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Home / Research / Departments / Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition / Behaviour and stress biology

Behaviour and stress biology

Blichers Allé
Postbox 50
DK-8830 Tjele

Head of research unit:  Birte Lindstrĝm Nielsen


The research unit aims - by means of basic as well as applied research - to procure and impart new knowledge of the behavioural needs, stress biology and adaptability of production animals in order to develop principles of housing and management that take into consideration animal health, welfare, and production. The research unit develops and applies methods for the assessment of welfare and adaptability to be used in animal breeding, decision support systems as well as in health management. Furthermore, the research unit develops and evaluates animal models of pain, mental states, behaviour, and stress.  


  • Mapping of the behaviour and behavioural needs of production animals to be used in the drafting of guidelines for welfare enhancing production environments that also considers productivity
  • Examination of the adaptability of production animals kept in different environments with emphasis on the interplay between the behavioural and physiological stress reactions of the individual animal and its experience of its immediate environment
  • Identification and prevention of injurious behaviour and development of methods for the assessment of emotional states in animals and in humans
  • Development of methods for automatic recording of behaviour at group or individual level to be used in health management and decision support systems, and use of behaviour and stress physiology as indicators of pain and disease with a view to environmental improvement and application in the genetic selection of production animals.