Vivi M. Thorup

Vivi M. Thorup

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2013

Receiving laboratory: MoSAR Systemic Modelling of Ruminant Nutrition Jouy-en-Josas, France

Country of origin : Denmark




Mobility project

Developing new methodology for extracting precision phenotypes from on-farm technology: A systemic modelling approach using accelerometers to derive behavioural indicators for dairy cow health and feeding status.

My specific objectives are to:

  • Develop generic, real-time methods for efficient filtration and extraction of the biological signal from accelerometer-based sensor technologies for feeding activity and locomotion in individual cows
  • Create generic models that integrate information from diverse sensors to provide robust biological indicators and novel phenotypes for both nutritional status and health status
  • Determine the utility of the above methods in detecting off-feed situations and lameness at an early stage
Biography & research interests

I am a biologist with special interest in animal behaviour and welfare. In 2007 I achieved my PhD in biomechanical gait analysis using pigs as subjects. During my scientific career (2002 to 2013 at Aarhus University, Denmark) my main achievements so far have been to partake in the development of a dairy cow energy balance model which has the potential to become an important on-farm tool for the management of individuals. Furthermore, through my research with objective gait analysis of quadrupeds, I know the effects of lameness on both the behaviour and gait of cows. Importantly, I possess extensive experience with several precision livestock farming technologies that can be employed in monitoring animals automatically at the individual level, such as force plates, pressure mats, videos, feeding stations etc. I seek to valorise the opportunities that arise from combining data technology and biology for precision phenotyping and thereby provide improved tools for better management and improved genetic selection strategies.

Selected publications
  1. Thorup, V.M., Munksgaard, P-E. Robert, H.W. Erhard, P. T. Thomsen, N. Friggens. 2015. Lameness detection via leg-mounted accelerometers on dairy cows on four commercial farms. Animal (accepted April 23, 2015).
  2. Thorup, V.M., Nascimento, O.F., Skjøth, F., Voigt, M., Rasmussen, M.D., Bennedsgaard, T.W., Ingvartsen, K.L. 2014. Short communication: Gait symmetry changes in healthy and lame dairy cows based on 3-dimensional ground reaction force curves following claw trimming. Journal of Dairy Science 97: 7679-7684.
  3. Thorup, V.M., Højsgaard, S., Weisbjerg, M., Friggens, N.C. 2013. Energy balance of individual cows can be estimated in real-time on-farm using only frequent liveweight measures even in the absence of body condition score. Animal 7: 1631-1639.
  4. Thorup, V.M., Edwards, D., Friggens, N.C. 2012. On-farm estimation of energy balance in dairy cows using only frequent body weight measurements and body condition score. Journal of Dairy Science 95: 1784-1793.
  5. Thorup, V.M., Laursen, B., Jensen, B. R. Net joint kinetics in the limbs of pigs walking on concrete floor during dry and contaminated conditions. Journal of Animal Science 86: 992-998.



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