Systemic modelling applied to ruminants



The aim of the MoSAR Unit is to understand, characterise and predict the relationships between livestock and their feeding environment in order to develop tools that increase the efficiency of use of food resources whilst optimizing performance, adaptive capacity and wellbeing. The unit carries out research work in: animal nutrition, animal behaviour, rumen physiology, energy metabolism and modelling. The common research theme of this work is: the description and quantification of the processes by which ruminants obtain, ingest, digest, metabolize and partition nutrients between production and other life functions. The work is centred around lactating goats at the level of the whole-animal, but with collaborative projects that integrate the underlying levels (cellular and molecular) and higher levels of aggregation (herd, farm systems).

The research outcomes that MoSAR is developing are: tools to predict animal performance relative to the nutritional environment and physiological state condition, and tools to characterise the individual variation between animals in their ability to adapt to environmental perturbations. These two aspects are fundamental in predicting the consequences of diverse strategies in the management and selection of the robustness of the animal and systems. To this end the unit deploys phenotyping and modelling approaches, including the study of underlying mechanisms.

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