Peta is a Senior Research Fellow in the Equine Orthopaedic Research Group, led by Professor Chris Whitton at the University of Melbourne. The research involves a multidisciplinary approach using biomechanics, microstructural analysis and epidemiology.
Peta brings her extensive epidemiological expertise and racing industry experience to the group. Peta completed her postdoctoral training as part of the California Horse Racing Board's Racing Injury Prevention Program in the J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopaedic Research Laboratory under the supervision of world-renowned researcher Professor Susan Stover (2-years), and at the One Health Institute (1-year) at the University of California, Davis. She completed a 2-year research appointment with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences where she conducted work on developing methodology for the emerging field of animal welfare epidemiology. Her doctoral research provided the first epidemiological studies of risk factors for jockey falls and injuries. She is personally and professionally committed to improving the safety and welfare of both racehorses and jockeys.
Find out more about Peta Hitchens' experience
Peta Hitchens' highlights
Peta Hitchens' selected work
Mathematical modelling of bone adaptation of the metacarpal subchondral bone in racehorses
Fatigue behavior of subchondral bone under simulated physiological loads of equine athleti..
Displaying the 8 most recent projects by Peta Hitchens.
Displaying the 53 most recent scholarly works by Peta Hitchens.
Fatigue behavior of subchondral bone under simulated physiological loads of equine athletic training
undefined Shaktivesh, Fatemeh Malekipour, R Christopher Whitton, Peta L Hitchens, Peter VS Lee
Journal article | 2020 | Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Fatigue-induced subchondral bone (SCB) injuries are prevalent among athletes due to the repetitive application of high magnitude l..
Global shifts in mammalian population trends reveal key predictors of virus spillover risk.
Christine K Johnson, Peta L Hitchens, Pranav S Pandit, Julie Rushmore, Tierra Smiley Evans, Cristin CW Young, Megan M Doyle
Journal article | 2020 | Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Emerging infectious diseases in humans are frequently caused by pathogens originating from animal hosts, and zoonotic disease outb..
Associations between the radiographic appearance of vascular channels in proximal sesamoid bones, their microstructural characteristics and past racing performance in Thoroughbreds
Kristen A Lloyd, Babatunde A Ayodele, Peta L Hitchens, Cathy Beck, Eleanor J Mackie, Robert C Whitton
Journal article | 2020 | Equine Veterinary Journal
BACKGROUND: Abnormalities in vascular channel appearance within the proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) are the most common findings in T..
Effects of in vivo fatigue-induced subchondral bone microdamage on the mechanical response of cartilage-bone under a single impact compression.
Fatemeh Malekipour, Peta L Hitchens, R Chris Whitton, Peter Vee-Sin Lee
Journal article | 2020 | Journal of Biomechanics
Subchondral bone (SCB) microdamage is prevalent in the joints of human athletes and animals subjected to high rate and magnitude c..
The relationship between microstructure, stiffness and compressive fatigue life of equine subchondral bone
Sandra Martig, Peta L Hitchens, Peter VS Lee, R Chris Whitton
Journal article | 2020 | Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Subchondral bone injuries often precede articular cartilage damage in osteoarthritis and are common in thoroughbred racehorses due..
Do riders who wear an air jacket in equestrian eventing have reduced injury risk in falls? A retrospective data analysis
Lindsay E Nylund, Peter J Sinclair, Peta L Hitchens, Stephen Cobley
Journal article | 2019 | Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between air jacket usage and rider injury severity in equestrian eventing competition f..
A sustainable structure for jockey injury data management for the North American horse racing industry
Peta L Hitchens, Kelly Ryan, Stephen I Koch, Mary C Scollay, Michael L Peterson
Journal article | 2019 | Injury
Jockey injuries in North American racing are not well understood. The types and severity of injuries as well as exposure need to b..
Prevalence, radiographic resolution and outcomes of slab fractures of the third and central tarsal bones in juvenile Thoroughbred horses
CM Steel, VL Collins, SR Hance, AR Adkins, PL Hitchens
Journal article | 2019 | Australian Veterinary Journal
Background Veterinarians are required to interpret the significance of radiographic findings for sale, soundness and future racing..
Hospital-treated injuries from horse riding in Victoria, Australia: time to refocus on injury prevention?
Siobhán O'Connor, Peta L Hitchens, Lauren V Fortington
Journal article | 2018 | BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Background: The most recent report on hospital-treated horse-riding injuries in Victoria was published 20 years ago. Since then, i..
One Health proof of concept: Bringing a transdisciplinary approach to surveillance for zoonotic viruses at the human-wild animal interface.
Terra R Kelly, William B Karesh, Christine Kreuder Johnson, Kirsten VK Gilardi, Simon J Anthony, Tracey Goldstein, Sarah H Olson, Catherine Machalaba, undefined PREDICT Consortium, Jonna AK Mazet
Journal article | 2017 | Preventive Veterinary Medicine
As the world continues to react and respond inefficiently to emerging infectious diseases, such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Synd..
Serum levels of innate immunity cytokines are elevated in dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy (hypertrophic osteodytrophy) during active disease and remission
Noa Safra, Peta L Hitchens, Emanual Maverakis, Anupam Mitra, Courtney Korff, Eric Johnson, Amir Kol, Michael J Bannasch, Niels C Pedersen, Danika L Bannasch
Journal article | 2016 | Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Biomechanical Comparison of Locking Compression Plate versus Positive Profile Pins and Polymethylmethacrylate for Stabilization of the Canine Lumbar Vertebrae
Beverly K Sturges, Amy S Kapatkin, Tanya C Garcia, Cona Anwer, Shimpei Fukuda, Peta L Hitchens, Tristan Wisner, Kei Hayashi, Susan M Stover
Journal article | 2016 | Veterinary Surgery
Prevalence, location and symmetry of noncatastrophic ligamentous suspensory apparatus lesions in California Thoroughbred racehorses, and association of these lesions with catastrophic injuries
AE Hill, IA Gardner, TE Carpenter, CM Lee, PL Hitchens, SM Stover
Journal article | 2016 | Equine Veterinary Journal
Spillover and pandemic properties of zoonotic viruses with high host plasticity
Christine Kreuder Johnson, Peta L Hitchens, Tierra Smiley Evans, Tracey Goldstein, Kate Thomas, Andrew Clements, Damien O Joly, Nathan D Wolfe, Peter Daszak, William B Karesh, Jonna K Mazet
Journal article | 2015 | Scientific Reports
Non-random patterns in viral diversity
Simon J Anthony, Ariful Islam, Christine Johnson, Isamara Navarrete-Macias, Eliza Liang, Komal Jain, Peta L Hitchens, Xiaoyu Che, Alexander Soloyvov, Allison L Hicks, Rafael Ojeda-Flores, Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, Werner Ulrich, Melinda K Rostal, Alexandra Petrosov, Joel Garcia, Najmul Haider, Nathan Wolfe, Tracey Goldstein, Stephen S Morse, et al.
Journal article | 2015 | Nature Communications
Evidence for henipavirus spillover into human populations in Africa
Olivier Pernet, Bradley S Schneider, Shannon M Beaty, Matthew LeBreton, Tatyana E Yun, Arnold Park, Trevor T Zachariah, Thomas A Bowden, Peta Hitchens, Christina M Ramirez, Peter Daszak, Jonna Mazet, Alexander N Freiberg, Nathan D Wolfe, Benhur Lee
Journal article | 2014 | Nature Communications
Evaluation of local media surveillance for improved disease recognition and monitoring in global hotspot regions.
Jessica S Schwind, David J Wolking, John S Brownstein, undefined PREDICT Consortium1, Jonna AK Mazet, Woutrina A Smith
Journal article | 2014 | PLoS ONE
Digital disease detection tools are technologically sophisticated, but dependent on digital information, which for many areas suff..
Genome-Wide Association Mapping in Dogs Enables Identification of the Homeobox Gene, NKX2-8, as a Genetic Component of Neural Tube Defects in Humans
Noa Safra, Alexander G Bassuk, Polly J Ferguson, Miriam Aguilar, Rochelle L Coulson, Nicholas Thomas, Peta L Hitchens, Peter J Dickinson, Karen M Vernau, Zena T Wolf, Danika L Bannasch
Journal article | 2013 | PLoS Genetics
Jockey Falls, Injuries, and Fatalities Associated With Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Racing in California, 2007-2011.
Peta L Hitchens, Ashley E Hill, Susan M Stover
Journal article | 2013 | Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
BACKGROUND: Despite the popularity of the horse racing industry in the United States and the wide recognition that horse racing is..
Displaying the most recent news article by Peta Hitchens.
Honours, Awards and Fellowships
Finalist, Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research
Ruby Menzies Scholarship
Australian Postgraduate Award
Faculty of Veterinary Science Award for Outstanding Research in the Masters of Veterinary Public Health Management
Snr Res Fellow (Equine Veterinary Epidemiology)
Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Female Equestrian Health Advisory Group
University of Kentucky, College of Public Health
Victorian Wakeful Club
Women in Racing Victoria
Study Design And Data Analysis Consultant Board
Equine Veterinary Journal
Early Career Researcher Committee
FVAS, University of Melbourne
Member And Mentor
Women in Racing UK
Medical Research (Epidemiology)
University of Tasmania
Veterinary Public Health Management
University of Sydney
Applied Science (Equine)
Charles Sturt University