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Gareth Pearce

Animal Health, Welfare and Production

Bos indicus gps collar
GPS collar on Australian Bos indicus cattle used to quantify social interactions

Gareth Pearce's research has been primarily concerned with the influence of behaviour, environment and management on animal disease, welfare and productivity. Studies involving a range of domestic species such as pigs and horses have investigated a wide range of health and welfare measures including physical changes (skeletal adaptation in horses, pleurisy and gastric ulceration in pigs) and physiological changes (serum acute phase proteins such as haptoglobin and plasma cortisol concentrations) occurring in response to the animal's environment, health status and management. Recent research has included the use of social network analysis to investigate disease transmission dynamics and welfare in populations of free-living wild animals (meerkats in the South African Kalahari) and farmed animals in both intensive (Atlantic salmon in Norway) and extensive environments (Bos indicus cattle in Queensland, Australia). Particular current interests also include investigating the ecology of antibiotic resistance in the aquatic environment using NGS, metagenomics and transcriptomics, the use of laterality to assess emotional state in cattle and the influence of individual animal temperament on social network dynamics and welfare assessment in cattle and bottlenose dolphins.

Key Publications

Googe Scholar - list of all publications  

Over-expression of antibiotic resistance genes in hospital effluents over time. Will Rowe, Craig Baker-Austin, David W. Verner-Jeffreys, Jim J. Ryan, Christianne Micallef, Duncan J. Maskell, Gareth P. Pearce (2017)  Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy dkx017. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx017.

Evaluating the effects of a short-term feed restriction period on the behavior and welfare of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, parr using social network analysis and fin damage. Cañon-Jones, H.A., Noble, C., Damsgård, B. and Pearce, G.P. (2016). Journal of the World Aquaculture Society doi: 10.1111/jwas.12322

Comparative metagenomics reveals a diverse range of antimicrobial resistance genes in effluents entering a river catchment. Will Rowe, David W. Verner-Jeffreys, Craig Baker-Austin, Jim J. Ryan, Duncan J. Maskell, Gareth P. Pearce (2015) Water Science and Technology 73(7), 1541-1549.

Lateralization of behavior in dairy cows in response to conspecifics and novel persons. Phillips, C.J.C., Oevermans, H., Syrett, K.L., Jespersen, A.Y. and Pearce, G.P. (2015). Journal of Dairy Science. 98(4):2389-2400.

Molecular identification of poxviruses associated with epidermal lesions in UK cetaceans. Blacklaws, B.A, Gajda, A.M., Tippelt, S., Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Van Bressem, M-F. and Pearce, G.P. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(8): e71734.

Integrating contact network structure into tuberculosis epidemiology in meerkats in South Africa: Implications for control .Drewe, J. A., Eames, K. T., Madden, J. R., and Pearce, G. P. (2011). Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 101(1-2), 113-120.

 Gareth Pearce

Dr Gareth Pearce

University Senior Lecturer in Farm Animal Health and Production

Group member: Cristina Acasuso-Rivero

    Plain English

    The way that animals behave in response to their environment and management can have profound influences on their welfare, productivity and disease status.  Our research examines the factors that influence animals’ responses to their physical, social and emotional environments so that we can manage these factors to optimise animal welfare, productivity and disease control. We use a variety of techniques ranging from real time observation, remote sensing and video capture to non-invasive hormonal measurement, disease surveillance, DNA sequencing and meta-genomics.    



    Gareth is currently accepting PhD Student applications

    Gareth is also available for consultancy