Dr Amy Jennings (BSc BVetMed PhD FHEA CertAVP (cattle) MRCVS)

Lecturer in Production Animal Infectious Disease Management

Background

Following graduation from the Royal Veterinary College in 2007, I worked in mixed practice in the Midlands for 18 months. I joined the University of Edinburgh in 2009 as a research assistant and then as a PhD student working on the Infectious Diseases of East African Livestock (IDEAL) project, a cohort study investigating the outcomes of calves during their first year of life. Following completion of my PhD I spent a short amount of time in mixed practice in Perth before re-joining the University of Edinburgh as a clinical farm practioner in the Farm Animal Practice. Most my work was with beef and sheep farmers.

In July 2019 I began work with EPIC, the Centre for Expertise in Animal Disease Management (https://www.epicscotland.org/). I mainly work on improving our disease surveillance network in Scotland. We are developing methods to utilise data collected for other reasons, such as that recorded by veterinary practices or in slaughter houses, for syndromic surveillance. 

In addition to my work with EPIC I am co-director of Final Year for the veterinary course at RDSVS, and teach on the farm animal course delivered to the students in 4th year.

I am part of a collaborative project  funded by AHDB which is developing an intervention plan to support beef and sheep farmers to reduce their neonatal calf and lamb losses.

I also have on-going research interests in Malawi with a GCRF funded project investigating the limitations that African Swine Fever is having on the pork industry. In addition, we are developing teaching links and are currently working with LUANAR to support the teaching of their veterinary undergraduates in veterinary clinical sciences, epidemiology, and herd health. 

I support several veterinary undergraduated research projects, and co-supervise a PhD student with SRUC and the DHHPS.

I am an associate editor for the Veterinary Record and am a member of the Sheep Veterinary Society committee.

Qualifications

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh The epidemiology of Theileria parva in a cohort of short horn zebu calves Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine, Royal Veterinary College Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool Bachelor in Veterinary Conservation Medicine

Professional Qualifications

Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, MRCVS2016Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Cattle), CertAVP (Cattle)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Responsibilities & affiliations

School

  • UG teaching staff
  • Student support
  • Pre-Clinical Teaching
  • Farm Animal Teaching

Undergraduate teaching

Year 3

Professional & Clinical Skills 3

Year 4

Farm Animal

Professional & Clinical Skills 4

Year 5

Final Year co-Director

Student Selected Component 2

All Years

Professional Development

Research students

Vikki Shepherd,  R(D)SVS, SSC2 project: Investigation into the association of recycled bedding on mastitis incidence on a dairy farm, COMPLETED

Ellie Cowton, R(D)SVS, SSC2 project: Identification of risk factors for vaginal prolapse in ewes in South East Scotland, COMPLETED

Anne McMillan, R(D)SVS, SSC2 project: The association with Johnes disease in cattle and Crohne's disease in humans COMPLETED

Alicia Laniak, R(D)SVS, SRC project: Phytogenic Products used as an Alternative to Antibiotic Growth Promoters in Livestock Animals (library project) COMPLETED

Jennie Hunt, R(D)SVS, SRC project: Zoonotic disease in cattle in Cameroon. COMPLETED

Amanda Foo, R(D)SVS, SRC proejct: The use of thermal imaging equipment for early detection of lameness in cattle. COMPLETED

Sophie Porter, R(D)SVS, SRC project: Mismothering in gimmers.

Postgraduate teaching

 

David Bell, R(D)SVS and SRUC: Preventing Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves. PhD Supervisor.

Andrew Gibson, R(D)SVS and Mission Rabies: Rabies vaccination and reduction in disease in Goa, PhD internal examiner

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Research summary

Temporal and individual variation in worm egg counts within a population.

The epidemiology of Border Disease 

Zoonotic disease in cattle in Cameroon

Current research interests

EPIC – Monitoring and building Scotland’s surveillance capacity (https://www.epicscotland.org/) Working within the surveillance theme in EPIC, I work with animal health experts in Scottish government to provide evidence for policy makers, especially around the development of syndromic surveillance. EPIC is providing expertise to optimise and develop the use of livestock data in Scotland to prevent the spread of exotic and new diseases and to monitor and reduce the impact of endemic disease. This is essential for the maintenance of the high standards of health and welfare in the livestock industry and to maintain the reputation of the Scottish livestock brand. We aim to increase the participation of stakeholders along the supply chain in this work by inclusion of their data in syndromic monitoring systems. We continue to assess the coverage and impact of the current surveillance system and develop it to meet the needs of this changing environment. AHDB – Improving neonatal survival of lambs and suckled calves The neonatal period is a high risk time for any animal, with the risk of death (as opposed to culling or slaughter) diminishing rapidly with age on most farms. There is an immediate production loss from neonatal death (suckler cows and ewes with no offspring become unproductive units until they give birth again). In addition, neonatal morbidity has a sometimes harder to measure impact on welfare and future production, and leads to prophylactic and reactive antibiotic use. The current practice on most farms, with respect to neonatal health, is extrapolated from evidence from rearing dairy calves, or is based on anecdote and practice. We are developing and currently trialling an evidence based intervention plan that enables farmer’s to develop context specific vet led evidence based practice for their farm. This project pulls together information on current husbandry practice and farmer attitudes with neonatal morbidity and mortality data to identify practices that increase survival and reduce morbidity and antimicrobial use. This risk based approach has been integrated into an on-farm health planning tool that allows farmers and vets to work together to prioritise actions to improve their farm’s calf and lamb performance. This project is funded by AHDB (https://ahdb.org.uk/news/survey-launched-to-improve-neonatal-survival) jointly with Hyb Cig Cymru and Quality Meat Scotland, and forms a collaboration between Liverpool, Nottingham, and Edinburgh University, and Synergy Farm Health. Others working on this project within the group and within Edinburgh University are Rob Kelly (https://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/dr-rob-kelly), Andy Hopker (https://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/mr-andy-hopker), Alex Corbishley (https://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/dr-alexander-corbishley), and Katie Adams (http://www.stis.ed.ac.uk/people/academic_staff/katie_adam). The intervention plan is currenlty being piloted (Spring of 2020). CLGTH – legacy of the IDEAL project The field work on this project finished in 2010. However, the samples and data continue to be utilised to answer animal health questions, because of the careful development of a well-documented biobank and open access database. The project recruited Short Horn Zebu calves at birth and followed them for the first year of their live to investigate predictors for health and production outcomes. Having been involved in the field sampling and data analysis as part of my PhD, I continue to work peripherally with the legacy project following up from IDEAL, a project within the Gates Foundation funded Centre for Livetock Genetics and Health. (https://www.ctlgh.org/). The epidemiology of parasites in populations Alongside several collaborators (Prof Neil Sargison, Kim Hamer, James Crilly, Mike Evans) I have worked with longitudinal data sets from sheep and horses investigating the epidemiology of strongyles through time. We have also investigated and published on anthelminthic resistance. LUANAR, Malawi The funding for this project allowed for a workshop held in Lilongwe in February 2020. This allowed sharing of knowledge and understanding of how ASF affects the Malawian pork value chain. A workshop format brought together stakeholders (for example, government agriculturalists, veterinarians, farmer organisations) to identify high risk points in the value chain, and to highlight areas where the evidence base is lacking. The workshop team then worked together with LUANRA 4th year veterinary students to develop small data collection projects. These are on-going and will be presented in a policy document to the Malawian Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development later in the year.

Affiliated research centres

Research activities

View all 11 activities on Research Explorer

View all 29 publications on Research Explorer