HERD, Robert

Robert Herd

Research interests

  • Animal breeding and genetics
  • Animal physiology
  • Genetic improvement in efficiency of feed utilisation in beef cattle
  • Efficiency of feed utilisation in other livestock species.

Background

Initially trained as a zoologist before moving into animal science, Dr Herd has 30 years research experience, the last 24 years spent working to improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production.

He continues to conduct original research into genetic improvement of net feed efficiency to reduce the cost of beef production, into understanding the biological basis of variation in feed efficiency, and to develop cost effective identification of superior bulls. Dr Herd has expertise in nutrition, physiology, genetics and project management.

Qualifications

  • B.Sc.(Hon) 1977 University of New South Wales
  • M.Sc. 1981 University of New South Wales
  • Ph.D. 1983 Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Current projects

  • Improving the efficiency of feed utilisation for beef production
  • Divergent selection for feed efficiency in Angus cattle
  • Feed efficiency gene discovery and gene expression
  • Genetic impacts on maternal productivity in variable temperate environments

Recent publications

Hegarty RS, Goopy JP, Herd RM, and McCorkell (2007) Cattle selected for lower residual feed intake have reduced daily methane production. Journal of Animal Science 85:1479-1486.

Alford AR, Hegarty RS, Parnell PF, Cacho OJ, Herd RM, and Griffith GR (2006) The impact of breeding to reduce residual feed intake on enteric methane emissions from the Australian beef industry. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46:813-820.

Herd RM, Arthur PF, and Archer JA (2005) When pastures limit growth rate of steers those selected for low residual feed intake grow faster. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 16:330-333, Invited speaker.

Arthur PF, Herd RM, Wilkins JF, and Archer JA (2005) Maternal productivity of Angus cows divergently selected for postweaning residual feed intake. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45:985-993.

Moore KL, Johnston DJ, Graser H-U, and Herd RM (2005) Genetic and phenotypic relationships between insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and net feed intake, fat and growth traits in Angus beef cattle. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56:211-218.

Arthur PF, Archer JA, and Herd RM (2004) Feed intake and efficiency in beef cattle: overview of recent Australian research and challenges for the future. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44:361-369.

Channon AF, Rowe JB, and Herd RM (2004) Genetic variation in starch digestion in feedlot cattle and its association with residual feed intake. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44, 469-474.

Herd RM, Dicker RW, Lee GJ, Johnston DJ, Hammond AJ, and Oddy VH (2004) Steer growth and feed efficiency on pasture are favourable associated with genetic variation in sire net feed intake. Animal Production in Australia 25:93-96.

Herd RM, Oddy VH, and Richardson EC (2004) Biological basis for variation in residual feed intake in beef cattle. 1. Review of potential mechanisms. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44:423-430.

Richardson EC, Herd RM (2004) Biological basis for variation in residual feed intake in beef cattle. 2. Synthesis of results following divergent selection. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44:431-440.

Herd RM, Archer JA, and Arthur PF (2003) Reducing the cost of beef production through genetic improvement in residual feed intake: Opportunity and challenges to application. Journal of Animal Science 81:E9-E17.

Arthur PF, Herd RM, and Archer JA (2003) Should measures of body composition be included in the model for residual feed intake in beef cattle? Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 15:306-9.

Herd RM, Archer JA, and Arthur PF (2003) Selection for low postweaning residual feed intake improves feed efficiency of steers in the feedlot. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 15:310-313.

Professional associations and activities

  • Australian Society of Animal Production
  • Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Australian Nutrition Society
  • Royal Zoological Society of NSW

Fields of research

  • 070201 Animal Breeding

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Beef cattle
  • productivity
  • feed efficiency
  • growth rate