Griffith Science's 2020 Outstanding Alumnus

Doctor of Philosophy

Professor Andrew Knight now resides in the United Kingdom and has dedicated his career to international animal advocacy, welfare and ethics.

Ever since helping launch Australia's campaign against the live sheep trade to the Middle East in the early 1990s, he has been leading animal advocacy campaigns. As a veterinary student at Western Australia’s Murdoch University from 1997 – 2001, he helped establish alternatives to invasive animal use, including an alternative surgical program focused on neutering shelter animals. This proved so successful it was mainstreamed into Murdoch’s curriculum, and similar changes were introduced within other Australian and international courses.

From 2007 to 2012, Professor Knight was a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Party – a British political party that helps raise the status of animals within politics. He served as an electoral candidate in four national and European elections, from 2014 to 2019.

Amidst his myriad of paid and voluntary work, Professor Knight embarked on his Doctor of Philosophy by Publication at Griffith University, graduating in 2010.

"Most of my achievements, and the remarkable pathways that opened up for me, would not have been possible without my Griffith PhD," said Professor Knight.

In 2012, he received widespread media coverage touring Peruvian veterinary schools to educate and help reform their terminal educational animal use. He continues to be regularly interviewed by media outlets internationally, on numerous animal welfare topics, with some stories having contributed to important real-world changes for animals.

In 2013 he was appointed Associate Professor of Welfare and Ethics, and Director of the Clinical Skills Laboratory, at US-accredited Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Caribbean – one of the world’s largest veterinary schools.

"My globe-trotting adventures in animal welfare have taken me around the world. In my career I’ve been privileged to encounter basking sharks, sea turtles, and many other amazing and wonderful creatures," Professor Knight said.

In 2015 he joined the University of Winchester in the UK as Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics. He established their Centre for Animal Welfare, which has become a world-leading centre within its field. The centre advocates strongly and progressively for animal welfare reforms in multiple spheres, and since 2016 their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees have produced a highly knowledgeable and skilled army of graduates, who continue the Centre's vital work on behalf of animals. Their MSc is 100% distance learning, recruiting students worldwide.

Professor Knight has published over 70 academic articles, 80 popular publications, presented at more 170 international conferences and universities, and produced an extensive series of YouTube videos on animal welfare issues.

Professor Knight has achieved veterinary specialist qualifications in animal welfare in the UK, EU, US, and in 2018 also established the specialisation within New Zealand. He is the only veterinarian worldwide to hold all of these qualifications. In 2017 he was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and in 2020 he joined around 1% of UK academics to be awarded a Principal Fellowship by Advance HE, which promotes excellence in higher education.

His work has attracted 13 awards to date, including the prestigious Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics Shomer Award, for significant contributions to the field of veterinary medical ethics, and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Humane Achievement Award, both in 2019.

He has now also been named Griffith Science's 2020 Outstanding Alumnus.

"This really cements my connection to Griffith”, he said. “My PhD there has opened nearly every door that I’ve passed through since, in a career that’s led me to places I never dreamed I could reach,” said Professor Knight.

Whilst his animal welfare career has taken him around the world, he still remains connected to Australia.

"Despite the thousands of miles between us, I remain deeply connected to my home country, and to Griffith, and will never forget the University whose support catapulted me on to an amazing career trajectory, and opened up the world for me."

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