I graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1992 with a first class Honours degree in Psychology. I went on to pursue a PhD in QUB on the welfare of kennelled dogs, graduating with my Doctorate in 1996. After several years of post-doc research, I was appointed to a lectureship in Animal Welfare in 1999. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004 and to Reader in 2013.
My research concentrates on animal behaviour and welfare, with a particular focus on the domestic dog. Much of my work has been concerned with exploring the welfare of animals housed in captivity (e.g. zoos, rescue kennels) and finding ways of improving psychological well-being through the implementation of novel and scientifically tested enrichment strategies. Other research areas include pets and human health, behaviour problems in companion animals and, more recently, laterality in animals.