Dr Kim Bunter

Kim first developed an interest in applied livestock genetics during her undergraduate years, when she completed an honours project at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU). Since 1990, she has worked on numerous research projects for the Australian intensive (pigs) and extensive (sheep and cattle) livestock industries as well as for the less traditional species (oysters and ostriches). In tandem with an expanding family, Kim obtained her Masters in 1995 and a PhD in 2002, and is now a Principal Research Scientist at AGBU. Her publications illustrate a diversity of research topics and interests, such as: gene expression, meat quality, sow development, reproductive performance and longevity, survival traits (piglets, calves and lambs), physiological markers, and most recently social genetic effects and indicator traits for welfare of group housed sows. All her research activities are aimed at facilitating a positive impact for livestock welfare, production and performance, enabled by collaborative projects with researchers both in Australia and overseas. Kim’s primary expertise is in the R&D, and often logistical constraints, behind implementing new traits or better analyses, into genetic evaluation systems. In particular, Kim has a long history of involvement in the Australian pig industry, conducting research into and providing advice on the development and implementation of selective breeding programs for pig breeding. Kim has played a significant role in the development of IGF-I as an indirect selection criterion to improve feed efficiency in pigs, and is currently working in the areas of reproductive performance and mortality, along with phenotypes for immune responsiveness. Kim is currently a trustee of the Armidale Animal Breeding Trust, which provides scholarships for students to attend overseas conferences. In her spare time, she pretends to be a farmer on a few acres of paradise with her family, horses, dogs, cattle, chickens and some miscellaneous wildlife.

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