Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Gillian Muir

Gillian Muir Professor and Head, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

WCVM 1311

Research Area(s)

  • Changes in sensorimotor behaviour during normal development or after central nervous system injury/disease

Academic Credentials

  • DVM, University of Saskatchewan
  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia

Dr. Muir's teaching responsibilities in the professional veterinary undergraduate curriculum are for VBMS 212, Veterinary Neuroscience. This course is an overview of the structure and function of the nervous system, with an emphasis on the localization of nervous system lesions in domestic animals. She is also involved in teaching at the graduate level, including courses on Biomechanics, Pain, and Behavioural Neuroscience.

Research Interests

Dr. Muir's research focuses on the changes in sensorimotor behaviour which occur during normal development or after central nervous system injury or disease. She is currently involved in several studies, one of which is an examination of the role of motor and visual experience during the development of locomotion. She is also investigating the compensatory locomotor adjustments that animals make after spinal cord lesions, as well as the locomotor compensations which occur in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

Her assessment techniques involve detailed biomechanical analysis of skilled and unskilled movements during a variety of behaviours. This analysis includes measurement of ground reaction forces (the forces acting through each limb on the ground), joint angles, stride length and limb timing. Other techniques currently used in the laboratory include immunohistochemistry, retrograde tract-tracing and neuroanatomical measurement of dendritic arborization.


Muir GD, Chu TK. 2002. "Posthatching locomotor experience alters locomotor development in chicks." Journal of Neurophysiology. 88: 117-123.

Webb AA, Muir GD. 2002. "Compensatory locomotor adjustments of rats with cervical or thoracic spinal cord hemisection." Journal of Neurotrauma. 19: 239-256.

Muir GD. 2000. "Early ontogeny of locomotor behaviour: A comparison between altricial and precocial species." Brain Research Bulletin. 53: 719-726.

Muir GD, Webb AA. 2000. "Assessment of behavioural recovery following spinal injury in rats." European Journal of Neuroscience. 12: 3079-3086.