Professor Jennie Pryce – DairyBio Animal Program Leader

About DairyBio

Jennie is a geneticist who is world-renowned for her work in dairy genetics and genomics. Jennie is the DairyBio animal program leader in conjunction with her role as principal research scientist for Agriculture Victoria and Professor of animal genetics at La Trobe University. Jennie is also a member of the International Committee for Animal Recording’s Functional Traits Working Group and the Feed and Gas Working group.

Jennie grew up on a dairy farm in Shrewsbury (UK) where at a young age she bred pedigree Holstein dairy cattle under Severnvale Holsteins prefix – some of which are still searchable today. Jennie received her PhD from The University of Edinburgh (UK) in 1998. Prior to her work in Australia, she was employed as a dairy geneticist by the Scottish Agricultural College (UK) and as a scientist by the Livestock Improvement Corporation (New Zealand). Her main interests are genetic improvement of functional traits (especially female fertility and feed conversion efficiency), optimization of breeding scheme design under genomic selection, development of dairy selection, and improvement of existing and new breeding values.

In 2016 Jennie was the first non-North American recipient of the prestigious American Dairy Science Association J.L. Lush Award for Animal Breeding and Genetics and in 2019 was named as Australia’s top researcher in the field of animal husbandry by research analytics firm League of Scholars; this award is based on number of citations for papers published in the top 20 journals in each field over the past 5 years.

Jennie has co-edited a book with Professor Julius van der Werf (UNE, NSW) which describes state of the art research in dairy cattle breeding and advanced methods of genetic evaluation and selection. Jennie has also authored 124 journal articles on dairy genetics and genomics, which have had 7066 citations and a h index of 42 which is truly outstanding (

Recent Awards

Jennie was the 2018 Agriculture Victoria Awards category “Excellence in Scientific Impact” winner for ImProving Herds. ImProving Herds was an innovative and collaborative herd improvement research, development, extension and education project concluding in 2018.

Jennie was also the 2019 Agriculture Victoria Awards category “Excellence in Scientific Impact” winner for “Excellence in Discovery and Invention” for Classifying the fertility of dairy cows using mid-infrared spectroscopy. Drs Phuong Ho, Tim Luke and Jennie Pryce from Genomic and Cellular Sciences developed a model that can predict how likely a dairy cow is to conceive to first insemination with up to 77 per cent accuracy.

Jennie is also the 2019 Agriculture Victoria Awards category “Excellence in Leadership” winner. The citation read: “Professor Jennie Pryce is an outstanding nomination for the Leadership award category given the impact and dimensions of her leadership. She has provided outstanding and clear science leadership (scholarly and impact leadership), team leaderships, collaboration leadership nationally and international collaboration as well as industry translation and adoption. She is also an outstanding team, program and project leader and models agriculture values. Professor Pryce is highly skilled at communication and influence, and in clearly explaining complex science and evidence to academic peers and lay audiences. Jennie leads a major part of the most important innovation program for the Dairy Industry – DairyBio – making profitability improvements on farm. This innovation is critical to the dairy industry – regional Victoria’s largest employer and a $1 billion export industry for the state. Professor Pryce has led development and delivering of successful research, worked to build industry groups’ understanding and adoption, and led development of tools for direct benefit on farm by most farmers. Leading strong impact on the economy and society this year, Professor Pryce has been named Australia’s top researcher in the field of animal husbandry by research analytics firm League of Scholars and published in The Australian”.