mercredi 18 mai 2016

Joint PhD position on emotional expressions in dogs – University of Bern and University of Lincoln

The Division of Animal Welfare, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare Research Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, seek a highly motivated candidate for a three-year PhD project on “The identification of dogs’ emotional expression using a facial action coding system”.

Background & Study Aim
While numerous accounts of dog communication exist in the popular literature and some scientific studies have investigated the broader phenomenon of stress and associated physiological and behavioural parameters, there is a lack of research on the expressive elements of different emotional states in dogs.
Therefore the aim of the current study is to use DogFACS (Dog Facial Action Coding System) to identify facial expressions in dogs that characterise and discriminate between different emotional states and to investigate whether these are reliable across breeds, their communicative function, and the predictability of action tendencies from emotional expressions (facial/ postural) in dogs.
Joint PhD
This project will result in a PhD degree awarded jointly by the University of Bern and the University of Lincoln. The student will spend approximately 2/3 of the time in Bern and 1/3 of the time in Lincoln. The main supervisors will be Dr. Stefanie Riemer (Division of Animal Welfare, University of Bern), supported by Prof. Hanno Würbel (University of Bern) and Prof. Daniel Mills (Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare Research Group, University of Lincoln).

Candidates need an MSc degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline and need to possess a keen interest in animal behaviour and cognition. Experience with designing and conducting behavioural experiments, good command of the English language, and skills in data analysis are essential. Experience with handling and training dogs is highly desirable, as is German language knowledge due to the need to recruit and interact with dog owners in Switzerland.

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, C.V. (including publication list), BSc and MSc diplomas and transcripts of grades, and two references in a single pdf document to

The deadline for application is Sunday 29nd May 2016.

Further enquiries
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Stefanie Riemer