The novel use of androgens to optimise detection of the fertile window in giant pandas – Kirsten Wilson, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Kirsten Wilson is a third year part-time PhD student at the University of Edinburgh MRC Centre for Reproductive Health supervised by Professors Colin Duncan, Ruth Andrew and Dr Jella Wauters. Kirsten studied for a BSc (Hons) in Anatomy at the University of Glasgow before studying for an MSc by Research in Reproductive Science at the University of Edinburgh and gaining an interest in giant panda reproduction. Kirsten started her PhD on giant panda reproduction, focusing on pregnancy, in 2016, studying part-time alongside working full-time as a lab technician. Kirsten has been closely involved with the giant panda breeding program at the RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, and has been monitoring the pair of pandas there for over six years, and more recently assisting in the monitoring of other giant pandas within Europe.

Horsing around” with gene copy number is associated with equine early pregnancy loss – Charlotte Shilton, Royal Veterinary College, UK

Charlotte Shilton graduated from The University of Bath with a BSc in Biochemistry in 2017. During her undergraduate studies, she undertook a one-year research placement at Plymouth University where she used the drosophila model to investigate neurone formation during embryo development. She then completed an MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at The University of Sheffield, with a research project investigating the temporal binding of NF-Κb in the context of preterm labour. While writing up her dissertation, she undertook a 2-week bioinformatics course at University College Dublin, shortly before beginning her PhD within the Equine Pregnancy Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in October 2018, headed by Mandi de Mestre. During the first two years of her PhD, she has presented work at Fertility 2020, had a poster accepted at the International Congress on Animal Reproduction (ICAR) 2020 – sadly cancelled, published her first-author manuscript, and spent 2 months living and working with her collaborators at Texas A&M University. She will be presenting the second section of her PhD work, which focusses on copy number variation (CNV) in both healthy equine placental development, and aberrations that are associated with pregnancy loss.

The effect of repeated doses of doxorubicin on the pre-pubertal mouse testis – Dr Kathleen Duffin, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Kathleen Duffin is a paediatric doctor in South East Scotland and is currently undertaking a PhD at the Spears Lab, through the Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track. Kathleen’s research focuses on fertility in childhood cancer patients.