Richard Dewhurst


  • Crichton Estate, SAC Consulting, Heston House

    DG1 4TA Dumfries

    United Kingdom

1986 …2023
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Personal profile

Previous employer


Professor of Ruminant Nutrition & Production Systems; Head of Beef & Sheep Research Centre (2013-2017); Head of Dairy Research and Innovation Centre (2016-date): Interim Head of Future Farming Systems Group (2016-2019); SRUC: Scotland’s Rural College.


Principal Research Officer: Teagasc, Animal and Grassland Research & Innovation Centre, Ireland. Head of Animal and Bioscience Research Department: (2009 to 2013).


Professor of Dairy Production: Lincoln University, New Zealand.


Senior Research Scientist (1993-1999), then Principal Research Scientist (1999-2005): IGER, Aberystwyth, UK. This appointment included periods as Group Leader: Feeding Strategies (1994-1995); Acting Head: Ruminant Nutrition Department (1995); Group Leader: Ruminant Nutrition (1996-2002); Team Leader: Nutrition and Microbiology (2002-2005).


Lecturer/Adviser Grade 3: Grassland and Ruminant Science Department, Scottish Agricultural College, UK. Honorary Lecturer: University of Glasgow.


Research Assistant Grade 1A: Department of Animal Husbandry, University of Bristol, UK.


Other work


Non-Executive Director of Agri-EPI Centre Ltd.: Agri-Tech Innovation Centre for precision agriculture and engineering.

Research interests

  • Substantial academic contributions at the interfaces between dairy nutrition, milk composition and rumen function - notably modelling of forage composition, dry cow feeding strategies, forages and fatty acids, fatty acids and fertility, and rumen diagnostics. 
  • Some work used directly by the animal feed industry – notably feed evaluation systems, feed values and dry cow strategies. Much more of my work has been used by farmers and advisers – notably to develop advice and models to predict and increase forage intakes, improve the utilisation of feed protein (reduce N pollution), improve milk composition, and facilitate the use of forage legumes in conventional and organic farming.
  • Current research is developing markers/proxies for digestive efficiency, feed efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions by ruminants – including through the use of gene-centric and 16S-based rumen metagenomics, as well as Nitrogen isotopic fractionation.


MSc Animal Nutrition.

Main Supervisor for 3 PhD students and Associate Supervisor for 8 PhD students.

External examiner (or Opponent) for PhDs awarded by Universities in: UK, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Bristol

Oct 1984Dec 1989

Bachelor, University of Oxford

Oct 1981May 1984

External positions

Member of International Review Panel (2015) for the Ruminant Production Program of IRTA (agricultural research institute in Catalonia, Spain).


Vice President (2015-2016); Senior Vice President (2016-2017); President (2017-2018) and Past President (2018-2019), British Society of Animal Science


Member of External Advisory Committee for the Doctoral Training Programme ‘SANFEED: Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding’ at University of Porto, Portugal (2014-date).

2014 → …

UK representative on the ‘Animal Task Force’, a European Public-Private Platform representing key stakeholders from industry, farmers and research (2014-2017).


Member of Mid-Term Evaluation Team (2012) for Bio-Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products (Enterprise Estonia).


Member of the Editorial Board (2006-date), Section Editor (2006-2010; 2016-2017), and member of the Management Board (2011-2016)., Animal (journal)


Vice President (2006-2007) and President (2007-2008) of the Society., New Zealand Society of Animal Production


Member of the Editorial Board (2002-2005) and Section Editor (2003-2005) for ‘Animal Science'.


Member of the Editorial Board of ‘Journal of Dairy Science’ (2002-2008).


Secretary of Animal Nutrition and Metabolism Group, member of Council and member of the Editorial Board of ‘Proceedings of the Nutrition Society’ (1997-2001)., The Nutrition Society


Member of Council (1993-1996; 2009-2012; 2015-2019), Programme Committee (1992-1998), Strategy & Innovation Committee (2008-2014), Communications Committee (2013-2017); Accreditation & Governance Group (2013-date)., British Society of Animal Science


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Projects 2015 2023

Research Output 1986 2019

A parsimonious software sensor for estimating the individual dynamic pattern of methane emissions from cattle

Munoz-Tamayo, R., Ramirez Agudelo, JF., Dewhurst, RJ., Miller, G., Vernon, T. & Kettle, H., Jun 2019, In : Animal. 13, 6, p. 1180-1187 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Time measurement

Effect of antibiotic treatments on dairy cow methane production, milk yield and dry matter intake

Hargreaves, PR., March, MD. & Dewhurst, RJ., 9 Apr 2019, Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science: Animal Science Fit for the Future. 1 ed. Vol. 10. 1 p. 85. (Advances in Animal Biosciences).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

methane production
dry matter intake
milk yield
dairy cows
16 Downloads (Pure)

Identification of rumen microbial genes involved in pathways linked to appetite, growth and feed conversion efficiency in cattle

Lima, J., Auffret, M., Stewart, R. D., Dewhurst, RJ., Duthie, C-A., Snelling, T. J., Walker, A. W., Freeman, T. C., Watson, M. & Roehe, R., 8 Aug 2019, In : Frontiers in Genetics. 10, 701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Microbial Genes
Open Access
greenhouse gas emissions

Prediction of methane emissions in sheep using computed tomography (CT) measurements of rumen volume

Lambe, NR., Miller, G. A., McLean, KA., Gordon, J. & Dewhurst, RJ., Apr 2019, p. 152.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review