paper is now out:

Screenshot 2017-07-15 13.37.14


Andrea’s taxonomy of stereotypic behaviours is well on its way:

Screenshot 2017-07-15 13.40.29


And Misha‘s “natural stimuli” review haS JUST gone back to the journal, following useful and very nice referees’ comments:

Screenshot 2017-07-15 12.55.44



Paper accepted!

8 05 2017

Andrea’s 3rd paper (or maybe 4th, I lose track as some were from her undergraduate work). In this one, she assessed which forms of mink stereotypic behaviour co-occur or seem to be mutually exclusive, and also which develop into each other (or never do), to  work out an objective taxonomy for the different forms.

Screenshot 2017-05-08 07.52.20