Ageing, Health & Welfare

Ageing, Health & Welfare

People are now living much longer than previous generations, with ageing being the major risk factor for many diseases. Consequently, understanding why we age, how we age and the impact ageing has on health and wellbeing is a major challenge in science today.

We are uniquely placed to employ a highly integrative and collaborative approach for the study of ageing, health and welfare, since we combine mechanistic, functional and applied perspectives. We currently use a range of interventions and assays to examine such questions in both laboratory and field settings. Using these approaches we are interested in a range of factors (e.g. stress, pollution, chronobiology, diet, reproduction, epidemiology), how they are affected by ageing and their impact on human and animal health.

Given the rapidly expanding human population, a second major societal challenge is the requirement to produce sufficient safe, nutritious and sustainable foodstuffs. We are particularly interested in ways to maximize animal production but in a manner which protects animal health and welfare. To achieve these overall aims this research theme actively collaborates with others in this university (e.g. biomedics, clinicians, veterinarians, Glasgow Polyomics facility) and elsewhere, including Government agencies (e.g. DEFRA), external institutes (e.g. The James Hutton Institute, Moredun Research Institute) and commercial enterprises.

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Full listing of staff in this research theme

Simon Babayan

Dr Simon Babayan

Research Fellow (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Wild immunology; host-parasite interactions; protective immunity; vaccine development against filariasis.

Maureen Bain

Professor Maureen Bain

Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Histology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Vertebrate anatomy and histology - structure and functional relationships; applied poultry science; avian biology focusing on oviduct structure and function in relation to egg formation, factors affecting egg quality and egg safety, egg quality assessment, and chick development.

Michelle Bellingham

Dr Michelle Bellingham

Lecturer (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: How exposure to chemicals in the environment, at different life stages, can affect reproductive function; how maternal smoking affects the human fetus, including programming of adverse health outcomes in adulthood

Fiona Dowell

Dr Fiona Dowell

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Pharmacology (Veterinary Science and Education)

Research interests: Pharmacological control of smooth muscle - using in vitro organ bath set-ups to look at isolated segments of smooth muscle and how they function in health and disease; Methods to evaluate stress indicators associated with environmental and housing conditions in companion animals.

Kathryn Ellis

Dr Kathryn Ellis

Senior Veterinary Clinician (Farm Animal Clinical Sciences)

Research interests: Organic agricultural production systems and production animal welfare.

Neil Evans

Professor Neil Evans

Professor of Integrative Physiology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: The regulation of the neuroendocrine axes, in particular those regulating reproductive function, both by internal factors such as gonadal steroids and stress hormones and external factors such as chemical mixtures that are found in the environment.

Barbara Helm

Dr Barbara Helm

Reader (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Annual and daily rhythms, especially of wild organisms; physiology, ecology and migration of birds. Understanding how biological clocks help or hinder organisms' adjustment to environmental change.

Denise Hough

Dr Denise Hough

Research Associate (Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences)

Research interests: Neuroendocrinology and steroid biochemistry. Regulation of steroid hormone production alongside their physiological and behavioural effects, particularly within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/gonadal axes.

Nicholas Jonsson

Professor Nicholas Jonsson

Professor of Animal Production and Public Health (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Livestock and wildlife management, especially: genetics of metabolism in ruminant species (livestock & wildlife); systems biology approaches to wildlife-livestock-pathogen-environment interactions; genetics of drug resistance in ticks; immunogenetics of host-parasite interactions

John Marshall

Dr John Marshall

Senior Veterinary clinician (Equine Clinical Sciences)

Dominic McCafferty

Dr Dominic McCafferty

Senior Lecturer (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Thermal biology of body temperature regulation and cold adaptation in marine mammals and birds.

Dorothy McKeegan

Dr Dorothy McKeegan

Senior Lecturer (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Animal welfare science; animal and veterinary ethics; application of behavioural, physiological and neuropsychological techniques in welfare assessment; poultry behaviour and welfare; infrared thermography; humane slaughter; assessing ethical reasoning ability.

Dominic Mellor

Professor Dominic Mellor

Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health (Veterinary Pathology, Public Health & Disease Investigation)

Research interests: Applied epidemiology of diseases of all animal species and of humans. Understanding species demographics, in particular the circumstances that bring people into contact with animals and/or their products in ways that alter their risk of zoonotic disease.

Neil Metcalfe

Professor Neil Metcalfe

Professor of Behavioural Ecology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: The links between individual variation in behaviour, physiology, ecology, life histories and senescence. Maternal and transgenerational effects. Variation in metabolic rate, mitochondrial performance and growth in salmon, trout, sticklebacks, zebra finches.

Monika Mihm Carmichael

Dr Monika Mihm Carmichael

Senior Lecturer- Farm Animal Reproduction (Farm Animal Clinical Sciences)

Pat Monaghan

Professor Pat Monaghan

Regius Chair of Zoology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Life-history strategies and effects of early conditions on phenotypic development and on deterioration in later life; long and short term resource allocation trade-offs; mainly birds, with related work on other taxa, including fish and amphibia.

Ruedi Nager

Dr Ruedi Nager

Senior Lecturer (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: My research interests focus on how organisms cope with the environment in which they live. The current work centres on marine (seabirds) and oak forest habitats (blue tits) as well as the environment animals encounter in captivity.

Peter O'Shaughnessy

Professor Peter O'Shaughnessy

Professor of Reproductive Biology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Understanding regulation of gonadal development in the mouse and human and environmental effects on human fetal development.

Tony Page

Professor Tony Page

Professor of Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Nematode development and genetics: Applying Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study nematode parasites and develop novel antihelminthics. C. elegans as a model system to study extracellular matrix formation, redox balance in the ER, protein folding and ageing.

Jane Robinson

Dr Jane Robinson

Reader (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Reproductive physiology/neuroendocrinology. Understanding the mechanisms by which factors to which the developing fetus is exposed, including steroid hormones, steroid mimetics and stress hormones, programme health and welfare problems in later life.

Colin Selman

Professor Colin Selman

Professor of Biogerontology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: My research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying the ageing process in mammals, using an integrative approach to identifying these mechanisms; dietary restriction, insulin/IGF1, mTOR; mitochondria, oxidative stress, life history