Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)
Kathy Broekmeulen (ESR 9) Starting Feb 2021
- Host: University of Bern
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I obtained my BSc and MSc in Animal Sciences at Wageningen University, where I developed a keen interest in intensive livestock farming, adaptation physiology and animal welfare. While studying I have come across numerous animal welfare issues that have arisen in modern poultry production systems, especially during early life and critical transition periods, such as the hatching of chickens. I was first introduced to the hatchery environment during my master’s, after which I decided to focus on embryonic development and the incubation process of various poultry species. I have written my master thesis on the analysis of broiler chicken blastoderm cell viability after prolonged storage. My thesis has given me the opportunity to develop a protocol to analyse the quality of blastoderm cells and to perform egg and chick quality assessments in the hatchery.
After finishing my master thesis, I went to South Africa for a research internship with the Animal Sciences Department of the Western Cape Government of Agriculture. During my stay, I spent most of my time on an ostrich research farm researching the incubation process of ostrich eggs in relation to embryonic mortality.
Most recently, I have worked on a poultry health platform, which is aimed at informing and educating poultry farmers on innovative vaccination methods and strategies. In 2021, I’ll be starting a PhD in the field of poultry welfare that will assess effects of on-farm hatching on the behavior and welfare of future layers.