Dr Jill MacKay

Senior Lecturer


I'm a lecturer in veterinary science education who focusses on interdisciplinary research methodology. I am a proponent of open science, and particularly exploring how education research can adopt open science practices. My current fields of interest are technology enhanced learning and learning in digital environments, but as an interdisciplinary researcher I am always happy to explore some side interests, such as human-animal interactions. 

My PhD was in animal personality, and I am passionate about public engagement with science and blog regularly at Fluffy Sciences. I also participate in many science festivals and am happy to do guest spots with student groups when asked. 

Please feel free to contact me with any queries.


2010 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Characterising personality traits in cattle through the use of biotelemetry systems, University of Edinburgh

2004 Master in Science, Zoology, University of Glasgow

Professional Qualifications

2019 Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SFHEA

2016 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA

Responsibilities & affiliations

Course leader: Student Research Component (BVM&S); Research Planning and Methodology in Animal Welfare (International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law Online MSc); Professional Skills (Agricultural Science BScs)


Undergraduate teaching

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) 

  • Student Research Component


Agricultural Science BSc (Hons)

  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists

Postgraduate teaching

Clinical Animal Behaviour Online MSc

  • Principles of Animal Behaviour

  • Anthrozoology

 International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law Online MSc

  • Research Planning and Methodology in Animal Welfare

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

Syamira Zaini - Knowledge and attitudes of veterinarians with regards to pain and welfare in cats - an educational intervention

Wendy Watson - Friends, Forage, Freedom, an investigation into the welfare of managed horses in the UK

Research summary

Research methodology, open science practices

Within education research: Digital education (effectiveness, utilisation and effects on experience), student learning, student experience, staff teaching experience, effective public engagement.

Within human-animal relationships: animal support, companion animal welfare, animal welfare education.



Current research interests

I am based within the VMED (Veterinary Medical Education) research group. We have a wide remit looking at many aspects of veterinary education including student support and wellbeing, feedback and assessment and e-learning. I also maintain links with the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education group at R(D)SVS, and the Global Academy for Agriculture and Food Security reflecting my interest in personality and human-animal relationships.

Research activities

View all 23 activities on Research Explorer

View all 56 publications on Research Explorer