Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Timothy Boswell

Senior Lecturer

Background

Role and Responsibilities

  • Degree Programme Director Biology
  • Chair of Biology Degree Teaching Group

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Newcastle University
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD, University of Bristol
  • BSc Zoology, University of Bristol




Research

Research Interests

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 genomic technologies 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.

Current Projects

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.

Google Scholar Profile

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • BIO2030/BIO2031 Methods in Biotechnology
  • BIO2022 Molecular Biology and Development
  • BIO3001 Animal Ecophysiology
  • BIO3032 Cellular Systems
  • BIO3046 Hormones and Behaviour
  • BIO3197 Biological Literature Review
  • BIO3198 Biological Information Project
  • BIO3199 Biological Research Project

Postgraduate

  • BIO8044 Biotechnology: Advanced Topics
  • BIO8045 Genetically Engineered Organisms: Food, Pharmaceutical and Industrial Sectors
  • BIO8096 MSc Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology Thesis 

Publications