School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
   
   
  

Andrew Byers

Email:

andrew.byers@ntu.ac.uk

Room:

N/A

Tel:

0115 848 5344

Biography:

Andrew is a senior lecture at Nottingham Trent University and programme leader for the BSc Equine Sport Science degree.   Andrew also has teaching responsibilities across the School of Animal Rural and Environmental Science at Nottingham Trent University with the main focus of his teaching being breeding management and reproductive physiology. 

Prior to his current post as senior lecture at Nottingham Trent University, Andrew gained ten years of experience teaching animal and equine science.  His most recent, previous appointment was as lecturer and programme leader on the BSc Equine Science with Thoroughbred Management degree at Oxford Brooks University.

After completing undergraduate studies in his home of Canada, Andrew developed a keen interest in horses.  This interest led to an MSc Equine Science degree from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.  With a background in equine breeding and a particular interest in stallion fertility, Andrew has broadened his area of teaching and research to other domestic animals.  His recent research focuses on canine male fertility and the effects of environmental chemicals.

Andrew also holds postgraduate qualifications in Business Management and two post graduate qualifications in teaching and learning.  He is a member of the Royal Agricultural College, Institute for Learning and Teaching, British Society of Animal Science (Academia Association Member), Society for Reproduction and Fertility and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has been invited speak on breeding issue for the international conferences such as Play the Game and is an invited review for HEA funding applications.

Degree Registration:

PhD (part-time)

School Research Theme:

Reproductive Biology 

Research Topic:

Environmental Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Male Reproductive Health

Summary of Research:

Over the past few decades there has been a significant decline in human male reproductive health.  This downward trend has manifested itself as an increase in the incidence rate of testicular germ cell cancers, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, low sperm counts  and is collectively called Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS).  A number of large scale epidemiological studies support the theory that this recent and dramatic change is due to lifestyle and/or environmental factors. 

The relationship between environmental chemicals, such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Bisphenyl A (BPA), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and endocrine function has been the focus of recent research.  The resulting data has established a link between these environmental chemicals and embryonic and fetal maldevelopment through a disruption of normal endocrine function.  This disruption is linked to TDS and Ovarian Dysgenesis Syndrome.  The examples given above, along with many other environmental compounds which alter reproductive health have been termed Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).

A number of sentinel species have been put forward to investigate the effect of EDCs but little work has been done on the one species which most closely shares our environment.  My research uses the canine model to investigate reproductive effects of EDCs.  There is some evidence that the dog has undergone a reduction in fertility which parallels that of humans with a strong suggestion that such a dramatic decline could have an environmental aetiology.

Data on dietary and tissue levels of EDCs will be equated with changes in the testicular morphology as a physiological manifestation of the damage caused by EDCs.  The range of EDC to be tested for will be determined by their ubiquity in the environment and their endocrine action. These data will be correlated with geographic regions of residency during fetal development and adult life to support evidence of geographical variation in reproductive health due to variance in EDC levels.

Together all aspects of the investigation will provide evidence of routes of entry, levels in tissue and physical changes due to EDCs leading to reduced reproductive health in the dog.  The use of the canine model as a sentinel species for human reproductive health will also be validated.

Research Supervisors:

Dr Richard Lea – Associate Professor of Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Professor Gary England – Foundation Dean and Professor of Comparative Veterinary Reproduction

Primary Funding Source:

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Nottingham Trent University

Publications:

Non to date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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