Ruminant digestion of temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical fodders

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Kevin Dudley
Research Officer (Genomics)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Mark Harrison
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

External supervisors

  • Dr Karen Harper, UQ


The nutritional value of fodder, a type of animal feed, varies depending on the climate in which it is produced (i.e., temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical). The reasons for these differences has not been fully explained.

Research activities

As part of the research project you will:

  • characterise a range of fodders from temperate, sub-tropical and tropical production systems
  • determine the kinetics of dry matter, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibility
  • characterise the residual fibre remaining after rumen fluid fermentation.

You will work with a team of researchers, research assistants and PhD students in partnership with the team at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, to deliver project outcomes.


The overall aim of the project is to understand whether it is the structure, chemistry or a combination of the two that determines the relative nutritional value of fodders produced in temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical production systems.

Skills and experience

If you have a working knowledge of the following scientific fields and strong practical skills it will be well regarded for your application:

  • lignocellulosic pretreatment
  • lignocellulosic biomass chemistry
  • ruminant biology
  • rumen microbiology.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact Dr Mark Harrison for more information.