Department: Clinical Science and Services
Research Centres: RVC Animal Welfare Science and Ethics
Fiona is a PhD student based in the Animal Welfare Science and Ethics group. Her PhD is funded by Dogs Trust. She works closely alongside 'Generation Pup', a Dogs Trust funded cohort project investigating canine health and welfare. The aim of Fiona's project is to research early life risk factors influencing the development of separation-related behaviour (SRB) in puppies. She will test the effectiveness of providing new puppy owners with 'gold standard' preventative advice at reducing SRBs in puppies. She is supervised by Dr Rachel Casey and Dr Charlotte Burn.
Fiona joined the Royal Veterinary College as a PhD student in November 2016.
Fiona's background is in biology and zoology. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 with a BSc in Biological Sciences with Zoology Honours. Fiona then went on to complete an MSc in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at the University of Glasgow in 2016. Her MSc project was supervised by Professor Pat Monaghan and investigated the effect of an unpredictable feeding regime and age on the behaviour and welfare of laboratory zebra finches.
In her project, Fiona is working closely alongside the Dogs Trust funded project 'Generation Pup' to identify early life risk factors affecting the development of separation-related behaviours (SRBs) in puppies. She is interested in how puppies respond to being left alone when they first arrive in their new home and whether different owner strategies at settling their puppies into the household at this early stage influence the development of SRBs in later life. She will be testing the efficacy of providing new puppy owners with a set of 'gold standard' SRB preventation advice at reducing the devleopment of SRBs in puppies.
You can find out more information about 'Generation Pup' at www.generationpup.ac.uk
There is increasing interest in assessment of mental well-being in animals mirroring current interest areas and research in humans. This theme addresses underlining emotional states in animals and where possible, aims to find neural explanations for these.