Professor Simone Meddle

Personal Chair of Behavioural Neuroendocrinology



The Roslin Institute
Easter Bush Campus

Post code
EH25 9RG


  • Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes
    Behavioural Neuroendocrinology Animal Welfare


Simone graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Bristol in 1991.  Under the supervision of Prof. Sir Brian Follett she researched photoperiodic time measurement in birds and was awarded a PhD from The University of Bristol in 1995.  She then undertook a post-doctoral research project with Prof. Gareth Leng and Prof. John Russell in the Department of Physiology, Medical School at The University of Edinburgh where she investigated the neural pathways controlling parturition. In 1996 she went to work in the laboratory of Prof. John Wingfield at the University of Washington, USA, to study hormone, brain-behaviour interactions in wild song birds, including in those breeding in the Arctic. Simone returned to the UK in 1999 to take up research positions back at The University of Edinburgh, School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences where her research focused on topics that included stress physiology, maternal behaviour and learning and memory. 

Simone became a Lecturer in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005 and was promoted to Senior lecturer in 2008, Reader in 2011 and in 2016 was awarded a Personal Chair in Behavioural Neuroendocrinology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine.  Simone is also a Group Leader at the Roslin Institute and is the Lead of the BBSRC Institute Strategic program Improving Animal Production and Welfare.  She leads a research group funded by the BBSRC, NSF, The Leverhulme trust and The Royal Society that investigates how environmental and social cues can trigger functionally important behaviours such as response to stress, food intake, reproduction, photoperiodism and aggression by examining the neuroendocrine system. She is also investigating the neurobiology of positive welfare (environmental enrichment) and behaviour. Simone served on BBSRC committee A member as a Chair and as a core member. Simone teaches extensively on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.  She is Second Year Director, Director for Intercalated Degrees, Course Organiser and a Personal Tutor for BVM&S students. 


Collaborative Activity

Current external collaborators include:

Professor John Wingfield (UC Davis, USA)

Professor Kazuyoshi Tsutsui (Waseda University Japan)

Professor Sue Healy (University of St Andrews)

Professor Karen Spencer (University of St Andrews)

Professor Alistair Lawrence (Scotland's Rural College)

Professor Oliver Bosch (Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neuroendocrinology, Universität Regensburg Germany)

Dr Tyler Stevenson (University of Glasgow, UK) 

Area of Expertise

Research expertise:  Behavioural Neuroendocrinology



1992 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Bristol

1991 Bachelor of Science, University of Bristol

Responsibilities & affiliations

BVM&S Committees:

Learning and Teaching Committee

Curriculum Review Committee

Assessment Research and Development Group 

Intercalated Degree Executive Committee

Research Track Committee

Postgraduate Studies 

SPGSC Masters 

Board of Studies School of Biomedical Sciences 

Undergraduate teaching

2020-present: Director for Second Year BVM&S. 

2005-2020: Director for First Year BVM&S. 

2007-present: Director for intercalated degrees for BVM&S. 

2010-2014: Exam Board Chair for BVM&S Animal Body 1 & AB3 spot exam organiser.

2018-present: BVM&S Board of Studies

2004-2011: Course Organiser for Hormones Emotionality and Behaviour, Medical Biology BSc. (Hons). I designed, developed and gave all lectures on the course.

2005-present: Section Organiser for BVM&S Animal Body 3.

2005-present: Personal Tutor for BVM&S students. 

2005-present: Exam Board Member for the following BVM&S courses: Animal Body 1, Animal Body 3 and Graduate entry.

2004-2011: Exam Board Member Medical Biology BSc. (Hons).

2006-2011: Staff / Student Liaison Officer for Medical Biology BSc. (Hons).

Currently teach on the following courses:

BVM&S: Animal Body 1, Animal Body 3, Animal Body 4, professional & clinical skills and graduate entry. MSc. / Diploma in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. MSc. Research Animal Biosciences. Reproductive Biology (BSc. Hons).

Previously taught: Medical Biology (BSc. Hons) Neuroendocrinology module, Physiology (BSc. Hons) and Neuroscience (BSc. Hons) and Medical Biology first year.

1995-present: Supervisor for Physiology Hons BSc. and Neuroscience Hons BSc. Research Projects. Supervised laboratory research projects at undergraduate level.

2005-present: Supervisor of BVM&S undergraduate Student Research Component Projects.

1995-current: Supervisor of Undergraduate Vacation Research Projects.

1995-current:  Supervised field based and laboratory projects for visiting undergraduate and postgraduate students from the UK, Japan, USA, Malaysia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Thailand, Germany, France and Greece.

2016: Designed and delivered training for East Bio DTP Students.

Information correct as of 2020

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Adaptations of the neuroendocrine system: hormonal and neural regulation of reproduction and behaviour.  Animal Welfare: Neurobiology of positive welfare and behaviour.

Current research interests

I have several lines of research currently underway all related to my specific interest in behavioural neuroendocrinology.  My neuroendocrine research focuses on how environmental cues can trigger the expression of functionally important behaviours. This is a question of significant importance in neuroscience and animal welfare. Neuroendocrine-related behaviours are thought to be initiated or enabled by peripheral hormone secretion, and appear to involve specific neurohormonal actions of peptides within the brain. The exact mechanisms by which hormones affect the apparent organisational changes in neuronal circuitry and the specific chemical signals involved in sustaining the resulting behaviours, are questions fundamental to understanding behavioural disorders. Hormonal and neural regulation of social behaviour including aggression and reproductive behaviour including maternal behaviour. Supported by BBSRC. Neuroendocrine control of reproduction, pregnancy and parturition. Supported by The Welcome Trust and BBSRC. Hormonal and neural regulation of food intake. Adaptations in neuroendocrine stress response mechanisms. Effects of early life stress in later life. Supported by BBSRC. Animal welfare; neurobiology and Indicators of positive animal welfare.  Collaborative research with Prof. Alistair Lawrence, SRUC.Supported by BBSRC. The circadian system, photoperiodism and seasonality.  Physiological and neuroendocrine adaptations to breeding in the Arctic.  Collaborative research with Prof. John Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. Supported by NSF. Neural and endocrinological bases of nest building, spatial learning and memory in food-storing birds. Collaborative research with Prof. Sue Healy, University of St Andrews.  Supported by BBSRC. The role of sex steroids in regulating the song control nucleus in birds.  Collaborative research with Prof. George Bentley, UC Berkeley, USA). Supported by NSF. Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain.  Collaborative research with Dr Tyler Stevenson, The University of Aberdeen. Supported by The Leverhulme Trust. Research students Primary Supervisor: PhD Students: Ailsa Mackay (2005-2008). Sarah Caughey (2006-2010). Yana Aleksandrova (2013-2017). Georgia Longmoor (2015-2019). Emma Tivey (2018-2021). MSc Students: David Ishya (2006). Gillian Perreau (2013). Artemis Papadaki-Anastasopoulou (2014). Bedour Al-Sayegh (2015). Angela Correa Ramirez (2017). William Farnworth Rowson (2018). Francesca Foschi (2019). PhD Student Co-supervisor: Zoe Hodgson (2001-2004). Olivia Haggis (2006-2010). Zachary Hall, The University of St Andrews (2011-2014). Natalia Grundwald (2011-2015). Yu-Ting Lai (2011-2015). Doris Bayer, The University of Regensburg, Germany (2012-2015). Sophie Edwards, The University of St Andrews (2015-2019). Tayla Hammond, SRUC (2018-2021). Elisabetta Tolla, The university of Glasgow (2018-2021). MSc Student Co-supervisor: Lauren Broom (2004). Valerie Bishop (2006) Sara Hintze (2012) Tayla Hammond (2017) Raven Hickson (2018) Cleo Grieve (2019) Undergraduates who have undertaken research projects in the Meddle Laboratory 2019 Jacqueline Tong 2018 Micheal Sia Alexis Bryce 2017 Elisa Nicklas (Erasmus Plus Student) Meagan Wentworth Jeffrey Cheah 2016 Ben Brown         Evie Stickland   Jessica Stirling  Kayla Sands 2015 Cheryl Rae George Martin   Patricia Clark Sarah Rusin       2014 Jessica Bouchard            2013 Chelsie Daniel   Rosemarie Bonanno Sarah Aldridge Rebecca Senf     2012 Joseph Clarke    Stephanie Ellison 2011  Camilla Hindar  2010 Ariana Parker    Chloe Tolley Max King          Rachael White   2009 Emily Hatfield   Kathryn Cruickshank      Lucy Oldham Luke Burke        2008 Gemma Rushton            Jenifer Rodrigues           Surawee Chauaiphichai  2007 Louise Warren    2006 Lynne Dallachy  Michelle Lew     2005 Emily Barlass     Lyndsay Gray     Sophie Brearly   2004 Elisabeth Hirst  Jennifer Horwood           Olivier Marteau 2003 Alexander Gillies           Alexandra Tweed          Neil Dawson      Simon Bush       2002 Effimia Gkoumassi 2001 Elizabeth Portnoy          Nadia Mosson    <2000 Joanna Maclean Katherine O'Neill Victoria Scott    Johann Selvarajah