Hartpury College




Animal and Land Sciences research at Hartpury encompasses a range of research areas representing the interests and experience of our staff. There are two focused research areas Performance and Animal Welfare Science (containing the research groups: Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Animal Performance Science, Animal Health, Anthrozoology) and Agricultural Sciences (containing the research groups: Agronomy, Livestock Production). Within these groups such topics as animal personality, environmental enrichment, biomechanics, wildlife conservation, animal health and disease, animal ethics, farm animal welfare indicators, biomechanics and nutritional supplementation are explored.

Staff are committed to research and knowledge exchange. Research is fully integrated within teaching, with staff research active in the areas in which they teach and many dissertations embedded in larger scale research projects. Each and every member of the HE team contributes to research and knowledge exchange. Much of this research is undertaken at our own farm and laboratories, however aspects of this research is carried out in partnership with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, West Midlands Safari Park, Cotswold Wildlife Park and other external organisations as appropriate.

The ALS and VN team:
Aisling Carroll, Dr Alison Wills, Brian Evans, Dr Carrie Ijichi, Carly Thornton, Catherine Phillips, Emily Rowland, Grace Carroll, Helen Jones, James Swanson, Dr Jane Williams, Lucy Clarke, Dr Mary Farrell, Patrick Tandy, Philip Watson, Richard Smith, Dr Sam Harding, Sarah Vivian, Sienna Taylor, Suzannah Harniman, Dr Tamara Montrose. Meet the team.


Research Groups

Performance and Animal Welfare Science:

Dr Alison Will’s research interests are the limits to turning performance and preferred speed in canine locomotion. Her current projects include the effect of treadmill speed on heart rate in the canine water treadmill and the effect of water depth on kinematics in the canine water treadmill.

Brian Evans is involved in projects examining animal nutrition in relation to optimising dairy cow production and the impact of canine nutrition on performance.

Dr Jane Williams is currently engaged in research evaluating training methods and performance to promote health, success and career longevity especially within the equine athlete. As part of this, Jane is exploring the role of surface electromyography to assess muscle adaptation during training and rehabilitation, and heart rate analysis as a measure of physiological fitness, stress and injury across performance animals.

Animal Behaviour and Welfare:
Dr Carrie Ijichi has research interests centring on personality in animals, primarily horses, and how this affects their expression and experience of negative states and suffering. Carrie is also interested in how personality affects learning and behavioural flexibility, especially with regards to how this might affect the welfare of animals during training.

Grace Carroll is interested in developing farm animal welfare indicators at slaughter for use as lifetime welfare indicators. Grace is also interested in feline welfare.

Jim Swanson is interested in investigating the ecological impacts of wild and domesticated herbivores, comparing novel and traditional ecological survey methods and examining the management of ecologically protected areas and species.

Lucy Clarke’s current projects involve investigating the impact of humans on wild animal behaviour and the adaptation of wildlife to urban environments. Lucy also uses the Hartpury estate within her research with current projects examining hedgehog activity and small mammal distribution and habitat utilisation. Lucy is also interested in enclosure use and social behaviour in zoo species.

Dr Mary Farrell is interested in the impact of age, experience and male quality on the sexual selection and female mate choice of fallow deer. Mary is also interested in understanding the crossroads between animal ethics and animal welfare and the extent, scope, and content of human obligations to non-human animals.

Sienna Taylor’s research interests focus on pharmacological interventions for stress relief in companion animals. Sienna is also interested in the impact of environmental enrichment upon animal behaviour and in examining utilisation of vertical space in confined domestic cats and how vertical space impacts upon behaviour, activity budgets and feline welfare.

Dr Tamara Montrose is interested in the impact of sensory environmental enrichment upon animals kept in captive environments. Tamara is also interested in behavioural ecology, particularly in relation to sexual selection and sexual conflict in both invertebrate species and the human system.

Animal Health:
Dr Alison Wills is interested in factors impacting on the health of rodents and rabbits such as their dietary and husbandry requirements. She has particular interests in dental disease, bacterial infections and all aspects of guinea pig health.

Brian Evans is involved in projects examining dairy cow and canine nutrition in relation to optimising animal health.

Dr Jane Williams' research involves the application of epidemiological techniques to evaluate factors associated with both success and injury, in humans and animals across sport, disease and reproduction.

Suzannah Hardiman’s interests include equine endoparasite control and the advisory role which the veterinary nurse takes when discussing this topic with horse owners. Suzannah is also interested in how different worming strategies affect parasite resistance to anthelmintic products and the advice which veterinary nurses can give to horse owners in order to control this problem.

Grace Carroll is interested in how infant schema in animals impacts on human behaviour and attitudes towards animals.

Lucy Clarke is involved in research relating to human-animal interactions in terms of wildlife conflict and conservation.

Sienna Taylor is interested in interspecific communication (i.e. cat-human), specifically visual and auditory communication in domestic cats.

Dr Tamara Montrose and Lucy Clarke are interested in factors impacting on the willingness of the public to adopt dogs and cats in rescue shelters.

Dr Tamara Montrose is also interested in the impact of attitude towards animals on such as opinions of animal abilities, animal use and animal-related issues.

Agricultural Science

Helen Jones’ research involves Agri-environment schemes and grassland species diversity. She is also interested in Common Agricultural Policy Reform and hay strewing and its potential as a successful method to increase grassland species diversity.

Patrick Tandy is involved in projects investigating the effects of the addition of concentrated organic additives and biological inoculants to soil on plant growth and yield.

Livestock Production:
Philip Watson has research interests including the effects of milking on cow longevity, the impact of cow age on milk quality and the effects of automatic milking upon health of cows. Phil is also interested in Bovine Tuberculosis.