Charlotte is a Lecturer in Animal Welfare Science. Her research interests include the mechanisms and motivations behind animal behaviour, animal perceptual abilities, and how to improve animal welfare.
Charlotte joined the Royal Veterinary College as a Research Fellow in December 2008, and became a Lecturer in October 2010. Previously, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bristol in the animal welfare research group, led by Dr Helen (Becky) Whay.
Her D.Phil., awarded in 2006, was at the University of Oxford in the Department of Zoology, where she was supervised by Prof. Georgia Mason. She obtained an M.Sc. in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, and a B.A. in Biological Sciences, majoring in Animal Behaviour, at the University of Oxford.
Charlotte's current research projects involve analysing risk factors that predict abnormal behaviour in captive animals. The aim is to gain clues about why the animals perform these behaviours, and thus how we might be able to prevent the abnormal behaviour and associated poor welfare in future. She is also investigating ways to improve welfare in domestic animals whose quality of life is compromised by the way they have been bred, or by their husbandry. The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) recently awarded her an early career prize for her animal welfare research.
Her PhD students are: Rowena Packer, who is determining safe limits for the extreme body conformations seen in some domestic dogs; Liane Crowther, who is developing a quality of life assessment in horses; and Noelia Lopez, who is investigating how the olfactory environment affects laboratory mouse welfare. I also co-supervise Emma Buckland (canine welfare); Ayu Mazlan (mouse welfare); and Kate Johnson and Sophie Collins (both dairy cow welfare).
Charlotte's research at the Royal Veterinary College focuses on positive and negative welfare in animals, and on how animals perceive the lack of stimulation often experienced in captivity. She uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigating animal welfare, employing a range of statistical and epidemiological techniques to analyse behavioural and physiological data.
Her previous research has investigated the welfare of horses and donkeys that work in developing countries (funded by the Brooke Hospital for animals), and the everyday welfare of laboratory rats (funded through the Animal Procedures Committee of the Home Office). Her smaller projects have investigated coping styles and aggression in farmed pigs, and inter-specific interactions between penguins in a zoo (sponsored by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Charlotte is the module leader and primary lecturer of the Animal Behaviour and Welfare module for 3rd year Bioveterinary Science undergraduates. She also teaches on the Veterinary Nursing degree, and supervises undergraduate and MSc projects in animal behaviour and welfare.
You will need a journal subscription to view the published papers (or you can ask the author), but where copyright allows, links to the author's own unedited pdfs are provided. You can also find lay summaries of the papers here.
MASON G.J., BURN C.C., DALLAIRE J.A., KROSHKO J., MCDONALD KINKAID H. & JESCHKE J.M. (2013) Plastic animals in cages: Behavioural flexibility and responses to captivity. Animal Behaviour 85: 1113-1126 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.02.002
RUTHERFORD, L., WESSMANN, A., RUSBRIDGE, C., MCGONNELL, I.M., ABEYESINGHE, S., BURN, C.C., & VOLK, H. (in press) Questionnaire-based behaviour analysis of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with neuropathic pain due to Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia. The Veterinary Journal http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.05.018
PACKER, R.M.A., HENDRICKS, A. & BURN, C.C. (2012) Do dog owners recognise clinical signs related to a conformational inherited disorder that is 'normal for the breed'? A potential constraint to improving canine welfare. Animal Welfare 21(S1): 81-93 http://dx.doi.org/10.7120/096272812X13345905673809
JOHNSON, K.F., BURN, C.C. & WATHES, D.C. (2011) Rates and risk factors for contagious disease and mortality in young dairy heifers. CAB Reviews 6(59): 1-10
BURN, C.C. (2011) A vicious cycle: a cross-sectional study of canine tail-chasing and human responses to it, using a free video-sharing website. PLoS ONE 6: e26553 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0026553
*The Burn (2011) study on canine tail chasing was featured as part of the Ig Nobel Awards Tour, London 2013*
HAWKINS, P., BURN, C.C., HURST, J., BURMAN, O., VAN LOO, P., LEACH, M., MACONOCHIE, M., DENNISON, N., JENNINGS, M., & HUBRECHT, R. (2011) Report of the 2010 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group meeting – the effects of husbandry on welfare and promoting good practice. Animal Technology and Welfare 2011: 105-113 [pdf]
BURN, C.C., & WEIR, A.A.S. (2011) Using prevalence indices to aid interpretation and comparison of agreement ratings between two or more observers. The Veterinary Journal 188: 166-170 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.04.021 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C., DENNISON, T.L., & WHAY, H.R. (2010) Environmental and demographic risk factors for poor welfare in working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries. The Veterinary Journal 186: 385-392 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.09.016
BURN, C.C., DENNISON, T.L., & WHAY, H.R. (2010) Relationships between behaviour and health in working horses, donkeys, and mules in developing countries. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 126: 109-118 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2010.06.007 or [pdf]
PRITCHARD, J.C., BURN, C.C., & WHAY, H.R. (2009) Haematological and serum biochemical reference values for apparently healthy working horses in Pakistan. Research in Veterinary Science 87: 389-395 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2009.05.003
BURN, C.C., PRITCHARD, J.C., & WHAY, H.R. (2009) Observer reliability for working equine welfare assessment: Problems with high prevalences of certain results. Animal Welfare 18: 177-187 [pdf]
BROSTER, C.E., BURN, C.C., BARR, A.R.S., & WHAY, H.R. (2009) The range and prevalence of pathological abnormalities associated with lameness in working horses from developing countries. Equine Veterinary Journal. 41: 474-481 http://dx.doi.org/10.2746/042516409X373907 or [pdf]
PRITCHARD, J.C., BURN, C.C., BARR, A.R.S., & WHAY, H.R. (2008) Validity of indicators of dehydration in working horses: a longitudinal study of changes in skin tent duration, mucous membrane dryness and drinking behaviour Equine Veterinary Journal 40: 558-564. PubMed ID 18356129 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C., PRITCHARD, J.C., FARAJAT, M., TWAISSI, A.A. M. & WHAY, H.R. (2008) Risk factors for strap-related lesions in working donkeys at the World Heritage site of Petra in Jordan. The Veterinary Journal 178: 261–269. PubMed ID 17869139 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C. (2008) What is it like to be a rat? Rat sensory perception and its implications for experimental design and rat welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 112: 1-32 http://dx.doi.org/j.applanim.2008.02.007 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C. & MASON, G.J. (2008) Effects of cage-cleaning frequency on laboratory rat reproduction, cannibalism, and welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 114: 235–247 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2008.02.005 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C. & MASON, G.J. (2008) Rats seem indifferent between their own scent-marked homecages and clean cages. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 115: 201–210 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2008.06.002 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C., DEACON, R.M.J. & MASON G.J. (2008) Marked for life? Effects of early cage cleaning frequency, delivery batch and identification tail-marking on adult rat anxiety profiles. Developmental Psychobiology 50: 266-277 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.20279
BURN, C.C., DAY, M.J., PETERS, A. & MASON, G.J. (2006) Long-term effects of cage-cleaning frequency and bedding type on laboratory rat health, welfare, and handleability: a cross-laboratory study. Laboratory Animals, 40: 353-370 http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/002367706778476460 or [pdf]
BURN, C.C., PETERS, A. & MASON, G.J. (2006) Acute effects of cage-cleaning at different frequencies on laboratory rat behaviour and welfare. Animal Welfare, 15: 161-172 [pdf]
HAWKINS, P., NICHOLSON, J., BURN, C.C., et al. (2005) Report of the 2004 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent Welfare Group meeting. Animal Technology and Welfare 4: 79-89
BURN, C.C. & MASON, G.J. (2005) Absorbencies of six different rodent beddings: commercially advertised absorbencies are potentially misleading. Laboratory Animals, 39: 68-74 http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/0023677052886592 or [pdf]
D'EATH, R.B. & BURN, C.C. (2002) Individual differences in behaviour: A test of 'coping style' does not predict resident-intruder aggressiveness in pigs. Behaviour, 139: 1175-1194 http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685390260437326