Readership Awarded to Pig Behaviourist in Scotland

SCOTLAND - A readership has been awarded to SRUC expert on animal behaviour and aggressiveness, Dr Simon Turner.
calendar icon 16 July 2014
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Dr Simon Turner, an internationally recognised expert on aggressiveness in farm animals will today be awarded a Readership by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

The title Reader is awarded to a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research and scholarship. Dr Turner's conferment, of a Readership in Applied Ethology (the study of natural behaviour in animals), was made at SRUC’s annual graduation ceremony in Bute Hall, University of Glasgow on Friday 11 July.

His research is on social behaviour in farm animals. He is particularly interested in the role of selective breeding to produce farm animals more suited to the environments in which they are kept. This has particularly focused on aggressive behaviours in pigs, a worldwide problem. With both animal welfare and human safety in mind he has also published work on the temperament of beef cattle, especially during handling and following calving. More recently he was involved in a study into the housing of game birds.

In announcing the award Professor Geoff Simm, SRUC Vice Principal Research commented: “Simon’s research publications are widely cited (quoted) by other researchers in the field, and have won him a growing international reputation. He has presented his research widely and uses it extensively in his teaching. He also has a very impressive track record of winning more than £1 million as principal investigator from a number of UK (Defra, BBSRC) and European funding sources, and contributed significantly to the successful winning of many other grants for UK and EU.”

A strong advocate of knowledge exchange, Dr Turner has presented major invited papers at the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, and European Association for Animal Production. He is currently supervising three PhD students and regularly supervises MSc students each year.

Professor Simm added: “Simon is a highly respected research collaborator. He is currently working with scientists from Wageningnen in the Netherlands, the Swedish University of Life Sciences, INRA, Michigan State University and Copenhagen University, which demonstrates the high regard in which he is held by other scientists around the world. He is developing work, for example in social genetics and game theory, that is important and relevant to animal welfare and production, but also deals with basic science questions underpinning the basis of social behaviour.”

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