Bjarne O. Braastad
Bjarne O. Braastad is Professor emeritus of Ethology (behavioral biology) in the Faculty of Biosciences at Norwegian University of Life Sciences, where he worked for 37 years until 2020. He was born on a farm with several animal species, including five cats. For his MSc degree in ethology, he studied homing behavior in cats, while his PhD in neurobiology was on development of visual brain cortex in cats. Since 1979, Bjarne has been working with research and teaching in animal behavior and animal welfare, and during 2001-2015 also on animal-assisted interventions using farm animals for humans with mental diseases (termed Green Care). Bjarne’s research work has comprised most farmed species incl. salmon, and a wide variety of ethological topics like prenatal stress, housing of farm animals, maternal behavior, cognitive neurobiology, and human-animal interactions. Bjarne has supervised a number of master’s projects on cat behavior. He has a keen interest in dissemination of scientific knowledge to animal owners and the general public – in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, on internet as well as talks at meetings, particularly addressing cat owners. In 2013 he received his university’s Research Dissemination Award for this work. In 1982, he initiated the foundation of The Norwegian Association of Cat Owners. Bjarne has a wife and two sons. The youngest one died at the age of 16 of acute leukemia. This cat book is dedicated to him. Bjarne and his wife are enthusiastic folk dancers, and Bjarne chairs the local folkdance group.