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Noirin McHugh

Research Officer - Beef & Sheep Geneticist

Research Interests

  • Beef and sheep systems
  • Phenotyping strategies
  • Breeding Objectives
  • Genetic and genomic evaluations
  • Breeding programme design
  • Decision support tools

Current Projects

OviSeq: from genome to phenome, advancing genetic gain in sheep through genomics (2022-2026; Funded through Science Foundation Ireland Frontiers for the Future Programme)

Dairy4Beef: Optimised breeding program for efficient and quality beef from dairy herds (2020-2024; Funded through DAFM Stimulus Award)

OviFEC: Developing genetic parameters for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode infections in lambs and their incorporation into the Irish national breeding programme (2022-2015; Funded through DAFM Stimulus Award)

GreenBreed: Sustainable ruminant breeding programs for low environmental footprint (2018-2024; Funded through DAFM Stimulus Award)

Grass2Gas: Strategies to mitigate GHG emissions from pasture-based sheep systems (2020-2023; Funded through ERA-GAS)  https://www.researchgate.net/project/GrassToGas-STRATEGIES-TO-MITIGATE-GHG-EMISSIONS-FROM-PASTURE-BASED-SHEEP-SYSTEMS

INZAC: Irish-New Zealand across country comparison of sheep genetic indexes (2016-2025; Funded through Teagasc Core budget)


BAgrSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science) University College Dublin 2008
PhD Genetics of animal price and live-weight University College Dublin 2011


Upon completion of my PhD in 2011 joined Teagasc as a research officer. Irish sheep and beef research geneticist who devotes a considerable amount of time to the derivation of new phenotypes.

Leads a number of internal and external projects which focuses on improving the national cattle and sheep breeding objectives. Designed and stocked the on-going divergent research experiments in sheep and beef and currently runs the sheep trial. Works extremely closely with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation and Sheep Ireland, the national bodies responsible for genetic evaluations for cattle and sheep.


Jessica Coyne 
Thomas Byrne
Nicola Fetherstone
Shauna Fitzmaurice