£123.316 (Floribusiness, 2016) million was Taiwan’s generated revenue through export of Phalaenopsis in just the first eight months of 2016. This Asian growing giant has identified that Phalaenopsis bellina, an endemic orchid native to Malaysia, was found to emit large amounts of monoterpenes which could facilitate scented hybrid Phalaenopsis breeding (Hong, 2018). It also could be used for extraction of scent for a series of products, including essential oils, perfumes, soaps, and facial masks (Tortorello, 2010). Phalaenopsis bellina, however has not been assessed for the IUCN red list but it is listed in the Kew Catalogue of Life as at 28th March 2018 (Catalogue of Life, 2018). Yet the locals are not aware of the value of the natural resources they have in their own country. The desire of modernisation and influence of media on the lifestyle shown has led the general public to be insensitive to the critical state of the tropical environment today due to massive agricultural and infrastructural development. These developments and progression has a domino effect on flora and fauna and in this context, Sarawak’s rare endemic wild orchids.

Orchids are categorised under the botanical family of Orchidaceae and are one of the largest flowering families in the entire plant Kingdom. Malaysia is one of the 12 megadiverse countries in the world and Sarawak is home to some 3000 species of orchids (10% of the world species of orchids) which are found in road sides, orchards, plantations, hills, Kerangas forests, montane forests as well as peat swamp forests. The unique ecosystem of Sarawak has allowed diverse species of endangered, rare and endemic orchids to grow in abundance in the wild. With the challenging threats from various circumstances and realising the value of orchids on top of the risk of losing them in nature, it is time that serious attention to orchid conservation and diversity is afforded. Particular attention needs to be paid in order to preserve the genetic pool held in the wild species in Sarawak Forests, potentially by developing a “forest in the city”. 

Marion Sidebottom

Simon Jones

Sarah Farnham

A study of keeper-animal relationships in zoos

PhD research

The main objective of this study is to compare efficiency of oestrus detection as well as conception rates for inseminations performed based on visual observation (VO) and tail painting (TP), IceTag activity monitor, Nedap Lactivator system and various combinations of the three systems.  A secondary aim of the study is to identify cows in which oestrus was undetected or detected too late by all techniques, using progesterone assays. Further analysis will be conducted on this subgroup to determine whether these cows are; infertile, do not express oestrus overtly (silent heats), or whether lameness (as measured by locomotion scoring) is associated with this group. A final and exploratory aim of the study will be to investigate whether walking distance from the milking parlour to the pasture has an effect on oestrus behaviour in relation to cows with high locomotion scores.

Beef cattle are graded post-slaughter according to the EUROP system of classification. The desired grade for the UK beef industry is the R4L grade, however, less than half of all cattle slaughtered within the UK meet this target grade which costs the industry £12.5 million per year. There is no accurate and objective method of knowing when the live animal is at the desired R4L grade and so the aim of this research is to create a tool using statistical methods and live measurements which will give an accuarate prediction as to the classification grade the animal will cull-out at.

Collaborative research with Dr Rachel Murray (Animal Health Trust, Newmarket) investigating the influence of warm-up procedures on subsequent competitive performance in Grand Prix dressage horses.