AFBI Director receives Honorary Professorship

Date published: 07 July 2022

AFBI Director of Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Division Elizabeth Magowan has been extended an honorary professorship by the Institute of Global Food Security and the School of Biological Sciences (jointly) at Queen’s for her distinguished research in animal science, particularly in the area of de-carbonising agriculture and making livestock farming more sustainable.

Prof Elizabeth Magowan pictured with Director of QUB IGFS Prof Nigel Scollan

Dr Magowan is a well-known figure in Northern Ireland agri-food and as well as her position in AFBI is also Vice President of the British Society of Animal Science.

She chaired the UK-wide academic consortium and co-authored the recent ‘Net Zero & Livestock: How Farmers Can Reduce Emissions’ (2022) report commissioned by the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), aimed at providing farmers, processors and policymakers with evidence-based methods for de-carbonising agriculture. She also led a UK consortium of academics on an earlier CIEL report, ‘Net Zero Carbon & Livestock Report’ (2020) that established benchmarks for a range of farming systems.

With a PhD in Dairy Nutrition from Queen’s attained in 2004, Elizabeth spent her early research career focusing on pig-systems research. In her current post, she leads a broad, multi-disciplinary team encompassing economists, livestock, plant, food and data scientists.  She also co-leads the Queen’s-AFBI Alliance, which seeks to deliver and maximise the impact of Queens’ and AFBI’s innovation and research programmes to drive transformation in the agri-food system. 

Key achievements include the Sir John Hammond Award in 2017, from the British Society of Animal Science; and performing the role of Scientific Co-ordinator for a multi-million Euro, EU-funded, international research project (ECO FCE) to increase efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of pig and poultry farming.

Commenting on the professorship, Professor Nigel Scollan, Director of IGFS, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Magowan to the Queen’s family. This new professorships is richly deserved and congratulations to Elizabeth. The appointment recognises the excellence of the science undertaken. I look forward to continued partnership with her as collectively we seek to further embrace excellence in science and partnership to address global challenges in agricultural and food systems.

“Dr Magowan has been instrumental in forging the Queen’s-AFBI Alliance. As we move into a period of intense challenge – and opportunity – for Northern Ireland agri-food, it’s crucial that the knowledge base works in partnership with industry and government to underpin a food system that’s healthy, safe and sustainable. Dr Magowan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to that agenda. 

Dr Magowan said: “I am delighted to receive the honour of holding a professorship within Queen’s and to be part of an innovative, highly driven family of great individuals.  Working closely with Nigel and others, I look forward to furthering the development and impact of the Queen’s and AFBI Alliance, working in partnership with industry and government.  There are many challenging, as well as exciting, times for science in the coming years and I am humbled to be able to work with excellent scientists across both AFBI and Queen’s.”

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