Call for participants – New Study Looks at Behavioural Reactions in Dogs

Researchers at the University of Lincoln are inviting dog owners to take part in new research which looks at behavioural reactions between dogs.

Participants are invited to complete a questionnaire and, where possible, to upload video footage of your dog. (There is an upload option available within the questionnaire.) The ideal video footage required from all owners would be of your dog when it becomes aware of another dog. The idea behind the research is to model the signalling used by dogs in these situations, so if it is safe to film your dog, please help us to help all dog owners.

Participant criteria:
1. Owners of dogs who react to other dogs
2. Owners of dogs who do not react to other dogs.

To access the Questionnaire please visit: www.dogreactivity.com

For the purposes of this research, reactive behaviours will be considered to include barking, growling, snarling, whining, lunging, snapping, nipping, biting, stiff posture with raised hackles and intense staring. Please note, the research is looking for lots of non-reactive dogs as well as reactive dogs, so all are welcome! 

Co-authored paper on importance of environment in AMR featured in WHO Bulletin

Lecturer in Zoology, Dr Graziella Iossa, has co-authored a paper which looks at the importance of integrating the natural environment in national action plans in antimicrobial resistance under the One Health movement.The paper was featured in the Bulletin for the World Health Organization; one of the world’s leading publications for policy makers and can be read online.

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BioBlitz 2018 at the University of Lincoln

On Wednesday 10th October 2018, University of Lincoln students and A Level students from two local schools were given the opportunity to become a wildlife explorer for the day.

During their exploration into the various types of wildlife at the University’s Brayford Campus and guided by the School of Life Sciences’ scientists, students took part in pond-dipping, invertebrate sampling, bat echolocation, small mammal identification and plant and fungi identification.

This year’s BioBlitz also coincided with Biology Week – a celebration of biology involving activities held nationally and coordinated by the Royal Society of Biology.

The School of Life Sciences staff were supported by volunteers from the British Trust for Ornithology and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The University’s Environmental Manager, Rebecca Forster, also gave an overview of the environmental and sustainability initiatives that the University of Lincoln has put in place to ‘green’ the campus.

As is the case with any research activity, everything found on campus was documented and passed on to local and national databases that monitor our local wildlife.

Find out more about the School of Life Sciences: http://lincoln.ac.uk/home/lifesciences/  or follow the School on Facebook and Twitter.

Fighting like cats and dogs? Research shows a different picture

Animal behaviour researchers at the University of Lincoln have discovered that the relationship between our cats and dogs may be more amicable than originally perceived.

The relationship between the species is often portrayed as fractious, however, Professor Daniel Mills, Dr Sophie Hall and Jessica Thomson at the School of Life Sciences conducted an online survey to find out what it is that makes cats and dogs harmonious.

Results showed that 80% of homeowners felt their pets were comfortable with one another and a mere 3% stated that their cats and dogs could not stand one another.

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It was found that that 50% of owners reported their cats displayed negative behaviours such as hissing and spitting at dogs, and 18% said their dogs threatened cats, less than 10% of cats and only 1% of dogs ever harmed the other animal. Domestication may play a huge part in this interaction, as dogs have been domesticated for longer than cats and are a lot easier to train.

Overall, the majority of owners perceived their cat and dog as being comfortable living under the same roof.
The idiom ‘fighting like cat and dog’ may not ring true after all!

The paper, titled ‘Evaluation of the relationship between cats and dogs living in the same home’ was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour and can be read online.

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Student Trip to South Africa Enhances Conservation and Ecology Skills

As part of their studies at the University of Lincoln, students from the School of Life Sciences visited Mankwe wildlife reserve in South Africa in June 2018.

During their stay, the group of staff and students were able to explore the stunning South African landscape whilst carrying out scientific research on the health, behaviour, welfare, conservation and ecology of the wildlife in this biodiversity hotspot.

In the beautiful and fragile ecosystem of Mankwe, students and staff worked alongside a group of  local community-level conservationists. Throughout their trip, students learnt and developed field and identification skills as well as finding out about reserve management and anti-poaching strategies.  In addition, they were able to apply skills and knowledge gained during their degree programme to develop a self-driven research project on an aspect of animal health, behaviour and/or ecology.

Mankwe is a 4750 hectare reserve in the North West Province of South Africa, approximately 5km east of Pilanesberg National Park. The accommodation is a selection of safari tents, wooden cabins and a clinker brick chalet at the Waterbuck camp, where students have the opportunity to experience a true bush adventure. There are no fences so students live among the wildlife.

To find out more information about the School of Life Sciences Overseas Field Trips, click here.