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Interpretation of Animal Stress Responses (2015)

Name of course


ECTS credits


Course parameters

Language: English

Level of course: PhD course

Semester/quarter: January 12-16, 2015

Capacity limits: 30

Objectives of the course

The aim is to offer the participants a solid background of the theory and research in stress biology, via lectures by leading researchers within the field, central literature, group work and practical exercises/demonstrations, providing an update of the link between stress, physiology and behaviour, focusing on the function of the whole animal.

Course contents

The course is based on presentations and lectures by internationally recognised stress researchers combined with participants presenting relevant parts of their PhD-projects. Furthermore, the course involves a combination of group work (discussions of classic aspects of stress biology and its interpretation as well as practical demonstrations and exercises at AU-FOULUM, Dept. Anim. Sci., Aarhus University), and plenary discussions. The intensive part of the course involves an excursion to study the handling of animal stress responses in practice as well as a visit from a practitioner in interpretation of stress responses.


The volume of the PhD course is 5 ECTS. Participants are expected to deliver 130 working hours, divided between:

  • Course: 5 days in January 2015, including lectures, participant presentations, group work, and exercises/demonstrations.
  • Preparation: literature, own presentation. 

Target group

PhD students and researchers within biological sciences, veterinary, agricultural and health sciences working with animals, including animal model studies, experimentation, in zoo and animal parks, and with scientific questions related to stress biology.

Name of lecturer:

  • Dr. Wolfgang Goymann Max Planck Inst. for Ornithol., Germany: Stress in the wild: ecology, social environment and fitness
  • Asst. Prof. Karen J. Parker, Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Stanford University, California: Key factors that produce vulnerability and resilience towards stress
  • Prof. Svante Winberg, Dept. Neuroscience, University of Uppsala, Sweden: Stress in fish – personality, social stress and behavioural plasticity

Type of course/teaching methods

see content


Original literature in the form of reviews and articles from international journals, and textbooks on animal stress responses. A list of relevant reading material will be provided before December 1st.

Course homepage


Jens Malmkvist, Senior scientist, Dept. Anim. Sci., AU-FOULUM, Aarhus University,

Mette S. Herskin, Senior scientist, Dept. Anim. Sci., AU-FOULUM, Aarhus University,

Special comments on this course

Price for PhD-students: 850 Euro. Price for others holding a PhD degree: 1250 Euro. This amount covers all expenses during the course, including accommodation in single room with own bath/toilet, food (Monday to Friday noon), excursions, banquet, and exercises.


12-16 January 2015


Vingsted Hotel and Conference Centre, Bredsten,


Open until November 1st 2014 via e-mail to, including form with title and start year of PhD project, scientific keywords, proposed title of participant presentation, animal species, address and contact information). Information regarding granted application is given to all November 16th 2014. 

Comments on content: 
Revised 16.05.2017