Peer-Reviewed Publications

Turcsán, B., Wallis, L., Virányi, Z., Range, F., Müller, C.A., Huber, L. & Riemer, S. (2018). Personality traits in companion dogs—Results from the VIDOPET. PloS One, 13(4), e0195448.

Varholick, J.A., Bailoo, J.D., Palme, R., Würbel, H. (2018). Phenotypic variability between social dominance ranks in laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 8(6593)10.1038/s41598-018-24624-4

Kafkafi, N., Agassi, J., Chesler, E.J., Crabbe, J.C., Crusio, W.M., Eilam, D., Gerlai, R., Golani, I., Gomez-Marin, A., Heller, R., Iraqi, F., Jaljuli, I., Karp, N.A., Morgan, H., Nicholson, G., Pfaff, D.W., Richter, S.H., Stark, P.B., Stiedl, O., Stodden, V., Tarantino, L.M., Tucci, V., Valdar, W., Williams, R.W., Würbel, H., Benjamini, Y. (2018). Reproducibility and replicability of rodent phenotyping in preclinical studies.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews,Volume 87,

Hintze, S., Melotti, L., Colosio, S., Bailoo, J.D., Boada-Saña, M., Würbel, H., Murphy, E. (2018). A cross-species judgement bias task: integrating active trial initiation into a spatial Go/No-go task. Scientific Reports, 8(1):5104.   

Vidondo, B., & Voelkl, B. (2018). Dynamic network measures reveal the impact of cattle markets and alpine summering on the risk of epidemic outbreaks in the Swiss cattle population. BMC Veterinary Research, 14(1), 88. 

Voelkl, B., Vogt, L., Sena, E. and Würbel, H. (2018). Reproducibility of preclinical animal research improves with heterogeneity of study samples. PLoS Biology, 16(2), e2003692.

Bailoo, J.D., Murphy, E., Varholick, J.A., Novak, J., Palme, R., Würbel, H. (2018). Evaluation of the effects of space allowance on measures of animal welfare in laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 8(173). 10.1038/s41598-017-18493-6 

Sirovnik, J., Stratmann, A., Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Würbel, H., Toscano, M.J. (2018). Feeding from perches in an aviary system reduces aggression and mortality in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Sirovnik, J., Würbel, H., Toscano, M.J. (2018). Feeder space affects access to the feeder, aggression, and feed conversion in laying hens in an aviary system. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 198, 75-82. 

Book Chapters

Toscano, M. J. (2018). Skeletal problems in contemporary commercial layning hens. In J. A. Mench (Ed.), Advances in Poultry Welfare Science (1st ed., pp. 151–174). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bräm, M., Asher, L., Furrer, S., Lechner, I., Würbel, H. and Melotti, L. 2017. Development of the “Highly Sensitive Dog” Questionnaire to Evaluate the Personality Dimension “Sensory Processing Sensitivity” in Dogs. PLOS One, 12 (5): e0177616.

Candelotto, L., Stratmann, A., Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Rufener, C., van de Braak, T., and M.J. Toscano. 2017.  Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation. Poultry Science, 96(10): 3517-3528.

Firth, J. A., Voelkl, B., Crates, R. A., Aplin, L. M., Biro, D., Croft, D. P. and Sheldon, B. C. 2017. Wild birds respond to flockmate loss by increasing their social network associations to others. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 284(1854).

Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., A. Pfulg, E.K.F. Fröhlich, S. Käppeli, D. Guggisberg, A. Liesegang, M.H. Stoffel 2017. Limited associations between keel bone damage and bone properties measured with computer tomography, three-point bending test, and analysis of minerals in Swiss laying hens. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 4: 128.

Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Toscano, M.J. and Würbel, H. 2017. Perch use by broiler breeders and its implication on health and production. Poultry Science, 96 (10): 3539-3549.

Hintze, S., Murphy, E., Bachmann, I., Wemelsfelder, F. and Würbel, H. 2017. Qualitative Behaviour Assessment of horses exposed to short-term emotional treatments. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 196: 44-51.

Hintze, S., Roth, E., Bachmann, I. and Würbel, H. 2017. Toward a Choice-based Judgement Bias Task for Horses. J. Appl. Anim. Welfare Sci., 20 (2): 123-136.

Huber, A., Barber, A. L., Faragó, T., Müller, C. A. and Huber, L. 2017. Investigating emotional contagion in dogs (Canis familiaris) to emotional sounds of humans and conspecifics. Animal Cognition, 20: 703-715.

Kafkafi, N., Golani, I., Jaljuli, I., Morgan, H. D., Sarig, T., Würbel, H., Yaacoby, S. and Benjamini, Y. 2017. Addressing reproducibility in single-laboratory phenotyping experiments. Nature Meth., 14 (5): 462-464.

Lampe, J.F., Burman, O., Würbel, H. and Melotti, L. 2017. Context-dependent individual differences in playfulness in male rats. Dev. Psychobiol., 59 (4): 460-472.

Larsen, H., Cronin, G.M., Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Smith, C.L., Hemsworth, P.H., and Rault, J. Individual ranging behaviour patterns in commercial free-range layers as observed through RFID tracking. Animals, 7(3): 21.

Riemer, S. 2017. Social dog—emotional dog? Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling, 2(14): 9.

Roelofs, S., Murphy, E., Ni, H., Gieling, E., Nordquist, R.E., van der Staay, F.J. (2017). Judgemetn bias in pigs is indepedent of performance in a spatial holeboard task and conditional discrimination learning. Animal Cognition, 20(4): 739-753.

Sperger, C., Heller, A., Voelkl, B., Fritz, J. 2017. Flight strategies of migrating northern bald ibises—analysis of GPS data during human-led migration flights. AGIT Journal für Angewandte Geoinformatik, 3, 62-72.

Taylor, P. S, P. H Hemsworth, P.J. Groves, S.G. Gebhardt-Henrich and J-L. Rault. 2017. Ranging behaviour of commercial free-range broiler chickens 1: Factors related to flock variability. Animals, 7(7): 54.

Taylor, P.S, P. H Hemsworth, P. J Groves, S.G. Gebhardt-Henrich, J-L. Rault. 2017. Ranging behaviour of commercial free-range broiler chickens 2: Individual variation. Animals, 7(7): 55.

Voelkl, B. and Frtiz, J. 2017. Relation between travel strategy and social organization of migrating birds with special consideration of formation flight in the northern bald ibis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B - Biological Sciences, 372: 20160235.

Würbel, H. 2017. More than 3Rs: The importance of scientific validity for harm-benefit analysis of animal research. Lab Anim., 46 (4), 164.

Book Chapters

Bräm, M.D. 2017. Tests for aggression and prediction of aggression. In D Mills and C Westgarth (Eds) Dog Bites: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Human-directed Aggressive Behavior of the Dog and its Management, 5mBooks, pp. 116-132.



Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bailoo, J. D., Varholick, J. A., Garza, X. J., Jordan, R. L., & Hintze, S. (2016). Maternal separation followed by isolation-housing differentially affects prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response in C57BL/6 mice. Developmental Psychobiology, 58(8): 937-944.

Finlayson K., Lampe J.F., Hintze S., Würbel H., Melotti L. 2016. Facial Indicators of Positive Emotions in Rats. PLOS One 11(11): e0166446.

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

Hintze S, Smith S, Patt A, Bachmann I, Würbel H (2016) Are Eyes a Mirror of the Soul? What Eye Wrinkles Reveal about a Horse’s Emotional State. PLOS One 11(10): e0164017.

Kozak, M., Tobalske, B., Martins, C., Bowley, S., Würbel, H. and Harlander-Matauschek, A. 2016. Use of space by domestic chicks housed in complex aviaries. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 181: 115-121.

LeBlanc, S., Tobalske, B., Quinton, M., Springthorpe, D., Szkotnicki, B., Wuerbel, H., & Harlander-Matauschek, A. (2016). Physical Health Problems and Environmental Challenges Influence Balancing Behaviour in Laying Hens. PloS One, 11(4): e0153477.

Mason, G. J., and Würbel, H. 2016. What can be learnt from wheel-running by wild mice, and how can we identify when wheel-running is pathological? Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 283: 20150738.

Müller C, Riemer S, Virányi Zs, Huber L & Range F (2016). Inhibitory Control, but Not Prolonged Object-Related Experience Appears to Affect Physical Problem-Solving Performance of Pet Dogs. PloS one, 11(2): e0147753.

Nasr, M.A.F., Tarabany, M.S., and M.J. Toscano. 2016.  Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quails. Animal Production Science, 56(11): 1797-1802.

Novak, J., Bailoo, J. D., Melotti, L., & Würbel, H. (2016). Effect of Cage-Induced Stereotypies on Measures of Affective State and Recurrent Perseveration in CD-1 and C57BL/6 Mice. PloS One, 11(5): e0153203.

Novak, J., Stojanovski, K., Melotti, L., Reichlin, T. S., Palme, R., & Würbel, H. (2016). Effects of stereotypic behaviour and chronic mild stress on judgement bias in laboratory mice. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 174: 162–172.

Reichlin TS, Vogt L, Würbel H (2016) The Researchers’ View of Scientific Rigor—Survey on the Conduct and Reporting of In Vivo Research. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0165999.

Riemer S, Assis L, Pike TW and Mills DS 2016. Dynamic changes in ear temperature in relation to separation distress in dogs. Physiology & Behavior 167: 86-91. 

Riemer S, Ellis, SL, Ryan S, Thompson H & Burman O.H. (2016). A reappraisal of successive negative contrast in two populations of domestic dogs. Animal Cognition, 19(3): 471-481.

Riemer, S., Müller, C., Virányi, Z., Huber, L., & Range, F. (2016). Individual and group level trajectories of behavioural development in Border collies. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 180: 78-86.

Siegford, J. M., Berezowski, J., Biswas, S. K., Daigle, C. L., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Hernandez, C. E., Thurner, S., and Toscano, M. J. (2016). Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology. Animals, 6(10): 1–20.

Stratmann, A., Fröhlich, E.K.F., Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., and M.J. Toscano. 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): 975-984.

Thompson, H., Riemer, S., Ellis, S. L., & Burman, O. H. (2016). Behaviour directed towards inaccessible food predicts consumption—A novel way of assessing food preference. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 178: 111-117.

Voelkl, B., Firth, J.A. & Sheldon, B.C. (2016): Nonlethal predator effects on the turn-over of wild bird flocks. Scientific Reports, 6: 33476.

Voelkl, B., & Würbel, H. (2016). Reproducibility Crisis: Are We Ignoring Reaction Norms? Trends Pharmacol. Sci., 37: 509–510.

Vogt L, Reichlin TS, Nathues C, Würbel H (2016) Authorization of Animal Experiments Is Based on Confidence Rather than Evidence of Scientific Rigor. PLoS Biol 14(12): e2000598.

Book Chapters

Würbel, H. (2016). Tierversuch und Irrtum. In Tierisch! Das Tier und die Wissenschaft: Ein Streifzug durch die Disziplinen (pp. 97–106).


Verterinary Public Health Institute Annual Report 2014 / 2015 


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Casey-Trott, T., Heerkens, J. L. T., Petrik, M., Regmi, P., Schrader, L., Toscano, M. J., & Widowski, T. (2015). Methods for assessment of keel bone damage in poultry. Poultry Science, pev223.

Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., & Fröhlich, E. K. F. (2015). Early Onset of Laying and Bumblefoot Favor Keel Bone Fractures. Animals, 5(4), 1192–206.

Harlander-Matauschek, A., Rodenburg, T. B., Sandilands, V., Tobalske, B. W., & Toscano, M. J. (2015). Causes of keel bone damage and their solutions in laying hens. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 71(03), 461–472.

Henderson, E. R., Friend, E. J., Toscano, M. J., Parsons, K. J., & Tarlton, J. F. (2015). Biomechanical comparison of canine fascia lata and thoracolumbar fascia: an in vitro evaluation of replacement tissues for body wall reconstruction. Veterinary Surgery : VS, 44(1), 126–134.

Kjaer, J. B., Würbel, H., & Schrader L. (2015). Perseveration in a guessing task by laying hens selected for high or low levels of feather pecking does not support classification of feather pecking as a stereotypy. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 168, 56-60.

Lentfer, T. L., Pendl, H., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Fröhlich, E. K. F., & Von Borell, E. (2015). H/L ratio as a measurement of stress in laying hens - methodology and reliability. British Poultry Science, 56(2), 157–63.

Nasr, M. A. F., El-Tarabany, M. S., & Toscano, M. J. (2015). Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quail. Animal Production Science.

Novak, J., Bailoo, J. D., Melotti, L., Rommen, J., & Würbel, H. (2015). An Exploration Based Cognitive Bias Test for Mice: Effects of Handling Method and Stereotypic Behaviour. PloS One, 10(7), e0130718.

Ringgenberg, N., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Toscano, M. J., Würbel, H., & Roth, B. A. (2015). Effects of variation in nest curtain design on pre-laying behaviour of domestic hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 170, 34–43.

Ringgenberg, N., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Toscano, M. J., Würbel, H., & Roth, B. A. (2015). Nest choice in laying hens: Effects of nest partitions and social status. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 169, 43–50.

Schai-Braun, S. C., Reichlin, T. S., Ruf, T., Klansek, E., Tataruch, F., Arnold, W., & Hackländer, K. (2015). The European Hare (Lepus europaeus): A Picky Herbivore Searching for Plant Parts Rich in Fat. PloS One, 10(7), e0134278.

Stratmann, A., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., & Toscano, M. J. (2015). Modification of aviary design reduces incidence of falls, collisions and keel bone damage in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 165, 112–123.

Stratmann, A., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Schrader, L., Toscano, M. J., Würbel, H., & Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G. (2015). Soft perches in an aviary system reduce incidence of keel bone damage in laying hens. PloS One, 10(3), e0122568.

Toscano, M. J., 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), 823–35.



Peer-Reviewed Publications

Addison, E. S., Emmerson, T. D., de la Puerta, B., Groth, A., Black, T., Smith, B. A., … Wallace, A. M. (2014). Evaluation of Osteotomy Accuracy and Rotational and Angular Alignment for Cranial Closing Wedge Ostectomy Performed With and Without Alignment Aids. Veterinary Surgery : VS.

Andrist, C. A., Bigler, L., Würbel, H. & Roth, B. A. (2014). Masking odour when regrouping rabbit does: Effect on aggression, stress and lesions. Livestock Science, 170, 150-157.

Bailoo, J. D., Reichlin, T. S., & Würbel, H. (2014). Refinement of experimental design and conduct in laboratory animal research. ILAR Journal, 55(3), 383–391.

Bayne, K., & Würbel, H. (2014). The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies. Revue Scientifique et Technique (International Office of Epizootics), 33(1), 273–280.

Bohlen, M., Hayes, E. R., Bohlen, B., Bailoo, J. D., Crabbe, J. C., & Wahlsten, D. (2014). Experimenter effects on behavioral test scores of eight inbred mouse strains under the influence of ethanol. Behavioural Brain Research, 272, 46–54.

Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Toscano, M. J., & Fröhlich, E. K. F. (2014). Use of outdoor ranges by laying hens in different sized flocks. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 155, 74–81.

Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Burose, F., Fleurent, J., Gantner, M., & Zähner, M. (2014). Registrierung des Auslaufverhaltens einzelner Legehennen mit einem RFID-System. Individual tracking of laying hens with an RFID-System. Landtechnik, 69(6), 301–307.

Hamilton, K. H., Henderson, E. R., Toscano, M., & Chanoit, G. P. (2014). Comparison of postoperative complications in healthy dogs undergoing open and closed orchidectomy. The Journal of Small Animal Practice, 55(10), 521–526.

Melotti, L., Bailoo, J. D., Murphy, E., Burman, O., & Würbel, H. (2014). Play in Rats: Association across Contexts and Types , and Analysis of Structure. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 1(4), 489–501.

Ringgenberg, N., Fröhlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., & Roth, B. A. (2014). Does nest size matter to laying hens? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 155, 66–73.

Stratmann, A., & Taborsky, B. (2014). Antipredator defences of young are independently determined by genetic inheritance, maternal effects and own early experience in mouthbrooding cichlids. Functional Ecology, 28(4), 944–953.

Toscano, M. J. (2014). Governing Animals : Animal Welfare and the Liberal State. Animal Welfare, 23(1), 127–128.



Peer-Reviewed Publications

Andrist, C. A., van den Borne, B. H. P., Bigler, L. M., Buchwalder, T., & Roth, B. A. (2013). Epidemiologic survey in Swiss group-housed breeding rabbits: Extent of lesions and potential risk factors. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 108(2-3), 218–224.

Hintze, S., Scott, D., Turner, S., Meddle, S. L., & D’Eath, R. B. (2013). Mounting behaviour in finishing pigs: Stable individual differences are not due to dominance or stage of sexual development. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147(1-2), 69–80.

Lentfer, T. L., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Fröhlich, E. K. F., & von Borell, E. (2013). Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries. Poultry Science, 92(6), 1433–1442.

Melotti, L., Thomsen, L., Toscano, M. J., Mendl, M., & Held, S. (2013). Delay discounting task in pigs reveals response strategies related to dopamine metabolite. Physiology & Behavior, 120, 182–192.

Stämpfli, K., Buchwalder, T., Fröhlich, E. K. F., & Roth, B. A. (2013). Design of nest access grids and perches in front of the nests: Influence on the behavior of laying hens. Poultry Science, 92(4), 890–899.

Toscano, M. J., 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), 2251–2258.

Toscano, M. J., Wilkins, L. J., Millburn, G., Thorpe, K., & Tarlton, J. F. (2013). Development of an ex vivo protocol to model bone fracture in laying hens resulting from collisions. PloS One, 8(6), e66215.

Weber, E. M., Algers, B., Würbel, H., Hultgren, J., & Olsson, I. A. S. (2013). Influence of strain and parity on the risk of litter loss in laboratory mice. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 48(2), 292–296.

Würbel, H., Richter, S. H., & Garner, J. P. (2013). Reply to: “Reanalysis of Richter et al. (2010) on reproducibility”. Nature Methods, 10(5), 374.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Andrist, C. A., Bigler, L. M., Würbel, H., & Roth, B. A. (2012). Effects of group stability on aggression, stress and injuries in breeding rabbits. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 142(3-4), 182–188

Gross, A. N., Richter, S. H., Engel, A. K. J., & Würbel, H. (2012). Cage-induced stereotypies, perseveration and the effects of environmental enrichment in laboratory mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 234(1), 61–68.

Kriegseis, I., Bessei, W., Meyer, B., Zentek, J., Würbel, H., & Harlander-Matauschek, A. (2012). Feather-pecking response of laying hens to feather and cellulose-based rations fed during rearing. Poultry Science, 91(7), 1514–1521

Meyer, B., Bessei, W., Vahjen, W., Zentek, J., & Harlander-Matauschek, A. (2012). Dietary inclusion of feathers affects intestinal microbiota and microbial metabolites in growing Leghorn-type chickens. Poultry Science, 91(7), 1506–1513.

Reefmann, N., Lidfors, L., Andersson, M., Würbel, H., & Beausoleil, N. (2012). Living in large groups. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 138(3-4), 141.

Stämpfli, K., Buchwalder, T., Fröhlich, E. K. F., & Roth, B. A. (2012). Influence of front curtain design on nest choice by laying hens. British Poultry Science, 53(5), 553–560.

Book Chapters

Bayne, K., & Würbel, H. (2012). Mouse Enrichment. In H. J. Hedrich (Ed.), The Laboratory Mouse (2nd ed., pp. 547–566). London, UK: Academic Press.