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Dr Roberta Blake

Associate Professor
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Writtle School of Agriculture, Animal and Environmental Sciences
Research Supervision:

Roberta is a veterinary surgeon, interested in all aspects of animal health but her main research focus has been on examining how intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence animal movement and risk of injuries.

[email protected]
Research Gate


Roberta’s work with animals started over 20 years ago as an equine surgeon in her native Brazil, and has encompassed roles in research, teaching, leadership and general vet practice.

Roberta joined Writtle University College in September 2016; the College merged with ARU in 2024. From 2011-2016 she was a Researcher at University College of London and the Royal Veterinary College.

She completed an undergraduate degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and completed her MSc (2004) and PhD (2006) on the use of stem cells in horses.

She has been involved in several research projects, in areas as diverse as regenerative medicine using stem cells, to the biomechanical analysis of both horse and rider during sporting endeavours. Currently, Roberta is Research Lead at Writtle School of Animal, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and her teaching focus is on Dissertation modules, Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Animal Biomechanics and Lameness Assessment.

Spoken Languages
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • French
  • Basic Zulu and Xhosa
Research interests
  • Animal biomechanics
  • Equitation science
  • Animal sports medicine
  • Regenerative therapies for musculoskeletal injuries
Areas of research supervision

Roberta welcomes applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in carrying out research projects in animal biomechanics and sport medicine and equitation science.

Find out more about our Writtle School of Agriculture, Animal and Environmental Sciences research programme.

  • PG Certificate in Higher Education Practice, University of Essex
  • PhD in Veterinary Surgery, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • MSc in Veterinary Surgery, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Residence in Large Animal Surgery, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • BSc in Veterinary Medicine
Memberships, editorial boards


  • Member, Brazilian Cell Therapy Research Network/Member Researcher
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, British Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Association
  • Member, International Association of Animal Therapists
  • Founding member, UK Equine Student Network
  • Founding Member, Equine Lecturers Knowledge Exchange

Editorial boards:

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • 2022-2023: Research England KE Funding: Community awareness of dogs sports injuries, £12k, Principal Investigator
  • 2020-2023: Newton Fund (British Academy) CONFAP/UK Academies grants–Biomechanical and exercise physiology assessment of Pantaneiro horse in Brazil, £5k, Principal Investigator
  • 2019-2021: SBRI/Innovate UK – Proof of concept study: IP methods to create a chondrogenic implant, £1.1m, Co-Investigator (Dr Kafienah PI)
  • 2017-2018: BI MRC Confidence in Concept scheme – A preclinical model for the treatment of osteoarthritis using chondrogenic human induced pluripotent stem cells, £85k, Co-Investigator (Dr Kafienah PI)
  • 2015-2016: Wellcome Trust – Use of new technology (Bioyarn) for tendon suture: safety and biomechanical study, £989k, Research Associate (Prof Caar PI)
  • 2012-2015: MRC Grant TSCRC – Improved cartilage regeneration through the selection and use of highly chondrogenic subpopulations of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, £861k, Research Associate (Prof Hollander PI)
  • 2012: James Tudor Trust – Integration of tissue engineered cartilage in vivo, £45k, Research Associate (Prof Hollander PI)
  • 2011-2012: Eurocoatings Italy – Layer manufacture of porous metals for osseointegration, £120k, Research Associate (Prof Goodship PI)
  • 2011-2012 Research Fellowship grant for Academic Visit to UCL. CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level -or Education- Personnel), £20k, Principal Investigator
  • 2011 - 2012: The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)/Cell Therapy Grant – Cell therapy in horse tendonitis: Stem Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma, £50k, Principal Investigator
  • 2010 - 2012: The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)/Cell Therapy Call – Stem Cells in horse bone regeneration, pre-clinical study, £20k, Principal Investigator
  • 2009-2012: DF Research Council (FAPDF)/General Call: Stem Cells in peripherical nerve regeneration, pre-clinical study, £50k, Principal Investigator
Selected recent publications

Anthony, G, Blake S., Blake R. (2024). Kinetics and kinematics of dog walk exercise in agility dogs of different experiences. Ciência Rural, 54(6). doi: 10.1590/0103-8478cr20230211

Coll, J.A;  Blake, S.,Godoy, R.F. (2023). Surface electromyography (sEMG) of equine core muscles and kinematics of lumbosacral joint during core strengthening exercises. Journal of Equine Rehabilitation, 1, pp.100002, doi: 10.1016/j.eqre.2023.100002

Fair N, Blake S, Blake R. (2023). Four Weeks of Incline Water Treadmill Exercise Can Contribute to Increase Epaxial Muscle Profile in Horse. Veterinary Medicine International, 7, pp:9090406. doi: 10.1155/2023/9090406

Ribeiro, P.F., Pizzi, G.L.B.L., Silva, P.M., de O. Cavalcanti, G.A., Bruhn, F.R.P., Costa, P.P.C., França, R.T., Holz, K., de Godoy, R.F.,  Martins, C.F. (2023). Cardiovascular training adaptations in Criollo breed horses: biochemical markers and morphofunctional parameters. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 20(1), pp.23-34. doi: 10.1163/17552559-20230018

McAteer, A., Gill, R.,; de Godoy, R. F. (2023). Impact of Forage Presentation on the Equine Brachiocephalicus Mechanical Nociceptive Threshold (MNT) and Forelimb Kinematics: Forage Presentation Affects Neck Muscle MNT. International Journal of Equine Science, 2(1), pp.9–16

Giusto E, Blunn G, de Godoy RF, Liu C, Pendegrass C.  (2022). Optimising soft tissue in-growth in vivo in additive layer manufactured osseointegrated transcutaneous implants. Biomaterials Translational, 28;3(4), pp.243-249. doi: 10.12336/biomatertransl.2022.04.004

Bliss,M.,Terry,J.,and de Godoy, R.F. (2022). Limbs kinematics of dogs exercising at different water levels on the underwater treadmill. Veterinary Medicine and Science, 1–8. doi: 10.1002/vms3.947

Hodgson, H.; Blake, S.; Godoy, R.F. (2022). Effects of inclined underwater treadmill exercise on range of motion of the canine thoracolumbar spine. Veterinary Medicine and Science. doi: 10.1002/vms3.1067

Mabbutt, C.; Yarnell, K.; Godoy, R.F. (2022). A short-term hindlimb massage programme can improve gait symmetry in riding school horses. Comparative Exercise Physiology doi: 10.3920/CEP220022

‘Marlin DJ, Pickles K, Godoy RF, Williams JM. (2021). Opening forces or failure of commercially available equine headcollars and other safety devices. Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 237(3), pp.142-149. doi:10.1177/17543371211039610

Blake, S, and Godoy, RF (2021). Kinematics and Kinetics of Dogs Completing Jump and A-frame Exercises. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 17(4) pp.351-366. doi: 10.3920/CEP200067

Rashid M, Dudhia J, Dakin SG, Snelling S, Lach A, De Godoy R, Mouthuy PA, Smith R, Morrey M, Carr AJ. (2020). Histological evaluation of cellular response to a multifilament electrospun suture for tendon repair. PLoS One. 15(6), p.e0234982. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234982

Rashid, M., Dudhia, J., Dakin, S.G. Godoy, R.F.  et al. (2020). Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation of cellular response to a woven and electrospun polydioxanone (PDO) and polycaprolactone (PCL) patch for tendon repair. Scientific Reports, 10, p.4754. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-61725-5

Blake, S.; Hunter, A.; Godoy, R.F. (2019). Pressure and Force on the Canine Neck when Exercised using a Collar and Leash. Veterinary and Animal Science, 8, p.e100082. doi: 10.1016/j.vas.2019.100082

Khan MR, Smith RK, David F, Lam R, Hughes G, De Godoy R, Carr AJ, Goodship AE, Dudhia J. (2019). Evaluation of synovium multipotent cells on deep digital flexor tendon  repair in a large animal model of intra-synovial tendinopathy. Journal of Orthopaedic  Research, 38(1), pp.128-138 doi: 10.1002/jor.24423

Rajão, Mariana Damazio; Leite, Carol S.; Nogueira, Kaique; Godoy, RF.; Lima, Eduardo Maurício Mendes (2019). The bone response in endurance long distance horse. Open Veterinary Journal, 9(1): 58–64. doi: 10.4314/ovj.v9i1.11

Recent presentations and conferences

Chinn, A; Blake, R. (2023). Acupressure can decrease nociceptive threshold in horses. 12th Alltech-Hartpury Conference

Blake S, Blake, R. (2023). Kinetics analysis of effects of different angles of box during turning in flyball dogs. International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion, Utrecht, Netherlands

Kratz K; Godoy, R.F. (2022). The effects of induced stirrups asymmetry on rider biomechanics. 11th Alltech-Hartpury Conference

Bouquet, A., Nicol, C., Blackie, N., Ferro de Godoy, R., Díez-León, M. (2021). Foal behaviour during artificial weaning is modulated by maternal behaviour experienced peri-natally. International Society for Equitation Science Virtual Conference

Bouquet, A, Nicol, C, Blackie, N, Ferro De Godoy, R. and Díez-León, M. (2021). Maternal influences on foal behavioral stress indicators during artificial weaning. Virtual UFAW Animal Welfare Conference, 29-30 June 2021

Heidi Hodgson (2021). Underwater treadmill and incline affects the back biomechanics in dogs. 9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion

Shenna Young and Katie Hayward (2021). Acoustic myography to analyse muscle function during DME in horses. 9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion

Bouquet, A, Nicol, C, Blackie, N, Ferro De Godoy, R. and Díez-León, M. (2021). Does maternal foal-directed licking modulate behavioural stress responses during artificial weaning? ASAB Easter Virtual Meeting, University of Bristol, 14-16 April 2021

Blake, S., Ferro De Godoy, R. (2020). Kinematics and kinetics jumping in German Shepherd police dogs. International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion, Zurich, Switzerland

Blake, S., Ferro De Godoy, R. (2020). Biomechanics of dogs exercising on  a dog walk agility obstacle. International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion, Zurich, Switzerland

Katie Hayward; Godoy R (2020). Investigating the effects of dynamic mobilisation exercises uon the rectus abdominis and obliquus externus abdominis muscle activity within the horse using acoustic myography (AMG). UK Equine Student Conference

Leah Kent; Godoy R (2020). The effects of passive stretching and compression massage on equine kinematics. UK Equine Student Conference

Poppy Morgan; Godoy R (2020). The effect of eating from a haynet on back pain in horses. UK Equine Student Conference

Godoy, R.F.; Jameson, H.  (2019). To shoe or not to shoe?: that is the question. 16th World Equine Veterinary Association Conference, Verona, Italy

Godoy R.F.; Coll, J.A.  (2019). The effects of core strengthening exercises on ridden horse kinematics. 16th World Equine Veterinary Association Conference, Verona, Italy

Godoy, R.F.; Whitrod, S. (2019). How training aids can affect back kinematics and muscular activity. 16th World Equine Veterinary Association Conference, Verona, Italy

Godoy, R.F.; Hopkins, E. (2019). Noseband tightness has a negative effect on horse kinematics. 16th World Equine Veterinary Association Conference, Verona, Italy

Godoy, R.F.; Akers, K. (2019). Raised poles are more beneficial for equine rehabilitation than flat poles. 16th World Equine Veterinary Association Conference, Verona, Italy