• Headshot 2015
Professor of Psychology, Program Chair of Biological Foundations of Behavior



Office: Life Sciences and Philosophy Building


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003 (Experimental Psychology, Minor in Biology)

M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000 (Psychology)

B.S., Duke University, 1997 (Biology and Religion)


I am interested in animal behavior, particularly animal social relationships and captive animal welfare.  My research revolves around four central questions:

·       How are animal social relationships affected by captive environments?

·       What interactions among animals' behavior, social relationships, physiology, and present and past environments are important for determining an animal's welfare state?

·       What is the best way to measure animal welfare?  To what degree do individuals in the same environment experience different welfare states?

·       How can we enrich captive environments to improve the welfare of exotic animals, particularly in zoos? 

·        What psychological theories or aspects of an animal's natural history provide insights into which changes will be most effective? 

My research links non-invasive hormone analysis with behavioral observation to explore animals' responses to captive environments.  I am particularly interested in how social relationships among animals and stress-related physiological systems are affected by captivity.  I study animals housed at F&M and partner with accredited zoos to gain access to species that cannot be housed in the laboratory.


Selected Publications

Edited Volume in Production

Kaufman, A., Bashaw, M.J., Maple, T.L. (Eds.).  Scientific Foundations of Zoos and Aquariums: Their role in conservation and research.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (student authors appear in italics)

Hardt, B.M., Ardia, D.R., Bashaw, M.J., & Rivers, J.W. (In press). Nestmate competition differentially influences corticosterone expression in sympatric, ecologically similar songbirds. Functional Ecology.

Fanson, K.V., Best, E.C., Bunce, A., Fanson, B.G., Hogan, L.A., Keeley, T., Narayan, E.J., Palme, R., Parrott M.L., Sharp, T.M., Skogvold, K., Tuthill. L., Webster, K.N., & Bashaw, M.J. (2017).  One size does not fit all: Monitoring faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in marsupials. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 244, 146-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.10.011

Bashaw, M.J., Gibson, M.D., Schowe, D.G., Kucher, A.S. (2016). Does enrichment improve reptile welfare? Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) respond to five types of environmental enrichment.  Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 184, 150-160. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.08.003.

Bashaw, M.J., Sicks, F., Palme, R., Schwarzenberger, F., Tordiffe, A.S.W., & Ganswindt, A. (2016). Non-invasive assessment of adrenocortical activity as a measure of stress in giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). BMC Veterinary Research 12, 235. doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0864-8.

Book Chapters

Allard, S.M., & Bashaw, M.J. (In press). Empowering zoo animals. In: A. Kaufman, M.J. Bashaw, T.L. Maple (Eds.) Scientific Foundations of Zoos and Aquariums: Their Role in Conservation and Research.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bashaw, M.J. (In press). Creating a giraffic park: Design and management ideas for optimal giraffe wellness.  In V. D. Segura, D. L. Forthman, T. L. Maple (Eds.): Wellness for Elephants. Fernandina Beach, FL: Red Leaf Press.