The Roslin Institute
I have several lines of research currently underway all related to my specific interest in behavioural neuroendocrinology.
My neuroendocrine research focuses on how environmental cues can trigger the expression of functionally important behaviours. This is a question of significant importance in neuroscience and animal welfare. Neuroendocrine-related behaviours are thought to be initiated or enabled by peripheral hormone secretion, and appear to involve specific neurohormonal actions of peptides within the brain. The exact mechanisms by which hormones affect the apparent organisational changes in neuronal circuitry and the specific chemical signals involved in sustaining the resulting behaviours, are questions fundamental to understanding behavioural disorders.
Hormonal and neural regulation of social behaviour including aggression and reproductive behaviour including maternal behaviour. Supported by BBSRC.
Neuroendocrine control of reproduction, pregnancy and parturition. Supported by The Welcome Trust and BBSRC.
Hormonal and neural regulation of food intake.
Adaptations in neuroendocrine stress response mechanisms.
Effects of early life stress in later life. Supported by BBSRC.
Animal welfare; neurobiology and Indicators of positive animal welfare. Collaborative research with Prof. Alistair Lawrence, SRUC.Supported by BBSRC.
The circadian system, photoperiodism and seasonality.
Physiological and neuroendocrine adaptations to breeding in the Arctic. Collaborative research with Prof. John Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. Supported by NSF.
Neural and endocrinological bases of nest building, spatial learning and memory in food-storing birds. Collaborative research with Prof. Sue Healy, University of St Andrews. Supported by BBSRC.
The role of sex steroids in regulating the song control nucleus in birds. Collaborative research with Prof. George Bentley, UC Berkeley, USA). Supported by NSF.
Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain. Collaborative research with Dr Tyler Stevenson, The University of Aberdeen. Supported by The Leverhulme Trust.