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Stephen Butler

Research Officer - Reproductive Physiology & Systems Biology

Research Interests

  • The effects of genetic merit for fertility traits on ovarian follicular development, uterine environment and embryo quality.
  • Identify physiological mechanisms that underpin differences between high and low fertility cows.
  • Endocrinology of reproduction and nutrient partitioning.
  • Regulation of the GH-IGF axis.
  • Design and evaluation of oestrus and ovulation synchronisation protocols for seasonal-calving systems, and development of decision-support systems to identify appropriate protocols.
  • Use of micronutrients to improve reproductive performance of pasture-based dairy cows.
  • Evaluating the potential role of sexed semen in Irish dairy herds and implications for the dairy industry.
  • Development of strategies to predict phenotypic male fertility

Current Projects

  • Maximising the Genetic Potential of Young Elite Bulls – A Multidisciplinary Approach 
  • Genetic, nutritional and management approaches to improve fertility in lactating dairy cattle 
  • Identification of strategies to increase phenotypic fertility performance of late-calving dairy cows. 
  • Strategies to improve male fertility and increase sexed semen usage. 
  • New strategies to predict and monitor semen fertility


M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (2011) University College Cork
Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology (2004) Cornell University, USA
M.Agr.Sc. (1999) University College Dublin
B.Agr.Sc. (1997) University College Dublin


2004 to 2014: Research Officer, Teagasc Moorepark
2014 to date:  Principal Research Officer, Teagasc Moorepark


Fenlon C, O'Grady L, Doherty ML, Dunnion J, Shalloo L, Butler ST (2017).The creation and evaluation of a model predicting the probability of conception in seasonal-calving, pasture-based dairy cows. J Dairy Sci. 100(7):5550-5563.

Boer, H.M.T., S.T. Butler, C. Stötzel, R. F. Veerkamp and H. Woelders (2017). Parameterization of a mathematical model of the bovine estrous cycle for cows with different estrous cycle characteristics. Animal, 2017 Feb 15:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S175173111700026X.

Moran B, Cummins SB, Creevey CJ, Butler ST. Transcriptomics of liver and muscle in Holstein cows genetically divergent for fertility highlight differences in nutrient partitioning and inflammation processes (2016). BMC Genomics. 2016 Aug 11;17(1):603. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2938-1.

Fricke PM, Carvalho PD, Lucy MC, Curran F, Herlihy MM, Waters SM, Larkin JA, Crowe MA, Butler ST. Effect of manipulating progesterone before timed artificial insemination on reproductive and endocrine parameters in seasonal-calving, pasture-based Holstein-Friesian cows. J Dairy Sci. 2016 Aug;99(8):6780-92.

Murphy C, Shalloo L, Hutchinson IA, Butler ST (2016). Expanding the dairy herd in pasture-based systems: The role of sexed semen within alternative breeding strategies. J Dairy Sci. 2016 Aug;99(8):6680-92.

Moore, S.G., J.E. Pryce, B.J. Hayes, A.J. Chamberlain, K.E. Kemper, D.P. Berry, M. McCabe, P. Cormican, P. Lonergan, T.M. Fair and S.T. Butler (2016). Differentially expressed genes in endometrium and corpus luteum of Holstein cows selected for high and low fertility are enriched for sequence variants associated with fertility. Biology of Reproduction 94(1):19, 1–11.

Moore, S.G., A. O’Gorman, L. Brennan, T. Fair and S. T. Butler (2015). Follicular fluid and serum metabolites in Holstein cows are predictive of genetic merit for fertility. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, Accepted: 27 September 2015 

Butler, S.T. (2014). Nutritional management to optimise fertility in pasture-based systems. Animal, 8(s1):15-26.

Butler S.T., I.A. Hutchinson, A.R. Cromie, and L. Shalloo (2014). Applications and cost benefits of sexed semen in pasture-based dairy production systems. Animal, 8(s1):165-172.

Butler S.T. (2014). Genetic control of reproduction in dairy cows. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 26:1-11. 

Clio Maicas Palacios
Gobikrushanth Mohanathas
Eber Rojas Canadas
Rachel Doyle