Edinburgh campus open Friday 26 August

The work taking place at the Edinburgh campus is complete and the campus will be open as usual on Friday 26 August.

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