Rochelle Morton

Rochelle Morton

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology


Rochelle Morton is a PhD Candidate at the University of Adelaide under the supervision of Dr Alexandra Whittaker.

Her PhD focuses on human-animal interactions, specifically the influence and effectiveness of animal law in protecting animals. She developed a novel concept of an ‘enforcement gap’ in animal law, which acknowledges the gap between the intentions of the written law and the outcomes of the enforcement process, in that the intentions are not meeting the expected outcomes. Her PhD investigates the potential contributors of this 'enforcement gap', specifically focusing on the role of animal welfare statutes and subordinate legislation, community perceptions of animal law enforcement, and media portrayals of animal cruelty.

Rochelle has an interest in animal welfare protection law and how to reduce the prevalence of the 'enforcement gap' in this area of law. Specific areas of research include: 

  • Uniformity of Australian animal welfare primary and secondary legislation
  • Community expectations on animal law enforcement
  • Influencers of animal law reforms in Australia
  • Balancing stakeholder interests in animal welfare legislation
  • Alternative penalties for animal welfare offences

The majority of my teaching is in the Bachelor of Science (Animal Science) program in:

  • ANIMLSC 3250RW - Animals and the Law (tutor and guest lecturer)
  • ANIML SC 2520RW - Research Methodology for Animal Sciences II (tutor and guest lecturer)

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