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Where There’s A Will There’s A Way

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Dr William van Wettere discusses graduate and post graduate opportunities during the APL/Pork CRC RoadshowAn emerging international reputation as a centre of excellence for animal reproduction research is attracting graduate and post graduate students to pig research at the University of Adelaide, a development that will greatly benefit Australia’s pork industry.

Dr William van Wettere received his PhD through the Pork CRC early this year and is now its post graduate and honours coordinator. He is also a lecturer and research scientist at the University of Adelaide. 

Dr van Wettere said the Pork CRC’s four honours students based at the animal science department, Roseworthy, were conducting work particularly relevant to the pork industry.

Management Strategies
Three will research different nutritional and management strategies during the first gestation and lactation to improve sow performance and longevity, as well as increase piglet performance prior to weaning.

The other student will research the effect of different dietary strategies during the peri and post-weaning period on piglet intestinal function, growth and survival.

Relevant Work
“It’s very relevant work that will have a big impact on sow longevity and overall feed herd conversion efficiency, as well as impacting on the grower and finisher stages of pig production,” Dr van Wettere said.

He noted that students were finding pigs a worthwhile area for research and he was starting to see a shift towards animal science students taking an interest in pig reproduction. Three of the honours students are animal science graduates, with the other an agricultural science graduate.

Stimulating Environment
The honours students are certainly in a stimulating academic environment. Research scientists such as Dr Karen Kind, Dr Kathy Gatford, Dr Julie Owens and Dr Paul Hughes from the University of Adelaide are held in high regard internationally for their work in reproductive science.

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