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Dr Nicola Rooney



photo of Nicola Rooney

Nicola graduated from Leicester University (Hons, 1st class), before completing a PGCE. After studying mink anatomy and diet, (WildCRU, Oxford University), she moved to Southampton University to complete a PhD, entitled “Play Behaviour of the Domestic Dog, and its Effects upon the Dog-Human Relationship”.She has continued to work in the field of human-animal interactions, running many research projects on working dogs: examining selection criteria, determining effects of rearing environment, measuring working ability, and assessing and improving the welfare of specialist search dogs. She’s supervised PhD, MSc and BSc projects, on various aspects of dog welfare, and has conducted research trips to Indonesia, studying and supervising research on rainforest-dwelling primates, and their interactions with humans.

Since 2003, Nicola has worked within the Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group (University of Bristol), and has pursued her interest in wildlife tourism, leading tours to Africa several times per year. She also works as an independent consultant to the RSPCA. She’s helped produce the RSPCA Codes of Practice for the care of both dogs and cats, the RSPCA Performing Animals Guidelines, has coordinated and co-authored an Independent Report entitled “Pedigree dog breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern?” and advises on racing greyhound welfare.