Dr Mark Farnworth

Dr Mark Farnworth

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Animal Welfare

School of Biological & Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


Associate Professor Animal Behaviour and Welfare; Programme Leader MSc. Zoo Conservation Biology


BSc. Biological Sciences (Hons.) Zoology: University of Edinburgh; MSc. Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare: University of Edinburgh; PhD. Veterinary Science: Massey University (New Zealand).

Professional membership

International Society for Applied Ethology; Editorial Board Member: Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Roles on external bodies

Associate of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE); Edinburgh University.

Teaching interests

My teaching focusses on applied behaviour and animal welfare. More broadly my interests lie in assisting students in improving their critical thinking skills which make them work-ready and responsive to a rapidly changing animal welfare landscape.

Staff serving as external examiners

External examiner: BSc. Bioveterinary Science; Lincoln University.

Research interests

Domestic cats are the most commonly owned companion animal (pet) and also the most likely to be abandoned or born stray. This issue gives rise to a large number of questions for which there are few easy answers. The fact that cats are also problematic in terms of their impact upon wildlife further compounds the issues around cat population management. Cat management often results in conflicting information depending on whether the individual providing the information is focussed on the welfare of the cat cat or its impact on other animals.My research has sought to explore how we keep cats and how our concern for cats is modified by our perceptions of their 'wildness'. In doing so it has led me to work with teams to explore mechanisms by which we can humanely control the cat population whilst simultaneously protecting vulnerable ecologies.I'm particularly interested in how professional bodies, such as veterinary associations, can promote positive ownership practices for cats. This includes how elective surgeries (such as early neutering) are perceived by stakeholders and impact on the cat.Of course it's not all cats, historically I have been involved in studies on pig aggression at mixing during routine farm management as well as applying my interest in animal population management to the issues of free-roaming dogs in the pacific island nation of Samoa.