Gemma Pearson, BVMS Cert AVP (EM) MScR CCAB PhD MRCVS


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Personal profile


Gemma combines her time between research and outreach as Director of Equine Behaviour at The Horse Trust and running a referral clinic for clinical equine behaviour cases where she is based at the University of Edinburgh. She is also an accredited racecourse veterinary surgeon and enjoys working at Musselburgh racecourse.

After working in ambulatory practice Gemma moved to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies where she completed a rotating residency programme in the equine hospital, completing her Cert AVP (EM), alongside an MScR investigating horse veterinarian interactions.

Subsequently she completed her CCAB (certified clinical animal behaviourist) and her PhD thesis ‘Stress in equids undergoing veterinary care and the development of interventions that positively influence the horses’ experience’.  As well as continuing with her own research she supervises several students at PhD, MSc and undergraduate level.

Gemma is frequently invited to lecture internationally, as a recognised expert in this field and an excellent communicator. One of the most successful projects was filming a series of short YouTube videos with the British Equine Veterinary Association aiming to reduce injury rates when dealing with difficult horses under the ‘Don’t break your vet’ campaign.

As the Veterinary Liaison Officer for the International Society for Equitation Science, Gemma is passionate about improving interactions between horses and people, specifically regarding the application of learning theory. In her spare time she has competed up to advanced level endurance on a homebred horse as well as enjoying competing in affiliated dressage and eventing. Currently she is retraining a Thoroughbred recently retired from racing.

Current Research Interests

Equine behaviour and learning theory, especially horse-vet interactions. Equine Behavioural Medicine



Course Organiser of the Equitation Science and Equine Behavioural Medicine modules of the online MSc in Equine Science

Research students

Currently supervising research students at PhD, MSc and undergraduate levles





Year 2

The Animal Body 3

The Animal Body 4


Year 4


Professional & Clinical Skills 4


Year 5

Final Year Rotations



All Years


Professional Development


PG (Msc Taught courses)


MSc Equine Science               

Equitation Science            





Education/Academic qualification

Equine Behaviour, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Award Date: 8 Jul 2022

Equine Behaviour, Master of Science, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Award Date: 8 Jul 2017

Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2009

External positions

Veterinary Liaison Officer, International Society for Equitation Science

Director of Equine Behaviour, The Horse Trust


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