• Bush Estate

    EH26 0PH Penicuik

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I have over 20 years of experience, specialising in the housing and management of laying hens.  Much of my work involves conducting trials in industry settings, and as a consequence I have good working relationships with members of the laying hen community, from individual farmers to NGOs that represent the industry such as British Egg Industry Council and British Free Range Egg Producer’s Association.  My research has been funded by Scottish Government, Defra, NGOs, EU, and industry.


PhD students:

Louise Buckley,  2007-2001, Food choices for hungry broiler breeders  (University of Edinburgh)

Jessica Martin, 2011-2014, Mechanical devices for humane culling of poultry (University of Glasgow)

Krysta Morrissey, 2012-2016, Behavioural and Nutritional Management of Non-Beak Treated Hens Housed in Furnished Cages (SRUC and University of Guelph)

Teresa Casey-Trott, 2012-2016, Opportunities for Exercise during Pullet Rearing: Effects on Bone Health and Keel Bone Damage in Laying Hens (University of Guelph)

Dan O'Hagan, 2016-2021, Assessing transient affective states in poultry using intracranial recording of brain oscillations (University of Newcastle)

Sarah Struthers, 2019-2023, Using naturally-occurring variation in beak morphology to reduce pecking damage in laying hens (SRUC and University of Edinburgh)

Endre Putyora, 2019-2022, Sleep behaviour in laying hens (University of Gent)

Other students:

Supervised over 15 MSc and 5 BSc dissertations


Programme Director, MSc in Applied Poultry Science, University of Edinburgh

Programme Leader, HNC in Poultry Production, SRUC


MSc course in poultry housing

HNC course in poultry welfare and behaviour

Other work

AWERB Chairperson, SRUC

I oversee SRUC's Animal Experiments Committee, with a team of staff (scientists, vets, non-animal people, statisticians, technicians). We review approximately 60 experiments per annum, including associated research programme applications and Home Office licences.  I keep the head of Academia updated with critical developments, co-ordinate training and discussion forums, and ensure that SRUC’s code of practice is a part of all new staff’s induction process.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Preening behaviour in laying hens, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Sept 2001

Master, Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Nov 1997

Bachelor, Biology, University of California at Santa Cruz

Award Date: 1 Jun 1993


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