The goal of the Animal Behavior and Cognition lab is to investigate whether animal personality traits influence how an an individual copes with environmental and social stress (i.e., decision-making, risk-taking), as well as how the animal expresses its internal state, in order to enhance animal-based and species-specific measurements of welfare.

Knowledge of personality traits may allow animal caretakers to gauge social compatibility, customize environmental enrichment, and identify individuals more susceptible or resilient to stress.