Prof Maureen Bain

Professor of Comparative Anatomy & Histology

Contact details:
Avian Biology Laboratory
Room 348, Jarrett Building
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
University of Glasgow
Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road
G61 1QH

Tel : 0141 330 5719
Fax: 0141 330 5797


Institute profile

Research Interests

Egg Quality and Safety: I am broadly interested in understanding the functional properties of the oviduct in various domesticated species with particular emphasis on the shell forming region. I am particularly interested in the development of novel tools for assessing egg quality and safety and their application in the field. For a number of years I have worked in collaboration with Ian Dunn at the Roslin Institute in developing molecular tools to improve the efficiency of selection for those novel egg quality traits which are otherwise too expensive or difficult to measure by conventional selection. These molecular tools offer poultry breeding company’s new exciting opportunities to select hens that lay stronger eggs that are less susceptible to bacterial contamination.

The methodologies used in my laboratory can also be applied in understanding egg and eggshell quality problems in captive and wild species of birds, as well as in other oviparious species including reptiles and fish. My current post-graduate student Mr David Murray thesis is on Egg Quality in Salmonids.  If you would like to find out more then please contact me at

Non-invasive monitoring of chick development in ovo: Avian embryos are routinely used as experimental models of development in many areas of biomedical research. At Glasgow we have developed a method to non-invasively monitor of mid to late stage chick embryos in ovo using a 7-tesla MRI system (sited at the garscube campus). This system is ideally suited to studying the development and growth of various tissues and organ systems including the brain, heart, and liver and therefore has potential for use in the detection of metabolic disorders of poultry e.g Ascites in ovo, and in assessing the effects of steroids on pre-hatching development and growth.  Further images can be viewed at

If you are a research group working on developmental processes and would like to learn more about this technique then please contact me at

Egg Quality Workshops - Bringing the Science to the Industry.  These one day workshops are designed to highlight specific on farm faults underline the causative factors in their initiation and to give guidance on specific field related problems. Because they are demand led- the course content may vary according to the specific interests of the participants. Participants are also actively encouraged to bring shell quality problems for on the spot assessment. For further details please contact me at