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& CQUniversity

CQUniversity’s Precision Livestock Management (PLM) team is recognised as the national leader in the field of tropical livestock research. 


Located in the heart of the tropical beef industry, our research team is headquartered in the Beef Capital Rockhampton, with access to state of the art laboratory facilities as well as the renowned Belmont Research Station for field trials.


With strong links to industry, and producer participation in our trials, our research program is highly relevant to to industry needs and focussed on delivering practical solutions to the challenges producers face.

Our area of speciality is the use of cutting edge technology to automatically gather phenotypic data such as animal liveweight, pregnancy status and parentage, as well as improve the understanding of animal behaviours, all with a view to improving on-farm profitability and productivity.


Data gathered by CQUniversity’s PLM program is already supporting the cattle industry’s genetic research, assisting in the identification of animals which are more productive and fertile.


And through DataMuster, producers can make more informed management decisions, such as quickly and easily identifying animals ready for market or those which may have health problems. The system has been shown to reduce on-farm labour costs by automatically monitoring animal growth rates and access to water. 

Our PLM team members are also supporting the long-term development of the industry by sharing their knowledge with students enrolled in CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Agriculture.

This course is unique in its combination of higher education, vocational training, research engagement and industry extension, and has been designed to provide students with the right mix of practical, skills-based training and exposure to the latest research and technology.

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Meet the team

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Dave Swain

Dave is the inventor DataMuster and leads the CQU PLM research team. He has expertise in software solutions that use behavioural algorithms to derive automated performance data.

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Mark Trotter

Mark has been working on the next generation of cattle tracking technologies and is focussed on automatically identifying sick animals and linking this to improved welfare outcomes.

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Lauren Williams

Lauren is just completing her PhD which has developed a new method to measure water intake in rangeland cattle production systems.

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Chris O'Neill

Chris has extensive experience in using technology to understand the links between social behaviour, reproduction and the implications for genetic selection in tropically adapted cattle.


Thomas Williams

Thomas has a background in animal health and an interest in farm systems management, extension, and the use of remotely acquired data for decision support.

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Michael Thomson

Michael delivers Communications & Engagement activities for the PLM team, drawing on his ag media and PR background to ensure our research reaches producers and industry.

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Hannah Jasperson

Hannah is our Research Extension Officer, focused on connecting DataMuster with more producers and their herds. Hannah's role is in sharing information, and working with producers in setting up walk-over-weigh hardware on farm and connecting producer feedback to our development team.


Anita Chang

Anita works on interpreting and processing the data generated from the walk-over-weigh systems to deliver real-time information to producers.

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