Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory

Anna is a PhD student in the Structure & Motion Laboratory, supervised by Dr. Andrew Spence and Prof. John Hutchinson. Her research focuses on how animals use sensory feedback in the neural control of locomotion.

Anna graduated in 2006 with a BSc. (Hons) in Veterinary Science (now Bioveterinary Science) form The Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Her bachelor project, supervised by Prof. Janet Patterson-Kane, looked into age related changes in connexin protein expression in equine superficial digital flexor tendons. This then extended into a Pfizer sponsored summer studentship comparing her findings in the horse to human Achilles tendons.

Anna then decided to continue her undergraduate studies graduating with a BVet. Med. from The Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 2010. Her project, supervised by Dr. Richard Piercy, looked into gross and histological characterisation of the equine sacrocaudalis dorsalis muscles in the context of diagnosing Equine Motor Neuron disease and Polyneuritis Equi.

This has led her to further her research interests, particularly in the fields of neuromechanics and neuromuscular disorders. She is currently undertaking a PhD, supervised by Dr. Andrew Spence and Prof. John Hutchinson, in comparative sensory biomechanics.

 

PhD Project Title:

Comparative sensory biomechanics of locomotion in horses, dogs and insects.

This project focuses on how animals use sensory feedback in the neural control of locomotion. By comparing legged animals of different size and morphology, we hope to gain a general understanding of how legged animals control their locomotion. This basic knowledge of how the nervous system underlies locomotion can bring fundamental insight into the aetiology of both veterinary and human diseases.

Anna’s first project asked whether and how horses use feedback from the distal limb during trotting and walking locomotion. She is currently analysing a large set of kinematic data from horses walking and trotting on a treadmill, before and after applying a temporary nerve block to the forelimbs. 

 

Publications

Liedtke, A.M., Moore, S., Witte, T., Spence, A.J. (2012, 79.2). How do animals with limited distal limb musculature use sensory feedback during locomotion? Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2012, 52:E106-E

Presentations at International Conferences:

How does loss of digital sensory feedback affect locomotion in the horse?, ICEL, Ströhmsholm, Sweden, 2012

How do animals with limited distal limb musculature use sensory feedback during locomotion?, Annual SICB Conference, Charleston, USA, 2012

How do animals with limited distal limb musculature use sensory feedback during locomotion?, Annual SEB Conference, Glasgow, UK, 2011

 

Anna thoroughly enjoys teaching and has successfully supervised a BSc. third year bachelor project student (2011) and BSc. second year research project student (2012).

 

 Anna was a member of the team displaying the RHex robot to curious youngsters and general public as part of the Antenna Gallery exhibition in the London Science Museum (2011).

Presentation of research and facilities at the Structure and Motion Laboratory (informal) to prospective students and parents, Royal Veterinary College Open Day, 2011.

Introduction of facilities found at the Sefton Equine Hospital Imaging suite (informal) to prospective students and parents, Royal Veterinary College Open Day, 2010.

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