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Mirjam Guesgen

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The Social Function of Pain-Related Behaviour and Novel Techniques for the Assessment of Pain in Lambs

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The reactions accompanying the experience of pain are highly varied and often do not occur in isolation, but are observable to other animals. Miss Guesgen investigated pain-related behaviour within a social context using a sheep model. She identified a facial grimace and changes in ear posture for lambs in pain. She also demonstrated that the expression of, and reaction of other lambs to seeing pain is altered by the social context. Miss Guesgen has proposed a new evolutionary theory for why mammals may show pain: as a communication mechanism. This research can also be used to inform animal welfare policy.

Associate Professor Ngaio Beausoleil
Dr Mairi Stewart
Associate Professor Edward Minot
Professor Kevin Stafford

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