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New professor in animal science with environmental focus

With effect from 1 September Hanne Damgaard Poulsen from the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University has been appointed professor with special responsibilities (mso) in environmental impacts of animal production.

[Translate to English:] Hanne Damgaard Poulsen er med virkning fra 1. september 2013 udnævnt til professor i Environmental Impacts of Animal Production på Institut for Husdyrvidenskab ved Aarhus Universitet. Foto: Søren Tobberup, AU

When annual standards for the N, P and K contents in animal manure are prepared or when research into improving livestock nutrient use efficiency is carried out, then Hanne Damgaard Poulsen from the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University is the person most likely to be involved.


Over the years, she has focused on these two tasks. Now she has been appointed professor mso in the environmental impacts of animal production at the Department of Animal Science where she has been employed nearly all the years since 1984 when she dropped her profession as a high school teacher in Viborg for a research career. First she worked as a research assistant and then spent the years 1991 to 1994 on a PhD study. From 1994 she was employed as a senior scientist and since 2001 she has headed a research section at the department.


The many years of research have benefited the agricultural industry, contributing for example new important knowledge on the potential of increasing phosphorus and nitrogen use efficiency in livestock – results that have also been used in the extension service and directly on the farm.


- We have over the years achieved several breakthroughs, and in my time as a scientist significant improvements have been made in livestock feed utilisation. This is important in the attempt to restrict phosphorus accumulation in the soil, nitrate leaching and ammonia emissions to the environment. So today we have a pig production where the environmental impact per head has been significantly reduced over the years, says Hanne Damgaard Poulsen, and continues:


- We must continue to follow this course, so that we can maintain a livestock production in Denmark where the environment and animal welfare are important factors. It is vital that we keep a balance. I note with satisfaction that our research has a high profile in society, and there is a clear desire to retain jobs in livestock production and related industries.


Head of department Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen is greatly pleased with the appointment of Hanne Damgaard Poulsen to the professorship.


- With Hanne as a professor, the department’s expertise in reducing the environmental impact of livestock production will become more visible. We are particularly strong in the research area on improving livestock nutrient use efficiency and nutrient losses via animal manure, and this is not least due to Hanne’s work, says Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen.


Hanne Damgaard Poulsen is hoping that the appointment as a professor will benefit her research section.


- I believe that it can strengthen the research section. It is also a personal pat on the shoulder, but I hope it rubs off on the rest of the group both in its external relationships and internally at the university. The professorship will also hopefully result in more money for research and more results, says Hanne Damgaard Poulsen.



CV - Hanne Damgaard Poulsen

Employment history

2001 – Head of research section, Department of Animal Science

1994-2001 Senior scientist, Department of Animal Science

1991-1994 PhD degree, Department of Animal Science /Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University

1984-1991 Research assistant

1981-1984 High school teacher, Viborg



1994 – PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University

1981 – Master’s in biology from Aarhus University


Further information: Professor Hanne Damgaard Poulsen, Department of Animal Science, telephone: +45 8715 7895, e-mail: hdp@agrsci.dk