The impact of genetics and environment on fertility

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute

Abstract

Genetic selection in farm animals for production traits has had negative effects on fertility, particularly in dairy cattle, pigs and poultry, and has led to associated behaviour and welfare issues. An adverse prenatal environment in mammals also impacts on postnatal survival and subsequent development. These challenges to efficient productivity can be improved by understanding the basic physiology underlying genetic effects and the physiological basis of maternal and prenatal influences on reproductive efficiency and postnatal development. Better understanding of developmental and reproductive processes, and appropriate translation of this knowledge, is a key aspect of the goal of meeting the rising demand for livestock products in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Research conducted within this project will provide an integrated understanding of the continuum from germ cell formation to production of viable young in all major livestock species. Our research will lead not only to sustainable improvement in reproductive efficiency, but also to improved offspring well-being and product quality.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Prenatal social stress, reflecting experiences that pregnant females may encounter, alters reproductive development in offspring. We found intriguing species differences in responses to prenatal stress. The developing reproductive axis in pigs was suppressed following prenatal stress with lower steroid hormone concentrations, fewer primordial ovarian follicles and reduced testis expression of genes involved in steroidogenesis. In contrast, reproductive development in prenatally stressed rats and sheep was enhanced. A range of foetal programming paradigms studied as part of this programme and related projects collectively suggest that the developing male reproductive axis is more susceptible to changes in the maternal environment than the developing female reproductive axis. We have discovered genotype differences in maternal-foetal amino acid transport in both pigs and sheep. Breeds selected for lean tissue growth have greater placental transport of several essential amino acids, which may be associated with heavier foetal livers and muscle observed in these breeds. These data provide new evidence of mechanisms underlying breed differences in nutrient handling and partitioning between the maternal body and the foetus. There are fundamental differences in gene and protein expression between placentas supplying normal-sized and growth-restricted pig foetuses in the same uterus. This work has also revealed novel differences in placental vascularity between placentas supplying male and female foetuses of the same size. We have devised and validated a new method to overcome long-standing difficulties of obtaining individual littermate porcine conceptuses and the underlying endometrium on Day 18 after mating. This is producing new information about the interactions between conceptuses of different size and the endometrium at the actual time of trophoblast attachment. Photoperiod can be used as a tool to control reproduction by synchronising the onset of sexual activity and the duration of breeding in birds and sheep. We have identified key genes and neural pathways that respond to photoperiod in birds that control reproduction. Several putative deep brain photoreceptors (DBPs) have been identified, such as melanopsin, opsin 5, and vertebrate ancient opsin. As part of this programme, and in collaboration, we have discovered that rhodopsin photoreceptors in the brain and multiple other DBPs are required to fully maintain gonadal function in Pekin drakes. In birds, photoperiodic signal is transduced in the brain through signalling by means of melatonin from the pineal or through DBPs via thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the pars tuberalis (PT). TSH, acting through its receptor increases type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO2) expression, causing local conversion of T4 to T3 which activates the reproductive axis through increased gonadotrophin secretion. We have discovered the existence of melatonin receptors in the PT of Japanese quail and that DIO2 gene expression is related to seasonality and gonadal status in a natural situation rather than an acute change in photoperiod. This has completely changed thinking about how season photoperiodic information is signalled in the avian brain. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are important regulators of mammalian social behaviour; playing a crucial role in the onset and maintenance of maternal behaviour. Mesotocin, and the related nonapeptide vasotocin, are synthesized in specific regions of the avian brain including those areas of the neural social network such as the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BnST). Our research has demonstrated a role for mesotocin during the expression of chicken broodiness and maternal behaviour. Mesotocin mRNA expression increased in the PVN during chick rearing however vasotocin mRNA increases in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BnST) were only coincident with egg laying and nest building. Together these data suggest that dynamic changes in the nonapeptide systems may explain the display of incubation and broodiness. Further experiments examining the role of social interactions could be used to test whether the observed differences are due to the specific social context of incubation and maternal care. Hypothalamic neurones are particularly sensitive to environmental and hormonal changes. Findings from a related study demonstrate for the first time that gonadal steroid hormones can upregulate the mesotocin and vasotocin systems in the brain of the domestic hen and that the effect of testosterone on mesotocin mRNA expression in the BnST is direct, and not via aromatisation into oestrogen. These results provide new evidence to help inform us how these neuropeptides are regulated in the chicken brain to regulate social behaviours. Food restriction is used to enhance fertility in meat type poultry, a practice that is a major welfare concern. We found that a component of the central hunger perception, Agouti-related protein, is an excellent marker of satiety in poultry. This has allowed us to appraise how alternative feed strategies induce satiety in meat type hens. Studying meat type chickens during restriction and our populations of chickens segregating for the largest QTL for growth, which is due to the CCKAR locus and which alters the set point of the feeding centres in the brain we have made a number of new discoveries in the field of control of growth and feed intake in poultry. We pieced together the sequence of chicken PYY from NGS data and have established that in chickens peptide YY (PYY), a member of the NPY peptide family is in fact predominately expressed in the pancreas and not the intestine as in mammals. PYY expression responds to nutritional status, in particular shorter-term changes in food intake. Whether it has a role in satiety or a paracrine role in the pancreas has to be established. We have established that differences in the expression of CCKAR do not necessarily result in longterm changes either in food intake or in parameters of gut function. This tends to suggest some of the effect may be through central factors that alter the efficiency of food usage or through reductions in energy expenditure. The body of work is suggesting that AGRP expression in many, but not all situations, defines a large component of growth potential and is not always related to behaviour such as in natural anorexias. In this regard AGRP does not change in situations where animals are fed a diluted diet that controls the growth curve but can be fed ad libitum. A particularly exciting finding has been the correlation between sex, growth potential and AGRP expression which underlines the link between AGRP and growth. Poor eggshell quality is a major inefficiency and cause of food wastage in the table egg industry and is a risk to biosecurity. Microbial penetration of the egg provides a route for transmission of pathogens to the offspring. We have made major progress in defining one of the structures that prevents microbes entering the egg, the cuticle. This is an invisible layer which protects avian eggs from bacterial penetration through gas exchange pores. We have defined a practical method to assess cuticle function in order to assess a potential genetic basis for its efficacy. The genetic parameters that we have identified are extremely promising in all the lines examined including meat type hens. Importantly, cuticle deposition at the beginning of lay is predictive of the hen's deposition of cuticle nearer the end of lay. This is important as it means that only one measurement is required. Most encouragingly, in all the lines tested there is a strong correlation between cuticle quality as assessed by our measurement and the number of bacteria penetrating the egg. This strongly supports the hypothesis that selecting hens for better cuticle will minimise the chances of bacterial contamination of the egg contents. We have established basic facts about the deposition of the cuticle for which evidence was lacking in the literature. Experimental evidence supported the shell gland pouch (uterus) of the oviduct as the location of cuticle deposition, rather than the vagina, and that this process occurs within the final hour before an egg is laid. Two factors known to influence timing of egg laying, arginine vasotocin and prostaglandin, were eliminated as factors responsible for cuticle secretion. However, premature egg laying induced by GnRH, which mimics the normal events of ovulation and oviposition, results in a normal cuticle. There is no evidence that cuticle deposition differs at the end of a clutch or that the ovulatory surge of progesterone effects cuticle deposition. Overall the results demonstrate that the cuticle is a specific secretion and is not contiguous with the other proteins constituting the egg shell. It was demonstrated that a stressor reduced cuticle deposition and whilst the cuticle probably contains some of the pigment that give eggs their colour, there is no absolute inter-dependence of pigment and cuticle. Defining the basic facts surrounding cuticle deposition will aid efforts to reduce contamination of laid eggs.
Exploitation Route Our findings will inform policy makers and farmers in terms of advancing understanding of treatment and nutrition of breeding sheep and pigs. Our findings on nutrition and bone quality in broilers will inform breeding companies and producers. The greater knowledge of egg shell cuticle deposition and function in reducing contamination may be utilised by poultry breeders in selection for egg shell quality. An unexpected outcome of the work on PYY is the development of a hypothesis on its role in diabetes, which is being pursued.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description Our research in nutrition and stress effects on prenatal development and postnatal consequences is being translated in the form of advice to producers, advisors and policy-makers regarding the optimal management of pregnant females (pigs and sheep). Our research results have been used in studies to investigate alternative feeding strategies for broiler breeder hens. These do not rely purely on dilution to control growth. A PhD student is now developing these approaches in collaboration with a broiler breeder company. The measurement of bone quality by ultrasound has been extended by our commercial partners to assess its application at more times during lay. We have produced a machine with high throughput that should facilitate the ultimate implementation in breeding programmes of egg shell cuticle measurement. The genetic parameters suggest that for all genetic lines of chicken tested our method for measuring egg shell cuticle can be adopted to improve cuticle and reduce contamination. There seems to be no major negative correlation, suggesting that our method has universal application. We are continuing to work with the companies to overcome any obstacles to implementation. A major effort is being made to incorporate this measure so we should succeed in our efforts to reduce vertical transmission of micro-organisms between generations. Breeder companies are trialling the measurements and have completed data acquisition in numerous lines to correlate with health outcomes, we have facilitated this by simplifying data collection. A related major output has been a greater understanding and clarification of cuticle deposition physiology. Specifically, we have defined the timing of the deposition, its susceptibility to environmental factors, the reliance on hormonal signals and the precise anatomical location of cuticle deposition. An unexpected relevance of our findings has been the questioning of practices undertaken by egg inspectors to down grade eggs.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Deputy Chair BBSRC Response Mode Panel A
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Pool and Core Member BBSRC Panel A Response Mode
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description AHDB PhD studentship
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 12/2017
 
Description BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship
Amount £76,200 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 10/2017
 
Description BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship
Amount £74,000 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description BBSRC EASTBIO in vivo skills award
Amount £3,500 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description BBSRC EASTBIO in vivo skills award
Amount £3,300 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2020
 
Description BBSRC Japan Partnering award
Amount £41,776 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 12/2019
 
Description BBSRC in vivo strategic skills award
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/F01693X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2015
 
Description British Society for Neuroendocrinology Project Support Grant
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Society for Neuroendocrinology 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2019
 
Description British Society for Neuroendocrinology project support grant
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Society for Neuroendocrinology 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 08/2015
 
Description Cute-Egg, improvement of eggshell cuticle quality to reduce vertical transmission of zoonotic and pathogenic organisms
Amount £603,775 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/K007092/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description Edinburgh University PhD studentship
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain
Amount £246,909 (GBP)
Funding ID RPG-2016-392 
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Principals Career Development Scholarship
Amount £72,837 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2018
 
Description Research grant
Amount £47,083 (GBP)
Organisation National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 06/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description SPASE
Amount £750,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Scotland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2011 
End 03/2016
 
Description Summer Vacation studentship
Amount £1,200 (GBP)
Organisation British Poultry Science 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Summer vacation scholarships
Amount £1,200 (GBP)
Organisation British Poultry Science 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 07/2015
 
Description Summer vacation studentship
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Society for Reproduction and Fertility 
Sector Learned Society
Country Global
Start 06/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Summer vacation studentship
Amount £600 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Summer vacation studentship
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Society for Neuroendocrinology 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description Summer vacation studentship
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Society for Neuroendocrinology 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Summer vacation studentship
Amount £600 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 07/2015
 
Description The Roslin Foundation
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Department The Roslin Institute
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 06/2017
 
Description Behavioural Neuroendocrinology in wild songbirds Prof John Wingfield 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Department UC Davis College of Biological Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to equipment and facilities
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to equipment and facilities
Impact Chmura HE, Meddle SL, Wingfield JC, Thomas P. Hahn Comparing the effects of a social cue on reproductive development and pre-nuptual molt in seasonally breeding migrant and resident female songbirds (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Horm. Behav. (Submitted March 2017). Pérez, JH, Meddle SL, Wingfield, JC & Ramenofsky M (2017) Effects of thyroid hormone knockdown and rescue on pre-nuptial molt, luteinizing hormone and gonadal growth in white-crowned sparrows (Z. leuchophrys gambelii). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (Submitted March 2017). Krause, J. S., Pérez, J. H., Meddle, S.L. & Wingfield, J. C. (2017) Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering white-crowned sparrows. Physiol. Behav. (submitted 29 Nov 2016, under revision). Wacker DW, Khalaj S, Jones L, Champion T, Davis JE, Meddle SL & Wingfield JC (2017) Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) heightens aggression and increases androgen receptor and aromatase mRNA expression in the brain of a male songbird. J. Neuroendocrinol. Doi: 10.1111/jne.12443. Krause JS, Pérez JH, Chmura HE, Sweet SK, Meddle SL, Hunt KE, Gough L, Boelman N & Wingfield JC (2016) The effect of extreme spring weather on body condition and stress physiology in Lapland longspurs and white-crowned sparrows breeding in the Arctic. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 237:10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.07.015. Krause JS, Pérez JH, Chmura HE, Meddle SL, Hunt KE, Gough L, Boelman N & Wingfield JC (2016) The stress response is attenuated during inclement weather in parental, but not in pre-parental, Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) breeding in the Low Arctic Horm. Behav. 83:68-74. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.05.018. Pérez JH, Krause JS, Chmura HE, Bowman S, McGuigan M, Asmus A, Meddle SL, Hunt KE, Gough L, Boelman N & Wingfield JC (2016) Lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) and white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelli) nestling growth rates in relation to food abundance and weather in the Arctic. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 133(2):261-272. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1642/AUK-15-111.1. Krause JS, Chmura HE, Pérez JH, Asmus A, Quach LN, Word KR, Németh Z, McGuigan M, Sweet SK, Meddle SL, Gough L, Boelman N & Wingfield JC (2016) Breeding on the leading edge of a northward range expansion: differences in morphology and the stress response in the arctic Gambel's white-crowned sparrow. Oecologia 180(1):33-44; doi: 10.1007/s00442-015-3447-7. Krause JS, McGuigan MA, Bishop VR, Wingfield JC & Meddle SL (2015) Decreases in mineralocorticoid but not glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression during the short Arctic breeding season in free-living Gambel's white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). J. Neuroendocrinol. 27(1):66-75. Walker BG, Meddle SL, Romero LM, Landys MM, Reneerkens J & Wingfield JC (2015) Breeding on the extreme edge: Modulation of the adrenocortical response to stress in two High Arctic passerines. J. Exp. Zool. 323A:266-275. Wingfield JC, Calisi RM, Chmura HE, Krause JS, Nemeth Z, Pérez JH, Word KR, Boelman N, Gough L, & Meddle SL (2015) A mechanistic approach to understanding range shifts in a changing world: What makes a pioneer? Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 222:44-53; doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.08.022. Krause JS, Meddle SL & Wingfield JC (2015) The Effects of Acute Restraint Stress on Plasma Levels of Prolactin and Corticosterone across Life-History Stages in a Short-Lived Bird: Gambel's White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 88(6):589-598. doi: 10.1086/683321. Wingfield JC, Sullivan K, Jaxion-Harm J & Meddle SL (2012) The presence of water influences reproductive function in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia morphna). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 178(3):485-493.
 
Description Behavioural neuroendocrinology of rat maternal behaviour Dr Bosch 
Organisation University of Regensburg
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Douglas AJ, Meddle SL, Kroemer S, Muesch W, Bosch OJ & Neumann ID (2007) Social stress induces hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responses in lactating rats bred for high trait anxiety. Eur. J. Neuroscience 25: 1599-1603. Douglas AJ, Meddle SL, Toschi N, Bosch OJ & Neumann I.D (2005) Reduced activity of the noradrenergic system in the paraventricular nucleus at the end of pregnancy: implications for stress hyporesponsiveness. J. Neuroendocrinol. 17:40-48. Bosch OJ, Meddle SL, Beiderbeck DI, Douglas AJ & Neuman ID (2005) Brain oxytocin regulates maternal aggression in lactating rats. J. Neuroscience 25:6807-6815.
 
Description Collaboration with Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais 
Organisation Federal University of Minas Gerais
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Training in qPCR. Assistance with laboratory analyses. Seminars and student workshop at UFMG
Collaborator Contribution Provision of hard-to-acquire biological material
Impact 1. Auler, P.A., Moreira, G.H.A., Bortolozzo, F.P., Hogg, C., Ashworth, C.J., Vargo, A.R., Chiarini-Garcia, H. & Almeida, F.R.C.L. (2016) Testicular parameters and spermatogenesis efficiency in different birth weight boars. Reproduction, Fertility and Development http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD16164. 2. Submission of grant for BBSRC-Zoetis-Science without Borders funding. 3. Disciplines involved include animal science, histomorphometry and molecular biology
Start Year 2012
 
Description Dr Karen Spencer 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution data generation. Supervision of EastBio DTP student
Collaborator Contribution data generation. Supervision of EastBio DTP student
Impact Presentations at conferences. Training and mentorship of PhD student.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Dr Tyler Stevenson 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department School of Biological Sciences Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Won collaborative grant: The Leverhulme Trust (2016-2019) "Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain" Data generation.
Collaborator Contribution Won collaborative grant: The Leverhulme Trust (2016-2019) "Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain" Data generation.
Impact Data generation. Won collaborative grant: The Leverhulme Trust (2016-2019) "Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain"
Start Year 2016
 
Description Effects of early life stress on behaviour and physiology in birds Dr Spencer 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Computer Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact EastBio Studentship
Start Year 2015
 
Description Egg deposition of maternal testosterone is primarily controlled by the preovulatory peak of luteinizing hormone in quail Prof Zeman 
Organisation Comenius University in Bratislava
Country Slovakia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Okuliarova M, Meddle, SL & Zeman M (2017) Egg deposition of maternal testosterone is primarily controlled by the preovulatory peak of luteinizing hormone in quail. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (submitted 15 Jan 2017).
Start Year 2015
 
Description Environmental cues regulating social behaviour in a songbird Dr Cornelius 
Organisation Eastern Michigan University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Cornelius J, Perreau G, Bishop VR, Hahn TP & Meddle SL (2017) Social information changes stress hormone receptor expression in a songbird brain. Proc. Roy. Soc. B (submitted Feb 2017).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Environmental factors regulating the timing of breeding in birds Prof Visser 
Organisation University of Groningen
Department Department of Genetics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Tomotani BM, de la Hera I, Lange CYMJG, van Lith B, Meddle SL, Both C & Visser ME (2017) Timing manipulations reveal the lack of a causal link across annual cycle stages in a long distance migrant. Funct. Ecol. (Submitted March 2017).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Expression of deep brain photoreceptors in the Pekin drake 
Organisation Hope College
Department Biology Department
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise and intellectual input, access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise and intellectual input, access to facilities.
Impact Haas R, Alenciks E, Meddle SL & Fraley, GS (2017) Expression of deep brain photoreceptors in the Pekin drake: a possible role in the maintenance of testicular function. Poultry Science. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pex037
Start Year 2015
 
Description Hormonal Interactions in a Vertebrate Forebrain Pathway Prof Bentley 
Organisation University of California, Berkeley
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact £511,768 National Science Foundation, 3 year Research Grant (2010-2013) "Hormonal Interactions in a Vertebrate Forebrain Pathway" Co-Investigator. Grant jointly held with Dr. G. Bentley, U. Berkley, USA.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Identification of the photoreceptor for light detection in the avian brain 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department Institute of Medical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Wrote joint grant funded by The Leverhulme Trust
Collaborator Contribution Wrote joint grant funded by The Leverhulme Trust
Impact No outputs. Grant start date September 2017.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Modulation of the Adrenocortical Responses to Perturbations of the Environment 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Department UC Davis College of Biological Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Wrote grant funded by the National Science Foundation
Collaborator Contribution Wrote grant funded by the National Science Foundation
Impact 1. Krause, J. S., Pérez, J. H., Meddle, S.L. & Wingfield, J. C. (2017) Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering white-crowned sparrows. Physiol. Behav. (submitted 29 Nov 2016, under revision).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Nest building in Birds Dr Healy 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Hall ZJ, Ihalainen E, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2017). Cerebellar correlates of avian nest-building behaviour. Brain Behav. Evol. (Submitted Dec 2015; under revision). Bailey IE, Morgan KV, Oschadleus D, DeRuiter SL, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2016) Nest-building males trade-off material collection costs with territory value. Emu 116, 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU15022. Hall ZJ, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2016) From neurones to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience. J. Ornithology 156:S133-143; doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1214-5. Hall ZJ, Healy SD & Meddle SL (2015) A role for nonapeptides and dopamine in nest-building behaviour. J. Neuroendocrinol. 27(2):158-165. Bailey IE, Muth F, Morgan K, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2015) Birds build camouflaged nests. The Auk: Ornithological Advances. 132:11-15. Bailey IE, Backes A, Walsh PT, Morgan KV, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2015) Woven signatures: Image analysis of weaverbird nests reveals signature weave patterns. Royal Soc. Open Sci. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150074. Hall ZJ, Bertin M, Bailey IE, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2014) Neural correlates of nest building in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Behav. Brain. Res. 264:26-33. Bailey IE, Morgan KV, Bertin M, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2014) Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 2014281(1784):20133225. Hodgson ZG, Meddle SL, Christians J, Sperry TS & Healy SD (2008) Influence of sex steroid hormones on spatial memory in a songbird. J. Comp. Physiol. A. 194: 963-969. Hodgson ZG, Meddle SL, Roberts ML, Buchanan KL, Evans MR, Metzdorf R, Gahr M, & Healy SD (2007) Spatial ability impairment and hippocampal mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression reduction in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone responses. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 274: 239-245.
 
Description Neurosteroid regulation of avian maternal behaviour Prof Tsutsui 
Organisation Tokyo Women's Medical University
Department Twins - Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Secured BBSRC Japan partnering award Davies S, Lane S, Meddle SL, Tsutsui K & Deviche P (2016) The ecological and physiological bases of variation in the phenology of gonad growth in an urban and desert songbird. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 230-231:17-25. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.03.013.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Physiology and behaviour in pigs Dr D'Eath 
Organisation Scotland's Rural College
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Hintze S, Scott D, Turner S, Meddle SL & D´Eath RB (2013) Mounting behaviour in finishing pigs: Stable individual differences are not due to dominance or stage of sexual development. Applied Animal Behav. Sci. 147:69-80.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Prof Sue Healy, The University of St Andrews 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long term collaborator. Share east BioDTP.
Collaborator Contribution collaboration in data generation.
Impact BBSRC response mode grants. East BioDTP. Publications.
 
Description Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Won National Science Foundation, USA 3 year Research Grant (2016-2019) "Modulation of the Adrenocortical Responses to Perturbations of the Environment". Co-Investigator. Grant jointly held with Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. Ongoing data collection, publications and talks
Collaborator Contribution won National Science Foundation, USA 3 year Research Grant (2016-2019) "Modulation of the Adrenocortical Responses to Perturbations of the Environment". Co-Investigator. Grant jointly held with Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA.Ongoing data collection, publications and talks
Impact Publications and training of post docs and PhD students. Presentations workshops and conference organisation.
 
Description Reproductive Physiology in a zebra finch 
Organisation Simon Fraser University
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Ryan CP, Dawson A, Sharp PJ, Meddle SL & Williams TD (2014) Circulating breeding and pre-breeding prolactin and LH are not associated with clutch size in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 202:26-34.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Seasonal Breeding in Songbirds Prof Pierre Deviche 
Organisation Arizona State University
Department School of Life Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Davies S, Lane S, Meddle SL, Tsutsui K & Deviche P (2016) The ecological and physiological bases of variation in the phenology of gonad growth in an urban and desert songbird. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 230-231:17-25. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.03.013. Davies S, Cros T, Richard D, Meddle SL, Tsutsui K & Deviche P (2015) Food availability, energetic constraints, and reproductive development in a wild seasonally breeding male songbird. Funct. Ecol. 29(11):1421-1434; doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12448. Davies S, Behbahaninia H, Giraudeau M, Meddle SL, Waites K & Deviche P (2015) Advanced seasonal reproductive development in a male urban bird is reflected in earlier plasma luteinizing hormone rise but not energetic status. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 224:1-10; doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.05.005. Davies S, Gao S, Valle S, Bittner S, Hutton P, Meddle SL & Deviche P (2015) Negative energy balance in a male songbird constrains the testicular endocrine response to luteinizing hormone stimulation. J. Exp. Biol. Dev. 218:2685-2693; doi:10.1242/dev.123042.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Seasonal reproduction in a songbird Prof Ketterson 
Organisation Indiana University
Department Department of Biology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Greives T, Fudickar A, Atwell J, Meddle SL & Ketterson E (2016) Early spring sex differences in luteinizing hormone response to gonadotropin releasing hormone in co-occurring resident and migrant dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 236:17-23. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.06.031. Fudickar AM, Greives TJ, Abolins-Abols M, Atwell JW, Meddle SL & Ketterson ED (2017) Advance in the timing of seasonal reproduction in an urban songbird is mediated by earlier gonadal responsiveness. Front. Ecol. Evol. (Submitted Feb 2017, under revision).
Start Year 2015
 
Description Stress Physiology in a wild galliform Prof. Romero 
Organisation Tufts University
Department Department of Biology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Dickens MJ, Meddle SL & Romero LM (2011) Mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptor expression in the brains of translocated chukar (Alectoris chukar). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 170:569-574.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Stress physiology in a songbird Dr Baugh 
Organisation Swarthmore College
Department Department of Biology
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Senft RA, Meddle SL & Baugh AT (2016) Distribution and abundance of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors throughout the brain of the great tit (Parus major). PLoS ONE 11(2):e0148516; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148516. Baugh AT, Senft RA, Firke M, Lauder A, Schroeder J, Meddle SL, van Oers K & Hau M (2017) Risk-averse personalities have a systemically potentiated neuroendocrine stress axis: a multilevel experiment in Parus major. Horm. Behav. (Submitted 25 Jan 2017).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Variation in hippocampal volume of a non-native species of bird Prof Buchanan 
Organisation Deakin University
Department Institute for Frontier Materials
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Cardilini APA, Micallef S, Bishop VR, Sherman CDH, Meddle SL & Buchanan KL (2017) Variation in hippocampal volume of a non-native species, Sturnus vulgaris, between coastal and inland habitats. Brain Behav. Evol. (Submitted 2016; under revision).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Hosted female pupil to gain hands on 1 week work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact hosted female pupil to gain hands on 1 week work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab and visit sparked pupil to successfully apply to study neuroscience at Glasgow university
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Improving egg quality; win - win traits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to breeders and geneticists from main breeding companies . X European Symposium on Poultry Genetics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.wpsa.com/index.php/publications/wpsa-proceedings/2017/x-european-symposium-on-poultry-gen...
 
Description 2014 Neuroleadership Institute speaker Scottish Local Interest Group Expert Scientist. The neurobiology of love. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 2014 Neuroleadership Institute speaker Scottish Local Interest Group Expert Scientist. The neurobiology of love. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Activity for Farm Sunday 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Produced a kit and advertising material to educate about eggs, science and its application. We hope to use this in interaction with schools and other engagement activities. Was distributed to farms we don't know the feedback although when run at our open days it was very favourable.

http://www.roslin.ed.ac.uk/CuteEgg/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://farmsunday.org/open-my-farm/science-and-technology
 
Description Articles in national newspapers/international online news agencies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The following press release was issued:
'Stress in pregnancy can impact future generations'.
Children whose grandmothers were stressed during pregnancy have an increased chance of mental health problems, a study suggests.
The effects of maternal stress during pregnancy can be transmitted to both the first and second generation of offspring, research carried out in rats has shown.
The study found that increased anxiety is linked to changes in genes expressed in the part of the brain that regulates emotions such as fear and anxiety.
Previous research suggests that stress during pregnancy is harmful to developing babies' brains and is linked to a greater risk of mental health disorders.
However, until now it was not known that the harmful effects of prenatal stress could present themselves in future generations, the team says.
Researchers found that the second generation of offspring from rats who had experienced social stress during pregnancy - caused by short periods of exposure to unfamiliar female rats - were more anxious than those whose grandmothers had not experienced stress.
These offspring showed a pattern of gene expression in a region of the brain - known as the amygdala - that is linked with an increased risk of anxiety disorders.
The findings provide researchers with greater insight into the origins of mood disorders. Understanding the mechanisms that allow the effects of stress to be transmitted to future generations could help researchers find new ways of treating some mental health conditions, the team says.
The research, published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Dr. Paula Brunton, of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study, said: "It appears from this work that stress during pregnancy has long term health implications not only for the unborn child but also for future generations."
This story received widespread press attention and featured in articles in national newspapers (e.g. The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News), international online news outlets (e.g. Medical News Today, Health Canal) and industry/business magazines (e.g. India Pharma News, BBSRC business magazine)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/paula-brunton(7e11174f-abb5-47c7-a73c-0d92ea2f5444)/c...
 
Description Aurora Academic mentor (Inspiring leadership in women, Leadership foundation for higher education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Aurora Academic mentor (Inspiring leadership in women, Leadership foundation for higher education. Coaching and mentor
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description BBC Expert Women 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Expert Women; Field Biologist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vx8FJg3VXo
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description BBC Radio Scotland Brain Waves 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio Scotland Brain Waves Interviewed as Expert Scientist on the neurobiology of love an attachment for a Valentines special.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BBSRC Pool of Experts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BBSRC media: What it's like to be a BBSRC committee member https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zidU5cl--lo
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BUAS Schools Countryside Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Primary 5 children and teachers from the entire Scottish Borders region. Ran activities around the cuticle and its importance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.buas.org/calendar/buas_schools_countryside_day_23_may_17.html
 
Description Birds! | PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Birds! | PolarTREC
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which K-12 teachers spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing K-12 educators and polar researchers together.

Program Development

PolarTREC was developed based on the strengths of the past PolarTREC (2007-2009) and TREC programs, as well as other teacher research experience (TRE's) programs.

Built on the successes of the previous three-year program and adapted to further meet diverse participant needs, PolarTREC is a multi-year project with four major categories of interrelated activities making up the PolarTREC Teacher Research Experience Model.

The main components of PolarTREC Include:
•provide hands-on field research experiences that are implemented in the polar regions;
•broadly disseminate teacher experiences to students, professionals, and the public;
•develop a sustainable learning community; and
•provide clear and appropriate measures of project success.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.polartrec.com/comment/24084
 
Description CUTE EGG: PROVIDING A SAFE SUPPLY OF EGGS TO HATCH THE NEXT GENERATION OF CHICKENS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article on Cute egg featured in LOHMANN TIERZUCHT "Poultry News". Reaches huge number of farmers across the world
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ltz.de/de-wAssets/docs/poultry-news/2017/Poultry-News-02-2017.pdf
 
Description CUTICLE DEPOSITION DOES NOT AFFECT WATER VAPOUR CONDUCTANCE AND CAN BE MEASURED IN HATCHING EGGS WITHOUT COMPROMISING EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to specialists in egg science, breeders and state veterinarians, an industry Science meeting. XVIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg Products, XXIIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat. Increases awareness across Europe of applications in poultry science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.wpsa.com/index.php/publications/wpsa-proceedings/2017/xxiii-european-symposium-on-the-qua...
 
Description CUTICLE DEPOSITION ENHANCES THE EGGS NATURAL DEFENCE AND IS A TRAIT WHICH DOES NOT TEND TO DECREASE WITH BIRD AGE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to specialists in egg science, breeders and state veterinarians, an industry Science meeting. XVIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg Products, XXIIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat. Increases awareness across Europe of applications in poultry science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.wpsa.com/index.php/publications/wpsa-proceedings/2017/xxiii-european-symposium-on-the-qua...
 
Description CUTICLE QUALITY GENETICS IN LAYERS AND BROILERS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to specialists in egg science, breeders and state veterinarians, an industry Science meeting. XVIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg Products, XXIIIth European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat. Increases awareness across Europe of applications in poultry science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.wpsa.com/index.php/publications/wpsa-proceedings/2017/xxiii-european-symposium-on-the-qua...
 
Description Can looking into the brain help us solve the paradox of the broiler breeder chicken? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talks and debates on the five freedoms. 2015 marks 50 years since the publication of the Brambell report, which inspired the key criteria of modern day animal welfare; namely the Five Freedoms.

This event marked the occasion. There was lively debate and questions and the audience covered a wide range of practioners and industry in the field of animal welfare.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.sruc.ac.uk/events/event/355/animal_welfare_day_50_years_of_animal_welfare_science
 
Description Designed and delivered Neurobehaviour training day workshop for East Bio DTP Students. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Designed and delivered Neurobehaviour training day workshop for East Bio DTP Students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Edinburgh International Science festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dolly, DNA and You Workshop. Targets children aged 9-14. Participants were given an introduction to cloning and genetic engineering, followed by three hands-on activities to understand the general concepts of genes and heredity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://dolly.roslin.ed.ac.uk/events-archive/dna-dolly-and-you/
 
Description Edinburgh University student Zoological Society Guest lecturer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Edinburgh University student Zoological Society Guest lecturer. Talked about my research "Breeding Birds: Adaptations to reproducing in an unpredictable environment" and women in STEM. Lots of good discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Edinburgh scientists working to create safer eggs 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact News coverage of egg cuticle story. 'Cute egg'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-43605254
 
Description Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. Selected from over 500 applications for media training.
The aim of the day was to give an introduction to the world of the media, the opportunity to meet some industry professionals as well as getting some hands on training, both on air and on screen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. August 2013. Selected from over 500 applications for media training.
The aim of the day was to give an introduction to the world of the media, the opportunity to meet some industry professionals as well as getting some hands on training, both on air and on screen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Haddington Camera Club. From the arctic to Australia. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Haddington Camera Club. Gave a talk "From the arctic to Australia" about my research and travels with birds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted female German Erasmus exchange student on 3 month work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Hosted female German Erasmus exchange student on 3 month work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab. Following her research experience she is going to apply for a masters or PhD program.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Industry academia conference (Towards the chicken of the future, RVS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion on the direction of selection and the way that science can support the demands to produce more meat

Interaction with a range of public bodies, industry and welfare pressure groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.rvc.ac.uk/Meetings/chicken-of-the-future/Index.cfm
 
Description Interconnect Student Network is a networking organisation for women in STEM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Promoting the advancement of women in STEM subjects by championing engagement with Athena SWAN-related activities: Invited speaker, Interconnect March 2014 - Student Network is a networking organisation for women studying science, engineering, technology (SET) and the built environment in Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Interview for national news, Financial Times 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "Are these the chickens of the future?"article by science journalist that coordinated to include interviews with myself on GM, Dr Ian Dunn on behaviour and welfare and Dr John Hickey on breeding genetics. This article brought together key aspects of the application of research to poultry breeding and production.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.ft.com/content/863e034e-d5c8-11e5-829b-8564e7528e54
 
Description Kickstart University of Edinburgh Widening Participation Summer School Neuroscience workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Kickstart University of Edinburgh Widening Participation Summer School 2016 Neuroscience workshop. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Knowledge exchange with private sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered a talk to at the Roslin Institute Industry day (Feed, Breed and Succeed, Sept 2012) which focussed on research in nutrition, reproduction and welfare. The event was focused on enhancing Industrial relationships but delegates also included policy makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Midlothian Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Session: 'Making sense of stress'. Summary: We all experience stress. Stress triggers a primitive response which is a vital survival mechanism, helping us to cope with stressful situations. Unfortunately, some people overreact to stressors that are not life-threatening and repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body, increasing the risk of mental health disorders and other diseases. We know that our genes, childhood experiences and lifestyle choices can impact upon how we respond to stress, but there's another important factor -the 9 months before we are born.

This event will consider how our body responds to stress and the role of stress hormones in coping with stressful situations. We will then focus on how the mother's body endeavours to protect the unborn baby from her experience of stress, before discussing how, when these safety barriers are breached, our mother's diet or exposure to stress can influence how we respond to stress, as well as impacting our behaviour, intelligence and susceptibility to develop disease in later life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://midlothiansciencefestival.com/event/making-sense-of-stress/
 
Description Midlothian Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Science soft play for toddlers and a chance for carers to find out about research in reproduction
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Midlothian Science festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science festival to highlight research at the roslin Institute and encourage questions relating to research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Midlothian open doors day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Highlights research at the Institute to the general public including school children
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Mothers matter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Poster describing results of studies investigating the impact of maternal husbandry of lamb reproductive development presented at SRUC 'Mothers matter' event in Lanarkshire.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description North for Science! The biology of birds breeding in the Arctic workshop for school pupils 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A workshop for north American school pupils (14 to 16 year olds) on the breeding biology of birds in the Arctic. Promote STEM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Open doors day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 200 members of the public attended which sparked questions and discussion regarding our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Pint of Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Pint of Science is a science festival that aims to communicate contemporary scientific developments to the general public in an interesting, engaging and approachable way by bringing scientists to the pub and other accessible places. The festival takes place annually in the month of May. The 2017 Pint of Science festival took place in approximately 175 cities in 9 countries across four continents.
Talk title: 'The nine months that made you, you'. Talk summary: Why are we the way we are? Why is it that for some people, standing up and speaking to a bunch of strangers in a pub is like water off a ducks back, while for others the thought of it sends them running for the hills? Why are some of us prone to being anxious, depressed or fat? Nature, nurture and our lifestyle influence how we develop. However, there's another important factor that can shape who we are -the 9 months we spend in the womb. I will describe how the environment we encounter in the womb, can influence our behaviour, intelligence, appetite and our susceptibility to develop disease.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/
 
Description Polish TV interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview for local TV in Olsztyn, Poland on the importance of Pig Reproduction research. This coincided with the International Conference on Pig Reproduction in Olsztyn (for which Cheryl Ashworth chairs the International Organising Committee).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation at British NeuroEndocrine Group (Glasgow) CCKAR 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Communication with a wide range of non-avian scientists working on appetite
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation at International Symposium Avian Endocrinology (Niagara on the Lake) CCKAR 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Communication beyond poultry to wild bird and ecological researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.isae2016.ca/
 
Description Presentation at International Symposium Avian Endocrinology (Niagara on the Lake) MSH 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Communication beyond poultry to wild bird and ecological researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.isae2016.ca/
 
Description Presentation at International Symposium Avian Endocrinology (Niagara on the Lake) Sex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Communication beyond poultry to wild bird and ecological researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.isae2016.ca/
 
Description Presentation at World Poultry Congress (Beijing) Cuticle 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Largest Poultry science conference >4000 people. 50% industry Interest engendered from breeding companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.wpc2016.cn/uploadfiles/2016-9/The%20Proceedings%20of%20WPC2016-Abstracts-20160920.pdf
 
Description Presentation at World Poultry Congress (Beijing) Incubation behaviour 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Largest Poultry science conference >4000 people. 50% industry Interest engendered from researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.wpc2016.cn/uploadfiles/2016-9/The%20Proceedings%20of%20WPC2016-Abstracts-20160920.pdf
 
Description Presentation at World Poultry Congress (Beijing) Ovodefensin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Largest Poultry science conference >4000 people. 50% industry Interest engendered from industry
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation at World Poultry Science UK spring meeting (Chester) CCKAR 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A logical approach to understanding physiological mechanisms underpinning growth efficiency in broilers explained by a single selected genetic locus

Presentation of effect of the CCKAR locus, interest from industry and how it might be used.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to the European Egg Quality meeting. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact XXII European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat and the XVI European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg Products Eggmeat2015, Nantes (France), May, 10 to 13, 2015

Science/industry meeting on quality of eggs. Good links to encourage uptake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.eggmeat2015.com/home/index.php/the-program/tuesday-12-may-program
 
Description Provided expert opinion for Science magazine (Finland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was a consultant for a science journalist writing for the top science magazine in Finland (readership >325,000). I provided expert opinion in the "Readers' questions, experts answer" - section of Tiede (Science) magazine about how and when the brain knows a women is pregnant. The article was published in April 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Roslin Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Rookie reproduction' activity which introduced aspects of farm animal reproductive sciences to family groups through craft, activities, quizzes etc. This activity was rated 4th (out of ~20) by the visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Royal Highland Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Rookie reproduction' activity. Introducing reproduction in domestic animals to visitors to the Royal Highland Show through crafts and quizzes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description SRF Public Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I instigated and have been the local host of a public lecture series funded by an academic society: The Society for Reproduction and Fertility. The lectures are delivered in London, Nottingham and Edinburgh each year and aim to raise awareness of the society and of Reproductive Biology Research in the UK. The speaker also has informal, inspiring discussions with local students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://srf-reproduction.org/events/sex-in-three-cities-events/
 
Description School visit Get Loving School Workshop on the Neurobiology of love. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 30 school pupils engaged in workshop in neuroscience which sparked interest in the Roslin institute and going to university
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description School visit to the institute Neurobiology workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School visit to the institute. neurobiology workshop.Discussed careers in science and going to University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Science Insights Work Experience Programme. Hosted 2 female school pupils for 'researcher shadowing' in my laboratory. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Science Insights Work Experience Programme (Roslin Institute). Hosted 2 female school pupils for 'researcher shadowing' in my laboratory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Science access for schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Science Insights students spend short periods of time hosted by a number of different researchers, giving them an insight into a wide variety of research

There was positive feedback and hopefully some students will take a biological science path
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.scienceinsights.ed.ac.uk
 
Description Science festivals 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As a result of a Beltane grant and workshop an activity was built up to engage the public including children in the research. Specifically to understand the role of the cuticle in keeping bacteria out of the egg (in a fun way!).
This was used at a number of different science festival events running through to this year and has included the highland show.

Developed an interactive tool to explain the research aim which can be used in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2017,2018,2019
URL http://scoffingscottishscience.com/about/
 
Description Seminar: "Attenuating the stress response: behavioural and neuroendocrine adaptations of free-living birds breeding in the Arctic." Animal Welfare Research Day. SRUC, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Attenuating the stress response: behavioural and neuroendocrine adaptations of free-living birds breeding in the Arctic." Animal Welfare Research Day. SRUC, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Seminar: "Environmental cues regulating reproduction in birds" Technical workshop: Approaches to investigating circannual rhythms in vertebrates. The University of Glasgow, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Environmental cues regulating reproduction in birds" Technical workshop: Approaches to investigating circannual rhythms in vertebrates. The University of Glasgow, UK.
Ran training workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Seminar: "Neuroendocrine and environmental interactions underlying reproductive behaviour in birds" The University of Exeter, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Neuroendocrine and environmental interactions underlying reproductive behaviour in birds" The University of Exeter, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar: "The Neurobiology of Nest Building and Parental Care" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The Neurobiology of Nest Building and Parental Care" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Future collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression from studies in rodents and birds" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression from studies in rodents and birds" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Japan partnering award
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression" University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression" University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Sharing the Arctic's newest discoveries Arctic Science Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Featured in Frontier Scientists: Stressed out? Every year migratory birds battle stress, and win. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Sharing the Arctic's newest discoveries Arctic Science Blog. http://frontierscientists.com/2014/05/migratory-birds-battle-stress-and-win/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Speaker at Scotland's Rural College's Animal Welfare Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to speak to key stakeholders (e.g. Scottish Government Chief Veterinarian, Veterinarians and Vet students, Farmers, SSPCA staff, animal biologists) about our research investigating the impact of early life stress on future health and welfare.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Tissue distribution and dynamic regulation of chicken peptide YY (PYY) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 18th International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology , Communication of work by PhD student which as will be apparent from the URL was a great learning and confidence building experience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://goabroadfund.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/18th-international-congress-of-comparative-endocrinolo...
 
Description Vet Student Anatomy Club Guest speaker. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Highlight research and encourage women in STEM to vet students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Vet Student Reproduction Society Guest speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact highlight reproductive biology research and encourage vet students to consider a career in research. Encourage women in STEM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017