Dawkins Lab

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Dawkins Lab

About the Group

Research: signals in birds and fish, herd synchrony, animal consciousness and in how we can use an animal’s behaviour to assess its state of health and well-being.

Animal welfare research includes the development of the OPTICFLOCK camera  system for automated assessment of chicken welfare and investigating the connections between animal welfare, enhanced immune function, reduced need for medication and the contributions that high standards of welfare can make to the future of economic, sustainable farming.

For more information: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~snikwad/index.html


Prof Marian Dawkins

Dr. Stephen Ellwood 
Professor Stephen Roberts (Engineering Science) 
Professor Martin Maiden 
Dr Frances Colles


Recent Publications

Dawkins, M.S. (2017) Stocking density: can we judge how much space poultry need? Chapter 11 of Advances in Poultry Welfare ed. J.A. Mensch. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100915-4.00011-7.

Dawkins, M.S. (2017) Animal welfare with and without consciousness. Thomas Henry Huxley Review. Journal of Zoology 301: 1-10.

Gajamannage, K., Bollit, E.M., Porter, M.A. and Dawkins, M.S. (2017) Modelling the lowest-cost splitting of a herd off cows by optimising a cost function. Chaos 27 (issue 6) article no. 063114.

Dawkins, M.S., Roberts, S.J., Cain, R.J. Nickson, T., Donnelly, C.A. (2017) Early warning of footpad dermatitis and hock burn in broiler chicken  
flocks using optical flow, body weight and water consumption. Veterinary Record 180: 448 (May 20 2017). Cite as dos 10.1136/vr.104066.

Dawkins, M.S. (2016) Animal welfare and efficient farming: is conflict inevitable? Animal Production Science 57: 201-208. http://dx.doi.org/10/1071

Colles, F.M., Cain, R., Nickson, T., Smith, A., Roberts, S.J., Maiden, M.C.J., Lunn, D.,Dawkins, M.S. (2016) Monitoring chicken flock behaviour provides early warning of infection by human pathogen Campylobacter. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283. 20152323. 

Dawkins, M.S. (2015) Animal welfare and the paradox of animal consciousness. Advances in the Study of Behaviour 47: 5-37.

Dawkins, M.S. (2014) Precision farming and animal welfare. Science in Parliament 71(3): 14-15

Dawkins, M.S. (2014) Tribute to Tinbergen: Questions and how to answer them. Ethology120: 120-122.