I have long had an interest in horseracing and racehorse breeding. Many of my early memories are days spent at Newmarket racecourse. As a teenager I spent school holidays gaining experience on thoroughbred studs and training yards, before focusing on furthering my education at the universities of Bristol, Hiroshima and Edinburgh, where I developed a keen interest in animal breeding strategies. I then spent a number of years working in the racing and breeding industries before returning to academia in 2013 to study for a PhD under the supervision of Alastair Wilson at the University of Exeter.
My PhD research addresses the genetics of performance and health traits in thoroughbred racehorses. Using statistical genetic approaches I have been able to show that performance traits are genetically variable and are still improving (despite previous claims to the contrary). My current work is focused on the development of predictive tools to facilitate effective selection in racehorses. Ultimately, an improved understanding of the genetics underpinning health and performance will allow us to implement more accurate selection, improving racehorse health (i.e. reduced injury susceptibility) and performances on the racecourse.
Broad research specialisms:
- Quantitative Genetics
- Evolutionary Biology
2006 MSc Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis (University of Edinburgh)
2001 BSc Equine Sciences (University of Bristol)