Paul Arthur

Research interests

  • Animal breeding and genetics
  • Genetic improvement in efficiency of feed utilisation in livestock
  • Genetic improvement in greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle
  • Breeding systems design in beef cattle
  • Growth and development in livestock.


Paul Arthur is currently Senior Principal Research Scientist, and Leader – Genetics of the Extensive Livestock Industries Unit of NSW Department of Primary Industries. He has held various senior scientific leadership roles within and outside of the Department, the most recent being the Director of NSW DPI’s largest research centre, providing scientific leadership for the centre’s research, diagnostics and advisory effort.

Paul joined the Department in 1991 as a research scientist and has undertaken research in beef cattle breeding and genetics, and in livestock growth and development. He has over 30 years scientific research experience in Ghana, Canada and Australia, and has written over 250 scientific papers, more than half of which are peer-reviewed publications.

His R&D work has been recognised with a Public Service Medal (PSM) for “Outstanding public service in the field of animal breeding and genetics” as part of the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours and Awards. His research group (The cattle Methane Team) was also one of the three finalists for the prestigious Australian Museum 2013 Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture. He has just completed a 3-year term as Section Editor for the Journal of Animal Science.


  • B.Sc. (Agric) – University of Ghana 1977
  • M.Sc. Animal Breeding and Genetics – University of Alberta (Canada) 1982
  • PhD Animal Genetics – University of Alberta (Canada) 1990

Current projects

  • Improving the efficiency of feed utilisation for beef production
  • Genetic improvement of cattle for reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Divergent selection for feed efficiency and for methane in cattle
  • Gene discovery and expression for feed efficiency and methane

Recent publications

Arthur P.F., K.A. Donoghue, T. Bird-Gardiner, R.M. Herd, and R.S. Hegarty. 2018. Effect of measurement duration in respiration chambers on methane traits of beef cattle. Animal Production Science 58: 1006-1010.

Arthur, P.F., T. Bird-Gardiner, I.M. Barchia, K.A. Donoghue, and R.M. Herd.  2018. Relationships among carbon dioxide, feed intake and feed efficiency traits in ad libitum fed beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 96:4859–4867. doi:10.1093/jas/sky308.

Herd, R.M., P.F. Arthur, C.D.K. Bottema, A.R. Egarr, G.H. Geesink, D.S. Lines, S. Piper, J.P. Siddell, J.M. Thompson and W.S. Pitchford. 2018. Genetic divergence in residual feed intake affects growth, feed efficiency, carcass and meat quality characteristics of Angus steers in a large commercial feedlot. Animal Production Science 58: 164-174.

Arthur, P.F., I.M. Barchia, C. Weber, T. Bird-Gardiner, K.A. Donoghue, R.M. Herd, and R.S. Hegarty. 2017. Optimizing test procedures for estimating daily methane and carbon dioxide emissions in cattle using short-term breath measures. Journal of Animal Science 95:645-656 doi: 10.2527/jas2016.0990.

Bird-Gardiner, T., P.F. Arthur, I.M. Barchia, K.A. Donoghue, and R.M. Herd. 2017. Phenotypic relationships among methane production traits assessed under ad libitum feeding of beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 95: 4391-4398 doi: 10.2527/jas2017.1477.

Andrews, T., R. Herd, D. Robinson and P. Arthur. 2017. New South Wales cattle producers sceptical about reducing methane emissions from their cattle. Australian Farm Business Management Journal. 14: 63-70.

Al-Husseini W., Y. Chen, C. Gondro, R.M. Herd, J.P. Gibson and P.F. Arthur. 2016. Characterization and profiling of liver microRNAs by RNA-sequencing in cattle divergently selected for residual feed intake. Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Science 29: 1371-1382.

Donoghue, K.A., T. Bird-Gardiner, P.F. Arthur, R.M. Herd, and R.S. Hegarty. 2016. Genetic and phenotypic variance and covariance components for methane emission and postweaning traits in Angus cattle. Journal of Animal Science 94: 1438-1445.

Donoghue, K.A., T. Bird-Gardiner, P.F. Arthur, R.M. Herd, and R.S. Hegarty. 2016. Repeatability of methane emission measurements in Australian beef cattle. Animal Production Science 56: 213-217.

Hayes, B.J., K.A. Donoghue, C.M. Reich, B.A. Mason, T. Bird-Gardiner, R.M. Herd and P.F. Arthur. 2016. Genomic heritabilities and genomic estimated breeding values for methane traits in Angus cattle. Journal of Animal Science 94:902-908.

Herd R.M., J.I. Velazco, P.F. Arthur, and R.F. Hegarty. 2016. Associations among methane emission traits measured in the feedlot and in respiration chambers in Angus cattle bred to vary in feed efficiency. Journal of Animal Science 94: 4882-4891. doi: 10.2527/jas.2016-0613

Herd, R.M., J.I. Velazco, P.F. Arthur, and R.S. Hegarty. 2016. Proxies to adjust methane production rate of beef cattle when the quantity of feed consumed is unknown. Animal Production Science 56: 213-217.

Manzanilla-Pech, C.I.V., Y. De Haas, B.J. Hayes, R.F. Veerkamp, M. Khansefid, K.A. Donoghue, P.F. Arthur, J. E. Pryce. 2016. Genome-wide association study of methane emissions in Angus beef cattle with validation in dairy cattle. Journal of Animal Science 94: 4151-4166.

Herd, R.M., P.F. Arthur, K.A. Donoghue, S.H. Bird, T. Bird-Gardiner and R.S. Hegarty. 2014. Measures of methane production and their phenotypic relationships with dry matter intake, growth, and body composition traits in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 92: 5267-5274.

For full list of publications please refer to Google Scholar page:

Professional associations and activities

  • Member American Society of Animal Science
  • Member Australian Society of Animal Production
  • Member Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics

Fields of research

  • 070201 Animal Breeding
  • 070202 Animal Growth and Development

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Animal genomics
  • Animal breeding
  • Animal husbandry
  • Animal growth and development

Contact details

Phone: (02) 4640 6390
Location: Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle