Lieu: Brunoy (et visio)

AbstractThe use of non-human primates for research requires the reliable monitoring of their well-being. Since well-being is a multidimensional emotional state that relates to the satisfaction of an individual’s physical and psychological needs, studying it requires the use of validated and standardised measures. Grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) are small, nocturnal and omnivorous lemurs that have become a powerful tool for fundamental and translational research, making them a relevant model to study the physiological and behavioural variables that may explain and predict their well-being in captivity.

During this seminar, I will be summarising the results of my post-doctoral research with the WELL-PRIM project, done in collaboration between the Eco-anthropology lab (IPE research team) and MECADEV (BioAdapt research team). We attempted to identify reliable measures to evaluate the well-being of captive M. murinus. In order to accomplish this, we characterised the effects of environmental enrichment on several physiological and behavioural measures in adult males and females during the summer months, which corresponds to the breeding season. More specifically, we housed 24 adult mouse lemurs (12 females, 12 males) for 5 weeks with a same-sex and weight-matched cage mate under low or high levels of environmental enrichment. The analyses reveal that several individual-level measures (related to the overall metabolic energy allocation, i.e., initial body mass and sex), and their interactions with the level of environmental enrichment were the best predictors of  various measures of circadian activity, stress-reactivity, judgement bias, predatory motivation, and body composition. Our study suggests that non-invasive and ecologically relevant biological measures could be collected routinely by animal facilities hosting mouse lemurs and possibly other small primates in order to improve their welfare.