In AVS we have strengths in a number of science areas particularly genetics, animal behaviour, nutrition and epidemiology. In addition we have skills in quantitative biology, genetic evaluations, analysis of behaviour and specific lab-based approaches. This mixture of skills allows us to research within discipline areas, for example using behavioural analysis to understand and resolve animal welfare issues, but also to integrate approaches in 'systems' research for example in understanding host-pathogen interactions in diseases such as TB. We work on fundamental research questions (such as those funded by the BBSRC) to more applied work funded by industry. Our animal breeding and poultry research are especially well linked to industry and both routinely translate research into relevant outputs such as national breeding or feed evaluations. Our research is carried out on both our own SRUC farms (managed by the Future Farming Systems Group), on commercial units and in the case of our genetics research we often use large national data sets. In addition to research we are active in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in consultancy in the UK and internationally.
Why we do it
There is increasing concern about our ability to feed the growing human population particularly as resources will become scarcer in the future. Concerns are especially focused on the farming of animals given the potential impact this can have on the environment, the risks associated with farm animal disease both in economic terms and for human health, and the implications of modern animal production methods for animal welfare.
We believe that to address these challenges we need a mixture of high quality but relevant science, exploitation of new technologies and effective translation of our science through collaborative research, teaching and engagement with industry.
Easter Bush Campus
To discover the exciting new buildings currently on the campus and explore what's coming shortly visit Easter Bush Campus.
Prof Nick Sparks
Group Manager- Animal & Veterinary Sciences
Address: SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian, EH15 9RG