Invited speakers

Promotion of alleles by genome editing in livestock breeding programs

Prof. John Hickey holds the Chair of Animal Breeding at The Roslin Institute which is part of The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. His area of research spans animal breeding, plant breeding, with some spill over into human genetics. In particular, he seeks to develop computational methods to generate and analyse huge data sets with whole genome sequence information as well as methods and breeding strategies that use genomic information to increase rates of genetic progress. In recent years his research group have worked on breeding projects in pigs, chickens, cattle, groundnut, forest trees, strawberry, maize, wheat and other species. Software and algorithms developed by John Hickey and colleagues underpin aspects of several of the largest breeding programs globally.

The role of gut microbiome information in swine breeding

Dr. Francesco Tiezzi is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University (NCSU). His position is sponsored by The Maschhoffs LLC (Carlyle, IL) and Smithfield Premium Genetics (Rose Hill, NC). He received his Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics from the University of Padua (Italy).He is working on genetic improvement of livestock, especially swine. He is conducting methodological research on genomic selection with special emphasis on genotyping strategies, modeling of genotype by environment interactions, use of molecular inbreeding in selection programs and host genome to gut microbiome interface. Also, he is conducting research on cost-effective phenotyping for novel and innovative traits, with special focus on swine mortality and tolerance to heat stress. 
He has worked in close collaboration with the US swine industry for the last 6 years. He has developed professional knowledge on swine breeding and the challenges that the US pork industry is facing.

Growth models and their application in precision feeding of monogastric farm animals

Veronika Halas is an Associate Professor at the Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Kaposvár University, Hungary. She earned her PhD degree in animal sciences at Wageningen University, the Netherlands in 2004. Her scientific interest is monogastrics’ animal nutrition, particularly the nutrient digestibility and metabolism of pigs and poultry. Recently she was involved in a program on precision nutrition and modelling nutrient partitioning and nutrient requirements in pigs and poultry. Between 2015-2020 she was the leader of modelling working package of Feed-a-Gene research project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. She has more than 130 scientific publications. She is author or co-author of 3 English book chapters, co-Editor in a Hungarian book with the title of Innovative Nutrition in which she contributed to 8 chapters. 

Insects as sustainable feed and food

Dr. Simone Mancini is a researcher at the Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy. His research area spans poultry, rabbit and aquaculture sciences. His studies currently focus on farming and animal products, food science, chemical composition and edible insects. In the last years, he worked on edible insects both as feed and food, analyzing the rearing conditions and the characteristics of the outcome products. He hold a master’s degree in Food Technology and a PhD in Veterinary Sciences both from the University of Pisa. He spent some time abroad as visiting scholar and trainer at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana, USA) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas de Vigo, Spain). He also hold two summer school courses (Meat Production, Safety and Health, University of Padua, Italy - Insects as Food and Feed from producing to consuming, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands) and a second-level Professional Master's Program (Food Science: quality, safety and human nutrition, University of Pisa, Italy). By now, these research works have resulted in 40+ scientific publications, conferences oral expositions and other academic contributions.

A new systemic approach to characterize agroecological systems

Prof. Audrey Michaud is an agricultural engineer and doctor in agronomic sciences. She is a teacher in animal sciences as part of the engineering course and the Master Global Quality in European Livestock Production. She is responsible for the Master Global Quality in European Livestock Production (GLOQUAL); co-responsible for the module "challenges of grassland systems" conducted in project mode with the contribution of sponsors; responsible for the “inquiry approach” module conducted in project mode with the contribution of sponsors; co-responsible for the “livestock systems challenges” module. She is a researcher in animal sciences at VetAgro Sup and conduct her research at INRAE on agro-ecological grassland systems. She has expertise on grassland management, particularly permanent grasslands, and the functioning of these production systems, as well as on "ecosystem services" approaches.

Animal welfare strategies

Nancy De Briyne studied veterinary medicine in Ghent (Belgium), graduating in 1996. After working as a veterinary practitioner in Belgium and the UK, she works since 2000 for the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE). In 2015, she became diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural medicine, subspecialty Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. 
Within FVE she is specifically responsible for dossiers in field of animal welfare, veterinary medicines, education and communication. Presently, she is Deputy Executive Director of the FVE. 
She has worked extensively in the field of increasing veterinary education in animal welfare and veterinary medicinal products, publishing in 2009 an overview of animal welfare teaching in veterinary undergraduate education in Europe and working on Day 1 Competences in the field of animal welfare for veterinarians. She also published several publications on welfare issues in relation to pigs, horses and on antibiotic use by veterinarians. 
Her aspiration is to create the right conditions for veterinarians to be and continually strive to be, the leading advocates for a good welfare of animals in a continually evolving society.


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