Speakers

Dr Allan Ball
Slate Hall Veterinary Practice

Allan graduated from the University of Pretoria in South Africa 2003. He worked with Rainbow Farms, a large poultry integrator, as Divisional Veterinarian and progressed to position of General Manager of Cobb South Africa overseeing their Grandparent operations. To expand his laboratory knowledge he took up a position as Veterinary Laboratory Manager in one of their regional laboratories, taking on additional roles with the agricultural management of the operations, gaining unique experience as a poultry veterinarian.

In March 2007, Allan transferred to Cobb Europe to a position of veterinarian and quality assurance manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Following a period of extensive travelling he joined Slate Hall Veterinary Practice in December 2008 and became company director in September 2020. Allan has completed a post-graduate certificate in Avian Health with the University of Melbourne.

His main expertise relate to broilers and broiler breeders, with specific interest in intestinal health and alternative gut improvement and antibiotic reduction strategies.

Dr Mike Bedford
AB Vista Limited

Since 2007, Dr Michael Bedford has been working as Research Director at AB Vista, Marlborough Wiltshire, United Kingdom, responsible for overseeing the company’s research into feed enzymes, yeast, betaine, and other associated additives.  

Mike graduated from the University of Nottingham, UK in animal nutrition, and all his post-graduate studies were completed in Canada. His PhD thesis was about factors influencing polyamine metabolism in chickens and he did a post-doc with Dr. Hank Classen, which took him into the field of feed enzymes.   He has over 200 publications in total, of which 163 are refereed full scientific papers and 127 are abstracts of material presented at conferences. Also, he has several patents, has written 9 book chapters as well as having three books published.

Ralph Bishop
Premier Nutrition

In August 2020, Ralph Bishop joined the Premier Nutrition poultry team as a Commercial Nutritionist based out the West Midlands, UK. Ralph and the Premier Nutrition poultry team are responsible for offering technical and commercial advice to poultry meat, egg producing and feed milling customers around nutrition, formulation, milling and overall poultry performance both within the UK and abroad.

In 2014, Ralph graduated from the University of Plymouth with a masters degree in sustainable aquaculture systems, having studied biology and ecology as an undergraduate.

After graduating and before joining Premier Nutrition, Ralph worked for Lloyd’s Animal Feeds as a commercial nutritionist. In this role he supported a wide range of poultry customers that were supplied by the businesses five feed mills. This covered pullets, layers, broilers as well as both broiler and layer breeders.

Ralph is particularly passionate about sustainability and supporting retailers, processers, and producers to meet their sustainability goals. This work is mainly focused of feed formulation, raw material procurement, feed processing, and production efficiency. As well as opportunities to enhance human health and sustainability through the enrichment of poultry products.

Professor Martha Clokie
University of Leicester

Is an expert in bacteriophage biology with over 100 published papers. Over the last 15 years she has pioneered studies to develop phages for therapeutic purposes for humans and animals. She has a track record of carrying out the fundamental science needed to use phages in applied settings evidenced by her work on human associated Clostridium difficile and Salmonella associated with pigs and poultry.  Much of her work uses genomic and structural approaches to identify key traits associated with phage efficacy to clear infection. Her work also incorporates studying phage-bacterial interactions in physiologically relevant models and in animal trials.  Her recent publications led to two recent British Research Council awards to design phage products for use in livestock. She has had projects funded directly by Industry and others with close Industry collaborations. All of her applied work is routed in fundamental biology and her early phage research was focussed on understanding how ocean bacteriophages controlled their marine bacterial hosts.  Her work paved the way for a new research field which is still very much active, that of determining complex ways that phages interact with their bacterial hosts.

Professor Richard Ducatelle
University of Ghent

Graduated from University of Ghent in Belgium in 1978. He then completed a Ph.D. in veterinary pathology in 1983. He was a scientific advisor to the Belgium government from 1984 to 1989 and has been a Professor in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Ghent since 1989. He has been President of WVPA Belgian branch since 1991 and also a Past-President of the ESVP. He has been the author or co-author of more than 700 scientific publications listed in the Web of Science and more than 400 abstracts in proceedings of international congresses.

He has spoken at more than 200 national and international congresses. Professor Ducatelle’s research is mainly on intestinal health and on interactions on zoonotic agents with the animal host reservoir, with a focus on poultry (necrotic enteritis, dysbacteriosis, Salmonella) and on swine (gastric ulcers, Helicobacter). He has mentored more than 34 PhD theses in this field of research.

Dr Jack Geremia
DSM Nutritional Products

Jack Geremia, PhD is the Global Head of Microbiome Discovery, Animal Nutrition and Health at DSM Nutritional Products (Kaiseraugst, Switzerland).  Prior to joining DSM, Jack was the Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Midori Animal Health, a Cambridge, MA biotechnology startup company developing small-molecule modulators of microbiome functions, responsible for the corporate partnership, microbiome and animal R&D, intellectual property, regulatory, and finance functions of Midori.  He is also a co-founder or technology founder of multiple biotech startups: Matterworks, Inc., Kaleido Biosciences, Inc. and Candea Bio, Inc.  Jack holds a PhD in chemistry from Princeton University, where he was a Hugh Scott Taylor Scholar.  He is an author or inventor on more than 120 scientific articles, patents, patent applications, and other industry/scientific publications.

Dr Farina Khattak
SRUC

Dr Farina Khattak is a poultry nutritionist with 25 years of experience in teaching and research of Poultry Science. She graduated with distinction from N.W.F.P Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan, with BSc (Hons) in Animal Husbandry and MSc (Hons) in Poultry Science. Thereafter, she gained her PhD in Poultry Nutrition from the University of Aberdeen in 1997.

Currently, in her role as a Commercial Study Director at Monogastric Science Research Centre at SRUC, she is responsible for the planning, execution, analysis and reporting of poultry research projects. She works closely with several national and international poultry industries, and her studies range from proof of concept to novel, in-depth investigations on new products tested. Her research focuses on exploring the role of nutritional interventions in improving production, gut health, carcass quality, and welfare indicators in broilers, layers and turkeys. In addition, since 2015, she has been working on refining the disease challenge models that allow testing of nutritional strategies to substitute antibiotics that can maintain poultry health and productivity without triggering antimicrobial resistance and thus allow safe food production.

Professor Roberto La Ragione
University of Surrey

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Head of the School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey.

Roberto graduated in 1995 and then went on to study for a post graduate degree in veterinary microbiology at the RVC. In 1996 he moved to the government Veterinary Laboratories Agency to undertake a PhD on the pathogenesis of E. coli in poultry. In 2005 Roberto was appointed head of pathogenesis and control at the APHA and in 2010 he was appointed Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at the University of Surrey.

Roberto gained the FRCPath in 2010 and in 2012 was appointed the Associate Dean for Veterinary Strategy in the School of Veterinary Medicine.  In 2014 he was appointed Head of the Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases and 2019 Deputy Head of School. In 2021 he was appointed Head of the School of Biosciences and Medicine. Roberto is the Chair of the Royal College of Pathologists Veterinary Pathology Specialty Advisory Committee, Chair of the Humanimal Trust, a Trustee of the Houghton Trust a member of the APHA Science Advisory Board, and the past president of the Med-Vet-Net Association and the Veterinary Research Club. Roberto is an Associate member of the European College of Veterinary Microbiology (AECVM). In 2020 he was awarded Honorary Associateship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (HonAssocRCVS).

Roberto’s current research interests focus on AMR and understanding the pathogenesis of zoonotic bacterial pathogens.  Roberto has a particular interest in the development of control and intervention strategies, including rapid diagnostics, vaccination, and probiotics for the control of pathogens such as Salmonella, Brachyspira and E. coli in food producing animals. Roberto has published over 180 peer reviewed papers in the area of microbiology.

Dr Elinor McCartney
Pen and Tec

Dr Elinor McCartney has over 30 years’ experience in product development and EU regulatory affairs for multiple categories, including food and feed additives, novel foods and nutrition and health claims. Elinor is a graduate of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, where she also obtained a PhD in enteric diseases of piglets. She has an MBA (with distinction) and has tutored Finance and Marketing for the Open University Business School.

In 2000, Elinor set up Pen & Tec Consulting to help companies comply with EU regulations and legally sell their food and feed products in Europe. Elinor mainly provides strategic advice to clients onlegal status and best regulatory options to accelerate time to market.  Dr Elinor McCartney is a renowned professional public speaker in the food industry, having presented at various international conferences concerning food and feed law and delivering training courses to large groups of professionals both face to face and online.

Dr Samantha McLean
Nottingham Trent University

Dr Samantha McLean leads a research group at Nottingham Trent University focussed on the development of new antimicrobial technologies to reduce microbial contamination of materials.

Samantha graduated from the University of Sheffield with a PhD in molecular microbiology in 2007 and went on to specialise in the study of non-antibiotic antimicrobial compounds. With the rising rate of antibiotic resistance greatly outpacing the development of new antibiotics, her group is focussed on developing novel approaches to prevent microbial colonisation of materials, thereby reducing subsequent infection risk. However, a fundamental barrier to innovation within the UK biofilm field is a lack of standardised testing methods to support product claims. To address this, Samantha is a member of the British Standards Institute CH/216 committee (chemical disinfectants and antiseptics) and the CH/216/-/3 panel (products and biofilms) that will lead the development of UK biofilm standards, playing a critical role in supporting innovation and enabling the swift and safe commercialisation of antibiofilm technologies.

Dr Natalie Morgan
Curtin University

Dr Natalie Morgan is currently Senior Lecturer in Animal Science at Curtin University. She was previously Research Fellow in Poultry Nutrition and Lecturer in Animal Science at the University of New England (2015-2022). Her main area of interest is feed enzymes and carbohydrate chemistry. She completed her doctorate thesis (2010-2014) and a year as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer (2014-2015) at Nottingham Trent University, England. She is currently researching factors that cause variation in feed ingredients, particularly focussing on non-starch polysaccharides, and the use of xylanases to produce xylo-oligomers and the prebiotic effects of these in broiler chickens and laying hens.

Dr Anne Richmond
Moy Park

Dr Anne Richmond has worked in Moy Park for 8 years and  has over 30 years’ experience working with poultry due to growing up on a poultry farm in Northern Ireland.  She has a BSc (Hons) in Biology and PhD in Sustainable Agriculture with her thesis entitled ‘An investigation of methane emissions from beef cattle grazing contrasting upland and lowland vegetation types’.

Her first role in Moy Park was as a ‘Data Analyst’ and introduced JMP to the business for enhanced data exploration and statistical analysis. Gradually migrating to R&D and formalising the department in May 2016 she has been involved in many industry leading projects including Campylobacter and antibiotic reduction, bird management, welfare and sustainability. She currently co-supervises 6 PhD students in a range of topics from welfare to novel biopolymers.

She has experience of working with the major UK retailers and food service providers and completed time at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology as a fellow.

In this presentation she will provide an industry perspective and outline Moy Park’s journey in the evaluation of probiotics, the challenges posed with conducting research in a commercial environment and the potential for the future, with particular focus on Campylobacter reduction. She will also present a summary of research findings within the wider topic of the microbiome which has been in collaboration with their academic partner.

Dr Ivan Rychlik
Veterinary Research Institute, Czech Republic

Dr Ivan Rychlik is a leader of Salmonella research group at the Veterinary Research Institute in Brno, Czech Republic and associate professor at the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic. His group consists of 15 members and main research interests include characterisation of chicken and pig gut microbiota with special emphasis on the identification of chicken gut microbiota members restricting Salmonella and Campylobacter colonisation and pig microbiota members increasing piglet resistance to Clostridium perfringens.

Reg Smith
Formerly of Faccenda

Reg Smith is a Director of Princethorpe Poultry Consultancy and works with European companies, Government bodies and academic institutions in matters relating to poultry production. Most of his career has been spent in poultry agriculture spanning both meat and egg production. As the Agricultural Director of a large UK integrator for a 15-year period he was responsible for poultry breeding, hatching, commercial grow out and milling.

During this time, he sat on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Red Tractor Poultry Standards, helping to develop the Standards for commercial broiler/ Turkey and duck production. Furthermore, he served on various committees of the British Poultry Council (B.P.C), and notably chaired the B.P.C’s Antibiotic Stewardship committee from inception for a period of 6 years. During his leadership of this committee, the poultry meat industry reduced antibiotic usage by over 80%, a process heralded as ‘industry-leading’ by the World Health Organisation. He received the award for Services to the Poultry Industry for antibiotic reduction, given by the BPC in recognition of his contribution.

Reg has a particular interest in ensuring farming practices are efficient, fit for purpose and accepting of the need to demonstrate strong welfare credentials. Fundamentally, he believes agricultural processes must result in healthy, thriving livestock, minimal usage of antibiotics and the willingness to educate customers and interested parties on that process. To achieve this, he believes we must regularly challenge what we currently do, be open to alternative ways of working and to fully understand the cost/benefit of the changes we adopt.

Outside of work, Reg is a runner, cricketer, clay shooter and is currently training to be a mountain leader. He has an interest in the natural world and spends much of his time identifying British fauna and flora.

Dr Anisha Thanki
University of Leicester

Dr Anisha Thanki is currently a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of Leicester and is leading the research on developing bacteriophage products against enteric pathogens of chickens and pigs.

Anisha graduated from Kings College London, UK, completed her MSc in Infection, immunity, and inflammation at University of Leicester, after which she pursued a PhD at Loughborough University, UK. Her PhD focused on identifying and utilising the potential of bacteriophages, which are viruses that specifically infect bacteria. The aim of her post-doctoral research has been to identify bacteriophages that could be used therapeutically to treat enteric infections in pigs and chickens