Jeff Martin and Caroline Strang on Spit and Twitches

Catch the recent appearances of Avian Cognition Lab Ph.D. alumni Jeff Martin and Caroline Strang on Spit and Twitches, a wonderful podcast for anyone interested in animal cognition.  Host Dave Brodbeck talks to Jeff (Episode 21) and Caroline (Episode 22) about their research, surviving graduate school, life as a postdoc, choosing a career in science, and more.  Why “spit and twitches”?  Because according to Robert Rescorla, ‘. . . one of my most respected professors, Frank Irwin, asked me how I could be interested in Pavlovian conditioning, a process that he characterized as being “all spit and twitches” and of little general psychological interest’.

New paper with Brazilian colleagues

A new paper with colleagues at the Universidade Federal do Pará and the Instituto Federal de Educação Ciência e Tecnologia do Pará– including Cristovam W.P. Diniz, Nara Magalhães, Cristovam Guerreiro Diniz, and others – has just appeared in Frontiers in Immunology.  The paper surveys morpological responses of microglia to immune challenges, using comparative data on rodents, bats, primates, and birds.

Carvalho-Paulo, D., Bento Torres Neto, J., Filho, C. S., de Oliveira, C. G., de Sousa, A. A., dos Reis, R. R., dos Santos, Z. A., de Lima, C. M., de Oliveira, M. A., Said, N. M., Freitas, S. F., Sosthenes, M. C. K., Gomes, G. F., Henrique, E. P., Pereira, P. D. C., de Siqueira, L. S., de Melo, M. A. D., Guerreiro Diniz, C., Magalhães, N. G. d. M., Diniz, J. A. P., Vasconcelos, P. F. d. C., Diniz, D. G., Anthony, D. C., Sherry, D. F., Brites, D. and Picanço Diniz, C. W. (2021). Microglial morphology across distantly related species: phylogenetic, environmental and age influences on microglia reactivity and surveillance states. Frontiers in Immunology, 12. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.683026

Congratulations Dr. Jeff Martin

Congratulations to Jeff Martin on his successful Ph.D. defense on June 11, 2021.  Jeff’s thesis, Food caching decisions in Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis), examined jays’ choice of tree species in which to cache, their choice of macronutrients for caching, how jays avoid cache pilferers, and whether jays cache to prevent predictable short-term food shortages. Jeff’s next position: a postdoc in Biology at McGill University with Professor Mélanie Guigueno.

David Sherry receives Comparative Cognition Society 2021 Research Award

David Sherry is the recipient of the Comparative Cognition Society’s 2021 Research Award, presented to honour “scientists who have made major contributions to our understanding of animal cognition during their career”. The award was presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the society April 7-10 2021, held virtually this year and featuring a symposium of invited talks by David’s colleagues and former students. Talks will be published in a forthcoming special issue of Learning & Behavior.

2nd International Student Symposium on Animal Behaviour and Cognition

Congratulations to Maddie Brodbeck and Jeff Martin (co-chairs), and Tanya Shoot (fund raising & program) on the success of the 2nd International Student Symposium on Animal Behaviour and Cognition held May 17 – 20, 2021 and hosted by Western University. This year’s virtual meeting was attended by 76 participants from 15 countries and featured 39 talks plus 4 plenary speakers, including Avian Cognition Lab alumna Dr. Caroline Strang from the University of Texas at Austin.

AFAR Phased Return

AFAR is in the process of a phased return to research activity following Western’s Return to Campus Plan and the Western Animal Care Committee’s Research Recovery Plan.  Some behavioural research has resumed along with some histology and microscopy work.

Congratulations Gloria Cho!

Congratulations to Gloria on a successful defense today of her Master’s thesis in Psychology on dominance rank and cognitive ability in flocks of black-capped chickadees.

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