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Full NameProfessor Marijke Beltman

Herd Health and Animal Husbandry

University College Dublin

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • physiology and non-communicable disease
  • one health
  • comparative medicine
  • preventive medicine/behavioural change interventions
  • clinical trials
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Public Health
  • Veterinary Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Neonatology
  • Other
Other Medical Specialties:

Gynacology, obstetrics, theriogenology

My Work

Factors affecting reproductive performance in Irish dairy cows. Human-animal interactions in relation to farm safety.

Beltman, M.E. and Kelly, E.T Managing seasonal calving dairy herds: ensuring synchrony between reproductive events and climatic conditions. The Veterinary Record. 04 February 2022;190 (3) Pages 117-119
Kelly ET, McAloon CG, Crowe MA, Beltman ME. Estimation of the true prevalence of inaccurate artificial inseminations in Irish milk recording dairy cows using a Bayesian latent class analysis. Prev Vet Med. 2021 Sep 22;197:105502
Kelly ET, McAloon CG, O'Grady L, Furlong J, Crowe MA, Beltman ME. Cow-level prevalence and risk factors for estrus detection inaccuracy in seasonal calving pasture-based dairy cows. Theriogenology. 2021 Feb;161:41-48
Beltman ME, McNally JC, Kelly E, Crowe MA. Relationship between plasma concentrations of IGF-I and clinical endometritis, and response to progesterone synchrony in dairy cows during early lactation. J Dairy Sci. 2020 Oct;103(10):9493-950
Ryan NJ, Meade KG, Williams EJ, O'Farrelly C, Grant J, Evans ACO, Beltman ME. Purulent vaginal discharge diagnosed in pasture-based Holstein-Friesian cows at 21 days postpartum is influenced by previous lactation milk yield and results in diminished fertility. J Dairy Sci. 2020 Jan;103(1):666-675
Kelly E, McAloon CG, O'Grady L, Duane M, Somers JR, Beltman ME. Cow-level risk factors for reproductive tract disease diagnosed by 2 methods in pasture-grazed dairy cattle in Ireland. J Dairy Sci. 2020 Jan;103(1):737-749

Potential Projects

Cattle and sheep hormonal programs have been used as a model for programs prescribed for women undergoing assisted reproductive technologies to conceive. Like in humans, cattle fertility has declined in the last number of years prompting investigating on how to increase efficiency with exogenous hormones without losing the public support. The problem of declining fertility rates in seasonal pasture-based dairy farms in Ireland and Europe has prompted significant emphasis on improved fertility and survival rates of replacement heifers in dairy production systems.
The main aim of the project is to develop an oestrous/ovulation synchronisation protocol that reduces the duration of the progesterone releasing intravaginal device (PRID) from 8 days to 5 or 6 days for use with fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI) in replacement heifers. Reducing the length of progesterone administration is likely to improve the quality of oocytes within follicles having a shorter duration of dominance which should increase pregnancy rates per AI and eliminate oestrous detection errors. Short progesterone synchronisation protocols are currently been considered on the premise that shorter progesterone exposure may improve quality of younger, healthier oocytes within follicles of a shorter dominance life span. It may also increase pregnancy rate, eliminate oestrous detection error and labour costs and may reduce handling and drug usage as no GnRH is required at the onset. Short progesterone synchronisation protocols in replacement dairy heifers are aimed at reducing the duration of progesterone releasing intra-vaginal device (PRID) period from the normal 8 days to 5 or 6 days and an extension of the interval from device removal to FTAI to enhance the growing period of the ovulatory follicles. It is expected that this action will help to improve breeding management of dairy replacement heifers .