I graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2001 with a first class honours degree in Biology. I then obtained an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, including a research project investigating the effect of social stress on the physiology and behaviour of pigs. I then worked as a research assistant at the University of Southampton investigating the welfare of kennelled dogs. In 2003 I embarked on my travels and re-discovered my love for the marine environment gaining PADI Dive Master status whilst working in Australia. During this time, I was fortunate to join Reef Check Australia on an expedition to Vanuatu to monitor the health of the reef and effects of the aquarium trade.
In July 2005, I joined the Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group at the University of Bristol, working as a research technician studying social cognition in pigs. This then led to a PhD, starting in 2007, researching social discrimination and memory in pigs and rats. Following completion of my PhD in 2011, I began work on a BBSRC funded project investigating the defence cascade response in pigs and its relationship with welfare / affective state.