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Trends in Stress Biology – Interpretation of animal stress responses

ECTS credits:

Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: 13 – 17 June 2022
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: Participants are expected to deliver 150 working hours.
Capacity limits: 30 participants


Objectives of the course:
To offer the participants a solid background of the theory and research in stress biology, via lectures by leading researchers within the field, central literature, group work and practical exercises/demonstrations, providing an update of the link between stress, physiology and behaviour, focusing on the function of the whole animal.


Learning outcomes and competences:
After finalising the course, the students will:

  1. Be updated within state-of-the-art of central parts of animal stress biology
  2. Have theoretical knowledge about the evolution and function of animal stress, and be able to use this as basis of their own research
  3. Know pros/cons connected to the use of behavioural and other stress responses as measures of animal welfare or the condition of experimental animals
  4. Be educated within the establishment of experimental protocols for the evaluation of stress in animals


Compulsory programme:
Active participation in the residential course Monday-Friday incl. oral presentation of own field of work. A final written report is required for completion of the course.


Course contents:
The course is based on presentations and lectures by internationally recognised stress researchers combined with participants presenting relevant parts of their PhD-projects. Additionally, the course involves a combination of group work and plenary discussions, focusing on classic aspects of stress biology and its interpretation. Practical demonstrations and exercises at Research Centre Foulum, Aarhus University, are included as well.

Participants are expected to deliver 150 working hours divided between:

  • Course: 5 days June 2022, including lectures, participant presentations and group work (50h)
  • Preparation: reading of background literature (40 scientific papers, at least 90h)
  • Scientific preparation of own PhD research in relation to stress/readings (10h)

This course targets PhD students and researchers within science, veterinary, agricultural and health sciences working with animals, including animal model studies, experimentation, in zoo and animal parks, and with scientific questions related to stress biology.


Course organisers:
Senior researcher Jens Malmkvist: Jens.Malmkvist@anis.au.dk
Senior researcher Mette S. Herskin: MetteS.Herskin@anis.au.dk

Lecturers (preliminary):
Associate Professor Janne W. Christensen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Professor Georgia Mason, University of Guelph, Canada

Assistant Professor Vivian C. Goerlich, Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands

Associate Professor Dr. Rupert Palme, University of Veterinary Medicine, Austria 


Type of course/teaching methods:
See course content.


Original literature in the form of primary and review papers from international journals and textbooks. A literature list (c. 50 papers) will be made available well in advance of the course


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Participation in residential course as well as an accepted written report.


The course is provided by the Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Technical Sciences (GSTS).


Special comments on this course:
Course participants have to pay direct costs for accommodation etc. Price for PhD-students: 1100 Euro for single room. Price for others holding a PhD degree: 1600 Euro. This amount covers all expenses during the course, including accommodation with own bath/toilet, food (Monday to Friday noon), banquet. Price for attending on day-basis only: 325 Euro per day (excluding accomodation).


13 – 17 June 2022


Vingsted Hotel and Conference Centre

Vingsted Skovvej 2

7182 Bredsten


+ Aarhus Univeristy, Research Centre Foulum


Registration is open from 1 February to 1 May 2022. Send an email to Mette Iburg-Krogh, mette.iburg@anis.au.dk including title and start year of PhD project, scientific keywords, proposed title of participant presentation, animal species and contact information. Download registration form from the course homepage.

For others/non-PhD students, interested in per day participation (without accommodation), please also indicate day(s) of attendance in your email of registration.

Information regarding granted application is given to all after 15 May 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Albertsen, email: Tina.Albertsen@anis.au.dk

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