School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Peter Down



C01 Gateway Building


Pete qualified from the University of Bristol veterinary school in July 2004 and worked as a general practitioner at a large mixed practice in Suffolk for almost 6 years. In May 2010, he took up a dairy residency at the SVMS which entailed a combination of clinical work at Scarsdale farm animal practice in Derby and research/undergraduate teaching at the SVMS during which he enrolled on the ECBHM residency programme. He began a full-time 4 year PhD project funded by the BBSRC and DairyCo in 2012 investigating decision making around mastitis control in dairy cows and completed the European Diploma to become a European Veterinary Specialist in Bovine Health Management in 2013.

Degree Registration:

BBSRC CASE Studentship PhD, due for completion in February 2016

School Research Theme:

Population Health and Welfare

Research Topic:

A Bayesian decision-theoretic framework to evaluate and optimise decision making for mastitis control in the UK Mastitis Control Scheme

Summary of Research:

Bovine mastitis is the foremost endemic infectious disease of dairy cattle and remains a major challenge to the UK and worldwide dairy industries. Although there have been numerous studies reporting cow and herd risk factors for bovine mastitis, no research has been conducted to evaluate optimal decision making in different farm circumstances; this is a critical unknown element in mastitis control. The purpose of this research is to use a Bayesian decision analytic framework to investigate the hypothesis that mastitis control can be improved by adopting a ‘best strategy’ in given farm circumstances.

Research Supervisors:

Prof Martin Green

Dr Andrew Bradley

Prof William Browne (University of Bristol)

Dr Elizabeth Berry (Genus)

Dr Theodore Kypraios (UoN-Mathematics)

Primary Funding Source:



  • Rate of transmission: a major determinant of the cost of clinical mastitis. Down, P. M. Green, M. J. Hudson, C. D. Journal of Dairy Science; 2013. 96(10):6301-6314.  
  • Dairy herd health in practice. Breen, J. Down, P. Hudson, C. Huxley, J. Maxwell, O. Remnant, J. Green, M. Veterinary Times; 2013. 43(36):20-24.
  • Providing herd health management in practice - how does it work on farm? Down, P. M. Kerby, M. Hall, J. Statham, J. E. Green, M. J. Breen, J. E. Hudson, C. D. Cattle Practice; 2012. 20(2):112-119.
  • Contributor: Green, M.J. ed., 2012. Dairy Herd Health. CABI International.


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