MORTIMER, Sue

Sue Mortimer

Research interests

  • Sheep genetics
  • Genetic evaluation and breeding program design
  • Genetic improvement of wool production and growth in sheep
  • Genetic improvement of fleece rot and flystrike in sheep

Background

Sue Mortimer has undertaken research in Merino sheep breeding and genetics and has supervised the research programs of many of the research flocks at Trangie Agricultural Research Centre since joining NSW Department of Primary Industries in 1985.

Her research has sought to provide accurate genetic parameter estimates for sheep traits, both measured and visually assessed, needed for including the full range of traits into industry genetic evaluation programs such as Sheep Genetics. Some of her studies were among the first ones to report on the importance of maternal effects on traits of Merino sheep.

She has had a particular interest in the genetics of fleece rot and body strike in Merino sheep and has identified that there is the potential to exploit genetic variation in fleece rot and body strike through traditional quantitative genetic selection and gene marker selection.

Qualifications

  • B.Sc. (Hons. I) – University of New South Wales 1981
  • Ph.D. – University of New South Wales 1984

Current projects

  • Genetic analyses of meat and liveweight traits of animals of the Information Nucleus Flock (Sheep Industry Innovation CRC).
  • Genetic parameters for visually assessed traits in Merino sheep.
  • Joint selection for improved fleece weight and fibre diameter in Merino sheep.
  • Genetics of fleece rot.
  • Evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of selection strategies used in Merino breeding programs.

Recent publications

Mortimer SI, Robinson DL, Atkins KD, Brien FD, Swan AA, Taylor PJ, Fogarty NM  (2009) Genetic parameters for visually assessed traits and their relationships to wool production and liveweight in Australian Merino sheep. Animal Production Science 49: 32-42.

Dixon TJ, Mortimer SI, Norris BJ (2007) 16S rRNA gene microbial analysis of the skin of fleece rot resistant and susceptible sheep. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58: 739-747.

Mortimer SI (2007) A review of genetic parameters for visual traits in Australian Merino genetic resource flocks. International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science 55 (1): 75-96.

Safari E, Fogarty NM, Gilmour AR, Atkins KD, Mortimer SI, Swan AA, Brien FD, Greeff JC, van der Werf, JHJ (2007) Across population genetic parameters for wool, growth and reproduction in Australian Merino sheep 1. Data structure and non-genetic effects. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58: 169-175.

Safari E, Fogarty NM, Gilmour AR, Atkins KD, Mortimer SI, Swan AA, Brien FD, Greeff JC, van der Werf JHJ (2007) Across population genetic parameters for wool, growth and reproduction in Australian Merino sheep 2. Estimates of heritability and variance components. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58: 177-184.

Mortimer SI, Atkins KD, Taylor PJ, Murray WK, Coelli KA (2001) Improving selection accuracy of rams and ewes in Merino breeding programs. Wool Technology and Sheep Breeding 49: 278-283.

Mortimer SI, Henshall JM, Tier B (2001) Major gene effects on resistance to body strike and fleece rot in Merino sheep revisited. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 14: 171-174.

Mortimer SI, Atkins KD, Raadsma HW (1998) Response to selection for resistance and susceptibility to fleece rot and body strike in Merino sheep. Proceedings of the 6th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production 27: 283-286.

Mortimer SI, Atkins KD (1995) Maternal effects influence growth traits of Merino sheep. Proceedings of the Australian Association of Animal Breeding and Genetics 11: 421-424.

Mortimer SI, Atkins KD, Eissen J, van Heelsum A, Burns AM, Isaac BR (1994) Effect of changing Merino ram source on average hogget production and wool quality levels and between-animal variability. Wool Technology and Sheep Breeding 42: 243-252.

Mortimer SI, Atkins KD (1989) Genetic evaluation of production traits between and within flocks of Merino sheep. I. Hogget fleece weights, body weight and wool quality. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 40: 433-443.

Mortimer SI (1987) Australian estimates of genetic parameters for wool production and wool quality traits. In "Merino Improvement Programs in Australia" (Ed. B.J.McGuirk), pp. 159-173. (Australian Wool Corporation Technical Publication, Melbourne).

Professional associations and activities

Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Fields of research

070201 Animal Breeding

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Sheep breeding
  • Genetic improvement
  • Fleece rot
  • Wool production
  • Growth

Contact details

Email: sue.mortimer@dpi.nsw.gov.au