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Staff Directory

Dr Claire Kershaw

BSc (hons) Animal Science; PhD Reproductive Biology

Senior Lecturer

Having graduted from the The University of Nottingham, UK with a 1st class BSc (hons) degree in Animal Science, I undertook a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College London. My PhD investigated the natural mechanism of cervical relaxation in the ewe in order to develop novel methods of artifical insemination in sheep.

I then moved to the University of Sheffield as a post-doctoral research associate investigating the derivation of placental trophoblast cells from human embryonic stem cells, and over 18 months progressed my understanding of cell culture and immunofluorescence.

 In 2008 I accepted an associate research fellowship position at The University of Sydney, Australia. Here I worked on a Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) funded project investigating assisted reproductive technologies in alpacas. In particular this research identified the protein reposnsible for the viscous nature of alpaca semen, and identified methods to eliminate the viscosity without impariring sperm function. This research also discovered the previously unidentified ovulation inducting factor as the Beta-nerve growth factor protein. This research led to 5 publications and 3 years further funding from RIRDC which allowed me to supervise a PhD student at The University of Sydney from the UK.

In 2013 I moved to Harper Adams University as Lecturer in Farm Animal Health. I teach a range of subjects including Reproductive Technologies, Animal Science, Animal Production and Animal Management across numerous disciplines to students in all year groups.

My research interests are assisted reprodcutive technologies in farm animal species. In am especially interested in:

  • The effect of sperm processing (such as cryopreservation and sex-sorting) on sperm cell integrity and function
  • Transcervical vs. laparoscopic insemination in sheep
  • The development of sperm cryopreservation protocol in livestock

I am currently director of studies for one PhD student at Harper Adams University, and co-supervisor of one PhD student at The University of Nottingham.

Professional Memberships

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Society of Reproduction and Fertility

Academic Department: Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences

Office: AC9 Aspire Centre

Research profile: ORCID

Research profile:


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Other publications

  • Stuart, C.C., Vauhgan, J., Kershaw-Young, C.M., Wilkinson, J., Bathgate, R., De Graaf, S.P. (2014) Effects of varying doses of ?-nerve growth factor on the timing of ovulation, plasma progesterone concentration and corpus luteum size in female alpacas (Vicugna pacos). Reproduction Fertility and Development 24 (8)
  • Garcia, A., Gil, L., Malo, C., Martinez, F., Kershaw-Young, C., de Blas, I. (2014) Effect of Different Disaccharides on the Integrity and Fertilising Ability of Freeze-Dried Boar Spermatozoa: A Preliminary Study Cryo letters 35 (4)
  • Kershaw-Young. C.M., Stuart, C., Evans, G., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2013) The effect of glycosaminoglycan enzymes and proteases on the viscosity of alpaca seminal plasma and sperm function Animal Reproduction Science 138
  • Druart, X., Rickard, J.P., Mactier, S., Kohnke, P.L., Kershaw-Young, C.M., Bathgate, R., Gibb, Z., Crossett, B., Tsikis, G., Labas, V., Harichaux, G., Grupen, C.G., de Graaf, S.P. (2013) Proteomic characterization and cross species comparison of mammalian seminal plasma Journal of Proteomics 91
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Evans, G., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2012) Glycosaminoglycans in the accessory sex glands, testes and seminal plasma of alpaca and ram Reproduction Fertility and Development 24 (2)
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Druart, X., Vaughan, J., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2012) ?-Nerve growth factor is a major component of alpaca seminal plasma and induces ovulation in female alpacas Reproduction Fertility and Development 24 (8)
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2012) Seminal Plasma Components in Camelids and Comparisons with Other Species Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 Suppl. 4
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2012) Advancing Artificial Insemination in Camelids, particularly Alpacas. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Publication No. 12/016
  • Kershaw-Young C.M., Maxwell, W.M.C. (2011) The effect of seminal plasma on alpaca sperm function Theriogenology 76 (7)
  • Leethongdee, S., Kershaw-Young, C.M., Scaramuzzi, R.J., Khalid, M. (2010) Intra-cervical application of Misoprostol at estrus alters the content of cervical hyaluronan and the mRNA expression of follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) and cyclooxygenase-2 in the ewe Theriogenology 73 (9)
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Scaramuzzi, R.J., McGowan, M.R., Pitsillides, A.A., Wheeler-Jones, C.P.D., Khalid, M. (2015) (2010) The effect of estradiol on COX-2, EP2, and EP4 mRNA expression and the extracellular matrix in the cervix of the hypogonadotrophic, ovariectomized ewe Theriogenology 73 (5)
  • Kershaw-Young, C.M., Khalid, M., McGowan, M.R., Pitsillides, A.A., Scaramuzzi, R.J. (2009) The mRNA expression of prostaglandin E receptors EP2 and EP4 and the changes in glycosaminoglycans in the sheep cervix during the estrous cycle Theriogenology 72 (2)
  • Kershaw, C.M., Scaramuzzi, R.J., McGowan, M.R., Wheeler-Jones, C.P.D., Khalid, M. (2007) The expression of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 messenger RNA and the proportion of smooth muscle and collagen in the sheep cervix during the estrous cycle Biology of Reproduction 76 (1)
  • Leethongdee, S., Khalid, M., Bhatti, A., Ponglowhapan, S., Kershaw, C.M., Scaramuzzi, R.J. (2007) The effects of the prostaglandin E analogue Misoprostol and follicle-stimulating hormone on cervical penetrability in ewes during the peri-ovulatory period Theriogenology 67 (4)
  • Kershaw, C.M., Khalid, M., McGowan, M.R., Ingram, K., Leethongdee, S., Wax, G., Scaramuzzi, R.J. (2005) The anatomy of the sheep cervix and its influence on the transcervical passage of an inseminating pipette into the uterine lumen Theriogenology 64 (5)


You can contact Dr Claire Kershaw if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules:



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