Congratulations to Noelia Lopez-Salesansky, who has been awarded her PhD! She conducted experiments to determine how common odours in the lab affect mouse behaviour and welfare, because mice have an extremely acute sense of smell.
Noelia (supervised by Dr Charlotte Burn and colleagues) found that there was great variation between labs in terms of what cleaning products and perfumes they use, and to what extent odours could be transferred between different lab animal species. Her experiments revealed that using alcohol rub before handling mice causes signs of stress and aversion, and should therefore be avoided on animal welfare grounds. Also, the mice could clearly smell traces of previously handled mice on human hands, responding differently depending on whether a mouse of a different strain or sex had been handled before them. The research aims to encourage practical refinements to improve rodent welfare.
Click Download to View Noelia's poster 'Olfactory Effects of Husbandry on Laboratory Mouse Welfare'.