Scotland's Rural College
I have been involved with breeding throughout my life having initiated one of the longest selection experiments in mice (> 130 generations), which produced the heaviest mouse line in the World, and helped to develop also the smallest existing mouse line just by simply breeding them divergently for size I was always fascinated by animal growth and body composition and the exploration of their genetic basis.
Initially I studied animal behaviour and physiology, but now I have been working for 30 and 15 years in the field of quantitative and molecular genetics, respectively in different species, from model animals such as mice to pigs and sheep. This was at a Research Institute for Farm Animals in Germany, for an internationally operating pig breeding organisation (Cotswold, UK), at the University of Edinburgh and since 2002 at the SRUC.
I am leading a section of 3 scientists, 4 technicians and 5 PhD students working mainly on sheep genetics. The computer tomography unit and the experiment; sheep unit are part of this section as well. Since being at SRUC I have been Project leader or Senior Researcher for almost 7 years of several Defra, SEERAD or LINK funded projects mainly related to the genetics of sheep, disease resistance, growth, body composition, meat quality and meat eating quality using computerised tomography and video image analysis (VIA) systems in abattoirs.
I have been involved in numerous applications for funding to Defra, LINK, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, European Funding bodies and earlier to the Academy of Agricultural Science (Germany). In bullet point form my research interests are: