Rhiannon Bolton

NERC PhD student

Research interests

My research interests encompass environmental and adaptive factors that affect fertility and reproductive endocrinology and behaviour, and therefore impact upon welfare and species survival.

My PhD is in collaboration with Chester Zoo and aims to investigate proximate mediators of competitive behaviour within cooperatively breeding mammals. The aims are to:

  1. Provide greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying competitive behaviours.
  2. Provide practical solutions to reduce competitive and aggressive behaviours to improve welfare and enhance successful European breeding programs for captive endangered species.

Education and career

  • Bachelor Veterinary Medical Science (Honours), University of Nottingham (2007-2010)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Bachelor of Veterinary Surgery, University of Nottingham (2010-2012)
  • Veterinary Clinician, RSPCA Wildlife Hospital and private small animal practice (2012)
  • Senior Veterinary Inspector, Animal Health, Veterinary Laboratory Agency (2013)
  • MRes in Veterinary Science, The impact of environmental endocrine disrupting compounds on ovine fetal adrenal gland development and function, University of Nottingham (2014-2015)
  • NERC ACCE DTP CASE PhD studentship, Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution Group, University of Liverpool, in collaboration with Chester Zoo (2015-2019). Supervisors: Professor Paula Stockley and Professor Jane Hurst


Bolton RL, Masters NJ, Milham P, Lea RG. 2012. Environment and reproductive dysfunction in captive female great apes (Hominidae). The Veterinary Record 170(26):676.

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