Dr Paul Hocking joined the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) in Edinburgh in 1983 after working in the cattle breeding industry and short periods of teaching and research in both England and Canada. The PRC subsequently became the Roslin Institute and part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2008 when he was appointed Reader.
Dr Hocking has conducted wide ranging research in poultry science and has published over 185 refereed papers, 280 abstracts and conference papers, including 92 invited contributions, 9 book chapters and edited 2 books. He has been an expert witness for the UK Government, the Farm Animal Welfare Council and a member of 3 EFSA Working Groups. His research has had three main themes: the productivity and welfare of breeding birds, the development and implementation of DNA markers for breed improvement and the identification of trait genes, and the investigation of specific production problems in poultry. He has also contributed to research on the structure of the eye and the importance of vision in birds, and was a member of the team that identified the cell autonomous (genetic) basis of sex determination in birds (Nature 464: 237-242).
Dr Hocking was secretary/assistant treasurer of the WPSA-UK branch from 1996-2000, treasurer/assistant secretary 2000-2002 and president from 2002-2006. He was elected as a Vice President of the European Federation of WPSA branches (2006-2010) and has been on the WPSA International Speakers Bureau since its inception. He has been the UK representative of Working Group 3 for many years and organised the 7th European Genetics Symposium in 2009, chairman and WPSA representative on the Robert Fraser Gordon Trust and was a section editor of British Poultry Science, member of the board and company director before becoming joint chief editor in 2010. He was on the panel of referees for Poultry Science 2008-2013 and is a member of the editorial board of Domestic Animal Endocrinology. Dr Hocking presented the Gordon Memorial Lecture in 2013 on “Unexpected consequences of selection in broilers and turkeys: problems and solutions” (British Poultry Science 55: 1-12).
Dr Hocking has supervised or co-supervised 11 PhD students (and collaborated with colleagues at other universities on a further 3 PhD projects), 7 MSc students and a number of undergraduate projects. He has served as PhD examiner both locally and internationally and has taught animal breeding undergraduate course and postgraduate seminars on poultry breeding and genetics.