Dougie’s interest in working with animals began as a teenager, when he spent his weekends and holidays helping out on a friend’s farm on the outskirts of Pencuik. After leaving school in 1973, he began work at the Animal Breeding Research Organisation, a predecessor to The Roslin Institute, where he looked after the livestock animals in the Organisation’s research programmes.
Dougie became a technician at ABRO’s newly opened large animal unit in the early eighties and became involved in early studies into embryo transfer while also providing technical support for other large animal research projects. He became the unit’s Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO) in 1994, ensuring that the unit met the strict animal welfare standards set by the Home Office.
Having been involved in much of the early work in embryo transfer and the production of genetically modified animals, Dougie was part of the support team for the research programme which produced Dolly. He was responsible for animal selection and ensuring that the reproductive cycles of the animals were controlled so that egg cell collection and embryo transfer could be carried out.
Dougie retired from The Roslin Institute in December 2014, after 40 years of service.