• Easter Bush, Roslin Institute Building

    EH25 9RG Midlothian

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

1993 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My main areas of research involve using animal behaviour and other indicators to assess and understand animal welfare. More specifically my research interests are:

  • Welfare assessment measures in cattle: this research involves finding reliable and practical methods for assessing welfare in on-farm conditions
  • The use of precision livestock farming techiques to assess health and welfare
  • Personality/behavioural traits in dairy and beef cattle: involved in a number of projects characterising personality or behavioural traits in cattle, the genetic basis for these traits and how they relate to health and welfare
  • Effect of housing and management on the welfare of dairy cattle and calves
  • Cognition and emotion: investigation of emotional expression of animals and recognition of those states by other animals


Current projects:

  • ISCF TFP science and technology into practice: feasibility studies . (2020-2022; £225K).: Identifying best sensor technologies to deliver verifiable health & welfare, environment and processing quality benefits for dairy production. Led by Richard Dewhurst
  • Greenanimo: National Programme 'European Scientific Networks' (2020-2023).
  • Zoetis Europe Ltd.: Developing a Health-related Quality of Life Tools for bovine respiratory disease. £149K (2020-2022).
  • RESAS A3.5 Practical solutions to difficult welfare problems 2022-27
  • InnovateUK: D-FLOWS (D-Flows: Data for Livestock Optimisations for Wiser Supply Chains). £750K (2021-2023).
  • Defra: Animal Health and Welfare, Productivity and Sustainability Impacts of Housed Cattle, 2022-2023 £60K


PhD studentship (2018-2023): The effect of maternal care on the neurobiological, emotional and cognitive development of lambs

PhD studentship (2019-2023): Welfare assessment of salmon within aquaculture in Scotland

PhD studentship (2020-2024): Novel approaches to improving calf health: new technology and data analytics

PhD studentship (2021-2025): Using behaviour and technologies to detect early signs of disease in calves and laying hens

PhD studentship (2022-2026): Methods to assess canine mobility

Education/Academic qualification

PhD , University of Melbourne

1 Mar 19881 Mar 1992

Award Date: 5 May 1992

BSc (Hons), Massey University

2 Feb 19829 May 1986

Award Date: 9 May 1986


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