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Animal Biotechnologist

Position Overview

Animal biotechnologists research animal feed and reproduction, specifically relating to nutrition and health implications. They look for new or better production methods based on their research findings. As such, animal biotechnologists should have a science and engineering background to possess the capability to modify products or organisms, and understand the implications of every action. This process is used for agricultural animals, such as cattle, swine, or poultry.

They may look to improve milk production, disease resistance, growth rates, or lean muscle mass. Some animal biotechnologists focus solely on feed modifications, whereas others use biotechnology for genetic engineering, such as recombinant DNA, cloning, or gene knock-out. When their methods improve production, it can lead to better nutritional content for human consumption, cheaper food supply, and possibly reduced environmental impacts. They work with this technical information and relay it to those in animal healthcare, especially veterinarians. They may also complete work on the farm, such as inseminating animals or detecting when animals are in heat. Animal biotechnologists need to keep detailed records of all research and tasks completed.

Animal Biotechnologist Duties

  • Collect semen and process semen orders
  • Clean and sterilize all equipment
  • Relay technical information / data to health personnel in the agricultural field
  • Create nutrition plans for client's animals
  • Study nutritional disorders
  • Develop new feed products / ingredient blends to better suite client's needs
  • Provide presentations or reports on nutritional or production findings
  • Manage research trials
  • Use biotechnology, if applicable, to improve production
  • Follow proper health and safety procedures
  • Evaluate nutritional value of different feed products

Typical Employers

  • Food production companies
  • Universities
  • Research farms
  • Laboratories
  • Contract growers
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Required Education and Training

Animal biotechnologists should have a master's degree in animal science, engineering, or a related field. They should also have a general understanding of agricultural and livestock practices.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Outstanding problem solver
  • Ability to think differently
  • Good at multitasking
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Good decision making skills
  • Ability to present and disseminate scientific information to others
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Organised