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Donagh Berry

Research Officer - Statistical geneticist

Research Interests

  • Genetic and genomic analyses and evaluations
  • Genotyping platforms
  • Statistics
  • Redictive modelling
  • Chemometrics 
  • Breeding objectives and production indexes
  • Breeding scheme design
  • Decision support tools

Species: dairy, beef, sheep, pigs, horses, greyhounds & perennial ryegrass

Current Projects

  • Development of genetic evaluations, breeding objectives and breeding goals in Irish dairy cattle, beef cattle, and sheep
  • Multi-breed genomic evaluations
  • Genetic selection for improved milk and meat product quality in dairy, beef and sheep
  • Bovine genetic variation and disease susceptibility
  • Genetics of cost production traits
  • Genetic, nutritional and management approaches to improve fertility in lactating dairy cattle
  • Global cooperation to develop next generation whole genome SEQuence SELection tools for novel traits (SEQSEL)
  • Development, calibration and validation of feed intake methodology to rapidly screen dairy, beef and sheep for feed intake and efficiency
  • Innovative control of fluke in Irish livestock leading to sustainable use of anthelmintics and reduced potential for anthelmintic resistance
  • Optimising annual output per sow by increasing the number of viable piglets born alive and minimising pre-weaning piglet mortality
  • Large-scale methane measurements on individual ruminants for genetic evaluations
  • Increasing genetic gain in reproductive performance exploiting deep phenotypes
  • Meat Technology Ireland Centre
  • GenTORE – GENomic management Tools to Optimize Resilience and Efficiency


Ph.D. in Quantitative Genetics. University College Dublin/Wageningen University The Netherlands
MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, University College Cork, Ireland
Bachelor of Agriculture Science, University College Dublin, Ireland


Dec 2015 – to-date Diploma in Leadership Development, IMI, Dublin 
July 2012 to date: Visiting Prof in Livestock Computational Genomics, SRUC UK 
Jan 2012 to date: Adjunct Prof in Population Genetics, University College Cork 
Jan 2012 to date: Lecturer in Animal Genetics, University College Dublin 
Sept 2009 – May 2011: MSc in bioinformatics and systems biology, UCC 
2007 - to date: Principal Dairy and Beef Research Geneticist, Teagasc, Moorepark Dairy Production Research Center, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland 
June 2007 - Nov. 2007: Senior Dairy and Beef Geneticist, (address as above). 
Oct 2003 - June 2007: Dairy and Beef Research Geneticist, (address as above). 
Mar 2004 - Mar 2005: Sabbatical leave at Livestock Improvement and Abacus

Berry D.P, A. Wolfe, J. O’Donovan, N. Byrne, R. G. Sayers, K. G. Dodds, J. C. McEwan, R. E. O’Connor, M. McClure, and D. C. Purfield. 2017. Characterisation of an X-chromosomal non-mosaic monosomy (59, X0) dairy heifer detected using routinely available single nucleotide polymorphism genotype data. J. Anim. Sci. 95: 1042-1049  

Berry, D.P., O'Brien, A., Wall. E., McDermott, K., Randles, S., Flynn, P., Park, S., Grose,J., Weld,R. and McHugh, N. (2016). Inter-and intra-reproducibility of genotypes from sheep technical replicates on Illumina and Affymetrix platforms. Genetics Selection Evolution 48:86  

Connolly, S.M., Cromie, A.R. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Genetic differences based on a beef terminal index are reflected in future phenotypic performance differences in commercial beef cattle. Animal 10:5, 763-745  

English, T.M., Banos, G., Moore, K.L., Coffey, M.P., Evans, R.D. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Genetic analysis of carcass traits in beef cattle using random regression models. Journal of Animal Science 94:1354-1364  

Hurley, A.M., Lopez-Villalobos, N, McParland, S., Kennedy, E., Lewis, E., O'Donovan, M., Burke, J.L. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Inter-relationships among alternative definitions of feed efficiency in grazing lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 99:468-479   

Judge, M.M., Kearney, J.F., McClure, M.C., Sleator, R.D. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Evaluation of developed low-density genotype panels for imputation to higher density in independent dairy and beef cattle populations. American Society of Animal Science 94:949-962   

Purfield, D., McClure, M. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Justification for setting the individual animal genotype call rate threshold at eighty-five percent. Journal of Animal Science 94:4558-4569  

Twomey, A. J., Sayers, R., Carroll, R. I., Byrne, N., O'Brien, E., O'Doherty, M.L., Grahan, D. and Berry, D.P. (2016). Genetic parameters for both a liver damage phenotype caused by Fasciola hepatica and antibody response to Fasciola hepatica phenotype in dairy and beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 4109-4119

Stephen Connolly
Alan Hurley
Alan Twomey
Siobhan Ring
Tanya Englishby
Aine O’Brien 
Jenny Doyle
Pierce Rafter
Fíona Dunne
Dixon Vimalajeewa