AWRN-Workshop on “Cross-fertilization between Neuroscience and Animal Welfare”

Date: 14/06/2021

Newcastle University




This two day workshop on “Cross-fertilization between Neuroscience and Animal Welfare” has been postponed due to COVID-19 and we are currently making plans for when it will run. 


The aim of this workshop is to explore potential cross-fertilization by bringing together neuroscientists and animal welfare scientists whose work would mutually benefit from each other’s expertise.

Organisers: Dr Tom Smulders (Newcastle), Dr Colline Poirier (Newcastle), Dr Huw Golledge (UFAW).

Animal welfare scientists often try to access animals’ internal states through their behaviour. However, since the nervous system controls and coordinates these states, measuring brain mechanisms has the potential to provide a more direct assessment of these internal states.

So far, many relevant aspects of neuroscience have been studied in the context of human wellbeing, but few preclinical scientists have given much thought to the application of these same principles to animal welfare. Conversely, neuroscientists might benefit from animal welfare scientists’ expertise to scientifically assess whether their attempts to refine experimental procedures have actually resulted in better animal welfare.

This two-day workshop will be organized along two themes:
Day 1: Neuroscience of internal states: affect, pain and (un)consciousness
Day 2: The development of stress resilience and (ab)normal brain function

The workshop will be organised around plenary and short talks, combined with open discussions in break-out groups and with the general assembly.

Our five plenary speakers are internationally-renowned neuroscientists:
 Angela Roberts (Cambridge, UK), an expert on the neuroscience of internal affective states;
Francis McGlone (Liverpool John Moores, UK), an expert on pain and pleasant social touch;
A close associate (still be to decided) of Irene Tracey (Oxford, UK), an expert on animal analgesia and anaesthesia;
Alon Chen (President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), an expert on stress neuroscience;
Judith Homberg (Radboud University, Netherlands), an expert on early-life stress and gene X environment interactions.

In addition to these 5 plenary speakers, we are also looking for 10 short contributed talks.

The workshop will take place at Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North East of England. Day one will begin at 9AM. Day two will conclude by 4.30PM. Information on travelling to Newcastle is available here. Attendees will need to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

Please check back for registration details. Thanks to the generous support from AWRN and UFAW, registration costs will be kept low, around £30 GBP.