Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Professor Michael Friend

Professor Michael Friend

BSc (Hons), PhD (UNSW), Grad Cert Univ Teaching and Learning

Michael completed a BSc (Hons - Wool and Pastoral Science) at University of NSW (UNSW), before undertaking a PhD in ruminant nutrition at UNSW.

Michael held a lecturing position in Animal Production at University of Tasmania's School of Agricultural Science before taking up the position of Lecturer in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences with Charles Sturt University in 2003. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and Associate Professor in 2013.

Although Michael's training is in ruminant nutrition, he has been actively involved in research projects ranging from nutrition, both ruminant and monogastric, to farming systems research.

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Since 2005 Michael has been listed as Chief Investigator on research grants totalling over $3million. Examples of projects include:

  • EverGraze - Investigation of grazing systems to increase profitability and improve NRM outcomes. (CRC for Future Farm Industries, MLA, AWI.  EverGraze was a finalist in the 2014 Agricultural Sustainability Australian Museum Eureka Prize (Read more at CSU Media).
  • Role of omega fatty acids in sheep reproduction (MLA, project led by NSW DPI)
  • Nutrition and embryo mortality in sheep (MLA)
  • Use of dual purpose crops in prime lamb production systems (MLA)


Subject areas taught by Michael in the past include Animal Nutrition, Sheep Production, and wool technology.

Michael has been actively involved in the supervision of Honours, Masters and PhD students, including:

  • Maggie Raeside (PhD 2011) – Managing summer-active tall-fescue based swards in southern Australia
  • John Broster (PhD 2014) – Design and utilization of shelter to improve lamb survival
  • Catherine Gulliver (PhD 2014) – Improving reproductive efficiency in ewes – increasing ovulation rate and altering offspring sex ratio
  • Shawn McGrath (PhD 2015) – The role of winter wheat in reproducing ewe systems
  • Emma Hand (PhD - current) – Potential mechanisms by which altering dietary omega fatty acid ratio to ewes at conception effects sex ratio of offspring
  • Lucy Watt (PhD - current) - Self-regenerating hard-seeded annual legume pasture species: Understanding their effect on livestock production and health.

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  • Applied animal nutrition, specifically pasture-animal interactions and production (including reproduction) outcomes
  • Farming systems research

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Read Professor Friend's profile on CSU Research Output.

Clayton EH, Wilkins JF, Refshauge G and Friend MA (in press). Lower Concentration of n-3 in the Red Blood Cells and Plasma of Lambs when their Dams were Fed a Diet High Compared with Low in n-6 Fatty Acids at Joining. Lipids.

Clayton EH, Friend MA and Wilkins JF (in press). Increasing the proportion of female lambs by feeding Merino ewes a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating. Animal Production Science.

Clayton EH, Wilkins JF and Friend MA (in press). Increased proportion of female lambs by feeding Border Leicester x Merino ewes a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating. Animal Production Science.

Friend MA, Provenza FD, Villalba JJ (2015). Preference by sheep for endophyte-infected tall fescue grown adjacent to or at a distance from alfalfa. Animal. 9, 516-525.

Robertson SM, Clayton EH, Morgan B and Friend MA (2015). Reproductive performance in ewes fed varying levels of cut lucerne pasture around conception.  Animal Reproduction Science. 158, 75-85.

McGrath SR, Bhanugopan, Dove H, Clayton EH, Virgona JM and Friend MA (2015). Mineral supplementation of lambing ewes grazing dual-purpose wheat.  Animal Production Science 55, 526-534.

PyeJL, Doyle  RE, Friend MA and Bhanugopan MS (2015). The effect of dietary magnesium supplementation in alleviating stress associated with road transportation in weaned lambs. Animal Production Science 55, 219-224.

Robertson SM, Southwell AF and Friend MA (2014). Modelling the risk of different joining times and lamb sale policies. Animal Production Science 54, 1694-1698.

McGrath SR, Virgona JM and Friend MA (2014). Modelling the effect on stocking rate and lamb production of allowing ewes to graze a dual-purpose wheat crop in southern NSW.  Animal Production Science 54, 1625-1630

White BL, Clayton EH and Friend MA (2014). The effect of mechanical processing of wheaten straw on intake and rumen parameters following grain feeding in sheep. Animal Production Science 54, 1455-59.

Clayton EH, Lamb TA, Refshauge G, Kerr  MJ, Bailes KL, Ponnampalam EN, Friend, MA and Hopkins DL (2014). Differential response to an algae supplement high in DHA mediated by maternal peri-conceptional diet - Intergenerational effects of omega-6 fatty acids.  Lipids 49, 767-775.

Robertson SR, King BJ, Allworth BA, Rummery J and Friend MA (2014). The effect of peri-conceptual grazing of live pasture on fetal numbers in unsynchronised ewes.  Animal Production Science 54, 1008-1015.

McGrath SR, Lievaart JJ and Friend MA (2013).  Extent of utilisation of dual-purpose wheat for grazing by late-pregnant and lambing ewes and producer reported incidence of health issues in southern NSW.  Australian Veterinary Journal 91, 432-436.

McGrath SR, Lievaart JJ, Virgona JM and Friend MA (2013). Factors involved in high ewe losses in winter lambing flocks grazing dual-purpose wheat in southern NSW: A producer survey. Animal Production Science 53, 458-463.

Gulliver CE, Friend MA, King BJ, Wilkins JF and Clayton EH (2013). A higher proportion of female lambs when ewes were fed oats and cottonseed meal prior to and following conception.  Animal Production Science 53, 464-471.

Swain DL and Friend MA (2013). Opportunities for telemetry techniques in studies on the nutritional ecology of free-ranging domesticated ruminants Animal.7 (Supp. S1),123-131.

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