Current Research

Examination of the relation between husbandry procedures to animal welfare and experimental outcomes with particular emphasis on refinement.  More Info

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I studied biology and psychology, with a special focus on developmental plasticity, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. My research focuses on the emergence of phenotypic variability, the animal in its situational contexts, and bidirectional relationships between biological systems. A particular side interest of mine is investigating dynamical systems of behaviour and the self-emerging principles of these systems. 

I first began assisting in research on the development of laterality in human infants with Prof. Dr. George Michel at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I then conducted a research project investigating the long-term consequences of perinatal asphyxia and C-section delivery on offspring, using laboratory rats as a model, with Dr. April Ronca at Wake Forest University.

My current research, and PhD project, investigates the importance of social contexts in laboratory mice, and challenges the assumption that mice within a cage are more similar than mice between cages. I measure social dominance rank across multiple contexts and relate rank to individual differences within cages of mice. I also study how the stability, or instability, of rank affects phenotypic variation. 

Recent Publications

3. Varholick, J.A., Bailoo, J.D., Palme, R., Würbel, H. (2018). Phenotypic variability between social dominance ranks in laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 8(6593)10.1038/s41598-018-24624-4

2. Bailoo, J.D., Murphy, E., Varholick, J.A., Novak, J., Palme, R., Würbel, H. (2018). Evaluation of the effects of space allowance on measures of animal welfare in laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 8(173). 10.1038/s41598-017-18493-6 

1. Bailoo, J. D., Varholick, J. A., Garza, X. J., Jordan, R. L., & Hintze, S. (2016). Maternal separation followed by isolation-housing differentially affects prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response in C57BL/6 mice. Developmental Psychobiology, 58(8), 937-944.10.1002/dev.21422

Master Thesis: Varholick, J.A. (2012). Some consequences for social behavior of perinatal asphyxia and c-section delivery of full-term male rats. North Carolina Digital Online Collection of Knowledge and Scholarship. Link

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