Hefin has had an association with Aberystwyth University for some time. He achieved his undergraduate BSC in Animal Science (companion animal pathway), Master’s in marine and freshwater systems and is in the final stages of his write up of his PhD.
Having come from a mixed farming background, Hefin has had a long interest in animal health, welfare and nutrition. This has been made more evident from his various dissertation/thesis titles. His undergraduate dissertation focused on the effect of TDS (total dissolved solids) and nutrition had on the development and growth Japanese koi carp. During this period, he was able to gain funding through the WAC and Livery Guild to travel to Japan to continue his study on his dissertation. His masters looked at the potential use of different chlorophyll-based markers to be sued in the diets of broiler and egg laying chickens to determine faecal contamination and prevent Campylobacter and Salmonella being taken into the food chain.
After his time as an undergraduate and Masters student, he worked for the university as a research technician on the Sustainable Lamb Project (SLP) and LUKKA trials. The aim of the SLP project was to determine if a high prolificacy gene in a certain breed of sheep could be utilised to produce lambs from different pasture types in an attempt to improve grazing grounds, capitalise on land that would be deemed “non-productive” for farming and finish lambs on higher productive grounds rather than on lamb finisher. His involvement in the LUKKA trial was to assist with a project that implemented the use of lupins as a potential home-grown protein source, that was an alternative to Soya, in the meal of growing lambs.
After the successful completion of these projects, Hefin returned to study at Aberystwyth University as a PhD student under the tutelage/ supervision of Jamie Newbold. His PhD topic area was looking at the use of a coriander-based additive to assist with lowering methane emissions in small and large ruminants. He was funded from international partners such as Climate-KIC and South Pole Carbon as well as IBERS. This pathway enabled him to work on nutrition, several in Vivo animal trials, as well as molecular analysis through to next generation sequencing.
His PhD held him in good stead to apply for the roles as senior technician in molecular biology for the Future Foods Project. He stayed in this role until moving to VetHub.