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Beef & Sheep Research Centre

Beef & Sheep Research Centre research links leading-edge developments in biology and engineering through to effects on the financial and environmental performance of ruminant production systems. Current major foci are improving feed conversion efficiency and reducing the Carbon footprint of beef cattle. Although mainly focused on farm systems and our excellent facilities at Easter Howgate, our work extends into the food chain.

Our strength is in bringing together a range of biological and engineering skills and working synergistically with leading industry expertise and academic collaborators, both nationally and globally:

  • Animal imaging and sensing systems (precision livestock (or SMART) farming)
  • Biomarkers for animal performance, efficiency and health – for management or breeding
  • Measurement systems and proxies for greenhouse gas (particularly methane) emissions
  • Role of the rumen microbiome (microbial species and genes) in animal performance
  • Carcass and meat quality evaluations
  • Whole-farm/system modelling

Beef and sheep systems are at the heart of Scottish agriculture and our vision it to undertake strategic research that is strongly linked to application by farmers, as well as companies developing opportunities in the expanding global agritech market. We have effective research links with agritech companies, many of which are based in Scotland, particularly through our leading role in the UK agricultural engineering and precision innovation centre Agri-EPI Centre (

The Beef & Sheep Research Centre Team

Dr Carol-Anne Duthie

Interim Team Leader, Beef & Sheep Research Centre


Prof Rainer Roehe

Professor of Animal Genetics and Microbiome


Dr Gemma Miller

Postdoctoral Scientist


Dr Marc Auffret

Senior Postdoctoral fellow / Molecular Microbiologist


Dr Jenna Bowen

Postdoctoral Scientist


Arjan Tolkamp

Research Associate


Research Technicians

Laura Nicoll

Claire Broadbent

Lesley Purcell