Associate Professor Simon De Graaf
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Associate Professor Simon De Graaf

BScAgr(Hons/Medal) PhD GradCertEducStud(Higher Education) with merit, FRSN FSRB
Associate Professor of Animal Reproduction
School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES)
+61 2 9351 3363
Associate Professor Simon De Graaf

After completion of his PhD in 2006, Associate Professor de Graaf worked at the Royal Veterinary College London before returning to Australia to take up an academic position at The University of Sydney. Associate Professor de Graaf is recognised as a world expert in sheep reproduction, seminal plasma, sperm sexing and artificial insemination. His research programs have been awarded over $4 million in funding and produced two book chapters, over 70 refereed articles in international journals and invited presentations at several national and international conferences. His work has been featured widely in the media including on CNN, The Guardian, Landline etc. Associate Professor de Graaf consults to the Australian artificial breeding industry, including the provision of instructional courses for controlled breeding, standardisation of semen assessment, processing and freezing for semen processing centres. He is currently Secretary General of the International Congress on Animal Reproduction, Executive Director of the Association of Applied Animal Andrology and an Editorial Board member of the international journal Animal Reproduction Science. Associate Professor de Graaf has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society in NSW (FRSN, 2020) and Fellow of the Society of Reproductive Biology (FSRB, 2020) in recognition of his career achievements and the impact of his research on animal agriculture.

Applied reproduction in domestic and wild animals.

Semen and embryo preservation, artificial insemination and embryo transfer. In vitro fertilisation and embryo culture. Production of pre-sexed offspring by flow cytometric sex-sorting. The role of seminal plasma in sperm function and fertility.

Reproductive biology, reproductive physiology and applied reproduction in units of study within the BScVet (VETS2016; VETS4233; VETS5360) and BAnVetBioSc (ANSC3102; ANSC3104) degrees.

Undergraduate and postgraduate research training in research areas listed below.

Wildlife and conservation, Animal production and welfare
Project titleResearch student
Improving ram semen survivability at room temperature.Natalie RIZKALLAH
Remote monitoring of Ovis aries ewes within various environments (Grasslands and Tablelands) to determine resource utilisation and its interaction with climate change to determine reproductive wastage.Gregory SAWYER
Disruptive technologies for improved reproductive management of sheepEmmah TUMETH


Download citations: PDF; RTF; Endnote

Selected Grants


  • Sensing technologies to reduce reproductive wastage, de Graaf S, Rickard J, Australian Wool Innovation Limited/Research and Development


  • Fertility of sexed ram semen, Leahy T, de Graaf S, Pini T, Rickard J, Australian Wool Innovation Limited/Call for Proposals On-Farm R&D, Off-Farm R&D

In the media

Featured in 'Top Sire'


Interviewed by Libby Price on Country Hour:Sexed semen for the sheep industry

16 July 2019

Featured in The Weekly Times:"New technologies are available in sheep artificial breeding"

4 July 2019

Featured in The Land:"AWI and University of Sydney investigate sensor use in sheep"

26 June 2019

Featured in Sheep Central:"Flystrike, welfare and profit focus at 2019 Merinolink conference"

27 May 2019

Featured on CountryNEWS:"Semen still viable"

4 Apr 2019

Research featured on ABC’s Landline:Sheep and Science: Merino lambs sired 50 years ago

2 Apr 2019

Interviewed by Sean Moncrieff, News Talk Ireland.Moncrieff,(Interview starts at 1hr48')

28 Mar 2019

Featured inCountryman: "Breeders mingle, chat at stud group's AGM

21 Mar 2019

Interviewed by Jodie Rintoul fromFarm Weekly: “Research continues in artificial breeding"

23 Mar 2019

Featured in Forbes Magazine:"When 50-year-old sperm was thawed, the swimmers actually outperformed far newer ones"

20 Mar 2019

Featured in Smithsonian Magazine:"Healthy Baby Lambs Using World's Oldest Sperm"

20 Mar 2019

Interviewed on NSW Country Hour, ABC Radio:Fifty-year-old semen from Boonoke ram successfully used to sire new generation of lambs

19 Mar 2019

Featured in Cosmos Magazine:"Half-century-old sperm still up to the job"

19 Mar 2019

Featured in the NZ Herald:"World's oldest ram semen still viable"

19 Mar 2019

Featured in The Guardian:"Sir Freddie the ram's 50-year-old frozen sperm used to produce offspring".

18 Mar 2019

Featured in the New York Post:"World's oldest semen still packs a potent punch, researchers say"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in CNN:"Lambs born from world's oldest stored semen"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in the Mirror:"World's oldest semen is still viable 50 years after it was first stored"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in The Independent."50-year-old semen still works, scientists find"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in The Times:"Ewe can't hurry love: sperm from 1968 produces lams"

18 Mar 2019

Featured on CNET:"World's oldest semen makes sheep babies 50 years later - This is ewe-inspiring research"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in the University of Sydney News: "World's oldest semen still viable"

18 Mar 2019

Featured in IFL Science:"World's Oldest Frozen Semen Successfully Impregantes Dozens of Sheep"

17 Mar 2019

Featured on ABC News online"How a Cold War scientist escaped a gulag to pioneer reproductive technology using sheep semen"

16 Mar 2019

Featured in Australian Wool Magazine,Beyond The Bale. "Sexed semen via AI to enable selection of ram or ewe lambs" and " 50-year-old ram semen achieves high fertility"

Dec 2018

Featured inThe Manly Daily.Simon's work with Pittwater High School teaching students about agriculture. The "School's New Cuddly Pupil", Samson, was born as a result of Simon artificially inseminating a ewe with the help of Year 11 and 12 students

Dec 2018

Research featured inBeyond The Bale,"R&D into low cost, non-surgical 'cervical' artificial insemination using frozen semen"

Dec 2015

Featured inBeyond The Bale,"R&D into low cost, non-surgical cervical AI"

Mar 2014