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Dr Alice Cowie
Advanced Practitioner (Research & Scholarship)
Alice has a PhD in Avian social cognition from the University of St Andrews, an MSc in Animal Behaviour from the University of Exeter, and a BSc (hons) in Animal Biology from the University of Birmingham. Alice has conducted ecological fieldwork in Brazil, Spain and the UK, in addition to spending three months at the University of Vienna studying the behaviour of captive crows and ravens as part of her PhD.
- Avian Social Cognition
- Bird behaviour
- Animal Welfare and enrichment
Chapter One, ‘What Animals other than Primates can tell us about Human Cultural Transmission’ in ‘Understanding Cultural Transmission in Anthropology: A Critical Synthesis’ (Berghahn Books, New York, 2013)
Heather studied BSc (Hons) Zoology at Aberystwyth University, and then completed her Registered Veterinary Nurse training. Whilst working at UCR, Heather achieved a variety of Teaching and Assessing qualifications. Heather has over ten years of experience working in the Veterinary industry, including as Head Veterinary Nurse which she loved. Heather joined Reaseheath College in 2016, and in 2020 moved to the role of Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing degree.
- Nursing Clinics
Heather has a cheeky cat called Chip.
Lecturer and Course Manager
Alex has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Liverpool, and went on to work for the university as a research technician and animal technician. Alex spent 5 years as a mammal keeper at the WWT Martin Mere, looking after Asian short clawed otters and Eurasian beavers, as well as working with their herd of English Longhorn Cattle and many avian species. Alex gained a PGCE whilst lecturing in Animal Studies at Myerscough College. Alex is currently the Principal Examiner for the animal management science and wildlife pathways for City & Guilds.
- Animal Behaviour & Management
Other interests and hobbies:
‘Artist in residence’ for the conservation charity Wild&Free, with all funds from sales going directly to help animal conservation and rehabilitation. Also enjoy music, playing percussion in a band. Enjoy travelling and eco/adventure tourism. Enjoys birdwatching and walking his lurcher Maisy.
Animal Sciences and Equine Lecturer
Clare is a Lecturer and Course Manager in Animal and Equine Science. Clare is a Veterinary Surgeon, and graduated from Liverpool University in 2011. She has a particular interest in small animal medicine, and is currently enrolled in a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Feline Medicine. Clare has spent time working within the Charity Sector, and previously worked at the PDSA as part of the Petwise Programme – delivering education, preventative healthcare advice and support in order to promote the wellbeing and welfare of cats.
- Feline Medicine
- Welfare and Behaviour
Clare is interested in fitness and has completed several charity walks, she done Tough Mudder twice and completed a fire walk. Clare has also volunteered as Counsellor at London International Youth Science Forum.
UCR Academic Registrar
Following a career in youth work and environmental education, Yvette completed BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour and an MPhil focused on effectiveness of mixed species bird enclosures within European Zoos. Yvette has worked in zoo research, conservation education and field conservation at Blackpool Zoo and Chester Zoo. Yvettes previous field research includes the social behaviour of black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Costa Rica and the Northwest Dormouse Monitoring Partnership.
Yvette is interested in a range of zoo biology and conservation issues including zoo population management and the role of conservation education initiatives. Yvette was research associate for the BIAZA Bird Working Group which included coordination the Mixed Species Aviaries Project from 2011-2015. Yvette also contributed to the IUCN Red List Assessment for the Critically Endangered blue-crowned laughingthrush (Garrulax courtoisi).
Examples of undergraduate dissertation projects supervised:
- E. (2018). Using studbook data to aid population management: A case study of the Eastern bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci)
- Oldridge, M. (2018). Assessing the zoo visitor effect on the AyeAye’s (Daubentonia madagascariensis) at Chester Zoo
- Addison, B. (2017). Investigating the impact of physical attributes on dog rehoming in the UK.
- Wilkinson, R. & Foulds, Y. (2013). European Studbook for the Blue-eyed Cockatoo
- Wilkinson, R. & Foulds, Y. (2012). European Studbook for the Blue-eyed Cockatoo
- Foulds, Y. (2008). Survey of mixed species bird enclosures within British zoo BIAZA Research Newsletter 4
- Foulds, Y. (2008). Survey of mixed species bird enclosures within British zoos. Proceedings of the 10th BIAZA Research Symposium
- Foulds, Y. (2008). Preliminary survey of mixed species bird enclosures in British zoos. BIAZA Research Newsletter 1
- (2012). BIAZA Guide to Implementing and Managing Field Conservation 2012.
- (2012). IUCN Red List Assessment: Blue-crowned laughingthrush (Garrulax courtoisi)
- Palomba, , Foulds-Davis, Y., & Davis, N. (2018).Using studbook data to aid population management: A case study of the Eastern bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci). [Poster] 20th BIAZA Research Symposium, Paignton Zoo, Devon, UK
- Foulds-Davis, Y., Wilkinson, R., & Mettke -Hofmann, C. (2017). Are mixed-species bird enclosures really working? [Presentation] 19th BIAZA Research Symposium, Edinburgh Zoo, UK
- Foulds-Davis, Y., Wilkinson, R., & Mettke -Hofmann, C. (2016). To mix or not to mix? The Mixed Aviaries Project. [Invited Speaker] EAZA Mid-Year Bird Taxon Advisory Meeting, Lagos, Portugal
- Foulds-Davis, Y., Wilkinson, R., & Mettke -Hofmann, C (2014). Mixed Aviaries Project: The results. [Presentation] 9th Annual BIAZA Bird Working Group Meeting, The Hawk Conservancy Trust, UK
- Foulds-Davis, Y., Wilkinson, R., & Mettke -Hofmann, C. (2013). Mixed Aviaries Project: Progress Update 2013. [Presentation] 8th Annual BIAZA Bird Working Group Meeting, Chessington World of Adventures, UK
- Foulds, Y., Wilkinson, R., & Mettke -Hofmann, C. (2013). To mix or not to mix? Evaluating breeding performance in mixed species bird enclosures within European zoological collections. [Poster] LJMU Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Seminar, Liverpool, UK
- Foulds, Y. (2008). Surveying mixed enclosures: Mixed species bird enclosures in British Zoos. 10th BIAZA Research Symposium. The Deep, Hull, UK
- Foulds, Y. (2007). Preliminary survey of mixed species bird enclosures within British zoo collections. 2nd Annual BIAZA Bird Working Group Meeting, Blackpool Zoo, UK
- Chair – UCR Ethics Committee
- Advisor – University of Chester Research Ethics Advisory Board
- External Examiner – Cornwall College/Plymouth University
Advanced Practitioner for Access to HE
Louise gained a BSc (Hons) in Animal Health and Welfare at Harper Adams University. In addition, Louise has previously lectured in Agriculture at Reaseheath. Louise has spent a number of years working within the Agriculture sector specialising predominantly in dairy cow health, breeding and reproduction. Louise has her own award-winning milking herd, Distinctive Holsteins which has been established for the last 8 years. Louise is Course Manager and Advanced Practitioner for Access to HE.
- Dairy cow behaviour and welfare correlated with performance
- Dairy cow health, breeding and reproduction
- Horse riding
Olly holds a BSc (Hons) in Zoology with Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Following this, Olly gained 11 years of experience in zookeeping at Knowsley Safari, working with large carnivores and ungulates. Olly holds an MSc in Conservation Biology from Manchester Metropolitan University, completing his MSc research project on faecal detection of livestock predation in South African carnivores. Olly also spent 3 years as a Research and Conservation Team member at Knowsley Safari.
- Carnivore behaviour and ecology
- Zoo behavioural management
Advanced Practitioner in Higher Education, Course Manager and Programme Leader
Kevin has featured as part of the University Centre’s core lecturing team for the past eight years. Kevin holds an MSc in Conservation & Biodiversity with the University of Exeter, and has since extended his training both in the UK and overseas undertaking research activities and consultancy on snake ecology and conservation.
Snake Ecology & Conservation – Kevin’s research focuses on the habitat use of European adder (Vipera berus) and the wider implications for habitat management practices.
Palmer, K. (2005). Lacerta (Zootoca) vivipara (Viviparous or Common lizard): alternate green colour phase. Herpetological Bulletin, 92, 30.
Palmer, K. (2010). Conspicuously coloured tails in Vipera berus: a case of caudal tail luring? Herpetological Bulletin, 110, 36-37.
Palmer, K. (2011). Vegetation structure at basking sites of the adder Vipera berus: Implications for site management. Herpetological Bulletin, 117, 25-27.
Ellie has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Wales, Bangor, spending the second year at Oregon State University. She completed her Master’s thesis at Western Washington University, where she also spent two years as a teaching assistant on Zoology, Ecology and Herpetology courses. She has spent three years working at Jersey Zoo and ZSL London Zoo, and spent six months on a conservation expedition with GVI in Ecuador. Ellie is also a member of BIAZA’s Record Keeping Group.
- Herpetology, with a focus on foraging theory
- Animal physiology, with a focus on environmental physiology
Master’s Thesis: Foraging Behaviour in Gambelia wislizenii, the long-nosed leopard lizard, in Harney county, Oregon, available on Research Gate
Course Manager and Lecturer
Forrest has a BSc in Behavioural Science, and an MSc in Family and Child Psychology. She has worked with domestic, farm and wild animals in Australia, including growing up on a 3000 acre dairy farm. Forrest is interested in the human/animal connection, and the impact humans and animals can have on each other’s welfare. As an Australian Natural horse woman Forrest has worked closely with owners and abused animals to support their recovery. Forrest is now focusing on improving the industry of Animal Assisted Interventions and encouraging individuals to embrace positive relationships between humans and animals.
- Positive impact of animal assisted interventions
- Improving domestic animal welfare, public understanding and knowledge of animal welfare
- Utilizing animals to support individuals with disabilities, mental health difficulties and poor confidence improve their wellbeing
Forrest is an avid animal fan and focuses much of her time on animal related activities. One of her main passions is rehabilitating animals, particularly horses, through kind means and she is an Australian Natural horse woman. Forrest also enjoys exploring the English countryside and travelling. This is due to living in Australia until she was 21 – travelling to exotic places is slightly harder to do when stuck on the world’s largest island!
Becx holds a BSc in Animal Behaviour and MSc Behavioural Ecology and, before returning to academia in a lecturing capacity, spent 7 years working in the eco-tourism industry in Southern & Eastern Africa, predominantly Zambia, where she was involved in multiple community education programmes and several conservation projects. Becx has led both horse back and driven safaris and headed up ridden snare removal and anti-poaching teams in the upper Zambezi River systems.
With a specific personal interest in the behaviour and ecology of African mammals, Becx teaching and research interests are in behavioural ecology, captive animal behaviour & welfare and practical applications of behaviour for conservation. Becx also has a special interest in the behaviour, ecology and conservation of wild equids.
Whitefield, B., Nevison, C. & Raisin, C. 2004. The ‘peanut shuttle’: the effect of a feeding device on stereotypy and foraging behaviour in captive female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Proceedings of the British Journal of Animal Science.
Becx plays polo and has three ponies, all ex-racehorses which she has retrained herself.
Lecturer and Course Manager
Holly completed BSc (Hons) Zoology at University of Bristol, and MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During her MSc, Holly completed the research project: “A comparison of the risk factors for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.” Upon completion of her MSc, Holly worked for 2 years at the University of Warwick on a DEFRA-funded project investigating management of lameness in sheep, with particular emphasis on barriers to uptake of best practice.
- Infectious diseases of livestock animals.
- Management of footrot and CODD (contagious ovine digital dermatitis) in sheep within the UK.
Grant, Claire, Kaler, Jasmeet, Ferguson, Eamonn, O’Kane, Holly, Green, Laura E. 2018. A comparison of the efficacy of three intervention trial types: postal, group, and one-to-one facilitation, prior management and the impact of message framing and repeat messages on the flock prevalence of lameness in sheep. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 149, pp. 82-91,
Liu, Nicola L. B. H., Kaler, Jasmeet, Ferguson, Eamonn, O’Kane, Holly, Green, Laura E. 2018. Sheep farmers’ attitudes to farm inspections and the role of sanctions and rewards as motivation to reduce the prevalence of lameness. Animal Welfare, 27 (1), pp. 67-79
O’Kane, Holly, Ferguson, Eamonn, Kaler, Jasmeet, Green, Laura E. 2017. Associations between sheep farmer attitudes, beliefs, emotions and personality, and their barriers to uptake of best practice: the example of footrot. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 139 (Part B), pp. 123-133
Dickins, Alan, Clark, Corinna. C. A., Kaler, Jasmeet, Ferguson, Eamonn, Okane, Holly, Green, Laura. E. 2016. Factors associated with the presence and prevalence of contagious ovine digital dermatitis: a 2013 study of 1136 random English sheep flocks. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 130, pp 86-93
Reformer pilates, walking and baking.
Dr Vicki Senior
Lecturer and Course Manager
Vicki completed her PhD in woodland insect ecology and climate change at the University of Sheffield. Vicki also holds an MSc in Wildlife Management, in which her research focused on developing a novel method for sampling insect populations. Vickis research interests include conservation and ecology, but particularly woodland and urban environments and invertebrate ecology. Vicki has completed fieldwork in the UK on a range of species and on dolphins and turtles in Kenya.
- Climate change impacts on wildlife.
- Overwintering insects.
- Ecological entomology.
- Conservation & wildlife management.
Senior, V.L., Evans, L.C., Leather, S.R., Oliver, T.H. and Evans, K.L., 2020. Phenological responses in a sycamore‐aphid‐parasitoid system and consequences for aphid population dynamics: a 20‐year case study. Global Change Biology.
Vicki enjoys getting out into the countryside with her dog and photography.
Dr Jordan Ryder
Lecturer and Course Manager
Jordan holds a PhD in Solitary Bee and Bumblebee nutrition and behaviour from Harper Adams University and an MSc in Integrated Pest Management. Jordan completed BSc (hons) in Zoology at University of Hull. Jordans work focuses on off-crop habitats, increasing functional floral abundance and diversity to promote pollinator abundance and services. Jordan worked with a commercial cherry orchard, a slug control project, and the RSPB before joining the University Centre Reaseheath.
- Agri-Conservation, particularly promotion of natural enemies.
- Pollination, particularly enhancing pollination services.
- Animal Behaviour, particularly Invertebrate based (natural enemies and pest species).
- Ecology and conservation.
Ryder, J.T., Cherrill, A.C., Prew, R., Shaw, J., Thorbek, P., Walters, F.A., 2020. Impact of enhanced Osmia bicornis (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) populations on pollination and fruit quality in commercial sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) orchards. Journal of Apicultural research. 59(1). 77-87.
Lecturer and Course Manager
Louise is a Lecturer and Course Manager in Veterinary Nursing and Canine Husbandry and Welfare. Louise is a Registered Veterinary Nurse who qualified at Myerscough College in 2003, and went on to gain her Advanced Diploma in 2011. Louise has an interest in Soft Tissue Surgery and Anaesthesia and spent 10 years working alongside a Soft Tissue Surgeon in a busy Referral Hospital.
- Inpatient Care.
- Soft Tissue Surgery
Louise runs in her free time to keep fit and enjoys walks with the family including their German Short Haired Pointer. She also enjoys travelling and socialising with family and friends.
Lecturer and Course Manager
Sam completed BSc (Hons) and MSc in Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sam completed her dissertations on the use of collar mounted cameras on domestic cats and how cats use their whiskers to sense their environment. Sam worked at the RSPCA as a Scientific Officer in the Companion Animal Department, part of the Science and Policy department, where she specialised in cat welfare and behaviour. Sam previously taught part time at MMU.
- Animal welfare.
- Domestic cat welfare, behaviour and ecological impact.
- Public understanding of companion animal wellbeing.
Huck, M., & Watson, S. (2019). The use of animal-borne cameras to video-track the behaviour of domestic cats. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 217, 63–72. doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.04.016
Sam enjoys drawing and painting, and has been featured in the Manchester Open art exhibition, where her painting sold on the preview night.
Dr Clare Ellis
Lecturer and Course Manager
Clare holds a BSc (Hons) Welfare of Animals (with Veterinary Nursing) from Myerscough College, MSc Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, and PGCE from University of Central Lancashire. Clare then completed her PhD in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Northampton, with her thesis on the development of animal personality assessment tools for rabbits. Prior to arriving at Reaseheath Clare worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Elephant Welfare Group, based at University of Nottingham. Clare has experience as a zookeeper, zoo trainer and presenter, and more recently managed the research, education and conservation activities at Twycross Zoo. Clare has also worked in domestic animal rescue, and lecturing roles at college, university and postgraduate levels.
- Welfare of captive wild animals (primarily mammalian species).
- Development of welfare assessment tools.
- Behaviour/ecology-based husbandry practice.
- Animal personality assessment.
Oxley, J.A., Ellis, C.F., McBride, E.A. and McCormick, W.D., (2018). A survey of rabbit handling methods within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, pp.1-12.
Ellis, C.F., McCormick, W. and Tinarwo, A., (2017). Analysis of Factors Relating to Companion Rabbits Relinquished to Two United Kingdom Rehoming Centers. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 20(3), pp.230-239.
• 2020 – Exploration of rabbit personality traits – no convergence found between two tools, International Society for Applied Ethology, UK and Ireland Regional Meeting, University of Nottingham, UK
• 2018 – Exploring rabbit personality, RSPCA / UFAW Rodent and Rabbit Welfare Group, Francis Crick Institute, London, U.K
• 2018 – Zoo Keepers Develop Qualitative Behaviour Assessment Tool, BIAZA 20th Anniversary Research Conference, Paignton Zoo, UK.
• 2017 – Exploring consistencies in rabbit behaviour in response to human interactions, Postgraduate Researcher Conference, University of Northampton, UK.
• 2017 – Evaluation of environmental enrichment for meerkats, Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers, Colchester Zoo, UK.
Clare previously sat on BIAZA’s research committee and reviewed papers for the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research (JZAR), Applied Animal Behaviour Science (AABS) and Animal Welfare journal.
Clare loves to get involved in citizen science projects (e.g. Zooniverse) and is out walking with her dog as often as possible.
Veterinary Practice Liaison Officer and Assessor
Hannah completed her Veterinary Nursing Diploma and worked as a Veterinary Nurse for 8 years. Hannah qualified as a Clinical Coach during her time in practice, and started working with students. Hannah then taught Vet Nursing for 5 years at South Staffordshire College, where she completed Teacher training, Assessor and IV qualifications. Hannahs role at UCR is focused on recruiting Veterinary Practices to accommodate student placements, completing training practice inspections, giving Clinical Coach training, and assessing student nurses throughout placement.
- Emergency and Critical Care.
- Lab & Theatre.
Hannah owns a horse and loves to go horse riding. She also plays in a netball team, and loves running and sporting activities.
Paige completed her BSc (Hons) in Canine Clinical Behaviour and Training at University Centre Reaseheath, and previously completed an extended Diploma in Agriculture. Paige is a Good Citizen Dog Scheme Award assessor. Paige competes at Crufts regularly and won Young Kennel Club Person Of the Year 2019. Paige has experience in Canine Behavioural Modification and is a Border Collie breeder.
- Canine Behaviour.
- Canine Cognition.
- Canine Training.
- Canine Neonatal and Adolescence Period.
Paige competes in Obedience, Agility, Heelwork to Music, Breed showing and Grooming with her seven sheepdogs. Paige also works in the agricultural sector with cows, and owns pedigree Shorthorns.
Lilly completed her BSc in Equine Science at University Centre Reaseheath, and her MSc in Equine Behaviour, Performance, and Training at University Centre Sparsholt. Lilly is currently completing her IMDTB Level 5 Canine Analysis and Understanding of Behaviour.
Lilly has worked with dogs in different roles over the last 10 years, conducting training and behavioural modification across a variety of dog breeds, ages, and roles, and has been riding and working with horses for 14 years in different roles, from groom to competition worker, rider, and trainer. Lilly presented her work on Sports Psychology at UKESC 2020.
- Equine/Canine/Animal Cognition
- Behaviour (Behavioural Neurobiology)
- Sports Psychology
Lilly is a musical theatre and film buff, and has a love of learning and aims to continue her own education in different areas.