Department: RVC Business
Research Groups: Animal Welfare Science and Ethics
Research Centres: RVC Animal Welfare Science and Ethics
Noelia is employed part time in the Named Veterinary Surgeons Service (BSU) and she is undertaking a part time PhD at the Centre for Animal Welfare (PPH).
Noelia qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon from the University of Las Palmas, Spain in 2000. After a spell in small animal general practice she moved into the laboratory animal field working as a Named Veterinary Surgeon at the RVC. In 2006 she took a sabbatical year to study a Master in Animal Science (Genetics and Biotechnology) at the University of Sydney, Australia. The title of the Master Thesis was "Mapping of Genes Associated with ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) in Mice".
She is a member of LAVA and she was a convenor of LASA Care and Welfare Section from 2008-2014. She started her PhD on 'Olfactory effects of husbandry on mouse welfare' at the RVC in 2011. It is supervised by Charlotte Burn, with Dominic Wells and Lucy Whitfield as co-supervisors
Noelia is interested in the impact of experimental and husbandry procedures on laboratory animal welfare and in the ways to improve it. Her research focuses on the effects of odours commonly present in laboratory animal units on mouse behaviour. Olfaction plays a crucial role in mouse communication by providing information on genetic identity (sex, kinship) and physiological status (reproductive status, health, dominance). She will carry out olfactory preference and avoidance tests with a wide range of commonly used cleaning products, glove materials and smells of other animals (including other species), to detect fear responses and aversion behaviour in the mice. Understanding how these smells affect mouse welfare will help to refine mouse husbandry and experimental procedures, improving the quality of life of laboratory animals and the experimental data obtained.
MAZLAN, N.H., LOPEZ-SALESANKSY, N., BURN, C.C., & WELLS D.J. (2014) Mouse identification methods and potential welfare issues: a survey of current practice in the UK. Animal Technology and Welfare 13: 1-10
She teaches in the Home Office Licence Course and in other workshops organised by the College.
We aim to refine the way that animals are used in research. Our projects focus on humane husbandry: how best to identification-mark mice, how frequently to clean rat cages, and how to minimise harmful effects from strong odours in the lab, given rodents' extremely well developed olfactory senses.