Joan van Houten – Edward
(formerly Aberystwyth University)
Welsh Crucible 2012
Joan obtained her BSc degree in Biochemistry (Immunology) at Aberdeen University, and then went on to complete a PhD in the area of rumen microbiology at the Rowett Research Institute. Following this she undertook a year postdoctoral fellowship in the Netherlands before returning to the UK to take up her current post. Joan’s current research is based in the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, where she investigates how plant composition and activity can influence the productivity and environmental footprint of grassland based ruminant production systems. Through developing a systems biology understanding of the rumen microbial ecosystem, this research will inform future advancements in the sustainable production of ruminant meat and milk products. Joan is keen to expand and communicate the impact of her BBSRC funded research in terms of the industrial sector that it will directly benefit as well as the general public, government and stakeholders.