UFAW Professor William Russell Research Fellowship

Professor William Russell Fellowship: Thermal stress in mice.

UFAW funded Research that will help improve the welfare of mice used in research worldwide

In honour of Professor Bill Russell, who died in 2007, UFAW ran a competition the following year for a post-doctoral Fellowship in his name. The winner was Professor Joseph Garner for his research at Purdue University in the USA to explore thermal preferences and the importance of nesting material for the thermal comfort of laboratory mice.

Professor Garner and his student Brianna Gaskill’s research proved to be very valuable and important for the welfare of laboratory mice. Summarising the work, Jo says: 'The bottom line is that we established data-driven standards for mouse nesting enrichment, and showed a range of benefits to mouse behavior, physiology, breeding, performance (and profitability), and welfare, that make an iron-clad case for both the necessity, and the benefits of providing nesting enrichment to mice'.

While in some parts of the world nesting material is routinely provided, in others it is not. This research will greatly encourage its use benefiting millions of mice housed in research institutions around the world. Some of the publications that came out of the work are listed below:

Gaskill BN, Gordon CJ, Pajor EA, Lucas JR, Davis JK, and Garner JP 2012 Heat or Insulation: Behavioral titration of mouse preference for warmth or access to a nest. PLoS One 7: e32799.

Gaskill BN, Gordon CJ, Pajor EA, Lucas JR, Davis JK, and Garner JP 2013 Impact of nesting material on mouse body temperature and physiology. Physiology & Behavior 110 - 111: 87-95.

Gaskill BN, Pritchett-Corning KR, Gordon CJ, Pajor EA, Lucas JR, Davis JK, and Garner JP 2013 Energy Reallocation to Breeding Performance through Improved Nest Building in Laboratory Mice. PLoS One 8: e74153.

Gaskill BN, Rohr SA, Pajor EA, Lucas JR, and Garner JP 2009 Some like it hot: Mouse temperature preferences in laboratory housing. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 116: 279-285.

Gaskill BN, Rohr SA, Pajor EA, Lucas JR, and Garner JP 2011 Working with what you've got: Changes in thermal preference and behavior in mice with or without nesting material. Journal of Thermal Biology 36: 193-199.

Gaskill BN, Winnicker C, Garner JP, and Pritchett-Corning KR 2013 The naked truth: Breeding performance in nude mice with and without nesting material. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 143: 110-116.

Images Courtesy Professor Joe Garner

 

 

A report on this project is available here.