Stefan Meyer

Consultant receives career grant

Callaghan Innovation recently awarded new AbacusBio consultant Stefan Meyer a grant for his work on a DairyNZ cow survival project.

The R&D Career Grant is designed to bridge the first six months of employment for new employees like Stefan, who recently graduated from the University of Otago with a PhD in Zoology.

Stefan’s work deliverable is to develop a survival trait that can be used to identify the effects of genes linked to health and immunity in dairy cows.

Health-related survival of milk producing ruminants that are selected for milk production has recently moved into the focus of the dairy industry in New Zealand, Stefan explains.

“However, these effects can be obscured by non-health related factors i.e. a cow might be culled due to low productivity, rather than a health issue like mastitis.”

Stefan and his colleagues Cheryl Quinton, Katarzyna Stachowicz, and Peter Amer carried out genetic analysis and evaluation on dairy cow survival for DairyNZ. The genetic model was then fined-tuned to better estimate the genetic effects on cow survival traits.

“Stefan’s great skillset in demographic modelling has been crucial for our development in the project,” says Katarzyna who is the project manager.

Stefan is grateful for the opportunity that the Career Grant has given him in securing a permanent job at AbacusBio.