Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology
Areas of Expertise: Animal and environmental biology
Gavan is a Behavioural Ecologist with experience of lab based experimentation and field observations. He is also an advocate for aquatic animal welfare.
Gavan is a behavioural ecologist and professional aquarist, possessing a BSc in Zoology and a PhD in fish behavioural ecology. His research interests include the behavioural ecology of aquatic animals, especially cephalopods. He has have a great deal of experience in controlled laboratory behaviour experiments and aquatic field work, having dived many times in the UK (and abroad) and spent a good deal of time in Lake Malawi collecting fish and observational data.
As someone who works with captive aquatic animals, Gavan is an advocate for captive aquatic animal welfare, holding numerous professional certificates in captive animal welfare and husbandry (including birds, mammals and reptiles). He has experience of being a professional aquarist in the research, aquaculture, public aquarium and hobbyist sectors. Among other societies, he is a scientific advisor the Aquarium Welfare Association and a welfare specialist/course tutor for the European Association for Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA).
Gavan has been teaching at undergraduate level and above in the areas of zoology, animal behaviour, animal welfare and marine biology (including statistics and research methods) since 2007. In addition to lecture theatre teaching he has led tutorials, laboratory and aquarium based practicals. He has taught using project based learning team based learning (in his current position) and initiated student led learning as part of his routine learning techniques.
European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (welfare advisory specialist and lecturer since 2015) – http://www.eaza.net/about-us/
SepiaBreed (Improving the reproduction of the European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758) in captivity: a multidisciplinary approach) - http://fbh.ccmar.ualg.pt//sepiabreed/team.html
Aquarium Welfare Association (scientific advisor and committee member since 2014) – http://www.aquariumwelfare.org/
CephsInAction (EU COST ACTION FA1301 Cephalopod welfare, working groups, 1, 4 and 5 since 2013) – http://www.cephsinaction.org/
British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (research committee 2013 – 2017) – http://www.biaza.org.uk/research/
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (member since 2013) – http://www.ufaw.org.uk/
Tyers, A.M, Jones, K. Cooke, G.M*, Reactors and Thinkers: Individual variation in behavioural plasticity crosses contexts in cuttlefish. Submitted July 2017 Behavioural Ecology
Cooke, G. M* and Dittrich, A. Female aggression in African cichlids. Submitted Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology July 2018
Cooke, G. M*. and Turner, G. F. Team colours matter when playing away from home: Allopatric aggression in African cichlids. Reviewed with revisions in progress Hydrobiologica June 2017
Sykes, António V., Eduardo Almansa, Gavan M. Cooke, Giovanna Ponte, and Paul LR Andrews. “The digestive tract of cephalopods: a neglected topic of relevance to animal welfare in the laboratory and aquaculture.” Frontiers in Physiology 8 (2017): 492.
Ponte, G., Sykes, A. V., Cooke, G. M., Almansa, E., & Andrews, P. (2017). The digestive tract of cephalopods: towards non-invasive in vivo monitoring of its physiology. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 403.Book chapter: Cooke, G.M*, Crackenel, D. and Hill, G. (2017) Public Aquaria Research Guide in BIAZA research methods. Ed. Dr Amy Ploughman, Dr Geoff Hosey In press.
Nicholas R. Casewell, Jeroen Visser, Kate Baumann, James Dobson, Han Han, Michael Morgan, Jordan Debono, Ivan Koludarov, Gregory Bird, Gavan M. Cooke, Amanda Nouwens, Wayne C. Hodgson, Simon C. Wagstaff, Karen Cheney, Irina Vetter, Michael K. Richardson, Sanjaya Kuruppu & Bryan G. Fry. Fish, fangs and foolery: evolution of venom and mimicry systems in coral reef fish. Current Biology February 2017
Greenway, E. Jones, K. Cooke, G.M* 2016 Environmental Enrichment in Captive Juvenile Thornback Rays, Raja clavata (Linnaeus 1758): Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 182 (86–93)
Cooke, G.M* 2015. Letter to the Editor. Concern regarding use of the term “nonhuman animals” in article titled Ontogeny and phylogeny of facial expression of pain. PAIN. 156(9):1826–1829.
Cooke, G. M* & Tonkins, B. M. 2015 Behavioural indicators of welfare exhibited by the common European cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 3(4)
Tonkins, Belinda M., Alexandra M. Tyers, and Gavan M. Cooke*. 2015 “Cuttlefish in captivity: An investigation into housing and husbandry for improving welfare.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 168 (77-83).
Gough, R, Hollima, J. Cooke, G.M, Freeman, C. 2015 Characterisation of algogenic organic matter during an algal bloom and its implications for trihalomethane formation. Sustainability of Water Quality and Ecology. 01/2015;
Tyers, A.M., D. Bavin, Cooke, G.M, C. Griggs, and G.F. Turner. 2014. Peripheral isolate speciation of a Lake Malawi cichlid fish from shallow muddy habitats. Evolutionary Biology doi:10.1007/s11692-014-9277-4
*as corresponding author
Marshall, L. and Cooke G.M* Is live feeding in public aquariums considered acceptable by staff and visitors? Manuscript in preparation for PLoS One
Book chapter: Cooke, G.M* and Tonkins, B. M. “Environmental enrichment, cognition and sentience in cephalopod molluscs” in “The Welfare of Invertebrate Animals.”. Ed. Dr Jenifer Mather and Dr Claudio Carere.
Cooke, G.M*, Tonkins, B.M., Ponte, G., Andrews P. L. R. Severity assessment in cephalopod procedures: a consensus approach. Manuscript in preparation for Laboratory Animal Welfare
*as corresponding author
CIAC/Cephs in Action conference, Heraklion, Crete March 2017 Presenting talk: “Prospective severity assessment in cephalopods: Results of an on-line survey of the COST Action (CephsInAction) FA1301 cephalopod research community”
Aquaculture Europe, 2016, Edinburgh, oral presentation: “Effects of increased volume and tank bottom areas on cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, reproduction behaviour”
RSPCA/APHA ‘Welfare of wild animals used in research’ meeting, 2016, oral presentation: “Recent Inclusion of the Class Cephalooda (Mollusca) in ASPA1986/EU Directive 2010/63/EU and The Use of Wild Caught Specimens in Scientific Procedures”
LASA/UFAW meeting, 2016, oral presentation: Welfare assessment in alien life forms: The challenges presented by inclusion of cephalopods in directive 2010/63/EU
BBSRC Animal Welfare Research Network Inaugural Meeting, May 2016, Welcome Trust, London, poster: “COST Action FA1301 – CephsInAction A network for improvement of cephalopod welfare and husbandry in research, aquaculture and fisheries”
FELASA congress 2016, Brussels, poster: “Prospective severity assessment in cephalopods: Results of an on-line survey of the COST Action (CephsInAction) FA1301 cephalopod research community”
Aquaculture Europe, 2015, Rotterdam, oral presentation: “Caring for cephalopods”
BIAZA Research Conference 2015, Dublin, oral presentation: “Improving the lives of captive Rays”
NAW BIAZA Conference, 2014, Liverpool, oral presentation: “The science of animal welfare: caring for cuttlefish”
BIAZA Newsletter Autumn 2016 Written article “Jellyfish – monsters from the deep?”
Supporting the development/research BBC documentary “Trust me I am a vet” Sept 2016
Creator of Zoo Science for Keepers and Aquarists monthly digest of scientific papers aimed at bridging the gap between peer review publications and keepers/aquarists June 2016 – present – www.zoosci.com
Squid behaviour consultant BBC One Show Oct 2015
Written article for Practical Fish Keeping October 2015 – “Snorkelling in a native wonderland”
Featured Scientist BBC Spring Watch June 2015 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03xlld3 “Cuttlefish personality”
Interviewed for Practical Fish Keeping July 2014 – “10 Questions with a cutting edge aquarist”
Interviewed for Practical Fish Keeping June 2010 – “Is it already too late for a new fish species?”