Helena Telkänranta Helena Telkänranta

Scientist, nonfiction author
Cat image  Pig image  Crow image
Suomeksi (in Finnish)

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My current research activites are as follows:

At the University of Bristol in the UK, I am developing new methods to use infrared thermography to measure animal emotions. The project is carried out at the School of Veterinary Sciences, in which I am a honorary research fellow. The project builds on previous research by myself and colleagues at the Research Centre for Comparative Cognition of the University of Helsinki in Finland, in collaboration with Heureka - the Finnish Science Centre.

I am also currently finalizing a PhD thesis for the University of Helsinki. In this project, called New innovations for environmental enrichment on pig farms and funded by the Minisrty of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland, we developed and tested low-cost solutions for the reduction of tail biting and other problem behaviours caused by barren environments.

For my scientific publications, pls see the research database of the University of Helsinki.

Contact details
 address and email in Bristol

Science communication

Part of my work consists of providing lay audiences with up-to-date knowledge on the science of animal behaviour and cognition. Most of it has been in the Finnish language so far, in the form of books, magazine articles and public lectures.

The Finnish-language body of work has been recognized with awards by the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists, the Finnish Federation for the Animal Welfare Associations and the Finnish Association of Non-fiction Writers. The book Millaista on olla eläin? ("What's it like to be an animal?"), an in-depth look into animal cognition for lay readers, has also won a State Award for Public Information, awarded by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, as well as the Lauri Jäntti award for outstanding non-fiction literature.

Educational outreach
to improve elephant welfare

Elephant Experts is a non-profit organization disseminating scientific knowledge on elephant behaviour, training and welfare. We work in constructive collaboration with people and organizations that are professionally involved with working elephants in Asia, in order to improve elephant welfare and occupational safety.

Training a young elephant in Nepal
                            Photo by Nirvay Sah / Elephant Experts