Sarah Adcock

Animal Welfare Science @ UW-Madison

Assistant Professor - Animal Welfare

Research, Teaching



Office Location

1675 Observatory Dr
1046 Animal Sciences
Madison, WI 53706

Ph.D. Animal Behavior, University of California-Davis, 2020 

M.Sc. Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2014 

B.Sc. Biology, McGill University, 2012 

Sarah Adcock joined the Department as an Assistant Professor of Animal Welfare in 2020. Her research interests include: 1) Evaluating how farm practices affect animal behavior, physiology and productivity, and developing strategies to optimize these outcomes; and 2) Understanding the interconnections between animal welfare, socio-economic, and environmental challenges on a local and global scale. A common goal of these research objectives is to achieve sustainable, socially responsible food production that benefits humans and animals alike. To this end, Sarah is interested in using interdisciplinary approaches that span the biological, social and engineering sciences. 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Woods, J.M., Adcock, S.J.J. 2023. Estimating animal location from non-overhead camera views. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 266: 106032.
Drwencke, A.M., Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2023. Wound healing and pain sensitivity following caustic paste disbudding in dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science. 106: 6375-6387.
Adcock, S.J.J., Downey, B.C., Owens, C., Tucker, C.B. 2023. Behavioral changes in the first 3 weeks after disbudding in dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science. 106: 6365-6374.

Reedman, C., Duffield, T., DeVries, T., Lissemore, K., Adcock, S., Tucker, C., Parsons, S., Winder, C. 2022. Impact of plane of nutrition and analgesic drug treatment on wound healing following cautery disbudding in preweaned dairy calvesJournal of Dairy Science. 105: 6220-6239.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2022. Buffering lidocaine heightens aversion to cornual nerve injections in dairy calvesJournal of Dairy Science. 105: 4490-4497

Adcock, S.J.J., 2021. Early life painful procedures: Long-term consequences and implications for farm animal welfareFrontiers in Animal Science. 2: 759522.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2021. Burn injury alters motivational trade-offs in dairy calves during the healing periodScientific Reports. 11: 6888.

Adcock, S.J.J., Cruz, D., Tucker, C.B. 2020. Behavioral changes in calves 11 days after cautery disbudding: Effect of local anesthesia. Journal of Dairy Science. 103: 8518-8525.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2020. The effect of early burn injury on sensitivity to future painful stimuli in dairy heifers. PLOS One. 15: e0233711.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2020. Naïve domestic Bos taurus calves recognize the scent of a canine predator. Animal Behaviour. 164: 173-180.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2020. Conditioned place preference reveals ongoing pain in calves 3 weeks after disbudding. Scientific Reports.10: 3849.

Alvarez, L., Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2019. Sensitivity and wound healing after hot-iron disbudding in goat kids. Journal of Dairy Science 102: 10152–10162.

Adcock, S.J.J., Vieira, S.K., Alvarez, L., Tucker, C.B. 2019. Iron and laterality effects on healing of cautery disbudding wounds in dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science 102: 10163-10172. 

Jimenez, R.E., Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2019. Acute pain responses in dairy calves undergoing cornual nerve blocks with or without topical anesthetic. Journal of Dairy Science 102: 3431-3438. 

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2018. The effect of disbudding age on healing and pain sensitivity in dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science 101: 10361–10373. 

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B., Weerasinghe, G., Rajapaksha, E. 2018. Communication: Branding practices on four dairies in Kantale, Sri Lanka. Animals 8: 137. 

Selected Book Chapters

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. 2018. Painful procedures: When and what should we be measuring? In: Advances in Cattle Welfare, Tucker, C.B. (Ed), Elsevier, Duxford, United Kingdom. p.157-198.

Selected Popular Press

Drwencke, A.M., Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. Tools, timing, and techniques to consider for disbudding. Calf-Tel Blog. October 2022.

Drwencke, A.M., Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. Questions and answers about caustic paste disbudding. Hoard’s Dairyman. September 2022.

Adcock, S.J.J., Tucker, C.B. New research shows calves experience pain for 9 weeks after disbudding. Progressive Dairyman. 8 November, 2018.

Selected Videos

UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Disbudding calves. Youtube. 5 April, 2020.

Undergraduate Courses

AN SCI 245 Animal Welfare (3 credits, Fall)
Course description: Explores animal welfare topics from the animal’s perspective. Analyzes contemporary welfare issues and policies based on our scientific understanding of the experiences of animals. Emphasizes farmed animals, but also draws on examples from zoo, lab, and companion animals.
Requirements: None

Graduate Courses

AN SCI 875 Research Ethics (2 credits, Spring)
Course description: Navigates some of the complex ethical and personal issues involved in being a researcher in an academic institution. Uses literature and contemporary events to discuss scientific integrity and help students define or refine their own ethical standards.
Requirements: Graduate/professional standing

Undergraduate Animal & Veterinary Biosciences Committee

Animal and Dairy Sciences Recruitment Committee

Insect Welfare Research Society Board of Advisors

Chancellor’s Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research, UC Davis