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Per Jensen

Professor of Ethology

I am the scientific leader of the AVIAN group, consisting of five principal investigators, and a total of about 35 people including technicians and master students. The research of my own lab within the AVIAN group is focused on genomic aspects on welfare and behaviour, where domestication related effects form a central framework. Chickens and dogs are the main models for this. In our hatchery (Kruijt) and experimental chicken house (Wood-Gush), we keep two different populations of red junglefowl, a model laying strain, and various crosses between these animals. We cooperate with the Swedish Defence Forces to study their dog breeding program, and also use companion dogs and the standardised behaviour tests common in Sweden. This is combined with molecular methods such as QTL-analysis and microarray technique to find the genetic basis for various behaviour affected by domestication, such as social behaviour, learning and stress reactions.

The overall aim of the research is to find genes and genetic mechanisms related to welfare and domestication. I have a particular interest in epigenetic aspects and transgenerational effects of stress. This means that the research also deals with stress biology and the long-term effects of perinatal experiences.

I teach courses in genetics (basic level) and in animal behaviour (advanced level and masters level). I also have a number of undergraduate thesis projects every year, usually supervised in cooperation with PhD-students.

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ERC Advanced Grant Holder

My research is mainly supported by the Swedish research councils VR and FORMAS. I am associate leader of the Swedish Center of Excellence in Animal Welfare Science, which is a so called "Strong Research Environment", financed by FORMAS. This center is run in association with SLU, and Linda Keeling is the coordinator of it. My group is also part of the LiU-Neuro network, which is a cross-faculty research center for neurobiology, and I am member of the steering group.

I was awarded an advanced grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2013, for a project called GENEWELL - genetics and epigenetics of animal welfare. This consists of a 2.5 million Euro grant over a five years period, and the main focus of the research program is to elucidate the epigenetic aspects of stress and welfare in chickens, and to use dogs as models for identifying behavioural genes.


Responsible for this page: Per Jensen
Last updated: 03/10/15