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Dr Zoe Barker

  • Module convenor and contributor, teaching a range of topics including animal welfare and ethics, grassland/pasture management, animal growth and reproduction, agricultural research skills.
  • Supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations
  • Academic Tutor
  • Co-Investigator on BBSRC funded project on Heat Stress and Building Microclimates

Areas of interest

My research is centred around improving health and welfare of farmed livestock.  I have spent a significant amount of time measuring and monitoring health and welfare issues on farm, often observing the behaviour of individual animals to determine their health status then using this information to better understand the risks for development of health and welfare issues and to identify methods of preventing them.

More recently I have been using novel sensor technologies to predict behaviours which might be indicators of impaired health and welfare. These technologies now give us the ability to consider each animal as an individual rather than a herd or a flock, allowing us to better understand what choices animals make, under different conditions and why.  We are currently using a wide range of individual animal worn sensors alongside sensors to monitor the environmental conditions in cattle housing, to understand how dairy cows cope with and react to heat waves.

Alongside these animal projects I have also implemented behaviour change theories and social marketing techniques to ensure the uptake of research outcomes by farmers.  This has included working with individual dairy farmers to implement changes to reduce lameness and supporting groups of pig farmers to work together to prevent infectious pig diseases in their regions.

Postgraduate supervision

Primary supervisor: Ganimet Unsal-Polat – PhD Improving the welfare of dairy youngstock


I enjoy supporting students to apply animal anatomy and physiology knowledge to better understand how individual animals behave and cope when under the care of humans, and how this influences their welfare outcomes, including farmed animals and other animals in captivity.

Academic qualifications

  • BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)
  • PhD Veterinary Epidemiology
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


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