Associate Professor Karl and his team are interested in the development of valid rodent models for mental and neurodegenerative disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. A/Prof Karl’s team applies behavioural phenotyping techniques and uses pharmacological tools to investigate the interactive role of genetic and environmental risk factors (e.g. cannabis) in the development of these illnesses. Another major line of research explores ways to increase the relevance of rodent model research for human diseases. One approach is to investigate the effects of different housing conditions (e.g. environmental enrichment or different cage systems) on the neurobehavioural phenotype of rodent models in medical research. Investigations into the neuro-behavioural effects of housing conditions are crucial for improving animal welfare and experimental animal research as these conditions can differ across animal facilities thereby affecting the reliability and comparability of animal studies worldwide.