ISAE by Region : Nordic


Welcome to the home page of the Nordic Region of the ISAE
The International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) encourages and supports basic and applied research into the behaviour of domestic, laboratory, zoo, companion, pest and captive animals.
The ISAE provides an international forum in which scientists can communicate and discuss the results of the above research and the ISAE organise and encourage scientific meetings.
Please follow the link to The International ISAE Home Page, other regions and how to become a member. 

Your Nordic regional secretary is Lena Lidfors, Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skara, Sweden


Facebook for the Nordic Region 

We have a Facebook page for the Nordic Region where all members can post info about PhD courses, conferences in related fields, workshops and seminars. You can also raise questions for a discussion. Please use it as much as possible for our communication in the Nordic-Baltic area.


Regional activities and meetings

The Nordic ISAE Winter Symposium 20-22 January 2016 + PhD course 18-22 January 2016 in Denmark

The next Nordic Winter Symposium will be held by researchers at the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University from lunch on the 20th of January until lunch on the 22nd of January 2016.

Registration dead-line is on the 16th of November, so please hurry to register as soon as possible, see website below.

Confirmed plenary talks

‘Applying research on mother-offspring behaviour to improve lamb survival’

Professor Cathy Dwyer, SRUC Scotland

‘Maternal transmission of behaviour’

Associate Professor Janne Winther Christensen, AU, Denmark

‘Social calves are smarter calves - the effects of maternal and other social influences on cognitive and behavioural development’

Professor Dan Weary, UBC, Canada

‘Does hospital pens match the special needs of diseased dairy cows?’

Senior Researcher  Mette S. Herskin, AU, Denmark

To make a full program they now need all of you working on applied ethology or related fields to submit your abstract. Dead-line for abstract submission is the 23rd of November. If you have problems to reach the dead-lines please contact the organisers.

In conjunction with the ISAE symposium they organise a PhD course on Maternal and Neonatal Behaviour starting on the 18th of January and being part of the ISAE symposium ending on the 22nd of January.

Dead-line to register to the PhD course was 1st of November, but they are still looking for more PhD students so please register today.

Symposium website:

PhD course website:  

Place: Vingsted Hotel and Conference Centre near Billund airport in Denmark

Organiser: Margit Bak Jensen, Aarhus University


Nordic ISAE enquiry 2013

An enquiry about the development of Nordic ISAE activities was realised in the beginning of 2013.              35 members responded to the enquiry. Great thanks for participation!

These were the most supported opinnions:

Read more about the enquiry


Past meetings

25th Nordic Symposium of the ISAE

2014, Oscarsborgs Fortress, Norway

Forty-one delegates participated in the 25th Nordic ISAE Regional Meeting, which was held 15-17 January, 2014 at Oscarsborg, Drøbak, Norway. The meeting was organized by Knut Egil Bøe, Bjarne Braastad and Ruth C. Newberry of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås. Delegates hailed from Norway (24), Finland (6), Sweden (6), and Denmark (5).

There were 22 regular oral presentations (20 minutes each) and 2 invited lectures (45 minutes each), one by Randi Oppermann Moe on “Behavioural and physiological expressions of cue-induced «wanting» in fowl” and one by Margit Bak Jensen on “Welfare of the dairy cow around the time of calving”.  Themes of the different sessions were Housing environment, Behavioural development, Animal welfare, Motivation and emotions, Cow and calf behaviour, and Methods in applied ethology. The social programme comprised a guided tour of the historic Oscarsborg Fortress and Conference Dinner in the fortress.

A regional meeting was held, during which Lena Lidfors of Sweden was presented as the new Regional Secretary, taking over from Satu Raussi of Finland. Satu was thanked for her years of service in this role. Lena was elected based on an email poll of Nordic members held in the fall of 2013. There were 324€ left in the Nordic Regional fund for the Klaus Vestergaard Prize. It was decided that awarding the funds to the prize winner to defray costs of attending either the next Nordic Regional ISAE meeting, the international ISAE conference or any Nordic PhD course. Following the practice of rotating among the Nordic countries.

There were 12 students in the best oral presentation competition. The first place and Klaus Vestergaard Prize was awarded to Julie Føske Johnstone, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, for her paper on “Milk production, udder health and calving interval in dairy herds practicing suckling.” Second place went to Kristian Ellingsen, also of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, who talked about “Determining the abomasal capacity of Norwegian Red calves.” In third place was Salla Ruuska of the University of Eastern Finland, who presented on “Reliability of instantaneous sampling in measuring feeding behaviour of dairy cows.” Ruth Newberry chaired the Judges Committee, which comprised Anna Valros, Lena Lidfors, Margit Bak Jensen, Laura Hänninen and Bjarne Braastad.


24rd Nordic Symposium of the ISAE

2012, Skara, Sweden

The Nordic winter Symposium of the ISAE was held at SLU Skara Sweden at 16th to 18nd January 2012.

The symposium programme included four sessions and totally 22 presentations. The first session on Monday afternoon involved a plenary presented by professor Bo Algers from SLU. Bosse told us about transport to slaughter issues and specifically how logistics may benefit animal welfare. Another plenary was presented by Henrik Lerner from SLU who gave a speech about the role of the animal in the care of humans. We heard many talks about pig behaviour, human-animal studies and dog behaviour. At the end of the symposium workshop about authentic examinations and effects on learning were organised by Maria Andersson from SLU.    

Every year the Klaus Vestergaard price is awarded to the best student presentation. This year the price went to Karolina Thorell. Karolina is a student at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala and the work she presented was from her master thesis project. Her presentation entitled “Pig behviour during crowding ­ a study in organic and conventional herds”. The Klaus Vestergaard price includes free access to next Nordic ISAE symposium.

At the end of the symposium we had a small discussion about how to in furture develop the Nordic regional meetings. Some questions were raised should we continue to arrange Nordic symposiums every year or every second year and how to attract more senior researchers to the symposiums. Secreatary will compile a questionaire to be send to Nordic ISAE members about the subject.   

Great thanks to the local organisers of the Nordic ISAE Skara symposium! Maria Andersson together with her team had organised everything extremely fluently. Friendly atmosphere made the symposium warm and encouraged discussions.


23rd Nordic Symposium of the ISAE

2011, Tartu, Estonia

The 23rd Nordic winter symposium for applied ethology was arranged for the first time in Tartu, Estonia 19.-21.1.2011. Around 40 ethologists and experts in animal behavior shared their latest scientific results and discussed animal behavior and welfare in the member countries. Estonian and Lithuanian members were cordially welcomed to join the Nordic network of Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and now also Baltic ethologists.

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