Here is a list of our latest projects:
2014-17. BBSRC funded grant. Cognitive decline during ageing: the role of developmental and adult stress.
Here we are looking at how early life experiences interact with adulthood ones to produce different ageing phenotypes. We are studying this in the Japanese quail using an experimental approach to investigate how cognitive abilities change with age in each of these phenotypes. We are looking at the physiological (hormonal) and neural mechanisms that may underlie cognitive decline so that we can gain a better understanding of healthy ageing wthin a population, but also how developmental environments could influence ageing rates. To do this we use techniques such as behavioural assay, radioimmunoassay, immunohistochemistry, cell culture and molecular biology.
2012-15. BBSRC funded in collaboration with Profs Melissa Bateson and Daniel Nettle at the University of Newcastle and Prof Pat Monaghan at the University of Glasgow. Early adversity and adult cognition: the starling as a model.
Thighs project looks at how early life food availability can have long term effects on behaviour and physiology in the European Starling. We are looking at ageing rates in terms of telomere lengths as well as cognition and pessimism in the birds.