Ivana Schork
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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests are pure and applied animal behaviour and the welfare of both domesticated and wild species under human care. More specifically, I am interested in the development of novel techniques to monitor behaviour and welfare. 

My studies involve mostly mammals using a wide range of methodologies such as behavioural assessments, hormonal measurements, physiology, bioacoustics and the use of novel technologies such as wearable sensors and artificial intelligence (deep learning).

My current research focuses on sleep behaviour as a measure of animal welfare in domestic dogs and captive giraffes. To this end, several innovative technologies are being used to understand how sleep fragmentation may affect species behaviour leading to a decrease in quality of life.  This project is being developed in partnership with different institutions in the UK, Brazil, Austria, and Israel. 

In past research, I have investigated the welfare of captive carnivores at San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park evaluating how welfare relates to both captive and natural history, the zoo environment and behavioural diversity. During my MSc, I researched Military Police horses in Brazil, investigating how abnormal behaviours and health conditions are associated with individuals' personalities. As an undergrad, I was an intern at a Zoological Institution in South Brazil and my final year project comprised the investigation of the effectiveness of the different enrichment techniques being employed to increase behavioural diversity and welfare.

I have also a research interest in species conservation and management ex-situ and have worked as a field biologist in different population translocation and population monitoring projects in areas impacted by human activities (such as mining activities) in the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado areas in Brazil.


Current teaching

I am currently a module leader for:

  • Advances in Animal Behaviour (Postgraduate)
  • Companion Animal Welfare (Postgraduate)
  • Companion and Working Animal Regulations (Postgraduate)
  • Ethics and Welfare (Y2)
  • Professional Experience in the Animal Sector (Y2)

I contribute to teaching in the following modules:

  • Animal Behaviour (Y1)
  • Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity (Y1)

I am also a supervisor for undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in topics related to animal behaviour, animal welfare, zoo biology, zoology and canine science.

I am the Personal Academic Tutor for the Foundation Year Animal Cohort and for Y3 Bsc Bioveterinary.

External positions and memberships


  • Animal Welfare Research Network (AWRN)
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)
  • Sociedade Brasileira de Etologia (Brazilian Society for Ethology)

Education/Academic qualification

Animal Behaviour and welfare, PhD, Into the night: Evaluating sleep as a measure of animal welfare , University of Salford


Award Date: 30 Apr 2020

Zoology, MSc, Personality, abnormal behaviour and health: an evaluation of the welfare of police horses, PUC Minas


Award Date: 31 May 2012

Biological Sciences, BSC (hons), Effectiveness of the environmental enrichment routine at the Beto Carrero World Theme Park Zoo, UNIVALI


Award Date: 14 Aug 2009


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