Cheryl Ashworth


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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

Impact of early life experiences on fundamental patterns of organ development and function in the foetus and neonate.

Research Interests

Central to much of the research conducted by this group is the principal that events occurring while the oocyte is developing in the ovary and during the early stages of embryo development affect the integrity of all tissues and organs of the body, contributing to the future health and performance of the animal, thereby ensuring health and optimising productivity.

Current research projects are investigating the effects of altered pre-conception and prenatal nutrition, prenatal stress and genotype on ovarian follicular fluid composition, feto-placental function and the development of key organ systems in offspring.

A major area of current research involves understanding the contribution of the uterus and the placenta to foetal growth restriction in the pig.

Research Groups

We collaborate with Dr Xavier Donadeu's and Dr Andy Gill's groups within The Roslin Institute and with Dr Richard Mellanby at the R(D)SVS.

Internationally, we collaborate with Dr Fernanda Almeida at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil and Dr William van Wettere at the University of Adelaide, Australia. 


University of Florida: Physiology of Reproduction; Lectures on reproductive anatomy and function to graduate students in the Department of Animal Science, 1985-1987.

University of Aberdeen: MSc Pig Production and Animal Nutrition; Lectures on nutritional effects on early pregnancy and determinants of fertility, 1989-2000.

University of Liverpool: Diploma in Bovine Reproduction; Lectures on conceptus endometrial interactions during the establishment of pregnancy, 1993.

University of Aberdeen: MSc Reproductive Biology; Lectures on the physiology of early pregnancy, 1996-2000.

University of Aberdeen: B.Sc. Animal Breeding and Molecular Physiology; Lectures and tutor to final year honours students, 1998-2001.

SAC/University of Aberdeen: MSc Mammalian Reproduction and Fertility. Lectures/tutorials on ethical issues in reproductive biology, resource management and UK research funding, 2002-2005

SAC: BSc Animal Science Final Year Honours module on Reproduction and Developmental Biology. 2008.

University of Edinburgh: Member of exam board for Reproductive Biology Honours 2011-present

University of Edinburgh: Chairman of Exam Board for MSc in Animal Biosciences 2015-present

Queen Mary University of London: External Examiner for Biology and Biochemistry BSc 2016-2020

Principal PhD Supervisor and Internal Examiner, University of Edinburgh.

PhD external examiner for the Universities of: Aberdeen, Adelaide (Australia), Helsinki (Finland), Liverpool, London (Imperial College), Nottingham, University College Dublin and the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (Sweden).

Supervisor of 16 PhD students (4 current), 12 MSc students (1 current) and BSc honours projects

Research students

PhD students

 Amanda Pickard                        1992-1996

 Christos Antipatis                      1995-1998

 Roger Lambert (part-time)        1995-2002

 Margaret Nwagwu                    1998-2002

 Naomi Doble                             2000-2002

 Helen Jones                               2002-2005

 Katerina Saratsi                         2004-2008

 Cristina Lindemann                   2004-2009

 Dagmar Kapell                          2006-2010

Tamsin Coombs                         2007-2012

Silvia Hernandez-Valasco         2007-2011

Stephanie Schauer                     2008-2012

Liveness Banda                         2010-2014

Sarah Ison                                  2011-2015

Grace Smith                               2012-present

Jason Ioannidis                          2012-2016

Selene Jarrett                             2014-present

Claire Stenhouse                        2014-present

Bridgit Syombua Muasa            2015-present

 Yennifer Cortes Araya              2017-present


 MSc students


 Grace Iyeghe                             1994

Christos Antipatis                      1995


Damer Blake                              1998


Patricia da Silva                         1999


 Eirini Ionnidou                          2004


  Louise Harker                           2007


 Grace Paul                                 2007


 Marleen Werkman                     2008


  Cindy Hoeks                             2009


 Sophie Etherington                    2009


 Rachna Narayanan                    2010


Madhavi Vijayan                       2011


Urhan Xibuxidewurihan            2011


Alemselam Birhanu                   2012


Selene Jarrett                             2012-2013 


Suzanne de Jonge                      2013


Susan George                            2013-2014


Stefania Moutevelidi                 2014-2015


Apiwat Moolnangdeaw             2015-2016


Xiao Xiao                                  2016


Kaitlyn Patterson                       2017





Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Biomedical science, Dual Honours BSc, University of Sheffield


Award Date: 1 Jul 1981

Maternal Factors Affecting Early Pregnancy in Sheep, University of Edinburgh


External positions

Head, Animal Breeding and Development Research, SAC


Head, Applied Physiology Department, SAC, Aberdeen


Higher, Senior and Principal Scientific Officer, Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen


Postdoctoral Associate, University of Florida



  • QP Physiology
  • Reproduction
  • Uterus
  • Pregnancy
  • Pigs
  • Sheep


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