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5 December 2011
Guide dog researcher reaps another accolade

A young researcher who specialises in the study of guide dog behaviour has been recognised for her talent, knowledge and expertise.

A guide dog at work

Dr Lucy Asher, a lecturer in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at The University of Nottingham, is one of eight young researchers from a range of disciplines across the country to be recognised in the UK Scopus Young Researcher Awards 2011.

Lucy has published 15 articles in journals specialising in veterinary welfare and animal behaviour. She is currently involved in a five year project aimed at understanding the factors which make a successful guide dog. Her research will culminate in the development of a reliable and valid behavioural profiling system.

The UK Scopus Young Researcher Award is an initiative of Elsevier in association with the US/UK Fulbright Commission to honour the achievements of young researchers and the institutions that foster them. Candidates in health and medical sciences, biological sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities were eligible for consideration.

Lucy said: “This award is a great honour which has come completely out of the blue. Being a researcher allows you to answer interesting questions. In my case I ask questions about animal behaviour and welfare which are also areas which I care about. I feel very lucky to be able to spend my time thinking about which questions need answering and finding new ways to answer them.”

Earlier this year Lucy, a lecturer in Epidemiology and Animal Behaviour, was among three winners of the inaugural Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of her successful and significant work in animal welfare.

Lucy Asher’s PhD research, carried out at Newcastle University, involved methods of quantifying repetitive behaviours in captive birds. She has worked in a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded post at the Royal Veterinary College on projects at London and Bristol including welfare of chickens and pedigree dogs, and continued her studies on mathematical approaches for describing behaviour. Dr Asher was also the lead author on a paper published in the Veterinary Journal on inherited defects in pedigree dogs which has been in the top 10 most downloaded papers in that journal since its publication.

The award was presented at the Royal Society in London on 22 November 2011

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