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    Dr Claire Kershaw

    BSc (hons) Animal Science; PhD Reproductive Biology

    Senior Lecturer

    Photograph of Claire

    I am a teaching academic and researcher within the Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences department. My current research interests are reproductive technologies in farm and companion species. I am especially interested in

    • The effect of sperm processing (such as cryopreservation and sex-sorting) on sperm cell function and integrity
    • Artificial insemination 
    • The development of semen cryopreservation protocols in livestock
    • The interaction between spermatozoa and the cervix
    • Proteomics in gametes and the reproductive tract

    I graduated from the The University of Nottingham, UK with a 1st class BSc (hons) degree in Animal Science, then completed my PhD at the Royal Veterinary College London where I investigated the mechanism of cervical relaxation in the ewe. Next as a post-doctoral research associate at The University of Sheffield, Centre for Stem Cell Biology I was part of a research team that derived placental trophoblast cells from human embryonic stem cells.

    I then moved to The University of Sydney, Australia where as a research fellow I investigated assisted reproductive technologies in alpacas. This research identified major proteins within alpaca semen including beta-nerve growth factor as the previously unidentified ovulation-inducing factor, and Mucin 5B as the cause of viscosty in alpaca seminal plasma. 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 began lecturing at Harper Adams University. I teach a range of subjects including Reproductive Technologies, Animal Science, Animal Production, and Animal Health across many disciplines to students in all year groups. I also supervise numerous honours research students in topics such as reproductive technologies, reproductive health, and animal health and welfare.

    I was director of studies for Ahmed Kafi whose thesis investigated the use of antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress and maintain heat shock protein expression in ram spermatozoa. I have also co-supervised two PhD students who investgated the cryopreservation of alpaca semen (The University of Sydney) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection methods in bovine (The University of Nottingham).

    Professional Memberships

    I conduct evidence-based research in the field of animal science for the CEBA. I have a particular interest in the use of technologies to enhance animal productivity, health and welfare, and also utilise systematic reviews of scientific methodologies to develop reliable laboratory techniques.

    Academic Department: Animal Health, Behaviour and Welfare

    Office: G20 Jubilee Adams, Tudor Lodge and NW Building

    Research profile: ORCID

    Research profile:


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    Other publications

    • Stuart, C., Vaughan, J., Kershaw, C.M., De Graaf, S.P., Bathgate, R. (2019) Effect of diluent type, cryoprotectant concentration, storage method and freeze/thaw rates on the post-thaw quality and fertility of cryopreserved alpaca spermatozoa Scientific Reports 9
    • Claire M Kershaw, G Evans, Rachael M. Rodney Harris, W M C Maxwell (2016) Papain and its inhibitor E-64 reduce camelid semen viscosity without impairing sperm function and improve post-thaw motility rates Reproduction Fertility and Development 29
    • 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)
    Additional Information

    Placement Manager for Animal and Applied Zoology degrees at Harper Adams University

    Editor Annals of Applied Biology



    Harper Adams University Aspire Excellence Students' Choice Award 2017-18. Feedback Hero

    Supervisor of the recipient of the Helmut Claas Scholarships 2018 for honours research project HSP90 expression in ram spermatozoa



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