Project Co-ordinator, Northern Genomics Project, QAAFI

Shannon is a veterinarian and coordinator of the Northern Genomics Project. This project aims to develop a genetic test suitable for the northern cattle industry focusing on fertility traits: age of onset of puberty and length of lactational anoestrous. This test can be carried out on a tail hair or DNA sample and can be conducted on cattle from birth. This gives producers an accurate prediction of what a heifer or bull’s reproductive capacity is over its lifetime. Allowing producers to make this decision from an early stage gives greater power to the decisions of whether to keep or cull heifers, whether to spey heifers or castrate bulls and increases genetic gain in a shortened period of time. This test will also be invaluable in evaluating potential seedstock and bull purchases. The project has been genotyping over 30,000 females from 54 different properties that are based throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Shannon coordinates with all the producers, veterinarians, researchers and contractors, travels out to the properties and performs ovarian scanning, pregnancy testing and herd reproductive evaluations.  Prior to working for QAAFI she was a cattle veterinarian working in Charters Towers, Longreach and the Atherton Tablelands.

Shannon is also the recipient of the Zanda McDonald Award for 2019. Read more: Northern genomics project coordinator wins Zanda McDonald Award