Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Equine Science Trip

I recently went on a equine science masters trip to Gregynog Hall. Below is a photo I took on my phone of the front of the house. It was amazing inside to and had a long history to it. We stayed there for 2 nights, I shared a bedroom with 2 other girls and it must have been the biggest room I have ever slept in. It was bigger than the room we were having lectures in. The bed was also so old that it was really short and said "His Majesty The King" on the side so it must have been really old!

Different speakers had been organised to come and talk to us over our time there and in the evenings we got chance to meet them and chat to them informally. I thought I would write a post on who came to speak to us and what they do using info from what they told us and the internet. I'm not going to put their lecture information on here because that belongs to them and I would be stealing it a bit!

The first speaker we had was Chris Pardoe, he is a farrier by trade but now works in equine biomechanics. He has a degree in life sciences and a PhD on "Mechanics of Hoof Impact and Loading in the Horse". He spoke to us about his biomechanical research and how they test a variety of animals. I think that it is important we have people like Chris Pardoe (a farrier that carries out scientific research) because he knows the problems that people have with horses hooves in a way a scientist may not and then can go out and research it. He was talking about using different shoes or going barefoot and using biomechanics he could assess how it caused the hoof to change and may alter the horses gait.

The second speaker we had was Richard Newton, he is from The Animal Health Trust. I just googled his name and found this...  "Richard Newton, BVSc, MSc, PhD, DLSHTM, DipECVPH, FRCV", that is a lot of letters after your name, don't ask me what they mean! At the Animal Health Trust he is involved with infectious diseases in horses. On the internet it says he is currently Head of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at the Animal Health Trust. I don't know how long ago this was written but I think it is still correct. First he spoke to us about designing a study, he did this in a way which was really interesting and it was useful as the last time I learnt "Research Methods" I was in 2nd year and I will be needing it for my dissertation project in the summer. In his second lecture with us he  gave us an option but we all picked to learn about Strangles. I found this especially interesting as the farm where I keep my horse has been affected by strangles in the past.

Duncan Hannant also spoke to us, he is from Nottingham Vet. School and also works at the Animal Health Trust. He is involved with the research for a wide range of infectious diseases. He is also our university's exeternal examiner for out course. He spoke on Equine Arteritis Virus which is a disease usually transmitted whilst breeding horses.He also spoke about new and re-emerging diseases which was interesting. He focused on the immunological aspect which is not my favourite area but he did it in a way that made it interesting.

Colin Roberts then spoke to us, he is a vet and is involved with the FEI, he has been appointed to be in charge of blood doping at the London 2012 Olympics. He spoke to us about racehorses that bleed at the lungs and why it happens. He then spoke to us about the rules and regulations regarding blood doping and medication control. This was probably the lecture I found the most interesting during my time there.

At the end of the trip we had Tina Blackmore speaking to us who was a previous masters student from Aberystwyth. She had gone on to do a PhD and was now carrying out post-doc research. She spoke to us about her PhD and then had a chat with us about what we could do after we finished the course and about how to go on to do a PhD.

As you can tell we all really enjoyed the trip and it was good to meet these people and discuss dissertations etc. Although we did have a 3000 word genetics assignment and 2 statistic assignments in for tomorrow so that was hanging over our heads while we were there. I have handed these in now (woo!) but have 5 exams in January so need to finish up writing up notes and getting the extra reading together so I can try and remember it all! My exams are in Statistics for Experimental Scientists, Principals of Nutrition, Endocrinology, Growth And Development, Bacteriology, Immunology And Parasitology and Animal Breeding And Genetics. So I have lots to learn over Christmas!

While I am revising I will do some of my own research into the areas they talked to us about so I might write posts on some of them.

Love Laura

1 comment:

~Allison said...

Very cool and interesting! You are meeting a lot of people that seem to know a ton about horses! I love your informative posts!

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