Browse/search for people

Dr Suzanne Held

Dr Suzanne Held

Dr Suzanne Held
B.Sc., Ph.D.(Wales)

Senior Lecturer in Animal Science

Area of research

Animal behaviour and welfare

Office Dolberry Building
Pearson Building,
Langford House, Langford BS40 5DU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 9401
+44 (0) 117 928 9571


My research addresses fundamental, welfare-relevant questions of animal behaviour and cognition.  I am interested in why domestic animals do what they do, and what implications this has for their welfare, health, productivity and management.

Currently active projects are on the effects of subclinical inflammation on behaviour, play behaviour as improving as well indicating welfare, and differentiation and validation of welfare indicators.

Research Keywords

  • social behaviour
  • individual response profiles
  • farm animal cognition
  • play behaviour
  • subclinical inflammation and behaviour


Research funders 

BBSRC, EU FP6, Defra, John Oldacre Foundation, RSPCA


Research Collaborators

Dr Liesbeth Bolhuis (Wageningen) - pig social behaviour and cognition

Prof Bill Browne (Bristol) - welfare indicators

Prof Richard Byrne (St Andrews) - pig social behaviour and cognition

Dr Andrew Janczak (Oslo) - subclinical inflammation and behaviour

Prof Georgia Mason (Guelph) - maternal behavioural profiles in pigs, play

Dr Luca Melotti (Bern) - play

Prof Mike Mendl (Bristol) - pig social behaviour and cognition, welfare indicators, individual response profiles, maternal behavioural profiles  in pigs

Prof Christine Nicol (Bristol) - welfare indicators and emotion transfer in chickens

Dr Liz Paul (Bristol) - welfare indicators and emotion transfer in chickens

Dr Nicola Rooney (Bristol) - pet rabbit behaviour and welfare, play

Dr Marek Špinka (Prague) - play

Dr Doug Wilson (Bristol) - subclinical inflammation and behaviour



BVSc Veterinary Science

I did my PhD on social behaviour and immune competence in rabbits at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, with Bob Wootton and Rod Turner.  After finishing in 1996 I first moved to the Dept. of Zoology at Oxford University, then onto Bristol in 1998 to work with Mike Mendl (Bristol) and Richard Byrne (St. Andrews) on pig social cognition. A further BBSRC-grant took me briefly back to Oxford to work on maternal behavioural styles in outdoor sows on a joint project with Mike Mendl and Georgia Mason (now Guelph). I also spent six months on a Royal Society Traveling Fellowship at the University of Waikato and AgResearch in Hamilton, NZ, with Lindsay Matthews, Bill Temple and Mary Foster.  After 7 months off on maternity leave in 2005-2006, I am now back at Bristol for research and teaching on the BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare.


  • social behaviour
  • farm animal cognition
  • play behaviour
  • subclinical inflammation and behaviour

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Dr Liesbeth Bolhuis (Wageningen)
  • Prof Richard Byrne (St Andrews)
  • Prof Michael Mendl
  • Dr Nicky Rooney
  • Dr Doug Wilson

Edit this profile If you are Dr Suzanne Held, you can edit this page. Login required.

PDF versionDownload PDF