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Guest Researchers

Send an e-mail to Elena Thurner

Elena Thurner has studied philosophy with a special focus on ethics of human-animal interactions at the University of Vienna. From 2015-2019 she was a student assistant and afterwards became a guest researcher at the Messerli Research Institute. Currently, she is planning a PhD-project in the research area of companion animal ethics. Thurner has a special interest in the application of animal ethics in practice. In her work, she deals with concrete moral problems and ethical questions that result from working and living with animals.

Research interests

  • Animal ethics esp. Companion Animal Ethics
  • Veterinary Ethics
  • (Clinical) Ethics Support Services
  • Ethical Decision-Making in Practice
  • Practice Theory


Thurner, E (2020): Aiming at the patient’s good? Considering legitimate and illegitimate forms of promoting health-related interests. (Zum Wohle des Patienten? Über legitime und illegitime Formen der Förderung gesundheitsbezogener Interessen.) Berliner und Munchener Tierarztliche Wochenschrift 133(3-4): 212-220.

Benz-Schwarzburg, J; Dürnberger C; Thurner, E; Weich, K; Wrage, B (2019): Eine moralische Revolte. Ethische Überlegungen zur aktuellen Debatte um amtstierärztliche Genehmigungen grenzüberschreitender Tiertransporte in Drittstaaten. Amtstierärztlicher Dienst und Lebensmittelkontrolle 2019; 26(3): 133-139.

Thurner, E; Aigner, A (2019): Geliebt, genutzt, gegessen: Eine Einführung in die Tierethik. Loccumer Pelikan 4, 9-12.

Thurner, E; Huth, M; Grimm, H (2018): Being a veterinary patient and moral status: a disentanglement of two normative dimensions. 260-265.-EurSafe 2018; June 13-16, 2018; Vienna, Austria. (ISBN: 978-90-8686-869-8)


Send an e-mail to Konstantin Deininger

Konstantin Deininger's research focuses on the concept of the fellow creature, and since 2018 he critically examines it from the perspective of animal ethics and moral philosophy as part of his PhD thesis. In doing so, he examines not only the theoretical implications but also the juridical scope of this concept. He studied Human Resource Education and Management (B.Sc.) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and Ethics (M.A.) at the Hochschule für Philosophie SJ in Munich. His master thesis on the ethical justification of killing "happy farm animals" was awarded the pro-philosophia master prize for outstanding philosophical theses. Since 2019 he is a scholarship holder of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, and since 2020 a visiting scholar at the Messerli Research Institute.

Research interests

  • Animal ethics
  • Animal philosophy
  • Ethics of animal husbandry and veganism
  • Applied ethics

Deininger, K., Aigner, A. & Grimm, H. (2021). Resisting Moral Relativism with Dfficulties of Reality: A Wittgensteinian-Diamondian Approach. Forthcoming.

Deininger, K. (2021). Rezension zu Christine M. Korsgaards Tiere wie wir. Tierstudien(20), forthcoming.

Deininger, K. (2020). Mitgeschöpfe in Cora Diamonds Moralphilosophie. TIERethik, 12. Jahrgang 2020/2(Heft 21), 80–106.

Deininger, K. & Steimer, K. (2019). Für Tiere sprechen: Reichweite und Nachhaltigkeit von Für-Sprache am Beispiel der Pig Vigils. Tierstudien(16), 104-114.

Since summer term 2020 at Hochschule München – University of Applied Sciences:

  • Seminars on the fundamentals of ethics for students of social work (bachelor level)

Dr. Monsó is an assitant professor at the Department of Logic, History, and Philosophy of Science of UNED (Madrid). Her work focuses on the socio-cognitive abilities of animals and their ethical implications. She is a guest researcher at the Messerli Research Institute, working on Dr. Benz-Schwarzburg’s project ‘Morality in animals: What it means and why it matters.'

Link to personal website

Research interests

  • animal behavior and cognition
  • moral psychology
  • normative animal ethics
  • applied animal ethics

Johanna Karg works on aspects of feminist ethics in practical veterinary medicine. In her diploma thesis she applied these aspects to an ethical case study in cattle medicine. Karg studied veterinary medicine focusing on veterinary and public health and equine medicine.

Research interests

  • Veterinary ethics
  • Feminist ethics
  • Ethics in farm animal husbandry
  • Public Health

Erich Linder is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Vienna and is a guest researcher at the Messerli Research Institute. His work focuses on the consequences of applying Wittgensteinian and pragmatist ideas to animal ethics and moral philosophy

Research Interests:

  • Animal ethics
  • Human-animal studies
  • Wittgensteinian ethics
  • Applied ethics

Linder, E., “Doing and Allowing Harm: The Hidden Assumptions of a Moral Distinction”, Balthazar, 3, 2022, DOI: 10.54103/balthazar/16358