Esteemed award for young scientist focusing on pig welfare

Dr Irene Camerlink has been awarded the Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year 2020.
calendar icon 1 July 2020
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Dr Camerlink has instigated and then organised workshops and been the inspiration for new grant ideas and either led or assisted in the successful writing of these. Her activity to date has been global and she has run animal welfare workshops for farmers in China and elsewhere. She also champions the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) in animal research and has proactively introduced new methods into her own research to avoid more invasive physiological measurement (eg by the use of non-invasive infrared thermography to assess stress responses and human pin-prick kits for low-stress sampling of blood glucose and lactate).

The standard of nominations was extremely high and the judging panel also awarded a Highly Commended to Dr Fay Clark in recognition of her excellent work in the field of zoo animal welfare. Dr Clark is a Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Bristol Zoological Society. Both Dr Camerlink and Dr Clark were virtually presented with their awards at UFAW’s Recent Advances in Animal Welfare Science VII virtual conference on the 30 June.

Dr Huw Golledge, UFAW’s Chief Executive said:

“One of UFAW’s missions is to help encourage the next generation of animal welfare scientists and I am delighted that we have been able to acknowledge the work of these inspiring early-career researchers. Both Irene and Fay are excellent examples of researchers who really are using Science in the Service of Animal Welfare, I look forward to following their careers.”

The UFAW Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award is to recognise the achievements of young scientists who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of animals. It is open to postgraduate students, anywhere in the world, currently studying for a doctoral degree or who are within six years of the end of their PhD. From 2021, it will be known as the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award.

"Irene has been instrumental in supervising work on farmer attitudes, perceptions and willingness-to-pay for welfare benefits. The field of welfare science has rarely interacted with the fields of human behavioural change and agricultural economics. Bringing together these areas is essential. As an academic community, our failure to bring together these fields is at the root of why so many recommendations that ought to improve animal welfare are not implemented by farmers. Irene has been a champion of efforts to understand constraints to farmer behaviour and how we can overcome these to encourage implementation of management techniques that will improve welfare.

She recently proactively identified the lack of a farmer-focused accessible book describing the current state-of-the-art recommendations on improving common pig welfare related problems. As a result, she is now the editor of a book that I believe will be a go-to resource for farmers."

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