The Scotland Rural College (SRUC) awarded Dr. Jos Houdijk with a Professorship in Animal Nutrition and Health today.
Based at Roslin, in a building shared by SRUC and the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Houdijk is one of Europe’s leading livestock nutritionists, and has a great ability to engage with farmers and agri-industry. Under the pseudonym Dr. Poo, he is a popular figure at festivals and other events introducing children to the excitement of science!
Addressing the audience gathered for the graduation ceremony, Professor Geoff Simm, Vice Principal Research, described how Dr. Houdijk’s fundamental research has provided the international scientific community with an understanding of how nutritional stress affects the way livestock can cope with disease.
“His work on protein nutrition in sheep has stimulated farmers and the feed industry to improve protein supply around the critical period of lambing, while his research into protein nutrition for weaner pigs has contributed to industry trends to reduce total protein levels in pig diets,” said Simm. “Meanwhile even more farmers are now growing chicory to feed sheep since his experiments showing the plant helped control parasites like worms. Today he is Head of SRUC’s newly formed Monogastric Science Research Centre, which has some 30 staff studying issues linked to nutrition in pigs and poultry.”
Dr. Houdijk was commended for the way he works with livestock farmers and the feed industry to identify problems and then design high-quality research to address them. His published work has been cited nearly 1,500 times by other researchers across the world.
Renowned for being an enthusiastic and engaging lecturer, he has been an active committee member of the British Society of Animal Science for almost 20 years, serving on its conference program committee. The animal nutritionist is currently responsible for implementing novel initiatives to increase the visibility of UK Animal Science for the benefit of academics and industry. Similarly he is a long-standing member of the Nutrition Society and is currently Deputy Editor of the Nutrition Society’s prestigious Nutrition Research Review journal.