Research and development for the benefit of the northern Australian beef industry has gladly been my life for the past 10 years. In that time, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to travel to some of Australia’s harshest and most productive grazing country for the purposes of on-farm research, development of extension material, producer field days, producer training courses and industry events/focus groups. This time spent in the field with graziers, RD&E teams and industry representatives has given me a sincere appreciation for the complexity of Australia’s livestock production systems and the drivers and barriers of change within those systems. Conversing widely has also made me strongly aware of the power of public perception and its ever-present influence on our livestock industries, e.g., MLA carbon neutral 2030 target, 2011 live export ban, tree clearing laws etc. For me, this experience has been as important as the scientific and professional fundamentals gained from my UQ PhD and post-doctoral research. My strong empathy for graziers fuels my drive to make a real difference at the farm level.
In the ‘From Method to Market’ project we’re helping to cement the foundations for Australian red meat producers to be internationally recognised as ‘low carbon’, ‘carbon neutral’, ‘biodiversity friendly’ and ‘zero deforestation’. Our team collect targeted on-farm data to support the development of methods, markets, certification schemes and cost-effective tools and technologies. Ultimately, we aim to assist the Australian red meat industry to maintain or improve market access and provide red meat producers a means of formal recognition for their environmental stewardship.
Previous research involvement
- Indian couch invasion (Co-supervisor to honours project): Study of long-term population trends under different grazing strategies on Wambiana Station, North Queensland.
- Breeding sterile leucaena (Principle supervisor to honours project): Developing a rapid pollen screening method for male sterility in large leucaena breeding populations.
- Splatter gun project (Post-doctoral Research Fellow): Integration of splatter gun technology into control strategies for high priority rangeland weeds in northern Australia.
- Breeding sterile leucaena (Post-doctoral Research Fellow): Developing breeding and commercialisation strategies to accelerate the availability of sterile leucaena for adoption across the northern beef industry, particularly Western Australian bioregions.
- Sustainable coal seam water irrigation (PhD student): Investigation of salinity tolerance and water use of tropical and subtropical pasture species.
- Commercialising psyllid-resistant leucaena (Research Assistant): Testing the genetic stability, short-term palatability and seed production of psyllid-resistant breeding lines.
- Breeding psyllid-resistant leucaena (Research Assistant): Breeding a psyllid-resistant leucaena hybrid for northern Australia.
- ACIAR feedbase project (Research Assistant): Improving smallholder cattle fattening systems based on forage tree legume diets in eastern Indonesia and northern Australia.
- Leucaena toxicity project (Honours student): Investigation of the presence, impact and retention of Synergistes jonesii in cattle grazing Leucaena
Peer reviewed publications
Giles, H. et al (2018) Sterile leucaena becomes a reality? Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales, special issue to be announced.
Halliday, M. et al (2018) The efficacy of a cultured Synergistes jonesii inoculum to control hydroxypyridone toxicity in Bos indicus steers fed leucaena/grass diets. Animal Production Science, 59: 696-708.
Giles, H. et al (2017). Salinity tolerance and water use of tropical and subtropical pasture species adapted to southern Queensland. PhD Thesis, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland.
Giles, H. et al (2014) The growth response of tropical and subtropical forage species to increasing salinity. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales, 2 1: 57-59.
Halliday, M. et al (2014) The efficacy of in-vitro Synergistes jonesii inoculum in preventing DHP toxicity in steers fed leucaena-grass diets. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales, 2 1: 68-70.
Nulik, J. et al (2013) Establishment of Leucaena leucocephala cv. Tarramba in eastern Indonesia. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales, 1 1: 111-113.
Hacker, A. et al (2013) Potential of Australian bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) for pasture in subtropical Australia. Tropical Grasslands -Forrajes Tropicales, 1 1: 81-83.