Question: what is your favourite experiment relating to your job?? :)

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  1. I really like the experiment I did as part of my PhD.

    I wanted to see if providing an enrichment program to dogs (of music to listen to, lavender essence to smell, toys to play with, soft bedding to sleep on and more time with people) would make them less stressed about living in a kennel environment. So half of the dog were given this program and half were housed normally, without enrichment. Then I videoed them for 16 days and took some saliva (spit) samples (by having them slobber on a special cotton ball!) and a little bit of blood (when they had their normal vaccination injections) and compared the behaviour and physiological results between the two groups.

    I am also able to compare their stress levels to their performance in work tasks to see if there is a stress-performance relationship or critical stress point where performance suddenly drops off. If there is, and if enrichment helps reduce stress, this could offer a way to help more dogs pass the training programs. If enrichment doesn’t make any difference to the dogs, then people don’t need to spend money on those things (because even though we might think it’s nice, the dogs might not care either way!).


  2. Hello again mida – was great chatting this afternoon.

    I am not allowed to talk a lot about the details of my work but one cool thing I did was try to get the computer to find ships in VERY large satellite photos. Easy enough in open water, but teaching a computer the difference between an island and a ship can be hard; and then there are the ships you can just see through the clouds.


  3. My favourite would be making new compounds by doing reactions. I buy the first piece of a molecule I want to make, then transform it into different things. It’s like cooking at the molecular level.


  4. Hi @mida,

    Just like @DJ, I do different experiments all the time, sometime many a day. But these experiments are probably much smaller than the experiments done by @Mia. Her’s probably take a long time, maybe months or years (I guess @DJ and @Mia will have to tell me if I’m right.

    My favourite experiment was about using electricity to clean water that had toxic waste in it. One day I made a mistake doing this and I accidentally made a new explosive chemical. Was pretty happy with my mistake 🙂



  1. Thanks for answering my question everyone! and well done @michaelacronin for making a new explosive chemical