Staff, Students, and Associates

Dr Sarah Brocklehurst
Application Lead for Animal Sciences


Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)

Consultancy & Collaboration

I lead BioSS activities in the area of Animal Science including Animal Health and Welfare, Livestock Science, Nutrition, Emissions, Sustainable Farming and Precision Farming. As part of this, I manage BioSS consultancy inputs to the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department Research Programme (2022-2027) A.2 Animal disease and A.3 Animal welfare and also Livestock focused experimental work within B.2 Livestock improvement, B6. Diet & Food Safety, C2. Agricultural GHGs and D1. Air Quality. This involves BioSS staff providing quantitative input and advice, collaborating with SEFARI scientific researchers based mainly at the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland’s Rural College.  I also lead consultancy contracts relating to Animal Health and Welfare and Livestock Science from other organisations.

Our team of BioSS consultants and I have extensive experience in the design and analysis of studies relating to animal health and welfare and livestock science, and experiments, surveys and observational studies involving livestock on research farms and real farms, using both statistical and mathematical modelling techniques. If you work in this field, and believe that you need inputs from trained statisticians and mathematicians, please feel free to contact me to discuss your needs.

For more information on BioSS activities in this area see BioSS Animal Health and Welfare.

I also have overall responsibility for BioSS consultancy provision at Scotland’s Rural College. Specific information for some organisations that BioSS collaborate with can be found here.

I have over 20 years of experience providing statistical consultancy and collaboration in the areas of animal health and welfare, particularly for poultry, dairy and sheep, and other livestock studies including production and emissions, but also in other areas including human health, biodiversity, grazing ecology and plant and crop health and production. Much of my consultancy work involves applying linear mixed models or generalised linear mixed models to complex experimental or observational data including animal health measurements and animal behaviour but I also use other statistical methods as appropriate to the objectives of projects. Case studies of some of the work I have been involved with are at the bottom of this page.


My research is motivated by applications from my consultancy work. My current research interest is in statistical methods for precision farming particularly auto-monitoring of livestock individuals (e.g. dairy cows, sheep) or groups (e.g. poultry). The focus of my interest is when such methods are being used for real time monitoring on farm with the objective of detecting animal health or welfare problems for livestock individuals or groups. I am particularly interested in different quantitative data driven methods which utilise high resolution data streams for prediction of such events and generic statistical methods for validation and comparison of predictions.