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Peadar Lawlor

Principal Research Officer - Pig Management & Nutrition

Research Interests

Peadar Lawlor has 27 years of applied research and advisory experience in pig management and nutrition. Currently his focus is on optimising the nutrition and management of suckling and newly weaned pigs to stimulate earlier digestive enzyme production and increase early post-weaning feed intake and growth in pigs. He believes that success with this has huge scope to reduce reliance on antibiotics and zinc oxide at this critical time and will also increase lifetime survivability, growth and feed efficiency in pigs. His group currently has two projects in this area; PigNutriStrat funded by DAFM Ireland and MonoGutHealth funded by EU Horizon 2020.  His other research interests include alternative feed ingredients, sow nutrition to increase the number of viable pigs weaned, reducing pre-weaning mortality, improving feed efficiency, Salmonella control, safety of genetically modified feed ingredients, liquid feeding and energy generation from pig manure.


Current Projects

  • PigNutriStrat: (Funded by DAFM, 2020-2024) ‘Novel nutritional and management strategies to reduce antimicrobial reliance and antimicrobial resistance on Irish pig farms’. This project aims to study solutions to reduce in-feed AMU in piglets. Among the solutions to be tested will be improved sanitisation, competitive exclusion, stocking density, feeder space allowance, split suckling, supplementary milk, milk replacers, feed additives and diets with low acid-binding capacity and protein content.
  • MonoGutHealth: (Funded by the EU Marie-Curie programme, 2021-2025) ‘Training and research for sustainable solutions to improve gut health and reduce losses in monogastric livestock using bioactives and early life nutrition’. This is an EU funded project including 6 countries and 11 projects to explore nutritional strategies and bioactive ingredients to optimize perinatal development of the microbiome and the immune response of monogastrics to ultimately reduce AMU. https://monoguthealth.eu/
  • WetFeed2: (Funded by Teagasc, 2020-2024). ‘Realizing the full potential of liquid feeding to reduce feed cost per kg gain in pigs’. This project builds on results from the previous project WetFeed. WetFeed2 aims to improve feed efficiency, and hence the feed cost per kg gain, of liquid fed pigs by minimising feed wastage and  preventing spoilage of liquid feed in mixing tanks, pipes and troughs.  Optimum feeding management (No. feed splits/day, trough sensor positioning), system hygiene, feeding system infrastructure (restricted long-trough vs ad-libitum short-trough and trough positioning) will be determined.
  • ExcludeMRSA: (Funded by JPI-EC-AMR Joint Transnational Call for Proposals 2017 & Irish Health Research Board). ‘Preventing transmission of MRSA from livestock to humans through competitive exclusion’.  This EU project involves partners from 3 countries where bacteria that compete with MRSA will be isolated and applied to piglets as nasal drops with the purpose of reducing MRSA transmission to other pigs and humans by reducing shedding and consequently limiting environmental contamination.
  • ProSwine: (Funded by Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund Programme). ‘Development of a probiotic Bacillus pumilus as a substitute for in-feed medication for pigs’. This project is a collaboration between Teagasc and WIT and will develop a fully validated and licence ready probiotic feed additive as an alternative to in-feed medication for one or more stages of pig production.


  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Science, University College, Dublin
  • Master of Agricultural Science, University College, Dublin
  • Bachelor of Agriculture Science, University College, Dublin

Professional Membership

  • Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, NUI Galway. 
  • Member of the EFSA FEEDAP panel
  • Member of the chemical safety sub-committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland
  • Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Animal Science.
  • Member of the Peer Review College of the Danish Council for Strategic Research
  • Past member of European Food Safety Authority scientific panel on additives and products/substances used in animal feed (FEEDAP)
  • Member of Agricultural Science Association, Pig Health Society, American Society of Animal Science, British Society of Animal science, European Federation of Animal Science
  • O’Meara, F.M., Gardiner, G.E., Clarke, D., Cummins, W., O’Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2021) Microbiological assessment of liquid feed for finisher pigs on commercial pig units. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 130 (2), pp. 356-369.
  • Gardiner, G.E., Metzler-Zebeli, B.U., Lawlor, P.G. (2020) Impact of intestinal microbiota on growth and feed efficiency in pigs: A review. Microorganisms, 8 (12), art. no. 1886, pp. 1-31
  • Torres-Pitarch, A., Gardiner, G.E., Cormican, P., Rea, M., Crispie, F., O’Doherty, J.V., Cozannet, P., Ryan, T., Lawlor, P.G. (2020). Effect of cereal soaking and carbohydrase supplementation on growth, nutrient digestibility and intestinal microbiota in liquid-fed grow-finishing pigs. Scientific Reports, 10 (1), art. no. 1023
  • Torres-Pitarch, A., Gardiner, G.E., Cormican, P., Rea, M., Crispie, F., O’Doherty, J.V., Cozannet, P., Ryan, T., Cullen, J., Lawlor, P.G. (2020). Effect of cereal fermentation and carbohydrase supplementation on growth, nutrient digestibility and intestinal microbiota in liquid-fed grow-finishing pigs. Scientific Reports, 10 (1), art. no. 13716
  • Rooney, H.B., O Driscoll, K., Silacci, P., Bee, G., O Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2020. Effect of dietary L-carnitine supplementation to sows during gestation and/or lactation on sow productivity, muscle maturation and lifetime growth in progeny from large litters. British Journal of Nutrition, 124 (1), pp. 43-56.
  • O' Meara, F.M., Gardiner, G.E., O' Doherty, J.V., Clarke, D., Cummins, W., Lawlor, P.G. (2020) Effect of wet/dry, fresh liquid, fermented whole diet liquid, and fermented cereal liquid feeding on feed microbial quality and growth in grow-finisher pigs. Journal of animal science, 98 (6)
  • Rooney, H.B., O'Driscoll, K., O'Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2020)  Effect of increasing dietary energy density during late gestation and lactation on sow performance, piglet vitality, and lifetime growth of offspring Journal of Animal Science, 98 (1), art. no. skz379. DOI: 10.1093/jas/skz379
  • O'Meara, F.M., Gardiner, G.E., O'Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2020) Effect of water-to-feed ratio on feed disappearance, growth rate, feed efficiency, and carcass traits in growing-finishing pigs. Translational Animal Science, 4 (2), pp. 630-640. DOI: 10.1093/TAS/TXAA042
  • O'Meara, F.M., Gardiner, G.E., O'Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2020) The effect of feed form and delivery method on feed microbiology and growth performance in grow-finisher pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 98 (3), art. no. skaa021 DOI: 10.1093/JAS/SKAA021
  • Bee, G.; Quiniou, N.; Maribo, H.; Zamaratskaia, G.; Lawlor, P.G. Strategies to Meet Nutritional Requirements and Reduce Boar Taint in Meat from Entire Male Pigs and Immunocastrates. Animals 2020, 10, 1950. DOI: 10.3390/ani10111950
  • McCormack, U.M., Curião, T., Metzler-Zebeli, B.U., Wilkinson, T., Reyer, H., Crispie, F., Cotter, P.D., Creevey, C.J., Gardiner, G.E., Lawlor, P.G. (2019) Improvement of feed efficiency in pigs through microbial modulation via fecal microbiota transplantation in sows and dietary supplementation of inulin in offspring. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 85 (22), art. no. 01255, DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01255-19
  • Rooney, H.B., O'Driscoll, K., O'Doherty, J.V., Lawlor, P.G. (2019). Effect of l-carnitine supplementation and sugar beet pulp inclusion in gilt gestation diets on gilt live weight, lactation feed intake, and offspring growth from birth to slaughter. Journal of Animal Science, 97 (10), pp. 4208-4218. DOI: 10.1093/jas/skz268
  • McCormack UM, Curião T, Metzler-Zebeli BU, Magowan E, Berry DP, Reyer H, Prieto ML, Buzoianu SG, Harrison M, Rebeiz N, Crispie F, Cotter PD, O'Sullivan O, Gardiner GE, Lawlor PG. (2019). Porcine Feed Efficiency-Associated Intestinal Microbiota and Physiological Traits: Finding Consistent Cross-Locational Biomarkers for Residual Feed Intake. mSystems. 2019 4(4):e00324-18. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00324-18. PubMed PMID: 31213524; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6581691.
  • Lawlor, P.G., Cozannet, P., Ryan, W.F., Lynch, P.B. (2019) Effect of a combination phytase and carbohydrolase enzyme supplement on growth performance and bone mineralization of pigs from six weeks to slaughter at 105 kg. Livestock Science, 223, pp. 144-150. DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2019.01.028
  • Torres-Pitarch A. EG Manzanilla, GG Gardiner, JV O’Doherty, PG Lawlor (2019). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of feed enzymes on growth and nutrient digestibility in grow-finisher pigs: effect of enzyme type and cereal source. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 251:153-165. DOI:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2018.12.007
  • Tan, S.P., McLoughlin, P., O’Sullivan, L., Prieto, M.L., Gardiner, G.E., Lawlor, P.G., and Hughes, H. (2013). Development of a novel antimicrobial seaweed extract-based hydrogel wound dressing. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 456: 10–20
  • Buzoianu, S.G., Walsh, M.C., Rea, M.C., Quigley, L., O'Sullivan, O., Cotter, P.D., Ross, R.P., Gardiner, G.E., and Lawlor, P.G. Sequence-based analysis of the intestinal microbiota of sows and their offspring fed genetically modified Bt maize in a trans-generational study. Applied & Environmental Microbiology (under revision).
  • Leliveld, L.M.C, Riemensperger, A.V., Gardiner, G.E., O'Doherty, J.V., Lynch, P.B., and Lawlor, P.G. (2013). Effect of weaning age and postweaning feeding programme on the growth performance of pigs to 10 weeks of age. Livestock Science 157: 225-233
  • Amdi, C., Giblin, L., Hennessy, A.H., Ryan, T., Stanton, C., Stickland, N.C. and Lawlor, P.G. (2013). Feed allowance and maternal backfat levels during gestation influence maternal cortisol levels, milk fat composition and offspring growth,. Journal of Nutritional Science, 2, e1 doi:10.1017/jns.2012.20.
  • Carney, K. N., Rodgers, M., Lawlor P. G., and Zhan, X. (2013). Treatment of separated piggery anaerobic digestate liquid using woodchip biofilters, Environmental Technology 34: 663-670
  • Troy, S., Lawlor, P.G., O'Flynn, C., and Healy, M. (2013). Impact of biochar addition to soil on greenhouse gas emissions following pig manure application. Soil Biology Biochemistry 60: 173-181.
  • Troy S.M., Nolan T., Leahy J.J., Lawlor P.G., Healy, M.G., and Kwapinski, W. (2013). Effect of sawdust addition and composting of feedstock on renewable energy and biochar production from pyrolysis of anaerobically digested pig manure. Biomass and Bioenergy 49: 1-9.
  • Troy, S.M., Nolan, T., Kwapinski, W., Leahy, J.J., Healy, M.G., and Lawlor, P.G. (2012). Effect of sawdust addition on composting of separated raw and anaerobically digested pig manure. Journal of Environmental Management 111: 70-77.
  • Walsh, M.C., Buzoianu, S.G. Gardiner, G.E. Rea, M.C., O'Donovan, O., Ross, R.P., and Lawlor, P.G. (2013). Effects of feeding Bt MON810 maize to sows during first gestation and lactation on maternal and offspring health indicators. British Journal of Nutrition 109: 873-881.
  • Buzoianu, S.G., Walsh, M.C., Rea, M.C., Cassidy, J.P., Ryan, T.P., Ross, R.P., Gardiner G.E., and Lawlor P.G. (2013). Transgenerational effects of feeding genetically modified maize to nulliparous sows and offspring on offspring growth and health. Journal of Animal Science 91: 318-330.
  • Prieto, M.L., O’Sullivan, L., Tan, S.P., McLoughlin, P., Hughes, H., O’Connor, P.M., Cotter, P.D., Lawlor, P.G., and Gardiner, G.E. (2012). Assessment of the bacteriocinogenic potential of marine bacteria reveals lichenicidin production by seaweed-derived Bacillus spp. Marine Drugs 10: 2280-2299
  • Zhang, M., Lawlor, P.G., Hu, Z., and Zhan, X. (2012). Nutrient removal from separated pig manure digestate liquid using hybrid biofilters, Environmental Technology 34: 645-651.
  • Buzoianu, S.G., Walsh, M.C., Rea, M.C., O'Sullivan, O., Cotter, P.D., Ross, R.P., Gardiner, G.E., and Lawlor, P.G.(2012). High-throughput sequence-based analysis of the intestinal microbiota of weanling pigs fed genetically modified MON810 maize expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab (Bt maize) for 31 days. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78: 4217-4224. (selected as the best paper of the issue)
  • Kett, A.P., Bruen, C.M., O’Halloran, F., Chaurin, V., Lawlor, P.G., O’Mahony, J.A., Giblin, L., and Fenelon, M.A. (2012). The effect of α- or β-casein addition to waxy maize starch on postprandial levels of glucose, insulin and incretin hormones in pigs as a model for humans. Food & Nutrition Research 56: 7989.
  • Buzoianu, S.G., Walsh, M.C., Rea, M.C., O'Sullivan, O., Crispie, F., Cotter, P.D., Ross, R.P., Gardiner, G.E., and Lawlor, P.G. (2012). The effect of feeding Bt MON810 maize to pigs for 110 days on intestinal microbiota. PLoS ONE 7(5): e33668.