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Inonge Reimert studied at the University of Groningen. She obtained her MSc degree in Behavioural Cognitive Neurosciences in 2009 (with honours). Thereafter she did a PhD at Wageningen University to investigate the behaviour and physiology of pigs divergently selected for indirect genetic effects on the growth of their pen mates. In addition, she also studied emotional states in pigs and she was the first to discover that pigs have emotional contagion, a simple form of empathy. This research was part of the project ‘Seeking Sociable Swine? Incorporating social genetic effects into pig breeding programs to achieve balanced improvement in productivity and welfare’. The results of this PhD project have been presented in the thesis “(Em)pathetic pigs? The impact of social interactions on welfare, health and productivity”.
Presently, Inonge is working as a senior researcher at the Adaptation Physiology Group of Wageningen University. She is actively involved in teaching in several courses and supervising MSc and BSc students with their thesis. Her research interests are pig behaviour, emotions and welfare. She is involved in various different projects that study these interests.
1) Behaviour: Projects and experiments are about the effect of enrichment on behaviours such as tail biting, but also studying toilet behaviour, and behaviour of piglets during lactation. Another interest is to learn more about social network analysis to study social interactions and preferences in pigs in more detail.
2) Emotions: Project and experiments involve studying e.g. facial expressions, vocalizations, tail postures and play as possible indicators of emotions as well as investigating various physiological and cognitive parameters as indicators of emotions in pigs.
3) Welfare: Pig welfare can be studied and assessed in many ways, for instance by taking behaviour and emotion into account. This interest is part of several projects and courses Inonge is involved in.