Dr John Rooke

Research Interests

I have many years experience in animal science with particular emphasis on animal nutrition. Prior to joining SRUC in 1990, I was involved with detailed studies on digestive physiology and feed utilisation in ruminant animals. Whilst at SRUC, I have been involved with all farmed species.

Recent research focused on the effects of altered nutrient supply, both in vivo and in vitro, on the developmental competence of oocytes, embryos, foetuses and their resultant offspring. This encompassed all developmental processes and focused on the viability of offspring as measured by physiological and behavioural traits.

Recently the emphasis of my research has changed and I have been involved with overseeing the validation and use of the respiration chambers at the GreenCow facility for measuring methane emissions by sheep and cattle. Strategies have been developed to evaluate proxy measures for methane emissions and the effectiveness of strategies to reduce emissions.

Research Projects


  • Improvement to the national inventory - methane (DEFRA)
  • Work Packages 3.2 and 5.3 (Scottish Government)
  • Ruminant nutrition and function: understanding methane mitigation routes and impacts (SRUC)


  • Evidence from experimental and on-farm systems studies to support guidance on best practice to improve welfare via both husbandry improvements and genetic approaches’ (Scottish Government)
  • Relationships between the ability of ruminant embryos to secrete interferon-tau in vitro and the developmental potential of the embryo in vivo (Scottish Government)
  • Increasing dairy cow fertility through the precise control of nutrition (DEFRA)
  • Identification of Factors and Mechanisms in Embryo Culture Associated with the Large Offspring Syndrome (DEFRA)

Selected Publications

  • Hickman C.F., Clinton, M., Ainslie A., Ealy A.D., Ashworth C.J, Rooke J.A. (2013). Heat stress induces interferon Ď„ gene expression by in vitro produced bovine blastocysts. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 70: 177-181
  • Rooke, J.A., Watt, R.G., Ashworth, C.J. and McEvoy, T.G. (2012). Inclusion of bovine lipoproteins and the vitamin E analogue (Trolox) during in vitro culture of bovine embryos changes both embryo development and after transfer fetal development at day 70 of gestation. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24: 309-316
  • Ashworth, C.J. Dwyer, C.M., McIlvaney, K., Werkman, M and Rooke, J.A. (2011). Breed differences in foetal and placental development and feto-maternal amino acid status following undernutrition during early and mid pregnancy in Scottish Blackface and Suffolk sheep. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 23: 1024-1033
  • Rooke, J.A., Houdijk, J.G.M., McIlvaney, K., Ashworth, C.J. and Dwyer, C.M. (2010). Differential effects of maternal undernutrition between days one and ninety of pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance and lamb parasitism in hill or lowland breeds. Journal of Animal Science, 88: 3833-3842
  • Rooke J.A., Ainslie A., Watt, R.G., Alink, F.M., McEvoy, T.G, Sinclair K.D., Garnsworthy P.C. and Webb R. (2009). Dietary carbohydrates and amino acids influence oocyte quality in dairy heifers Reproduction Fertility and Development, 21: 419-427

Dr John Rooke

Senior Researcher

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

Telephone: 0131 651 9348

Fax: 01315353121

E-mail: John.Rooke@sruc.ac.uk