Maja Makagon, Ph.D.

Maja Makagon

Position Title
Associate Professor

2245 Meyer Hall


  • B.S., University of Virginia, 2001 (Biology)
  • M.A., Cornell University, 2005 (Psychology)
  • Ph.D., University of California Davis, 2010 (Animal Behavior)

Research Interests

My research program focuses on interplay between the behavior, welfare and management of poultry, including ducks, turkeys, laying hens and broilers.  My lab focuses on 3 topic areas:  1) assessing the effects of the physical and social environments on bird behavior, 2) evaluating the relationship between behavior and bone integrity, and 3) developing and validating practical, species-specific welfare assessment measures.  A common goal of this work is to develop strategies to help minimize behavior-related poultry management issues while optimizing bird welfare and production.

Recent Areas of Focus:

  • Behavioral correlates of keel bone damage in laying hens
  • Thermoregulatory behavior of laying hens
  • Quantitative assessment of the walking abilities of Pekin ducks
  • Utility of the transect method as a tool for assessing the welfare of commercial turkeys
  • Use of essential oils for mitigating the spread of northern fowl mites
  • Improving nest use by commercial breeder ducks 

Graduate Groups

If you are interested in pursuing graduate research under my supervision please explore the two programs listedbelow and contact me to discuss current graduate research opportunities in the lab.