Agriculture and Food Development Authority


Teagasc is the Agriculture and Food Development Authority of Ireland. Its mission is supporting science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and wider bioeconomy so as to underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. This mandate gives Teagasc responsibility for meeting the knowledge and technology needs of the entire food chain and the authority to integrate research, advice and education services to deliver the innovation support necessary to add value to Ireland’s agri-food sector. Teagasc undertakes innovative activities in research, knowledge dissemination and education covering the following broad thematic areas: Animal and Grassland; Crops, Environment and Land Use; Food; Rural Economy and Development. The impact of Teagasc research and innovation activities on the industry is observed through Teagasc’s 45,000 farmer clients.

Competence and main role(s) in the project

Prof Sinead Waters is leader of WP3 and partner in WP2. Prof Bernadette Earley is a partner in WP3. Prof David Kenny is a partner in both WP2 and WP3. The group has expertise in ruminant nutrition, animal health and welfare, environmental outputs and genetics and genomics and bioinformatics.

Project staff

Sinéad M. Waters
Prof Waters is a Principal Research Officer in the Animal and Bioscience Research Department in Teagasc. She was also appointed Adjunct Professor at the Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory, Plant and Agri-Biosciences Research Centre, The Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway in 2018. She leads a research programme in the application of genomics technologies to address key issues in agriculture, particularly in the role of the rumen microbiome in improving nutrient utilisation from feed and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane, from ruminant and it’s manipulation via animal breeding and dietary supplementation. She has developed a strong national and international research profile (with over 125 peer-reviewed published research papers and >180 conference proceedings) and is Principal Investigator or lead Irish partner of many funded projects such as the US-Ireland Tripartite Research Fund, EU FACCE-JPI, ERA-GAS programme, EU Horizon 2020, Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Research Stimulus Fund. She is co-chair of the Livestock Research Group of the Global Research Alliance for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas emissions and an active member of the Rumen Microbial Genomics Network and represents Ireland on the Expert group on methane for the EU Commission (DG-AGRI). She has served on the council of the British Society of Animal Science (2010-2013) and is currently sits on their events committee. She has also supervised over 15 PhD students successfully and currently supervises 5 as main supervisor. She serves on editorial boards of Journals Frontiers in Microbiology and Nature Scientific Reports and an expert reviewer for international funding agencies such as Genome Canada, FCT (Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology) and Poland’s National Science Centre.
Bernadette Earley
Dr. Earley, is a Principal Research Scientist in animal health and welfare at the Animal and Bioscience Research Department, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre (AGRIC), Teagasc, Grange, Co. Meath, Ireland. Dr. Earley has more than 24 years of experience in bovine immunology, animal health and welfare, and animal behaviour documented by more than 170 publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Earley collaborates extensively with national and international personnel and institutions. Dr. Earley has developed, characterised and published research findings on five animal husbandry management practices; weaning, transport, housing, disbudding and castration. Her research has informed policy at National, EU and OIE level.
Sabine Scully
Sabine Scully is a PhD student working with Teagasc and University College Dublin on Ruminant Microbiomes and Sustainable Production. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Science with minors in Animal Science and International Agriculture from Virginia Tech. She then worked as the Animal Science Educator at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center for Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in Yaphank, New York. In 2019 Sabine left her career in extension to pursue a Master’s Degree of Biological Sciences and Agricultural Engineering in Lille, France at Junia-ISA where she specialized in sustainable and innovative agricultural production. She did her Master’s thesis on the use of accelerometer collar generated data as a proxy for feed efficiency in dairy cattle raised in pasture-based systems. Cattle, sheep and goats have always been her favourite animals to work with, however, she also has extensive experience working with poultry, swine, camelids, and horses. Sabine would eventually like to work with livestock producers on an international level in to help develop more agroecological, sustainable production systems.