Richard Dewhurst


  • Crichton Estate, SAC Consulting, Heston House

    DG1 4TA Dumfries

    United Kingdom

1986 …2021

Research activity per year

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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

Award Date: 1 Dec 1989

Bachelor, University of Oxford

Oct 1981May 1984

Award Date: 31 May 1984

External positions


British Society of Animal Science


2014 → …



Animal (journal)


New Zealand Society of Animal Production




The Nutrition Society


British Society of Animal Science



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