Let's Talk About Us

Dr Racheal Bryant

PhD (Lincoln University)

B. Appl. Sc. (1st class hons, Massey University)

Racheal grew up on a dairy farm in the rural Taranaki town of Manaia.

Her interest in animals and farming took her to Massey University where she completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture.

Inspiring teachers there encouraged and developed her appreciation of plants and pastures resulting in an honours project which investigated the response of tall fescue genotypes under different defoliation regimes. She carried on to complete her PhD at Lincoln University (LU), developing a selection index to improve perennial ryegrass nutritive value.

Nowadays, Racheal is a senior lecturer for the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University. She supervises a number of PhD students and collaborates with farmers and industry partners to tackle the many challenges facing the agricultural sector. One of her past collaborations with DairyNZ in the Pastoral 21 project, demonstrated the value of farmlet studies as a resource for teaching and collaboration. And so, the Dairy Futures: Living Laboratory farmlets were born. 

For more information on Racheal's past research projects visit the LU website: https://researchers.lincoln.ac.nz/racheal.bryant 

Dr Omar al-marashdeh

PhD (Lincoln University)

Omar is a Lincoln University lecturer in Animal Science with research interests in dairy nutrition and welfare.  Omar grew up in Jordon and on arrival in New Zealand started working in the dairy industry, managing a Synlait dairy farm.  His academic thinking led him to study for his doctorate at Lincoln University, completing his PhD on the impact of timing on maize supplementation on rumen function, cow behaviour and production.

Omar's knowledge of dairy farm systems and in particular, plantain in dairy farm systems is a useful asset for the Living Lab which has plantain integrated into a large part of the dairy future farmlet.  

You can follow Omar's research on his researchgate link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Omar_Al-Marashdeh2 

Dr Mancoba (Christopher) Mangwe

PhD (Lincoln University)

MSc Animal and Dairy Science (National Chung Hsing University)

BSc Animal Science (University of Swaziland)

Mancoba (Christopher) Mangwe is from the Kingdom of Swaziland. Christopher earned his Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 2010 from the University of Swaziland. In 2016, he completed his Master of Science in Animal and Dairy Science from the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan.

He joined Lincoln University in March 2017 as a recipient of the New Zealand Scholarship. The title of his dissertation was “Chicory as an alternative to perennial ryegrass to alter milk fatty acid composition while minimizing environmental risks” which he successfully defended in 2021. Christopher rejoins the Dairy Futures team in 2023 bringing his valuable skills in ruminant nutrition and milk composition.

To see more of Christopher’s publications visit his ResearchGate link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mancoba_Mangwe3

Paige Beckett

BSc Agriculture (University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa)

Paige was born in Zimbabwe but had the privilege of growing up all around the world with a father very involved in agricultural research, so followed in his footsteps and earned her BSc(Agric) Animal Science in 2014 from University of Pretoria in RSA.

In 2015 Paige left to pursue a life and career overseas and worked as a jillaroo on a 1500 organic beef farm in Central Queensland, Australia, then moved to New Zealand in 2016 to herd manage on a 1400 cow dairy farm out in Mid-Canterbury.

We're delighted to have Paige join the Living Lab team as a senior Research Technician and we hope this will help her desire to further a career in the research field. 

Jabus kok

BSc Agriculture (Massey University)

MSc Animal Science (Massey University)

PhD Scholar (Lincoln University)

Originally from South Africa, Jabus completed a Bachelor’s degree in animal science and agricultural science, before moving on to do a Master’s degree in animal science (both at Massey University). Jabus describes himself as a people person, who strives to seek innovative solutions for the agricultural sector. His natural curiosity and willingness to learn have also spurred him on to pursue a PhD.

Jabus is based at AbacusBio in Dunedin and will complete his PhD through Lincoln University. He will be involved in the living lab investigating future dairy farm systems with efficient nitrogen use and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

holly williamson

BSc Animal Science (Massey University)

MSc Animal Science (Massey University)

PhD Scholar (Lincoln University)

Holly has always been interested in animals and agriculture. This inspired her to attend Massey University where she studied a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in Animal Science. Her masters project investigated breed and sex effects on the growth and carcass quality of dairy-beef cattle. Since completing her masters, Holly has worked as a research associate with DairyNZ in Lincoln. Holly has enjoyed working on projects investigating farm management mitigations to reduce the risk of nitrate leaching so has decided to pursue a PhD with Lincoln University in this area.

antonia olszewski

BSc Environmental Science and Geography (University of Canterbury)

BSc Honours Environmental Science (1st Class, University of Canterbury)

PhD Scholar (Lincoln University)

Antonia grew up on a small farm in the North Island of New Zealand. But it was not an animal farm. Her father would grow vegetables out on the paddocks and Antonia would often be convinced to help. Cows were a familiar sight, however, both neighbours had cows and they would often follow her siblings from the other side of the fence. 

Antonia has known she wanted to be 'any kind of scientist' since doing chemistry and physics in high school and moved to Christchurch to try out the new Environmental Science courses at the University of Canterbury. These courses were the most interesting to Antonia as they helped blossom her passion for knowing how to help the environment. 

Antonia is pursuing a PhD in animal science where she is looking into the benefits of feeding dairy cows biowastes. She is really excited to conduct research that might help with environmental problems such as inappropriate disposal of biowastes, nitrate leaching from urine patches, and potentially improving the carbon and nitrogen cycling in the soil using dung from animals that have been eating the biowastes.