Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Farewell to Dr Jill MacKay

Cut, Print, Moving On

There are some changes coming to the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.  In June, our long-time collaborator from SRUC, Jill MacKay, will be moving to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies for good to take up a new position as a research fellow in veterinary education.

Jill started her career at the University of Glasgow doing an M.Sci in Zoology. As part of her five year degree she did a year’s internship with the RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Hospital, working in wildlife rehabilitation and post-release monitoring. She was a regular volunteer with the RSPB, working in knowledge transfer for the hen harrier nesting project at Muirshiels Country Park. After finishing her degree in 2009, she joined the University of Edinburgh and what was then the Scottish Agricultural College to carry out her PhD investigating personality in cattle.

During her PhD, Jill continued to work in knowledge transfer and started teaching SAC undergraduates. She regularly participated in the Royal Highland Show and science festivals throughout Scotland. She worked with Wageningen University in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, for the final experiment of her PhD at their Dairy Research Centre.

After completing her PhD in 2013, Jill worked principally on knowledge transfer at SRUC on the Animal Welfare Indicators project and created bespoke continued professional development courses for IFAW with the centre. She was then a coordinator for the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Massive Open Online Course and worked with the Centre on a number of projects, including the World Animal Protection ‘Key Drivers in Veterinary Education’ workshops in Taiwan.

From 2014 Jill worked as the coordinator for our International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law MSc which saw its first MSc students graduate in 2015. In this role, Jill was able to use her experience in interdisciplinary research to the fore to help with the dissertation projects for students.

In Jill’s new role she’ll be joining the VMED division of the Vet School. VMED researches veterinary education in order to continue providing cutting edge tools for veterinary teaching at Edinburgh. She’s looking forward to getting to grips with the rest of the veterinary curriculum and bringing an interdisciplinary approach to the research. While Jill will no longer be working directly with the centre, she is already planning some collaborative research projects.

Jill says:
“I have loved my years with SRUC and my many secondments to the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education. They’ve given me loads of great opportunities, like working on the MOOC and travelling to Taiwan. I’m very excited to be starting this new research fellowship on a topic that I really got interested in because of my work with the Centre, and I’m delighted to continue working on this campus and with my amazing colleagues.”

We will all really miss Jill's enthusiasm and professionalism, but also know that happily she is not going far - thank you for your hard work at JMICAWE and all the very best in your new job, Jill.

Jill at Midlothian Science Festival, demonstrating the infrared camera

Jill at Wageningen Dairy Research Unit with one of the girls

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