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Global Conference on Animal Welfare



I was born in 1954 into a farming family in Perthshire, Scotland.
After my school education I went to St Andrews University to study Zoology. Following this I moved to the University of Edinburgh initially to take a short one year diploma on Animal Science, and then to study for a PhD under Professor David Wood- Gush.

The topic of my PhD was the social organization of extensive hill sheep. Following my PhD I was employed for around 18 months as Research Assistant to The Principal of the School of Agriculture during which time I co-authored a number of reviews on topical Animal Science issues. I was then employed as a research scientist in the field of animal behaviour and welfare. During the early phase of my post-doctoral research career I developed interests in causes of stereotypies in farm animals, measurement of hunger, and behavioural and physiological methods of assessing welfare. Currently I am Head of SAC's Animal Behaviour and Welfare Department which covers a range of topics relating to genetic and environmental influences on adaptive behaviours including neonatal, maternal and aggressive behaviours, and also to welfare assessment both under experimental and on-farm conditions.

In addition to these research activities I have personal interest in the teaching of behaviour and welfare to both vocational and degree level students. I am a member of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council and have a personal chair from SAC awarded in 1999.