Midlothian professors’ unaugural address

As the world’s attention increasingly turns to feeding its booming population, two experts from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are to deliver public lectures on the crucial science behind breeding healthy and productive livestock.

Richard Dewhurst and Lutz Bunger were recently awarded Professorships by SRUC and will deliver their inaugural lectures to an audience at the Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, on Tuesday, May 26th from 2pm.

As Professor of Ruminant Nutrition and Production Systems and Head of the SRUC Beef and Sheep Research Centre, Richard Dewhurst leads research linked to the impact of livestock production on climate change and ways to reduce it by improving the efficiency of production.

His lecture, “Around the World and Back Again: markers for precision and quality in ruminant production” will explore the lessons learned during his international research career and explain the advances in high welfare, non invasive ways to measure the efficiency with which cattle convert feed into quality milk or beef and address the future targets for livestock production systems.

Lutz Bunger, Professor in Growth Genetics, has led research into the genetics of farm animal growth at SRUC since 2012. In recent years he has become a leading expert in developing the specialist software, used with imaging techniques like CT scanning and video image analysis to help livestock breeders select the proper animals to breed from.

In his lecture “ XS to 4XL: Unscrambling the genetic background of variation in good body composition” Lutz Bunger will explore how, through selective breeding, species like poultry and even mice have increased in size and how being able to identify the genes controlling size is so important. He will then show how the ability to evaluate the body composition of live animals by using imaging technology helps us identify breeding stock which grow better and produce less fat.

Professor Dewhurst’s lecture begins at 2pm, Professor Bunger’s at 3.30pm. The event is free but those wishing to attend should register with Lisa MacDonald at Lisa.MacDonald@sruc.ac.uk or on 0131 533 4008.