BSAS 2022 Speaker Feature - Dr Donagh Berry

14 Jan 2022

Dr Donagh Berry will be joining the elite speaker panel for the session - ‘To Cull or Breed – That Is the Question!’, at this year’s BSAS 2022 conference. A beef and sheep farmer from southern Ireland, Donagh is also a leading geneticist at the semi-state body Teagasc and a former winner of the prestigious Sir John Hammond Award in 2013. His interests lie in genetic/genomic evaluations, novel phenotypes, breeding goals and decision support tools across a range of species.

During his presentation, Donagh will explore how although the word genomics or DNA is synonymous with genomic selection or finding genes, there are a whole load of other benefits like parentage discovery, traceability, designer matings, monitoring congenital defects, and Donagh’s favourite, the potential of precision management (i.e, where breeding and management meet).  Donagh’s presentation is ideal for those who have ever questioned the hype around the topic of genomics, but don’t want to sit through another talk discussing all the fantastic things that may be achieved and instead wants to hear about all that has been achieved.

‘The BSAS annual conferences are great. Dedicated to advances in the animal sciences and attended by some dear friends; while genetics conferences are great and focused, the necessity for breeding and management to co-evolves requires constant communication between breeders and systems researchers, to ensure the animal being bred is suitable for the optimal system. I hope to communicate through my presentation a layperson’s summary of the role of genomics applied to livestock production, with a little bit of crystal ball gazing.’