Introduction to Research
During the spring of my sophomore year at Cornell, I was fortunate enough to get in on the ground floor of a research project being started by Dr. Betty McGuire in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her goal was to study the urinary behavior of domestic dogs and determine how it might be affected by factors such as sex, age, or size. My role was to help with data collection, which I did consistently throughout my junior and senior years.
At some point during this process, I became intensely interested in the laterality (handedness) shown by certain individuals during raised-leg urinary postures. Dr. McGuire gave me the freedom to explore this question as an independent project. During my senior year, I wrote up my findings as a senior honors thesis and for publication in Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Gough and McGuire, 2015). A follow up study was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research (McGuire and Gough, 2017).