I specialise in pigs, but have a more general background in all aspects of animal welfare and behaviour. My research interests include: Neonatal survival. Developing alternative farrowing and lactation systems for sows and litters. Implementing uptake of high welfare systems and practices. Mitigating the health and welfare impacts of selection for production traits such as hyper-prolificacy. Using technology to allow early detection of animal health and welfare problems. Optimising performance of high welfare systems using genetic selection strategies. Understanding the short- and long-term health and welfare benefits of positive early-life experiences and understanding negative affective states in sows (e.g. hunger and exhaustion) and their impact on mother and offspring (pre- and post-natal). Engagement with key stakeholders in industry in order to translate science into practice and support welfare changes at the farm level is an important aspect of my work. As well as traditional consultations with those in the supply chain I have developed a web-based platform (www.freefarrowing.org) to support uptake of high welfare farrowing and lactation systems. I am a member of SRUC’s pig strategy group and externally I sit on the RSPCA’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Board for pig standards.


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