My research interests relate to housing and management of poultry in ways that are sensitive to their needs while being sustainable in UK farming. Much of my work is conducted under government grants (both Scottish Government and Defra), but increasingly my work involves collaboration with well-known poultry companies, animal welfare organisations, and industry councils. The advantage of working in the poultry industry is that it is a relatively intimate group of people, and I like to think we are working towards similar goals in many instances.
Recently, I have been working on housing non-beak trimmed hens in furnished cages, humane methods of poultry culling, how to manage non-beak trimmed hens in furnished cages, whole-house gassing of poultry, and using a force plate to measure walking style in broiler (meat) chickens. All of the studies I’m involved in are a team effort with fellow members of ASRC, and often with other members of the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Group.
In addition to my research, I am an active committee member of the World’s Poultry Science Association and the International Society for Applied Ethology.
I am course leader for the behaviour and welfare, and poultry production, modules on SRUC’s MSc in Applied Poultry Science. On an annual basis, I supervise Honours and Masters students from various institutes on poultry behaviour and welfare projects, usually conducted at the research facilities at the Avian Science Research Centre. I am also a guest lecturer on the University of Edinburgh’s Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare MSc, where I was once a student. (What goes around, comes around!)
Address: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, SRUC Avian Science Research Centre, Auchincruive, Ayr KA6 5HW
Telephone: 01292 525 421
Fax: 01292 525 098