Current research

• Quantifying forces involved in keel damage using tri-axial accelerometers
• Use of omega-3 fatty acids to improve bone health in laying hens
• Optimizing laying hen feeder design, positioning and bird density to maximize welfare. More Info.

I obtained my Ph.D. from Purdue University in the United States in 2006 where I sought to develop a multidiscipline means to assess hunger in swine. From there I continued to the University of Bristol in the UK where I investigated disease states within swine and poultry and their relationship to physiological and behavioral phenotypes. Most recently, my research focuses on bone fractures in laying hens, a topic I began at the University of Bristol and continue at my current post as Group Leader (Senior Scientist) of the Research Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ). In general, my research is of an applied nature and seeks to bring the benefits of analysis and understanding gained in the laboratory to on-farm settings in order for improvements in animal welfare to be made in an objective manner.

For the full publication list, please check here.

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013


Rufener, Christina Barbara; Baur, Sarah Dorothea; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2019). Keel bone fractures affect egg laying performance but not egg quality in laying hens housed in a commercial aviary system. Poultry Science, 98(4), pp. 1589-1600. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pey544

Chargo, Nicholas J; Robison, Cara I; Baker, Sydney L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Makagon, Maja M; Karcher, Darrin M (2019). Keel bone damage assessment: consistency in enriched colony laying hens. Poultry Science, 98(2), pp. 1017-1022. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pey373


Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Booth, Francesca; Richards, Gemma; Brown, Steven; Karcher, Darrin; Tarlton, John (2018). Modeling collisions in laying hens as a tool to identify causative factors for keel bone fractures and means to reduce their occurrence and severity. PLoS ONE, 13(7), e0200025. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0200025

Rufener, Christina Barbara; Baur, Sarah Dorothea; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). A Reliable Method to Assess Keel Bone Fractures in Laying Hens From Radiographs Using a Tagged Visual Analogue Scale. Frontiers in veterinary science, 5(124), p. 124. Frontiers Media 10.3389/fvets.2018.00124

Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno (2018). Use of aerial perches and perches on aviary tiers by broiler breeders. Applied animal behaviour science, 203, pp. 24-33. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.02.013

Sirovnik, Janja; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Feeder space affects access to the feeder, aggression, and feed conversion in laying hens in an aviary system. Applied animal behaviour science, 198, pp. 75-82. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.09.017

Sirovnik, Janja; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Feeding from perches in an aviary system reduces aggression and mortality in laying hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 202, pp. 53-62. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.01.005

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Skeletal problems in contemporary commercial laying hens. In: Mench, Joy (ed.) Advances in Poultry Welfare Science (pp. 151-174). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing

Rufener, Christina Barbara; Berezowski, John Andrew; Maximiano Alves de Sousa, Filipe Miguel; Abreu, Y.; Asher, L.; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Finding hens in a haystack: Consistency of movement patterns within and across individual laying hens maintained in large groups. Scientific Reports, 8(1), p. 12303. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41598-018-29962-x


Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno (2017). Perch use by broiler breeders and its implication on health and production. Poultry Science, 96(10), pp. 3539-3549. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pex189

Candelotto, Laura; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Rufener, Christina Barbara; van de Braak, Teun; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2017). Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation. Poultry Science, 96(10), pp. 3517-3528. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pex146


Stratmann, Ariane; Frohlich, E K F; Gebhardt, Sabine; Harlander-Matauschek, A.; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2016). Genetic selection to increase bone strength affects prevalence of keel bone damage and egg parameters in commercially housed laying hens. Poultry Science, 95(5), pp. 975-984. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pew026

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


Ringgenberg, Nadine; Fröhlich, E K F; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Roth, B A (2015). Nest choice in laying hens: Effects of nest partitions and social status. Applied animal behaviour science, 169, pp. 43-50. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.04.013

Nasr, M A F; El-Tarabany, M S; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quail. Animal Production Science, 56(11), p. 1797. 10.1071/AN14911

Stratmann, Ariane; Fröhlich, E K; Gebhardt, Sabine; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Schrader, L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine (2015). Soft perches in an aviary system reduce incidence of keel bone damage in laying hens. PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0122568. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0122568

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Booth, F; Wilkins, L J; Avery, N C; Brown, S B; Richards, G; Tarlton, J F (2015). The effects of long (C20/22) and short (C18) chain omega-3 fatty acids on keel bone fractures, bone biomechanics, behavior, and egg production in free-range laying hens. Poultry Science, 94(5), pp. 823-835. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pev048

Stratmann, Ariane; Fröhlich, E K F; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Modification of aviary design reduces incidence of falls, collisions and keel bone damage in laying hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 165, pp. 112-123. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.01.012

Casey-Trott, T; Heerkens, J L T; Petrik, M; Regmi, P; Schrader, L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Widowski, T (2015). Methods for assessment of keel bone damage in poultry. Poultry Science, 94(10), pp. 2339-2350. Poultry Science Association, Inc. 10.3382/ps/pev223

Harlander, Alexandra; Rodenburg, TB; SANDILANDS, V; TOBALSKE, BW; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Causes of keel bone damage and their solutions in laying hens. World's Poultry Science Journal, 71(03), pp. 461-472. Cambridge University Press on behalf of World's Poultry Science Association 10.1017/S0043933915002135

Ringgenberg, Nadine; Fröhlich, E K F; Harlander, Alexandra; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Roth, B A (2015). Effects of variation in nest curtain design on pre-laying behaviour of domestic hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 170, pp. 34-43. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.06.008


Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Fröhlich, Ernst K F (2014). Use of outdoor ranges by laying hens in different sized flocks. Applied animal behaviour science, 155, pp. 74-81. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.03.010

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2014). Governing Animals : Animal Welfare and the Liberal State. Animal welfare Journal, 23(1), pp. 127-128. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare


Melotti, Luca; Thomsen, Liat Romme; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Mendl, Michael; Held, Suzanne (2013). Delay discounting task in pigs reveals response strategies related to dopamine metabolite. Physiology & behavior, 120, pp. 182-192. Elsevier 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.009

Tarlton, John F.; Wilkins, Lindsay J.; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Avery, Nick C.; Knott, Lynda (2013). Reduced bone breakage and increased bone strength in free range laying hens fed omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplemented diets. Bone, 52(2), pp. 578-586. Elsevier 10.1016/j.bone.2012.11.003

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Wilkins, Lindsay J; Millburn, Georgina; Thorpe, Katherine; Tarlton, John F (2013). Development of an ex vivo protocol to model bone fracture in laying hens resulting from collisions. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e66215. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0066215

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Nasr, M. A. F.; Hothersall, B. (2013). Correlation between broiler lameness and anatomical measurements of bone using radiographical projections with assessments of consistency across and within radiographs. Poultry Science, 92(9), pp. 2251-2258. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps.2012-02904