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Aura Raulo

Coloured block

Evolutionary biologist

I am from a family of artists and grew up to think that passion means knowing what you want and going through any walls that separate you from your goal. This made me incredibly melancholic, because I did not know what I wanted, I did not even know what was out there in the world, everything was a big question to me. I ended up studying biology because I loved nature, but soon fell in love with science in general as it allowed me to use my core feeling, uncertainty, to explore the world and find myself in places I could not have imagined! In other words, I found my passion in the unknown. After graduating from the university of Helsinki, I had even found out a common theme in everything that interests me: Social contact and how it defines who we are. I got the chance to explore this further as a graduate student in Oxford, studying how symbiotic bacteria flow in social networks of their host animals, how part of me becomes part of you through touch. This fluidity of identity fascinates me in every field of life and when I'm not submerged in science, I run a metaphor club to look for better ways to talk about contact patterns of life and work as an installation artist creating art about social networks.  

Photo credit: Lahitsara Pierre

Wednesday 13th Feb 2019, 08.30am

Why should we cuddle?

Who doesn’t love a cuddle? Whether it is from a pet or a person they just make us feel good. But, would you believe wrapping your arms around someone else can actually improve your gut health?

In this episode of the Oxford Sparks 'Big Questions' podcast we are looking at lemurs and asking: Why should we cuddle?

To find out we went to the Department of Zoology at the University of...

Why should we cuddle?