We offer our heartiest congratulations to Professor Michael Lee of the University of Bristol and Head of Site at the Rothamsted Research North Wyke Farm Platform, who has been presented with a prestigious award to recognise his contribution to animal science. Michael was awarded the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) Sir John Hammond Award at the society’s annual conference at the University of Chester (14 April 2015).
Presented to scientists in the early to mid-part of their career who have made a significant contribution to animal science and production, Professor Lee received the award for his work looking at how livestock can become more productive whilst having less impact. A world-renowned ruminant biochemist, his research career at the the Universities of Aberystwyth and Bristol, and more recently Rothamsted Research, has included looking at ways to maximise livestock production efficiency through feeding systems and animal genetics at a global scale. His other research interests include producing high-quality animals from animals in good health and welfare systems. He has also been working closely with BSAS to re-engage the society with industry and academia by helping to establish the society’s Industry and Academia Associations.
Michael at Thiruvazhamkunnu in 2013
Presenting the award, BSAS president Alistair Carson said Professor Lee had made substantial contributions to animal science and in helping BSAS become more relevant than ever. Commending his work in helping develop the next generation of scientists through his work with undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD students, Professor Carson added:
“Michael is a very worth recipient of the prize. He is an excellent role model for young scientists, educators and those working to help the agri-food industry with evidence-based research.”
Accepting the award Professor Lee said livestock production was at a critical point as it faced increasing pressures to maximise production whilst minimising pollution.
“Farming systems vary widely in terms of their inputs and outputs, environmental consequences and product quality, and need to be understood in the specific context where they will be used,” he said.
“Ruminants make an important contribution to global food security as they can convert feed that is unsuitable for human consumption to high value protein, demand for which is currently increasing at an unprecedented rate.”
Professor Lee also warned that every approach towards the sustainable intensification of ruminant livestock brought risks with it – such as water and air pollution and carbon emissions – making research into how to solve each issue more important than ever.
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