PhD Researcher: Strategies to reach zero carbon sheep and beef production on Welsh farms
KESS 2 East Scholarship in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru
My PhD is investigating strategies to achieve zero carbon beef and sheep production on welsh farms. My project will use an life cycle assessment approach with the best available data to model the environmental footprint of Welsh farms and the potential pathways for achieving net zero. The modelling framework will firstly investigate methods to reduce emissions through on-farm mitigation options. This will include improving efficiency, optimising nutrition and addressing N fertiliser use, before considering the area and types of tree planting required to sequester the remaining emissions. This aims to produce a number of net zero farm typologies defined in terms of animal stocking rates, inputs and on farm sequestration. The project will evaluate the effect of these different mitigation scenarios on productivity and express results via the conventional GHG/kg liveweight, but also using novel functional units and metrics. These models will initially be explored at the farm-level but then upscaled to national level modelling for the agriculture and forestry sector. At a national level, these models will focus purely on land use and its balance and calculate the area of land available, the number of animals and their productivity versus the area of forestry to see what meeting net zero targets could mean for Wales.
Creep Feeding Beef Calves
A 6-week project with Professor Nick Jonsson involving a literature review, designing a telephone survey and creating a poster of my findings where I gained a deeper understanding of all aspects of research process. Gaining experience in using different scientific databases, referencing systems and questionnaire design.
Evaluating the Behavioural Patterns of Cattle using Behvioural and GPS Collars
A continuation of my vacation scholarship. This was a pilot feild study at Cochno Research Farm using combined behavioural data collars (which measure rumination, feeding, activity levels) and GPS units with results discussed in relation to satellite data and weather data. I evaluated cattles home ranges, daily distance travelled and distance from feeder in relation to these variables and a generalized additive model was fitted to the data. This developed workflows and data analysis methods for future studies.
G8 Thoday Building, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University