Research

Research Facilities

My lab is housed within the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. Within my lab, we have a Zeiss epifluorescent microscope with a motorized stage and StereoInvestigator software for our quantitative analyses of histological sections. Recently, we also acquired a brand spanking new Olympus VS120 high resolution digital slide scanner capable of creating high resolution images under brightfield, darkfield and fluorescence. Outside of our microscopy suite, we also have access to confocal and transmission electron microscopy just down the hall.

Sociality in ground squirrels

Vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) are key modulators of vertebrate social behaviour. Central infusion of AVP or OT promotes pair bonding and the distribution of vasopressin 1a (V1aR) and OT receptors (OTR) differs markedly between monogamous and polygamous species. For example, the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) has higher densities of V1aR and OTR in prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia and the limbic system than the polygamous montane vole (M.