Published: 24 Jun 2016 | Last Updated: 10 Aug 2023 11:34:51

UFAW is pleased to announce that its Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award has been given to Dr Rowena Packer, a Clinical Investigations Postdoctoral Researcher at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).   The UFAW Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award is to recognise the achievements of young scientists who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of animals. It is open to postgraduate students, anywhere in the world, currently studying for a doctoral degree or who are within six years of the end of their PhD.   Rowena has shown a talent for quantitative research, which she has applied to her animal welfare research. Her undergraduate final year research project at the University of Bristol on meta-analysis explored the potential to combine the results of animal welfare research studies, and was exceptional for a scientist at this stage in her career. Her PhD, also of high standard, has raised awareness of the links between extreme conformation and inherited diseases in dogs and its findings have been featured in a number of high profile publications.   Rowena has been proactive and has worked with the dog breeding community in disseminating her research. She has given invited talks to many dog breed clubs and played a major role in organising and hosting an interactive event, ‘Building Better Brachycephalics’, where she presented her PhD findings to approximately 50 stakeholders.

Rowena is now a postdoctoral researcher, studying epilepsy in dogs at the RVC, as part of which she co-created the RVC Pet Epilepsy Tracker, a smartphone app for the owners of dog with epilepsy, and ran an owner engagement event, ‘21st Century Management of Canine Epilepsy’. She continues to work alongside breeders and breed clubs to facilitate research that will ultimately reduce the frequency and severity of breed-related disorders in dogs. Rowena was presented with her award at the UFAW Conference ‘Recent Advances in Animal Welfare Science’ held in York on 23rd June.  The Conference was the fifth in UFAW’s popular series of one-day conferences providing a forum for both experienced and new animal welfare scientists, veterinarians and others to discuss recent developments in animal welfare science.  

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Notes to Editors The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London. The RVC offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences, being ranked in the top 10 universities nationally for biosciences degrees.  It is currently the only veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC. A research-led institution, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the RVC maintained its position as the top HEFCE funded veterinary focused research institution. The RVC  also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals; the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in central London, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe's largest small animal referral centre), the Equine Referral Hospital, and the Farm Animal Clinical Centre located at the Hertfordshire campus. 

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