CIEL | Meet the scientist  

Know-how and experience

Finding the answers to today’s agri-food challenges and driving greater efficiency, resilience and wealth across the sector, we work alongside world-leading scientists, drawing on the expertise of many of the UK’s top academic institutions and specialist livestock centres in our research alliance.

Innovation and opportunity

Meet some of the scientists who are taking on our current and future food sustainability and production challenges.

Want to talk?

If you have a query or would like to talk to us about any of the scientists we work alongside, please get in touch.

    Dr Amy Taylor, University of LeedsDr Amy Taylor 400 x 400

    Lecturer in Animal Health and Nutrition

    Amy’s research focuses on sustainable pig production, maximising nutrient availability and feed efficiency through diet manipulation such as changes in diet composition and the addition of enzymes.

    Meet Dr Amy Taylor…

    Professor Lisa Collins | Meet the scientist | CIEL | agrifoodProfessor Lisa Collins, University of Leeds

    Professor of Animal Science | N8 Chair in Smart Agri-Systems | Director of the National Pig Centre | Head of School of Biology | Deputy Director Global Food and Environment Institute (Commercial Research) Lisa’s research focuses on the development and application of smarter agricultural systems through multi-disciplinary approaches including technology development, systems modelling and data analytics.

    Meet Professor Lisa Collins…

    Graham McAuliffe | CIEL

    Dr Graham McAuliffe, Rothamsted Research

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Sustainability Assessment | Specialist in life cycle assessment of agricultural products Graham specialises primarily in developing novel approaches to account for uncertainties in cutting edge applications of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), such as calculating individual animal carbon footprints and, more recently, assessing the role of human nutrition in the interpretation of agrifood systems’ environmental impacts.

    Meet Dr Graham McAuliffe…

    Nicola Lambe | CIELDr Nicola Lambe, SRUC

    Sheep Geneticist | Nicola has been working for SRUC for over 15 years, mainly working on sheep breeding research projects. Since 1997 she has been closely involved with the work of the SRUC CT unit, including undertaking a PhD based on CT scanning of breeding hill ewes to assess seasonal tissue changes.

    Meet Dr Nicola Lambe…

    Becky Willson, Farm Carbon Toolkit/Duchy College Rural Business SchoolBecky Willson | CIEL

    A passionate advocate for highlighting the economic benefits of sustainable farming, Becky currently divides her time between working for Farm Carbon Toolkit and working for Duchy College Rural Business School as a technical specialist in resource management. The farm networks Becky is involved with are an added benefit Duchy College brings to the CIEL collaboration. With carbon a hot topic, the information Becky and colleagues are generating provides valuable insights and is informing tool development in this area, “keeping it real” through end-user field testing.

    Meet Becky Willson…

    Rachel Renfree | Senior Research Technician | Duchy College Rural Business School, The Cornwall College Group

    Rachel hails from a non-farming background but was drawn to a career within agriculture having grown up in the countryside surrounded by the farming community. Having completed her studies at Duchy College in 2017 with a BSc Hons Rural Business Management degree, 12 months later she returned as Research Technician.

    Meet Rachel Renfree…

    Dr Jessica Martin | Elizabeth Creak Associate Professor of Animal Welfare and Innovation | Newcastle University
    Jessica Martin | Newcastle University

    Jessica is an award-winning translational researcher in animal welfare and innovation, with over 10 years of professional experience in the field of animal behaviour and welfare in farming and laboratory environments.

    Meet Jessica Martin…

    Dr Laura Peachy,University of BristolMeet the Scientist | Dr Laura Peachey

    Senior Lecturer in Parasitology | Laura has spent her career investigating parasite infections, gut microbiome and helminth microbiome interactions. Having originally trained as a Vet in 2007 and a spell working overseas, Laura returned to the University of Liverpool to complete a PhD. In 2018 Laura became Lecturer in Parasitology and has been been leaning further towards pure microbiome research in livestock ever since.

    Meet Dr Laura Peachey

    Dr Katerina Theodoridou, Queen’s University BelfastKaterina Theodoridou | QUB

    Senior Lecturer in Farm Animal Nutrition | Katerina is principal investigator or co-investigator on several underpinning and applied research projects and Ph.D. programmes on uncovering and developing nutritional strategies to improve nutrient use efficiency and animal performance, while simultaneously reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants.

    Meet Dr Katerina Theodoridou

    Professor Lucy Asher, Newcastle UniversityLucy Asher | CIEL

    Professor Animal Behaviour Informatics | Lucy has spent her career investigating the complexity of animal behaviour and linking this with animal welfare. Having completed a PhD in animal behaviour at Newcastle University, she returned in 2015 to take up a position as Senior Newcastle University Research Fellow. In 2019 Lucy took a Senior Lectureship and was made a professor in 2020.

    Meet Professor Lucy Asher…

    Dr Luke O'Grady Dr Luke O’Grady, University of Nottingham

    Senior Research Fellow| Luke has lead and collaborated on several projects using machine learning, simulation modelling, and environmental impact analyses.

    Meet Dr Luke O’Grady…

    Dr Steven Morrison, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)Steven Morrison | CIEL

    Head of Livestock Production Sciences Branch | Steven’s career with AFBI spans over 15 years and several scientist roles. He also has direct experience of working for industry on a livestock genetics improvement project. Talents however extend beyond his vast knowledge of livestock, having climbed Kilimanjaro, being a trained gymnastics coach, and supposedly related to John Wayne!

    Meet Dr Steven Morrison…

    Dr Sarah Lambton, University of BristolSarah Lambton | CIEL

    Lecturer in Livestock Welfare and Innovation | Bristol Veterinary School | Sarah’s research is focussed in particular on the health and welfare of laying hens. Following undergraduate and masters degrees in biological sciences at the University of Oxford, Sarah moved to Bristol, completing her PhD in 2008 investigating the development of injurious pecking behaviour in laying hens.

    Meet Dr Sarah Lambton…

    Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe, Royal Veterinary CollegeDr Siobhan Abeyesinghe

    Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour & Welfare Science | Royal Veterinary College | Siobhan’ research is currently focussed on a project entitled “Breeding for better broiler welfare: balancing sustainability, economic and consumer preferences” with an aim to identify barriers, opportunities and trade-offs to the UK adoption of slower-growing breeds and to propose solutions that consider both bird welfare and sustainability.

    Meet Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe

    Dr Mark Gray, University of EdinburghDr Mark Gray | University of Edinburgh

    Senior lecturer in large animal research surgery | University of Edinburgh | Within his current role, Mark conducts his own research projects, teaches surgery to undergraduate veterinary students and performs surgery for other research groups at the Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility (LARIF).

    Meet Dr Mark Gray

    Professor Jasmeet Kaler, University of NottinghamJasmeet Kaler | CIEL.

    Professor of Epidemiology and Precision Livestock Informatics | Jasmeet leads the Ruminant Population Health research area in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham. She is also the University’s Director of Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

    Meet Professor Jasmeet Kaler…

    Professor Jos Houdijk, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)Jos Houdijk | CIEL

    Head of Monogastric Science Research Centre | Jos is an internationally-renowned animal nutritionist with an interest in nutritional sensitivity of animal production, health, disease and environmental footprint. In his current role Jos leads a team studying a range of issues linked to nutrition in pigs and poultry

    Meet Professor Jos Houdijk…

    Dr Ruth Wonfor, Aberystwyth UniversityRuth Wonfor | CIEL

    Lecturer in Animal and Equine Science | Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) | Ruth’s research is mostly focussed on animal health and the effects on production, using either whole animal studies or lab-based models of diseases.

    Meet Dr Ruth Wonfor…

    Dr Fiona Houston, University of EdinburghFiona Houston | CIEL

    Group Leader | Chair of the Large Animal Steering Group | Fiona is Group Leader at the world-renowned Roslin Institute and chair of the Large Animal Steering Group, which provides academic oversight of the management and activities of Roslin Large Animal Research facilities, including the CIEL co-funded Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility (LARIF). Fiona’s research group focuses primarily on prion diseases, such as scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Fiona also has an interest in other infectious diseases of small ruminants.

    Meet Dr Fiona Houston…

    Dr Taro Takahashi, University of BristolTaro Takahashi | CIEL

    Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Livestock Systems and Food Security | Bristol Veterinary School | Taro’s research interests include bioeconomic modelling and life cycle assessment (LCA) of livestock production systems as well as programme evaluation and general equilibrium modelling of pasture and livestock-based economies. In addition to his role at Bristol Veterinary School, Taro also works as a Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research’s North Wyke Farm Platform.

    Meet Dr Taro Takahashi…

    Professor Jude Capper, Harper Adams UniversityJudith Capper | CIEL

    ABP Chair in Sustainable Beef Production | Eminent agricultural sustainability scientist Professor Jude Capper is currently working closely with processors ABP Food Group to better understand and quantify the factors that affect beef and sheep system sustainability, from greenhouse gas emissions through to biodiversity.

    Meet Professor Jude Capper…

    Dr Brian Quinn, Brian Quinn | CIEL Queen’s University Belfast

    Head of Mass Spectrometry | Institute of Global Food Security (IGFS) | Brian has worked as a scientist for over 30 years. He currently works out of the IGFS ASSET (‘Assured, Safe and Traceable’) Centre which houses leading platforms to facilitate increasingly rapid identification of feed and food contamination and adulteration. The equipment is among the most specialist in a UK university and was possible due to the partnership with CIEL, thanks to the support of Innovate UK, and Invest NI, through the European Regional Development Fund, as well as instrument manufacturers.

    Meet Dr Brian Quinn…

    Professor Hermine Mkrtchyan, Hermine Mkrtchyan | UWLUniversity of West London

    Professor of Microbiology and Head of Research | Professor Hermine Mkrtchyan has substantial expertise in bacterial resistomes and global dissemination of antimicrobial resistance and its transmission between humans, livestock and environmental microbiomes.

    Meet Professor Hermine Mkrtchyan…

    Dr Farina Khattak, Dr Farina Khattak | SRUCSRUC

    Commercial Research Scientist| Study Director | As a poultry nutritionist, Farina is extensively involved in planning, executing, analysing and reporting commercial nutritional projects. Her studies range from proof of concept to novel in-depth investigations to unveil the mode of action of the novel products tested. Current studies also include measuring greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, NH3, N2O and CH4).

    Meet Dr Farina Khattak…

    Dr Adam Hayward, Adam Hayward | MoredunMoredun Research Institute

    Research Fellow | Adam’s role is to bring data-driven approaches to research on livestock diseases, particularly helminth parasites of sheep and cattle. Animals vary enormously in their resistance to infection, and in how infection affects their performance. Through his research, Adam aims to identify the causes of this variation to find ways of limiting the effects of parasites on livestock.

    Meet Dr Adam Hayward…

    Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, Sokratis Stergiadis | Meet the ScientistUniversity of Reading

    Sokratis’ professional expertise covers a range of teaching and research roles within the field of animal science.

    Meet Dr Sokratis Stergiadis…

    Professor Alison Kingston-Smith, Professor Alison Kingston-Smith | Aberystwyth University|IBERS, Aberystwyth University

    Alison’s main research interest is around plant stress responses, and the implications of those responses for quality food and feed. She is keen to understand how we can develop forage feeds that can deliver livestock production with lower environmental impact.

    Meet Professor Alison Kingston-Smith…

    Professor Alasdair Cook, Prof Alasdair Cook Vet. Director, Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey

    Alasdair is Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey.  His interest in epidemiology grew from working in UK farm animal veterinary practice and a decade of experience in low and middle income countries.

    Meet Professor Alasdair Cook…