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Jill MacKay

Research Interests

Jill Mackay

My research interests lie broadly in animal personality and human-domesticated animal relationships. I am also very interested in validating new technologies and methodologies. My PhD was a BBSRC CASE studentship in partnership with IceRobotics titled “Characterising personality traits in cattle through the use of biotelemetry systems”.

I graduated from the University of Glasgow’s with an M.Sci in Zoology in 2009. During this course I completed a ten month work placement at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital in Nantwich, Cheshire. As part of my work there I performed a retrospective analysis on survival rates in red foxes to improve the treatment protocol. My honours project involved assessing novel sources of information on human-companion animal relationships.

In 2013 I completed my PhD with SRUC and the University of Edinburgh, evaluating the use of remote sensors to quantify behaviour and welfare traits in cattle. This is similar to previous biotelemetry work I undertook at the RSPCA and like my other projects involves evaluating novel databases. Currently I am working on projects within the Animal Behaviour and Welfare team with a focus on knowledge transfer materials.

Teaching & Knowledge Transfer

I regularly give lectures in SRUC’s ‘Animal Science and Society’ module within the ‘Animal Science’ course. I have also lectured in some of the animal behaviour modules in SRUC undergraduate courses as well as in the LEAPS summer school program.

I am passionate about knowledge transfer and have participated in several events such as the Hawick, Edinburgh and Dundee Science Festivals, Midlothian Open Doors Days and the Royal Highland Show. I have also produced online learning objects for ongoing research projects.

Selected Publications

  • Jill R.D. MacKay, John M. Deag, Marie J. Haskell (2012) Establishing the extent of behavioural reactions in dairy cattle to a leg mounted activity monitor Applied Animal Behaviour Science 139 p. 35-41
  • MacKay, J. R. D., Turner, S. P., Hyslop, J., Deag, J. M., & Haskell, M. J. (2013). Short-term temperament tests in beef cattle relate to long term measures of behaviour recorded in the home pen. Journal of Animal Science, 91, 4917–4924. doi:10.2527/jas.2012-5473

Dr Jill MacKay

Research Assistant

Address: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG

Telephone: 01316517396