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Dr Vicky Taylor

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the OU in late 2006 from the Department of Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College London. Prior to that I have held positions at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) field station and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW). I started as a Lecturer in Health Sciences and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Biology in 2015.

See Web links on the left for various profiles.

Research interests

My broad research interests involve the inter-relationships between nutrition and reproduction, with a particular focus on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Current research efforts are focusing on the mouse gut microbiome and whether we can unlock volatile organic compound (VOC) signatures from their faecal waste material and relate them to gut bacterial diversity and composition to apply them as non-invasive indicators/signals for a clearer understanding of how they alter during health and disease. This is interdisciplinary work with colleagues at Brunel and Lancaster Universities.

Earlier research has revealed the more involved roles of the recently discovered appetite hormones (ghrelin, peptide-YY, glucagon-like hormone-1) produced by the GI tract in feeding and structural changes that occur during the reproductive cycle, pregnancy and lactation. The poster: Gut hormones and the regulation of appetite held first place in an ORO download list and more recently, our Reproduction (2019) publication from this prize-winning work (2015) has been cited in Nature (November 2020). Understanding the mechanisms behind physiological shifts and the influence of maternal energy status on developing offspring may provide important insights for human health management. See Web links on the left and Publications tab on the right for journal abstracts and articles.

Previous research interests have included:
  • revealing the roles of the appetite hormones (ghrelin, peptide-YY: PYY, glucagon-like hormone-1: GLP-1) produced by the gastrointestinal tract of rodents in feeding and structural changes that occur during the reproductive cycle, pregnancy and lactation;
  • the endocrinology, metabolism and reproductive health of high yielding dairy cows and interactions between their nutritional status and ovarian function;
  • reproductive health in captive Asian elephants;
  • immune responses in common and grey seals.

Active research areas cover: microbiome and VOCs; hormone interactions during different metabolic states, focusing on appetite regulation by gut-brain hormones, especially during development, pregnancy and lactation.

Subject specialities include: reproductive physiology; endocrinology; nutrition; metabolism; obesity. 
 

Teaching interests

  • Royal Society of Biology (RSB) Accreditation Lead (achieving interim accreditation of R58 and Q64 biology degrees in May 2020)
  • Biology Qualification Director (R58) from university approval in November 2019 to August 2020
  • Associate Programme Director (APD)/Qualification Lead (QL) for the Biology pathway (Q64) from February 2014 to August 2020
  • Presentation Module Team Chair and Award Board Chair: S295 The Biology of Survival
  • Presentation team member for biology on SXL390 Researching biology and health science 
  • S190 Production team member - critical reader
  • S285 Investigative Approaches in Biology and Chemistry (new 21J) Production team member - critical reader
  • SK299 Human Biology Production team member and author of Reproduction and Fertility topic
  • Production Module Team Chair and author: S295 The Biology of Survival
  • Production team member and critical reader S317 Biological Science: from genes to species
  • Topic leader, author and Topic Specialist: SXL288/SXHL288 Practical Science: Animal Physiology - Cold Adaptation, a virtual practical based on real experiments
  • Author on Long term health conditions courses: SK121 Understanding Cardiovascular Diseases and SDK122 Challenging Obesity.
  • S210/211/212 Health Sciences iCMA assessment
  • Courses during presentation: S104 Exploring Science; SDK122 Challenging Obesity; SK277/SK(YN)277 Human Biology; SXL390 Project course
  • Study adviser S829 Medical Physics (2010-12) 
  • Tutor on SXR374 Residential school, Fat - the physiology of adipose tissue (2007)
Scholarship posters and talks

Gauci, H, Robson, J, Golding, J, Wallace, J, Taylor, V, Dyson, M, Lawson, C, Waters, L, Hayley-Mirnar, V (2021) Impact of introducing new practical and dataset project options to the science undergraduate capstone project module (S390). eSTEeM project poster.

Janet Haresnape, Vicky Taylor, Hannah Gauci (2021) S295: A successful assessment strategy for even in times of Covid, 2nd Annual STEM Teaching Conference, 3rd March 2021, Parallel session 2, meeting room 3, talk 3, recording available on webpage: video starts at 44:08

Robson, J, Crabb, E, Lotz, N, Loughlin, AJ, Taylor V (2019) Student buddies – one to many peer mentoring. eSTEeM Annual Conference 2019 poster, The Open University.

Catherine Halliwell, Vikki Haley, Julie Robson, Vicky Taylor and Elaine Moore (2016) Study of online modules – impact on the tutors. Poster abstract p58. The 5th eSTEeM Annual Conference 2016 STEM Futures: Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age Conference Booklet 14-15 April 2016 www.open.ac.uk/esteem, poster on p83.

Vicky Taylor, David Robinson, Adele Clegg and Manfusa Shams (2016) Can webcam video of animal behaviour offer students practical experience? Poster abstract p53. The 5th eSTEeM Annual Conference 2016 STEM Futures: Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age Conference Booklet 14-15 April 2016 www.open.ac.uk/esteem, poster on p69.

Moore, E, Taylor, VJ, Everett, B, Maseyk, K, Haley, V, Halliwell, C, Moffat, J and Moat, R (2015) Students’ study of online modules. 4th eSTEeM Annual Conference; Thursday 16th April 2015, The Open University.

Taylor, VJ and, Phillips, J (2011) Virtual Animal Research Facility with embedded Interactive Screen Experiments. The OpenScience Laboratory launch, 24 July 2013, The Royal Society, London. Laptop and iPad demonstration of SX(H)L288 animal physiology rat lab.

Scholarship Research (and funding)

2021      Impact of introducing new practical and dataset project options to the science undergraduate capstone project module (S390) | eSTEeM (open.ac.uk), eSTeEM project 2021

2015      WOSL 2.0 and OpenSTEM Lab Wolfson bid

2014-5  eSTEeM-funded project Student’s study of online modules [see Scholarship posters]

2015      Haresnape, J (2015) Use of a Moodle Questionnaire on a module website, to gather feedback from students on an online activity they had undertaken, 4th eSTEeM Annual Conference; Thursday 16th April 2015, The Open University. [based on SEP project, 2014 below]

2014      Student Experience Programme (SEP) Analytics Project: real-time student feedback

 

Impact and engagement

I have been an Academic consultant on the BBC/OU The Hunt and Life Story natural history series.

Outreach Broadcasting Awards (and nominations) Summary with full details following below:

  • BBC/OU co-productions: The Hunt (Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Royal Television Awards, The Grierson Awards, Wildscreen Panda Awards, BAFTA Craft Awards, Thomson Reuters Award for Communicating Zoology, RTS South West Awards)
  • Life Story (Royal Television Awards, Wildscreen Panda Awards)

2015-17 The Hunt (BBC/OU co-production broadcast series) nominated and winners of:

  • RTS South West Awards 2015. The Hunt won Best Nature series.

2015-6 Life Story (BBC/OU co-production broadcast series) nominated for:

 

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/the-hunt

Miranda Dyson and Vicky Taylor (2015) The Conversation invited article: The Hunt: a natural history series that challenges us to side with the predators.  https://theconversation.com/the-hunt-a-natural-history-series-that-challenges-us-to-side-with-the-predators-49830

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/ou-on-the-bbc-life-story

Vicky Taylor and David Robinson (2014) The Conversation invited article: New BBC series reveals more about the wise old elephant, but many mysteries remain. http://theconversation.com/new-bbc-series-reveals-more-about-the-wise-old-elephant-but-many-mysteries-remain-33209

See weblinks (on far left) for my OpenLearn profile.

 

I also work on multiple teaching assets within The OpenScience Laboratory: http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/open-science/

OpenScience Laboratory THE Awards Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year Project Leader and Academic Investigator (Dept of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences)

 

External collaborations

  • Woburn Safari Park
  • BBC Natural History Unit

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biomedical Research Network (BRN)NetworkFaculty of Science

Publications

Gastrointestinal capacity, gut hormones and appetite change during rat pregnancy and lactation (2019-05-31)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Victoria Jane
Reproduction, 157(5) (pp. 431-443)


Improved timed-mating, non-invasive method using fewer unproven female rats with pregnancy validation via early body mass increases (2019-04-01)
Stramek, Agata K.; Johnson, Michelle L. and Taylor, Victoria J.
Laboratory Animals, 53(2) (pp. 148-159)


Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) increases in plasma and colon tissue prior to estrus and circulating levels change with increasing age in reproductively competent Wistar rats (2017-04-30)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Victoria J.
Peptides, 90 (pp. 55-62)


Plasma Ghrelin Concentrations Were Altered with Oestrous Cycle Stage and Increasing Age in Reproductively Competent Wistar Females (2016-11-09)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Victoria J.
PLoS ONE, 11, Article e0166229(11)


Ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) profiles in gastrointestinal tissues and the circulation of the rat during pregnancy and lactation (2009-12)
Taylor, Victoria J.; Patterson, Michael; Ghatei, Mohammed A.; Bloom, Stephen R. and Wilson, Catherine A.
Peptides, 30(12) (pp. 2213-2220)


Multiple correlation analyses of metabolic and endocrine profiles with fertility in primiparous and multiparous cows (2007)
Wathes, D. C.; Bourne, N.; Cheng, Z.; Taylor, V. J.; Brotherstone, S. and Coffey, M. P.
Journal of Dairy Science, 90 (pp. 1310-1325)


Pre-pubertal measurements of the somatotrophic axis as predictors of milk production in Holstein-Friesian dairy cows (2006-07)
Taylor, V. J.; Beever, D. E.; Bryant, M. J. and Wathes, D. C.
Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 31(1) (pp. 1-18)


Differences between primiparous and multiparous dairy cows in the inter-relationships between metabolic traits, milk yield and body condition score in the periparturient period (2006-06)
Wathes, D. C.; Cheng, Z.; Bourne, N.; Taylor, V. J.; Coffey, M. P. and Brotherstone, S.
Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 33(2) (pp. 203-225)


Relationships between the plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I in dairy cows and their fertility and milk yield (2004-11-06)
Taylor, V. J.; Cheng, Z.; Pushpakumara, P. G. A.; Wathes, D. C. and Beever, D. E.
Veterinary Record, 155(19) (pp. 583-588)


First lactation ovarian function in dairy heifers in relation to prepubertal metabolic profiles (2004-01)
Taylor, V. J.; Beever, D. E.; Bryant, M. J. and Wathes, D. C.
Journal of Endocrinology, 180(1) (pp. 63-75)


Metabolic profiles and progesterone cycles in first lactation dairy cows (2003-04-01)
Taylor, V. J.; Beever, D. E.; Bryant, M. J. and Wathes, D. C.
Theriogenology, 59(7) (pp. 1661-1667)


Follicle growth, corpus luteum function and their effects on embryo development in postpartum dairy cows (2003)
Wathes, D. C.; Taylor, V. J.; Cheng, Z. and Mann, G. E.
Reproduction Supplement, 61 (pp. 219-237)


Physiological adaptations to milk production that affect the fertility of high yielding dairy cows (2004-02)
Taylor, V. J.; Beever, D. E. and Wathes, D. C.
In: Kebreab, E; Mills, J. and Beever, D. eds. Dairying: using science to meet consumers’ needs (pp. 37-71)
ISBN : 1-897676-14-X | Publisher : Nottingham University Press | Published : Nottingham


Hyperphagia of pregnancy and lactation is associated with changes in appetite-regulating hormones and gastrointestinal modifications in Wistar rats (2016-08-23)
Johnson, Michelle; Saffrey, M. J. and Taylor, V. J.
In : Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016 (21-24 Aug 2016, Gold Coast, Australia)


Pup sex and body mass of rats raised in different lactation litter sizes affect ghrelin and peptide-YY concentrations (2016-07-11)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Victoria J.
In : Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2016 (11 Jul 2016, Winchester, UK)


Hyperphagia of pregnancy and lactation is associated with changes in appetite-regulating hormones and gastrointestinal modifications in Wistar rats (2015-07-22)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, Jill and Taylor, Vicky J.
In : Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference (20-22 Jul 2015, St Catherine's College, University of Oxford)


Lactation litter size differentially affects satiety hormone concentrations and gut adaptations in Wistar rat dams (2014-09)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Vicky J.
In : World Congress of Reproductive Biology 2014 (2-4 Sep 2014, Edinburgh)


Sex differences in gut satiety hormones peptide-YY and glucagon-like peptide-1 in pups raised in larger lactation litter sizes (2014-09)
Johnson, Michelle L.; Saffrey, M. Jill and Taylor, Vicky J.
In : Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2014 (1-2 Sep 2014, Edinburgh)


Changes in appetite hormone-producing enteroendocrine cells in the C57BL/6 mouse stomach during ageing (2014)
Johnson, M. L.; Taylor, V. J.; Ranson, R. N. and Saffrey, M. J.
In : British Society for Research on Ageing 64th Annual Scientific meeting. 'Exercise, Activity and Ageing Mechanisms' (7-9 Jul 2014, Liverpool John Moores University)


Gastrointestinal changes during lactation are further altered by litter size in Wistar rats (2013-07)
Johnson, Michelle; Saffrey, Jill and Taylor, Victoria
In : The Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Meeting 2013 (11-13 Jul 2013, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge)


Increased glucagon-like peptide-1 concentration in rat descending colon during proestrus is associated with decreased food intake at estrus (2013-07)
Johnson, Michelle; Saffrey, Jill and Taylor, Victoria
In : SSR's 46th Annual Meeting Reproductive Health: Nano to Global (22-26 Jul 2013, Montréal, Québec, Canada) (pp. 150-151)


Changes in appetite hormones and gut tissue architecture during the rat reproductive cycle, pregnancy and lactation (2013-04)
Johnson, Michelle; Saffrey, Jill and Taylor, Victoria
In : Programming obesity: central and peripheral contributors (14-16 Apr 2013, Cambridge, UK)


Do circulating and tissue concentrations of ghrelin and peptide-YY (PYY) change during the oestrous cycle in Wistar Rats? (2012-07)
Johnson, Michelle; Saffrey, Jill and Taylor, Victoria
In : Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2012 (9-11 Jul 2012, Edinburgh)


Gut hormones and the regulation of appetite (2004)
Taylor, V.
In : Trends in Pharmacological Sciences including Toxicological Sciences (Oct 2004)