Aarhus University Appoints New Professor in Animal Science

DENMARK - With effect from 1 September Hanne Damgaard Poulsen from the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University has been appointed professor with special responsibilities (mso) in environmental impacts of animal production.
calendar icon 7 October 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Hanne Damgaard Poulsen has with effect from 1 September 2013 been appointed professor of environmental impacts of animal production in the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University. [Photo: Søren Tobberup, AU]

When annual standards for the N, P and K contents in animal manure are prepared or when research into improving livestock nutrient use efficiency is carried out, then Professor Poulsen from the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University is the person most likely to be involved.

Over the years, she has focused on these two tasks. Now she has been appointed professor mso in the environmental impacts of animal production at the Department of Animal Science where she has been employed nearly all the years since 1984 when she dropped her profession as a high school teacher in Viborg for a research career. First she worked as a research assistant and then spent the years 1991 to 1994 on a PhD study. From 1994 she was employed as a senior scientist and since 2001 she has headed a research section at the department.

The many years of research have benefited the agricultural industry, contributing for example new important knowledge on the potential of increasing phosphorus and nitrogen use efficiency in livestock – results that have also been used in the extension service and directly on the farm.

"We have over the years achieved several breakthroughs, and in my time as a scientist significant improvements have been made in livestock feed utilisation. This is important in the attempt to restrict phosphorus accumulation in the soil, nitrate leaching and ammonia emissions to the environment. So today we have a pig production where the environmental impact per head has been significantly reduced over the years," said Professor Poulsen.

Professor Poulsen continued: "We must continue to follow this course, so that we can maintain a livestock production in Denmark where the environment and animal welfare are important factors. It is vital that we keep a balance. I note with satisfaction that our research has a high profile in society, and there is a clear desire to retain jobs in livestock production and related industries."

Head of department Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen is greatly pleased with the appointment of Hanne Damgaard Poulsen to the professorship.

"With Hanne as a professor, the department’s expertise in reducing the environmental impact of livestock production will become more visible. We are particularly strong in the research area on improving livestock nutrient use efficiency and nutrient losses via animal manure, and this is not least due to Hanne’s work," he said.

Professor Poulsen is hoping that the appointment as a professor will benefit her research section.

She said: "I believe that it can strengthen the research section. It is also a personal pat on the shoulder, but I hope it rubs off on the rest of the group both in its external relationships and internally at the university. The professorship will also hopefully result in more money for research and more results."

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