Dr Krista McLennan

BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, MRSB, SFHEA, PGCTHLE; Deputy Head of Department for Biological Sciences and Senior lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Automated detection of facial expression in sheep

Stoical species such as sheep and cattle do not overtly express their affective state, especially when this could signal a potential limitation in their ability (McLennan, 2018). Being able to monitor and assess an animal in its natural environment without human presence is vital to capture the true affective state (McLennan et al., 2019). Together with colleagues from the University of Cambridge Computer Science Department, we have developed a system that can automatically detect individual sheep, individual facial movements and follow the face of a sheep through varying poses (Pessanha et al., 2020). Our current algorithm can also detect changes in the facial expression of sheep at different stages of disease.