Research Station Haidlhof


Cognition and Communication of Animals

In 2010, the research station was founded as a collaboration of two Viennese Universities – the University of Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.

This globally unique infrastructure to study the cognition of birds and farm animals, is located at the Haidlhof near Bad Vöslau in Lower Austria, approx. 40 km south of Vienna.  The Haidlhof is one of four estates of the Teaching and Research Farm Kremesberg 1 (near Pottenstein) of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.




The research station includes aviaries for corvids, parrots and other birds (together >1500 m2), a free-range pig lab with testing huts and an 8 ha pasture, a chicken lab with large outside enclosure, a bio-acoustics lab, a multi-purpose testing building, a feeding kitchen, a workshop and office space including a seminar room.

Approximately 40 researchers from all continents work at the research station: 3 professors, numerous scientists, doctoral candiates and Masters students .



The two home institutions

1. The Messerli Research Institute deals with questions regarding the human-animal-relation and animal ethics in the areas of biology (cognition and behaviour), medicine (human and veterinary) and philosophy (ethics).

2. The Department of Cognitive Biology  6at the Faculty for Life Sciences  7of the University of Vienna 8 follows a new approach in the research of cognition and communication in animals and humans. This department has strong roots in classical ethology and traditional cognitive science.

The researchers are supported by 2 lab managers, 2 animal keepers, 1 technician, 1 IT-systems administrator as well as interns.






Guided Tours

There are public guided tours  10every month (first friday).