18 July 2011

The appointment of Professor Stephen Moore as Director of the Centre for Animal Science at The University of Queensland (UQ) will inject enormous value into research conducted on behalf of Australian and international livestock industries.

The Centre for Animal Science was established in 2010 as one of three Centres in the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI). QAAFI was set up as an Institute of UQ in September 2009 through a major alliance with the Queensland Government’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI). In October 2010, many plant, animal and food scientists transferred from DEEDI to work for UQ in QAAFI.

QAAFI Director, Professor Robert Henry, said Professor Moore is a highly regarded scientist and executive who prior to his appointment with QAAFI worked for the cattle industry in Alberta, Canada.

“Professor Moore has over 20 years experience in bovine genomics including his role as Chair in Bovine Genomics at the University of Alberta since 1999, and as such is one of the world’s best in his field,” Professor Henry said.

“In his role as CEO Livestock Gentec, University of Alberta, Professor Moore led many successful projects to identify genes that underlie production and quality traits in cattle.

“The expertise he brings to QAAFI’s Centre for Animal Science reflects the Centre’s capacity to embark on research to help Australian and international livestock industries flourish now and into the future.”

Some of Professor Moore’s key recent achievements include:
• Establishing and leading a successful Bovine Genomics Program, a multi-institutional collaboration involving the University of Alberta, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada.
• Leadership roles in a number of projects examining the genetic basis of feed efficiency in cattle.
• Publication of more than 80 papers in the past 10 years related to genome structure and function in international peer reviewed journals.

Professor Moore said QAAFI’s aim to add value to national and international livestock industries is a challenge he looks forward to attaining.

“The breadth and depth of the research capacity brought together under QAAFI will equip the Centre for Animal Science to take on projects of great scope,” Professor Moore said.

“It is through the combination of leading livestock scientists and access to a range of sophisticated research tools that the Centre for Animal Science can expect to make significant inroads into research to enhance the health, welfare and productivity of various livestock industries.

“The ability to work across disciplines will further enhance the impact that the Centre for Animal Science can have on ensuring the profitable and sustainable future of the sector, particularly in the north.”

The Centre for Animal Science research portfolio includes:
• An animal health program focused on pest and disease control through improved detection, monitoring and vaccine technologies, plus application of integrated pest management systems. Public health, food safety and biosecurity will be major components of this program.
• An animal behavior, welfare and ethics program.
• An animal improvement program focused on genetics, genomics, breeding and reproduction as well as animal nutrition, metabolism and growth.

QAAFI background
Launched on October 21 2010, the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is an Institute of the University of Queensland (UQ) and was formed through and alliance between UQ and the Queensland Government’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI). QAAFI draws together 100 research teams specialising in plant, animal and food sciences from twelve UQ and DEEDI sites across Queensland.

The QAAFI Vision is to be a world leader in tropical and subtropical agricultural and food research and development. QAAFI will ensure that cutting-edge science and science education is applied to support sustainable tropical and subtropical agriculture and food production.

Media: Julie Lloyd, QAAFI Communication Manager, 0415 799 890.