Biome, Brain and Behavior: An exploration of the gut microbiome-behavior relationship


The term gut microbiome describes the mixture of organisms (eg bacteria, fungi, parasites, protozoa and viruses) found living in the gastrointestinal tract of an organism. Research has shown that the composition of the gut microbiome can have a major impact on cognition, social interaction, stress management, resilience and emotionality. Equally, it is known that behavior and emotionality can impact on the composition of the gut microbiome, through a two-way, dynamic relationship along the 'gut-brain axis'.

Disturbances in the gut-brain axis are an important potential factor for cases which present with behavior problems. In this webinar we will describe the science of the gut-brain axis, providing you with an evidence-based approach to assessing gut health in animals, and an understanding of the link to behavior. In addition we will discuss the science behind microbiome interventions, such as dietary changes and prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, and how that science might be applied to better support behavior cases.

This webinar is suitable for veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, shelter and rescue staff and volunteers, and anyone with an interest in evidence-based behavior intervention.


About Dr. Kathy Murphy:

Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post graduate clinical qualifications. In 2009 she was awarded a highly prestigious Welcome Research Training Fellowship to study for her PhD, in Behavioral Neuroscience, at The Queens College, University of Oxford, UK. She subsequently worked in the USA as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine NYC; and is now back in the UK, where she holds a clinical-academic position as Director of the Comparative Biology Centre at Newcastle University and Director of Barking Brains Ltd (a neuroscience outreach program for the animal behavior and training community). Her clinical interest has always been anesthesia, analgesia, since the age of 13yo and she has recently completed a residency at the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. In addition to her primary career roles she was Trustee and Veterinary Advisor to the Rottweiler Welfare Association for 14 years, is a founder of Ethics First (a collective which lobbies for ethical decision making in clinical practice), is an Oversight Committee Member for the UK Dog Behavior and Training Charter, sits on numerous National and International boards, working groups and ethical review panels, and most of all loves spending time with her own 4 dogs.