Photo by Michael P. King
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Van Os
I am an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My research focuses on understanding and improving quality of life for dairy animals. I also serve as the Communications Officer for the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) and as an expert on various animal welfare advisory councils.
In 2017, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Previously, I was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in the lab of Cassandra B. Tucker, Ph.D.
I received my Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Animal Behavior program at UC Davis in 2015. The findings from my dissertation research are published in Journal of Dairy Science and Applied Animal Behaviour Science. During graduate school, I gained diverse teaching experience in domestic animal production, behavior, and welfare, as well as in evolution and ecology and research methods.
Previously, I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University, where I studied human behavior. My honors thesis was on memory and awareness of deficits in Alzheimer’s patients, and my mentors were Andrew E. Budson, M.D., and Daniel L. Schacter, Ph.D. I then gained 6 years of professional experience in budget creation and management, planning, supervising, and staffing.
I first became interested in food production when I was growing up in Champaign, IL. My first job in high school was as a laboratory assistant in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois (UIUC). As a child, I remember attending the annual ag open house at UIUC. I am thrilled to have found my passion working to improve how dairy animals are raised.
I welcome collaborations with others seeking to promote a sustainable dairy industry and improve farm animal welfare.
Dairy Science MSc Students
Undergraduate volunteers: Current
- Yatong (Tiffany) Feng, Applied Statistics and Mathematics (2018 – )
- Amanda Gimenez, Animal Science (2019 – )
- Ashley Wagner, Animal Science (2019 – )
Undergraduate volunteers: Former