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Julia Calderón Díaz

Postdoctoral Research Officer

Research Interests

  • Pig health
  • Sow longevity
  • Objective methods for pig feet and leg conformation assessment and lameness identification
  • Dynamic space requirements for housing sows
  • Pig welfare and behaviour
  • Animal husbandry
  • Data analysis
  • Economics of pig production

Current Projects

PathSurvPigs: Investigation of respiratory disease on Irish pig farms, associated risk factors, and the relationship with performance, welfare and antibiotic use
MSSM: Development of a stochastic simulation  economic model for the Irish pig production


  • Professional Certificate in Bioinformatics, University College Dublin (2017) 
  • Ph.D in Animal Science, University College Dublin, Ireland (2014) 
  • M.Sc. in Animal Sciences, AgroParisTech, Paris France (2009) 
  • M.Sc. in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria  (2009) 
  • B.Sc in Agricultural Science, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana “Zamorano”, Honduras (2005)

Post doctoral education:

  • Iowa State University (2013-2015)
  • Teagasc (2015- present)


I graduated from my BSc. Agriculture Sciences in 2005 from the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana  ‘Zamorano’, Honduras. I continued with my MSc studies under the Erasmus Mundus programme in the European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria, and at AgroParisTech, Paris, France, resulting in the achievement of 2 MSc degrees in 2009. Additionally, I conducted my MSc thesis project at the INRA Jouy-en-Josas, France, estimating correlative responses on sow reproduction in a selection experiment for residual feed intake. I completed my PhD degree in Agriculture and Food Science with a focus on sow welfare and behaviour from University College Dublin, Ireland in 2014, but as a recipient of a Teagasc Walsh Fellowship, I was based at Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy.

From October 2013 to October 2015, I worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Animal Science at the Iowa State University in the U.S. National Pork Board “Sow Lifetime Productivity” project focusing on improving sow longevity through feeding practices during the gilt developmental period. I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Pig Development Teagasc, Fermoy, working mainly on a project regarding risk factors for respiratory diseases in growing-finishing pigs and developing a budgetary simulation model for the Irish pig production.

I completed a professional certificate in Bioinformatics from University College Dublin in 2017.


Professional Membership

  • American Societies of Animal Science
  • European Federation of Animal Science
  • Polish Academy of Science
  • Calderón Díaz, J. A., Diana, A., Boyle, L., Leonad, F.C., McElroy, M., McGettrick, S., Moriarty, J., Manzanilla, E.G. 2017. Relationship between sow parity, piglet traits and management practices during lactation and mortality, health, welfare and carcass traits. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 146: 94-102 
  • Calderón Díaz, J. A., Vallet, J.L., Boyd, R.D., Lents, C., Prince, T.J., DeDecker, A.E., Phillips, C.E., Foxcroft, G., Stalder, K.J. 2017. Effect of ad libitum feeding diets with three standard ileal digestible lysine concentrations on body composition, feed efficiency and age at puberty in replacement gilts. Animal Reproduction Science. 184: 1-10 
  • Calderón Díaz, J. A., Diana, A., Boyle, L., Leonad, F.C., McElroy, M., McGettrick, S., Moriarty, J., Manzanilla, E.G. 2017. Delaying pigs from the normal production flow is associated with health problems and poorer performance. Porcine Health Management. 3, 13. DOI 10.1186/s40813-017-0061-6 
  • Calderón Díaz, J. A., Berry, D. J., Rebeiz, N., Metzler-Zebeli B. U., MaGowan, E., Gardiner, G. E., Lawlor, P. G. 2017. Feed efficiency metrics in pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 95: 3037-3046
  • Beam, D.L, Calderón Díaz, J. A., Stalder, K.J., Heinrichs, A.J., Dechow, C.D. 2015. Milk yield and mature cow body weight associations with calf growth and feed intake traits. Journal of Dairy Science. 99:8347–8355
  • Vallet, J.L., Calderón Díaz, J. A., Stalder, K.J., Phillips, C., DeDeckers, A., Miles, J.R., Rempel, L.A., Rohrer, G.A., Lents, C.A., Freking, B.A., Nonneman, D.J. 2016. Litter of origin trait effects on gilt development. Journal of Animal Science. 94: 96-105
  • Engblom, L., Calderón Díaz, J. A., Nikkilä, M., Gray, K., Harms, P., Fix, J., Tsuruta, S., Mabry, J., Stalder, K. Genetic analysis of sow longevity and sow lifetime reproductive traits using censored data. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. DOI: 10.1111/jbg.12177 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A., Vallet, J.L., Lents, C.A., Nonneman, D.J., Miles, J.R., Wright, E.C., Rempel, L.A., Cushman,R.A., Freking, B.A., Rohrer, G.A., Phillips, C.E., DeDecker, A.E., Foxcroft, G., Stalder, K.J. 2015. Age at puberty, ovulation rate, and uterine length of developing gilts fed two lysine and three metabolizable energy concentrations from 100 d to 260 d of age. Journal of Animal Science. 93: 3521-3527 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A., Stienezen, I. M., Leonard, F. C., Boyle, L. A. 2015. The effect of overgrown claws on behaviour and claw abnormalities of sows in farrowing crates. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 166 :44-51 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A., Vallet, J.L., Prince, T.J., Phillips, C.E., DeDecker, A.E., Stalder, K.J. 2015. Optimal dietary energy and amino acids for gilt development: Growth, body composition, feed intake and carcass composition traits. Journal of Animal Science. 93: 118-1199 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A., Nikkilä, M.T., Stalder, K. 2015. Sow Longevity. In: The Gestating and Lactating Sow. Farmer, C. (eds) Wageningen Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-8686-803-2, pp. 423-452 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A., Fahey, A.G., Boyle, L.A. 2014. Effect of gestation housing system and floor type during lactation on locomotory ability, body, limb and claw lesions and lying-down behaviour of lactating sows. Journal of Animal Science. 92: 1675-1685 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A. and Boyle, L.A. 2014. Effect of rubber slat mats on the behaviour and welfare of group housed pregnant sows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 151: 13-23 
  • Calderón Díaz, J.A. and Boyle, L.A. 2014. Effect of housing on rubber slat mats during pregnancy on the behaviour and welfare of sows in farrowing crates. Irish Journal of Agriculture and Food Research. 53: 189-197  
  • Calderón Díaz, A., Fahey, A.G., KilBride, A. L., Green, L.E., Boyle, L.A. 2013 Longitudinal study of the effect of rubber slat mats on locomotory ability, body, limb and claw lesions and dirtiness of group housed sows. Journal of Animal Science. 91: 3940-3954