Rat Webinar Duo


The March webinar, How to Improve Rat Welfare by Understanding Behavior, will be held Tuesday, March 27 from 12:00-1:30 PM CT. This webinar will be presented by Brianna N. Gaskill, PhD.

Wild rodent behavior is rich, complex, and fascinating. Yet, the casual observer of laboratory rodent behavior will only see a fraction of the breadth and complexity of behavior seen in the wild. This session will introduce the audience to the range and adaptability of normal behavior in rats, and the central role of behavior in adapting to harsh environments. We will discuss the impact of modern rat husbandry on behavior, the limitations this places on the rat’s ability to cope with the stress of captivity, and enrichment as a means of facilitating coping behaviors. Ethologically appropriate enrichment requires an understanding of normal animal behavior in order to design an enrichment program that provides real animal benefit. Ultimately, we will use this perspective to assess rat housing and enrichment from the rat’s point of view. Consequences for well-being will be explored, and particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of behavior in properly assessing the effectiveness and impact of enrichments before they are implemented.

The April webinar, Rat Tickling: A Technique for Eliciting Positive Affect, will be held on Tuesday, April 24 from 12:00-1:30 PM CT. This webinar will be presented by Megan Lafollete, MS. 

Rats initially fear being handled which can lead to several negative effects – increased stress, decreased welfare, resistance to handling, and less valid research data. Rat tickling is a human-animal interaction technique that can mitigate these outcomes. This technique mimics rat rough-and-tumble play and subsequently causes positive results such as increased positive affect, improved handling procedures, and social enrichment. During this webinar, we will discuss reasons to use rat tickling, the research that supports its use, and details on effectively implementing it in the laboratory.

Visit the AALAS Store for complete details and information on CEUs.

Review topics for upcoming webinars, here.

Back to News