• Easter Bush, Roslin Institute Building

    EH25 9RG Midlothian

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

1996 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research uses animal behaviour as a way to measure animal welfare, or to understand and solve animal welfare problems which involve behaviour.

  • Behaviour-related welfare problems in pigs: social aggression, tail biting and mounting, and genetics of animal temperament in relation to these problems.
  • Hunger in ration-fed animals (dry sows and broiler breeder chickens). Using behaviour, motivation, neurophysiology and gut physiology to understand, measure and ameliorate the problem.
  • Precision livestock farming- collaborating to develop and validate agri-technology such as machine vision cameras and other sensors to monitor behaviour, health and welfare on farm.
  • Analysis of how wider drivers and issues impact animal welfare and policy (including trade, regulations, economics and climate change)

Projects

Current

  • 2022-2024 BBSRC IPA 'Pig ID: developing a deep learning machine vision system to track pigs using individual biometrics' (£612K)
  • 2022-2024 Defra/UKRI Innovate UK 'FarmSense: Ensuring sustainability of pig farming and automated monitoring using machine vision and volatile organic compound sensors' (£1.09M)
  • 2022-2027 Scottish Government RESAS PI on 'EU Exit – challenges and opportunities for animal welfare' Co-I on ‘Solutions to improve laying hen welfare’ and ‘Practical on-farm solutions for welfare and sustainability: Innovative on-farm solution to chronic welfare problems’ (£433K)

Previous (selected)

  • 2018-2021 Innovate UK ‘TailTech: Developing an early warning system for pig’ tail biting” (£220K)
  • 2016-2021 RESAS ‘Strategic research programme RD2.2.8’ (£265K/year)
  • 2017-2021 USDA-AFRI ‘Phenomics and Genomics of Behavioral and Growth Traits in Group Housed Pigs’ ($198K)
  • 2016-2018 Innovate UK ‘3D Tails: Early detection of tail biting in pigs using 3D video to measure tail posture’ (£201K)

Supervision

  • PhD student (2022-2026) 'Exploring the genetic determination of aggressive behaviour in adult femaile pigs to improve human safety and animal welfare' with Edinburgh University and SUISAG Switzerland
  • PhD student (2019-2024) ‘Practical diets to improve dry sow welfare: improving satiety and reducing gastric ulcers’ with Edinburgh University
  • PhD student (2015-2022 part time) ‘Understanding satiety in broiler breeders during rearing and application to commercial diets’ with Edinburgh University and Aviagen

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Social recognition of flockmates in laying hens, University of Oxford

15 Sept 199330 Dec 1996

Award Date: 30 Dec 1996

Master, Biological Sciences, University of Oxford

1 Sept 199030 Jun 1993

Award Date: 30 Jun 1993

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