Select Page

Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Center for Online Learning and Innovation (COLI) are proud to support Dr. Malini Suchak’s research on cat life in animal shelters.

Dr. Suchak, associate professor in our Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation (ABEC), and Anthrozoology programs, employs advanced micro-accelerometers to monitor cat behaviors.  Mike Szymendera in ITS carefully modified the microelectronic components so that the accelerometers can be powered by tiny but efficient batteries, as well as provided COLI guidance on case design.  Tyler Kron-Piatek in COLI designed sturdy, lightweight cases in CAD software.  COLI’s printers, Rigby and Mordecai, each printed examples of the cases, which both protect the accelerometer kits as well as attach them securely to cat collars.  The result is custom scientific instruments that measure cat movements–but don’t slow cats down!

Here is a short video highlighting the project:

Pope Francis, in reflecting on St. Francis of Assisi’s ministry, counsels us that centering, caring for, and providing for our fellow creatures may “take us to the heart of what it is to be human.”  With data drawn from her cat-collar instrumentation, Dr. Suchak’s research supports better care for cats as they transition through animal shelters.

Submitted by: Mark Gallimore, COLI