I obtained an MSc in Biology from Florida State University at Tallahassee, USA, including an experimental thesis on the ecological  genetics of reproductive traits in Heterandria formosa (Pisces: Poeciliidae) and my PhD in biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland, including an experimental thesis on the genetical ecology of nestling growth in the great tit (Parus major).
After pursuing studies in evolutionary genetics and ecology in quail and blue and great tits (University of Georgia and Ethological Institute Hasli, University of Bern) I switched to topics regarding animal welfare of small companion animals (budgerigars, golden hamsters, dogs) at the division of animal housing and welfare, Vetsuisse Faculty, Bern.
In my current postdoctoral position, the main purpose of my research is to investigate housing conditions of laying hens in regard to animal welfare as they relate to the Swiss authorization procedure of housing equipment. I am interested in personalities of domesticated animals as they relate to different coping styles under artificial housing conditions. In this context I study individual ranging behavior of laying hens.
I am co-supervising research projects of PhD and MSc students, and teaching about animal welfare and housing of small mammals, ornamental birds, and birds as experimental animals.

Current Research

  • Keel bone deformities in laying hens.
  • Individual ranging behavior of laying hens in different flock sizes.
  • Design of aviaries for laying hens and housing systems for broiler breeders. More info
  • Validation of automated welfare assessment for broilers. 

Recent Publications

Gebhardt, S.G., and A. Stratmann. 2016. What is causing smothering in laying hens? Veterinary Record, 179(10) 250-251, doi:10.1136/vr.i4618.

Siegford, Janice M.,  Berezowski, John, Biswas Subir K.,  Daigle Courtney L.,  Gebhardt-Henrich Sabine G.,  Hernandez Carlos E.,  Thurner Stefan, Toscano, Michael J. 2016. Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology. Animals 6(2). doi:10.3390/ani6020010.

Stratmann, A., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., Toscano, M. J. 2016. Genetic selection to increase bone strength affects prevalence of keel bone damage and egg parameters in commercially housed laying hens, Poult. Sci. 95:975–984. doi: 10.3382/ps/pew026.

Stratmann, A., Fröhlich, Ernst Konrad Friederich, S. G. Gebhardt-Henrich, A. Harlander-Matauschek, H. Würbel, and M. J. Toscano. 2015. Modification of aviary design reduces incidence of falls, collisions and keel bone damage in laying hens, Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 165:112–123. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.01.012.

Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G.; Fröhlich, E.F.K. 2015. Early onset of laying and bumblefoot favor keel bone fractures. Animals, 5: 1192-1206; doi:10.3390/ani5040406.