Federal Council is charged with managing the national affairs and business of AAAS.
Members of the AAAS Federal Council
Michael is a lecturer in Farming Systems (with a focus on Meat Science and Ruminant Production) at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. He completed his PhD in Dairy Farm Systems (USyd) and has an MBA (UNE) and BScAgr (USyd). Michael has a strong interest in commercial agricultural production and has previously managed a fully integrated cattle operation in Papua New Guinea, worked in rural banking and as a beef cattle extension officer for the NSW DPI. Michael has also worked as a consultant on farm business benchmarking projects. Michael is a member of the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition committee and Federal Council of AAAS.
Di is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO in Brisbane and Past President of the AAAS Qld & NT Branch. She has a BSc (Agriculture) and PhD in ruminant nutrition, both from the University of Western Australia.
Di’s research combines experimental and modelling approaches to evaluate how changes to livestock production systems (from alternative feeding systems to changing climates) impact productivity, farmer livelihoods and the environment. She has 10-years experience working in developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.
Di has worked on sheep, beef and dairy production systems in Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, China, India and Tanzania.
Sue is the Director of Makin Outcomes, an independent research and development consultancy specialising in applied sheep genetics, reproduction and fibre metrology. Sue was recently made a fellow of the Australian Society of Animal Production and is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at CSU. Sue was previously Principal Research Scientist with NSW DPI in Orange and has 26 years of experience in scientific research and a proven track record of effective extension of research results to industry. Her research interests are diverse and include genetic improvement of wool production, wool quality and reproductive performance, wool processing, wool metrology and fibre identification, breeding ewe management, lamb and weaner survival and physiological and behavioural responses of sheep to wild dog predation.
Stephanie Muir is a research scientist with Agriculture Victoria Research based in Hamilton, Victoria Stephanie is a graduate from the University of Melbourne, completing both a B Ag Sci (Hons) and a PhD at this institution. Her current research work involves feed intake, feed efficiency and methane emissions in sheep, however she has cross industry interests, having conducted research on beef and dairy cattle and as part of grazing systems experiments.
Michael completed a BSc (Hons - Wool and Pastoral Science) at University of NSW (UNSW), before undertaking a PhD in ruminant nutrition at UNSW.
Michael has held lecturing positions in Animal Production at the University of Tasmania and Charles Sturt University, as well as brief research secondments at the Scottish Agricultural College, James Hutton Institute and Utah State University. He was promoted to Professor in 2018, and appointed as Director at the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation in 2015, before accepting the role of Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2019.
Although Michael’s training is in ruminant nutrition, he has been actively involved in research projects ranging from nutrition, both ruminant and monogastric, to farming systems research. He is passionate advocate for animal science, having been actively involved in AAAS (and ASAP) for over a decade, prior to being elected President in 2018.
Northern NSW Branch Representative
Fran is a ruminant nutritionist and Lecturer in Livestock Production in the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England in Armidale. Her research interests range from the systems level of livestock production down to the metabolic level, studying the actions and interactions of nutrients with ruminant physiology. Fran completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, studying the effects of nutrition and heat stress on the physiology of dairy cattle, and how those factors affected the synthesis of milk protein. She has conducted research on sheep, dairy and beef cattle, in grazing and grain-fed systems.
Fran has extensive experience in agricultural research in South East Asia. Fran has worked on research for development projects in ruminant livestock systems in Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar. In these projects she has lead a variety of research activities associated with animal nutrition, cattle growth paths, and village-based beef production systems and livelihoods research.
WA Branch Representative
Sarah Blumer works as a research officer at Murdoch University based in Perth, Western Australia. Her PhD work examined the mitigation of liveweight loss in adult ewes during summer and autumn in Mediterranean farming climates. Current research work includes: Managing Mums with Multiples, Lifetime Maternals, and the Merino Lifetime Productivity Genetic Evaluation: Systems Efficiency & Profit (GEPEP). Sarah’s main areas of interest are composition, feed efficiency and the value of fat in the adult ewe flock, and translating experimental results to value in the field.
Southern NSW Branch Representative
Amy is a current PhD student at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Her research is focussed on ewe nutritional management guidelines, especially at joining, and the subsequent impact on reproductive outcomes. Amy will achieve this through the collection of body condition score and pregnancy scanning data across NSW, VIC and SA, a survey conducted with participating producers and AusFarm modelling. This will assist in determining the impact of ewe breed, season of joining, region and reproductive response to improved condition on enterprise gross margins. Prior to commencing her PhD in 2020, Amy worked in a range of industries including poultry, red meat and animal pharmaceuticals. Originating from South Australia, Amy completed a BSc (Animal Science) (Hons I) at the University of Adelaide in 2016 in which she explored abalone nutrition. Amy is currently the southern NSW branch secretary and branch representative to the Federal Council.
Luis Prada e Silva
Queensland & NT Branch Representative
Luis is a graduate of the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brasil (agronomic engineering), B Sc, has a Master of Science degree from the same university (animal science and pastures), and a PhD from Michigan State University (animal science). Before being appointed as Senior Research Fellow of QAAFI in January 2017, he was an Associated Professor at the Veterinary Medicine School at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he taught classes in Ruminant Nutrition, Biochemistry and Pasture Management and Conservation. Dr Silva’s main interest is beef cattle nutrition and has worked with different disciplines such as ruminant nutrition, ruminant physiology, rumen microbiology, ruminant reproduction, forage management, molecular biology, and economics of cattle production systems to improve cattle productivity. He is President of the AAAS Queensland and NT Branch.
SA Branch Representative
Mariana is a Lecturer in Animal Nutrition & Metabolism in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide. She is also a staff member of Davies Livestock Research Centre. Her research interests relate to ruminant nutrition, metabolism and nutrient requirements as a means to enhance animals’ welfare and productivity under different farm systems and environments. Recently, she have expanded her interests into the area of foetal programming and development and how maternal nutrition influences survival and production of their progeny. She completed her BSc in Animal Science at Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. She then completed her MSc and PhD in Animal Science and Pastures at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. During her PhD she spent one semester at Kansas State University as a visiting PhD candidate. Mariana is currently the South Australian Vice-President and the branch representative to the Federal Council.
Victoria & Tasmania Branch Representative
Frank Dunshea is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and the Chair of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne and has had a research career spanning over 35 years in farm animal and biomedical research. His main areas of expertise are in growth physiology and nutrition and understanding the interactions between the animal and the animal’s environment. Professor Dunshea is a respected research leader in the pork and other animal industries in Australia including the Beef, Dairy and Sheep industries. Professor Dunshea is committed to ensuring that all animal industries operate in a responsible and sustainable manner and much of his work has focussed on improving efficiency through reducing inputs and outputs while maintaining product quality and consumer health. Current projects include looking at how to increase the value of grains, such as barley, wheat and sorghum, for livestock; the production of agricultural products to improve the health and eating experiences of consumers, regulation of growth and development of farm animals, animals as models of metabolic syndrome, animal and human nutrition and the effect of heat stress on health, welfare and productivity of farm animals. He is a Fellow of the Australian Association of Animal Sciences (AAAS), Australian Nutrition Society (NSA) and the Australasian Pig Science Association (APSA) as well as a former Chair of the Australian Academy of Science Committee for Nutrition. He has received a number of awards including the inaugural NSA Research Award (1994), the Daniel McAlpine Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovation in Agricultural Research (2004), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Growth and Development Award (2009), the ASAS Non-ruminant Nutrition Award (2013) and the ASAS Meat Science Award (2017).