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Margit Bak Jensen

Seniorforsker

Profile photoMargit Bak Jensen
Seniorforsker
Institut for Husdyrvidenskab - Adfærd og Stressbiologi
Blichers Allé 20
K27, 3215
8830 Tjele
Danmark
E-mail: margitbak.jensen@anis.au.dk
Telefon: +4587157941
Web: http://pure.au.dk/portal/da/margitbak.jensen@anis.au.dk
ORCHID: 0001-7982-582x

Profil

My research includes development and validation of methods to quantify behavioural needs in farm animals, and I have applied these methods to answer current questions in relation to animal welfare in pigs and cattle. My research on pigs includes studies of the motivation controlling exploratory and feeding behaviour to identify causes of abnormal behaviour and to identify appropriate environmental enrichment. Research in cattle includes studies of the effect of physical and social environment on the development of social behaviour and play behaviour in dairy calves. My cattle research also includes studies on the relation between behaviour and health in dairy calves, design and use of hospital pens in dairy cows and use of behavioural changes indicative of imminent calving in managing dairy cows. Current research investigates the effect dry-off strategies on dairy cow welfare, the effect of management and housing on dairy cows’ behaviour around the time of calving and the effect of cow-calf contact on the animals’ behaviour and welfare.

Research focus: 

  • Behavioural methods to quantify behavioural needs in farm animals
  • Studies of the motivation controlling exploratory and feeding behaviour in pigs to identify causes of abnormal behaviour and to identify appropriate environmental enrichment
  • The effect of physical and social environment on the development of social behaviour and play behaviour in dairy calves
  • Milk feeding methods for group-housed calves that minimise competition and prevent abnormal cross-sucking behaviour
  • The effect of management and housing on behaviour and welfare of dairy cows around the time of calving
  • Behavioural changes indicative of imminent calving in dairy cows
  • Design and use of hospital pens in dairy cows
  • The effect of dry-off strategies on dairy cow behaviour and welfare
  • Dam-rearing of dairy calves.

Education

1996: PhD in Ethology. Thesis “Behaviour and welfare of calves in relation to social contact, space and tethering”, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University Denmark, Department of Animal Science and Animal Health.

1991: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

1990: Candidata Agronomiae (Cand. agro.) The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Denmark

Experience

1992: Consultant at the Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre, the National Committee on Danish Cattle Husbandry

1992-1996: Employed on a PhD grant, the Danish Research Academy

1996-1998: Research Scientist at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Health and Welfare

1998-2006: Senior Research Scientist at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition

2007-: Senior Research Scientist at Aarhus University, Department of Animal Science

Research

I have 96 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, of which I am the first author of 38 and the senior author of 16. In Web of Science, Core collection, No. citation exceeds 1856 and H-factor is 27. In Google Scholar, No. citation exceeds 4184 and H-factor is 35 (February 2019).

International scientific networks include a 3-month research residences at University of British Colombia, Canada (2009), and research collaborations in EU projects and other projects with Wageningen University, University of Helsinki, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bristol, University of British Colombia, University of California, Davis, and the Ohio State University.

Research collaboration with companies includes Danish manufacturers of cattle and pig housing (e.g. Jyden Bur A/S) and Danish developers of Livestock Management Software solutions (e.g. Tru-test Scandinavia A/S).

I have given15 invited lectures at international conferences and universities, and I have presented talks or posters at 36 international and 14 Nordic scientific conferences. I headed the organising committee, as well as the scientific committee, of the International conference for Applied Ethology in Aarhus, Denmark in 2017 (ISAE2017). I have headed the organisation of five smaller workshops and symposia.

Memberships

1992-: The International Society for Applied Ethology

2004-: The American Dairy Science Association

2017-: The Association for the Advanced study of Animal Behaviour

Leadership and Administration

Principal investigator/project leader on research grants from The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Danish Cattle Levy Fund, GUDP (Green Development and Demonstration Programme) the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Regional Secretary, Nordic region of the International Society for Applied Ethology (2007-2009).
Editor and council member of the International Society for Applied Ethology (2013-2017).

Participation in scientific evaluation committees for positions as associate professor and PhD.

Ad hoc referee for national research councils: FORMAS and The Research Council of Norway.

Ad hoc referee for the following international journals: Livestock Science; Applied Animal Behaviour Science; Journal of Dairy Science; Animal Behaviour; Preventive Veterinary Medicine; Animal; Animal Welfare; Physiology and Behaviour; PlosOne.

Teaching

“Animal Behaviour” (10 ECTS). MSc. education Agrobiology, Aarhus University (course responsible).
”Domestic animal behaviour and welfare” (5 ECTS). BSc. education Agrobiology, Aarhus University.
Animal Welfare Assessment in primary production” 60 ECTS course. MSc. degree. Aarhus University.

I have supervised 10 PhD and 15 MSc. students, and I have served in assessment committees of 13 PhD defences.

Innovation, Industry collaboration and Technology Transfer

Development of methods to measure behavioural needs and preferences using operant conditioning (AgResearch, New Zealand, University of Copenhagen, University of Kuopio, University of Bristol).
Criteria for occupational and rooting materials to meet exploratory needs of growing pigs (SEGES).
Guidelines for management of automated milk-feeders to ensure optimal calf-feeder interaction (SEGES, AgroTech A/S, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).