Dr Marie Haskell

Scotland's Rural College

Research Interests

My main research interests are in animal motivation, cognition and learning, and the use of behavioural temperament tests to assess welfare on farms.

Since 2000, I have worked with dairy cattle, but prior to that worked with layer hens and pigs. Most recently, I have worked on three projects investigating cattle welfare on commercial farms. The first project assessed the effect of zero-grazing (continuous housing) on aspects of cow health and behaviour. The second project compared the welfare of cows on organic and non-organic farms, and the third project assessed the effect of dairy cattle breeding programmes on cow temperament.

Research Projects

  • Scientific approaches to welfare assessment in dairy cattle, and the relationship between welfare and farm sustainability. 
  • The relationship between animal behaviour and growth efficiency in beef cattle
  • The effect of housing and husbandry conditions on the emotional and cognitive state of animals

    Selected Publications

    • Umstatter, C., Brocklehurst, S., Ross, D. and Haskell, M.J. (2013). Can the location of cattle be managed using broadcast audio cues? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147: 34-42
    • Haskell, M.J., Masłowska, K., Bell, D.J., Roberts, D.J. and Langford, F.M. (2013). The effect of a view to the surroundings and microclimate variables on use of a loafing area. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147:28-33
    • MacKay, J.R.D., Turner, S.P., Hyslop, J., Deag, J.M. and Haskell, M.J. (2013). Short term temperament tests in beef cattle relate to long term measures of behavior recorded in the home pen. Journal of Animal Science (in press)
    • Barrier, A.C., M.J. Haskell, M.J., S. Birch, S., Bagnall, A., Bell, D.J., Dickinson, J., Macrae, A.I. and Dwyer, C.M. (2013). The impact of dystocia on dairy calf health, welfare, performance and survival. Veterinary Journal, 195, 86-90
    • Barrier, A.C., Mason, C., Dwyer, C.M., Haskell, M.J., and Macrae, A.I., (2013). Stillbirth in dairy calves is influenced independently by dystocia and body shape. The Veterinary Journal
    • Barrier, A.C., Haskell, M.J. and Dwyer, C.M. (2012). Parturition progress and behaviours in dairy cows with calving difficulty. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 139: 209-217
    • Mackay, J.R.D., Deag, J and Haskell, M.J. (2012). Establishing the extent of behavioural reactions in dairy cattle to a leg mounted activity monitor. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 139: 35-41
    • Haskell, M.J., Bell, D.J. and Gibbons, J.M. (2012). Is the response to humans consistent over productive life in dairy cows? Animal Welfare, 21: 319-324