simont

Biography

My research interest lies in understanding the causes and consequences of individual differences in social behaviour (pigs) and the response to human handling (beef cattle). Alongside colleagues, my research also addresses long-standing welfare issues by assessing the role that selective breeding can play in producing animals more suited to the environments in which they are housed. I work closely with major breeding companies developing approaches to measure behaviour and welfare on large numbers of animals and assessing the likely success and wider implications of breeding for novel traits. Current areas of work with pigs focus on: using game theory approaches to understand assessment abilities during aggressive contests and how these are modified by life experiences quantifying the genomic contribution to aggressiveness assessing the likely impacts of selective breeding against highly aggressive personalities for economically important traits understanding how aggressive strategies trade-off across time and social context developing recommendations for the most cost-effective management interventions that can reduce aggression On beef cattle I have an interest in: understanding how poor temperament of cows in response to handling can affect the development of their calves quantifying how stress responsiveness in cattle affects their feed use efficiency and methane emissions and the mechanisms behind this

 

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