Irene Camerlink

Animal Behaviour & Welfare
Animal & Veterinary Sciences

Research interests 

The main focus of my studies has generally been the health and welfare of pigs. I started with a BSc in Animal Health Care, followed by an MSc in Animal Production Systems (Animal Sciences) at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. This was followed by a PhD at Wageningen University on the behaviour and productivity of pigs selected for Indirect Genetic Effects. Seeing the behavioural abnormalities and welfare problems in practice always motived me to keep on searching for ways to improve health and welfare through providing a scientific base for potential solutions. Interdisciplinary research combining animal- and social sciences is herein a main interest, as interdisciplinary work is in my opinion essential to apply science into practice. More specific research interests are social behaviour of pigs, neurobiology, behavioural genetics, homeopathy, and conflict behaviour.

Selected research projects

• Healthy animals, healthy food, healthy people
Project with YMICAWE (University of Edinburgh) to increase animal welfare in China through knowledge exchange with Chinese pig and poultry producers. Led by Prof. Cathy Dwyer.

• Understanding assessment strategies during aggressive encounters in pigs to improve welfare following regrouping
From April 2014-2017 I worked with Dr Simon Turner and Dr Gareth Arnott (Queen’s University of Belfast) on understanding how pigs assess their opponents and their decision making during fights with the overall aim to find solutions to reduce aggression between intensively kept pigs.

• Sociable swine: indirect genetic effects on growth rate and their effect on behaviour and production of pigs in different environments
PhD project carried out at Wageningen University at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Group and the Adaptation Physiology group. Completed 2014.

PhD student

Rachel Peden

Title: Demand driven solutions to reduce aggression between pigs.

Selected publications

• Camerlink, I., Arnott, G., Farish, M., & Turner, S. P. (2016). Complex contests and the influence of aggressiveness in pigs. Animal Behaviour, 121, 71-78.
• Camerlink, I., Turner, S. P., Farish, M., & Arnott, G. (2015). Aggressiveness as a component of fighting ability in pigs using a game-theoretical framework. Animal Behaviour, 108, 183-191.
• Camerlink, I., Ursinus, W. W., Bijma, P., Kemp, B., Bolhuis, J. E. (2014). Indirect genetic effects for growth rate in domestic pigs alter aggressive and manipulative biting behaviour. Behavior genetics, 1-10.
• Camerlink, I., Turner, S.P., Ursinus, W.W., Reimert, I., Bolhuis, J.E. (2014).  Aggression and affiliation during social conflict in pigs. PloS one, 9(11), e113502.
• Camerlink, I., Turner, S.P., Bijma, P., Bolhuis, J.E. (2013). Indirect genetic effects and housing conditions change aggressive behaviour in pigs. Plos One 8(6), e65136.

See all of Irene Camerlink's publications.