Department of Animal Sciences

FPQThe work of the department is concerned primarily with research into the role of animals as food producers but also has a key teaching role at undergraduate and postgraduate levels including managing the Animal Science BSc (Hons) degree. Research is focused on two food chain related issues: 1) the effect on the environment of using animals for food production and 2) the effect of foods from animals on long-term human health. The department comprises some 30 research scientists and technical staff covering a range of disciplines but with a main emphasis on nutrition across the food chain. Some members of staff also have a role in the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) and work closely with the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and collaborate with other units and departments in the University. There is also very considerable collaboration with other universities/institutes within the EU and further afield. The largest research section within the department is Animal Science Research (ASR) formed in 2004 from a merger of the Nutritional Sciences Research Unit, the Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR) and Biomathematics. ASR contains a wide range of expertise including nutrition, food composition and related health, digestive and post-absorptive metabolism of food producing animals and their role in environmental impact, chemistry of secondary plant compounds and their effect on digestion together with integrative biomathematical modelling.

Research facilities include extensive off-campus animal research units for all key food producing animals (dairy cows, beef, poultry, pigs) including two large animal calorimeters. Laboratory facilities are maintained on the main campus. Research funding comes from a wide range of bodies including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the European Commission, UK levy bodies and multi-national companies.

Current key research areas include:

Environmental nutrition

  • Effect of diet on methane production by dairy cows
  • Effect of diet on excretion of nitrogenous compounds by dairy cows
  • Chemistry of polyphenolic compounds in forage legumes in relation to their potential to reduce environmental impact of ruminants

Food and health

  • Reducing saturated fatty acids in dairy products
  • Effect of milk proteins on vascular health
  • Long term consumption of dairy products and risk of cardiovascular disease

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Professor Chris Reynolds

HR Excellence in Research

The University holds the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award. Follow the link below for more information


HR Excellence in Research

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