Dr Alexandra Whittaker

Alexandra Whittaker
Lecturer
School of Animal and Veterinary Science
Faculty of Sciences

Alexandra Whittaker is a veterinary scientist and physiologist with an interest in animal welfare, animal behaviour assessment and gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions. Her animal welfare interests particularly focus on the assessment of positive welfare outcomes through use of cognitive assessment strategies. Current research aims to develop methods which can have practical application in the animal industries.
Her physiology research is investigating the inflammation-modulating role of opioids in gastrointestinal conditions, and the interaction between this and analgesic effectiveness.

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Dr Alexandra Whittaker

Alexandra Whittaker is a veterinary scientist and physiologist with an interest in animal welfare, animal behaviour assessment and gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions. Her animal welfare interests particularly focus on the assessment of positive welfare outcomes through use of cognitive assessment strategies. Current research aims to develop methods which can have practical application in the animal industries.
Her physiology research is investigating the inflammation-modulating role of opioids in gastrointestinal conditions, and the interaction between this and analgesic effectiveness.

I am interested in physiological and behavioural measures indicative of animal welfare, particularly in the context of intensive animal production and laboratory animal management. My other main interest is in the use of analgesics in clinical practice and as a refinement strategy for routine animal husbandry procedures. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Effects of routine animal management on well-being- especially inputs of space and enclosure complexity on behavioural and physiological indicators of well-being.
  • Effects of husbandry refinements on well-being.
  • Assessment of positive welfare outcomes.
  • Pain assessment in laboratory animals and comparison of therapeutics.
  • Use of animals in teaching- refinement strategies.
  • The legal status of animals- effects on attitudes towards them and their treatment

GFAP staining of astrocytes in the central nervous system
GFAP staining of astrocytes in the central nervous system. Picture courtesy of House of Mind:
http://houseofmind.tumblr.com/post/18779434067/list-astrocyte-functions

 

 

 

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2017 Senior Lecturer The University of Adelaide
2008 - 2016 Lecturer University of Adelaide

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Amount
2016 Edith Dornwell Medal for Early Career Research Excellence Faculty of Sciences, University of Adelaide
2016 Certificate of Scientific Accomplishment as an Early Stage Investigator American Gastroenterological Association
2016 Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence The University of Adelaide

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2016 - 2017 The University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP)
2012 - 2015 University of New England Australia LLB (Hons)
2011 - 2016 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD
2011 - 2012 The University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Certificate in Online Learning (GCOL)
2010 - 2012 Charles Sturt University Australia MBA
2002 University of Cambridge United Kingdom MA
1998 - 2001 University of Cambridge United Kingdom VetMB
1995 - 1998 University of Cambridge United Kingdom BA

Certifications

Date Title Institution name Country
2015 ECAWBM-AW European College of Veterinary Surgeons
2011 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
2009 Diploma in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Keywords

Animal Behaviour, Animal Physiology _ Systems, Chemotherapy, Humane Animal Treatment, Law and Legal Studies

Journals

Date Citation
2017 Stillman,M, Whittaker,AL, 2017, The use and efficacy of analgesic agents in sheep utilised as models in biomedical research, Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, -
2017 Barker,TH, Bobrovskaya,L, Howarth,GS, Whittaker,AL, 2017, Female rats display fewer optimistic responses in a judgment bias test in the absence of a physiological stress response., Physiol Behav, 173, 124-131 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.02.006
2016 Whittaker,AL, Leach,MC, Preston,FL, Lymn,KA, Howarth,GS, 2016, Effects of acute chemotherapy-induced mucositis on spontaneous behaviour and the grimace scale in laboratory rats., Lab Anim, 50, 2, 108-118 10.1177/0023677215595554
2016 Barker,TH, Howarth,GS, Whittaker,AL, 2016, The effects of metabolic cage housing and sex on cognitive bias expression in rats, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 177, 70-76 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.01.018
2016 Whittaker,A, Vine,M, 2016, The price of a four-legged friend: non-economic damage award in Australian pet litigation, Tort Law Review, 24, 2, 99-123
2016 Whittaker,A, Lymn,K, Howarth,G, 2016, Effects of Metabolic Cage Housing on Rat Behavior and Performance in the Social Interaction Test, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 19, 4, 363-374 10.1080/10888705.2016.1164048
2015 Whittaker,A, Plush,KJ, Terry,R, Hughes,PE, Kennaway,DJ, Van Wettere,WHEJ, 2015, Effects of space allocation and parity on selected physiological and behavioural measures of well-being and reproductive performance in group-housed gestating sows, Livestock Science, 176, 161-165 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.03.007
2015 Francisco,C, Howarth,G, Whittaker,A, 2015, Effects on animal wellbeing and sample quality of 2 techniques for collecting blood from the facial vein of mice, Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animals, 54, 1, 76-80
2015 Whittaker,A, 2015, Halal Certification:Food for thought? (Opinion piece), Australian Animal Protection Law Journal, 10, 37-38
2015 Vaughan,LM, Kloppers,MP, Whittaker,AL, 2015, The influence of bilateral preputialectomy on aggressive behaviour, and incidence of aggression-related injury, in group-housed male Swiss mice, Animal Technology and Welfare, 14, 2, 77-84
2015 Whittaker,AL, Lymn,KA, Nicholson,A, Howarth,GS, 2015, The assessment of general well-being using spontaneous burrowing behaviour in a short-term model of chemotherapy-induced mucositis in the rat., Lab Anim, 49, 1, 30-39 10.1177/0023677214546913
2014 Vaughan,L, Dawson,J, Porter,P, Whittaker,A, 2014, Castration promotes welfare in group-housed male Swiss outbred mice maintained in educational institutions, Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 53, 1, 38-43
2014 Whittaker,AL, Howarth,GS, Lymn,KA, 2014, Evaluation of Facebook© to create an online learning community in an undergraduate animal science class, Educational Media International, 51, 2, 135-145 10.1080/09523987.2014.924664
2014 Whittaker,A, 2014, Incorporation of a stand-alone elective course in animal law within animal and veterinary science curricula, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 41, 1, 55-59 10.3138/jvme.0113-001R1
2014 Whittaker,A, 2014, Animal research regulation in Australia - does it pass the test of robustness?, Global Journal of Animal Law, 1, 1-14
2014 Whittaker,A, Howarth,G, 2014, Use of spontaneous behaviour measures to assess pain in laboratory rats and mice: how are we progressing?, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 151, 1-12 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.001
2013 Whittaker,A, 2013, Animal law teaching in non-law disciplines: incorporation in animal and veterinary science curricula, Australian Animal Protection Law Journal, 9, 113-115
2013 Whittaker,A, Anderson,G, 2013, A policy at the University of Adelaide for student objections to the use of animals in teaching, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 40, 1, 52-57 10.3138/jvme.0411.045R1
2012 Whittaker,A, Howarth,G, Hickman,D, 2012, Effects of space allocation and housing density on measures of wellbeing in laboratory mice: a review, Laboratory Animals, 46, 1, 3-13 10.1258/la.2011.011049
2012 Terry,R, Van Wettere,W, Whittaker,A, Herde,P, Howarth,G, 2012, Using the noninvasive ¹³C-sucrose breath test to measure intestinal sucrase activity in swine, Comparative Medicine, 62, 6, 504-507
2012 Whittaker,A, Van Wettere,W, Hughes,P, 2012, Space requirements to optimize welfare and performance in group housed pigs: a review, American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 7, 2, 48-54 10.3844/ajavsp.2012.48.54
2012 Whittaker,A, Noonan,D, Chew,F, 2012, Investigation of training and development options for research and teaching animal users: a case study, Animal Technology and Welfare, 11, 1, 21-21-29,33,36,39

Conference Items

Date Citation
2016 Bajic,J, Whittaker,A, Bobrovskaya,L, Hutchinson,M, Howarth,G, 2016, Intestinal mucositis induced by 5-Fluorouracil results in glial changes modified by analgesics via neuro-immune mechanisms, Australian Society for Medical Research, Adelaide
2016 Barker,T, Howarth,G, Whittaker,A, 2016, Correlation between cognitive bias and other measures of stress in rats, International Society for Applied Ethology, Edinburgh
2016 George,R, Barker,T, Howarth,G, Whittaker,A, 2016, Mice do not exhibit pessimistic judgement biases in response to metabolic cage housing: reflection on housing type of cognitive bias methodologies., Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Conference, Auckland
2016 Bajic,JE, Whittaker,AL, Bobrovskaya,L, Hutchinson,MR, Howarth,GS, 2016, Intestinal mucositis induced by 5-Fluorouracil results in glial changes modified by analgesics via neuro-immune mechanisms, Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer, Adelaide
2016 George,R, Barker,T, Howarth,G, Whittaker,A, 2016, Mice do not exhibit pessimistic judgement biases in response to metabolic cage housing: reflection on housing type or cognitive bias methodologies., Australian Society for Medical Research, Adelaide
2016 Whittaker,AL, Bajic,JE, Bobrovskaya,L, Hutchinson,MR, Howarth,GS, 2016, Chemotherapy Induces Intestinal Inflammation and Central Changes Which Are Modified by Analgesics via Neuro-Immune Mechanisms, 57th Annual Meeting and Residents Fellow Conference of the Society-for-Surgery-of-the-Alimentary-Tract (SSAT) / 52nd Annual Meeting on Digestive Disease Week (DDW) / Meeting of the American-Gastroenterological-Association (AGA), San Diego, CA 10.1016/S0016-5085(16)30301-8
2015 Whittaker,A, Preston,F, Lymn,K, Howarth,G, 2015, Addressing the translational validity of animal models of chemotherapy-induced mucositis; the assessment of pain using behaviour and the rat grimace scale., Australian Society for Medical Research (SA Chapter), Adelaide
2015 Francisco,CC, Howarth,GS, Whittaker,AL, 2015, Effects on Animal Wellbeing and Sample Quality of Two Techniques for Collecting Blood from the Facial Vein of Mice., Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association, Adelaide
2015 2015, Abstracts of the 2015 International MASCC/ISOO Symposium 10.1007/s00520-015-2712-y
2015 Whittaker,A, Leach,MC, Preston,FL, Lymn,KA, Howarth,GS, 2015, The assessment of pain using behaviour and the rat grimace scale in a rat model of chemotherapy-induced mucositis., Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Asociation, Adelaide
2015 Stillman,M, Whittaker,AL, 2015, Analgesia in the sheep as an animal model, Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Conference, Adelaide
2015 Lymn,KA, Howarth,GS, Whittaker,AL, 2015, The use of different classes of analgesic in a rat model of chemotherapy-induced mucositis:A technician’s perspective, Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Conference, Adelaide
2015 Whittaker,A, 2015, Is there a nexus between animal welfare science and legal reform?, Animal Law Workshop, Monash University
2015 Whittaker,A, Franceschilli,T, 2015, An Instructor’s Reflections on the Use of a Video Assessment Tool for Group Project Work, HERGA, Adelaide
2014 Whittaker,A, 2014, Animal law teaching in non-law disciplines: incorporation in animal and veterinary science curricula, Animal Law Workshop, Goldcoast, Australia
2014 Mashtoub,S, Feo,B, Whittaker,AL, Lymn,KA, Martinez-Puig,D, Howarth,GS, 2014, Oral Nucleotides Partially Attenuate 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Mucositis in Rats. Poster Presentation P36., Australian Society for Medical Research (SA Chapter), Adelaide
2014 Vaughan,LV, Kloppers,M, Whittaker,AL, 2014, Influence of preputialectomy on aggression and injury in group-housed male Swiss mice, Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association, Canberra, Australia
2014 Whittaker,A, Lymn,KA, Nicholson,A, Howarth,GS, 2014, The Assessment of General
Wellbeing Using Spontaneous Burrowing Behaviour in a Short- Term Model of
Chemotherapy-induced Mucositis in the Rat., Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association, Canberra
2014 Mashtoub,S, Feo,B, Whittaker,AL, Lymn,KA, Martinez-Puig,D, Howarth,GS, 2014, Oral Nucleotides Partially Attenuate 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Mucositis in Rats., Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, Miami
2014 Mashtoub,S, Feo,B, Whittaker,A, Lymn,K, Martinez-Puig,D, Howarth,G, 2014, Oral nucleotides only minimally improve 5-fluorouracil-induced mucositis in rats, 2014 World Cancer Congress Abstracts, Broadbeach, Qld. 10.1111/jgh.12736_2
2013 Whittaker,A, 2013, Aggression and laboratory mouse welfare, Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association, Perth, Australia
2012 Whittaker,A, 2012, A review of the effects of space allocation and housing density on measures of wellbeing in laboratory mice, Australian and New Zealand Council for the care of animals in research and teaching (ANZCCART), Perth
2011 Whittaker,A, 2011, Regulation of Laboratory Animal Care and Use: An International Perspective
2010 Whittaker,A, Noonan,D, Chew,F, 2010, Investigation of training and development options for research and teaching animal users, Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association
2010 Whittaker,A, 2010, Researcher animal ethics training at the University of Adelaide, Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week
2009 Whittaker,A, 2009, Teaching Animal Welfare in an Integrated Veterinary Curriculum, Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week, Goldcoast, Australia
2008 Whittaker,A, 2008, Investigating alternatives to the use of animals in veterinary undergraduate teaching, Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association, Sydney

Theses

Date Citation
2015 Whittaker,A; 2015; The Price of a Four-Legged Friend: Non-economic damage award in pet litigation

Current PhD Students

Mr Timothy Barker- Cognitive bias as a measure of rodent emotional state and welfare

Ms Rebecca George- The role of Opioids in modulating inflammation in chemotherapy-induced mucositis

Current Honours Students 

Ms Peta Groves- The role of empathy in influencing cognitive biasing

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2013 Member International Society for Applied Ethology

Editorial Boards

Date Role Editorial Board Name Country
2014 Board Member Australian Animal Protection Law Journal Australia
Position
Lecturer
Phone
83137868
Fax
8313 7956
Campus
Roseworthy
Building
Corridor Block
Room Number
G 04
Org Unit
School of Animal and Veterinary Science

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