Dr Marie Haskell

Research Interests

Marie HaskellMy main research interests are in animal motivation, cognition and learning, and the use of behavioural temperament tests to assess welfare on farms.

Since 2000, I have worked with dairy cattle, but prior to that worked with layer hens and pigs. Most recently, I have worked on three projects investigating cattle welfare on commercial farms. The first project assessed the effect of zero-grazing (continuous housing) on aspects of cow health and behaviour. The second project compared the welfare of cows on organic and non-organic farms, and the third project assessed the effect of dairy cattle breeding programmes on cow temperament.

Research Projects

  • Scientific approaches to welfare assessment in dairy cattle, and the relationship between welfare and farm sustainability. 
  • The relationship between animal behaviour and growth efficiency in beef cattle
  • The effect of housing and husbandry conditions on the emotional and cognitive state of animals

PhD Students

  • Lucille Bellegarde - Cognitive bias in sheep
  • Mayumi Fujiwara - Pre-natal stress in dairy cattle
  • Sokratis Ptochos - Environmental change impacts on sheep parasitism 


I teach on the MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, and on the on-line MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law. I also teach on undergraduate courses run by SRUC.

Selected Publications

  • Umstatter, C., Brocklehurst, S., Ross, D. and Haskell, M.J. (2013). Can the location of cattle be managed using broadcast audio cues? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147: 34-42
  • Haskell, M.J., MasÅ‚owska, K., Bell, D.J., Roberts, D.J. and Langford, F.M. (2013). The effect of a view to the surroundings and microclimate variables on use of a loafing area. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147:28-33
  • MacKay, J.R.D., Turner, S.P., Hyslop, J., Deag, J.M. and Haskell, M.J. (2013). Short term temperament tests in beef cattle relate to long term measures of behavior recorded in the home pen. Journal of Animal Science (in press)
  • Barrier, A.C., M.J. Haskell, M.J., S. Birch, S., Bagnall, A., Bell, D.J., Dickinson, J., Macrae, A.I. and Dwyer, C.M. (2013). The impact of dystocia on dairy calf health, welfare, performance and survival. Veterinary Journal, 195, 86-90
  • Barrier, A.C., Mason, C., Dwyer, C.M., Haskell, M.J., and Macrae, A.I., (2013). Stillbirth in dairy calves is influenced independently by dystocia and body shape. The Veterinary Journal
  • Barrier, A.C., Haskell, M.J. and Dwyer, C.M. (2012). Parturition progress and behaviours in dairy cows with calving difficulty. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 139: 209-217
  • Mackay, J.R.D., Deag, J and Haskell, M.J. (2012). Establishing the extent of behavioural reactions in dairy cattle to a leg mounted activity monitor. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 139: 35-41
  • Haskell, M.J., Bell, D.J. and Gibbons, J.M. (2012). Is the response to humans consistent over productive life in dairy cows? Animal Welfare, 21: 319-324

Dr Marie Haskell

Reader in Dairy Cow Behaviour & Welfare

Address: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG

Telephone: 0131 651 9366

Fax: 0131 535 3121

E-mail: marie.haskell@sruc.ac.uk