O'KEEFFE, Patricia

Patricia O'Keefe

Research interests

  • Grazing management and pasture-animal interactions
  • Ruminant nutrition & reproduction
  • Livestock health & production
  • Animal behaviour & welfare
  • Omega-3 content of Australian pastures
  • Emerging risks to primary industries


Patricia joined NSW DPI in 2011 as a Graduate Officer after completing a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience with Honours at the University of Sydney in 2010. In 2013, Patricia commenced working as a Development Officer in the Beef Industries Unit in Wagga Wagga until moving into the role of Research Ethics Officer within the Chief Scientist’s Branch in 2018.

In her roles as a Graduate Officer and Development Officer, she worked on extension and research projects in pasture, soil nutrient use efficiency and animal nutrition areas and conducted research looking at the livestock feed value of Australian native legumes. Patricia was also involved with developing the NSW DPI Drought Feed Calculator phone application, investigating the omega-3 content in Australian pasture species and coordinating a southern NSW pasture fed beef producer group.

As a Research Ethics Officer, Patricia was responsible for coordinating the Orange Animal Ethics Committee activities and working with NSW DPI’s researchers to ensure efficient animal ethics processes were maintained.

Patricia is currently working as a Project Officer within the Science Risk unit of the Chief Scientist’s Branch. In this role, Patricia is undertaking work on projects aimed at identifying, assessing and managing emerging risks to primary industries. The role supports and advises DPI in responding to potential issues through investigative research.


  • B.AnVetBioSc (Hons I) – University of Sydney 2010
  • Cert IV in Training and Assessment

Current projects

  • Omega-3 content of Australian pasture species
  • Identifying and assessing emerging risks to primary industries

Recent publications

O’Keeffe PA, Orchard DJ, Orchard BA, Piltz, JW, and Clayton EH. 2015.Native Australian shrub legume species may provide an alternative feed source for livestock. Animal Production Science 55: 1090-1096.

O’Keeffe PA, Ward JB, Strong J, Zhuoga X, Meyer RG, Orchard P, and Clayton EH (2018). The omega-3 content of mixed pastures and pasture species of southern New South Wales. Australian Society for Animal Production Conference 2018.

O’Keeffe PA, Ward JB, Clayton EH, and Ferrier GR (2018). Pasture quality and animal performance in a pasture-fed finishing system. Australian Society for Animal Production Conference 2018.

Fields of research

  • 070202 Animal Growth and Development
  • 070204 Animal Nutrition

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Animal nutrition
  • Pasture management
  • Pasture fed beef
  • Omega-3
  • Emerging risks

Contact details

Email: patricia.o’keeffe@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Location: Orange Head Office