2019 Biennial APSA Conference Speakers

Dr R. Dean Boyd - Innovation through research in the US swine industry; past, present, and future

Dr R. Dean Boyd is the former Technical Leader for the Hanor Company and Triumph Foods group (2002-2017). His team managed the Nutrition program for 90,000 sows and 2.45 million pigs. He holds adjunct Professorships in animal nutrition at North Carolina State and Iowa State Universities. Dr Boyd’s research has led to a better understanding of energy and amino acid nutrition, ingredient mitigation of disease stress on growth, and the profound life-time effects of low weaning age. His team proved that seasonal infertility could be alleviated by specific amounts of essential fatty acids. He has published more than 200 scientific papers in scholarly journals, book chapters and conference papers. He received the Animal Nutrition Research award for distinguished contributions in 2016.

Prof Carol Bagnell - Maternal programming of development and the lactocrine hypothesis

Dr Carol Bagnell, PhD is Professor of Reproductive Biology in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. She’s served as department chair and is currently Graduate Program Director in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences. Her studies, using the pig as a model, focus on improving our understanding of maternal programming of development by testing the lactocrine hypothesis. Dr Bagnell’s group defined the term ‘lactocrine’ as a means of maternal delivery of milk-borne bioactive factors into the circulation of nursing offspring. Results of her research in pigs provide compelling evidence for both short-term effects of milk-borne factors on neonatal uterine and cervical development as well as long-term consequences of lactocrine signaling on reproductive health and fertility in adulthood. Since all mammals evolved to nurse, this research in pigs has broad implications for understanding maternal contributions to postnatal reproductive tract programming in both humans and domestic animals.

Dr Clay Lents - Neuro-endocrine control of reproduction; improving productivity and reducing the impact of seasonal infertility

Dr Clay Lents is a Research Physiologist for the USDA in the Reproduction Research Unit at U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Dr Lents has a unique and diverse background ranging from neuroanatomy, endocrinology, reproductive physiology, metabolism and transcriptomics. His current research focuses on integrating information from both applied and basic research to discover key mechanisms controlling growth and reproduction, which is used to develop approaches to improve reproductive development, performance and lifetime productivity of gilts.

Prof Mike Tokach - Nutrient requirements, with an emphasis on amino acid requirements, of the modern high-producing lactating sow

Named among the 50 people who have made the greatest impact in the US swine industry in the last 50 years, Mike Tokach, professor of animal sciences and industry, is a swine nutrition researcher and extension specialist at Kansas State University. Mike joined K-State in 1991. In 2013, he earned the title of university distinguished professor. He is the author of more than 310 articles in scientific journals, eight book chapters and more than 1,000 extension and non-refereed articles. Mike has received more than $18 million in research grants and gifts. He also has been awarded seven patents for his research, and has given more than 300 invited lectures at national and international conferences. Mike has also advised and mentored over 100 advanced-degree students and visiting professors since joining the university.

Dr Steve Little - Importance of water quality, with a focus on pharmacokinetics

Dr Kristy DiGiacomo - Insect meal as an alternative feed source for pigs

Dr Kristy DiGiacomo graduated with a Bachelor of Animal Science and Management (Honours) from The University of Melbourne. Kristy then received her PhD from The University of Melbourne examining the physiological and metabolic responses to heat and dietary betaine in ruminants, under the guidance of Prof Frank Dunshea and Prof Brian Leury. Kristy is a lecturer in production animal nutrition and physiology at The University of Melbourne and is a Veski sustainable agriculture fellow. Her research involves a variety of species and focuses on livestock nutrition, physiology and adaptation to the external environment. Kristy’s current research includes investigating the sustainable production of protein sources for animal feed.

Prof Robyn Warner - Alternative protein types for human consumption

Prof Mark Hutchinson - Technology and innovation: What’s out there and what might be possible?

Professor Mark Hutchinson is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), a Professor within the Adelaide Medical School, and an ARC Future Fellow at the University of Adelaide. Mark returned to the University of Adelaide in 2009 as an NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow, and established the Neuroimmunopharmacology research laboratory. From 2005 to 2009 Mark worked in the world leading laboratory of Prof Linda Watkins in the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here he pioneered with Prof Watkins the research which has led to the discovery of novel drug activity at innate immune receptors. Mark’s research has implicated the brain immune-like cells in the action of drugs of dependence and the negative side effects of pain treatments. His work has enabled the translation of compounds at the lab bench to clinical agents used at the bedside. Mark has published over 160 papers in journals and refereed conference proceedings.

Asst Prof Tomas Norton - Technology and innovation: Precision livestock technologies for the pork industry

Tomas Norton is a nominated Assistant Professor in Precision Livestock Farming (PLF). He is based in the Division of Animal and Human and Health Engineering (group of M3-BIORES) at the KU Leuven. He holds a PhD in Biosystems Engineering from University College Dublin (Ireland). His current research focus is on PLF applications, focussing on real-time modelling and control of animal bio-responses. He is PI and co-PI on collaborative national and international projects funded by the Belgium government, EU-H2020 and USDA. He is coordinator of courses on Measuring, Modelling and Managing Bio-responses and Sustainable PLF, and Animal Production Engineering at the KU Leuven. Since 2018 Tomas has been a member of the Flemish scientific team on air emissions from livestock buildings, Chair of Section 2 of International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) and a member of the CIGR executive board.

Mr Chris Piotrowski - Technology and innovation: NIR handheld technology/miniaturisation

Chris Piotrowski is currently a Director at Aunir, a leading NIR calibration development company and part of AB Vista. Chris has been working in the feed industry for 40 years. An Analytical Chemist by training, Chris introduced the first NIR network in the UK in the 1980’s. Chris now leads the technical development of Near Infrared calibrations and applications at Aunir and has been instrumental in bringing innovative on-farm NIR applications to the animal nutrition market. Chris is widely recognised globally for his contribution to the development of NIR calibrations for agricultural applications, including many novel applications based on animal in-vivo studies.