Dr Krista McLennan

Lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Krista’s background is primarily the behaviour and welfare of production animals. She gained her PhD in dairy cattle social behaviour at Moulton College in association with University of Northampton. Krista recently completed a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary medicine, on the behavioural and physiological biomarkers of pain in sheep as part of the Animal Welfare Indicators project (AWIN), before joining the animal behaviour and welfare team at the University of Chester.


I have always had an interest in animals and studied for my BSc (Hons) in equine studies (science option) at Sparsholt College, University of Plymouth. After a year working out in industry, I went on to study at the University of Exeter for a master’s degree in Animal Behaviour. Upon completion I gained an Associate Lecturer / Resident Researcher’s post at Moulton College in collaboration with the University of Northampton, where I was able to gain experience teaching, alongside studying for a PhD in dairy cattle social behaviour. Towards the end of my PhD I took up a post-doctoral position at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge working on an EU funded project (Animal Welfare Indicators, AWIN) looking at the relationship between disease, behaviour and welfare of sheep. I developed the Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale that can be used by farmers and veterinarians to help them recognise and assess pain in sheep, leading to an improvement in animal welfare. 



Krista McLennan


I have recently returned from a trip to Brazil where I was teaching veterinary and animal biology students how to assess welfare, and setting up further research and teaching links with universities in Brazil.


Krista McLennan                          Krista McLennan



I teach on the undergraduate programmes for the Animal Behaviour and Animal Behaviour and Welfare courses. I teach across all three levels on a number of modules including Introduction to Animal Behaviour, Behaviour Management and Welfare and Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals.


One of my main areas of research is the welfare of production animals. I am interested in the behavioural indicators of welfare, and in particular the relationship between disease, behaviour and welfare. I am also interested in the social behaviour of large animal species. I am particularly interested in investigating how current housing and management systems for farm and companion animals can impact upon their welfare.

Self-funded MRes/PhD projects available:

Facial recognition in sheep.

Social support and health in dairy cattle.

Lameness in dairy cattle and sheep.

Disease and pain in farm and equine species.

Housing design impacts on behaviour and welfare.

E.coli disease in lambs.


Link to Researchgate profile

Twitter: @kmmclennan


Published work

McLennan, K. M., Skillings, E.A., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M.J., Pires Moreira, M.A., Morton, A. J., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2015). Technical note: Validation of an automatic recording system to assess behavioural activity level in sheep (Ovis aries). Small Ruminant Research. 127; 92-96 doi:10.1016/j.smallrumres.2015.04.002

Corke, M.J., McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Constantino-Casas, F. (Jan 2014). Assessment of Pain in Farm Animals. Goat Veterinary Society Journal. 30; 60-68.

McLennan, K. M., (2012). Farmyard Friends. The Biologist, 59(4) p. 18-22

Corke, M.J., McLennan, K.M., Rebelo, C.J.R., Constantino-Casas, F. (In Press). Assessment of Pain in Sheep. Proceedings of the Sheep Veterinary Society, Vol 38.

McLennan, K. M. Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M.J, Holmes, M., and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). The facial expression of sheep with footrot and its relationship with lameness, total lesion score and faecal cortisol. In: Proceedings of the 48th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology. P111 ISBN: 978-90-8686-245-0

Rebelo, C. J. B.; McLennan, K. M.; Corke, M.J.; Broom, D.; and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Preliminary observations of pain indicators in sheep with pregnancy toxaemia. In: Proceedings for the XXVIII World Buiatrics Congress – 27th of July – 1st of August, 2014. Cairns, Australia. P158 ISBN: 978-0-9925465-2-6

Rebelo, C. J. B.; Ajuda, I. G.; McLennan, K. M.; Lima, M.S.; Stilwell, G.; Corke, M.J.; and Constantino-Casas, F. (2014). Pregnancy toxaemia in small ruminants - how does it develop in sheep and goats In: Proceedings for the XXVIII World Buiatrics Congress – 27th of July – 1st of August, 2014. Cairns, Australia. P140 ISBN: 978-0-9925465-2-6