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Vanessa Jane Ashall


Former affiliation

Personal profile


I am an interdisciplinary health researcher and qualified veterinary surgeon. I am intersted in the meaning and significance of human-animal relationships in the context of health and medicine. I am a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a European Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. I have 15 years of clinical experince working as a veterinary surgeon in the clinic and in the laboratory. 

My Masters degree in medical ethics and law developed into an interest in the concept of of comparative medical ethics and I was awarded a Clinical Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust in 2014 to research the social and ethical implications of using companion animals as living donors of blood and tissue for veterinary use. 

I have published on the ethics and regulation of animal research, veterinary involvement in animal research, informed consent and sociological and ethical aspects of human and animal blood donation. I have influneced policy and practice within the UK and EU through the provision of expert opinion and the development of ethical decision making tools. 

My current project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, explores the meaning of a 'Good Death' from within contemporary interspecies 'family' models. This project uses cutting edge post-human theories and innovative interspecies empirical and ethical approaches. The aim is to inform critical questions in policy and practice surrounding the changing landscapes of contemporary end of life care for both humans and non-human animals. 

Employment History

02/20 - Present Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow Universoty of York 

03/2019 - 09/2019 Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow University of York

09/2018 - 08/2021 Honorary Associate Professor in Ethics and Society University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

06/2017 - 05/2019 Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow University of Nottingham, School of Sociology and Social Policy.

09/2013 - 06/2017 Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow in Ethics and Society University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

12/2007 - 06/2012 Veterinary Ethics and Welfare Supervisor Pet Blood Bank UK

09/2004 - 12/2007 Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) Waltham centre for Pet Nutrition

07/2000 - 07/2003 Veterinary Surgeon Evolution Animal Care

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Interspecies Sociology and Comparative Ethics, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 1 Jul 2017

Masters, Medical Ethics and Law, Keele University

Award Date: 1 Jun 2013

External positions

Honorary Associate Professor in Ethics and Society, University of Nottingham

1 Sept 201831 Aug 2021


  • BJ Ethics
  • interspecies
  • comparative
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Sociology of Medicine
  • entanglement
  • end of life
  • donation

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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