Karen trained as a vet at Massey University (New Zealand), coming to the UK in 2004 after a couple of years in mixed practice in her native country. Since then she travelled extensively, working as a first opinion vet all over the UK and as a volunteer vet in many other countries, in particular being involved in numerous neutering campaigns. She has always had a strong interest in animal welfare and a special interest in cats, which she built on with six years in an advisory position at UK charity Cats Protection in shelter medicine. Karen has since held a teaching position at the school of Veterinary Medicine at Surrey University (UK) where she led on feline welfare, veterinary ethics and shelter medicine teaching. In recent years Karen caught the studying bug and now has Masters degrees in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Medical Ethics and Law, a BSc in Psychology and is embarking on a PhD at Sussex University (UK) with the mammal vocal communication laboratory, investigating empathy between animals and humans.