2003 Annual Retreat
The ABWG had its annual retreat at the English Inn in Eaton Rapids
13, 2003. The day consisted of team-building exercises, discussion
individual projects, great food and a wine tasting event.
Getting To Know You…
The group spent the early part of the day getting to know each
only in a work or academic context, but on a more personal level.
shared pictures and other personal artifacts as a way to learn
what has inspired each member to become who they are. Fun was
had by all.
The group also split into pairs for some intensive education about
other members of the group were working on. Each person presented
partner’s work to the group as best they could without interruption
member being presented (Oh, I was a bit nervous during my
forgot to mention: Patricia is training hard to join the circus….
kidding. I just really wanted to say that on Thursday and forgot.).
We got it, people!! Although there was some speculation to the
the group did an intensive study of its level of integration and
decided that we’re OK. For proof on paper, contact Dr. Kirsty
Doing What in the Lab?
Each member of the ABWG gave a presentation of their current work
in the Lab
so that we can all be informed of each others’ projects.
With the addition
of several new group members and everyone’s very busy schedule,
it was great
to catch up on what we’re all doing.
Patricia Almeida, DVM
Patricia is visiting from Sao Paulo State, Brazil. She is currently
on three projects, one of which is the USDA project, “The
Hippocampal Glucocorticoids on Behavioral Responses to Stress
in Pigs.” The
two main goals of this project are (1) To assess the ontogeny
of GR and MR
receptors and 11_-HSD in pig hippocampus up to four weeks of age
and (2) To
determine the effects of oral Mifepristone at weaning on some
indicators in pigs. A highlight of the project was the successful
development of a flavored paste for oral administration of the
drug. Patricia is also working on a study with Dr. Zanella and
(CVM), attempting to assess measures of pain in horses with post-surgical
joint pain, and Wilson (CVM), attempting to assess measures of
horses with post-surgical joint pain, and to assess any analgesic
IA xylazine. Patricia is also working on her Masters research
implementing biomechanical analyses to understand lameness and
problems in horses. Busy, busy!!
Dan is working to obtain his Masters degree in the Department
Within the ABWG, Dan has been conducting research to test the
of using fecal cortisol, in addition to behavioral indicators,
stress in tigers (Dembiec & Zanella). His current
work focuses on the
effects of crating and transportation on the behavior and physiology
tigers, using the noninvasive measures mentioned. Dan’s
strengthening the bridge between the ABWG and the Department of
Camie is a Ph.D. student in the ABWG, studying people’s
attitudes toward the
welfare of agricultural animals, and developing strategies for
welfare judging as a teaching tool. Camie’s pilot survey
of animal science
faculty at MSU showed that 3% don’t feel that sheep, beef
and dairy cattle
receive an appropriate level of animal welfare in predominant
methods; 25% responded similarly regarding layer and meat birds
A refined survey will be conducted throughout United States animal
departments. Camie has also been the primary organizer for the
Welfare Judging Competition. Her long-term goal is to enhance
equine-welfare, and to this effect she was involved in the EQWIS
of Brazilian Draught Horses (2003). Another busy woman!
Jarno is also working on the USDA project studying the balance
glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in pig hippocampus.
performing in situ hybridization on hippocampal tissue to determine
balance, which may indicate if early weaning alters stress sensitivity
the hippocampal level, or if other brain adaptations cause differences
stress response. Jarno is also working closely with the data of
member Yan Yuan, regarding the relationship between aggressiveness
weaning age in pigs.
Kirsty has been studying the effects of weaning age on the cognition
learning of pigs using a modified water maze design. Data analysis
that isolation stress prior to testing caused significant impairment
performance, as well as a significant interaction between weaning
isolation treatment. This data suggests a possible cognitive disruption
affected by increased exposure to stress hormones at a critical
can occur during weaning). Kirsty is also beginning work on the
Welfare Interactive Digital Library (AWIDL), which will contain
formats of media and data regarding animal welfare, to be accessible
people on many academic levels.
We’ve missed Cheryl while she’s been out, but she’s
back now and as busy as
ever. Cheryl will be working on many projects in the near future,
a lifelong study of Jamaican teenagers and effects of early environment
stress. Cheryl will also be continuing work on the POUCH project
beginning work on the Pet a Pet and dendritic reorganization projects.
Denyse is a newcomer from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande
do Sul in
Porto Alegre, Brazil. She is completing her Ph.D. there and will
in the ABWG studying the impact of weaning age on the social behavior
recognition of pigs. This work will complement the studies being
Adriana Silveira de Souza, Jarno Jansen, Patricia Almeida and
Hillary is working full-time in the lab in between graduating
from MSU with
a B.S. in Zoology, and going to veterinary school, most likely
also at MSU.
She has been working with advanced media technology programs to
interactive animal welfare assessment programs in a web-based
well as promotional material for the Animal Welfare Judging Competition.
She will also be helping Dr. Kirsty Laughlin and Amy Shelle collect
bytes for the Animal Welfare Interactive Digital Library. Hillary
be involved in a therapeutic riding study at Chum center, assessing
effects of disabled riders on therapy horses.
Rosangela has just joined us from Brazil, as well. She will be
alongside Dr. Janice Siegford on mRNA extraction from hippocampal
pigs weaned at various ages and subjected to isolation stress.
will hopefully elucidate some more key proteins in the stress
axis of young
pigs and complement the USDA project data.
Janice Siegford, Ph.D.
Janice is the most recent arrival to the ABWG, coming to us from
Coast. She is an experienced companion animal behaviorist, and
inches away from official certification by the Animal Behavior
Janice will be working with Rosangela on the microarray work.
She will also
be examining options for noninvasive, functional methods for viewing
brain. Target training piglets, anyone? I know I’m in!
Amy has been with the ABWG for all time…well, since 1996.
participated in an enormous variety of projects, but is now focusing
attention on gathering and organizing high-quality media images
AWIDL. Amy is also working hard being in charge of the behavioral
observations on the Chum therapeutic riding project.
Adriana Silveira de Souza
Adriana has been studying social recognition in pigs since she
from Brazil in 2000. Her work focuses on how early weaning may
social recognition and heighten aggressiveness. To this effect,
currently working with Patricia Almeida, DVM and Jarno Jansen
on the USDA
Adroaldo J. Zanella, DVM, Ph.D.
Zanella is the Principal Investigator of the ABWG. His main interests
are finding integrative ways to assess the consequences of increased
stress-axis activity on brain organization at different stages
development. Recently, studies have focused on the role of the
in regulating stress hormones, and how this stress affects cognition
learning. Dr. Zanella’s long term goal is to identify and
sources and consequences of stress during prenatal and neonatal
both mother and offspring in different species (including humans).
Important aspects of current grant projects include developing
human and animal models for stress in pregnancy.
Dr. Zanella is also interested in exploring correlates of emotional
regulation using noninvasive brain imaging and gene expression.
Another important project has been the spread of information regarding
animal welfare through the Animal Welfare Judging concept and
Interactive Digital Library.
The Animal Science 305 students have been learning the importance
experimental design, in a project led by instructor Dr. Kirsty
The students have been traveling to the MSU Horse Research and
Center to view the effects of familiar and unfamiliar recorded
vocalizations on the horse group on pasture. The students are
methods of behavioral observation and the difference between good
Dr. Laughlin feels this is a worthwhile project because, “the
practical experience in conducting behavioral experiments.”
This Month’s Events
1-3 PM, B205 Life Sciences
Dorothy Brooks will lead a discussion on veterinary - client communications.
NO LAB MEETING
To add your event or seminar here, email Hillary Noyes at email@example.com