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"Fair Dinkum" Australian Visitors, Drs. Mark and Tieneke Trotter: Engagement opportunities

Submitted by Jim Kinder,

As a component of the fully executed MOU between Ohio State and CQUniveristy there are several ongoing and developing collaborations with Ohio State faculty members. Mark and Tieneke are two of the key individuals from CQUniversity who are engaged in these collaborations. Mark and Tieneke are scheduled to be at Ohio State from Friday 7 through Tuesday 18 September. One purpose of this message is to alert you that Mark is scheduled to make a presentation entitled GPS for cows, fit-bits for sheep, laser beams in pastures, fenceless farms: An update on some of the latest agri-tech emerging in the Australian grazing Industries. The presentation is scheduled to occur in Room 212 Animal Sciences with video linkage to 123 Gerlaugh Hall on the Wooster campus on 11:30 AM Monday 10 September 2018 in

Mark is an Associate Professor in the Precision Livestock Management Group. He is involved in a range or research and education activities with a focus on agri-tech in grazing systems. Some of the topics that Mark will address in this presentation are: 

  •  An overview of Australian agriculture and agri-tech with a focus on grazing animal production, particularly sheep and beef;
  • On-animal sensor technologies including GPS tracking, accelerometer, audio sensing and proximity logging and their application by Australian graziers (ranchers) to solve key production, social, welfare and environmental issues;
  • GPScows School Engagement Program ( which see’s school students across Australia (and the USA) using GPS tracking technology to monitor livestock and learn about spatial science;
  • Ani-sense open source research animal monitoring project - program is developing a low-cost open source multi-sensor animal monitoring system which will be made freely available to animal scientists across the globe;
  • DataMuster platform ( being developed by CQUniversity to collate, analyse and present sensor information from walk-over-weigh, water monitoring and on-animal sensors enabled by the R statistical package; and
  • Collaborative research opportunities to enable US students and academics to visit Australia and work with our research team as a result of a variety of opportunities from short terms stays, including the CQU Fulbright Scholarship through to longer term Post-Doctoral Fellowships through Advanced Queensland.

Mark and Tieneke are key contributors in addressing aspects of the previously described MOU between CQUniversity and Ohio State CFAES in collaborative research and teaching endeavors. CQUniversity is a public institution founded in 1967 in Rockhampton as the Queensland Institute of Technology Capricornia with the award of full university status in 1992. The main campus for CQUniversity is located in Rockhampton, a regional business center that is the self-proclaimed beef cattle capital of Australia. There are a further 15 CQUniversity campuses spread throughout Australia in all major cities and rural regions of Queensland, except Tasmania. When CSIRO (federal research entity) closed the extensive research high quality research laboratory in Rockhampton, about 10 years ago CQUniversity initiated a focus on agricultural research which has developed into one of the strongest programs in the University. Recently, there was also development of an undergraduate program focused on agricultural science. 

The overarching collaborative research endeavors between the two universities relates to food producing animal, plant and environmental interactions (particularly surface water) and relationships to sustainable agricultural systems. Mark’s research focus is on using precision technologies for gaining a greater understanding of animal (primarily beef cattle and sheep) behavior and effects on enterprise productivity. Tieneke has recently taken on a coordinator role for the agricultural sciences teaching program and has a background in plant sciences and agricultural landscape assessment using precision technologies. Mark has applied for funding from a Fulbright Scholar program which if awarded would result in him and Tieneke being in residence at Ohio State for about 4 months in 2019. Their visit to Ohio State in September, therefore, is a bit of a scouting venture to assess opportunities for them and their family if this award eventuates. Attached are their CVs.

The present and developing collaborations between Mark, and Tieneke with those at Ohio State have focused on Luis Moraes, Tony Parker, Alvaro Garcia-Guerra, all of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Jon Witter at Ohio State ATI. These collaborations are focused on research funding, joint scientific publications, joint training of graduate students, and collaborative teaching of undergraduates by faculty from both universities. There, however, has been dialogue with several other Ohio State faculty and some staff members about specific collaborations in these and other realms.

Both Mark and Tieneke are scheduled to meet with several in CFAES administration, Ohio State Animal Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State ATI and several industry stakeholders during the time they will be in Ohio. If there, however, are others that I have not specifically contacted that would like to meet with either Mark or Tieneke while they are at Ohio State, please let me know and I will ascertain if we can arrange a time for dialog with the one or both of the Trotters . 

Take care and cheers for now.