Bpex-funded PhD student wins award

The work by a PhD student funded by Bpex, involving minimising the amount of phosphorous excreted from growing and finishing pigs, has been awarded a President’s Award.

Vasilis Symeou at Newcastle University received the award based on a paper presented at the 2013 British Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting.

Symeou said: “I have developed a simulation model to predict more accurately how much P a growing pig requires and match that with the amount of digestible P available from diets based on different feed ingredients. From this, we should be able to advise pig producers on how to maximise P digestibility and, therefore, reduce the amount of P used.”

Phosphorous needs to be conserved to improve the environmental sustainability of pig production, as it is an expensive resource.

“A reduction in P use means lower cost to the producer and reduced excretion to the environment,” Symeou added.

His work has previously been presented at the 2012 Digestive Physiology of Pigs Meeting in Colorado and, this year, it is being presented at the International Meeting on Modelling Pig and Poultry Nutrition in Brazil.

Symeou’s next step will be to convert his simulation model into a population model, in a bid to develop strategies for reducing phosphorous excretion.

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