On Monday 14th May 2018, the Nencki Institute hosted a scientific session „Biology of behaviour of the domestic dog”, organized as a part of the celebrations of its 100th anniversary. The session was organized by Anna Gadomska and Katarzyna Patej („Z PSEM W PEŁNI”), Polish Ethological Society and Nencki Institute. The Organising Committee included three members from the team of the Laboratory of Ethology within the Nencki Institite, Prof. Ewa J. Godzińska, Dr. Julita Korczyńska and Dr. Anna Szczuka. The session was attended by 50 participants, mostly from Warsaw and the surrounding area, combined with other regions of Poland (Gdańsk, Jarków, Kielce, Kraków and Wrocław), and the international community (Canada, The Netherlands).
The scientific programme of the session (attached) included six lectures devoted to various aspects of the biology and behaviour of the domestic dog and ethological, environmental, neurobiological, hormonal and genetic mechanisms implicated in its causation. The inaugural lecture „Integrating sensory neuroscience, ethology and psychophysics for a better science of scent processing by canines” was delivered by Dr Simon Gadbois (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada), who also acted as a moderator for the final discussion. The remaining lectures were delivered by researchers from scientific institutions in Poland: Prof. Tadeusz Jezierski (Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec), Prof. Ewa J. Godzińska (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences), Michał Dzięcioł, DVM (Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences), Dr. Anna Reinholz (University of Warsaw), and Dr. Katarzyna Fiszdon (Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW). The main issues discussed in these lectures included various methods used in the research on scent detection by dogs, the role of olfactory communication and hormonal factors in the mediation of canine sexual behaviour, lateralization of processing of auditory stimuli in the canine brain, and factors influencing work efficiency in service dogs. Prof. E. J. Godzińska also recapitulated principal scientific achievements of the research on dog behaviour and its ethological and neurobiological mechanisms carried out at the Nencki Institute in the course of 100 years of its history. A particular emphasis was laid on the groundbreaking discoveries of Jerzy Konorski and other members of his research school.