Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: RVC Animal Welfare Science and Ethics

Isabelle obtained a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Bristol in 2013 completing her dissertation on the use of enrichment by commerical laying pullets with intact beaks.

In 2017 she completed her PhD (also at Bristol) supervised by Professor Christine Nicol and Dr Claire Weeks. Her research focused on the welfare of laying hens in commercial loose-housed systems studying resource provision, consumer perceptions and 'barriers' to bird movement such as level changes. 

In 2018 Isabelle joined the Royal Veterinary College as a postdoctoral researcher. 

Isabelle's research interests mainly lie within the behaviour and welfare of farmed animals. She is particularly interested in working with industry to solve welfare issues on commercial farms. 

Chickens have been her main species of interest to date as they are farmed on an enormous scale where consideration of individual bird welfare becomes difficult. Her PhD research involved a number of applied studies to identify welfare issues and to trial possible solutions on free-range laying hen farms. 

Isabelle is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher on a BBSRC Innovate UK funded collaborative project investigating the development of an autonomous platform for data collection in commercial broiler sheds. 

  • Pettersson, I, Weeks, C, Norman, K & Nicol, C, 2017, ‘The ability of laying pullets to negotiate two ramp designs as measured by bird preference and behaviour’. PeerJ.
  • Pettersson, I, Weeks, C, Norman, K, Knowles, T & Nicol, C, 2017, ‘Internal roosting location is associated with differential use of the outdoor range by free-range laying hens’. British Poultry Science.
  • Pettersson, I, Weeks, C & Nicol, C, 2017, ‘Provision of a resource package reduces feather pecking and improves ranging distribution on free-range layer farms’. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol 195, pp. 60-66
  • Pettersson, I, Weeks, C & Nicol, C, 2017, ‘The effect of ramp provision on the accessibility of the litter in single and multi-tier laying hen housing’. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol 186., pp. 35-40
  • Pettersson, I, Weeks, C, Wilson, L & Nicol, C, 2016, ‘Consumer perceptions of free range laying hen welfare’. British Food Journal, vol 118., pp. 1999-2013
  • Pettersson, I, Freire, R & Nicol, CJ, 2016, ‘Factors affecting ranging behaviour in commercial free-range hens’. World's Poultry Science Journal, vol 72., pp. 137-150
  • Edgar, J, Held, S, Paul, L, Pettersson, I, Price, RI & Nicol, C, 2015, ‘Social buffering in a bird’. Animal Behaviour, vol 105., pp. 11-19
  • Davies, AC, Radford, AN, Pettersson, IC, Yang, FP & Nicol, CJ, 2015, ‘Elevated arousal at time of decision-making is not the arbiter of risk avoidance in chickens’. Scientific Reports, vol 5.

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