Dr Olivia Curno (PhD, 2008)

Olivia completed a PhD with us in 2008. She now works in the charity sector, but is still writing papers. This is how she described her work...

Research Interests

My research interests lie primarily in the effect of environmental cues on reproductive investment.  My work involves manipulating the social, nutritional or immunological environment of female mice prior to or during pregnancy, and examining the long and short term reproductive responses to these manipulations.  Responses considered include litter sex composition, size and quality; pup-dam and pup-pup interactions; and offspring rank acquisition, disease resistance and attractiveness as adults.

Through this work I hope to gain insight into the role of ambient information (particularly social information) in the evolution of life history strategies, as well as understanding the potential welfare implications of such information for animals in captivity.

In the news. You can read more about my work on maternal responses to the perception of disease risk, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, in Science Daily and Daily Telegraph.


Curno, O., Behnke, J. M., McElligott, A. G., Reader, T. and Barnard, C. J. (2009). Mothers produce less aggressive sons with altered immunity when there is a threat of disease during pregnancy. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. PDF

Curno, O. (2008). Don't treat animals as furry test-tubes. New Scientist.

A brief CV