• Easter Bush, Roslin Institute Building

    EH25 9RG Midlothian

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


  • Professor of Integrative Livestock Genetics
  • Head of Research, SRUC

Research interests

My main academic activity has focussed on livestock genetics and the development of breeding tools for use by the agricultural community. I have made fundamental contributions in the delivery of broader breeding goals in cattle, with international impacts through the dissemination of genetic improvement. My current interdisciplinary research interests and projects include climate change and livestock systems, genetics of fitness traits, development of sustainable and environmental breeding goals and improvements to national livestock genetic evaluations.


I have supervised students at undergraduate (Honours theses) through to PhD level including 12 honours and MSc research projects and 11 PhD projects (7 as principal supervisor) including:
  • Modelling resilience and efficiency in European cattle systems. PhD 2017-2021
  • Modelling climate change impacts on European sheep and goat systems. PhD 2016-2020
  • Transcriptomics of selected diseases in Indian water buffolo. PhD: 2015-2019
  • Breeding goal tools for smallholder dairy units in Africa. PhD: 2015-2019
  • Genetics and genomics of feed efficiency and methane emissions in dairy. PhD: 2014-2018
  • Cost effectiveness of mitigation options from EU dairy systems. PhD: 2011-2014
  • Genetics of calving traits in dairy cattle. PhD: 2009-2011
  • Modelling the Effects of Genetic Line and Feeding System on Methane Emissions from Dairy Systems. PhD: 2007-2010


Selected Funding

  • 2018/9 Conception to consumption: aligning farmers to consumers using modern data, decision support and precision agriculture techniques. Innovate-UK Transforming Food Production. Total Value: £4.3 million
  • 2017 GenTore: Genomic management Tools to Optimise Resilience and Efficiency. Funder: EU Horizon2020, Value: €7million
  • 2017 Defining new paradigms and partnerships for genetic improvement of livestock. BBSRC Agri-food Technology Seeding Catalyst. Value: £150,000
  • 2016 Delivering the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas and Ammonia Inventories and Projections Funder: Defra. Value: £1.4 million
  • 2015 Future-proofing our breeding goals – Breeding for climate resilience in UK dairy systems. Funder: BBSRC/NERC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club. Value: £420,000
  • 2015 Center for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health: Genomic tools to improve the productivity, efficiency, resilience, and health of tropical livestock owned by poor smallholder farmers. Funder: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Value: $16 million
  • 2014 Improving the sustainability and competitive position of the UK beef industry through selective breeding. Funder: Defra. Value: £1,900,000
  • 2014 Developing next generation genetic improvement tools from next generation sequencing (GenImproveSeq) Funder: BBSRC. Value: £900,000.
  • 2012 Using systems biology to understand and routinely predict health and welfare traits in dairy cattle. Funder: BBSRC Responsive Mode. Value: £700,000 
  • 2011 Monitoring and improving efficiency of healthy dairy products, farms and supply chains. Funder: TSB Value: £1,356,000 
  • 2010 Underpinning tools to be used by the ruminant GIN. Funder: Defra. Value: £298,951 
  • 2010 Establishing the scientific and mechanistic framework for a GIN. Funder: Defra. Value: £107,000 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh

1 Nov 199830 Mar 2002

Award Date: 1 Jun 2002

Master, Animal Breeding (by Research), University College Dublin

1 Sept 199731 Oct 1998

Award Date: 5 Apr 1999

Bachelor, Ag Sci, University College Dublin

1 Oct 199330 Jun 1997

Award Date: 1 Jul 1997

External positions

British Society of Animal Science

8 Apr 20191 Apr 2020

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

1 May 20171 May 2020

Young Academy of Scotland

1 May 20151 May 2020

European Association of Animal Production

30 Aug 201430 Aug 2020


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