Staff profile

Angela  Thomas

Dr Angela Thomas


Senior Lecturer in Animal Genetics and Reproduction


My interest in animal breeding and genetics stems from being brought up on a progressive dairy farm in the South East region of Ireland. I played a “hands on” role in the management and husbandry of the family farm during the weekends and holidays from 1988 until I started my MSc in 2000.

I was a post doctoral researcher in University college Dublin and RVC London, where I collaborated with groups from Roslin, Trinity College Dublin, Teasgasc and the Animal Health Trust.

I have worked in WUC since July 2012, I recently completed my PG course in Higher Education Practice and am a member of the HEA. I course scheme manage the MSc in Animal Welfare and Conservation since April 2016.


PhD (2005) School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland
“Genetic linkage mapping of inherited ovine arthrogryposis and identification of a candidate region on sheep chromosome five.” [Enterprise Ireland PhD studentship, supervised by Prof’s M Doherty and D MacHugh]

MSc Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis (2001) University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Subjects: Population and quantitative genetics, statistics, and principles of genetic improvement. As part of my MSc dissertation I undertook a genetic analysis of production traits in UK Hill sheep.

B. Agr. Sc (Animal Science) (1997) University College Dublin, Ireland
Subjects: Livestock production, animal Husbandry (Dairy, Cattle, Pig and Sheep), Advanced Dairy and Pig Husbandry, Animal behaviour and welfare, animal physiology, animal nutrition.

Subject Areas

Quantitative Genetics, Molecular genetics, Sex determination in birds


Although my main research interest has been molecular genetics, I have in-depth knowledge and understanding of molecular biology techniques, with over eight year’s laboratory experience. I have transferred my knowledge and understanding of molecular genetics to collaborate in epidemiological projects in a number of domestic species including dogs, cats and cattle. Whilst studying and working in UCD I collaborated on a PhD projects in Animal Physiology, Food Science and Environmental Sciences.

I have extensive experiencing in optimising DNA extracting protocols for high quality DNA from mane hair, blood (ovine, bovine and equine), semen (bovine) and tissue (ovine, bovine).

Since working at WUC, I have supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate research projects, including candidate gene studies for behaviour in pit-bull terriers and border collies. Other projects included investigating the influences of temperature on sex of the chick and investigating whether sex can be determined before hatching in chick.

In house we have the facilities to extract and quantify DNA, with limited downstream applications


Journal papers

Kathrani A, House A, Catchpole B, Murphy A, Werling D, Allenspach K (2011) Breed-independent toll-like receptor 5 polymorphisms show association with canine inflammatory bowel disease. Tissue Antigens Aug;78(2):94

Campana MG, Whitten CM, Edwards CJ, Stock F, Murphy AM, Binns MM, Barker GW, Bower MA, (2010) Accurate determination of phenotypic information from historic thoroughbred horses by single base extension PLoS One 5(12)


Magee DA, Park SD, Scraggs E, Murphy AM, Doherty ML, Kijas JW; International Sheep Genomics Consortium, MacHugh DE (2010) High fidelity of whole-genome amplified sheep (Ovis aries) deoxyribonucleic acid using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array-based genotyping platform J Anim Sci 88(10)

Murphy AM, Meade KG, Hayes PA, Park SD, Evans AC, Lonergan P, MacHugh DE. (2008) Transmission ratio distortion at the growth hormone gene (GH1) in bovine preimplantation embryos: An in vitro culture-induced phenomenon? Mol Reprod Dev 75(5)