Animal and Agriculture research at Hartpury

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.

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.

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. All research activity within the department either directly or indirectly informs not only current industry practice but also the curriculum. You can find out more about our research groups below.

 

Performance and Animal Welfare Science

Dr Alison Wills' 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.

Anthrozoology 

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: Agronomy

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.

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE: 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.

Meet our Animal and Agriculture team

The expertise and experience of our lecturers spans all areas of animal and land sciences and all staff are actively involved in research and knowledge exchange either as researchers or practitioners. You can meet the Animal and Agriculture lecturers below.

 

DR MARY FARRELL

PRINCIPAL LECTURER (SCHOLARSHIP)

Mary obtained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from University College Dublin in 1997, and a PhD in Animal Behaviour in 2002 also from University College Dublin. For her PhD, Mary carried out field observations on courtship behaviour, multiple mating and reproductive synchrony in female fallow deer in Phoenix Park, Dublin and participated in the tagging of fawns, darting of adult deer and post mortems. Prior to joining Hartpury, Mary worked at University College Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Moulton College in Northampton.

BRIAN EVANS

ANIMAL AND LAND SCIENCE LECTURER

Brian obtained a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural and Food Sciences from University of Nottingham in 1994; a PGCE in 2005 from University of Wales, Newport and is currently studying Sustainable and Efficient Food Production with the Advanced Training Partnership (Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities and NIAB-TAG) at Masters level.

CATHERINE PHILLIPS

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT VETERINARY NURSING

Catherine is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Registered Veterinary Nurse (Small Animal and Equine) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Catherine initially qualified as Small Animal Veterinary Nurse following a period of training at Bristol Veterinary School, Langford. A City and Guilds Certificate in Small Animal Nutrition was gained during her time spent in small animal and mixed veterinary practice.

DR TAMARA MONTROSE

SENIOR LECTURER AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Tamara obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences at The University of Manchester. She then continued at this institution to gain a Master of Research degree and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology.

HELEN JONES

LECTURER IN AGRICULTURE & LAND MANAGEMENT

Having studied Geography & Environmental Management at UWE, Bristol Helen went on to complete a Masters at Harper Adams University in Sustainable Agriculture.

JAMES SWANSON

LECTURER IN CONSERVATION AND COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT

James obtained a Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990 and spent several years working in mixed, predominantly large animal practice in Lampeter, west Wales.

LUCY CLARKE

SUBJECT AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Lucy completed a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science at Nottingham Trent University before taking up a position within the Widening Participation team at the university. She joined Hartpury College in 2010 as a lecturer in Animal Behaviour and progressed onto the role of Subject Manager for the department in 2012.

LUCY MIDDLECOTE

LECTURER AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Lucy is an RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) qualified and Registered Equine Veterinary Nurse (REVN) with experience in all aspects of veterinary nursing including patient management and care, diagnostics, and medical and surgical nursing.

Lucy is currently employed as a Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing where she teaches students across both Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) programmes. Lucy has completed a Certificate in Education and enjoys being part of a team that is responsible for educating students in an area where she has experience and knowledge.

SIENNA TAYLOR

LECTURER AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Sienna completed her FdSc and also her BSc (Honours) degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Hartpury College. During her studies she volunteered at Worcestershire Animal Rescue Shelter where she developed an interest in the utilisation of vertical space in confined domestic cats and how vertical space impacts behaviour, activity budgets and feline welfare.

Following her undergraduate studies, Sienna went on to complete an MSc in Animal Behaviour at the University of Exeter where she won a studentship which focused on the effects of a valerian based pharmacological intervention on the behaviour, heart rate and cortisol levels of domestic dogs.

POLLY HUTSON

PROGRAMME MANAGER MSC VETERINARY PHYSIOTHERAPY

Polly is the programme manager for the MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy programme, this involves the day to day running of the programme, organizing the teaching delivery, managing and arranging visiting lectures, managing student expectations and queries. Writing module guides and setting relevant assignments as well as marking them.

Polly delivers a high standard of teaching to the programme and ensure that the students have a balance between theory and practical based lectures leading to a well-rounded veterinary physiotherapist once they have qualified.

SUZANNAH SMEDDLE

LECTURER IN VETERINARY NURSING

Suzannah is a Royal Collage of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) qualified and Registered Equine Veterinary Nurse (REVN) with several years of experience of working in the veterinary industry.

Suzannah has experience of all aspects of veterinary nursing from assisting with Guiana Pig caesareans to providing emergency first aid to injured racehorses.

DR JANE WILLIAMS

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT

Jane started her career working as Head Nurse in a range of small animals, equine and large animal veterinary practices before moving into teaching. She is an experienced academic manager, lecturer and researcher predominately in equine and animal science.

RICHARD SMITH

LECTURER IN ANIMAL SCIENCE

Richard started teaching in HE on a part time basis in December 2013, and moved into a full time position in August 2014. However, Richard has been lecturing at Hartpury on a sessional basis, delivering a Grassland Management module in the 2008/09 academic year, and delivering a range of one off guest lectures each academic year.

Aisling Carroll

LECTURER

Aisling completed her BSc (Honours) degree in Microbiology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. During her studies she volunteered at Sommerton Equine Veterinary hospital where she developed an interest in viral and bacterial diagnostic techniques.  Aisling then went on to complete a Masters in Equine Science at Hartpury College, specifically focusing her studies on the changes of the microbial ecosystem in the equine hindgut under stress.

Patrick Tandy

LECTURER IN AGRICULTURE

Patrick worked on farms from 1979-1990 full time with the last position being as an assistant farm manager. In 1990 he trained as an agronomist by Technicrop ltd., and passed his BASIS exam while at Harper Adams.

Dr Alison Wills

SENIOR LECTURER AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Alison completed a degree in BSc (Hons) Veterinary Science at the Royal Veterinary College (2007-2009) and then stayed at the RVC to complete a four year BBSRC funded PhD in biomechanics (2009-2013) entitled ‘The Physiological and Biomechanical Assessment of Free Ranging Sports Dogs’ within the Structure and Motion Laboratory.

Emily Rowland

LECTURER

Emily completed a degree in Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol and after graduation worked as a veterinary surgeon in a small animal practice in Cornwall. Emily developed an interest in teaching practical and clinical skills to veterinary students and worked in the vet school’s clinical skills lab at the University of Bristol, which lead to an opportunity to pursue a Masters by research project. Emily joined Hartpury in 2016 as a HE lecturer in animal and equine science.

DR CARRIE IJICHI

SENIOR LECTURER FOR STUDENT SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT

After completing an undergraduate degree in Music at Queen’s University Belfast, Carrie changed from the Arts & Humanities to the Sciences department with a Masters degree in Animal Welfare & Behaviour. During this time Carrie taught piano and singing to people of all ages for Associated Board of the Royal School of Music qualifications.

Grace Carroll

LECTURER AND PROGRAMME MANAGER

Grace completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology applied to IT at Dun Laoghaire IADT, Dublin in 2011. During her degree she developed an interest in evolutionary psychology and animal behaviour and welfare. As a result, she decided to complete an MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Queens University Belfast, graduating in 2012.

PHILIP WATSON

SUBJECT MANAGER, PROGRAMME MANAGER

Prior to completing a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture and Land Management at Northampton University in 2010, Phil had worked in the agricultural industry for over twenty years as a dairy herdsman and dairy herd manager. On completion of his degree, Phil moved into teaching and took up a position at Moulton College delivering a range of modules to both further and higher education students. He joined Hartpury in March 2015 as Subject Manager for Agriculture.