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Personal profile

Overview

Helen's principle research interests and teaching experience lie in the area of Animal Welfare Science, with particular focus on companion animal behaviour and welfare, and animal welfare policy and law.  She has relevant industry experience with organisations such as the RSPCA and the Guide Dogs, and has also worked in the pet trade and with farm livestock. After completing her undergraduate studies in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, she started a career in lecturing and alongside this completed an MSc in Animal Welfare, eventually becoming a Senior Lecturer in Animal and Equine studies until 2018. 

Between 2018 and 2021 she worked towards a PhD on the herpetofauna trade at the University of Northampton, with a specific focus on what husbandry information is available to owners, what species are being traded and the socio-economic factors associated with this. This research is now in the writing-up stage with a planned completion date of October 2022. During this time she also served as an external examiner for the University of Hull and the University of Nottingham. In 2021 she joined the team at Hartpury University in the Department of Animal and Agriculture where she specialises in animal welfare policy and legislation. She also continues to act as an Academic Consultant for the University of Hull. 

Alongside her research and lecturing she also serves as Communications Officer for a Charitable Unincorporated Association (Elmdon Park Support Group, Solihull) and works closely with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to support the groups' aims of conserving the physical and natural heritage of Elmdon Park. This includes bidding for funding, designing marketing materials, maintaing a website, and running social media pages. 

Current teaching

Helen is programme manager for Hartpury University's MSc Animal Welfare, Policy, and Legisation, and the MRes in Animal Welfare and Behaviour. The MRes programme is currently being re-validated and will launch as an MSc in Applied Animal Welfare and Behaviour in Autumn 2022. 

Alongside this, Helen leads several modules include Advanced Principles of Animal Welfare; UK Legal Systems for Biologists; and Agriculture and Food Production Regulations. To support these modules she works with several Visiting Lecturers in the field of Animal Welfare Science and Law. These include experts from Newcastle University, the University of Chester, the Royal Agricultural University, and from relevant industry organisations such as the RSPCA, Humane Slaughter Association and the Pet Industry Federation. 

She has supervised postgraduate and undergraduate level projects for many years at a previous instition, and encourages students to take an applied approach in their research. Her current research on the pet trade, particularly what is traded online, will provide project ideas for future students. 

Research interests

Helen's main area of research interests surround the pet trade, its associated socio-economical factors, and the animal welfare consequences of this. This has stemmed from her PhD research, whereby she worked alongside a software developer to create an expert system software that can monitor the online trade of pets via classified websites. Currently this has monitored the sales of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) but has the potential to investigate all species traded online. 

Helen is also passionate about pedagogic research, and has overseen several projects in this area at a previous institution. She is currently investigating topics such as online delivery, flipped learning, and effective ways to teach Law to scientists (and vice versa). 

External positions and memberships

Helen is currently the UFAW Link Tutor at Hartpury University and is also a member of the Animal Welfare Research Network. 

Education/Academic qualification

PGCE, University of Northampton

20082010

Master, University of Northampton

20072010

Bachelor, Coventry University

20042007

PhD, University of Northampton

2015 → …

External positions

Academic Consultant, University of Hull

2021 → …

External Examiner, University of Nottingham

2018 → …

External Examiner, University of Hull

20162020

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