Project Co-Leader – Professor Peter Windsor DVSc, PhD, BVSc (Hons), Grad.Cert Ed. Studies (Higher Ed.), DipECSRHM
Peter is a veterinarian and large ruminant health, production and welfare specialist with extensive R&D experience of over 20 years in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Lao PDR. He has successfully developed and led a a number of both SRA (short research activity) and large ACIAR funded large projects in the Mekong. Peter is an experienced educator having undertaken strategic curriculum development and implementation of teaching of the USYD (University of Sydney) Bachelor of Veterinary Science, including livestock disease diagnostics, epidemiology, control and public health, plus postgraduate student supervision in research methodologies. In 1998, he undertook a 19-month appointment to FAO in Naga City in the Bicol region of the Philippines that eventually led to the successful eradication of FMD. Peter is a strong public advocate for ACIAR funded research projects and linking them to livestock development projects, through his role on the Board of the Sydney South East Asian Centre and participation on international scientific committees (eg World Buiatrics conference 2014).
Project Co-Leader – Associate Professor Russell Bush BScAgr (Hons I) PhD
Russell brings a wealth of experience in livestock production and health to the Team. Russell is a whole farm value chain specialist and agricultural systems educator, having his own beef cattle operation. He has over 14 years experience conducting ACIAR livestock research in Indonesia (health), Cambodia and Laos (beef production) and Pakistan (dairy production) where he has been a project specialist and co-leader. Russell led the development of the beef weigh tape (cattle and buffalo) in northern Laos, a simple tool to empower smallholder producers when monitoring production gains and negotiating sales with traders. He also has led the development of a feeding calendar in Pakistan to provide knowledge on seasonal availability of forages (including when to sow and harvest) to meet animal requirements for each month of the year. His research program includes applied domestic and international research specializing in issues impacting on food security. This includes impacts on health and production as well as the socioeconomic implications and involves supervision of honours, masters and PhD students.
Project Leader Laos – Dr. Syseng Khounsy PhD
Syseng is a veterinarian in the Lao DLF with a PhD in microbiology and has laboratory, field research and extension management skills. He has been integral to a number of successful ACIAR projects including AS1/2003/001 and AH/2006/159, achieving significant respect for his leadership of the ADB–IFAD–SDC Northern Region Sustainable Livelihoods Development Project. As Lao project team leader located in Luang Prabang, he manages local operations including vaccination & surveillance programs, supervision of local staff and students, financial and scientific management of the project in Laos, and liaising with USYD team members and students.
Project Leader Cambodia – Dr. Suon Sothoeun PhD
Sothoeun is the Deputy Director of the Department of Animal Health and Production, MAFF, Cambodia and has over 20 years experience in animal health and production. He has significant research experience in a wide range of topics including animal health, production and trade as well as playing integral roles in Cambodia’s legislative and policy development in animal health, production, trade, SPS and food safety. Sothoeun has extensive project management experience having held leadership positions within ACIAR, World Bank, IFAD, ADB, AUSAID, USAID and the EU funded programs. He has been the project leader for the recently completed ACIAR projects ‘Best practice health and husbandry of cattle, Cambodia’, and the ‘Development of a model for the control of Fasciolosis in cattle and buffaloes in the Kingdom of Cambodia’. He holds a number of committee roles in National Councils and Educational institutions providing legislative and strategic leadership and development in multiple sectors. Sotheoun also brings extensive veterinary laboratory experience and skills to the team. He has been involved in extension and teaching at all levels (farmers, district and provincial officers, Diplomas, Bachelor, Master and PhD courses), conducting training courses, workshop seminars and curriculum development having held lecturer posts at the Faculty of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Royal Agricultural University and Faculty of Agriculture, Royal Academy of Cambodia. He has supervised over 50 research students and authored 14 scientific publications, textbooks and manuals.
Project Officer – Isabel MacPhillamy BVSc
Isabel recently joined the MLR team as its new Project Officer, taking over from Jim Young who is dedicating his time to finalising his PhD. Isabel graduated with a BVSc degree in 2015 after completing a BSc(Vet) in 2013 in which she conducted a research project on ‘Improving smallholder farmer biosecurity education in Lao PDR to enhance large ruminant marketing’. She spent considerable time in Laos collect data, along with a final year placement in Indonesia, and leisure travel throughout South-East Asia. She is excited to be back on board with these and future ACIAR projects.
Honorary Associate – James Young BVSc MVPHMgt MANZCVS (Epidemiology)
Jim first got involved in the ACIAR funded ‘Best practice health and husbandry of cattle, Cambodia’ project in 2010 when he took on a research project involving the analysis of a 4-year cattle productivity study as part of his Masters of Veterinary Public Health Management degree. The purpose was to undertake a quantitative assessment of both baseline cattle productivity and measure impacts of the project interventions. Through this project he first traveled to Cambodia and Laos in 2010 and again in 2011. This experience highlighted the role veterinary professionals can play in development in the wider international community. Jim particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Cambodian smallholder farmers, government staff, extension workers, students and academic experts in Australia. His research project led to employment as a contracted Project Officer for the University of Sydney in early 2012 through until early 2017. Jim has recently submitted his PhD and continues to work in the team in an Honorary Associate role.
Project Officer, Laos and Honorary Associate – Sonevilay Nampanya BAnVetBioSc (Hons) PhD
Sonevilay is a Lao PDR national who had worked for NGO’s in livestock projects in Laos prior to completing a BAnVetBiosc (Hons) degree from the UoS faculty in 2009, supported by AusAid. His Hons project was supported by the Australian Biosecurity CRC and led to a very good publication in the journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, on farmer knowledge gaps in large ruminant production, health and biosecurity. Sonevilay then worked as a research associate for us for 2 years in Laos on the ACIAR funded research project ‘Best practice large ruminant health and husbandry, Lao PDR’. In addition, Sonevilay has had a critical role in the training of government livestock extension and research staff, with support from the Crawford Fund, work that in 2011 was extended the local university and college sector. In 2012, he was awarded a prestigious John Alwright Fellowship to commence his PhD with us on FMD and Biosecurity in northern Lao PDR, which was completed in 2016. Sonevilay’s project and ongoing work investigates FMD in the Mekong region, contributing to the SEACFMD roadmap (South East Asia and China FMD) for possible control and eradication of the disease has been developed by the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) office in Bangkok that aims to coordinate FMD activities of countries in the region. However little is known of the epidemiology of disease transmission or the socioeconomic impact of FMD and farmer, trader and extension worker knowledge of the role of vaccination and biosecurity in disease management is severely deficient in Lao PDR. Sonevilay is conducting a range of studies that address these questions in addition to cattle productivity research that explores whether sustainable FMD vaccination and biosecurity can be incorporated into village-level smallholder systems.
Katherine Ashley BAnVetBioSc (Hons) (current PhD student)
Katherine is an animal scientist who got involved in the ACIAR funded ‘Best practice health and husbandry of cattle, Cambodia’ project in 2012 during her honours project investigating the socio-economic impact of improved forage availability and animal health knowledge on cattle production systems in Cambodia. During her research, Katherine recognised the importance of livestock development in alleviating poverty and developed an interest in agricultural interventions as a means of improving income, health and education levels among smallholders and their families. After joining DAFF in 2013, Katherine gained valuable experience in the areas of international animal welfare and live animal exports and recognised the benefits of collaboration between government, NGOs, industry, communities and individuals in understanding and addressing key issues of importance. In 2014, Katherine re-joined the project team to undertake a PhD and continue her research into the smallholder benefits of improving livestock production and health in Cambodia and Laos PDR.
Luisa Olmo BAnVetBioSc (Hons) (current PhD student)
Luisa began her studies in Mekong livestock research in 2015 when she started her Bachelor of Animal Veterinary Bioscience honours research at the University of Sydney. Her research was part of the ACIAR funded project ‘Village-based biosecurity for livestock disease risk management in Cambodia’ and her focus was investigating reproductive inefficiency in cattle and buffalo in Cambodia and Laos. After a yearlong study involving participating in the conducting of knowledge, attitude and practice surveys (KAP) on smallholder farmers in Cambodia, she finalised some key recommendations. This included the need to educate farmers to improve their selection of bulls, control breeding, and manage gestational nutrition. Whilst undertaking honours research it became apparent that improving reproductive efficiency was extremely important in order to improve smallholder income and livelihoods. This motivated Luisa to begin her PhD in 2016 which aims to develop interventions to assist farmers in improving reproductive management of their livestock. Luisa is a strong advocate that improving farmer knowledge is a valuable tool to prevent unnecessary reproductive loss.
Nichola Calvani BAnVetBioSc (Hons) (current PhD student)
Nichola became involved with the ACIAR funded project ‘Village-based biosecurity for livestock disease risk management in Cambodia’ in 2015 when she enrolled in an honours project investigating the prevalence of liver fluke in Cambodian cattle. Her pilot study lead to further work in the form of a PhD addressing liver fluke prevalence and control in the Mekong region. Nichola aims to help smallholder cattle farmers increase the value of their animals through parasite management via the use of medicated molasses feed supplement blocks. She will be investigating whether the additional nutritional incentive will lead to the management of this chronic and hence often neglected disease. Nichola is also interested in improving the currently available diagnostic techniques for fasciolosis in Cambodia. She is currently optimizing a commercial ELISA for detection of Fasciola antigen in faeces, and is developing a molecular diagnostic tool for faecal samples to determine the quantity and species present.
Dr Luzia Rast BVSc MVPHMgt MANZCVS (Epi) PhD
Luzia joined the farm animal group of the Veterinary Faculty of Sydney University in the role as full time project research officer for the two ACIAR funded projects ‘Best practice health and husbandry in large ruminants in Cambodia and Lao PDR’ in early 2008 through to the end of the projects in 2012. In 2009 Luzia also enrolled in a PhD associated with the Lao project, investigating the clinical and financial impact of Fasciola gigantica and Toxocara vitulorum in cattle and buffalo in northern Lao. Luzia relocated to Luang Prabang in northern Lao to better manage the operational aspects of the project work and the field components of her research. Luzia found living and working in South-East Asia a very rewarding experience both on personal and professional level. Luzia’s work as part of a multi-disciplinary and international team in developing countries in the region gave her insight into many issues including the complexity of international work and research and the challenges and importance of improving livestock production to contribute to food security in the region. Having a veterinary public health background and interest it has become evident to her that increasing capacities in this area in South-East Asia is very much needed and ultimately will also benefit biosecurity, animal and human health and welfare and food security for the wider region including Australia. Luzia has recently submitted her PhD for examination and has joined Charles Sturt University veterinary school as a lecturer and researcher.
Lynn Henry BEc GradDipAgEc MEc
Lynn is an agricultural economist with research interests focussing on the marketing, policy and quantitative analysis of the agricultural and natural resource sectors. Whilst she has worked in a number of different agricultural industries her focus, since working in the NSW Department of
Agriculture as a young agricultural economist, has been in the livestock industries. Additionally Lynn has been involved in a number of ACIAR projects both as project leader and working in inter disciplinary projects throughout Asia and the Pacific. She has also been involved in a number of
consultancy’s and working parties involving marketing of citrus to the US, horticultural export control powers, quarantine risks to our animal and plant industries and employment issues in agricultural industries. Lynn has also been one of the staff involved in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment’s student field projects in Laos and has conducted training schools in Asia, through ACIAR funded programs, on resource economics and modelling analysis.
Peter Alexander BVSc