Associate Professor of Psychology



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

(undergraduate authors appear in italics)

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. (In press).  One size does not fit all: Monitoring faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in marsupials. General and Comparative Endocrinology.

Morabito, P.S. & Bashaw, M.J. (2012). A survey of abnormal repetitive behaviors in North American river otters housed in zoos. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 15, 208-21. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2012.658334

Bashaw, M.J., McIntyre, C., & Salenetri, N.D. (2011). Social organization of a stable natal group of captive Guyanese squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus). Primates, 54, 361-71. doi: 10.1007/s10329-011-0263-5

Izzo, G.N., Bashaw, M.J., & Campbell, J.B. (2011). Enrichment and individual differences affect welfare indicators in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 125, 347-352. doi: 10.1037/a0024294

Fernandez, L.T., Bashaw, M.J., Sartor, R.L., Bouwens, N.R., Maki, T.S. (2008).  Tongue twisters: Feeding enrichment to reduce oral stereotypy in giraffe.  Zoo Biology, 27, 200-212.  doi: 10.1002/zoo.20180.

Bashaw, M.J., Bloomsmith, M.A., Maple, T.L., & Bercovitch, F.B.  (2007). The structure of social relationships among captive female giraffe.  Journal of Comparative Psychology, 121, 46-53.  doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.121.1.46.

Tarou, L.R. & Bashaw, M.J. (2007).  Maximizing the effectiveness of environmental enrichment: Suggestions from the experimental analysis of behavior.  Applied Animal Behavior Science, 102, 189-204. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.05.026.