Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Animal Welfare Program
Departments:

MacMillan Building
UBC Animal Welfare Program
2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

Selected Publications

Meagher, R.M., Campbell, D.L., Ahloy Dallaire, J., Díez-León, M., Palme, R. & Mason, G.J. (2013). Sleeping tight or hiding in fright? The welfare implications of different subtypes of inactivity in mink. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 144: 138-146.

Meagher, R.K. & Mason, G.J. (2012). Environmental enrichment reduces signs of boredom in caged mink. PLOS One 7: e49180.

Dallaire, J.A., Meagher, R.K. & Mason, G.J. (2012). Individual differences in stereotypic behaviour predict individual differences in the nature and degree of enrichment use in caged American mink. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 142: 98-108.

Meagher, R.K., Bechard, A. & Mason, G (2012). Inactive mink have fewer but potentially higher quality offspring. Ethology 118: 543-554.

Meagher, R., Bechard, A., Palme, R., Díez-León, M., Hunter, D.B. & Mason, G. (2012). Decreased litter size in inactive female mink (Neovison vison): mechanisms and implications for overall productivity. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 131-141.

Meagher, R.K., Duncan, I., Bechard, A. & Mason, G.J. (2011). Who’s afraid of the big bad glove? Testing for fear of humans and its correlates in mink. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 133: 254-264.

Dallaire, J., Meagher, R.K., Díez-León, M., Garner, J.P. & Mason, G.J. (2011). Recurrent perseveration correlates with abnormal repetitive locomotion in adult mink but is not reduced by environmental enrichment. Behav. Brain Res. 224: 213-222.

Bechard, A., Meagher, R. & Mason, G. (2011). Environmental enrichment reduces the likelihood of alopecia in adult C57BL/6J mice. JAALAS 50: 171-174.

Meagher, R.K. (2009). Observer ratings: validity and value as a tool for animal welfare research. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 119: 1-14.

Additional Information

Becky Meagher studied animal behaviour in the Zoology department at the University of Toronto, obtaining a B.Sc. with a minor in Psychology. She became fascinated by the prospect of studying animal welfare issues scientifically, which brought her to the University of Guelph to complete a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Georgia Mason. Her thesis work investigated why some mink on fur farms become extremely inactive, instead of developing stereotypic behaviour (a form of abnormal behaviour very commonly exhibited in this environment), and what this signifies for their welfare. She found that, within populations, mink at either extreme of the inactivity spectrum likely have similar welfare, but that certain forms of inactivity may be linked to negative states such as fear or boredom. She also demonstrated that the most inactive females produced fewer offspring. In a postdoctoral position in the same lab, she then studied the use of practical environmental enrichments on commercial mink farms, to determine whether simple, inexpensive additions to cages could improve both mink welfare and reproductive success.

Becky joined the UBC Animal Welfare Program in January 2013, aiming to study the effects of social enrichment on the behaviour and welfare of dairy calves.