Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown staff profile picture

School of Fundamental Sciences
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Proteomic investigation of ovine pre-partum prolapse

Research Description
Sheep sometimes have a vaginal prolapse prior to lambing, this is colloquially known as bearings. Rates of bearings vary between as many as one in ten, to about one in thousand. Without intervention bearing ewes will die, along with the unborn offspring. Over eating is often blamed but epidemiological evidence suggests this may not be the case, so the question arises: is ovine pre-partum prolapse a regulated process? I am looking to see if there are blood plasma differences between ewes that subsequently prolapse and those that don't. This should provide information about what kind of processes are involved in the etiology of bearings.

Research Importance
Bearings represent a substantial financial and animal welfare issue for sheep farmers. The risk of having an outbreak also influences farm management decisions. Epidemiological research has thus far yielded only limited clues as to the causes of bearings and so new research strategies are needed in this area.

Personal Description
I grew up on a sheep farm near Dannevirke, which I still run while studying part-time. I always thought bearings would make an interesting research project. I chose Massey because of its location and because I was able to get academic support and interest in my research project from the institute of fundamental sciences and the institute of animal and veterinary sciences. What I do after I finish will depend on the results of my project. Hopefully I will have some interesting results which will lead to further work.

Associate Professor Gill Norris
Professor Kevin Stafford

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