McPHEE, Malcolm

Malcolm McPhee

Research interests

  • Animal systems modelling
  • Decision support tools
  • Phenotypic prediction of carcass characteristics in beef cattle
  • Fat deposition modelling in beef cattle
  • Statistical techniques in building mathematical models
  • Meeting market specifications in beef cattle
  • 3D cameras in assessing beef cattle

Background

Malcolm McPhee obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science (Mathematics) from the University of Technology Sydney (1982), Master of Statistics from University of Wollongong (1995) and PhD in Nutritional Biology majoring in Animal Systems Modelling from the University of California, Davis, USA (2006). He has worked for NSW DPI for 25 years and is currently in the beef production unit, Armidale.

Malcolm has led a team of extension staff and researchers to develop a Northern Tablelands version of SheepO, ProPlus a fodder budgeting package for ProGraze courses and a drought workshop titled StockPlan that includes 3 decision support tools (Drought Pack, FSA Pack, and ImPack).

More recently Malcolm has led a team researching fat deposition in beef cattle which has led to the development of the BeefSpecs Fat Calculator, BeefSpecs Drafting Tool and BeefSpecs optimisation tools for feedlots and pasture based systems. The fat deposition research has also led to the development of a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney in using 3D camera technology to assess P8 fat and muscle score in cattle.

Malcolm has also led an international team to integrate sheep and beef rumen models into a whole-farm system to evaluate methane mitigation strategies.

Malcolm currently supervises one overseas PhD student and one honours student. Malcolm is an active member of the International Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia (MODSIM) and co-leads the Biological Systems Stream and has a long association with the Agricultural Systems session. He is an Adjunct Lecturer with the University of New England, Armidale, Australia and has published over 150 scientific papers.

In March 2016 Malcolm and the BeefSpecs team received a DPI NSW Farmers industry active award in recognition for outstanding contribution to DPI.

Qualifications

  • B.App.Sc. (Mathematics) - University of Technology NSW (1982)
  • M.E.C. (Mechanical) - Sydney Technical College NSW (1982)
  • M.Stat. (Masters of Statistics) - University of Wollongong NSW (1995)
  • PhD. Nutritional Biology. University of California, Davis, USA (2006)

Current projects

  • 3D imaging for phenotypic trait estimation of beef and sheep carcasses
  • Feasibility study of BeefSpecs optimisation model to ACC feedlot (Stage 1.)
  • Enhancing the BeefSpecs system for improving market compliance of pasture-fed beef in southern Australia.
  • Portable on-farm 3D imaging equipment
  • On-farm 3D camera system to assess traits in Angus cattle at feedlot entry
  • Phenotypic prediction of live beef cattle assessment.
  • Estimating Intramuscular fat from CT images

Recent publications

Dougherty H.C., E. Kebreab, M. Evered, B.A. Little, A.B. Ingham, R.S. Hegarty, D. Pacheco, and M.J. McPhee. (2016) Overview of the Methane Prediction Module in the AusBeef Rumen Model. California Animal Nutrition Conference

Pacheco D., M. Evered, B.A. Little, A.B. Ingham, E. Kebreab, H.C. Dougherty, R.S. Hegarty, & M.J. McPhee (2016). Evaluation of AusBeef Methane Predictions from Beef Cattle. (GGAA conference).

Villar L., R.S. Hegarty, D. Ebert, R. Woodgate, I.R. Godwin, J.V. Nolan and M.J. McPhee (2016). Nitrate and canola oil are synergistic in reducing methanogenesis in cattle. Australian Society of Animal Production, Adelaide, NSW.

Wilkins JF, McKiernan WA, Walmsley BJ, McPhee M.J. (2015). Automated data capture using laser technology to enhance live cattle assessment and description. Australian Farm Business Management Journal, 12: 70-77.

Greenwood P. L., J.P. Siddell, B.J. Walmsley, G. H. Geesink, D. W. Pethick and M. J. McPhee. (2015) Post-weaning substitution of grazed forage with a high-energy concentrate has variable long-term effects on subcutaneous fat and marbling in Bos taurus genotypes. Journal of Animal Science. 93:4132–4143

McPhee M. J., B. J. Walmsley, A. Blakely, H. Smith, L. M. Cafe, J. P. Siddel and V. H. Oddy (2015). CT scanning of beef cattle primals to develop a carcass yield model. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, (2015).

Walmsley B.J., M.J. McPhee and V.H. Oddy (2014). Development of the BeefSpecs fat calculator to assist decision making to increase compliance rates with beef carcass specifications. Animal Production Science special issue of the 8th International Workshop on Modelling Nutrient Digestion & Utilization in Farm Animals. 54: 2003-2010

McPhee M.J., B.J. Walmsley, D.G. Mayer, and V.H. Oddy. (2014). BeefSpecs fat calculator to assist decision making to increase compliance rates with beef carcass specifications: evaluation of inputs and outputs. Animal Production Science special issue of the 8th International Workshop on Modelling Nutrient Digestion & Utilization in Farm Animals. 54: 2011-2017

McPhee M.J., M.B. Whelan, B.L. Davies, G.P. Meaker, P. Graham, P.M.Carberry (2013). StockPlan - exploring management options before dry spells and in drought: 1. Development and Description. Natural Sciences Education 42:160-172. doi:10.4195/nse.2012.00003 https://www.agronomy.org/publications/nse/pdfs/42/1/160 (PDF, 955 KB)

Whelan M.B., B.L. Davies, G.P. Meaker, P. Graham, P.M.Carberryand M.J. McPhee (2013). StockPlan - exploring management options before dry spells and in drought: 2. Case Studies using Drought Pack, FSA Pack, and ImPack. Natural Sciences Education 42:173-178. doi:10.4195/nse.2012.00004 https://www.agronomy.org/publications/nse/pdfs/42/1/173 (PDF, 651 KB)

Mayer D.G., B.J. Walmsley, M.J. McPhee, V.H. Oddy, J.F. Wilkins, B.P. Kinghorn, R.C. Dobos and W.A. McKiernan (2013). Integrating stochasticity into the objective function avoids Monte Carlo computation in the optimisation of beef feedlots Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 91: 30-34

Walmsley B.J., D.G. Mayer and M.J. McPhee. (2013) What impact do producer measured inputs have on the prediction accuracy of BeefSpecs? In Piantadosi, J., Anderssen, R.S. and Boland J. (eds) MODSIM2013, 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2013, pp. 649-655. ISBN: 978-0-9872143-3-1. www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2013/B2/walmsley.pdf

Laurenson, Y.C.S.M., Walmsley, B.J., Oddy, V.H., Greenwood, P.L. and McPhee, M.J. (2013) Modelling trimmed fat from commercial primal cuts. In Piantadosi, J., Anderssen, R.S. and Boland J. (eds) MODSIM2013, 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2013, pp. 600-606. ISBN: 978-0-9872143-3-1. www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2013/B2/laurenson.pdf

Walmsley, B.J., Kinghorn, B.P., Oddy, V.H., McPhee, M.J., McKiernan, W.A. (2013) A preliminary evaluation of a method for incorporating genetic information into phenotypic prediction models. In 'Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breedings and Genetics. Napier, New Zealand', 20-23 October. Volume 20 pp. 527-530.

Professional associations and activities

  • International Modelling and Simulation Society (MODSIM).
  • Australian Society of Animal Production (ASAP).
  • American Society of Animal Science (ASAS).

Fields of research

  • 070203 Animal Management
  • 070202 Animal Growth and Development
  • 010202 Biological Mathematics

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Animal systems modelling
  • Animal growth
  • Decision support tools
  • Fat deposition
  • 3D cameras
  • Phenotypic prediction
  • Methane mitigation strategies

Contact details

Email: malcolm.mcphee@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Location: NSW DPI Beef Industry Centre