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Professor Michael Mendl


BVSc Veterinary Sciences
MSc Global Wildlife Health and Conservation

Mike obtained his PhD in animal behaviour at Cambridge University. He then took a Royal Society European Research Fellowship to continue his work on behavioural development at Groningen University in the Netherlands, before returning to work at Cambridge University Vet School where he moved into the field of applied animal behaviour and welfare. He subsequently took up a position as a Behavioural Scientist at the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh, continuing his work on pig behaviour and welfare, and then moved to Bristol University Vet School where he is now Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare and Head of the Bristol Animal Welfare & Behaviour Group, and has previously been Deputy Head of School (Research). He is also lead of the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Animal Welfare Research Network. His current research interests are in the study of cognition, emotion, and social behaviour in domestic animals, with a view to using this information to improve animal welfare. Together with Dr Liz Paul, he developed a novel ‘cognitive bias’ approach to the assessment of animal emotions which draws on theory and findings from human psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He and Liz received the 2013 inaugural International Society for Applied Ethology Creativity Award, and the Alice Richie Trust Memorial Fund Award for their work in this area. Mike was awarded the UFAW Medal in 2014 for his contributions to animal welfare science, and the RSPCA/BSAS Award for Innovative Developments in Animal Welfare in 2015. Mike also works on more applied animal welfare issues, with current interests in the relationship between housing and husbandry procedures and the health and welfare of farm, laboratory and zoo animals, and chronic pain conditions in domestic dogs.