The executive board of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has appointed Prof. Dr ir. Bas Rodenburg as professor. The chair recently came into effect and is funded by Utrecht University, where Rodenburg is professor of Animal Welfare.
Monitoring individual animals and herds using sensors is a key aspect of his work in Wageningen. Through this method, Rodenburg hopes to gain a better understanding of behavioural issues such as aggression and damaging behaviour.
Monitoring individual animals offers great possibilities to measure the animal's resilience and wellbeing. Rodenburg wants to use this knowledge to help design new livestock farming systems that fit the animals' needs better than the current systems.
Moreover, Rodenburg wishes to fortify the collaboration between Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology. Rodenburg is involved in the NWO (Dutch Research Council) Perspective Programme Imagen, which focuses on developing improved systems for laying hens and pigs, using sensors.
Bas Rodenburg is a strong advocate of the OneWelfare concept: according to this concept, human, animal and environmental welfare are inextricably intertwined. This is not only a valuable concept in considering the human-animal relationship but also in looking at livestock farming of the future. At Utrecht University, Rodenburg focuses on developing methods to better measure animal welfare.
The chair of Rodenburg will reside under the chair group Adaptation Physiology under prof. Bas Kemp. The appointment is for one day per week; Rodenburg will continue his work as professor of Animal Welfare at Utrecht University the remainder of his time.
Bas Rodenburg (1975) obtained his degree at Wageningen University & Research and went on to earn his PhD in Wageningen in 2004. His PhD research focused on behavioural aspects of feather pecking in laying hens. Following his PhD, Rodenburg worked as a post-doc at (what is now known as) Wageningen Livestock Research and ILVO in Belgium. He maintained a link with WUR through several positions. Rodenburg started his tenure as a professor of Animal Welfare at Utrecht University in May 2018.