Waterloo prof: third ever woman to win a Nobel!

3 10 2018




Papa Goose

25 09 2018

Cute interview just now on the BBC just now with a scientist who had young geese imprint on him and his microlight (and has just written a book about the experience).


Postcard from Austria

25 09 2018

More from Carole:

Boredom experts at the low arousal workshop: Becky’s talk chaired by Charlie, with John Eastwood on the right side (who gave fascinating talk on human boredom yesterday). V interesting workshop (and delicious organic vegetarian food ;-)), well done Sara Hintze and Christoph Winckler for the organisation!



To watch the meeting, here are instructions from Sara:

Go to  https://learn.boku.ac.at/mod/bigbluebuttonbn/view.php?id=275096 an;  log in as guest (“Anmelden als Gast”); then press “teilnehmen” (meaning to participate); and click on “Präsentation”.  You will need to execute Adobe Flash.
Next you will be asked “Wie möchten Sie der Konferenz beitreten?”. Please press the right button here („Nur zuhören“).

Animal welfare issues in the news

14 09 2018

Tina, Steph and their students featured in a nice article in the Globe & Mail last week. (I just realised though that the picture might at first glance look gory: the bird just has activity has an activity meter strapped to her, and is coloured with dye for identification).


Rather less happily, the Parkinsons appeared in the local news, because the cruelty trial starts tomorrow. I think a couple of my grad students may go (if it’s open to the public) to see what happens.

Goats like smiles

4 09 2018

Screenshot 2018-09-03 21.51.40

Following work 14 years ago showing that sheep like smiles, researchers in London have now found that goats do too.

Here’s a write-up in VICE, and here’s the paper itself, which also shows that the effects depend a bit on laterality (something I’m always always a sucker for). I do wish a search of the paper revealed the word “blind” though.

Also, clearly the obvious question is: when is someone going to do something similar with cats?

Cows need scratching brushes

11 08 2018

Not just a luxury it seems: cows want brushes as much as they want food according to new research by Nina and team, adding to a whole corpus of work on the importance of grooming. (Nice write-up in the NYT here too). Now if only someone would make such a thing for cats

Screenshot 2018-08-11 09.30.21

Squandering fish

28 07 2018

16850_350x276_72_DPI_0Last year, work from UBC published in Fish and Fisheries showed that around 10% of caught fish are just thrown back in the sea, dead.  Now, about 12 months later, there’s more grim news on wasted fish: it seems that actually around one third of caught fish is wasted, according to a report from the FAO (written up by The Guardian here, and by a fisheries information website here). 

On top of the 20% of meat and dairy that goes to waste, this means a staggering amount of animal suffering has absolutely no point. If animal harvesting and farming were humane, respectful and efficient, with everyone applying the 3Rs at every stage of the process, I might be OK with it. But the way we humans operate really is pretty indefensible.