Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

In the Limelight: Kayla Kopp

Kayla KoppCurrently studying:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) through the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga

Supervisors: Professor Michael Friend, Dr Susan Robertson, Dr Angel Abuelo

Thesis title: Immunity transfer to lambs: Altering pre-lambing nutrition to impact immunoglobulin and milk production in ewes and transfer of immunity to twin lambs

Funding body:

Australian Research Training Program Scholarship

Career and studies

I completed my Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) through Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. Following completion of my Bachelor’s degree, I worked in merchandise sales providing animal nutrition advice with Elders and Landmark. I am now in my second year of my PhD.

Research Interests

I aim to undertake research which will benefit producers. My main interests are within animal production and animal nutrition focusing on aspects to increase productivity on-farm. My current study focuses on sheep production however I also have a keen interest in beef and dairy production systems.

A typical day for me includes ...

Most mornings I wake up early, spend some time with my dogs before coming to the office. Currently I am designing another experiment and also working on some papers to hopefully publish next year from two field-work experiments undertaken earlier this year. The end of my day usually includes taking the dogs for a walk, some gardening, the all-important housework and finally a bit of chill-out television.

My main project at the moment ...

Currently I am between projects working on publishing two projects: one looking at niacin supplementation to late gestation ewes and the other looking at supplementing ewes with protein and starch in late gestation. Both projects are looking at the effects on colostrum and milk production and immunoglobulin production in colostrum and transfer of immunity to lambs. I am also in the early stages of developing another project also focusing on lambing ewes, whilst spreading my time to also design a producer based questionnaire on lambing and supplementation.

My favourite part of my studies is ...

My favourite part of my studies is doing field work as I love animals and being outdoors. I enjoy working with the sheep collecting samples and getting to see all the new lambs born – even when most are born though the night because sheep couldn’t possibly have their lambs at more convenient times – lucky I thrive on no sleep.

When I am not studying I like to ...

When I am not studying, I enjoy working with my own cattle on my parent’s farm and helping Dad out on the farm – preferably if he is doing sheep work rather than tractor driving or fencing! I also enjoy helping my tradie partner with his tiling work. Most weekends in summer are spent water-skiing with my family. I also enjoy relaxing weekends at home chilling out with my beagles.

When I am driving I like to listen to ...

When I am driving (which I do most weekends) I prefer just listening to the radio – with a bit of Spotify (usually pop hits) in between!


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