Are jockeys using whips to steer and stay safe, or are they simply whipping tired horses?
These are questions that prompted Professor Paul McGreevy of the University of Sydney to research the use of whips in horse racing.
Paul is recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine.
His research focuses on the behaviour and welfare of horses and dogs, and he is the author of six books and over 120 peer-reviewed articles on animal behaviour.
Paul’s award-winning research examining the use of whips in horse racing aims to further our awareness of the experience of horses, extending to a recent experiment capturing the thermographic effects of his own leg being hit with a padded whip.
As the Spring horse racing carnival hits its peak in Melbourne, Australia this week, we asked Paul to discuss his findings and what it means for horses, beyond the glamour and excitement of race day.
Here’s a fact: bees are responsible for the successful production of around a third of the food you eat.
As one of our oldest domesticated animals, bees and people share an amazing history.
But the future is uncertain, with devastating global declines in both feral and managed populations.
Boris Baer and Barbara Baer-Imhoof, in conjunction with their colleagues at the Centre for Integrative Bee Research at the University of Western Australia, are researching many aspects of honey bees, in the field and in the lab.
In our first episode featuring an invertebrate species, we learn more about our relationship with bees, what would happen if they vanish and ways we can help them thrive.
Video – More Than Honey Trailer
Stuerup, M., Baer-Imhoof, B., Nash, D. R., Boomsma, J. J. & Baer, B. When every sperm counts: factors affecting male fertility in the honeybee Apis mellifera, . Behav. Ecol. 24(5): 1192-1198. View online at Behavioral Ecology.
Sandra McCune holds a PhD that examined the temperament and welfare of caged cats as well as qualifications in vet nursing and zoology. She knows the answer to why cats like boxes, and the science behind it.
In her current role as the Scientific Leader for Human-Animal Interaction at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, she manages a large portfolio of collaborative research projects.
These projects cover many aspects of human-animal interaction, in countries including US, UK, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Australia.
In addition to having written research papers and book chapters on several aspects of cat behaviour, cognition, welfare and nutrition, Sandra has lectured and advised many animal shelters, ethologists, animal welfarists, and groups of vets and vet nurses.
Sandra is sought out as a voice within industry and regularly speaks at international conferences on pet ownership issues and the bond between people and pets.
Today we’re talking to Sandra about pet cats, their incomplete domestication, our attachment to them and the behavioural links between wild big cats, and the cat in your home.
Kurt Kotrschal, Jon Day, Sandra McCune and Manuela Wedl (2013) Human and cat personalities: building the bond from both sides. Chapter 9 In: Dennis Turner and Pat Bateson (Editors) The domestic Cat: The biology of its behaviour. CUP, Cambridge
Bennett, P.C. (2010). People, pets and positive psychology (transcribed from Radio Australia). Second Australian Positive Psychology and Well-Being Conference, February 12-13, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia.