Recognition for outstanding young Animal Welfare scientist

Date: 28th June 2018

RebeccaMeagher UFAWDr Rebecca Meagher, Lecturer in Dairy Animal Science at the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development has been awarded the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the field of animal welfare.

She was nominated for the award by her former PhD and post-doctoral advisor Professor Georgia Mason, University of Guelph, who said: "Becky is scholarly, thoughtful, innovative, productive and likely to play a leading role in the future of animal welfare science."

Rebecca has 20 publications, and a lectureship in animal welfare, despite being only 6 years post-doctoral. She has worked in two of the largest welfare science groups in North America (Guelph and University of British Columbia), becoming expert at experimental design and statistics, and knowledgeable about welfare issues in diverse species, especially agricultural. She has taught welfare science to undergraduates and graduate students, including developing new courses and using innovative educational techniques.

Her research to date on a range of species - cattle, mink, mice and parrots- has had at its heart two critical questions that are relevant to almost every animal we keep. First, how can we really tell what animals are feeling? And second, why doesn't satisfactory food, water, health and thermal comfort suffice to guarantee good welfare?

Dr Meagher was presented with her award at UFAW's 2018 one day conference which was held at the Centre for Life, Newcastle, on the 28th of June.

Dr Robert Hubrecht, UFAW's Chief Executive who presented the award said: "Dr Meagher's research has addressed very challenging animal welfare science issues, including individual differences that may affect animals' housing requirements and inferences about animals' mental states. Her work shows considerable promise for an outstanding career in animal welfare science and she is a very worthy recipient of this award."


The UFAW Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award recognises the achievements of young scientists who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of animals. It is open to postgraduate students, anywhere in the world, currently studying for a doctoral degree or who are within six years of the end of their PhD.

UFAW is an internationally recognised, independent scientific and educational animal welfare charity. It works to improve knowledge and understanding of animals' needs in order to achieve high standards of welfare for farm, companion, research, captive wild animals and those with which we interact in the wild.

UFAW improves animal welfare worldwide through its programme of awards, grants and scholarships; by educational initiatives, especially at university and college level; by providing information in books, videos, reports and in its scientific journal Animal Welfare; by providing expert advice to governments and others, including for legislation and 'best practice' guidelines and codes; and by working with animal keepers, scientists, vets, lawyers and all those who care about animals.

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