Dr Carole Fureix

Dr Carole Fureix

Lecturer in Animal Welfare

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



2006-2010 PhD in Ethology,University of Rennes 1, France

2002-2004 MSc in Neurosciences, Behaviour & Cognition, University Toulouse 3, France

1999-2002 BSc Psychology, University Grenoble 2, France

Previous positions 

09/2014 - 08/2016 Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Bristol, UK

01/2012 - 02/2014 Research Fellow, University of Guelph, Canada

09/2010 - 08/2011 Associated Researcher and Lecturer, University of Rennes 1, France

09-12/2011, 2009, 2008 Associated Lecturer in Ethology (psychology program), Guingamp University, France

Professional membership

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour International Society for Applied Ethology UK Animal Welfare Research Network

Roles on external bodies

Organizing Committee of the UK Animal Welare Research Network, which aims to foster enhanced collaboration and cohesion within the UK animal welfare research community, including researchers in related disciplines, with a view to increasing successful grant-funded research and promoting the impact of research outputs.

Teaching interests

My teaching focuses on animal behaviour and welfare, and I currently teach on the following courses:

BIO 014 Issues in Biology (Module leader)

BIOL119 Introduction to Biology

BIOL227 Animal Health and Welfare 

BIOL 224 Animal Behaviour and Welfare Field Course

BIOL 229 Neurobiology and Behaviour (depute module leader)

BIOL 315 Personal Research

BIOL 319 Animals and Society

GEES 001 Study and Mathematical Skills for Science 

Research interests

Animal welfare is dependent on what animals feel (their emotional state). Accurate measures of animal emotions are thus essential in order to correctly assess whether the ways we house and manage domestic and captive animals promote good well-being. However measuring animal emotion can be challenging because we cannot know for sure about the subjective experiences of other species. My research interests are in developing and validating behavioural, cognitive and postural indicators of animal emotion (affect). 

My current research aims to test the hypothesis that displaying a specific form of waking inactivity in the home cage/pen; namely remaining motionless but awake with eyes open (as if the animal is 'doing nothing'); reflects depression-like states in the most inactive individuals. The evaluate whether this is so, I use clinically depressed people as a 'model' for animals, and investigate whether i) waking inactivity is triggered in animals (mice) by the same risk factors that cause depression in humans; ii) whether it co-varies in animals (mice, horse, rats, dogs) with a range of symptoms similar to those of depressed people; and iii) whether its is alleviated by antidepressant treatments that cure depression in humans or by housing the animals (mice) in enriched conditions. Depression is a common and major cause of major suffering in humans, and that animals could be affected by a similar condition has crucial implications for how we view and manage their well-being.

Other research

Human-animal relationship 

Member of the UoP Animal Behaviour Research group

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

16 MSc project to completion (2007-present)

Grants & contracts

BBSRC Responsive Mode Research Grant - Validating inactivity in the home cage as an indicator of depression-like state in mice, £541,619, collaboration Bristol University 

WALTHAM Collaborative Behaviour and Welfare Award - Out of the darkness: are some dogs in a depression-like condition? £19,800, collaboration University of Nottingham

Marie Curie European Union FP7-PEOPLE-IEF Postdoctoral Fellowship - Memory bias and affective state: a new cognitive indicator of animal affect, 220,000 euros

Fyssen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Testing animal models of depression: what does profound inactivity mean in laboratory rodents? 50,000 euro

Université Rennes 1 / CNRS grant to carry interdisciplinary research - using body postures as a meaningful indicator of emotional states, 15,000 euros, collaboration Universities Rennes 1, 2 and INRA 

Creative practice & artistic projects

For a Public Engagement event (2015 Bristol Bright Night), I have designed and organized a photographic 'Chinese whisper' activity involving 30 Marie Curie research fellows (working in diverse fields) as a way to tell the public about our research. 

This activity started with one picture (that I took myself) highlighting elements of my own research in animal welfare, that I sent to a second fellow, who created a photographic response to this picture (keeping some elements that reminded him/her of his/her work, but also adding element from his/her own research). This second picture was then sent to a third fellow, whom in turn created his/her own picture sent to a fourth fellow, etc. This produced a chain of pictures in reaction to the initial picture showing both diversity and convergence of our research activities, that we exhibited and explained to the public on the night of the event.

Participants provided very positive feedback, including how creating the picture was thought-provoking as it required a deep and clear understanding of knowledge for a research project to be correctly summarized into one single arty production; increased self-confidence while communicating their research; novel insights into the potential impact of their research; interest in developing collaborative projects; and (last but not least): that it was fun!

(if you were interested in seeing if similar activities merging science and artistic productions could be adapted to UoP students, please do get in touch).


1. Henry S, Henry S, Fureix C, Rowberry R,Bateson M, Hausberger M (2017) Do horses with poor welfare show"pessimistic" cognitive biases? Naturwissenchaften 104(8): 1-15

2. Górecka-Bruzda A, Fureix C, Ouvrard A,Bourjade M, Hausberger M (2016) Investigating determinants of yawning in thedomestic (Equus caballus) andPrzewalski (Equus ferus Przewalskii)horse. Naturwissenchaften,103(9-10):72

3. Walker M, Fureix C, Palme R, Newman J,Ahloy-Dallaire J, Mason G (2016) Refinement and Reduction via Mixed-strainHousing: a Validation Study for Female C57BL/6, DBA/2, and BALB/c Mice, BMC Medical Research methodology,16:11

4. Fureix C, Walker M, Harper L, Reynolds K,Saldivia-Woo A, Mason G (2016) Stereotypic behaviour in standard non-enrichedcages is an alternative to depression-like responses in C57BL/6 mice. Behav Brain Res, 305: 186-190

5. Rochais C, Fureix C, Lesimple C, Hausberger M(2016) Lower attention to daily environment: a novel cue for detecting chronichorses' back pain? ScientificReports 6:20117

6. Rochais C, Henry S, Fureix C, Hausberger M(2016) Investigating attentional processes in depression-like domestic horses (Equus caballus). Behav processes, 124:93-97

7. Phillips D, Choleris E, Ervin K, Fureix C,Harper L, Reynolds K, Mason G (2016) Cage-induced stereotypic behaviour inlaboratory mice covaries with nucleus accumbens FosB/<DELTA>FosBexpression. Behav Brain Res,301: 238–242

8. Tallet C, Sénèque E, Mégnin C, Morisset S,Val-Laillet D, Salaün M-C, Fureix C, Hausberger M. (2016) Assessing walkingposture with geometric morphometrics: effects of rearing environment in pigs, Appl Anim Behav Sci 174: 32–41

9. Hausberger M, Fureix C, Lesimple C (2016).Detecting horses’ sickness: in search of visible signs. Appl Anim Behav Sci 175: 41-49

10. Fureix C, Meagher R (2015). What caninactivity reveal about affective states in non-humans? A review. Appl Anim Behav Sci 171: 8-24

11. Harper L, Choleris E, Fureix C, Ervin K,Reynolds K, Walker M, Mason G (2015). Stereotypic mice are aggressed by theircagemates, and tend to be poor demonstrators in social learning tasks. Anim Welfare 24: 463-473

12. Fureix C, Beaulieu C, Argaud S, Rochais C,Quinton M, Henry S, Hausberger M, Mason G (2015) Investigating anhedonia in anon-conventional species: are some riding horses (Equus caballus) depressed? Appl Anim Behav Sci 162: 26–36

13. Blois-Heulin C, Rochais C, Camus S, Fureix C,Lemasson A, Lunel C, Bézard E, Hausberger M (2015) Animal welfare: could adultplay be a false friend? Anim Behav Cog 2(2):156-185

14. Lesimple C, Fureix C, Biquand V, HausbergerM (2013) Comparison of clinical examinations of back disorders and humans'evaluation of back pain in riding school horses. BMC Vet Res 10/2013 9(1): 209

15. Walker M, Fureix C, R Palme, G Mason (2013).Co-Housing rodents with different coat colours as a simple, non-Invasive meansof individual Identification: validating mixed-strain housing for C57BL/6 andDBA/2 mice. PloS One 8(10):e77541

16. Fureix C, Benhajali H, Henry S,Bruchet A, Prunier A, Ezzaouia M, Coste C,Hausberger M, Palme R, Jego P (2013). Plasma cortisol and faecal cortisol metabolitesconcentrations in stereotypic and non-stereotypic horses: Do stereotypic horsescope better with poor environmental conditions? BMC Vet Res 9(3): 1746-6148

17. Lesimple C, Fureix C, De Margerie E, SénèqueE, Menguy H, Hausberger, M (2012) Towards a postural indicator of back pain inhorses (Equus caballus). Plos ONE 7(9): e44604

18. Fureix C, Jego P, Henry S, Lansade L, Hausberger M(2012) Towards a Naturalistic Animal Model of Depression? A Study on Horses. Plos ONE 7(6): e39280

19. Hausberger M, Fureix C, Bourjade M, Swessel-RobertS, Richard-Yris M-A (2012) On the significance of adult play. Naturwissenchaften 99(4): 291-302

20. Fureix C, Bourjade M, Henry S, Sankey C,Hausberger M (2012) (invited) Exploring aggression regulation in groups ofhorses. Appl Anim Behav Sci 138:216- 228

21. Fureix C, Hausberger M, Seneque E, MorissetS, Baylac M, Cornette R, Biquand V, Deleporte P (2011) Geometric morphometricsfor ethologists: improving the comparative study of behavioural postures, Naturwissenchaften 98:583–592

22. Fureix C, Górecka-Bruzda A, Gautier E,Hausberger M (2011) Co-occurrence of yawning and stereotypic behaviour inhorses Equus caballus. ISRN Zool: ID 271209

23. Lesimple C, Fureix C, Le Scolan N,Richard-Yris M-A, Hausberger M (2011) Housing conditions and breed areassociated with emotionality and cognitive abilities in riding school horses. Appl Anim Behav Sci 129(2-4): 92-99

24. Fureix C, Menguy H, Hausberger M (2010)Partners with Bad Temper: Reject or Cure? A Study of Chronic Pain andAggression in Horses. PloS ONE5(8): e12434

25. Lesimple C, Fureix C, Menguy H, Hausberger M(2010) Human direct actions may alter animal welfare, A study on horses (Equus caballus). PloS ONE 5(4): e10257

26. Sankey C, Richard-Yris MA, Henry S, Fureix C,Nassur F, Hausberger M (2010) Reinforcement as a mediator of the perception ofhumans by horses (Equus caballus).Anim Cogn 13(5): 753-764

27. Fureix C, Jego P, Hausberger M (2009) Howhorses (Equus caballus) see theworld: humans as significant objects. Anim Cogn 12(4): 643-654

28. Fureix C, Pagès M, Bon R, Lassalle J-M,Kuntz P, Gonzalez G (2009) A preliminary study of the effects of handling typeon horses’ emotional reactivity and the human–horse relationship. Behav Processes 82(2): 202-210

29. Daurat A, Foret J, Bret-Dibat JL, Fureix C,Tiberge M (2008) Spatial and temporal memories are affected by sleepfragmentation in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 6:1-11

30. Tiberge M, Daurat A, Dibat JB, Fureix C,Foret J (2006) Spatial and temporal memories are affected by hypoxia in OSASpatients. J Sleep Res 15(suppl1): 71-71

Other academic activities

Peer-reviewing forinternational journals : Plos One, Frontiers inNeurosciences, Physiol & Behav, Anim Cogn, Anim Welfare, J Comp Psychol, ResVet Sci, J Equine Vet Sci, J Vet Med Anim Health, Animals

Peer reviewing for conferences : International Ethological Conference 2009 (Rennes, France) and 2013 (Newcastle, UK); Annual Animal Welfare Research Symposium 2012, 2013 (Guelph,Canada)