Mirjam Guesgen

Freelance Science Writer

I am a freelance science writer currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a particular interest in animal welfare.

I love communicating complex, scientific ideas in an engaging, balanced, thought-out and informative way.

WHO AM I?

I am a freelance science writer currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a particular interest in animal welfare.

I love communicating complex, scientific ideas in an engaging, balanced, thought-out and informative way.

My work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New Zealand Herald, Quartz, The Conversation Canada, VetScript magazine, Massey magazine and DefiningNZ magazine and has been shared on Phys.org and Catch News. I also write my own blog posts, produce videos for my YouTube channel (ScienceWrapNZ) and have nearly a dozen scientific publications.

I received my PhD in Zoology from Massey University, New Zealand. For my doctoral studies, I investigated how the social environment affects an animal's experience of pain and whether animals are able to empathize with other group members. My work has involved using lasers, looking at lamb facial expression, lamb ear posture, and asking people to describe an animal's behaviour in their own terms.

I then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta, Canada. Here, I used kinematic techniques (read, motion capture similar to Lord of the Rings) to monitor the health and welfare states in tie-stall dairy cows. I wrote a review paper arguing how we can better assess affective states (including positive emotion, boredom and depression) in animals.