EAAP + WAAP + Interbull Congress 2023, Lyon

As starting point of this report, I would like to express the gratitude to AAAS and Dr Sarah Meale for allowing me to participate in this worldwide Animal Science conference which the total assistance was around 2,000 people.

In the first day of this experience, I have the opportunity to attend WAAP session which was focus on livestock impact on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, strategies to measure enteric methane by Food and agriculture organization (FAO), alternatives method to inhibit enteric methane emissions (i.e genetic control, supplementation of feed additives on early-life interventions) and transformation of cattle production systems (i.e Sylvopastoral and agroecology) into a more sustainable focusing on   promoting cattle production intensification and reduction of negative impacts on land and wildlife. At the end of this session, I realised that livestock industry is making enormous efforts to inhibit methane emissions and becoming into a carbon neutral. However, I also observed that industry and researchers are still evaluating and investing in anti-methanogenic alternatives or sustainable production systems which haven’t shown promising outputs.

In the second day, the conference had multiple sessions covering non-sustainable related areas on cattle and monogastric production systems. On that day, I decided to learn more about enteric methane mitigation (e.g breeding selection and genomic markers) and alternatives to measure methane (e.g. milk-infrared spectra, GreenFeed and sniffer) but just focusing on intensive and not extensive cattle production systems, in which in my opinion, Australian researchers have important knowledge to contribute to this discussion. At the end of this conference day, I had the great opportunity to meet worldwide researchers and shared my project research with them.

On the third day, the main topic continued to be sustainability but focusing on the greatest environmental and land use challenges for livestock industry. This session was interesting as showed that increasing livestock production land is not a feasible option to meet future meat demand and contribute on food security or sovereignty.

In the fourth day, I had the opportunity to present my poster related with the development and evaluation of greenfeed protocols to promote cattle visitation, allowing to obtain more reliable methane data. I was amazed to observe the number of researchers that have difficulties with greenfeed visitation, and how our experience and protocol recommendation would be considered on experiments located in different countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Norway, and The United States of America. This experience was quite enriched as a PhD student and possible researcher, and I hope my outputs presented in the poster can be used as baseline for other researchers in the future.

For the last day, I continued attending presentations regarding alternatives to inhibit methane on beef cattle. Interesting, most of these alternatives (i.e. brown seaweed, flaxseed-based supplement and whey) did not reduced methane emissions. With these presentations, I remembered Dr McAllister comment about the necessity to understand the basics of methanogenesis reactions to develop efficient anti-methanogenic alternatives for Australian livestock industry.

Attending this conference allowed me to meet great researchers around the world, shared my research and strength my professional relation with my supervisor which for me is fundamental for my PhD journey and future academic career. I strongly believe that AAAS travel grant scholarship would contribute considerably on the development of my academic career, and it is great to evidence that AAAS is also interested to give opportunities to international students on attending and participating in conferences within Australia and overseas.