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Impact of thermal environment and melatonin on animal body temperature and reproduction

Research opportunities are available to investigate how body temperature variation in pigs and sheep impact reproduction.

Join the University of Adelaide’s animal scientists in an honours research project which aims to explore the effect of melatonin and thermal environment on body temperature and reproduction of production animals.

Thermal environment is the largest single stressor affecting the development, growth and reproduction of production animals (i.e. sheep, pigs).


When environmental temperatures exceed the thermal comfort zone, thermoregulatory mechanisms and thus homeothermy are seriously challenged, and animal wellbeing and productivity is impaired.

Previous studies have demonstrated that melatonin supplementation reduces core temperature, and decreases the impact of high temperatures on reproductive processes.

This project will determine natural variation in the body temperature of production animals when they are exposed to high temperatures; how this variation impacts reproduction; and whether exogenous melatonin supplementation reduces body temperature and has the potential to improve reproduction.

Will van Wettere


Dr Will Van Wettere

Co-supervisorsDr Alyce Swinbourne | Dr Karen Kind

Research area: Production animal health

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Will Van Wettere, Honours projects - Alyce Swinbourne, Honours projects - Karen Kind