Scotland's Rural College
My research interests focus in the area of animal breeding and genetics. I have been working at SRUC since 2005, during which time I have been involved in a number of research projects.
My PhD research, funded by the BBSRC and Genus PIC, focussed on investigating the genomic regulation of physical and chemical body composition as well as feed intake, feed efficiency and meat quality in a commercial pig population. This research was driven by the opportunities to exploit the information within breeding programmes through marker assisted selection and genomic selection. Since completion of my PhD in 2008 I have been involved in a number of research projects.
My recent research has focussed on investigating the opportunities of exploiting genomic selection as a tool to improve current breeding strategies in UK beef and sheep systems based on breeding programme structure, and to investigate the economic response of genomic selection. This research also involved investigating the opportunities of exploiting new “efficiency” traits within current breeding goals of beef and sheep e.g. feed efficiency. More recently, I have been involved with the development of a new lifespan genetic evaluation model in dairy cattle.
Currently, my research interests focus on the development of an integrated semi-automatic or automatic system for the objective measurement of carcass and meat eating quality and lean meat and fat yield of beef cattle working at line speed in the abattoir. My research interests also incorporate the measurement of residual feed intake using electronic feeders in housed beef cattle and methane production in housed and grazing ruminants (beef and sheep) using respiratory chambers as well as proxy measures.