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About Dr Krista McLennan

I have always had an interest in animals and studied for my BSc (Hons) in equine studies (science option) at Sparsholt College, University of Plymouth. After a year working out in the equine industry, I went on to study at the University of Exeter for a master’s degree in Animal Behaviour where I studied the social behaviour of donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary, UK in Devon.

Upon completion of my masters, I gained an Associate Lecturer / Resident Researcher’s post at Moulton College in collaboration with the University of Northampton, where I was able to gain experience teaching alongside studying for a PhD in dairy cattle social behaviour. Towards the end of my PhD, I took up a post-doctoral position at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge working on an EU funded project (Animal Welfare Indicators, AWIN) looking at the relationship between disease, behaviour, and welfare of sheep. I developed the Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale that can be used by farmers and veterinarians to help them recognise and assess pain in sheep.

I joined the University of Chester in 2015 and have been continuing my research interest in animal welfare using facial expression to assess emotional state.

Teaching

I am passionate about passing on knowledge and facilitating the learning of others. I teach across several different programmes, including the Bioveterinary Science Degree, Biology, Zoology, Animal Behaviour and the Animal Behaviour and Welfare degrees. My main areas of teaching expertise include the behaviour, health and husbandry of production animals and applying this to welfare assessments. I am also interested in how disease and an animals physiology play a role in their behaviour, helping us to assess their welfare. I am able to explore this further though my teaching on the Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Animals module at level 4 and the Physiology and Behaviour module at level 6. I also teach on and lead the Animal Management and Bioveterinary Science module at level 4.

I currently supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate research students, as well as offering a postgraduate module looking at technological developments for the animal welfare industry.

Research

One of my main areas of research is the welfare of production animals. I am interested in the behavioural indicators of pain, and in particular the relationship between disease, behaviour, and welfare. I developed the Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale that can be used by farmers and veterinarians to help them recognise and assess pain in sheep.

I currently collaborate Dr Marwa Mahmoud from the University of Cambridge Computer Science team working on developing an automated system for facial expression and lameness detection. We have also recently started a collaboration with Elizabeth Sklar and Simon Parsons at the Lincoln Agri-Robotics centre to work on this project.

I also collaborate with Dr Jane Ladlow and Dr Nai-Chieh Liu who are part of the Cambridge BOAS Research Group, working on developing a facial expression scale to assess the welfare of Brachycephalic dogs.

I am interested in supervising masters and PhD projects looking at the following areas but I am also open to other research projects looking at welfare and behaviour in farm, equine or companion animals:

  • Facial recognition in sheep.
  • Facial expression of pain during parturition in sheep.
  • Facial expression in BOAS dogs
  • Welfare assessments in equine, farm, or companion animals
  • Disease and pain in farm and equine species.
  • Lameness in farm or equine species.

Please email me for more information on how to apply for these projects or if you are interested in collaborations.

 Link to Researchgate profile

Twitter:@kmmclennan

Published Work

Papers

2021

Harley, J.J.; Stack, J.D.; Braid, H.; McLennan, K.M.; Stanley, C.R. Evaluation of the Feasibility, Reliability, and Repeatability of Welfare Indicators in Free-Roaming Horses: A Pilot Study. Animals 2021, 11, 1981. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071981

2020

Pessanha, F., McLennan, K.M., Mahmoud, M. (2020) Towards automatic monitoring of disease progression in sheep: A hierarchical model for sheep facial expressions analysis from video. In: IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, Buenos Aires, May 2020

2019

McLennan, K.M., Miller, A. L., Dalla Costa, E., Stucke, D., Corke, M.J., Broom, D.M., and Leach, M.C. (2019) Conceptual and methodological issues relating to pain assessment in mammals: the development and utilisation of pain facial expression scales. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 217, 1-15, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.06.001

Invited commentary

McLennan, K.M. (2019). The importance of practical research. Animal Sentience, 25(31)

Invited paper

McLennan, K.M., and Mahmoud, M. (2019) Development of an automated pain facial expression detection system for sheep (Ovis aries). Animals, 9, 196 doi:10.3390/ani9040196

2018

Invited paper.

McLennan, K.M. (2018) Why Pain is Still a Welfare Issue for Farm Animals, and How Facial Expression Could be the Answer. Agriculture, 8(8), 127, https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8080127 

2016

McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Corke, M.J, Holmes, M.A., Leach, M.C., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2016) Corrigendum to “Development of a facial expression scale using footrot and mastitis as models of pain in sheep”. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Vol 179; 105-107 DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.03.005

McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Corke, M.J, Holmes, M.A., Leach, M.C., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2016) Development of a facial expression scale using footrot and mastitis as models of pain in sheep. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Vol 176; 19-25 DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.01.007

2015

McLennan, K. M., Skillings, E.A., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M.J., Pires Moreira, M.A., Morton, A. J., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2015). Technical note: Validation of an automatic recording system to assess behavioural activity level in sheep (Ovis aries). Small Ruminant Research. Vol 127, pp. 92-96

2014

Corke, M.J., McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Assessment of Pain in Sheep. Proceedings of the Sheep Veterinary Society, Vol 38, pp. 7-12

Corke, M.J., McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Constantino-Casas, F. (Jan 2014). Assessment of Pain in Farm Animals. Goat Veterinary Society Journal. 30; 60-68.

2012

McLennan, K. M., (2012). Farmyard Friends. The Biologist, 59(4) p. 18-22

 

Conference proceedings

2017

McLennan, K.M., and Leach, M.C. (2017). Using Facial Expression to Assess Emotional State. In: Proceedings for UFAW International Animal Welfare Science Symposium, Measuring Animal Welfare and Applying Scientific Advances: Why Is It Still So Difficult? Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, UK. 27th – 29th June 2017. P.73

McLennan, K.M., Corke, M.J., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2017). Biomarkers of pain – separating pain from inflammation. In: Proceedings for UFAW International Animal Welfare Science Symposium, Measuring Animal Welfare and Applying Scientific Advances: Why Is It Still So Difficult? Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, UK. 27th – 29th June 2017. P.144

2015

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2015). Behavioural and pain biomarkers of sheep with footrot and mastitis. In: Proceedings for the Final conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Brussels

2014

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). The development of a facial grimace score in adult sheep. In: Proceedings of the Regional Meeting of the International Society of Applied Ethology, UK / Eire

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). The facial expression of sheep with footrot and its relationship with lameness, total lesion score and faecal cortisol. In: Proceedings of the 48th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology P111 

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Facial expression as a pain indicator in sheep. In: Proceedings for the 3rd Annual conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Prague P25

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Facial expression as a pain indicator in small ruminants. In: Proceedings for the 3rd Annual conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Prague. P10

Rebelo, C. J. B., McLennan, K. M., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F (2014). Indicators of pain in sheep suffering from pregnancy Toxaemia. In: Proceedings for the 3rd Annual conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Prague P27

Fritha Langford, Jill MacKay, Carol Thompson, Adroaldo J Zanella, Pericles Varella Gomes, Donald M Broom, Bjarne O Braastad, Judit Vas, Andreia De Paula Vieira, Murray J Corke, Carlos J Rebelo, Krista M McLennan. (2014). Digital learning materials on assessing pain and disease in sheep In: Proceedings for the 3rd Annual conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Prague P.55          

Rebelo, C. J. B., McLennan, K. M., Corke, M.J, Holmes, M.A, and Constantino-Casas, F (2014). Thermography as a pain-indicator in sheep: footrot as an example. In: Proceedings for the 3rd Annual conference for Animal Welfare Indicators project, Prague P11

Rebelo, C. J. B.; McLennan, K. M.; Corke, M.J.; Broom, D. M.; and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Preliminary observations of pain indicators in sheep with pregnancy toxaemia In: Proceedings for the XXVIII World Buiatrics Congress, Cairns, Australia, 158. Eight Mile Plains Qld: Australian Cattle Veterinarians. (Abstr.).

Rebelo, C. J. B., Ajuda, I. G., McLennan, K. M., Lima, M.S., Stilwell, G., Corke, M.J., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Pregnancy toxaemia in small ruminants - how does it develop in sheep and goats In: Proceedings for the XXVIII World Buiatrics Congress, Cairns, Australia, 140. Eight Mile Plains Qld: Australian Cattle Veterinarians.  (Abstr.).

McLennan, K. M., Littlemore, J., McCormick, W., (2014). The effects of a dynamic group system on the social bonds of dairy cattle. In: Proceedings of Recent advances in animal welfare science IV, UFAW Animal Welfare Conference, York. P17

2013

McLennan, K. M., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2013). Preliminary observations of pain indicators in sheep with footrot. 2nd Annual Conference, Animal Welfare Indicators Project, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Rebelo, C. J., McLennan, K.M., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2013). Clinical efficacy of tulathromycin administration in sheep with foot rot – preliminary results. 17th International symposium and 9th International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants 2013, Bristol, UK.

Rebelo, C. J. B., McLennan, K. M., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2013). Indicators of pain in sheep with mastitis. 2nd Annual Conference, Animal Welfare Indicators Project, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Rebelo, C. J. B., McLennan, K. M., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F., (2013). Indicators of pain in sheep with mastitis. 9th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting, Portugal

McLennan, K. M., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M., Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2013). Preliminary observations of pain indicators in sheep with footrot. 9th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting, Portugal

2012

McLennan, K.M., Littlemore, J., McCormick, W., (2012). The Effects of Short-Term Separation on Physiological Parameters of Dairy Cattle: Heart Rate Versus Cortisol. In: Proceedings of the Regional Meeting of the International Society of Applied Ethology, UK / Eire

McLennan, K. M., Littlemore, J., McCormick, W., (2012). Husbandry Practices in Large Dynamic Dairy Herds: The Effects of Social Support. In: Proceedings of SET for BRITAIN, Biological and Biomedical Sciences Exhibition, House of Commons.

2011

McLennan, K. M., (2011). The Cardiac responses of cattle when isolated either with or without their preferred partner. In: Proceedings of Postgraduate Research Degree Student & Early Career Researcher, Annual Research Conference 2011, The University of Northampton.

2010

McLennan, K. M., Stewart, C., Meredith, J., (2010). Social Bonds in Dairy Cattle – Preliminary Observations. In: Proceedings of the Regional Meeting of the International Society of Applied Ethology, UK / Eire

2008

McLennan, K. M., (2008). Aggressive behaviour of the domestic donkey (Equus asinus): Is it related to gender, age or ranking position? In: Proceedings of the UFAW Animal Welfare Conference, Recent advances in animal welfare science, Birmingham Council House, 3rd July 2008

McLennan, K. M., (2008). Social Bonds in Dairy Cattle: Effects of dynamic group systems on welfare and productivity. In: Proceedings of the Third Student Animal Welfare Conference, Writtle College.

                                                                                                                                                                    

Book Chapters

Mahmoud, M., Lu, Y., Hou, X., McLennan, K., Robinson, P. (2018). Estimation of Pain in Sheep Using Computer Vision. In: Moore, R.J. (ed). Handbook of Pain and Palliative Care. 2nd Ed. Springer Nature GB, Chum, Switzerland P.145-157

Chapman, S.J. and McLennan, K.M. (2018). Chapter Eight: Handling and Restraint of Horses and Donkeys. In: Chapman, S.J. (ed). Safe Handling and Restraint of Animals: A Comprehensive Guide. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, West Sussex, UK.

McLennan, K.M., and Chapman, S.J. (2018). Chapter Nine: Handling and Restraint of Cattle. In: Chapman, S.J. (ed). Safe Handling and Restraint of Animals: A Comprehensive Guide. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, West Sussex, UK.

McLennan, K.M., and Chapman, S.J. (2018). Chapter Ten: Handling and Restraint of Small Ruminants. In: Chapman, S.J. (ed). Safe Handling and Restraint of Animals: A Comprehensive Guide. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, West Sussex, UK.

McLennan, K.M., and Chapman, S.J. (2018). Chapter Eleven: Handling and Restraint of Pigs. In: Chapman, S.J. (ed). Safe Handling and Restraint of Animals: A Comprehensive Guide. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, West Sussex, UK.

McLennan, K.M., and Chapman, S.J. (2018). Chapter Twelve: Handling and Restraint of South American Camelids. In: Chapman, S.J. (ed). Safe Handling and Restraint of Animals: A Comprehensive Guide. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, West Sussex, UK.

                                

Invited talks

McLennan, K. M., (2013). Social Bonds in Dairy Cattle: The effect of dynamic group systems on Welfare and productivity, Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology Seminars, University of Cambridge.

McLennan, K. M., (2011). Effects of Having a Preferred Partner Present on the Heart Rate of Heifers During Short-Term Social Isolation. Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology Seminars, University of Cambridge.

McLennan, K.M., and Leach, M.C. (2017). Utiliser l’expression faciale pour évaluer l’état émotionnel. In: Proceedings of Afstal 43e Colloque, Éthologie en Expérimentation Animale, Lyon, France, 7-9 Juin 2017                                                                         

 

Industry Collaborations

McLennan, K.M., (2017). Recognising, assessing and alleviating pain in sheep. Farm Animal Well Being Series Booklet, Boehringer Ingelheim.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) in Equine Studies at Sparsholt College, (University of Plymouth).
  • MSc in Animal Behaviour (University of Exeter).
  • PhD (University of Northampton & Moulton College).
  • SFHEA, PGCert (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) – University of Chester