CCSAW Seminar: A Vision for the Next Decade
Date and Time
PAHL (OVC Pathiobiology Building)
Candidate for the postition of Director, Campbell Centre for the Studey of Animal Welfare (CCSAW)
Dr. Georgia Mason, Professor, Department of Animal Biosciences, Ontario Agricultural College
Georgia Mason is a prize-winning behavioural biologist who studies how animals adapt to captivity (or fail to), especially conditions that meet their physiological needs but are too small or monotonous to allow natural behaviour. Why are so many animals prone to stress when housed like this? Are species that are resiliant to anthropogenic threat in the wild better able to cope with captive conditions? And what do such housing conditions do to animals' brains? She is also interested in the validation of animal welfare indicators, including refining how current indicators (e.g. stereotypic behaviour and judgment bias) are used; validating new indicators (e.g species-specific signals like facial expressions); and knowing which species or stages of development actually have welfare at all (a.k.a. the mystery of animal sentience). Her research usually focuses on farmed mink, laboratory animals, or datasets from animals kept in zoos; and currently her grad students are working with mice, rhesus monkeys and zebra fish, as well as with datasets from parrots, lemurs and carnivores.