Discussion Forum Speakers

Read about our Discussion Forum 2023 speakers and chairs:

Sophie Lewis & Jo White (HBCL)

Sophie Lewis & Jo White (HBCL)

Sophie Lewis & Jo White (HBCL)

Session: Human Behaviour Change

Jo White and Sophie Lewis, Human Behaviour Change for Life (HBCL)

Jo has passion for animals and a fascination for what makes the human animal tick. Prior to founding Human Behaviour Change for Animals C.I.C. (HBCA), she has a background in animal welfare and was working as a consultant. Together with Suzanne Rogers, she established HBCA after recognising that insight about how and why people behave the way they do, could provide solutions to challenging issues that affect animals. In 2022 they set up Human Behaviour Change for Life (HBCL), which HBCA now comes under, to reflect the expanding scope of their work to include areas such as the environment, conservation, and human well-being.

 

Sophie Lewis is an experienced project manager in the fields of human behaviour change, animal welfare, conservation, responsible tourism, and more. She is adept at supporting the growth of organisations and individuals and is motivated by a passion for empowering people to protect human communities, non-human animals, and the planet.

 

Rob Percival

Rob Percival

Rob Percival

Session: Diet, sustainability, and animal welfare

Rob Percival

Head of Food Policy, Soil Association

Rob Percival is Head of Food Policy at the Soil Association, an organisation promoting healthy and sustainable food and farming. His book ‘The Meat Paradox’ was published in 2022 and explores the cognitive and cultural complexity of the meat debate. You can find him on Twitter @Rob_Percival

Sarah Ison

Sarah Ison

Sarah Ison

Session: Diet, sustainability, and animal welfare

Sarah Ison

Head of Research (Campaigns), Compassion in World Farming

Sarah has a BSc in biological sciences from King’s College London and an MSc in Animal Behaviour from Exeter University. In 2016, she was awarded her PhD from the University of Edinburgh after researching pain associated with the birthing process in pigs with Scotland’s Rural College. Sarah left academia in 2017 to embark on a career in advocacy. She has worked globally on her passion to improve animal welfare, through academic research, providing expertise directly to producers, sharing best practice and influencing policy to improve animal welfare across the supply chain.

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Session: Diet, sustainability, and animal welfare

Dave Ross

CEO of AgriEPI

Dave provides leadership and strategic direction to the development of the Centre in its emerging role, both nationally and internationally. He is a trained engineer, with 30 years’ experience of agri-technology in both the cropping and livestock sectors, encompassing a broad range of technology areas. He has been involved in the R&D of a number of novel and patented developments across the agricultural production sectors. Some of these have been fully commercialised and he has assisted with spin-out and new company formations.

Hillary Pearce

Hillary Pearce

Hillary Pearce

Session: Diet, sustainability, and animal welfare

Hillary Pearce

Associate Manager of Professional and Veterinary Affairs for UK and Ireland, Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Dr Hillary Pearce is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. While at MSU, she worked in the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Laboratory which ignited her love for animal welfare science. Hillary joined Hill’s in 2012 and is currently Associate Manager for Professional and Veterinary Affairs for the UK and Ireland. Hillary has served on the AVMA’s Committee for the Human-Animal Bond. She is currently a resident in the American College of Animal Welfare and sits on the Working Animal subgroup for the One Welfare Phoenix project.

Laura Higham

Laura Higham

Laura Higham

Session: Diet, sustainability, and animal welfare (Chair)

Laura Higham

Veterinary Consultant, FAI Farms

Laura is an Advanced Earth Fellow in regenerative agriculture at the Edinburgh Earth Institute, and is studying for a PhD at the Global Academy for Agriculture and Food Systems, exploring multiple sustainability metrics in food production. Laura is also a veterinary consultant at FAI, where she works alongside food businesses to support sustainability in commercial livestock supply chains, and is the founder and a director of Vet Sustain, a social enterprise with a mission to enable and inspire veterinary professionals to drive sustainability through their work.

Jonathan Statham

Jonathan Statham

Jonathan Statham

Session: Technology and animal welfare

Jonathan Statham

Chair of the Animal Health & Welfare Board of England

Jonathan is currently Chair of the Animal Health & Welfare Board of England (AHWBE). He is a qualified vet and partner at the Bishopton Veterinary Group in Yorkshire, with years of experience of working with the farming industry. He is also Chief Executive Officer at RAFT Solutions Ltd, an innovation led sustainability company combining applied research with advanced breeding, food futures, consultancy and training. In 2020 he took up a chair at Harper and Keele vet school and is now Professor of Sustainable Livestock Health & Welfare. Previously, Jonathan has been President of the British Cattle Veterinary Association and served on various representative groups including both the GB Cattle Health and Welfare Group and GB Sheep Health and Welfare Group.

Nicola Blackie

Nicola Blackie

Nicola Blackie

Session: Technology and animal welfare

Nicola Blackie

Senior lecturer in Production Animal Science, RVC

Dr Nicola Blackie is a Senior lecturer in Production Animal Science at the RVC.  She has a strong interest in the use of technology to detect disease and to assess welfare in farmed animals.  Her PhD research utilised accelerometers and computer gait analysis to detect changes caused by lameness in dairy cows. Current areas of interest include the use of accelerometers and thermal imaging to measure behaviour, welfare and productivity in cows and calves.

Kevin Corley

Kevin Corley

Kevin Corley

Session: Technology and animal welfare

Kevin Corley

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, EquiTrace

Kevin Corley is the founder of the EquiTrace app, a revolutionary technology platform for horse identity, traceability, and health.

Dr Corley graduated from Edinburgh University, followed by a PHD and teaching position at RVC. An internationally acclaimed specialist in equine medicine and critical care, Kevin is consulted by veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. His work takes him across the globe, including America, Australia, and Ireland. He has served on international professional bodies such as the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) and is consulted as an expert witness in several different jurisdictions.

Piers Hampson

Piers Hampson

Piers Hampson

Session: Technology and animal welfare

Piers Hampson

Head of Product (Companion Animal Technology), MSD Animal Health

Piers has been working in ‘Smart Pet’ technology for over 9 years and is currently the Head of Product for Companion Animal Technology for MSD Animal Health. He works to support the company’s mission to re-imagine and transform the way in which people care for their pets by combining technology and medicine. Piers has a BSc in Medical Genetics and a MSc in Marketing.

Emma Baxter

Emma Baxter

Emma Baxter

AWF-funded project: What makes a good free farrowing sow?

Emma Baxter

Dr Baxter is an Associate Professor/Reader at SRUC in Edinburgh, specialising in animal behaviour and welfare, with over 20 years of research experience particularly related to integrated pig science. Their main interests include neonatal survival, developing alternative farrowing and lactation systems, implementing uptake of high welfare systems and practices, and mitigating the health and welfare impacts of selection for production traits. Furthermore, Emma works closely with industry across all sectors of the supply chain, providing consultancy and specialising in outreach to translate research into practice. Emma is an active member of a number of national and international committees including the EU sub-group for pig welfare and the RSPCA’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for pig standards

Ellie Miller - Student researcher

Ellie Miller - Student researcher

Ellie Miller - Student researcher

AWF-funded project: Recognition of pain in calves and decisions around treatment among farmers in UK

Ellie Miller

Ellie Miller is a 4th year veterinary medicine and science undergraduate studying at Nottingham. Her AWF-funded research explored the recognition and perception of pain in calves, farmer use of analgesics, and vet-farmer discussions around treatment.

 

Donald Broom

Donald Broom

Donald Broom

Session: 40 years of AWF

Donald Broom

Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfare at Cambridge University

Professor Donald M. Broom was Colleen Macleod Professor of Animal Welfare 1986-2009 in Cambridge University, Department of Veterinary Medicine, a post funded by the Animal Welfare Foundation. This was the first Professorship of Animal Welfare in the world. He has M.A., Ph.D. and Sc.D. degrees from Cambridge and was Lecturer/Reader at Reading University 1967-1986. His research concerns the scientific assessment of animal welfare, cognitive abilities of animals, ethics and sustainable farming.

He was Chairman or Vice Chairman of EU Scientific Committees on Animal Welfare 1990 – 2012 and a member of four UK Government Committees.

He has given 547 invited lectures in 49 countries, supervised 36 Ph.D. students and written 403 refereed papers and 12 books including: Stress and Animal Welfare (with K.G. Johnson), The Evolution of Morality and Religion, Sentience and Animal Welfare, Animal Welfare in the European Union, Tourism and Animal Welfare (with N. Carr) and Domestic Animal Behaviour and Welfare, 6th edition (2022).

Dorothy McKeegan

Dorothy McKeegan

Dorothy McKeegan

Session: 40 years of AWF

Dorothy McKeegan

Animal Welfare Scientist and Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Dorothy McKeegan has wide ranging research interests relating to animal welfare and animal ethics, with expertise in behaviour and neurophysiology and a particular interest in farm animal welfare. She has worked extensively on avian pain, welfare assessment and humane slaughter.

In her teaching role, Dorothy delivers an integrated programme of animal welfare science and ethics in undergraduate curricula and she co-coordinates the Glasgow MSc in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law.

She is a member of Defra’s Animal Welfare Committee and has held several other committee roles including for BBSRC, BVA, Dogs Trust, AVMA and food industry partners.

Jennifer Duncan

Jennifer Duncan

Jennifer Duncan

Session: 40 years of AWF

Senior Lecturer in Livestock Health and Welfare, University of Liverpool

Jennifer is a veterinary surgeon with a particular interest in animal welfare and sheep medicine. Her current position at the University of Liverpool is in the Department of Livestock and One Health in the School of Veterinary Science, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences.  She teaches animal welfare and sheep veterinary medicine.

Her research focuses on sheep lameness, neonatal lamb diseases and sheep welfare.  She also co-ordinates 3 post graduate veterinary modules in sheep medicine as part of the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice courses at Liverpool and supervises research projects in the post-graduate Diploma of Bovine Reproduction Course for vets.

Jennifer has held many interesting administrative roles in the Veterinary School. Due to her strong interest in research ethics she is vice-chair of the Institute Research Ethics Committee and also sits on Central University Ethics Committee.

David Main

David Main

David Main

Session: 40 years of AWF

David Main

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resources), Professor of Production Animal Health and Welfare, Royal Agricultural University

David Main is a veterinary surgeon and Professor of Production of Animal Health and Welfare at the Royal Agricultural University. He has research interests in science and practice of knowledge exchange, animal welfare assessment and improvement strategies and animal welfare education. Former member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, Food Ethics Council and Soil Association Council. He is chair of Home Office Animals in Science Committee and member of McDonald’s Global Chicken Sustainability Advisory Council.

Previous initiatives include the AssureWel project, a collaboration with RSPCA and Soil Association that introduced welfare outcomes into certification schemes and the Healthy Feet Project that has been widely adopted by the UK dairy industry. He was also project co-ordinator for Hennovation, an EU H2020 project that investigated the value of participatory approaches to innovation in the laying hen sector.

Sean Wensley

Sean Wensley

Sean Wensley

Session chair: 40 years of AWF

Sean Wensley 

Senior Vet at PDSA / Director of Vet Sustain

Sean Wensley is a Senior Vet at PDSA and a Director of Vet Sustain. He chairs the Animal Welfare Working Group of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and was BVA President from 2015 – 2016 and previously served on the AWF Board as a Trustee. In 2017 Sean received the inaugural World Veterinary Association (WVA) Global Animal Welfare Award for Europe. His first book Through A Vet’s Eyes: How We Can All Choose a Better Life for Animals was published in Spring 2022.

Nick Powell

Nick Powell

Nick Powell

Session chair: Technology is challenging the paradigm of animal welfare

Double Royal Television Society award winner Nick Powell is Sky News Sports Editor and a presenter on Sky Sports News. He has covered Olympic Games, Wimbledon, FA Cup finals and many major events at home and abroad. Nick studied German and Russian at Bradford University before a journalism post-grad at Cardiff.

 

 

Giles Yeo (MBE)

Giles Yeo (MBE)

Giles Yeo (MBE)

Evening reception – Guest speaker

Giles Yeo

Professor of Molecular Neuroendocrinology, Cambridge University

Giles Yeo got his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Cambridge in 1998, and is now a Professor of Molecular Neuroendocrinology and programme leader at the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit in Cambridge. His research currently focuses on the influence of genes on feeding behaviour & body-weight. In addition, he is Honorary President of the British Dietetic Association. Giles is also a broadcaster and author, presenting science documentaries for the BBC, and hosts a podcast called ‘Dr Giles Yeo Chews The Fat’. His first book ‘Gene Eating’ was published in December 2018, and his second book ‘Why Calories Don’t Count’ came out in June 2021. Giles was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 2020 birthday honours for services to ‘Research, Communication and Engagement’.