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Matt Bell

Research and teaching, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Matt grew up on a farm on the Welsh border, and uses that practical experience to inform his work modelling farming systems in the School of Biosciences. Matt completed BSc(Hons) Agriculture at the University of Edinburgh, and then did a Masters in Organic Farming at the University of Aberdeen. Matt spent several years working as a research technician at SAC in Edinburgh (now SRUC) before commencing a PhD entitled 'Modelling the effect of genetic line and feeding system on methane emissions from dairy systems'. Since completing his PhD, Matt has worked for the University of Melbourne, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), and the University of Nottingham.

Expertise Summary

Matt's expertise lies in his ability to relate farming models to the agricultural system using his practical experience. Matt is able to design, utilise, and interpret mathematical models, and can use extensive data sets to draw conclusions.

Teaching Summary

Matt's teaching is primarily in the area of agricultural systems. Specifically he convenes the following modules:

Contemporary Agricultural Systems

Grassland Management

Agri-Business Enterprise and Innovation

Research Summary

Matt's research within the Agricultural Systems group integrates disciplines within agricultural research, which broadly covers greenhouse gas emissions, climate impacts, breeding, nutrition, health… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

Matt's research within the Agricultural Systems group integrates disciplines within agricultural research, which broadly covers greenhouse gas emissions, climate impacts, breeding, nutrition, health and welfare in livestock systems. Current research focusing on sustainability of farming systems includes:

  • Sustainable production systems, environmental impact and whole farm models
  • Improved breeding, feeding and management of livestock
  • Novel methods for monitoring farm production and measuring performance
  • Measuring methane from ruminant livestock
  • Combining experimental and national data records

Past Research

Over the years, Matt's research has been broadly related to livestock production systems. Matt has worked on a wide range of multidisciplinary projects in the UK and abroad. After completing at BSc in Agriculture and MSc in Organic Farming Matt spent several years as a Research Technician at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) working on research into sustainable livestock systems. This work included investigating breeding, feeding, health and welfare of livestock, and developing a behavioural monitoring device for cattle. In 2007, he began a PhD with Edinburgh University and SAC assessing methane emissions from dairy cows using data from the long-term Langhill herd experiment. After completing a PhD in 2010, he took up the position of Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne researching the impact of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions of farming systems. The work involved assessing adaptation and mitigation options for pasture-based livestock systems in Australia. This work developed whole farm system models to assess the impact of climate scenarios on pasture-based livestock systems.

After returning to the UK in 2012, Matt worked as a Research Fellow for the University of Nottingham. He worked on a Defra-funded project that developed a novel technique for measuring enteric methane emissions from cattle. After a year in Northern Ireland working on dairy production research as a Senior Scientific Officer at the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute, Matt returned to Nottingham University.

Future Research

Matt's work investigates agricultural systems and sustainable food production. Areas of research will explore the interaction between components including an animal, plant, soil, nutrients, water and climate. Models describing farm systems will be developed to allow land managers to assess the impacts of changes to their practices on profit, production efficiencies and environmental impact.

  • PRYCE, JENNIE E. and BELL, MATTHEW J., 2017. The impact of genetic selection on greenhouse-gas emissions in Australian dairy cattle ANIMAL PRODUCTION SCIENCE. 57(7), 1451-1456
  • MATT BELL, JENNIE PRYCE and PAUL WILSON, 2016. A Comparison of the Economic Value for Enteric Methane Emissions with other Biological Traits Associated With Dairy Cows American Research Journal of Agriculture. 2016,
  • BELL, M.J., 2015. Breeding and management of dairy cows to increase profit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions In: 89th Annual Conference of Agricultural Economics Society, Warwick, April 2015.
  • BELL, M.J. and YAN, T., 2015. Modelling the effect of diet composition on enteric methane emissions In: Valuing long-term sites and experiments for agriculture and ecology, Newcastle, May 2015. 181-188
  • BELL, M.J., 2015. Breeding and management of dairy cows to increase profit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions In: Valuing long-term sites and experiments for agriculture and ecology, Newcastle, May 2015. 195-201
  • BELL MJ, SAUNDERS N, WILCOX RH, HOMER EM, GOODMAN JR, CRAIGON J and GARNSWORTHY PC, 2014. Methane emissions among individual dairy cows during milking quantified by eructation peaks or ratio with carbon dioxide. Journal of dairy science. 97(10), 6536-46
  • CULLEN, B.R., RAWNSLEY, R.P., ECKARD, R.J., CHRISTIE, K.M. and BELL, M.J., 2014. Use of modelling to identify perennial ryegrass plant traits for future warmer and drier climates Crop Pasture Sci.. 65(8), 758-766
  • BELL, M.J., POTTERTON, S., CRAIGON, J., SAUNDERS, N., WILCOX, R., HUNTER, M, GOODMAN, J.R. and GARNSWORTHY, P.C., 2014. Variation in enteric methane emissions among cows on commercial dairy farms Animal. 8(9), 1540-1546
  • BELL, M.J., GARNSWORTHY, P.C., STOTT, A.W. and PRYCE, J.E., 2014. The effect of changing cow production and fitness traits on profit and greenhouse gas emissions from UK Dairy systems J. Ag. Sci.. 153(1), 138-151
  • BELL, M.J., ECKARD, R.J., HAILE-MARIAM, M. and PRYCE, J.E., 2013. The effect of changing cow production and fitness traits on net income and greenhouse gas emissions from Australian Dairy systems J. Dairy Sci.. 96(12), 7918-7931
  • BELL, M.J., ECKARD, R.J., HARRISON, M.T., NEAL, J.S. and CULLEN, B.R., 2013. The effect of warming on the productivity of perennial ryegrass and kikuyu pastures in south-eastern Australia Crop Pasture Sci.. 64(1), 61-70
  • BELL, M.J., POTTERTON, S.L., CRAIGON, J., SAUNDERS, N., WILCOX, R., HUNTER, M, GOODMAN, J.R. and GARNSWORTHY, P.C., 2013. Variation in enteric methane emissions among cows on commercial dairy farms In: Advances in Animal Biosciences 4, 5th Greenhouse Gases in Animal Agriculture conference, Dublin, Ireland, 23 to 27 June 2013. 438
  • BELL, M.J., ECKARD, R.J., CRAIGON, J., MOATE, P.J. and GARNSWORTHY, P.C., 2013. Modelling the effect of diet composition on enteric methane emissions In: Advances in Animal Biosciences 4, 5th Greenhouse Gases in Animal Agriculture conference, Dublin, Ireland, 23 to 27 June 2013. 441
  • ECKARD, R.J., RAWNSLEY, R.P., CULLEN, B.R., BELL, M.J. and CHRISTIE, K.M., 2013. Modelling adaptation and mitigation strategies for southern livestock industries of Australia In: 22nd International Grasslands Congress, Sydney, Australia, 15 to 19 September 2013.
  • JOHNSON, I., FRANCE, J., THORNLEY, J., BELL, M.J. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. A generic model of growth, metabolism and body composition for cattle and sheep J. Anim. Sci.. 90(13), 4741-4751
  • BELL, M.J., ECKARD, R.J. and CULLEN, B.R., 2012. The effect of future climate scenarios on the balance between productivity and greenhouse gas emissions from sheep grazing systems Livest. Sci.. 14, 126-138
  • BELL, M.J., CULLEN, B.R., JOHNSON, I. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. Modelling nitrogen losses from sheep grazing systems with different spatial distributions of excreta Agriculture. 2(4), 282-294
  • BELL, M.J., CULLEN, B.R. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. The influence of climate, soil and pasture type on productivity and greenhouse gas emissions intensity of modelled beef suckler cow grazing systems in southern Australia Animals. 2(4), 540-558
  • ECKARD, R.J., BELL, M.J., CHRISTIE, K.M. and RAWNSLEY, R.P., 2012. Livestock. In: SALLINGER, J., ed., Living in a Warmer World Bateman Publishing: Auckland.
  • LANE, P., CULLEN, B.R., BELL, M.J., CHRISTIE, K.M., RAWNSLEY, R.P. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. Grasslands. In: SALLINGER, J., ed., Living in a Warmer World Bateman Publishing: Auckland.
  • BELL, M.J. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. Reducing enteric methane losses from ruminant livestock – Its measurement, prediction and influence of diet. In: Livestock Production InTech Publishing, Rijeka, Croatia.
  • BELL, M.J., ECKARD, R.J. and PRYCE, J.E., 2012. Breeding dairy cows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In: Livestock Production InTech Publishing, Rijeka, Croatia.
  • CHRISTIE, K.M., RAWNSLEY, R.P., CULLEN, B.R., BELL, M.J. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. Predicted frequency of wet and dry soil conditions in Tasmanian dairy regions under future climate scenarios In: 16th Australian Agronomy Conference 2012, Armidale, Australia, 14 to 18 October 2012.
  • CHRISTIE, K.M., RAWNSLEY, R.P., CULLEN, B.R., BELL, M.J. and ECKARD, R.J., 2012. Timing of autumn breaks and length of springs in Tasmanian dairy regions under future climate scenarios In: 16th Australian Agronomy Conference 2012, Armidale, Australia, 14 to 18 October 2012.
  • BELL, M.J., 2012. Assessing breeding strategies to reduce Australian dairy system greenhouse gas emissions In: BIT’s 2nd Annual World Congress of Agricultural Biotechnology, Dalian, China, 20 to 22 September 2012.
  • PRYCE, J.E., MARETT, L., BELL, M.J., WALES, W.J. and HAYES, B.J., 2012. Consequences of selecting for feed conversion efficiency traits on fertility and health In: 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Bratislava, Slovakia, 27 to 31 August 2012.
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., SIMM, G. and RUSSELL, G., 2011. Effects of genetic line and feeding system on methane emissions from dairy systems Anim. Feed Sci. Technol.. 166-167, 699-707
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., RUSSELL, G., SIMM, G. and STOTT, A.W., 2011. The effect of improving cow productivity, fertility, and longevity on the global warming potential of dairy systems J. Dairy Sci.. 94, 3662-3678
  • TURNER, S., NAVAJAS, E., HYSLOP, J., ROSS, D., RICHARDSON, R., PRIETO, N., BELL, M.J., JACK, M. and ROEHE, R., 2011. Associations between response to handling and growth and meat quality in frequently handled Bos taurus beef cattle J. Anim. Sci.. 89, 4239-4248
  • STEPHEN, B., DWYER, C., HYSLOP, J., BELL, M.J., ROSS, D., KWONG, K., MICHIE, C. and ANDONOVIC, I., 2011. Statistical interaction modeling of bovine herd behaviours Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on. 41, 820-829
  • BELL, M.J., CULLEN, B.R. and ECKARD, R.J., 2011. The production of perennial ryegrass and kikuyu pastures in south-eastern Australia under warmer and drier future climate scenarios In: 2011 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2011), Perth, Western Australia, 12 to 16 December 2011.
  • BELL, M.J., CULLEN, B.R. and ECKARD, R.J., 2011. Effect on nitrogen losses from a sheep grazing system by the randomised distribution of excreta In: 2011 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2011), Perth, Western Australia, 12 to 16 December 2011.
  • CULLEN, B.R., BELL, M.J., CHRISTIE, K.M., RAWNSLEY, R.P. and ECKARD, R.J., 2011. Trends in annual pasture production and its variability In: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Conference of the Grassland Society of Southern Australia. 2-3 June, Hamilton, Victoria. 117-120
  • BELL, M.J., CULLEN, B.R., CHRISTIE, K.M., RAWNSLEY, R.P. and ECKARD, R.J., 2011. Is the variability of seasonal pasture growth patterns changing? In: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Conference of the Grassland Society of Southern Australia. 2-3 June, Hamilton, Victoria. 113-116
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., RUSSELL, G., ROBERTS, D. and SIMM, G., 2010. Risk factors for culling in Holstein Friesian dairy cows Vet Record. 167, 238-240
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., RUSSELL, G., MORGAN, C. and SIMM, G., 2010. Effect of breeding for milk yield, diet, and management on enteric methane emissions from dairy cows Anim. Prod. Sci.. 50, 817-826
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., RUSSELL, G. and SIMM, G., 2009. Modelling methane output from lactating and dry dairy cows In: Aspects of Applied Biology 93, Integrated Agricultural Systems: Methodologies, Modeling and Measuring. Association of Applied Biologists, Wellesbourne, UK. 47-53
  • WALL, E., BELL, M.J. and SIMM, G., 2008. Developing breeding schemes to assist mitigation In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Livestock and Global Climate Change, 17-20 May, Hammamet, Tunisia. 44-47
  • BELL, M.J., 2008. The impact of claw horn lesions and digital dermatitis on dairy cows’ performance In: BSAS proceedings, Scarborough. 6
  • BELL, M.J. and ROBERTS, D., 2008. Effect of twinning on the feed intake, performance and reproductive health of dairy cows In: BSAS proceedings, Scarborough. 179
  • BELL, M.J. and ROBERTS, D., 2008. The impact of uterine infection on the reproductive performance of dairy cows In: BSAS proceedings, Scarborough. 178
  • BELL, M.J., WALL, E., RUSSELL, G. and SIMM, G., 2008. Reducing dairy herd methane emissions through improved health, fertility and management In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Livestock and Global Climate Change, 17-20 May, Hammamet, Tunisia. 123-126
  • BELL, M.J. and ROBERTS, D., 2007. Effect of twinning on the feed intake, performance and health of dairy cows Livest. Sci.. 107, 274-281
  • BELL, M.J. and ROBERTS, D., 2007. The impact of uterine infection on a dairy cow's performance Theriogenology. 68, 1074-1079
  • HASKELL, M., RENNIE, L., BOWELL, V., BELL, M.J. and LAWRENCE, A., 2006. Housing system, milk production, and zero-grazing effect on lameness and leg injury in dairy cows J. Dairy Sci.. 89, 4259-4266

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