An innovative approach to assessing animal emotional states which underpin animal welfare.
Although we often consider facial expression the best indicator of emotion, humans convey information about their personalities and emotional states in their body posture and movement. Do animals do the same and can we objectively measure emotion in this way?
Effective safeguarding of welfare depends on the ability to recognize positive and negative states in individual animals, but differences in animal personality can influences responses to challenging and rewarding situations. Objective assessment of animal emotion remains challenging, especially in the context of group housing when individuals may vary in emotional state and for animals, such as birds, which have fixed facial features. Jade Hall is conducting a PhD entitled “Dynamic quantitative analysis of posture and movement as indicators of bird personality and affective state in individual and group settings”. She is supervised By Monica Daley and Siobhan Abeyesinghe and funded under the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme. Her research focuses on developing objective and quantitative measures of personality and affect in poultry species through detailed analysis of posture and movement characteristics in order to develop robust, quantitative and non-intrusive video based tools for welfare monitoring.