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Unit of study_

AGRO4006: New and Emerging Tech in Animal Science

2022 unit information

This unit of study is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of new and emerging livestock technologies in Australia and overseas. Examples of these technologies include (1) next-generation infrared and laser scanning to determine physiological status and whole body composition, (2) diet formulation to enhance the nutritional and eating quality of livestock food products, (3) new vaccines and other therapeutics to regulate fertility, growth and behaviour whilst enhancing welfare and wellbeing, (4) microRNA technology to influence cellular, endocrine and physiological processes, (5) new genomics and laboratory-based reproductive technologies for advanced livestock breeding, (6) technologies to monitor and control animal behaviour, (7) unmanned ground and aerial vehicles to monitor livestock and the environment, (8) sensors and advanced image-capture technology to record the attributes of soil, air and the feedbase, (9) data-fusion science to integrate, analyse and interpret collected data, and (10) modelling of livestock systems. Students will gain research and inquiry skills through research based group projects, information literacy and communication skills through on-line discussion postings, laboratory reports and presentations, and personal and intellectual autonomy through working in groups. At successful completion of the unit students will have a sound knowledge of new and emerging technologies that will shape the livestock industries in Australia and overseas. This will provide valuable grounding for students preparing for postgraduate study and other learning and career paths.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations

Code AGRO4006
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
48cp of 1000-3000 level units including at least 6cp of BIOL1XXX
Assumed knowledge:
Animal husbandry and data analysis

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe the principles of using new technologies and approaches for precision animal management. Outline definitions, concepts and approaches around remote sensing, monitoring and automated management systems
  • LO2. list and explain the technologies used to monitor the physical body of animals, their uses and applications including live weight, body composition and size, and animal identification
  • LO3. present the concepts of using and combining new technologies into frameworks to develop new feeding systems in animal production and to manage animal nutrition using automatic control feeding systems, animal performance data and models
  • LO4. outline technologies to measure physiological conditions of animals including body temperature, heart rate, blood and rumen liquid composition, and electrophysiology (EEG, ECG, photoplethysmography, etc)
  • LO5. describe the use of new technologies to monitor animal behaviour and the role these technologies can play to improve animal conservation, productivity, sustainability and welfare
  • LO6. explain main principles of remote sensing for vegetation monitoring and landscape condition assessment, list and calculate relevant measures and indicators using remote sensing technologies and give examples of practical applications in animal management and landscape assessment
  • LO7. overview technologies to measure a range of characteristics in soil, water and the biophysical environment relevant to livestock production and wildlife including chemical composition (gases, nutrients, and pollutants), physical characteristics (moisture, water levels, temperature, conductivity, reflectance, etc.), weather forecasts, and models
  • LO8. present principles and concepts of precision agriculture applied to crops and pasture production, vegetation monitoring, and landscape condition assessment. Understand the different Global Navigation Satellite Systems and their applications in animal sciences
  • LO9. demonstrate methods used for early diagnosis and treatment of health and welfare issues of animals using new technologies with particular emphasis on the dairy industry
  • LO10. describe concepts and examples of machine vision and automatic video image analysis, and its application in agriculture, animal production and wildlife management
  • LO11. introduce technologies for the automation of repetitive tasks in the dairy industry including milking robots, herding and monitoring robots, and automated animal management. Assess the potential of technologies to save time and money, and improve animal management
  • LO12. define robots and describe the principles of robotics and the latest developments for applications in agriculture and animal science.
  • LO13. communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for farming and scientific audiences, and collaborate effectively.
  • LO14. work in groups to solve problems and contribute to class discussions.
  • LO15. Work individually to prepare and present a report, presentation or debate on a topic in class.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

There are no availabilities for this year.
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camden, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.