Karen is currently completing a PhD in the school of psychology at the University of Sussex in the mammal communication and cognition laboratory, investigating cross species empathy between companion animals and humans and its role in human animal relationships. Alongside this she is a resident with the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioral Medicine specializing in animal welfare science, ethics and law, an area of research she became interested in after completing an MSc in applied animal behavior and welfare, and an MA in medical ethics and law. Karen has a background as a clinical vet in both the UK and New Zealand where she trained, as well as experience in numerous countries working as a volunteer vet, in particular being involved in feline 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 Cats Protection working in shelter medicine and as a teaching fellow at the school of Veterinary Medicine at Surrey University where she led on feline welfare, veterinary ethics and shelter medicine teaching. Karen remains heavily involved in animal welfare charities as a trustee, including as a Trustee Director for iCatCare, consultant and educator.