My previous research encompasses colour vision in lizards and horses, and how domestication has affected the eye in chickens and dogs.
I teach biology at an undergraduate level, with a focus on canine and horse behaviour. One of my main teaching goals is to instil the understanding that we experience the world differently based on our sensory abilities, and I often notice how this subject catches my students’ imagination - the resulting discussions are often long and spirited.
My current research, conducted in collaboration with my doctorate and master’s students, concerns how lifestyle choices and interaction with humans affect dogs behaviourally and physiologically. Dogs have interacted with humans for over 15 000 years and they, not surprisingly, contribute to increased health and wellbeing in us.
There’s an old saying “like master, like pet,” that alludes to how people can resemble their (in my case) dogs. But the likeness is two-way: the lifestyle we humans adopt affect our pets, and dogs develop similar health problems as their masters.
In my current research project, we study both dogs and their masters in order to understand this lifestyle interaction, and how it affects our pets over time. Specifically, we’ll be studying how personality, daily life and perceived stress in humans influences their dogs.
Horses and stress
Like dogs, horses have also lived with humans for thousands of years. Even today, horseback riding is one of the largest hobbies in Sweden.
Horses interact and live with humans on different terms than dogs, and we’re studying how their daily routines and corralling affect their behaviour and stress levels. Stress is one of the biggest challenges in animal welfare today, and we’re hoping to find patterns that will allow us to increase the wellbeing of horses, dogs, and other animals.
Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lina_S_V_Roth
- Roth, L.S.V. 2008. Diversity and limits of colour vision in terrestrial vertebrates.