Photo of Dr Belinda King Dr Belinda (Bindi) King

BRurSc (Hons), PhD UNE, Grad Cert TTL CSU

Bindi has been teaching animal reproduction, food animal production and management (including beef cattle, prime lamb and lot feeding) and meat technology at CSU since 1999.

She coordinates the subject, Animal Reproduction to livestock production, animal science and equine science students and, teaches into Ruminant Production and Animal Product Technology. She is also the coach of the CSU Intercollegiate Meat Judging team.

Bindi's research interests lie in ruminant reproduction. She has completed research projects investigating the improvement of superovulation for embryo transfer in ewes, re-breeding interval in sows and the enhancement of frozen-thawed sperm viability.

She is currently involved in the Future Farm Industries CRC/MLA funded project EverGraze and is investigating the role of perennials to improve Merino twinning rates and lamb survival.

Background

I originally hail from a sheep and beef property on the Northern Tablelands of NSW, where we also ran a small intensive piggery. I graduated from the University of New England with a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons 1). I spent a year travelling and working in the Rural community overseas and then returned to work as a feedlot nutritionist. I then took up a CSIRO/UNE PhD scholarship to research Artificial Breeding Technology in sheep and cattle. While doing my PhD, I developed and managed a Texel sheep stud.

I have been with Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga since 1999. In the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences I teach animal reproduction, beef production and meat technology. I also coach the School Intercollegiate Meat Judging Team.

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Research Interests

My research interests lie in ruminant reproduction. I have completed research projects investigating the improvement of superovulation for embryo transfer in ewes, re-breeding interval in sows and the Dr King instructs students in a laboratoryenhancement of frozen-thawed sperm viability. I have also had honour students involved in small studies into meat technology and nutrition in coloration with NSW DPI.

I am currently the Project Manager of the reproduction study in the Future Farm Industries CRC/MLA funded EverGraze. The project has been running since 2005 and is investigating the role of perennials to improve 2 aspects of reproductive efficiency in Merinos. Firstly, we are testing the potential of short term grazing of lucerne and chicory pastures to increase ovulation rate (twinning rate) similar to that achieved with short term supplementation of oestrus synchronised ewes with lupin grain. While we investigate strategies to increase the rate of twins born we can't ignore the high rate of twin lamb mortality. In southern Australia mortality rates for twin lambs range around 30-40% (compared to about 10% for singles). A significant cause of twin lamb death is an interaction between exposure to wet windy conditions, starvation and mismothering. Thus, we are looking at the effectiveness of woody perennial shrub rows to create suitable microclimate in a maternity ward" to improve newborn lamb survival. A small investigation on the incidence of goitre in lambs is also being undertaken.

We have 2 PhD students currently working in relation to this project.

Catherine Gulliver is investigating the potential of short term supplementation to increase ovulation rate in unsynchronised flocks. She will also be looking more closely at the physiological mechanisms responsible for the short term flushing phenomenon in collaboration with Professor Graeme Martin from the University of Western Australia. In her work Catherine is learning skills such as ultrasonography in sheep, blood sampling, oestrus detection, sheep handling and honing her communication skills.

John Broster is associated with the lamb survival work. His projects will investigate the physical characteristics of shelter that optimize protection and how ewes and lambs behave in the shrubs rows. He is also doing some modelling work using GrassGro. John in his work will be learning skills associated with the use of GPS technology, observation and evaluation of sheep behaviour and lamb post mortem.

There are opportunities for honour projects within each of these research areas

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List of Citations

  • S.M. Robertson, M.A. Friend and B.J. King (Submitted). Incidence and severity of goitre and relationship to lamb mortality in southern NSW. Animal Production Science/ASAP
  • S.M. Robertson, B. J. King, M.A. Friend, P. Sanford (2007) Evergraze 9. Using perennials to boost ovulation rates in Merino ewes. Proceedings of the Grasslands Society of Southern Australia, June 2007
  • M.L. Lieschke, B.J. King, R.A. Waller, R.A. Stanton and M.A. Friend (2006) Can Summer active perennial pasture match lupins for increasing ovulation rate in Merino ewes? Proceedings of the Australian Society for Animal Production, 2006.
  • B.J. King, V. V. Da Silva, J. D. Harper, C. J. Scott and M. N. Sillence (2005) Equine growth hormone enhances motility and extends longevity of ram spermatozoa in vitro. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 17(supplement): 220
  • Toohey, E., Wilkins, J. F., Irwin, J., McKeirnan, W. A and King, B. (2004). Genotype and growth rate effects on marbling, intramuscular fat (IMF%) and eating quality in feedlot finished beef carcasses. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production. 2004.

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List of colleagues, current and previous students

Colleagues
Current students
  • John Broster (PhD student)
  • Catherine Gulliver (PhD student)
Previous students
  • Mr. Valentino Da Silva (Masters student, currently working in official position in agriculture in East Timor)
  • Mr. Matthew Lieschke ( Honours, currently working for Hassle & Associates agricultural consultants)
  • Ms. Edwina Toohey ( Honours student, currently working as research scientist with NSW DPI)
  • Ms. Jean Smith (Honours student, currently working as Beef Cattle officer with NSW DPI)

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