College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Research Area(s)

  • Pig behaviour and welfare
  • Farm animal welfare
  • Applied ethology
  • Interdisciplinary research in animal studies


Animal and Poultry Science

Brief Biography

Dr. Jen-Yun Chou is a Research Scientist at the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She is leading the ethology and welfare group at the Centre and a part of the Swine Welfare research team at the University of Saskatchewan.

Jen-Yun’s background is multidisciplinary at the interface of applied animal behaviour, animal welfare and social science. She obtained her PhD degree in Clinical Veterinary Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in 2019 and holds an MA in Science, Technology and Society. She has experience working as an animal welfare advisor at international non-profit organisation and has conducted research at various research institutes across Europe and North America. Her research projects collaboratively to explore issues surrounding ending piglet painful procedures and providing pigs with a better physical and social environment. She is also interested in subjects such as One Welfare, welfare at transport/slaughter and on-farm euthanasia.

She did a postdoctoral research project from 2020-2021 at the Swine Teaching and Research centre at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, focusing on sow housing in early gestation. She was also a Marie Skłodowska Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Pig Development Department, Teagasc and the Institute of Animal Welfare Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria, investigating social behaviour and social network in pigs.

She has ongoing research collaborations with partners in the US, Europe and Taiwan, where she is from originally. Her goal is to show animal welfare can be beneficial and profitable for all stakeholders and to contribute to improving pig welfare globally.

Research Interests

  • Improvement on group-housed farm animal rearing environment, especially for sows, grower and finisher pigs
  • Social communication and social structure of commercially farmed pigs
  • Environmental enrichment development for farm animals
  • One welfare for farm animals in practice
  • Sustainability and animal welfare
  • Piglet painful procedures
  • Welfare at transport and slaughter of farm animals


Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Teagasc, Ireland / Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria

Postdoctoral Researcher, Swine Teaching and Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, USA

PhD, Clinical Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

MSc With Distinction, Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

MA in Science, Technology and Society (STS), Institute of History, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Selected Recent Publications

Ambruosi, S., De Angelis, F., Chou, J.-Y. and Goursot, C., 2024. Familiar versus unfamiliar: Revealing the complexity of sociability in pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, In Press.

Ibach, S., Chou, J.-Y., Battini, M., & Parsons, T. D. 2024. A systematic approach to defining and verifying descriptors used in the Qualitative Behavioural Assessment of sows. Animal Welfare, 33, e8.

Chou, J.-Y., van de Weerd, H., & Camerlink, I. 2024. Gaining and maintaining interest: Recent advances in enrichment for pigs. Advances in Pig Welfare, pp. 289-308.

Nielsen, B.L., Golledge, H.D., Chou, J.-Y., Camerlink, I., Pongrácz, P., Ceballos, M.C., Whittaker, A.L. and Olsson, I.A.S., 2023. Ensuring ethical animal welfare research: Are more ethics review committees the solution? Peer Community Journal, 3.

Chou, J.-Y., Marchant, J.N., Nalon, E., Huynh, T.T.T., van de Weerd, H.A., Boyle, L.A. and Ison, S.H. 2022. Investigating risk factors behind piglet facial and sow teat lesions through a literature review and a survey on teeth reduction. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 9:909401.

Chou, J.-Y. and Parsons, T. D. 2022. A systematic review of the impact of housing on sow welfare during post-weaning and early pregnancy periods. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 

Chou, J.-Y. and Camerlink, I. 2021. Online conferences as an opportunity to enhance inclusiveness in animal behaviour and welfare research: a case study of the ISAE 2020 virtual meeting. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 241, 105369 (VSI:ISAE 2020). 

Chou, J.-Y., Sandercock, D. A., D'Eath, R. B., and O'Driscoll, K. 2020. A high enrichment replenishment rate reduces damaging behaviours and increases growth rate in undocked pigs kept in fully slatted pens. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7, p.889. 

Chou, J.-Y., O’Driscoll, K., Sandercock, D. A. and D’Eath, R. B. 2020. Can increased dietary fibre level and a single enrichment device reduce the risk of tail biting in undocked growing-finishing pigs on fully slatted systems? Plos one, 15(10), e0241619. 

Camerlink, I., Chou, J.-Y. and Turner S., 2020. Intra-Group Lethal Gang Aggression in Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus). Animals, 10(8), 1287.