Profiles

Megan Verdon

UTAS Home Dr Megan Verdon

Megan Verdon

Research Fellow

Room A1-06, Building A, Cradle Coast Campus

0409 640 452 (phone)

Megan.Verdon@utas.edu.au

Dr Megan Verdon is a Research Fellow at the Dairy Centre in the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. Megan has experience in animal behaviour and welfare, and is undertaking research into virtual fencing for dairy cows.

Biography

Before joining the University of Tasmania, Megan was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Animal Welfare Science Centre at The University of Melbourne, where she also completed her PhD studies.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeThesis TitleUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDSow aggression in groups: Predicting and implications for sow welfareUniversity of MelbourneAustralia2014
Postgraduate Diploma Animal Science and Management University of MelbourneAustralia2010
B. Sci (Chemistry major) University of MelbourneAustralia2007

Memberships

Professional practice

  • International Society of Applied Ethology
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

View more on Dr Megan Verdon in WARP

Expertise

  • Social behaviour of animals
  • Animal behaviour
  • Animal welfare
  • Pig
  • Dairy
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Individual variation
  • Animal personalities

Research Themes

Megan’s research aligns to the University’s research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Her research interests include understanding the complex relationships between social behaviour, welfare and productivity of animals. Her previous research has demonstrated that, while an individual animal may have a general tendency to deliver more or less aggression, they may also display flexibility around this general ten­dency depending on prior experiences and the environment (including the social environment). Megan believes that recognising the social needs of production animals and manipulating the commercial system to support the natural development and expression of social behaviour will achieve continued advancement in animal welfare and productivity.

Awards

  • Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Science and Innovation Awards (2014)
  • Dean’s Honours (2011)
  • Australian Pork Limited Postgraduate Research Scholarship Award (2010)

Fields of Research

  • Animal Behaviour (060801)
  • Animal Management (070203)

Research Objectives

  • Animal Welfare (839901)
  • Dairy Cattle (830302)

Publications

Megan has published six research papers in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at seven scientific domestic and international conferences. She is first author on a literature review that was the 8th most frequently downloaded article from the prestigious Journal of Animal Science in 2015. She has just completed a book chapter on aggression in commercial pigs that will be published in 2017. She regularly reviews articles for the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Total publications

11

Journal Article

(6 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Verdon M, Morrison RS, Rault J-L, 'Group-lactation housing form 7 or 14 days post partum: effects on piglet behaviour', Animal Production Science, 57, (12) pp. 2450-2450. ISSN 1836-0939 (2017) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1071/ANv57n12Ab047 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2017Verdon M, Morrison RS, Rault J-L, 'Group-lactaion housing from 7 or 14 days post partum: effects on sow behaviour', Animal Production Science, 57, (12) pp. 2461-2461. ISSN 1836-0939 (2017) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1071/ANv57n12Ab049 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2017Verdon M, Morrison RS, Rice M, Butler KL, Hemsworth PH, 'The short-term behavioural response of sows, but not gilts, to a social stimulus is related to sow aggressiveness in groups', Behavioural Processes, 140 pp. 216-225. ISSN 0376-6357 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2017.04.013 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1

Tweet

2016Singh C, Verdon M, Cronin GM, Hemsworth PH, 'The behaviour and welfare of sows and piglets in farrowing crates or lactation pens', Animal, 11, (7) pp. 1210-1221. ISSN 1751-7311 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/S1751731116002573 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3

Tweet

2016Verdon M, Morrison RS, Hemsworth PH, 'Rearing piglets in multi-litter group lactation systems: effects on piglet aggression and injuries post-weaning', Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 183 pp. 35-41. ISSN 0168-1591 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.008 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 10

Tweet

2016Verdon M, Morrison RS, Rice M, Hemsworth PH, 'Individual variation in sow aggressive behavior and its relationship with sow welfare', Journal of Animal Science, 94, (3) pp. 1203-1214. ISSN 0021-8812 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2527/jas.2015-0006 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Tweet

Review

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Verdon M, Hansen CF, Rault J-L, Jongman LU, Hansen LU, et al., 'Effects of group housing on sow welfare: a review', Journal of Animal Science, 93, (5) pp. 1999-2017. ISSN 0021-8812 (2015) [Substantial Review]

DOI: 10.2527/jas2014-8742 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 18

Tweet

Conference Publication

(4 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Rault J-L, Ho H, Verdon M, Hemsworth P, 'Feeding behaviour, aggression and dominance in group-housed sows', Animal Production Science, 22-25 November, Melbourne, pp. 1495. ISSN 1836-0939 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

DOI: 10.1071/ANv55n12Ab001 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2015Verdon M, Morrison RS, Hemsworth PH, 'Short and long-term repeatability of individual sow aggressiveness', Animal Production Science, 22-25 November, Melbourne, pp. 1512. ISSN 1836-0939 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

DOI: 10.1071/ANv55n12Ab055 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2015Verdon M, Morrison RS, Hemsworth PH, 'The effects of group lactation sow housing on aggression and injuries in weaner pigs', Proceedings of the 49th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology: Ethology for sustainable society, 14-17 September, Sapporo, Japan, pp. 63. ISBN 978-90-8686-271-9 (2015) [Conference Extract]

DOI: 10.3920/978-90-8686-817-9 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2013Verdon M, Morrison R, Rice M, Hemsworth PH, 'Group-housed sows who engage in aggression after mixing have reduced injuries and gain more weight', Proceedings of the 47th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology: Applied Ethology: understanding behaviour to improve livelihood, 02-06 June, Florianopolis, Brazil, pp. 68. ISBN 9789086867790 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

DOI: 10.3920/978-90-8686-779-0 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

Grants & Funding

In total, Megan has attracted over $253,000 of funding through scholarships, awards and competitive grants.This includes three successful industry projects and the 2014 Australian Federal Government’s Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture. Megan’s current research involves a large industry and multi-university collaboration that is largely funded through the Australian Government’s Rural Research and Development for Profit programme.

Funding Summary

Number of grants

5

Total funding

$4,059,709

Projects

Enhancing the profitability and productivity of livestock farming through virtual herding technology (2017 - 2020)$3,780,000
Description
This project aims through the use of virtual fencing/herding technology to improve the productivity and profitability of livestock enterprises through optimising the management of individual grazing animals and better matching their requirements with feed availability.
Funding
Department of Agriculture ($2,600,000)
Collaborators
Australian Pork Limited ($20,000); Australian Wool Innovation Limited ($170,000); Dairy Australia Limited ($400,000); Meat and Livestock Australia ($200,000); University of Melbourne ($120,000); University of New England ($90,000); University of Sydney ($180,000)
Scheme
Grant-Rural R&D for Profit program
Administered By
Dairy Australia Limited
Research Team
Tomkins N; Swan P; D'Souza D; Henry D; Rawnsley RP; Hills JL; Freeman MJ; Verdon MJ
Period
2017 - 2020
The feeding behaviour of sows and its relationship to sow welfare and reproduction. (2015)$18,821
Funding
Pork Co-operative Research Centre ($18,821)
Scheme
Industry innovation grant
Administered By
The Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne
Research Team
Verdon M; Morrison R; Hemsworth P
Year
2015
Pre-weaning social exposure: effects on aggression and injuries of weaner pigs (2015)$22,000
Funding
Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ($22,000)
Scheme
Science and Innovation Award
Administered By
The Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne
Research Team
Verdon M
Year
2015
Welfare implications of group lactation at various ages (2015)$124,888
Funding
Pork Co-operative Research Centre ($124,888)
Scheme
Industry grant
Administered By
The Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne
Research Team
Rault J; Verdon M; Morrison R
Year
2015
Social strategies of sows in groups: the relationships between the social strategy adopted and sow behaviour, stress physiology and reproduction. (2015 - 2017)$114,000
Funding
Australian Pork Limited ($114,000)
Scheme
Study Award
Administered By
The Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne
Research Team
Verdon M
Period
2015 - 2017

Megan has successfully supervised three Masters students, is on the advisory committee for one PhD candidate and co-supervisor to a second. She hopes to find a PhD candidate who is enthusiastic about social behaviour and animal welfare to work within her current research program that is investigating virtual herding technology in dairy cows.