Position/Title: Ph.D. Candidate
Phone: (519) 731 5491
Office: ANNU 045
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Animal Bioscience at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Tina Widowski (http://animalbiosciences.uoguelph.ca/abscpeople/twidowsk). I grew up in Switzerland where I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology with special qualifications in animal behaviour. My interests revolve around social behaviour, behavioural development and individual variation and how these traits relate to animal welfare. During my bachelor and master studies, I had the opportunity to participate in 4 short-term internships in the institutes of behavioural biology (one in the evolution of sociality and one in marine biology), community ecology and evolutionary biology; two of these resulting in publications.
I completed my Master thesis at the Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ; https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home/das-blv/organisation/organigramm/ts...) at the University of Bern, Switzerland, on the influence of keel bone fractures on laying hen behaviour in a non-cage housing system.
Experiencing some of the consequences of performance-oriented food production has motivated me to continue my career in applied ethology. The objective of my PhD study is to determine the effects of different commercial rearing aviary designs on activity patterns, locomotory abilities, and behavioural characteristics of different strains of laying hen pullets. For more information see https://youtu.be/DpmYBDMWQZY, https://youtu.be/cBFcnwpfYLw, https://youtu.be/96L4H68o9Sc.
Widowski, T.M. & Rentsch, A.K., 2022, Farming poultry. in Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare (pp. 47-63), Routledge. ed. Knight, A., Phillips, C.J.C., Sparks, P., Taylor & Francis, 1st Edition, https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003182351-7
Rufener, C.B., Rentsch, A.K., Stratmann, A., Toscano, M.J., 2020, Perch Positioning Affects both Laying Hen Locomotion and Forces Experienced at the Keel, Animals 10(7):1223, https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071223
Rentsch, A.K., Rufener, C.B., Spadavecchia, C., Stratmann, A., Toscano, M.J., 2019. Laying hen’s mobility is impaired by keel bone fractures and does not improve with paracetamol treatment. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 216, 19–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.04.015
Gygax*, M., Rentsch*, A.K., Rudman, S.M., Rennison, D.J., 2018. Differential predation alters pigmentation in threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). J. Evol. Biol. 31. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13354
Rentsch, A.K., Rufener, C.B., Spadavecchia, C., Stratmann, A., Toscano, M.J., 2018. Effect of keel bone fractures on laying hen behaviour in a non-cage housing system, in: Prukner-Radovčić, E., Medić, H. (Eds.), The XVth European Poultry Conference. Croatian Branch of the World’s Poultry Science Association under the hospice of the World’s Poultry Science Journal, Dubrovnik, Croatia, http://www.wpsa.com/index.php/publications/wpsa-proceedings/2018/xvth-eu....
Schweinfurth, M.K., Neuenschwander, J., Engqvist, L., Schneeberger, K., Rentsch, A.K., Gygax, M., Taborsky, M., 2017. Do female Norway rats form social bonds? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-017-2324-2