Lynne Sneddon

Senior Lecturer

Department of Biological & Environmental
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 7 B
41390 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 463
40530 Göteborg

About Lynne Sneddon

Using an integrative approach my research seeks to understand the mechanisms underpinning animal behaviour by employing techniques in genomics, molecular biology, physiology and neurobiology. In 2002 I was the first to characterise nociceptors that detect painful stimuli on the head of a fish and have since investigated the capacity for pain, fear and stress to drive improvements in the welfare of fishes and other aquatic animals. My research also explores how intraspecific variation or animal personality influences the response to environmental variation such as pH, temperature and hypoxia which are relevant to understanding the impact of climate change.

Current Grants:

Use of analgesia to refine fish experiments

Fishes are the second most popular experimental model in Sweden and Europe and are subject to invasive procedures that gives rise to pain. To safeguard animal welfare we should try to reduce any pain in fishes by using drugs that provide pain-relief. This project aims to investigate which drugs and at what doses reduce pain and further whether this affects the quality of the data.

Funding: VR 3Rs, Sweden. Lead Researcher: Dr Lynne Sneddon

Welfare of crustaceans

Studies have shown the potential for pain in decapod crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, crayfish, prawns and shrimp). This project will explore whether these animals have receptors for pain, how their behaviour is affected by a painful stimulus and further develop humane ways of killing crustaceans.

Funding: Formas, Sweden. Lead Researcher: Dr Lynne Sneddon. Ph.D Student: Eleftherios Kasiouras. Co-PIs: Dr Albin Gräns, SLU, Dr Björn Roth, Nofima, Dr Peter Hubbard, CCMAR.

Development of species-specific recommendations for slaughter of fish in Swedish aquaculture

Humane killing of animals involves stunning methods. This project will assess the most humane way of stunning fishes to ensure their welfare is optimal. A variety of species will be investigated to determine the best way to effectively stun them before killing in the laboratory and in aquaculture.

Funding: Formas, Sweden. Lead Researcher: Dr Albin Gräns. SLU. Ph.D Student: Ulla Saarinen. Co-PIs; Dr Lynne Sneddon, Prof Kristina Sundell, Prof Anders Carlsson, SLU.

Refining the tagging of wild fish and sharks

This project aims to improve the welfare of wild sharks and large fish in research by quantifying the response of the animals to electronic tagging providing an evidence base for refining procedures.

Funding: NC3Rs UK. Supervisors: Dr Matthew Witt, Dr Lucy Hawkes, Dr Gregory Paull and Dr Lynne Sneddon. Ph.D student: Ghalia Abel.

Advancing understanding of anaesthesia and analgesia in the zebrafish

This project will fill these knowledge gaps via 3 main aims. Aim 1 will establish the efficacy of several anaesthetics/analgesics using functional brain imaging and electrophysiology. Aim 2 will determine which agents inhibit neuromuscular activity, are aversive, or reduce avoidance of noxious stimuli using automated behavioural assessment. Aim 3 is focussed on understanding mechanisms of action and central sedative and nociceptive processing in fish. For this we will undertake functional imaging in circuit-specific transgenic reporter lines and supplement this with immunohistochemistry to identify specific circuits responding to treatment with these agents.

Funding: BBSRC, UK. Lead Researcher: Professor Charles Tyler, University of Exeter; Co-PIs: Dr Matthew Winter and Dr Lynne Sneddon.

Chromatic analysis of behaviour and neural substrate of pain perception in cuttlefish

This proposed project aims to develop a chromatic based monitoring system with embedded artificial intelligence to assess pain in cuttlefish and in doing so fill a much-needed gap in understanding the comparative and evolutionary biology of pain by assessing gene regulation in response to a variety of noxious stimuli. This will allow us to better understand the molecular substrates underlying the transmission of pain in an understudied animal group.

Funding: National Tsing Hua University and University of Liverpool Collaborative Partnership. Supervisors: Professor CC Chiao, NTHU, Taiwan, Dr Lynne Sneddon, Professor Joe Spencer, UoL, UK. Ph.D student: Tzu-Hsin Kuo.

Previous Recent Projects

ZEBREFINE: Refinement of zebrafish anaesthesia

We intend to study different anaesthetics to choose the most appropriate protocol to use in the zebrafish model, inducing no or few alterations in the animal and causing less or no distress and/ or aversion to the animal.

Funding: FCT/FEDER, Portugal. Lead Researcher: Dr Ana Maria Valentim, University of Porto, Co-PI: Dr Lynne Sneddon. Collaborator Dr Marco Marcello, University of Liverpool.

Humane stunning in the slaughter of wild-caught fish for food

This research project will investigate the feasibility of the development and use of humane stunning or stun/killing for wild-capture fish, in order to minimise pain or distress in wild-capture commercial fisheries.

Funding: Humane Slaughter Association (HSA UK). Lead Researcher; Dr Nicola Randall, Harper Adams University, UK. Consultant: Dr Lynne Sneddon.

Impact of fluctuating environmental temperature on personality, metabolism and proteomics in the Beadlet sea anemone.

Intertidal animals experience changes in environmental conditions due to exposure when the tide is low. This is exacerbated by extreme weather events such as heatwaves or cold snaps. Using sea anemones as a key species on rocky shores this project investigates the impact of warming or cooling on behavioural and physiological phenotype as well as profiling proteins that differ between bold and shy animals and those proteins that respond to thermal stress.

Funding: NERC DTP CASE, UK. Supervisors: Dr Jack Thomson (University of Liverpool, UK), Dr Kathryn Arnold (York University, UK) and Dr Lynne Sneddon

External roles:

Convenor of FELASA Working Group: Pain Management in Laboratory Zebrafish

NC3Rs UK Expert Working Group on Zebrafish Welfare

Editorial roles: Animal Behaviour (Ethics Reviewer); Animal Sentience (Editor); Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Associate Editor), ATLA (Editorial Board); Behavioral Ecology (Ethics Editor); Fishes (Associate Editor)