Ethology Unit

Principles of behavioural biology and applied ethology in farm animals

We use theoretical and experimental behavioural biology approaches to analyse affective behaviour patterns in animals (mainly pigs, cattle and dwarf goats), their physical and mental adaptation capabilities and individual and social development processes or coping strategies (personality, coping) in their interaction with the environment in which they are kept.

The phenotyping and analysis of the individual regulation of affective behaviour, in particular cognitive-emotional behaviour reactions (such as cognitive bias) or affectively triggered vocalisations in pigs is a focal point.

Another major research focus is the investigation of learning behaviour and advanced cognition using the dwarf goat as a model animal.

We also have expertise in non-invasive and invasive-telemetric methods for analysis of the activity of the autonomous nervous system as the basis of assessment of affective-physiological reactions in various behavioural and husbandry situations.

Based on this fundamental research, we develop possible solutions for animal husbandry (precision livestock farming).

The management of the Farm Animal Ethology department (Professor Dr. Birger Puppe) is simultaneously linked to the Chair in Behavioural Sciences at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Rostock University.


Dr. rer. nat. Sandra Düpjan
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
+49 38208 68-812 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-812
Dr. rer. nat. Jan Langbein
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
+49 38208 68-814 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-814
Dr. agr. Christian Nawroth
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
+49 38208 68-805 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-805

Supervised Doctoral Candidates

Marie-Antonine Finkemeier
+49 38208 68-801 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-801
Maren Christine Kreiser
+49 38208 68-801 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-801
Annkatrin Pahl
+49 38208 68-975 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-975
Vet. Volker Röttgen
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
+49 38208 68-783 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-783