FEB 07, 2018 07:30 AM PST

Keynote Presentation: Male management - Recent Literature on How to Reduce Aggression in Male Mice

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  • Assistant Professor of Animal Welfare, Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
      Dr. Gaskill is an Assistant professor of Animal Welfare in the college of Veterinary Medicine and part of the Center for Animal Welfare Science at Purdue University. She received her BS from Kansas State University and her PhD in animal behavior and well-being from Purdue University. She worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at Charles River, studying the behavior and well-being of laboratory rodents.

      Dr. Gaskill's research program focuses on welfare assessment of laboratory animals. She utilizes natural behavior, physiology, and affective state to assess an animal's overall well-being. She is especially interested how better welfare can translate into better and more robust science. My research interests include: applied ethology, enrichment design and application, improving husbandry techniques, and how environment can affect scientific results when not tailored to the animal's needs and motivations. Additionally she has been involved in developing new and improved types of cognitive testing for mice that are used in psychiatric and neuroscience research. Dr. Gaskill has published in the behavior and well-being, laboratory animal, and experimental psychology literatures. Dr. Gaskill is dedicated to educating the public, investigators, and husbandry staff about the science behind how we house and care for animals in captivity and how this affects laboratory animal welfare.


    Conspecific aggression is a common problem amongst laboratory housed male mice. While C57BL/6  are not the most aggressive strain we house, they are exceedingly common, and dealing with conspecific aggression in this strain and others is a common. This session will delve into recent literature addressing home cage aggression in mice to review results from multiple strategies instituted to attempt to behaviorally manage aggression in male mice. This session will review the biology of aggression in mice, the characterization of aggression, and the effect of multiple intervention strategies, specifically the effect of weaning age and different enrichments on conspecific aggression in C57BL/6  male mice.

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