Lauren Dawson


Lauren is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Animal Biosciences with Dr. Stephanie Torrey.

Lauren completed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Lee Niel, exploring companion animal welfare, with the goals of identifying aspects of veterinary care that may affect welfare. She developed a welfare assessment tool made specifically for companion animal veterinary clinics. Lauren has a  BSc. in Biology from McGill University.

 In her current position as a post doctoral fellow, she is comparing the welfare of fast- and slow-growing strains of broiler chickens; she is particularly focused on differences in behaviour, including activity, resource and space use, time budgets and play behaviour. She is also evaluating broiler chickens' motivation to access enrichment (elevated platforms) via the use of weighted push doors.

Past research projects have included:

  • an evaluation of the effects of providing elevated resting platforms to nursing mink dams (MSc. work)
  • the development of a canine and feline welfare assessment tool for using in companion animal veterinary clinics, with a particular focus on behavioural health, pain management and veterinary-client communication (PhD work)
  • an investigation of trends and challenges related to implementing environmental enrichment on Canadian mink farms (Post doctoral work)
  • an evaluation of humans' abilities to differentiate the affective states of cats based on their facial expressions (Post doctoral work)