What do rhythms in behaviour reveal about an animal's status?

Organisers: Christina Umstätter & Marianne Cockburn (Agroscope) and Lucy Asher (Newcastle University)

Schedule: Wednesday 6th June 14:00 - 15:20 (Symposium), 15:50-17:00 (Workshop) G26

Description of the symposium

Measuring behaviour has always been central to the assessment of an animal’s status, but until recently it has been difficult to precisely measure behaviour over long time-periods. Now that technology allows behaviour to be measured continuously over days, weeks, or even months, rhythms in behaviour can be examined. In humans, rhythms in behaviour alter in poor states of welfare, such as stress, anxiety or pain. Many diseases also change patterns in behaviour. In animals, we are starting to find similar results. Automated and other high-throughput analyses of behaviour mean there are great opportunities to use behavioural rhythms in monitoring or studying disease, affective disorders and animal welfare. This symposium and workshop will explore the latest research in these areas of behavioural rhythms. It will cover:

(i) technology used to capture behaviour;

(ii) applications of studying behavioural rhythms in animals, and

(iii) the theoretical underpinnings of the associations between rhythms and animal welfare.

14:00-14:20    Nicolas Wagner, Violaine Antoine, Jonas Koko, Marie-Madelaine Richard, Romain Lardy and Isabelle Veissier.
Use of time series methods to identify abnormal circadian pattern of activity
14:20-14:40    Michel B.C. Sokolowski and Coralie Allain.
Using Skinner boxes to study circadian rhythms in honey bees
14:40-15:00    Christine Fuchs, Charlotte Kiefner, Magdalena Kalus, Sven Reese, Michael Erhard and Anna-Caroline Wöhr
 Polysomnography as a Tool to asses equine Welfare
15:00-15:20    Lucy Asher, Jack O'Sullivan, Cassim Ladha and Zoe Belshaw.
Rhythm of the night: Circadian rhythms in activity as a potential welfare indicator

Description of the workshop

The workshop will be structured as follows:

  • Discussion of methods for measuring rhythms
  • Discussion of analysis methods
  • Application potential
  • Synthesis

Christina Umstaetter, Bruna N. Marsiglio-Sarout, Carol-Anne Duthie, Marie J. Haskell, Anthony Waterhouse and Berger Anne.
Using activity sensors to characterise behavioural rhythm
Cassim Ladha
Sensing: Under the covers
16:30-17:00. Discussion

Circadium rhythm