How to understand maternal recognition of pregnancy in the mare

Aleona is an early career researcher in animal fertility. She is passionate about using cutting edge, novel techniques in reproductive biology to benefit endangered species and livestock, and developing new approaches to preserve fertility.

Aleona holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney (2010), and following several years’ work in clinical practice, obtained her PhD under Laureate Professor John Aitken at the PRC for Reproductive Science, University of Newcastle, Australia, focusing on the proteomics of stallion spermatozoa and equine embryos. As a postdoc in the same lab she continued to work on sperm metabolism and development of a novel ambient temperature sperm storage technique, as well as an endometrial organoid model for the study of embryo-maternal interactions in the horse.

In 2015 she completed an internship at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo, Washington DC, working with Dr Pierre Comizzoli on feline endometrial culture systems.

In 2019 Aleona moved to the University of Oxford to work on the Rhino Fertility Project led by Dr Suzannah Williams at NDWRH, working towards developing techniques to culture rhinoceros ovarian tissue and generate follicles and eggs in vitro, in order to establish a supply of competent oocytes and ultimately apply these strategies in a collaborative effort to rescue the Northern White Rhino from extinction.

Aleona returned to Newcastle in 2022 to work on an ARC DECRA project examining the effects of heat stress on male fertility and offspring health. 


29 minutes




Pregnancy, Parturition and the Puerperal Period

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