Michelle Bird is a Senior Animal Technician in Biological Services. A highly experienced technician, Michelle has worked at the University for over 40 years. She started as a junior technician in 1979 and over the years she has progressed to the senior role that she holds today.
Michelle was nominated for the Times Higher Education (THE) Outstanding Technician of the Year Award 2020.
Michelle was nominated in recognition of her hard work and dedication to animal technology and scientific research. In the past year, Michelle has managed in excess of 80 genetically altered mouse colonies for scientists researching the genetics behind hearing and hearing loss. This role requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure that all genetically altered lines are maintained to high standards, maintaining records of pedigrees to ensure optimal breeding strategies are adhered to for each individual line. Her attention to detail and expert knowledge of husbandry provides confidence to researchers that all animals supplied have been maintained to the highest standards.
Michelle has shared her knowledge, skills and expertise with trainee animal technicians, providing them with hands-on skills on how to handle and look after the animals in their care. This extends beyond mice to include gerbils, rats, rabbits and even pigs. Michelle expects each technician to work to the high standards set by the industry and provides all with the opportunities to learn and excel in their chosen career.
To aid efforts to tackle Covid-19, Michelle has been involved in generating monoclonal antibodies, using mice as the model organism. This work is performed on behalf of a company that has close ties with our University.
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