PhD Research

Ongoing projects

Scientific research about the welfare, behaviour and health status of puppies sold in Belgium

Veterinarian Pierre-Alexandre Dendoncker

In collaboration with Profs. J. Dewulf and T. de Keuster from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as well as the universities of Namur (Prof. C. Diederich) and Liège (Prof. E. Thirry), C. Moons supervises a research project that examines the current situation at the different types of puppy breeders/merchants in Belgium and aims to identify possible risk factors for socialisation, behaviour, welfare and health.


Evaluation of the efficacy, welfare aspects and carcass quality in electrical stunning slaughter and non-stun slaughter of broilers and laying hens

Veterinarian Glynnis Devos

The main promotor for this project is Prof. K. Houf (Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Fac. Vet. Med., Ghent University). The Laboratory for Ethology (Prof. C. Moons) supervises the work packages regarding welfare of chickens during slaughter. Through measurements at slaughter plants we examine, among other aspects, which parameters are useful to assess the degree of unconsciousness in practice to replace the gold standard (EEG).


Research into the prevention of heat and cold stress in animals kept on pasture

Melissa Snoeks

The main promotor for this project is R. Geers (KULeuven). The Laboratory for Ethology (Prof. F. Ödberg) provides support to Melissa Snoeks in her investigation regarding the need for artificial shelter for horses on pasture.


Study on the ontogeny of temperament in dogs for an early identification of individuals at risk of developing behaviour problem

Rian Lensen M.Sc. (URVI-Narilis, UNamur)

Under the main supervision of C. Diederich (UNamur) en supporting supervision of the Laboratory for Ethology (Prof. C. Moons) Rian Lensen conducts developmental research on the temperament of dogs. More specifically she examines which factors (and at what age) are possible indicators to be used in an early screening of dogs to identify risks of developing behaviour problems.


Development of an automated method to monitor health and welfare of pigs

Sanne Ott, M.Sc. (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University / Faculty of Bioscience Engineering – KULeuven)

The purpose of this research is to develop an objective method to monitor welfare and health in intensively farmed pigs. A series of experiments examines several stressors (change in feed composition, feeding frequency and group composition).


Completed projects

Research into the prevention of heat and cold stress in animals kept on pasture

(completed on 24th April 2015)

Eva Van Laer M.Sc.

Under supervision of F. Tuyttens (ILVO/UGent) and C. Moons Eva Van Laer conducted research on the need for artificial shelter for cattle on pasture and in nature reserves.


Effect of castration at an early age on health and welfare of cats

(completed on 19th May 2014)

Veterinarian Nathalie Porters

As part of research examining the effects of early neutering in kittens (promoters are Profs. H. de Rooster, I. Polis en C. Moons), veterinarian Nathalie Porters collected data on the effects of early neutering on behavioural development of make and female kittens, supervised by Prof. C. Moons.


Development of techniques for ontogenetic studies to reveal mechanisms underlying stereotypies

(completed on the 1st December 2008)

Dr. Christel Moons, M.Sc.

The purpose of this doctoral research was to contribute to the knowledge on the functional role and underlying mechanisms of stereotypic behaviour in animals kept in captivity.