Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Development, evaluation and application of computational and statistical methods for the analysis of farm animal data (phenotypic, pedigree, genomic) with the aim to unravel the genetic background of economically important traits associated with animal health, resilience and productivity.
  • Breeding programmes aiming at enhancing the sustainability of the livestock sector.
  • Understanding and capitalising on the interaction between animals and the environment.
  • Assessment and management of genetic diversity in animal populations.
  • Biomarkers as predictors of animal health, fitness, longevity, robustness and welfare.
  • Genetic improvement of livestock raised in tropical conditions (in association with the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health).



  • 2019-2023, BBSRC, “Aetiopathogenesis and genomic architecture of resistance to claw horn disruption lesions in dairy cattle” PI £1M.
  • 2018-2022, DFID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Identification of selection targets and development of analytical tools to optimise breeding programmes in African chicken populations” PI £744K.
  • 2019-2022, University of Edinburgh PhD Studentship, “Early life predictors of long-life health and productivity in farm animals” PI £86K.
  • 2020-2021, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, “Defining molecular genetic characteristics that uniquely identify the British Lop Pig” PI £75K.
  • 2021 (6-mo), University of Edinburgh International Development Research Hub “Capacity building in scientific techniques” PI £37K.


  • 2019-2020, Hannah Dairy Research Foundation, “Early life biomarker predictors of future production, health, welfare and longevity in dairy cattle” PI £24.5K.
  • 2017-2019, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board-Beef & Lamb and DEFRA “Development of national genetic evaluations of beef cattle for resistance to bovine tuberculosis” PI £239K.
  • 2016-2020, European Commission Horizon2020, “Innovation of sustainable sheep and goat production in Europe” SRUC PI £431K.
  • 2016-2020, Teagasc Ireland, “Development of international sheep genetic and genomic evaluations between Ireland and the UK” PI £83K.
  • 2016-2017, SRUC REG funds, “MicroRNAs as predictive biomarkers of survival and performance in dairy cattle” PI £78.5K.
  • 2014-2017, BBSRC, “Measurements of telomere length at different life stages as predictive biomarkers of health, reproduction and longevity in dairy cattle” PI £714K.
  • 2014-2017, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission,“Genetics of bovine Tuberculosis resistance in dairy cattle”PI£80K.
  • 2013-2017, Teagasc Ireland, “International genetic and genomic evaluations for carcass traits in cattle” PI £81K.
  • 2013-2015, DairyCo (now Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board-Dairy), “Development of national genetic evaluations for resistance to bovine tuberculosis” PI £100K.
  • 2012-2015, European Commission FP7, “Next generation European system for cattle improvement and management” SRUC PI £176K.


Principal PhD supervisor

  • 2019-2022 “Early life predictors of long-life health and productivity in farm animals” University of Edinburgh.
  • 2016-2020 “Enhancing genetic evaluations for sheep growth and carcass traits in Ireland and the UK” joint with University of Edinburgh.
  • 2016-2020 “Investigation of farmer-led breeding goals and strategies in smallholder dairy farming systems to cope with variation in feed sources and quality” joint with University of Edinburgh.
  • 2014-2017 “Investigating host genetics and the role of selection for increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis in dairy cattle” University of Edinburgh.
  • 2013-2017 “Genetic and non-genetic evaluation tools for accelerating improvement in beef cattle carcass traits within and across country” joint with University of Edinburgh.
  • 2012-2017 “Characterisation of telomere length dynamics in dairy cattle and association with productive lifespan” joint with University of Edinburgh.


BSc Applied Animal Science, SRUC

  • Animal Breeding, Selection and Technologies (2nd Year module)
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics (4th Year module)

 MSc Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, University of Edinburgh

  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Animal Genetic Improvement modules


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