MORTIMER, Sue

Sue Mortimer

Research interests

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

Background

Sue Mortimer is currently a research scientist. She 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 applied quantitative genetics to sheep breeding, particularly by estimating genetic parameters for economically important traits of sheep for use in genetic evaluation and breeding program design for ram breeding flocks, aimed at improving the profitability of sheep production enterprises.  Her research program has included: the genetics of sheep meat production and quality, particularly the relationships those traits with wool production and quality traits in the Merino breed; the role of post weaner fleece traits in Merino breeding programs; genetics of flystrike in non-seasonal rainfall environments; and  genetic benchmarking  of Merinos using industry data (central test sire evaluation, wether trials).

Her involvement in central test sire evaluation has continued with the establishment of the Merino Lifetime Productivity site at Trangie.  With these programs and earlier projects involving the QPLU$ selection lines and other resource flocks at Trangie, Sue has extensive experience in genetic analyses. She is an Associate Editor for the journal, Animal Production Science.

Qualifications

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

Current projects

  • Genetics of Merino meat value and lifetime performance.
  • Merino Lifetime Productivity Project (MLP) 5th Site.
  • Merino Bloodline Performance.
  • MLP 5th site young wether fleece traits.
  • Joint selection for improved fleece weight and fibre diameter in Merino sheep.
  • Genetic analyses of meat and liveweight traits of animals of the Information Nucleus Flock.

Recent publications

Mortimer, S.I., N. M. Fogarty, J. H. J. van der Werf, D. J. Brown, A. A. Swan, R. H. Jacob, G. H. Geesink, D. L. Hopkins, J. E. Hocking Edwards, E. N. Ponnampalam, R.D. Warner, K. L. Pearce, and D. W. Pethick. 2018. Genetic correlations between meat quality traits and growth and carcass traits in Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science 96: 3582-3598.

Mortimer, S.I., S. Hatcher, N. M. Fogarty, J. H. J. van der Werf, D. J. Brown, A. A. Swan, R. H. Jacob, G. H. Geesink, D. L. Hopkins, J. E. Hocking Edwards, E. N. Ponnampalam, R.D. Warner, K. L. Pearce, and D. W. Pethick. 2017b. Genetic correlations between wool traits and meat quality traits in Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science 95: 4260-4273.

Mortimer, S.I., S. Hatcher, N. M. Fogarty, J. H. J. van der Werf, D. J. Brown, A. A. Swan, R. H. Jacob, G. H. Geesink, D. L. Hopkins, J. E. Hocking Edwards, E. N. Ponnampalam, K. L. Pearce, and D. W. Pethick. 2017b. Genetic correlations between wool traits and carcass traits in Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science 95: 2385-2398.

Mortimer, S.I., S. Hatcher, N. M. Fogarty, J. H. J. van der Werf, D. J. Brown, A. A. Swan, J. C. Greeff, G. Refshauge, J. E. Hocking Edwards, and G. Gaunt. 2017a. Genetic parameters for wool traits, live weight, and ultrasound carcass traits in Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science 95: 1879-1891.

Hopkins, D.L., and S.I.Mortimer. 2014. Effect of genotype, gender and age on sheep meat quality and a case study illustrating integration of knowledge. Meat Science 98: 544-555.

Mortimer, S.I., J. H. J. van der Werf, R. H. Jacob, D. L. Hopkins., L. Pannier, K.L. Pearce, G.E. Gardner, R.D. Warner, G.H. Geesink, J. E. Hocking Edw, E. N. Ponnampalam., A.J. Ball, A.R. Gilmour, and D.W. Pethick. 2014. Genetic parameters for meat quality traits of Australian lamb meat. Meat Science 96 (2 Part B): 1016-1024.

Ponnampalam, E.N., K.L. Butler, K.L. Pearce, S.I. Mortimer, D.W. Pethick, A.J. Ball, and D. L. Hopkins. 2014. Sources of variation of health claimable long chain omega-3 fatty acids in meat from Australian lamb slaughtered at similar weights. Meat Science 96 (2 Part B): 1095-1103.

Walkom, S.F., F.D. Brien, M.L. Hebart, S.I. Mortimer, and W.S. Pitchford. 2014. Season and reproductive cycle rather than genetic factors influence change in ewe weight and fat over time. 3. Analysis of Merino ewes. Animal Production Science 54: 821-830.

Professional associations and activities

  • Member Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics.
  • Member American Society of Animal Science.
  • Associate Editor – Animal Production Science

Fields of research

070201 Animal Breeding

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Animal breeding
  • Genetic improvement
  • Wool production
  • Meat production
  • Meat quality
  • Flystrike

Contact details

Email: sue.mortimer@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Phone: (02) 6770 1836
Location: Armidale Livestock Industries Centre, JSF Barker Building, Trevenna Road, University of New England.