The University of Western Australia

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Graeme Martin

Professor Graeme Martin

Animal Biology, School of

Contact details
School of Animal Biology
The University of Western Australia (M085)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 6781
+61 8 6488 1029
Personal homepage
BSc(Agric) PhD W.Aust.
I was born in 1951 and grew up on sheep/cereal farm in Western Australia (WA). I graduated in Agricultural Science (Hons I) at the University of WA in 1975 and gained my doctorate in reproductive endocrinology in 1981. I then worked for two years at the INRA Station de Physiologie de la Reproduction at Nouzilly (France) and for three years at the Medical Research Council’s Reproductive Biology Unit in Edinburgh (UK). In 1986, I returned to Perth (WA) to take up a joint position as Lecturer in Animal Science (The University of WA) and Research Scientist (CSIRO Division of Animal Production). I became full-time at the University in 1996 and, by 2001, I was promoted to Professor (Chair).
Key research
1) Processes through which environmental factors affect reproduction – Our aim is to understand how interactions between an animal and its environment (nutrition, pheromones, photoperiod, stressors) determine its reproductive strategy, then make use of that knowledge to develop 'clean, green and ethical' systems of animal management'
2) Reproductive biology and technology in ratites (emu, ostrich) – Animal production depends on genetic selection, but the basic biology of ratites (pair-bonding, male egg incubation, seasonal breeding) is a major limitation. We are studying reproductive physiology and behaviour and developing artificial insemination.
I have published more than 260 refereed articles, including 45 in the past 5 years. This is a selection from the past few years:

Anand-Ivell, R., Hiendleder, S., Viñoles, C., Martin, G.B., Fitzsimmons, C., Eurich, A., Hafen, B. & Ivell, R. (2011). INSL3 in the ruminant: a powerful indicator of gender- and genetic-specific feto-maternal dialogue. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19821.

Athorn, R.Z., Stott, P., Bouwman, E.G., Blackberry, M.A., Martin, G.B. & Langendijk, P. (2013). Feeding level and dietary energy source have no effect on embryo survival in gilts despite changes in systemic progesterone levels. Animal Production Science 53, 30-37.

Hawken, P., Luckins, N., Tilbrook, A.J., Fiol, C., Martin, G.B., Blache, D. (2013). Genetic selection for temperament affects behaviour and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones in sheep subjected to stress. Stress 16, 130-142.

Hawken, P.A.R. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Sociosexual stimuli and gonadotropin-releasing hormone/luteinizing hormone secretion in sheep and goats. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 43, 85-94.

Jorre de St Jorre, T., Hawken, P.A.R. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Role of male novelty and familiarity in male-induced LH secretion in female sheep. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24, 523-530.

Kennedy, A.J., Ferguson, M.B., Martin, G.B., Thompson, A.N. & Pannell, D.J. (2011). Different mature ewe sizes require different stocking rates and lamb slaughter weights to maximise whole-farm profit. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 19, 339-342.

Machado, T.M.M., Malecki, I.A. & Martin, G.B. (2011). Relationship among the economically important ratites: a clustering approach based on their reproductive biology. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 40, 60-67 (supl. especial).

Martin G.B., Jorre de St Jorre, T., Al Mohsen, F.A. & Malecki, I.A. (2012). Modification of spermatozoa quality in mature small ruminants. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24, 13-18.

Martin, G.B. & Greeff, J.C. (2011). Genetic frontiers in the development of ‘clean, green and ethical’ management systems for the extensive sheep industry. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 19, 143-150.

Pedrana, G., Viotti, M.H., Souza, E., Sloboda, D., Martin, G.B., Cavestany, D. & Ortega, H.H. (2013). Apoptosis-related protein expression during pre- and post-natal testicular development after administration of glucocorticoid in utero in the sheep. Reproduction in Domestic Animals (published online Mar 16, 2013).

Rosales Nieto, C.A., Ferguson, M.B., Macleay, C.A., Briegel, J.R., Martin, G.B. & Thompson, A.N. (2013). Selection for superior growth advances the onset of puberty and increases reproductive performance in ewe lambs. Animal 7, 990-997.

Scaramuzzi, R.J., Baird, D.T., Campbell, B.K., Driancourt, M-A., Dupont, J., Fortune, J.E., Gilchrist, R.B., Martin, G.B., McNatty, K.P., McNeilly, A.S., Monget, P., Monniaux, D., Viñoles Gil, C. & Webb, R. (2011). Regulation of folliculogenesis and the determination of ovulation rate in ruminants. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 23, 444-467.

Singh, R.P., Rybnik-Trzaskowska, P.K., Farooq, U., Malecki, I.A., Sastry, K.V.H. & Martin, G.B. (2013). In vitro initiation of the acrosome reaction in the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). British Poultry Science 54, 259-264.

Sood, S., Malecki, I.A., Tawang, A. & Martin, G.B. (2011). Response of spermatozoa from the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) to rapid cooling, hyperosmotic conditions and dimethylacetamide (DMA). Animal Reproduction Science 129, 89-95.

Sood, S., Malecki, I.A., Tawang, A. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Extending the viability of emu spermatozoa during in vitro storage by manipulation of temperature and diluent potassium concentration. British Poultry Science 53, 333-342.

Sood, S., Malecki, I.A., Tawang, A. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Sperm viability, motility and morphology in emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) are independent of the ambient collection temperature but are influenced by storage temperature. Theriogenology 77, 1597-1604.

Sood, S., Malecki, I.A., Tawang, A. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Survival of emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) sperm preserved at sub-zero temperatures and different cryoprotectant concentrations. Theriogenology 78, 1557-1569.

Sood, S., Tawang, A., Malecki, I.A. & Martin, G.B. (2011). Artificial insemination technology for the emu – Improving sperm survival. Reproductive Biology Supplement 3, 43-49.

Viñoles, C., Glover, K.M.M., Paganoni, B.L., Milton, J.T.B. & Martin, G.B. (2012). Embryo losses in sheep during short-term nutritional supplementation. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24, 1040-1047.

Viñoles, C., Paganoni, B., Milton, J.T.B., Driancourt, M-A. & Martin, G.B. (2011). Pregnancy rate and prolificacy after artificial insemination in ewes following synchronisation with prostaglandin, sponges, or sponges with bactericide. Animal Production Science 51, 565-569.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Winthrop Professor
Head, School of Animal Biology M092
Chair in Animal Science
UWA Institute of Agriculture – Deputy Director
UWA Institute of Agriculture – Deputy Program Leader, Animal Production Systems
Chair, UWA Future Farm 2050
Future research
UWA Future Farm 2050
Imagine the ideal farming system for 2050, but do it now!
And show that it can be profitable to mix crop production, animal production and ecosystem restoration.
Why 2050? We will need to feed 50% more people without destroying the planet.
Funding received
All of my work has been funded by competitive research grants (mostly Australian Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council, Rural Research & Development Corporation) and Meat & Livestock Australia. I have trained 28 PhD students to completion. Excluding student scholarships, external grants total over Au$4 million.
Industrial relevance
Our team studies the brain control of reproduction, with a particular focus on how environmental factors influence the reproductive system. We work mostly with sheep, but we also study reproduction in goats, emus, marsupials and African animals. Over the past 10 years, we have used our knowledge to pioneer the concept of “clean, green and ethical" management of farm animals. The ultimate embodiment of this vision is "UWA Future Farm 2050":
English (Mother tongue), French (fluent), some Spanish
Society for Reproductive Biology (Australia)
Endocrine Society of Australia
Endocrine Society (UK)
Society for Reproduction and Fertility (UK)
Australian Society for Animal Production
Austral Comparative Endocrinologists
Honours and awards
1982 Overseas Study Award, Australian Meat Research Committee
1991 RJ Moir Medal, Australian Society for Animal Production
1992 75th Anniversary Award, The University of WA
Previous positions
Tutor, Department of Animal Science & Production, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia.
Technician (Australian Meat Research Committee)
Department of Animal Science & Production, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia.
Research Fellow (Australian Meat Research Committee)
Station de Physiologie de la Reproduction, Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
Research Scientist
Reproductive Biology Unit, Medical Research Council, Edinburgh, UK.
Joint Appointment
Lecturer, School of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia;
Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Animal Production, Floreat Park, Western Australia.
Joint Appointment
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia;
Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Animal Production, Floreat Park, Western Australia.
Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia
2002 –
Professor (now Winthrop Professor), Faculty of Sciences (School of Animal Biology), The University of Western Australia
Dean of the Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
Deputy Chair, Academic Board and Academic Council of the University
Dean, Postgraduate Research School, of the University
Chair, Academic Board and Academic Council of the University
Head, School of Animal Biology
1) AGRI4403/5503 Animal Science and Technology
This unit gives students an understanding of the systems that control physiological processes in animals, and the ways these processes can be modified with modern science and technology to implement 'clean, green and ethical' management. The following subjects are covered: the physiology and endocrinology of reproduction and lactation; environmental limitations to animal productivity; neural and endocrine integration; regulation of physiological systems; and the impact of reproduction on milk and wool production. Two optional modules are chosen from a list that includes Animal Health and Disease; Breeding Objectives; Dairy Science and Technology; Management of Animals in the Rangelands; New Animal Industries; Computer-simulated Pig Production; Nutrient Requirements and Ration Formulation; Impact of Animal Industries on the Environment; Aquaculture; Animal Fibre Production.
2) ANIM3306 – Clean, Green and Ethical Animal Production
Today’s consumer is increasingly concerned about the processes involved in producing the meat they eat, milk they drink and wool they wear. This heightened sensitivity has led to greater scrutiny of animal production systems and, whether right or wrong, the scrutiny is only likely to increase. In this unit, students learn about a new approach to agriculture through the development of animal production systems that are ‘clean, green and ethical’ (CGE). Specifically, we aim to minimise the use of chemicals and artificial hormones (clean), negative impact on the environment (green) and optimise animal welfare (ethical). We discuss the current landscape of animal production systems in Western Australia in this context and highlight the prospects and pitfalls facing the meat, milk and wool industries.
3) SCOM2208 Science Writing
In this unit, students improve their ability to communicate effectively through their writing via a variety of media. They look at science writing in print media, online, in fact sheets and books. They develop skills at sharing scientific information with non-specialists. Students interview a UWA researcher and write a news article about their work, a feature article about a scientific topic, maintain a blog, and reflect on their learning. Strong writing skills are a great asset for future academic or commercial success.
Current external positions
International Congress on Animal Reproduction (ICAR)
Member, International Standing Committee,
Member, Sub-Committee for Technology Transfer to Developing Economies

International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology (ISRP)
Member, International Scientific Committee,
Member, Local Scientific Committee for 2014 Meeting (Canberra)

International Organizing Committee, Ruminant Reproduction Symposium
Useful links
New and noteworthy
Perhaps my most important discoveries include:
• Rapid (minutes) increase in LH pulse frequency in ewes induced by introduction of rams;
• Synergistic interactions between oestrogen and progesterone in the reduction of LH pulse frequency in females;
• Synergistic interactions between oestrogen and inhibin in reduction of FSH secretion in females;
• Rapid (within hours) increase in the secretion of GnRH pulses in mature rams following an increase in food supply;
• Existence of mechanisms that control testicular function that are independent of the GnRH-gonadotrophin axis;
• Discovery that intracerebral insulin plays an key role in the control of reproductive activity;
• Demonstration that aromatisation of androgen to oestrogen in brain tissue plays an important role in gonadal feedback on cerebral GnRH output in males;
• Demonstration that brain orexin-A plays an important role in the control of GnRH activity;
• Demonstration of photoperiodic mechanisms that underpin seasonal changes in reproductive physiology and behaviour, appetite, feeding behaviour, and fat deposition in emus
• Demonstration of spontaneous cell proliferation in the brain of adult female sheep, and that the rate of cell proliferation is doubled within a few hours of male introduction.
Current projects
• Molecular genetics of temperament in sheep
• Nutrition-induced changes in molecular and cellular function of the ram testis
• Reproduction in rhinoceros
• ‘Maternal efficiency’ as a factor in the environmental footprint of the sheep industry.
• Reproductive management for conservation of African painted dogs
• Whole-farm bio-economic modeling of intensive sheep breeding
• Contribution of seminal plasma to sperm survival in avian semen conservation protocols
• Contraception for Black-flanked Rock Wallabies
• Characterisation of socio-sexual interactions that affect reproduction in sheep: male novelty, sexual segregation and neural pathways
• Overcoming physical and chemical constraints to short and long-term storage of spermatozoa from the Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
• Nutritional management of reproduction in female goats
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM