G.A.P. is proud to introduce our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), a hand-selected group of scientists with expertise in the behavior and welfare of the major species covered by G.A.P.’s standards (beef, pig, chicken, turkey, sheep, laying hens, dairy cows and farmed salmon).

Who serves on G.A.P.’s Scientific Advisory Committee?

Our committee is made up of scientists, doctors, and professors who are experts in their fields.

  • Hans Coetzee (Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University, USA)
  • Cathy Dwyer (Team Leader – Animal Behavior and Welfare, Scotland’s Rural College, UK)
  • Marisa Erasmus (Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Purdue University, USA)
  • Felicity Huntingford (Professor of Functional Ecology, University of Glasgow, UK)
  • Jeremy Marchant-Forde (Research Animal Scientist, USDA, USA)
  • Ruth Newberry (Professor of Ethology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway)
  • Vicky Sandilands (Senior Behavior and Welfare Scientist, Scotland’s Rural College, UK)
  • Daniel Weary (Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair, University of British Columbia, Canada)

What is the purpose of the Scientific Advisory Committee?

The G.A.P. team works with the Scientific Advisory Committee on a regular basis to discuss new findings, research, and relevant technologies relating to animal welfare. Members of the SAC advise the G.A.P. team on the latest scientific findings and provide feedback on the entire standards development, revision, and implementation. They are an integral part in ensuring that our animal welfare standards are current, relevant, and, most importantly, reflect the most up-to-date research from the scientific community.

Global Animal Partnership Scientific Advisory Council - Working Session
Marisa Erasmus

Marisa Erasmus

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Purdue University, USA

Marisa Erasmus is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University. She received her BS and MS degrees from the University of Guelph in Canada and her PhD from Michigan State University. Before starting her career at Purdue University, Marisa worked on a commercial turkey farm and for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Since then, Marisa’s applied research has focused on developing animal-based measures of welfare for laying hens, turkeys and ducks and examining the effects of environmental and management factors on poultry welfare. In addition to her involvement with the commercial poultry industry, her extension and outreach activities are aimed at educating the public about animal welfare.
Dr. Felicity Huntingford

Dr. Felicity Huntingford

Professor of Functional Ecology, University of Glasgow, UK

Felicity Huntingford is Professor of Functional Ecology and holds an honorary position at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK. Felicity received her PhD in Animal Behaviour from the University of Oxford in 1973, and she has more than 45 years experience researching the behavior of finfish, with a focus on salmonids. Her areas of research interest include welfare in fish (how to define and measure it) and its importance in research and aquaculture, fundamental understandings of fish behavior, and life history variations in salmonid fish. She has authored or edited over 225 scientific articles and 3 books. Felicity has received a number of honors, including fellowships of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academia Europaea, an Honorary Doctorate at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2008), the Fisheries Society of the British Isles Jack Jones Lecture (2012), and was the 2016 Buckland Professor of Fisheries and 2019 Wood-Gush Memorial lecturer for the Society for Applied Ethology. Felicity also served 4 years as President of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, 4 years as President of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and 4 years as President of the World Council of Fisheries Societies, the last of these bringing with it responsibility for organising the 6th World Fisheries Congress, held in Edinburgh in 2012.
Dr. Jeremy Marchant-Forde

Dr. Jeremy Marchant-Forde

Research Animal Scientist, USDA, USA

Dr. Jeremy Marchant-Forde is a Research Animal Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service. He is based in West Lafayette, Indiana at the Livestock Behavior Research Unit. Dr. Marchant-Forde has researched welfare and behavior of pigs and dairy cattle since 1990, starting with his PhD on gestating sow welfare at the University of Cambridge. He has worked mainly in the United Kingdom (11 years) and the United States (18 years), with research stays in Denmark and Canada. His major research interests include environmental enrichment, social and maternal behavior of sows, the manipulation of pig behavior by diet and factors influencing piglet mortality. He also has a major interest in the development of novel indicators of animal welfare including heart rate variability and tear staining, and actively engages in inter-disciplinary studies allied to the concept of One Health, collaborating with kinesiology and pharmacology researchers. He is the author/editor of 4 books and over 230 refereed articles and abstracts on farm animal welfare and his research has attracted $9 million of grant funding. He is Specialty Section Editor for Frontiers in Veterinary Science and is a Past President of the International Society for Applied Ethology.
Ruth Newberry

Professor Ruth Newberry

Professor of Ethology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Ruth C. Newberry is a researcher and teacher of animal behaviour and welfare in the Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. After growing up on a farm outside Ottawa, Canada, she moved to Scotland to study biology at the University of Edinburgh. It was there that she obtained her PhD based on detailed observations of social interactions among pigs living in a semi-natural environment, the “Edinburgh Pig Park.” She subsequently held positions at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Canada, and at Washington State University in the USA, before moving to Norway in 2013. Ruth's research is focused on behavioural development, environmental enrichment and play behavior. She and her students have conducted studies involving a broad variety of animals including chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats and salmon, within the theme of providing “animal lives worth living”. Ruth is a past President of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE), the leading professional association for scientists who use knowledge gained from the study of animal behaviour to improve animal welfare. She is a recipient of the Poultry Science Association’s Poultry Welfare Research Award and the ISAE’s Creativity Award. Current projects include environmental enrichment for broiler chickens, positive emotions in pigs, and personality and behavioral plasticity of dogs.
Dr Victoria Sandilands

Dr. Victoria Sandilands

Senior Behavior and Welfare Scientist, Scotland’s Rural College, UK

Employed at Scotland’s Rural College as a poultry behaviour and welfare scientist since 2001, Vicky’s work focuses on housing and management of laying hens, broilers, and broiler breeders. Most of Vicky’s work is based in research, but she also supervises at PhD level (3 completed students, 2 in progress, 2 to begin in October 2019), is the Director of the MSc in Applied Poultry Science at the University of Edinburgh, and gives guest lectures on other MSc and BSc courses. She is also on the board of the British Poultry Science journal, former president of the World’s Poultry Science Association – UK branch, and former president of the International Society for Applied Ethology.
Dr. Daniel Weary

Dr. Daniel Weary

Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair, University of British Columbia, Canada

Dan Weary is a Professor at The University of British Columbia. In 1997 he co-founded UBC’s Animal Welfare Program and co-directs this active research group. Dan's research focuses on developing behavioral measures for the objective assessment of animal welfare and developing practical methods of improving the welfare of animals. Dan’s work on dairy cattle focuses on the housing and management of dairy calves and cows. His work has helped lead to the changes in feeding practices (including the adoption of higher milk rations) and housing methods (including the adoption of pair and small group rearing for pre-weaned calves). Work on cows has focused on improved comfort (especially in stall design and management), and how thee changes can benefit cow health (especially lameness). Dan’s experimental work is based at the UBC’s state-of-the-art Dairy Education and Research Centre, located in the heart of the BC dairy industry in Agassiz, BC. Much of Dan’s recent work also takes place on commercial farms, helping to ground results in commercial practice, and acting as a direct conduit for knowledge sharing between researchers and innovative dairy producers. Dan has authored 100’s of publications and is a frequent and enthusiastic speaker for dairy and professional audiences.
Hans Coetzee

Dr. Hans Coetzee

Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University, USA

Dr. Hans Coetzee is a Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at Kansas State University. He earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1996. After graduation he worked for four years in mixed animal practice in Northern Ireland followed by 2 years in pharmaceutical research and development at Norbrook Laboratories Ltd. He earned a specialist Certificate in Cattle Health and Production from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (London) in 2000 and a doctorate in Veterinary Microbiology from Iowa State University in 2005. He holds dual board certification in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and American College of Animal Welfare and is a European Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. His professional interests include the development of pain assessment techniques and practical analgesic drug regimens for use in food animals. He has published 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and received over $10 million in research funding. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and his twin daughters.
Professor Cathy Dwyer

Professor Cathy Dwyer

Team Leader – Animal Behavior and Welfare, Scotland’s Rural College, UK

Cathy is head of the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Team at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Edinburgh since 2011. Since 2016 Professor Cathy Dwyer is also the Director of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The Centre provides animal welfare education for veterinarians, and other groups, in UK and overseas, particularly in Asia, and seeks to improve the lives of animals through veterinary education. The work of the research team at SRUC addresses animal welfare problems and seeks solutions for all the major farmed species, and is one of the largest animal welfare research groups in Europe. Cathy’s research interests include maternal behaviour, offspring development and neonatal survival, pain and the welfare of animals kept in extensive management conditions. Her work spans fundamental understanding of the biology of behaviour and stress to application in the field where she works closely with advisers and consultants to provide solutions to welfare problems. She has been involved in several interdisciplinary and participative research projects, which have engaged with farmers and other stakeholders to co-construct the project, address welfare problems and develop on farm solutions derived bottom-up. In 2013 Cathy was awarded the BSAS/RSPCA award for outstanding contribution to animal welfare, and she is a member of the EU Animal Welfare Platform. She teaches on the MSc programmes in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, and the online programme in International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law, and is currently supervising 7 PhD students, addressing welfare issues in sheep and horses.