Professor Paul McGreevy

Professor Paul McGreevy is one of only three veterinarians recognised worldwide by the RCVS as Specialists in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine. He has written 6 books, 30 chapters and over 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals and been awarded over $1M in research grants. His team has recently achieved significant progress in revealing the nature of canine cognition and identifying early behavioural (and morphological) traits associated with success in puppies undergoing training for guide work. Paul has demonstrated the relationship between the distribution of retinal ganglion cells and nose length in the horse and the dog. This exciting finding shows that many different breeds have different visual fields and, therefore, cannot be expected to perceive the same visual stimuli or respond to the world in the same way. This has profound implications for trainers, handlers and keepers in that it helps them to better understand the animals in their care. This developed a line of enquiry on the relationship between skull shape and behaviour and was followed by an exciting discovery using magnetic resonance images (MRI) of brains across a range of dogs with different skull shapes. Widely reported in the press, this showed that the relative reduction in skull length compared to width is significantly correlated to a progressive pitching of the brain, as well as with a downwards shift in the position of the olfactory lobe. These pieces of evidence suggest that relationship, in dogs, between skull shape and behaviour are probably caused by shifts in brain morphology. With its extraordinary morphological diversity across breeds, the domestic dog is an ideal candidate for studying these relationships. Paul is on the expert panel of several national and internal special interest groups including the UK’s Dog Breeding Advisory Council.

Read more at Professor McGreevy's profile page.

Professor Claire Wade

Professor Claire Wade as Professor of Animal Genetics and Computational Biology. Claire is developing a programme in medical and behavioural genetics with particular focus on the horse and the dog. In recent years her canine focus has included playing key roles in the analysis leading to the Canine Genome Sequence (Nature, December 2005), the development of three canine gene mapping arrays (Two for Affymetrix and one for Illumina), and the mapping of several genes for canine diseases leading thus far to three commercially available genetic tests for genetic diseases (Parathyroid tumors in Keeshonden, Rod-cone dystrophy in the Wire-haired dachshund, and Degenerative myelopathy in many breeds). She has current projects exploring the genetics of separation-related distress disorder, aggression, deafness, congenital birth defects, and pigmentation in the dog.

Read more at Professor Wade's profile page.

Jonathan Early

Jonathan graduated in Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney in 2005. It was during his undergraduate training that he developed a particular interest in animal behaviour and welfare. Since graduation he has worked in mixed practice in Victoria, small animal and exotics practice in Hobart, Tasmania and locumed across England. Prior to beginning his PhD in working dogs, Jonathan worked in the Animal Health Policy Branch within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra. He recently attained his membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Behaviour. Jonathan is excited about his forthcoming research into working dogs on Australian farms and getting to meet and talk to those with a passion for working Kelpies.

Elizabeth Arnott

Liz graduated from the University of Sydney in 2003. She began her veterinary career as a mixed animal practitioner on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Following a year of practice in the United Kingdom, she took a veterinary position in Tamworth focusing on small animal medicine. Liz was awarded a Masters in Small Animal Practice from Murdoch University and achieved membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 2011. Working in rural New South Wales for many years has given her an appreciation of the working partnership between farmers and their dogs and she is looking forward to further exploring this relationship throughout her research.

Liz is currently a PhD candidate.