DI Verena Größbacher
My engagement with themes of behaviour and welfare of livestock initiated during an internship at a dairy farm in Ireland. Since my childhood I was fascinated by the work on farms as well as the relationship between humans, animals and the environment thus leading me to my decision to study Agricultural Sciences.
In further internships I worked with cattle, sheep and goats in Austria, England, Wales, Scotland and Switzerland, strengthening my connection to livestock production and leading me to a Masters programme in Livestock Science. In the course of my dissertation I conducted behavioural observations of calves on organic dairy farms in Austria. These formative experiences aroused my interest in livestock ethology and led me to a Masters programme in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh.
During these exciting and educational years in Scotland I gained insights into husbandry and behaviour of livestock, wildlife, zoo, laboratory and companion animals. I developed a special interest in the concept of positive welfare and deepened my understanding of it during my dissertation on play behaviour of piglets.
Recently I returned to BOKU University to further focus on livestock ethology in the research group of animal husbandry. My special interest here is the improvement of animal welfare through positive behaviours in particular in young animals. In the course of my PhD I will study play behaviour in dairy calves.