Chair of Undergraduate Board of Studies
Degree Programme Director Cellular and Molecular Biology
My research interests are centred on the neural and endocrine mechanisms that underpin feeding behaviour, metabolism, reproduction and stress responsiveness. I am particularly interested in how vertebrates, particularly birds, adjust their behaviour and physiology to environmental seasonality such as changes in photoperiod. I use a comparative, multi-disciplinary, approach that combines and integrates the genetic and molecular to the ecological and behavioural levels of biological organisation. In this way, I aim to gain insight into fundamental mechanisms regulating behaviour and physiology from the perspective of the whole animal. My research has involved the use of functional genomic technologies, including DNA microarrays, to identify genes in the brain involved in the control of seasonal physiology, and I have combined this with neurobiological approaches to characterise and monitor activity of neuroendocrine pathways. I am currently applying my knowledge of the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying control of food intake and stress regulation to develop novel methods for assessing welfare in chickens and other livestock based on molecular markers.
BBSRC (2013-2016) Developing and validating a practical screening tool for chronic stress in livestock. Collaborators: Drs. Tom Smulders and Fabio Gualtieri, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University; Drs. Rick D'Eath and Vicky Sandilands, SRUC, Scotland.
BBSRC (2014-2017) Investigating how the type and quantity of food affect foraging behaviour and the neural circuits controlling feeding in broiler breeder chickens. Collaborators: Dr. Ian Dunn, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh; Drs. Rick D'Eath, Vicky Sandilands and Laura Dixon, SRUC, Scotland.
BIO1010 Biology in Action
BIO2015 Biotechnology 1
BIO2022 Molecular Biology and Development
BIO2023 Cell Biology 2
BIO3001 Animal Ecophysiology
BIO3018 Biotechnology 2 (Module Leader)
BIO3021 Laboratory Workshop (Module Leader)
BIO3032 Cell Biology 3
BIO3033 Placement Report for Biologists (Module Leader)
BIO3037 Current Zoology
BIO3194 Biological Literature Review
BIO3195 Biological Information Project
BIO3196 Biological Research Project
BIO8044 Gene Technology
BIO8045 Genetically Engineered Organisms: Food, Pharmaceutical and Industrial Sectors
BIO8096 MSc Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology Thesis