Guide dog researcher awarded another accolade

22 Nov 2011 14:38:08.907

PA 363/11

A young researcher who specialises in the study of guide dog behaviour has been recognised for her talent, knowledge and expertise.

Dr Lucy Asher, a lecturer in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at The University of Nottingham, is one of eight young researchers from a range of disciplines across the country to be recognised in the UK Scopus Young Researcher Awards 2011.

Lucy has published 15 articles in journals specialising in veterinary welfare and animal behaviour. She is currently involved in a five year project aimed at understanding the factors which make a successful guide dog. Her research will culminate in the development of a reliable and valid behavioural profiling system.

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The UK Scopus Young Researcher Award is an initiative of Elsevier in association with the US/UK Fulbright Commission to honour the achievements of young researchers and the institutions that foster them. Candidates in health and medical sciences, biological sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities were eligible for consideration.

Lucy said: “This award is a great honour which has come completely out of the blue. Being a researcher allows you to answer interesting questions. In my case I ask questions about animal behaviour and welfare which are also areas which I care about. I feel very lucky to be able to spend my time thinking about which questions need answering and finding new ways to answer them.”

Earlier this year Lucy, a lecturer in Epidemiology and Animal Behaviour, was among three winners of the inaugural Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of her successful and significant work in animal welfare.

Lucy Asher’s PhD research, carried out at Newcastle University, involved methods of quantifying repetitive behaviours in captive birds. She has worked in a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded post at the Royal Veterinary College on projects at London and Bristol including welfare of chickens and pedigree dogs, and continued her studies on mathematical approaches for describing behaviour. Dr Asher was also the lead author on a paper published in the Veterinary Journal on inherited defects in pedigree dogs which has been in the top 10 most downloaded papers in that journal since its publication.

The award will be presented at the Royal Society in London this evening, Tuesday 22 November 2011

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Notes to editors:  The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

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More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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More information is available from Dr Lucy Asher, at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 6281,

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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