My current role focuses on many areas of research carried out within the MBE Group which include kin recognition mechanisms in rodents and the consequences for cooperation and competition, the importance of genetic heterozygosity and genetic compatibility in determining mate choice among mammals. In particular, we are investigating the roles of two highly polymorphic regions of the genome among house mice: the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and the Major Urinary Proteins (MUPs).
I have actively been involved in studies looking at how management can promote good welfare and reduce anxiety among laboratory rodents. Since it was shown that changing handling in laboratory mice can reduce stress and anxiety I have been instrumental in helping other organisations across the United Kingdom implement this within their own facilities. In collaboration with Prof Jane Hurst, Dr Kelly Gouveia and National Centre for 3 R’s an instructional DVD was produced as a training aid for organisations worldwide helping with the uptake of non-tail handling in mice My role resulted in gaining the Andrew Blake Tribute Award for 2017, being recognised as someone who has made a contribution to improving the welfare for laboratory animals. I continue to promote good welfare practices at conferences and workshops.