Vortragsreihe: Arbeitskreis Mensch-Tier-Beziehung

Vorträge in englischer Sprache:

Dr. Sara Hintze (Division of Livestock Sciences, Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna)

What do they feel? The study of emotions in animal welfare research

Animal welfare science has long focused on physical health and production parameters, thereby neglecting the emotional component of well-being. Today animal emotions play an increasingly important role. Even though still in its infancy, research on this topic steadily accumulates despite the ongoing challenge that we do not have direct access to the feelings of another individual, neither of a human nor of a non-human animal. Luckily, however, an emotion does not only consist of the feeling or the subjective experience but is accompanied by changes in behaviour, physiology and cognition, from which we can try to infer what an animal feels.
In my talk I would like to discuss these three components with a specific focus on behaviour and cognition, encompassing examples of spontaneous behaviour (e.g. assessed by qualitative behavioural assessment, QBA), facial expressions (e.g. positive facial expressions in rats and eye wrinkles in horses) and cognitive judgement bias tasks in different species. Judgements bias tasks are based on the premise that individuals in a negative emotional state are more likely to judge an ambiguous stimulus more pessimistically than individuals in a positive emotional state and can be illustrated by the proverbial phrase “is the glass half full or half empty?”. I would like to embed research on emotions in horses and lab animals (work conducted by myself and in cooperation with colleagues during my PhD) and complement it with our most recent work in farm animals on low arousal and boredom-like states (current and future projects). With respect to the latter, I would like to introduce an “inactivity ethogram” we have developed for fattening cattle aiming to tackle the question what animals do when there is nothing to do (thus in a barren/monotonous environment) and give an overview of how we aim to investigate negative emotional states such as boredom across species.

Poster 1

Dienstag, 30. April 2019

18.00 bis 20.00 Uhr
Seminarraum, Messerli-Haus (Gebäude AZ), Vetmed Campus, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Wien 


Javier Suárez (LOGOS, University of Barcelona; Konrad Lorenz Institute)

Me and my microbes: How the microbiome will change medicine

Life on Earth does not walk alone. Like in the famous song, each one of us walks systematically in the company of billions of microorganisms that together constitute our microbiome. Biologists and philosophers have recently coined the term “holobiont” –from the Greek hólos, all, and bios, life– to refer to the symbiotic assemblage composed by a multicellular host and its symbiotic microbiome. Holobionts have been hypothesized to constitute the ultimate target of natural selection: multicellular life, it has been argued, does not evolve “alone”, but as an ecosystem together with its microbiome. In this talk, I will provide a philosophical revision of the type of changes that thinking of humans as holobionts would entail for our own conception as individuals, and I will explore the implications of this conception for the medical practice. 

Poster 2

Dienstag, 14. Mai 2019

15.00 bis 17.00 Uhr
Hörsaal D (Gebäude GA), Vetmed Campus, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna


Kein Eintritt, keine Anmeldung erforderlich.

Organisation: Messerli Forschungsinstitut | Abteilung für Ethik der Mensch-Tier-Beziehung
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien, Medizinische Universität Wien und Universität Wien

Kontakt: susana.monso@vetmeduni.ac.at 


Informationen für JournalistInnen


Karoline Bürger, BSc 3

Tel.: +43 1 25077-2671