School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
   
   
  
 

Vanessa Ashall

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

I qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon from Liverpool University in 2000. I spent several years in mixed and then companion animal practice in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I became interested in animal ethics following my appointment as a Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) in 2004 which involved taking responsibility for the health and welfare of a large population of research animals and holding a position on the research Ethical Review Panel (ERP).

I was appointed Veterinary Ethics and Welfare Supervisor for the first canine blood bank to be licensed in the UK in 2007 and was awarded the RCVS Certificate in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law in 2008. I sit on the committee of the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association (AWSELVA) and am a European Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. I joined Nottingham University's Centre for applied Bioethics in 2012 as a Senior Research Fellow; researching and publishing in animal research ethics for a European funded project (NADIR).

I was appointed Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Ethics and Society at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science in 2013, researching the social and ethical implications of applying the medical concept of 'donation' to animals. I graduated from Keele University in 2015 with an MA in medical ethics and Law (distinction)and was awarded my PhD in veterinary ethics by Nottingham University in June 2017.

I currently hold the post of postdoctoral research fellow on the Wellcome Trust collaborative award Animal Research as Nexus. This prestigious award connects multidisciplinary researchers at five UK Universities who are exploring social, cultural and historical aspects of animal research in the UK. My work is focused on the nature and role of professional identities in the animal research setting with a specific focus on the Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS).

Expertise Summary

I am an experienced clinician with expertise in companion animal medicine, transfusion medicine and the care and welfare of research animals.

I hold British and European professional qualifications in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law and am a recognised European Specialist in this field.

I hold a Master's Degree (distinction) in Medical Ethics and Law (Keele) and a PhD in veterinary ethics (Nottingham).

I have masters level training and considerable experience in the use of qualitative social scientific research methods, including interviewing, ethnography and qualitative data analysis.

My research is characterised by a robust integration of empirical and normative analysis.

I have researched and published in the fields of veterinary ethics, animal research ethics and medical sociology.

Teaching Summary

I support colleagues in the Centre for Applied Bioethics with ethics teaching for undergraduate Biosciences and Veterinary Sciences students.

Research Summary

My current research is funded by the Wellcome Trust through the collaborative award Animal Research as Nexus. As part of a wider interdisciplinary team I am focusing on the nature and role of… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

My current research is funded by the Wellcome Trust through the collaborative award Animal Research as Nexus. As part of a wider interdisciplinary team I am focusing on the nature and role of professional identities in the animal research setting, with a specific focus on the Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS).

Past Research

Whilst working for Nottingham University's School of Biosciences I researched and published on conceptual and applied ethics in animal experimentation with respect to Humane Experimental Endpoints for the EU research network NADIR. This research was published in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) and Alternatives to Animal Experimentation (ALTEX) in 2014 and 2015.

I have written on the subject of ethics relating to canine blood donation and the euthanasia of unwanted pets for the veterinary journal 'In Practice'

Whilst working for Pet Blood Bank UK I secured independent funding to investigate pioneering habituation techniques for feline blood donations with improved donor welfare. An abstract publication of this clinical empirical research was presented at the European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium (EVECCS) in June 2011 where it was awarded a special commendation. This research was published in Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in September 2011.

My most recent research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, combined empirical social scientific research with normative ethical analysis and focuses on the social and ethical implications of applying the medical concept of 'donation' to companion animals. Publications arising from this research have developed the veterinary setting as a site of interest to medical sociogists through highlighting the complexity of social relationships underpinning veteriary decision making.

Future Research

I have broad interests within the fields of veterinary ethics, veterinary sociology and sociological and ethical aspects of animal research.

I am interested in sociological research which crosses species boundaries and in the use of medical ethics as a comparator to veterinary ethics.

I am particularly interested in the moral relationship between veterinary surgeons and healthy animals, animal transfusion and transplant, end of life decision making, the influence of ethics on legislation and the ethical, societal and legislative boundaries between animal research and veterinary practice.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415
email: veterinary-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk