CQUniversity's ag expertise grows with new staff

26 April 2023

CQUniversity’s Institute for Future Farming Systems (IFFS) is continuing to grow in capability and expertise with the appointment of several new staff, including ruminant nutrition expert Karen Harper.

Associate Professor Harper will play a key role with CQU’s Bachelor of Agriculture teaching team within the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, bringing 25 years of experience from her time at the University of Queensland.

Having worked across a broad range of topics, Assoc Prof Harper’s research has focused on ruminant nutrition and tropical pastures including projects to reduce methane emissions by supplementing feed with dietary lipids, dairy cattle nutrition in sub-tropical Australia and probiotic supplements. She has also worked on research projects in Indonesia, Myanmar and across Africa.

“I am looking forward to working on projects driven by industry need that deliver practical solutions faced by producers here in Australia and internationally,” Assoc Prof Harper said.

CQU’s Precision Livestock Management team leader, Professor Mark Trotter said Dr Harper’s appointment would further build CQUniversity’s reputation as an international leader in the field of tropical livestock research.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr Harper to the team,” Professor Trotter said.

“Her appointment adds to the wealth of knowledge in the Precision Livestock Management team and CQU’s wider Institute for Future Farming Systems.

“We’re looking forward to expanding our research capability and the impact of our research on the livestock industry.”

CQUniversity Science, Environment and Agriculture Head of Course Dr Amie Anastasi said the addition of Dr Harper to the teaching program would further strengthen CQU’s incredible team of educators.

“We look forward to Dr Harper being able to further promote the exposure of our undergraduate students to the world-class agriculture research being undertaken at CQUni,” Dr Anastasi said.

Other new appointments to CQU’s Precision Livestock Management team include research scientist, Dr Priscila Bernardes and technical officer Grace Dendle.

After completing a PhD in animal breeding and genetics at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, Dr Bernardes worked on projects relating to statistical analysis on animal science and pedigree, quantitative and genomic analyses.

Since joining CQU, Dr Bernades has been contributing to a research project developing and evaluating sensor technologies to help producers make better animal selection decisions when it comes time to cull cows from the herd.

New staff have also been recruited to CQU’s Agri-Tech Education and Innovation team, with the appointment of Kate Strong and Lilly Stoyles as project officers.

The Director of CQU’s Institute for Farming Systems Director, Professor Phil Brown said the institute was going from strength to strength with several new major projects funded recently.

“CQUniversity has built a reputation for agricultural innovation and the continued growth and expansion of IFFS is testament to that,” Professor Brown said.

“The secret to that success has been a focus on working in partnership with producers and industry to ensure that our research can be applied in the real world and make a difference to the productivity and sustainability of Australian agriculture.”