Teagasc appoints new head of animal and grassland research

TEAGASC is bringing its ruminant animal and grassland research programme into a single centre as part of its change programme.

Dr Pat Dillon has been appointed head of the new Animal Production and Grassland Research Centre. He took up the post yesterday.

The aim is to create a powerful unit with the critical mass to deliver significant benefit to the Irish agri-food sector and be internationally competitive in scientific terms.

It will encompass the work being carried out at existing locations at Moorepark, Grange, Athenry and the Animal Bioscience Department, as well as the grass breeding programme currently located at Oak Park.

A set of cross-site departments will be established to implement the research programme in key focus areas such as grassland, dairy, beef and sheep production and animal bioscience.

Dr Dillon will play a key role in setting up the centre and providing leadership, strategic management and direction, ensuring integration in the research programme across the different sites, and building effective linkage between the animal bioscience and applied research programmes.

Teagasc director, Professor Gerry Boyle said it is determined to build on its dairy, beef, sheep and grassland programmes that have run in its research centres for many years.

“Led by Pat, our researchers will work closely with the advisory service, industry and through national and international research networks, to generate and apply new knowledge to develop the Irish animal production industry.

“This new integrated centre will ensure we lever maximum benefit from new knowledge generated across all sectors of the industry,” he said.

Dr Dillon graduated from University College Dublin with a BAgSc in 1986 and went on to complete his PhD in grassland science in UCC. He joined research staff at Moorepark in 1990, and has been head of centre since 2004.

His work on grassland management, low-cost production systems and dairy cow genetics has made a significant contribution to the development of the dairy industry in Ireland.

Dr Dillon’s research has been published in over 90 peer reviewed papers, and has also published numerous technical articles and addressed many national and international scientific and industry conferences.


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