With ruminants being a major source of greenhouse gases, our scientists seek ways to mitigate emissions, as well as develop animals that are better adapted to high temperature environments.

Our science

World-first mitigation research

Our climate change animal science aims to mitigate methane emissions from ruminants, including sheep, cows, deer and goats, as well as develop animals that are better adapted to high temperature environments.

AgResearch scientists were the first in the world to successfully develop low methane-emitting sheep genetic lines and methods for rapid screening of breeding stock. This research and the AgResearch-invented portable methane accumulation chambers were recognised as new tools to combat climate change by winning the Supreme Award at the 2021 Science New Zealand Awards.

Adaptation research

AgResearch scientists use biotechnology approaches to develop cattle that are less susceptible to the high temperatures expected in the future.

Animals play a key part in our climate change adaptation study called the Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment. This experiment has been operating for 25 years and studies the impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on pastures. It is the only experiment of its type in the world which includes grazing animals, meaning the results are relevant to both Aotearoa New Zealand and globally.

FACE explained

  • Additional capabilities

    • Animal genetics
    • Animal biotechnology
    • High throughput methane screening for sheep and cattle
    • Animal genomics
    • Animal welfare
    • Pest biology

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Send an email to one of our team or check out our facilities located across Aotearoa New Zealand.

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