Population Health and Welfare

Population Health and Welfare Research Theme


Cows at the Dairy Centre at Sutton Bonington

Key aims and expertise

Research at gene to population levels to promote the health and welfare of animals and their owners or producers.  Extensive expertise in epidemiology, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics, behaviour and sociological research methods.  The theme houses four centres of excellence:

Current projects

• Application of bioinformatics to study biological problems, comparative genomic, evolution and houses Advanced Data Analysis Centre (ADAC).

• Dairy herd health and Sheep flock health groups who research areas affecting health and welfare of dairy cows and sheep. These groups work closely with dairy and sheep industry to enhance knowledge transfer.

• Centre of Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine (CEVM), which aims to increase the amount and availability of clinically relevant research to veterinarians to enable them to incorporate evidence into decision-making.

•  Areas of animals and society, making science public and understanding barriers and drivers of decision making by different stakeholders.

• Using physiological and and behavioural approaches to assess and improve the welfare of UK zoo elephants, welfare and health assessment of dogs and dynamics of the dog-owner relationship.

• Development of mathematical models to simulate the spread of livestock and zoonotic diseases.

Significant results

There were 3 impact cases submitted in REF 2013 from the theme. These included prevention of dry period infections in dairy cows, Implementing the British Dairy Herd National Mastitis Control Scheme-The “DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan” and Advancing analgesic use in cattle.

  • Research on footrot in sheep impacted on the opinion of lameness published by Farm animal welfare council (FAWC) and FAWC recommended a national target of 5% reduction in lameness by 2016 and 8% by 2021.
  • ADAC has made exciting progress in the area of UK biobanking. Recently in collaboration with UCL, ADAC researchers were funded by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to initiate the UKCRC tissue directory and coordination centre develop a freely accessible online tissue directory allowing greater harmonisation of data. This is now live at https://www.biobankinguk.org/. More recently, the UK has joined the Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC). In this consortium the UK is represented by the MRC and ADAC and UCL as the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre will act as its UK national node.


Research team

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Population Health and Welfare Research Theme

The University of Nottingham
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6116
email: Email our Research Theme Leader