First professors appointed at Hartpury University

Veterinary Nursing

Hartpury University has announced the appointment of its first professors, further underlining its commitment to providing standards of excellence in education.

The new appointments follow the Privy Council’s decision to approve Hartpury’s application for university title in September 2018.

Dr Stephen Draper, Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange, and Dr Vicky Melfi, Principal Lecturer in Human-Animal Interaction, have been named as full professors.

Dr Jane Williams, Head of the Animal and Agriculture Department, and Dr Kathryn Nankervis, Principal Lecturer in Equine Therapy, have been appointed as associate professors.

The appointments reflect their outstanding record in research, its impact on their respective industry sectors, and their expertise and experience in mentoring and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students.

  • Dr Draper has expertise in sport and exercise physiology, in particular oxygen uptake kinetics, and the modelling of athletic performance. He has many peer-reviewed publications across a broad range of areas of sport, exercise and health. He co-founded the Clem Burke Drumming Project and is currently investigating the effects of music performance on health and wellbeing
  • Dr Melfi has worked professionally in animal welfare and conservation across the world for nearly 30 years. She is a strong advocate of professional/academic collaborations to gather data that can underpin evidence-based practice, to better understand human-animal interactions, leading to improved animal welfare and conservation outcomes
  • Dr Williams, a qualified veterinary nurse, is a trustee and treasurer for the International Society of Equitation Science. Her main areas of professional interest include scientific evaluation of equestrian performance and training, rider impacts on equitation, and reliability assessment across equestrian science and veterinary physiotherapy
  • Dr Nankervis oversees all the commercial, teaching and research activity within the Equine Therapy Centre, which she set up in 1999, and the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Her recent research has focused on water treadmill exercise in horses, particularly the effects on limb and back movement. She is currently working with the Animal Health Trust on an international survey of water treadmill use

Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce the appointments of our first professors at Hartpury – many congratulations to Steve, Vicky, Jane and Kathryn.

“Their new titles reflect their accomplishments and experience, and the impact that their ground-breaking research is having within industry in their areas of expertise.

“It’s also a further demonstration of the quality of teaching and support that our undergraduates and postgraduates can expect to receive from acknowledged experts in their fields across all departments, as evidenced by our Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework.”

All lecturers at Hartpury University, which specialises in agriculture, animal, equine, sport and veterinary studies, are actively involved in research and knowledge exchange, either as researchers or practitioners.

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 either directly or indirectly informs not only current industry practice but also the curriculum.

Picture: back row, left to right: Rosie Scott-Ward (Pro Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University), Russell Marchant (Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University), Professor Stephen Draper and Associate Professor Jane Williams; front row, left to right: Professor Vicky Melfi and Associate Professor Kathryn Nankervis

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