Member Focus: A/Prof Susanne Hermesch

A new initiative of the APRIL Newsletter is Member Focus, which provides an opportunity for people affiliated with APRIL to learn more about other APRIL Members or individuals working/associated with the industry. If you would like to volunteer for this segment (as opposed to me asking you!), please feel free to contact me directly.

A/Prof Susanne Hermesch


Susanne calls Australia home since 1992, when she began her PhD in pig breeding at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale. Following her PhD, Susanne continued to support the Australasian pig industry through research on genetic improvement of efficient lean meat growth, carcase quality, sow lifetime performance and piglet survival. Her research outputs for the Pork CRC about genetic improvement of disease resilience, robustness, health and welfare of pigs has gained international recognition. Currently, Susanne leads research about avenues to reduce the incidence of tail biting in pigs and genetic improvement of seasonal fertility. This research is conducted in collaboration with APRIL and other industry partners. Susanne is committed to fostering the adoption of genetic principles by the Australasian pig industry and enjoys supporting and training postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows in all aspects of selective breeding of pigs.

Susanne was a committee member of the Australasian Pig Science Association (Inc) from 1997 to 2003 and was a co-editor of the Association for the Advancement of Animal in 2019. Currently, Susanne is the President of the Permanent Committee of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production and she is a member of the Advisory Board of the European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics, a recognised Erasmus Mundus course.

Through UNE, AGBU is a Participating Member of APRIL. Susanne believes that AGBU can contribute to finding new solutions for challenges the industry faces. This will be achieved through collaborative research with other Universities and industry partners. APRIL plays a key role in fostering such a wide-spread collaborative research approach for the Australasian pig industry.