Brittany Davis, Ph.D. Candidate
Brittany Davis received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Texas Tech University in 2007. After graduation she began working as a laboratory technician in the Animal and Food Sciences Department at Texas Tech under Dr. Mhairi Sutherland. As a lab technician she gained much of her research experience in swine stress physiology and animal welfare. Hands on experience in experimental design, field research and laboratory techniques helped her realize she wanted a career in research. Brittany completed her Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in May 2010. Her thesis topic was on the physiological and behavioral development of prenatally stressed offspring. As both a lab technician and a graduate student Brittany had the opportunity to work on projects in her personal interest of comparison medicine and on several projects in animal welfare. Her research experience includes: castration, tail docking, farm management stress responses, transportation and euthanasia in pigs; castration and dehorning in dairy calves; and toe clipping, and anesthesia and euthanasia in rodents. It was her experiences and hands on involvement in research during this time that Brittany decided she wanted to get her doctorate and become a researcher and professor.
In August 2010 Brittany started her doctorate in Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University under Dr. John J. McGlone. Brittany decided to stay at Texas Tech because she felt under the advisement of Dr. McGlone she would be able to continue research in the two areas she enjoys; animal welfare and animals as models for human diseases. Her dissertation research is developing a pig model for alcoholism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This project involves a collaborative team with the TTU Health Sciences Pharmacology faculty (Drs. Syapin and Bergeson). Brittany is testing the offspring of drinking sows for anatomical, behavioral, physiological, immunological and developmental differences including: nursing behavior, learning ability, coping style, anxiety, and drinking behavior. She is interested in how social status influences drinking behavior and using Texas Tech’s advanced functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine to understand how the brain changes to ethanol both pre and postnatal.