HoloRuminant’s People: Richard Dewhurst!

Hi! I’m Richard Dewhurst, Professor of Ruminant Nutrition & Production Systems and the Head of the Dairy Research Centre at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). I joined SRUC in 2013 and previously led research units in Wales, New Zealand, and Ireland. I sometimes describe my career as a tour of the English-speaking world! I received the Sir John Hammond Memorial Award in 2008 and have served as President of both the New Zealand Society of Animal Production and the British Society of Animal Science. For more than 30 years, I worked in different areas of ruminant nutrition, at the interfaces between nutrition, product composition and rumen function – including modelling of forage composition, dry cow feeding strategies, forages and fatty acids, fatty acids and fertility, and rumen diagnostics. Current research is developing markers for feed conversion efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants and exploring host interactions with the intestinal microbiome. I am also involved in managing the long-running Langhill Dairy Cow breeding study, which is currently celebrating 50 years of activity. I enjoy working with colleagues from around the world in a series of major international collaborative projects, including: ‘Rumen Stability’ as part of the FACCE-JPI programme; EU Horizon 2020 ‘SmartCow’ and ‘Legumes Translated’ projects; and a new ERA-NET project (‘GrasTec‘) exploring precision technologies to reduce GHG emissions from grazing ruminants. I was Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference (Dublin; 2013) and I am currently one of the Co-Chairs of the Global Research Alliance (GRA) Livestock Research Group (LRG) community. I was also (from 2016 to 2020) a Director of Agri-EPI Centre Limited.