Leading pig nutritionist wins top BSAS award

A scientist whose work is helping to improve the profitability and sustainability of pig production has been presented with a prestigious award recognising her contribution to animal science.​

Dr Elizabeth Magowan, head of mono-gastric research at AFBI Hillsborough, was awarded the BSAS Sir John Hammond Award at the society’s annual conference at the University of Chester (27 April).

Presented to scientists in the early to mid-part of their careers who have made a significant contribution to animal science and production, Dr Magowan received the award for her work in developing sustainable strategies to improve pig health and productivity.

She has also initiated and managed more than 20 research studies across a range of disciplines, addressing issues including nutritional requirements, welfare needs, efficient of feed production and the environmental impact of pig farming.

As an early career stage researcher, Elizabeth has demonstrated a tremendous ability to secure competitive research funding, having obtained about £7m in funding from national and EU sources.

She has also brought together 16 partner organisations across Europe in a consortium to establish ECO FCE, a major EU FP7 project which she is currently coordinating, and gives presentations to pig farmers and feed companies across the UK and Ireland.

Presenting her award, BSAS President Liam Sinclair said Dr Magowan had demonstrated her ability as a creative thinker, leader and team builder, and had already made significant contributions to the science on animal production.

Dr Magowan said: “I feel truly honoured to join the list of Hammond award winners.”

Growing up on a beef, sheep and pig farm in Northern Ireland, Dr Magowan added: “I have a strong desire to better agriculture. However, pigs are not my first love. Give me a Charolais bull and a Limousin cross cow any day.”

Dr Magowan thanked her parents for the work ethic they had instilled in her, saying: “Hard work and determination pays off.”

She added: “I have enjoyed my career to date. You get a real buzz when a company you are working with adopts what you find, or a farmer makes more money as a result of something you have helped them implement.”