Undergraduate Thesis of The Year Award 2020 Winner Focus – Phoebe Abrahams

18 Feb 2021

This week we sat down with our first ever ‘BSAS Undergraduate Thesis of The Year Award’ winner, Phoebe Abrahams, to find out what impact winning has had on her fledgling career, what she is looking forward to about presenting at the BSAS 2021 virtual conference, and how she’s preparing for her moment in the animal science spotlight.

Phoebe won the award for her insightful dissertation on the health and welfare implications associated with the neutering of free-roaming dogs, which she completed during her time at Leeds University. Phoebe was nominated for the award by her Supervisor Lisa Collins, whose incredible guidance, alongside that of Lauren Smith, she credits with giving her the foundation from which to forge a successful career in animal science.

In terms of career impact, Phoebe feels that winning the award will be invaluable in her journey to securing her ideal role, as not only will it enable her to stand out from her fellow candidates in front of prospective employers, but it also highlights her dedication to the animal science field.

Phoebe is very excited about presenting her research at the BSAS 2021 virtual conference and has been working hard to prepare.  She describes her presentation style as quite chatty, as for her the tutors who lectured in this style were the ones, she found most engaging. However, she does have some previous experience of presenting, having presented her work to the Charity FOUR PAWS UK, who funded her PhD and assisted in her research. She is also looking forward to sharing her findings with a global audience that is enthused by her work and hearing their feedback and thoughts on how she can develop her research further.  For Phoebe being able to attend the rest of the conference is also of great benefit, as it provides a unique opportunity to find out about what is happening in the wider animal science community.

Looking forward to the future, while Phoebe’s dissertation analysed the short-term implications on health and welfare post-neutering, she would also like to explore the long-term implications by seeing how the dog’s welfare has changed over a period of 2-3 years, as well as developing more of a free-roaming dog specific health and welfare protocol, so the dog’s welfare can be better understood. Although currently studying a graduate entry course at Bristol Vets School, with thoughts of becoming a farm vet, Phoebe has not ruled out a return to research and is giving consideration to the idea of practising as a vet and carrying out research alongside.

For those considering entering this year’s ‘Undergraduate Thesis of The Year Award’, Phoebe says go for it, as although winning the award has its obvious benefits, even if you don’t win, just entering the award can provide a great talking point in interviews, as it shows that you have confidence in yourself and your work.

Click here for details of our ‘BSAS Undergraduate Thesis of The Year Award 2021’.  This award acknowledges the best of undergraduate research and aims to demonstrate the quality of animal science students and their work, globally, to both academic and industry audiences.