My PhD research focused on improving the welfare of laboratory rodents through changes in their environments, which I evaluated using measures of natural behaviour and emotional states. I am also more broadly interested in the topics of environmental 'enrichment', animal agency and welfare, the 3 Rs, validity and reproducibility of research involving animals, and policy surrounding animal use. 

Photo by Lexis Ly

I have extensive experience working with rats and mice as an animal husbandry technician and as an animal welfare researcher. Prior to my PhD, I was involved in research on refining euthanasia methods for laboratory rats (particularly focused on rat aversion to carbon dioxide) in collaboration with Dr. Lucia Améndola and Professor Dan Weary.

Peer-reviewed publications

Bodnar, M., Ratuski, A.S., & Weary, D.M. (2023). Mouse isoflurane anesthesia using the drop method. Laboratory Animals. 0(0).

Ratuski, A.S., & Weary, D.M. (2022). Environmental Enrichment for Rats and Mice Housed in Laboratories: A Metareview. Animals, 12(4), 414.

Ratuski, A.S., Makowska, I.J., Dvorack, K.R., Weary, D.M. (2021). Using approach latency and anticipatory behaviour to assess whether voluntary playpen access is rewarding to laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 11(18683).

Ratuski, A.S., & Weary, D.M. (2021). A break from the pups: The effects of loft access on the welfare of lactating laboratory rats. PLoS One, 16(6), e0253020.

Améndola, L., Ratuski, A.S., & Weary, D.M. (2021). Individual differences in rat sensitivity to CO2. PLoS One, 16(1), e0245347.

Améndola, L., Ratuski, A.S., & Weary, D.M. (2019). Variation in the onset of CO2-induced anxiety in female Sprague Dawley rats. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1-8. 

Projects in progress

Stay tuned for upcoming publications!