New publications roundup

Posted on 2nd November 2017

Both Dr Rob Coleman and Dr Chrissy Stanley have recently published exciting new material on zebrafish welfare and how social network theory can help wildlife conservation respectively! Read on to find out more...

Wild pony social network
Wild pony social network

Dr Coleman's publication, "The impact of social context on behaviour and the recovery from welfare challenges in zebrafish, Danio rerio", showed how by returning zebrafish to their original groups following common laboratory procedures, the severity of their stress can be significantly reduced. This paper also highlights the benefits of a noninvasive method used by the team to quantify cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in fish, via sampling water from tanks. This paper has important implications for the husbandry and welfare in captivity of this species, as it is frequently used as a model organism in laboratory-based studies.

Dr Stanley co-authored an exciting review paper: "Animal Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation". This paper explored how an understanding of relationships between animals could be applied by wildlife managers and conservation teams to support their work in areas such as disease management, breeding programmes and in controlling problem behaviours. Knowledge of animal social structure can help to predict the flow of information or the spread of disease throughout a population, and has potential to be used as an indicator of upcoming population-level changes. Information of that kind would be less – or not at all – noticeable using methods purely based on population size or the observation of individuals. Read more here in our press release for this paper.