Pigs and Fish: Personality in Animals #471

April 27, 2018

This week we learn about how personality is studied in two of our favorite animals: pigs and fish. We'll be speaking with Rose O'Dea, PhD candidate at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre in Sydney, about using computer animation technology to stimulate behavioral responses in zebrafish. Then we'll speak with Kristina Horback, assistant professor at the University of California-Davis, about the connection between personality traits in domesticated pigs and their ability to cope with stressful farm conditions.

Related links:


  • Rose O'Dea
  • Kristina Horback
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Guest Bios

Rose O'Dea

Rose O'Dea is a PhD Candidate at the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, Sydney. Rose's work focuses on phenotypic variation (the observable characteristics of an organism), and the environmental and genetic factors that cause both within- and between-individual variation. For her PhD Rose is using zebrafish as a model organism to test ideas about how individual variation in physiology is linked to individual variation in behavioural and life-history traits.

Kristina Horback

Dr. Kristina Horback is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis. Dr. Horback’s research program focuses on identifying behavior traits in animals and evaluating the relationship between traits and animal welfare (stress response, immunity, productivity). She has extensive experience using ethological and experimental psychology methods to assess personality and temperament a variety of species. She has also presented her work on animal personality and cognition to a variety of professional and public audiences, including annual meetings of veterinarians, behavior scientists, and animal welfare auditing organizations.