Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Jill MacKay

Research Fellow (Veterinary Medical Education)

Profile photo

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Education / Academic qualification

2010Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Characterising personality traits in cattle through the use of biotelemetry systems
2004Master in Science, University of Glasgow

Professional Qualifications

2016Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA


I'm a research fellow in veterinary medical education with a focus on human-animal relationships and digital education. Previously I was an animal behaviour and welfare researcher with SRUC and worked predominantly within animal personality and digital education. I coordinated the International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law distance learning MSc at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and had a strong interest in teaching research skills in distance learning contexts. 

I'm very passionate about public engagement with science and blog regularly at Fluffy Sciences. I also participate in many science festivals and am happy to do guest spots with student groups when asked. 

Please feel free to contact me with any queries.

Current Research Interests

Within education research: Digital education (effectiveness, utilisation and effects on experience), student learning, student experience, staff teaching experience, effective public engagement.

Within human-animal relationships: animal support, companion animal welfare, animal welfare education.

Research Groups

I am based within the VMED (Veterinary Medical Education) research group. We have a wide remit looking at many aspects of veterinary education including student support and wellbeing, feedback and assessment and e-learning.

I also maintain links with the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education group at R(D)SVS, reflecting my interest in personality and human-animal relationships. 


Clinical Animal Behaviour Online MSc

  • Principles of Animal Behaviour


International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law Online MSc

  • Research Planning and Methodology in Animal Welfare

Administrative Roles

Course leaderResearch Planning and Methodology in Animal Welfare (International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law Online MSc)


I run a public engagement blog, Fluffy Sciences at https://fluffysciences.wordpress.com/

Research activities & awards

  1. Expert Visitor

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Schools engagement

  2. Midlothian Science Festival 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

  3. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

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