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Dr Sarah Hall

Biomarkers Laboratory Manager & Research
Animal & Veterinary Sciences

Animal Behaviour & Welfare

Research interests 

I manage the Welfare Biomarkers Laboratory at SRUC which specialises in developing new assays to complement the research of the Animal Behaviour & Welfare Team. The aim and philosophy of the lab is to integrate physiological measurements into mainstream animal welfare research. We are also working on identifying and validating non-invasive markers. We have expertise in a range of techniques including: cytokines, glucocorticoids, ELISAs, molecular techniques (DNA/RNA extraction, endpoint & rt-PCR). We deal with a number of different farm species, including sheep, goats, turkeys, horses, donkeys and pigs. We are primarily a research lab however we also perform analysis of samples on request. I am also IOSH Managing Safely certified and am the Animal & veterinary sciences group representative for H&S and Quality Assurance.

If you would like to discuss development or validation of physiological assays, please get in touch.

Selected research projects

  • Cytokines associated with equine synovial disorders, in collaboration with Dr Raphael Labens (University of Edinburgh)
  • EU: Animal Welfare Indicators AWIN - Development, integration and dissemination of animal-based welfare indicators, including pain, in commercially important husbandry species, with special emphasis on small ruminants, equidae & turkeys
  • Thriving is more than surviving- physiological markers of pig maternal health
  • Farewell Dock Tail docking, tail biting, health and enrichment in pigs
  • SPASE strategic Partnership for Animal Science Excellence


I undertake a range of teaching on various topics including parasitology and molecular techniques. I also run laboratory practicals covering a range of experimental techniques. The Welfare Biomarkers Laboratory is also a resource for training of students and staff. Since opening the laboratory in January 2012 I have trained 4 Undergraduates, 4 Masters students, 3 international students, 9 PhD students (plus 4 international PhDs) and 5 postdocs, (plus 3 international Postdocs) and 7 technicians on a variety of laboratory techniques.

Selected publications

  • Hall, S.A., Mack, K., Blackwell, A., Evans, K.A. (2015) Identification and disruption of bacteria associated with sheep scab mites-novel means of control? Experimental Parasitology, Volume 157, October 2015, Pages 110–116.
  • Hall, S.A., Stucke, D., Morrone, B., Lebelt, D., Zanella, A.J. (2015) Simultaneous detection and quantification of six equine cytokines in plasma using a fluorescent microsphere immunoassay(FMIA), Methods X, 2, 241–248.
  • Zahoor, I., Mitchell, M.A., Hall, S.A., Beard, P.M., Gous, R.M., de Koning, D.J., Hocking, P.M. (2015) Predicted optimum ambient temperatures to dissipate metabolic heat in broiler chickens do not affect performance or improve breast muscle quality British Journal of Poultry Science – in press.
  • Baxter, E.M., Mulligan, J., Hall, S.A., Donbavand, J.E., Palme, R., Aldujaili, E., Zanella, A.J. & Dwyer, C.M. (2015) Positive and negative gestational handling influences placental traits and mother-offspring behavior in dairy goats, Physiology & Behavior 157 (2016) 129–138
  • Duncan, A.; Hall, S. & Little, T. (2009) Parasitism and environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 11: 965–973.

SRUC repository 

Dr Sarah Hall

Researcher and Laboratory Manager

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

Telephone: 0131 651 7310

Fax: 0131 535 3121