Recipients – Minshall Award

Each year, the Diane Minshall award provides a grant of $500. The funds are to be used to pay for education and training related costs of travel to, and attendance at, conferences and meetings expressly pertaining to the welfare and improvement of conditions for research and laboratory animals., as per the spirit of Diane Minshall’s innovation in humane research methods. Past recipients of the award, and what they applied the funds to, are as follows:

2023 – Anna Ratuski: for her work on refinement for laboratory rodents. Support from the Minshall Memorial Award will give her the opportunity to travel to the 2023 CALAS symposium in Montreal and present her work on environmental enrichment for rats and mice housed in laboratories. She will also facilitate a workshop on barriers to implementing refinement and engage stakeholders from the lab animal community.

2021 and 2022 – Due to the pandemic restrictions and school closures, no applications were submitted to the AWFC, thus no grants were provided.

2020 – No eligible applications were received in 2020, thus no grants were provided.

2019 – Anna Ratuski: for her work on improving laboratory rat welfare by providing breeding rats with increased control in their environment, and refining CO 2 euthanasia for rodents. Support from the Minshall Memorial Award will give her the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to attend and present her work at the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in 2020.

2018 – Jennifer Tutte: to attend a conference in order to further her research on promoting positive relationships between animals and handlers in laboratories, as well as enrich the daily lives of rats through bonding activities such as rat tickling.  The ACC conference program provided her with a greater understanding of how protocols are designed and approved which will enable her to help colleagues establish what is acceptable for the studies they facilitate.

2017 – Amelia MacRae: whose research focused on developing a pinniped/seal grimace scale that measures facial expressions in order to assess pain and discomfort levels in pinnipeds (particularly harbour seals) during handling and medical procedures (such as branding and attaching implanting transmitters). Her work was presented at the 2017 IAAE Conference.

2016 – Lucia Saaverda: to investigate alternative, more-humane gases used for euthanasia, and the importance of the variability on how each individual animal responds, rather than just assessing the impact on a group of animals. She used the Minshall funds to present her work at ISAE.

2015 – Xianghong Shan: for research methods that harvested healthy embryos of fish in their first hour of life in order to reduce the number of breeding pairs needed and the frequency of breeding.

2014 – (Kathryn) Becca Franks: to study the behavioral and social dynamics of fish held in semi-natural environments in order to gain insights and an appreciation for the cognitive sophistication and complex lives of fish, comparable to that of land animals. Her work contributed to the growing body of literature enabling enrichment for aquatic environments, and her work was presented at the 50th Anniversary meeting of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) in Edinburgh, UK.

2013 – no recipient