School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Chantelle Whelan



C01 Gateway building


I obtained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Westminster in 2010. As part this degree I spent a year working as a research assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry on a longitudinal project investigating the aetiology and ethnic variations in Schizophrenia and other Psychoses. During this time I also volunteered on a project looking at Emetophobia (phobia of vomiting), I subsequently carried out my research project in this area. I later obtained an MSc in Animal Behaviour from the University of Exeter in 2012. My research project investigated the behaviour and social dynamics of a flock of captive lesser flamingos. During this time I also did an internship where I conducted analysis for a project looking at communication in fiddler crabs.

Degree Registration:

PhD, BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, due for completion 2016

School Research Theme:

Population Health and Welfare

Research Topic:

Early retirement in guide dogs – the owner’s perspective

Summary of Research:

Whilst a guide dog will usually work with its visually impaired owner for approximately 8-10 years, about 15% of guide dogs are withdrawn from working with their owner within the first 3 years. It has been suggested that the early withdrawal of a guide dog can have a major impact on the owner. This project aims explore this by looking at the experiences of people that have had a guide dog that was withdrawn within the first three years of work. It is hoped that this will enable Guide Dogs to get a better understanding of the impacts that an early withdrawal of a guide dog may have on the dog’s owner. This project will particularly focus on the owner’s perspectives on why this happened and the impact that this has had on them. To explore this, telephone and face-to-face interviews with owners of dogs that have experienced the early withdrawal of a guide dog will be carried out. Thematic analysis of the data from these interviews will then be carried out using an inductive approach to gain insights into the effect of early retirement on guide dog owners.

Research Supervisors:

Dr Sarah Freeman (Primary Supervisor), Prof Gary England & Kathryn Almack

Primary Funding Source:

BBSRC, Guide Dogs for the Blind


Veale, D., Ellison, N., Boschen, M., Costa, A., Whelan, C., Muccio, F. & Henry, K. (2013). Development of an Inventory to Measure Specific Phobia of Vomiting (Emetophobia). Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37: 595-604.


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