Mice, Mice, Baby: Normal Behavior in the Laboratory Mouse


Join us on Feburary 27 from 12:00-1:30 PM CT for Mice, Mice, Baby: Normal Behavior in the Laboratory Mouse.

The objective of this webinar is familiarize the audience with the natural history and normal behaviors of the domesticated house mouse and its wild counterpart so that the appropriate measures can be implemented to alleviate stress and provide biologically relevant enrichments in their captive environment.

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 wild mice, and the central role of behavior in adapting to harsh environments. We will discuss the impact of modern mouse husbandry on behavior, the limitations this places on mice's ability to cope with the stress of captivity, and enrichment as a means of facilitation coping behaviors. Ultimately we will use this perspective to assess mouse housing and enrichment from the mouse'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. Further examples of normal and abnormal mouse behavior, including video clips, and observational protocols, can be found at www.mousebehavior.org.

This webinar is presented by Brianna Gaskill, PhD. Brianna received her BS from Kansas State University in 2004 and her PhD in animal behavior and well-being from Purdue University in 2011. After graduation, she spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral research scientist at Charles River, studying the behavior and well-being of laboratory rodents and is currently an assistant professor of animal welfare at Purdue University. Her previous research has covered behavioral and physiological thermoregulation of mice in laboratories and its impact on mouse well-being. Additionally, she has been involved in developing new and improved types of cognitive testing for mice that are used in psychiatric and neuroscience research. Brianna’s other research interests include the development of refined methods in behavioral research, rodent well-being, and the scientific impact of well-being problems in laboratory animals. Brianna has published in the behavior and well-being, laboratory animal, and experimental psychology literatures and has given presentations on her work nationally and internationally. Her research has been acknowledged by receiving the highly commended paper prize from the NC3R’s in 2015, the prize for exceptional service in laboratory animal science from the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association and New Investigator Award from the International Society for Applied Ethology in 2013. Dr. Gaskill is a 2016 GLAS recipient.

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