Aaron B. Stephan, Ph.D.


Director of biological research and development



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Presentation description:

Technology presentation
Transforming poultry welfare with science-based approaches

The welfare and humane treatment of animals has always been a priority for poultry growers and processors. However, the last decade has shown a “top-down” consumer- and activist-driven approach to animal welfare. Many of these programs and procedures are fraught with non-scientific presumptions based on anthropomorphization of animals. This presentation proposes a paradigm shift where animal-centric welfare measurements would be prioritized over management practices.


Aaron Stephan, Ph.D., brings over 15 years of scientific research spanning sensory genetics to microbiology to plant science. As director of biological research and development, Stephan leads genetic animal research to develop innovative technologies that apply light’s influence on physiology, development, and welfare of poultry and livestock. To this end, Stephan conducts research at ONCE and in collaboration with industry and academic professionals that carry scientific advancements from conception to commercialization. Stephan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in biology from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining ONCE, he worked at the University of California, San Diego.

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