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.
Meet the team
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.
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.
Lauren is just completing her PhD which has developed a new method to measure water intake in rangeland cattle production systems.
Kym is working as a post-doc doing research on how measures of social behaviour link to physiological state. In particular how social network analysis can be used to determine links between production and welfare.
Don has recently completed his PhD looking at using walk-over-weighing and radiolocation technology to determine fertility measures in cattle.
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.
Julie-Ann’s research will provide graziers and land management groups with a better understanding of how cattle use off-stream watering points and if any relationships exist between off-stream watering point visitation, water consumption and environmental factors.
Jaime is currently working on a project to improve the accuracy of tracking technologies. Her PhD investigates
heterogeneity in pasture systems, and how it affects cattle production, paddock utilisation and behaviour using livestock tracking and pasture sensor technologies.
Chris is coming to the end of his PhD and has been exploring links between social behaviour, reproduction and the implications for genetic selection in tropically adapted cattle.
Nick has a special interest in linking automatic measures of cattle performance to genetic improvement programs.
Nev is undertaking a PhD investigating near infrared spectra pattern recognition potential for grain processing in feedlot diet manufacture.