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Professor Francoise Wemelsfelder

Professor Francoise Wemelsfelder

headshot Francoise Wemelsfelder

Francoise Wemelsfelder

 0131 651 9349

Animal & Veterinary Sciences

SRUC, Roslin Institute Building,

Easter Bush,


EH25 9RG


Francoise is a Senior Research at SRUC, and her main research interest is the development of scientific approaches for the study of animals as whole sentient beings (i.e. as subjects rather than objects), bringing insights from philosophy of mind and social psychology and anthropology into the study of animal emotion. In collaboration with colleagues from SRUC and other institutes, Francoise has developed and validated a methodology for the study of animal expressivity (body language) and subjective experience, generally referred to as ‘Qualitative Behaviour Assessment’ (QBA). Her research focuses on the application of this method as a practical tool for welfare assessment and management in farm, zoo, and companion animals. Research interests associated with this work are animal boredom and environmental enrichment.

Understanding animals as subjects should affect the social context in which we live with animals, and Francoise is therefore also involved in social science and humanities activities and research, both at SRUC and other institutes. In this context, her interest is how communication with animals, and sensitization to the (subtle) ways in which they express themselves, may lead to greater respect and better care for them. 

Leading Ideas

  • Livestock Welfare
  • Animal Health & Welfare

Area of Strategic Research Programme

Further information the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme is available

  • Theme 2: Productive and sustainable land management and Rural Economies
  • 2.2 - Livestock Production, Health, Welfare, and Disease Control
  • 2.2.7 Welfare assessment techniques
  • 2.3 - Productive and Sustainable Land Management
  • 2.3.12 Increasing uptake of best practice