Adaptation to variable climate and mitigation of greenhouse emissions in the beef industry

Summary

The Livestock in Future Landscapes Program seeks to understand how livestock interact with the environment and how these interactions determine the efficiency of production (growth, reproduction), both of individual animals and groups. New information on livestock in landscapes will be used to select animals and develop management systems that optimise the efficiency of resource utilisation and adapt to climate variability and climate change. The ‘landscape’ includes extensive grazing systems (range, pastoral) and intensive feeding systems (feedlot). The Livestock in Future Landscapes Program aims to contribute new knowledge on natural resource management, sustainability, and adaptation and mitigation to climate change. This project addresses the complex decisions facing red meat producers to adapt to climate variability and change across a range of spatial and temporal scales while maintaining or improving productivity and profitability. Adaptation to climate variability in livestock enterprises requires timely and informed management decisions. This can be achieved through real-time monitoring and prediction of the impact of recent, current and future climate events on key components of the production system (e.g. livestock and forage production). Furthermore, effective strategies for adaptation to climate variability require an understanding of how the multiple biophysical, policy and economic stressors are likely to interact and affect the enterprise. An integrated analysis of risks and opportunities due to climate variability and change will enable producers and their advisers to make decisions that consider synergies and trade-offs in alternative strategies and minimize unintended negative consequences for productivity, profitability or environmental objectives and obligations including mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, for climate adaptation strategies to be effective, the aforementioned impact assessment needs to be integrated with the capacity of producers to respond while accounting for uncertainties associated with potential responses for specific timeframes and situations.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor Luciano Gonzalez

Research Location

Sydney Institute of Agriculture - Camden campus

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

The present project brings together a multi-disciplinary team to integrate emerging climate science approaches, remote monitoring and biophysical and economic modelling to address issues relevant to the red meat industry. Therefore, climate adaptation planning and capacity of red meat producers will be enhanced through:  

  1. On-farm remote monitoring, models and weather forecasts integrated through producer-friendly monitoring systems and decision-making tools
  2. Development of adaptation strategies using an integrated assessment of the impact of climate, policy and economic information on productivity, profitability and environmental objectives of beef enterprises. 
  3. A framework to prioritise adaptation strategies at different time frames and levels of uncertainties.

Additional Information

This project will be based at the Faculty of Science's Centre for Carbon, Water and Food, Camden.

HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Keywords

livestock, animal production, sustainability, Climate Change, mitigation, rangelands, feedlot, farm

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1898

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