WG4 Training School ‘Interdisciplinary research in positive animal welfare science’

WG4 Training School ‘Interdisciplinary research in positive animal welfare science’

From April 8th to April 9th, 2024, the Università degli Studi di Milano hosted a gathering of 26 researchers representing diverse research disciplines and countries for the COST Action LIFT CA21124 Training School “Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Positive Animal Welfare Science.”

The training school kicked off on Monday, April 8th, with a detailed agenda to facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue and knowledge exchange. Irene Camerlink initiated proceedings with an insightful introduction to interdisciplinary research, emphasizing the significance of positive animal welfare. This was followed by a group exercise to identify research disciplines and their pertinence to the field.

Dr Machiel Keestra, via an online platform, delved into the role of interdisciplinary team metacognition and reflection in fostering animal welfare. After that, we had stimulating short presentations and discussions by Matteo Chincarini, who addressed innovative approaches merging ethology, anatomy, and optical engineering, and Dengsheng Sun, who highlighted challenges in communication between animal science researchers and statisticians—the day concluded with Grace Carroll, who interactively explored the application of theoretical frameworks from health psychology to enhance animal welfare through human behavior change.

Tuesday, April 9th, started with a recap of the previous day’s activities held by Irene Camerlink. Then, Prof Tjard de Cock Buning led an engaging session on navigating the challenges, solutions, and opportunities of interdisciplinary research within the context of positive animal welfare. The lecture was followed by an exercise on focus groups. This was followed by the presentations of Lisa Dickel on the concepts of ecology and evolution, Boris Antunovic on the keys of veterinary discipline, and Fernando Gonzalez Uarquin on effective communication between early career researchers and supervisors in animal sciences. The afternoon session featured Liza Moscovice’s presentation on leveraging wildlife research methods to enhance farm animal welfare. The event concluded with a group exercise focusing on a SWOT analysis for positive animal welfare and a comprehensive summary of key insights and takeaways.

Throughout this fruitful training school, participants had the opportunity to network, share expertise, and collaborate on interdisciplinary approaches to advancing animal welfare science. The event facilitated knowledge exchange and fostered a sense of community among researchers from varied backgrounds and disciplines. A short video of the meeting is online on our YouTube channel here.

The COST Action LIFT CA21124 WG4 Training School represents a significant step forward in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in animal welfare science. As the global community continues to address the complex challenges facing interdisciplinary communication and animal welfare, initiatives like these are crucial in driving positive change.Written by Fernando Gonzalez Uarquin

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