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Dr Joanne Conington

Head of the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture and Engineering Sciences, Central Faculty.

Reader in Applied Livestock Genetics.

President of the Sheep and Goat Scientific Commission, EAAP (2015 - 2020).

Research Interests

  • Genetic and environmental influences on sheep and goat production, performance, health and survival
  • Development and implementation of broader breeding goals and indices for sustainable hill sheep production
  • Genetics of maternal traits in sheep and goats
  • Quantitative and molecular genetic solutions for disease control in small ruminants
Joanne Conington

Research Projects

  • Carcass trait phenotype feedback for genomic selection in sheep (BBSRC/ Agritech strategy) 2017-2020
  • Using genomic technologies to reduce mastitis in meat sheep (BBSRC/ Agritech strategy) 2015-2016
  • Genomic predictions of mastitis resistance in dairy goats using computational genomics (BBSRC/ Agritech strategy) 2015-2018
  • Exploitation of genomic technologies for sustainable intensification of dairy goats (BBSRC/ Agritech strategy) 2015-2018
  • Genetics of maternal traits in sheep (Norwegian Sheep & Goat Association) 2014-2017
  • Efficient goat breeding for sustainable milk production (Technology Strategy Board) 2012-2015
  • Genetic analysis of longevity in sheep (EBLEX) 2014-2015
  • Genetics of lamb survival - Phase 1 and Phase 2 (EBLEX) 2013-2015
  • Breeding for reduced faecal egg count in sheep (Scottish Government) 2012-2016
  • Impact of breeding indices on greenhouse gas emissions in sheep (Scottish Government) 2012-2016
  • Understanding biological trade-offs in sheep systems (Scottish Government) 2012-2016
  • Breeding for resistance to footrot: combining molecular and phenotypic approaches (Defra LINK) 2005-2008
  • Genetic and phenotypic aspects of shelly hoof (Defra LINK) 2008-2009
  • Breeding for resistance to footrot in Welsh Mountain sheep (Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) & Biosciences KTN) 2007-2008
  • Developing a molecular approach to breed mastitis-resistant Texels (Biosciences KTN) 2007
  • Breeding easier-managed sheep (Biosciences KTN) 2006

Committees and Other Bodies

  • Chair of International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) Expert Advisory Group (EAG) for Sheep, Goat and Small camelid meat recording guidelines (2016- ongoing).
  • President of the Sheep and Goat Commission, European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) (2014 - ongoing).
  • Animal Breeding workstream leader, Farm Animal Welfare Committee (2008 - 2018).
  • BSAS Science and Innovation Committee member (2013 – ongoing).
  • BSAS representative for EAAP (2011- 2013).


  • BSc Animal Science
  • BSc Agriculture
  • MSc University of Edinburgh Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis
  • Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, University of Edinburgh

Current PhD Students

  • Antonio Pacheco First supervisor. ‘Quantitative genomic solutions to breeding for disease resistance in sheep’
  • Karolina Kaseja (part time) First supervisor. ‘Utilising whole genome data in modern sheep breeding programmes.’
  • Shauna Fitzmaurice Co-Supervisor. ‘Development of international sheep genetic and genomic evaluations between Ireland and the UK’

Selected Publications




















Dr Joanne Conington

Livestock Geneticist and Head of Agriculture and Engineering Sciences

Address: SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG

Telephone: 0131 651 9350