Modelling of livestock, permanent grasslands, and farms (LiveM)


Vision and approach

LiveM has brought together a diverse community of livestock and grassland modellers and researchers around the complex challenge of developing a sustainable, efficient livestock agriculture for Europe in the context of climate change. Our position paper lays out the challenges for modelling in this area, focussing on ruminant systems, which form the central focus of our activities. 

Over the past year, we have carried out two major reviews of modelling in the context of climate change, demonstrating the potential of knowledge hubs to synthesize international, inter-disciplinary knowledge to provide agenda setting horizon scans focused on key themes for agriculture. The two papers represent the inputs of around 50 experts in the topics covered, as well as an extensive synthesis of literature. With a core focus on climate change they present the challenges and priorities for:

The second of these important papers was produced in collaboration with the GRA Animal Health Network.

LiveM is engaged in a wide range of activities beyond these headline actions. We focus on making best use of the diverse expertise and inter-disciplinary nature of the knowledge hub instrument (see our policy brief on the role and needs of a successful knowledge hub). We are keen to understand the impacts of our work, for example using network analysis to learn more about the growth of international collaborations under MACSUR.

Across the areas of expertise of our partners, we aim to:

  • Connect grassland and livestock modelling across nations and disciplines, in order to build capacity and spread best practice to meet the new challenges for modelling in a climate change world
  • Set the research agenda for modelling in Europe in our key focus areas, gathering, synthesizing and disseminating knowledge from our partners 
  • Undertake model comparisons at field and farm scale to assess capacity to characterise the effects of climate change, adaptation and mitigation
  • Work to share knowledge with policymakers , stakeholders and end-users, including understanding and sharing best practice in stakeholder engagement across Europe
  • Undertake cross-cutting activities with other themes, integrating whenever possible livestock models with crop and socio-economic models in case studies and integrated pilot studies


LiveM Events

The theme has held two successful international conferences presenting cutting-edge modelling of grassland -livestock systems under climate change, and including a range of topics, from decision support tools for Spanish farmers to grassland modelling inter-comparison, stakeholder engagement approaches and early work to incorporate climate change impacts on livestock health into regional level models. A number of workshops have also been held to advance theme activities and build stronger networks.


LiveM 2016: Modelling Grassland-Livestock Systems under Climate Change, PIK, Potsdam, 2016DSC 1721

Fifty modellers and researchers from across MACSUR and beyond gathered in the cupola of the old observatory at the Michelson-Haus at the centre of the historic PIK campus, to present advances in grassland and livestock modelling, to share new ideas and make new links. Presentations highlighted the diversity of activities undertaken by LiveM partners, and our close links with other initiatives, such as the GRA Animal Health Group. More information about the conference can be found here.

You can view the proceedings of the conference, recently published here Advances in Animal Biosciences 


The International Livestock Modelling and Research Colloquium, BC3, Bilbao, 2014Bilbao Group photo

LiveM organized the International Livestock Modelling and Research Colloqium in October 2014 in Bilbao, Spain, at the Maritime Museum on the banks of the Nervión-Ibaizabal estuary, bringing together around 45 MACSUR researchers from LiveM, CropM and TradeM, as well as representatives of ATF (Animal Task Force), EAAP (European Federation of Animal Science), the GRA Animal Health and GHG Emissions Intensity Network, AgMIP (Agricultural Modelling Improvement Programme) and the SOLID (Sustainable, Organic and Low Input Dairying) project.

You can get a taste of the meeting by reading  the conference proceedings, published here: Advances in Animal Biosciences. You can find a report from the conference here. We also present a video providing an overview of LiveM, and a summary of the event

















  • scollan2Professor Nigel Scollan
    Queen's University Belfast
    Phone: + 44 289097 6514
    Fax: + 44 289097 6513
    E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Function: Director, The Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS)

    Bannink2Dr. André Bannink
    Wageningen UR, Livestock Research
    Phone: + 31 417 480681
    Fax: N/A
    E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Function: Researcher


    vanMiddelkoop ir. JC (Jantine) Curth-van Middelkoop
    Wageningen UR, Livestock Research
    Phone: + 31 417 480693
    Fax: N/A
    E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Function: Researcher