The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

PhD Researchers

There are a number of PhD Researchers associated with the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.

To find out more about the PhD Researchers and their work, please see below.

Cathrine Erichsen (2017-2021)

PhD Title: Can the survival of lambs from larger litters be improved?

About the Project: PhD research focusing on investigating management practices and survival of triplet lambs.

You can access further information about the project and a link to the survey from Cathrine's page

Wendy Watson (2017-2023)

PhD Title: Friends, forage, freedom: What is the relationship between owner knowledge of equine ethology, management and welfare of horses?

About the Project: Horses have evolved as social, plain-dwelling, herbivores that travel several kilometres a day in search of forage and water sources to sustain them (Boyd and Keiper in Mills and McDonnell 2005). The horse’s digestive, social, and movement needs haven’t altered significantly over many millennia.  However, management strategies for domestic horses, in upper income countries, appear to have developed to accommodate the convenience of the owners; with potentially less emphasis on the welfare needs of the horse (Goodwin 2002).

Social isolation, low forage intake and lack of turnout has been associated with a poor level of welfare in stabled horses (McGreevy et al. 1995a). Lack of owner knowledge about natural equine behaviour has been cited recently as a cause of poor welfare for the horse; particularly for the leisure horse (Hocknell and Creighton 2013, Horseman et al 2016). However most welfare assessment indices to date focus on practical measurements and there is little focus on the examination of the human/horse interaction and its effect on welfare.

The aims of this PhD project are to:

i) Characterise how horses and ponies are managed in the U.K. and Ireland;

ii) Explore the factors influencing horse management (human, environmental and horse);

iii) Investigate the welfare of horses based on their ethological needs – social contact, foraging behaviour, and unrestricted movement; 

iv) Investigate further and provide suggestions for human behaviour change strategies to improve welfare for horses in the U.K. and Ireland.

Research profile

Research survey: https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/horses-in-the-uk-and-ireland

 

Marie Rowland (2017-2021)

PhD Title: Horse Welfare Practices and Perceptions within the Traveller and Gypsy Communities; an ethnic group under-represented in horse welfare research

About the project: My PhD research focuses on Traveller and Gypsy horse owners’ attitudes and approach to horse care, management and welfare in the UK and Ireland. The welfare status of Traveller/Gypsy horses will also be measured. Further, stakeholders’ knowledge, views and perceptions of Traveller/Gypsy horse care, management and welfare and the general publics’ perceptions of Traveller/Gypsy horse welfare is investigated. This research is significant because there is relatively little research undertaken into Traveller/Gypsy horse owner views, practices and on the scale of welfare concerns.

Research profile