My main area of research is in the behaviour and welfare of dairy cattle. I am also interested in personality in animals and have worked with dairy and beef cattle, sheep and dogs. Using animal behaviour to assess welfare is a major research area. We are interested in how to assess fear and aggression in groups of dairy cattle. This work is being extended to exploring new methods of detecting welfare issues, such as via the use of thermal imaging to detect health issues, and via imaging techniques to assess animal emotional state. Animal welfare is also affected by environment. I am interested in how management systems for cattle, such as continuous housing, or organic management affects welfare and health. I am also interested in personality, particularly where it interacts with health and welfare. For instance, we are interested in whether personality affects health and how management and experience of animals affects their personality. Emotion and cognition are other research areas. Understanding how animals recognise and respond to emotions in conspecifics is being addressed in a current PhD project by Lucille Bellegarde. A new project will also investigate how emotions are expressed in the facial features of cattle.


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