An interview with Carla van der Pol – Head of Research at HatchTech

“We always look ahead. How can we improve?”
An interview with Carla van der Pol – Head of Research at HatchTech

Her passion for research and her interest in chicken adaptation physiology drove Carla van der Pol to HatchTech for a Ph.D. after her MSc. Today, as head of the research department, Carla is always looking for new insights and possibilities. “The research we do is brought into practice with new products and innovations. That gives a great sense of fulfillment.”

 Carla has always been interested in animals. At first, she thought about studying Veterinary Medicine, but eventually, she chose to study Animal Sciences at Wageningen University & Research. “I liked the focus on health and prevention instead of diseases. How can we develop healthier animals?” Carla explains. During her study, she specialized in Adaptation Physiology with a focus on chickens?. “How can animals adapt to their environment and how do they cope with certain circumstances like disease, warmth/cold, etc. A really interesting field!” Carla tells. During those years, she also discovered her passion for conducting research. When her supervisor drew her attention to a PhD-vacancy at HatchTech, after her Master’s program, Carla did not hesitate.

The influence of light

“In my PhD-research I investigated the effect of lighting on leg bone development and leg health during incubation and the brooding phase. A topic that has had a great influence on the development of the HatchCare, the hatcher with feed, fresh water, and light”, Carla looks back. In 2018 Carla obtained her Ph.D. on this topic and continued working at HatchTech as a researcher. For a few years, she’s been head of the Research team now.

A great combination

“Being head of the Research-department is the best of both worlds. On the one hand I work in the field and conduct research myself, together with my team of course. On the other hand I manage the team, support them with their own research and make important company-wide decisions together with other members of the management team at HatchTech.” Next to her job itself, also the company HatchTech plays an important role in her enthusiasm. “What I like about HatchTech is that it’s an innovative company that looks ahead. Everyone thinks in possibilities and tries to find solutions to do things better in future. How can we improve and what do we want to develop further? That’s a great spirit to work with I think.”

Current research

Carla tells about the research the department is working on at the moment. “Currently we do a lot of research on in-ovo sexing, the technique which makes it possible to distinguish between female and male hatching eggs on the 9th day of incubation. On the one hand we look at the existing technique and how we can optimize this. On the other hand we look at a future perspective and novelties that might help us to get there.”

“Next to in-ovo, we’re also doing research with regard to the transportation of chicks. How can we optimize the circumstances for chicks during transport, what do they need to feel most comfortable?.”

Future goal

The ultimate goal Carla would like to achieve with her Research-team? “I hope that we are able to conduct in-ovo sexing on day ‘zero’ of the incubation process. When there is not even a real embryo. That would really be the icing on the cake of all the work we’ve done so far.”

This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. Agree by clicking the 'Accept' button.