NVG Meeting 2018

Annual NVG meeting 2018 and PhD WORKSHOP
In Egmond aan Zee
Wednesday 28 November 18.00 – Friday 30 November 14:30

Early bird deadline: Extended to 15 Oktober


The 2018 NVG meeting will be held from Wednesday November 28st to Friday November 30th in conference hotel ‘Zuiderduin’ in Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands (WEBSITE).

The meeting starts on Wednesday evening 18:00h, after the PhD workshop (see below) and will go untill Friday 14:30h. Highlights of this meeting are the keynote lectures, including the Brill Baerends Lecture*, for which internationally renowned behavioural biologists are invited.

There is ample space for everyone to present, we always try to fit most of the talks into our program. So register your abstract as soon as possible.

The Brill Baerends Lecture on Wednesday will be presented by Prof. Sarah Brosnan.

Sarah Brosnan is Professor of Psychology, Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University and holds a visiting professor position at the Michale E. Keeling for Comparative Medicine and Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center. She studies the evolution of decision-making behavior, using an experimental economic approach to compare responses across multiple species, primarily in non-human primates and human adults and children. A major focus of her work is how individuals decide in what situations and with whom to cooperate, particularly in situations in which they receive a different outcome from a social partner. She is a Fellow of the APA and SESP and has published in Nature, Science, PNAS and Current Biology and is funded by NSF, NIH, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) and the Templeton foundation. In 2009, she was named one of the 150 most influential alumni in the 150 year history of her alma mater, Baylor University.

Other Keynote speakers include:

Bas Rodenburg:

Bas Rodenburg is Professor in Animal Welfare at the Department of Animals in Science and Society (DASS) of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He is also guest researcher at the Adaptation Physiology Group of Wageningen University. He coordinates research and education in animal welfare. The research of Bas Rodenburg aims at improving the methodology for assessment of animal welfare. He mainly wants to focus on behavioural indicators and methods where the animals themselves are ‘asked’ how they experience their livening conditions. A second important area is the study of behaviour and welfare of individual animals housed in social groups. Bas Rodenburg obtained his PhD on feather pecking in laying hens in Wageningen in 2003 and since then he has been mainly involved in farm animal behaviour and welfare. In his current position, his research is broadening out and also focusing on more general concepts in animal behaviour and welfare. He is currently President of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE; 2017-2019), member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Review Editor), Animal Welfare (Section Editor Poultry), and Poultry Science (Section Editor Animal Well-Being and Behavior). Bas is Vice Chair of the EU COST Action GroupHouseNet (2016-2020), focusing on solutions for tail biting in pigs and feather pecking in laying hens. He is also involved in the EU COST Action KeelBoneDamage (2016-2020), aiming to find solutions for the problem of keel bone fractures in laying hens.

Stefano Nolfi:

Stefano Nolfi is a research director of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council and head of the Laboratory of Autonomous Robots and Artificial Life. Stefano conducted pioneering research in Artificial Life and is one of the founders of Evolutionary Robotics. His main research interest is in study of how embodied and situated agents can develop behavioural and cognitive skills autonomously by adapting to their task/environment. Stefano authored and co-authored more than 150 peer-review scientific publications including a monograph book on Evolutionary Robotics published by MIT Press in 2000 and an edited book on Evolution of Communication and Language in Embodied Agents published by Springer Verlag in 2010. He coordinated and participated to several research projects founded by international agencies including:  the European Science Foundation Project on Hierarchical Heterogeneous Swarm (H2Swarm), the EU-FP7 Integrated Project on Transfer of Action and Language Knowledge in Robots (I-TALK),  the EU-FP7 Strep Project  on Towards Humanoid Robotic Swarms (SWARMANOID), EU-FP6 Integrated Project on Embodied and Communicating Agents (ECAgents), the EU-FP5 Strep Project on Swarms of Self-Assembling Artifacts (SWARM-BOTS).

Christian Tudorache:

Christian Tudorache is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biology in Leiden University, the Netherlands. He studies the link between consistent behavioural (personality) and underlying physiological traits, termed coping styles. Christian studies coping styles in fish, the largest taxonomic group of vertebrates, combining multiple research lines, such as stress coping and the biological clock, but also animal welfare and conservation physiology. In his approach, he is looks at various levels of biological function simultaneously, such as physiology, biomechanics and behaviour. After finishing his undergraduate studies in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Christian obtained his PhD at Antwerp University, on the topic of ecophysiology and swimming energetics of migrating fishes. After a postdoc position at the University of New Brunswick, CA, he returned to the Netherlands, where he received a NWO-VENI grant to study the migration behaviour and physiology of the elusive European eel. Next to publishing in high-ranking journals and contributing an invited book chapter on volitional locomotion, he is part of the editorial board of Conservation Physiology. He is member of the Society of Experimental Biology, the American Fisheries Society, and the International Society for Fish Endocrinology. Christian participates in the management committees for the COST-actions Conservation Physiology of Marine Fishes (FA1004) and Fitfish (FA1304).


What is Open Science and why practice it?

Wednesday 28 November 2018, 10.00 – 17.30


The annual NVG PhD Workshop will take place in 2018 in Egmond aan Zee. The goal of these workshops is to facilitate contact and discussion among PhD students in behavioural biology. Normally there are about 20 PhD students and 2 senior researchers, all of whom will be present throughout the day.

The workshop will consist of three main parts:

1) Dr Antica Culina (https://nioo.knaw.nl/en/employees/antica-culina) will introduce the topic ‘”What is Open Science and why practice it?”. Open science is a movement that aims to make all parts of scientific process (research plan, data, code, and publication) available to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. This movement is gaining increasing traction with funding agencies, including NWO (see https://www.nwo.nl/en/policies/open+science), who require and/or encourage practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge.

2) A series of talks by research students about their work plans (10 minutes talk + 20 minutes discussion). All of the students (including those who are not presenting a talk) + the senior researchers are present and contribute to the discussion. Although not all the students present their work, the discussions typically range across a whole series of general issues related to research (the importance of the research question, the approach chosen, the design of behavioural experiments, data analysis, etc). Starting PhD students (in the first or second year of their PhD research) are particularly encouraged to offer a presentation. Recently, one of the talks that generated the most useful discussion (both for the student and audience) was given by a PhD student who had started their project only 6 weeks before: this is a good chance to think about your project plans and get useful feedback!

3) Group discussions about Open Science. A chance to express your opinion about the conduct of research and publications.

Provisional program:

Coffee available from 9.30 am

10.00 – 11.00 Lecture: What is Open Science and why practice it? (Dr Antica Culina, NIOO-KNAW)

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee & Tea

11.30 – 12.30 Student Talks + Discussion

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.00 Student Talks + Discussion

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee & Tea

15.30 – 16.30 Student Talks + Discussion

16.30 – 17.30 Group discussion

For other information on the PhD workshop contact: Jean-Christophe Billeter: j.c.billeter@rug.nl

Registration fee for the PhD workshop: €90, including lunch and tea/coffee