John Crowley2

Canadian beef industry project with a touch of kiwi

John Crowley, from the University of Alberta, visited AbacusBio in February and March 2014 to conduct work pertinent to the Canadian beef industry.

Hailing from Ireland, John has been in Canada for the past three years where he works with Livestock Gentec, at the University of Alberta, as an Industry R&D Associate. Livestock Gentec is a research centre that the university set up to carry out and capitalise on world-class genomics research and deliver solutions to industry participants.

During his time at AbacusBio, John’s main focus was on developing economic selection indices tailored to Canadian beef production. He also investigated a couple of side-lines such as trying to understand the variation in sensitivity in selection for residual feed intake.

“There are three major challenges for beef production in Canada compared to New Zealand,” John said, “such as selection of the right animals when there are hugely varying environments within one country, a disjointed value chain, and sheer scale”.

While these challenges exist, John was delighted with his time at AbacusBio, and goes back to Canada with real solutions both elucidated from the specific tasks as well as “chats over coffee”. Ever the worker, John also managed to enjoy himself outside the workplace with trips to Queenstown and mountain biking in Naseby. John is set to return to Dunedin next February for ‘round two’.