3rd Mountain Livestock Farming Systems Meeting

Adaptation of mountain livestock farming to global change

5 / 7 June 2024 - Clermont-Ferrand

Early bird price: before May 20, 2024
Special discount for Young Scientists

On behalf of the French Organising Committee, we are very delighted to invite you to attend the Mountain Livestock Farming Systems Meeting co-organised by the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), VetAgro Sup and INRAE to be held in Clermont Ferrand, the capital of the Auvergne, from June 5th to 7th, 2024.

The general topic of this Congress will be Adaptation of mountain livestock farming to climate change. Different sessions will be jointly organised to cover various areas of knowledge related to Interaction between farming systems and wildlife, Product quality and mountain farming, and several other topics.


Local Organizers

With nearly 850 staff spread over 20 Units in 8 locations, the Clermont-Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Centre of INRAE (The French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment) is widely anchored in the region. Our teams implement research projects characterized by a broad disciplinary representation, as close as possible to the concerns of society. They are involved in numerous international research networks in the fields of plant genetics, animal husbandry and human nutrition.

VetAgro Sup is an institution of higher education and research (ESR) under the aegis of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food. It is the only establishment in France that trains veterinarians, agricultural engineers, and veterinary public health inspectors. It also runs educational and research programmes centred on the essential theme of global health, addressing issues at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health.

Agro-ecosystems face multiple challenges such as climate change, declining biodiversity, and the shift towards agro-ecological practices. Adapting to this evolving landscape requires addressing economic, societal, and environmental concerns. The International Research Center for Sustainable Agroecosystems aims to enhance the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems, focusing on cereals and grazing livestock. The International Research Centre – IRC-SAE project on sustainable agro-ecosystems  brings together 19 research units INRAE, Université Clermont-Auvergne, CNRS, VetAgro-Sup, involving 259 scientists. 

1 – Adaptation of mountain livestock farming to climate change

2 – Interaction between farming systems and wildlife

3 – Product quality and mountain farming

4 – Local breeds

5 – Transhumance in European mountains – challenges and perspective

6 – Forage systems for mountain livestock

7 – Sustainability and ecosystem services of mountain farming

8 – New technologies for mountain livestock

President of the Meeting

International Scientific Board

Isabel Casasύs – EAAP president

Georgia Hadjipavlou – EAAP Sheep &Goat Commission

Christos Dadousis – EAAP Sheep & Goat Commission, YoungEAAP

Christina Ligda – EAAP Mediterranean Working Group

Filippo Miglior – EAAP Genetics Commission

Giuseppe Bee – EAAP Pig Commission

Ioanna Poulopoulou – EAAP Livestock Farming Systems Commission

Luciano Pinotti – EAAP Nutrition Commission

Yuri Montanholi – EAAP Physiology Commission, Cattle network Working Group

Keelin O’Driscoll – EAAP Health and Welfare Commission

Peer Berg – EAAP FAnGR Working Group

National Organizing Committee

Vassilis Vassiliou – Head of Animal Production Section, ARI, Cyprus

George Adamides -Head of Rural Development Section, ARI, Cyprus

Dionysis Sparaggis – Animal Production Section, ARI, Cyprus

Michalis Omirou – Agrobiotechnology Section, ARI, Cyprus

Dionysia Fasoula – Plant Improvement Section, ARI, Cyprus

Andreas Stylianou – Rural Development Section, ARI, Cyprus

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region covers an area of 69 711 km2 in the central-east part of the south of France. It is characterised by diverse natural resources and topographies (including high mountains to the east and volcanos to the west), climates, cultures, folklore, architecture, and languages. The region accounts for 11.9% of the French economic output. It hosts 48500 farms (with an average of 59 ha), including 51.9% of them for the production of animal products and 10.4% with both plant and animal production. About 20% and 13% of the farms concern the production of beef and milk respectively, and 11% are with sheep, goats or other herbivores. This places the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region 3rd in place amongst the other French regions in agriculture. The region had 13% of organic farms, 30% with other labels or quality signs and 30% with short supply chains.


Clermont-Ferrand, capital of the Auvergne region, is a university town in central France, located at the foot of the Limagne fault and the Puys chain, a natural site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2 July 2018. Clermont-Ferrand’s Gothic cathedral, built from lava stone, and the Romanesque basilica of Notre-Dame du Port, with its remarkable mosaics, are just a stone’s throw from the fountains and statues of the huge Place de Jaude.

France’s leading university and research centre, with over 40,000 students – a quarter of the municipal population (150,000 inhabitants) – and 6,000 researchers, it is the first city in France to join UNESCO’s learning city network. Clermont-Ferrand has a long industrial tradition and is home to Michelin, one of the world’s two largest tyre manufacturers. It is also well positioned in the pharmaceutical, agri-food and aeronautical industries. It is home to three competitiveness clusters.

The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival is the second largest film festival in France after the Cannes Festival. Clermont-Ferrand is home to a number of famous people, including Vercingetorix, king of the Celtic Arvernes, Pope Urban II, who led the first crusade in 1095, and Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, moralist and theologian.

We welcome you and wish you an exceptional stay in Clermont-Ferrand!


VetAgro-Sup campus: 89 Av. de l’Europe, 63370 Lempdes, France

A theatre room and several smaller rooms available for common and parallel sessions.


Hotels in the centre of Clermont-Ferrand account for just over a quarter of the city’s hotel accommodation. Easily accessible by public transport such as the bus or the new tramway, they are a stone’s throw from shops, restaurants and historic monuments. They range from 2 to 4 stars, with prices starting at around €40.

VetAgro-Sup offers a limited number of free accommodation slots at the student dormitory for conference attendees who are students. Please note that the availability is subject to a limited number of slots, and for inquiries and reservations, please contact Dr. Gilles Brunschwig at gilles.brunschwig@vetagro-sup.fr


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Georgia Hadjipavlou

Georgia Hadjipavlou has received a PhD in Cell, Animal and Population Biology from the University of Edinburgh UK, an MSc and BSc in Biochemistry (with Biology as second major) from Brandeis University, USA. She has worked at the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) since 2005 and has been the head of the ARI Animal Breeding and Genetics Unit since 2010. Georgia uses quantitative and statistical genetic techniques, bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches to perform genetic evaluations and selection for sheep and goats, dissect genetic components and map quantitative trait loci and polymorphisms affecting production, reproduction, disease and other important traits in local livestock populations, such as climate adaptation and resilience. Her current research endeavors focus on developing and implementing population-wide genomic evaluation approaches for accelerating the genetic progress achieved through breeding local small ruminant breeds, creating breed-specific genomic profiles for tracing animal-derived products, and for genomic management of biodiversity. Efforts involve both innovative and applied research activities and focus on local industry needs and specificities. She coordinates one EC-funded programme, via the Cyprus Resilience and Recovery Plan; GENIMP “Genetic improvement of the Cyprus Sheep and Goat Population” which runs from 2022-2026 and has a total budget of €5,000,000. She also coordinates a nationally funded research programme, AGRICYGEN, from 2021-2027 with a total budget of €7,000,000.
Georgia is also the National Coordinator for Farm Animal Genetic Resources, and the Cyprus representative in the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) and the European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources (ERFP). She also currently serves as an elected member of the ERFP Steering Committee (2023-2027), an EAAP Auditor (2022-2025), and was elected President of the EAAP Sheep and Goat Commission (2023-2026. In the past, she has served as a member of the EAAP Research Council (2015-2019), representing Cyprus, Tunisia, Lebanon and Israel, and as a member of the EAAP Ways and Means Committee (2016-2019).

Prof. Zygmunt Maciej Kowalski, PhD
  • Professor in Animal Science
  • Head of the Department of Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology, and Fisheries, Faculty of Animal Science, The University of Agriculture in Krakow, Krakow, Poland.
  • Head of Doctoral School of The University of Agriculture in Krakow.

Author of over 800 publications, including 122 original papers in peer-reviewed indexed periodicals (Journal of Dairy Science, Journal of Animal Science, Livestock Production Science, Animal Feed Science and Technology). Author of many advisory publications for milk producers, cow and calf nutrition advisers and veterinarians.
The main fields of research activity include:

  • feeding of high-yielding cows,
  • monitoring and prevention of metabolic diseases in dairy cows, especially ketosis
  • protein, amino acids, and fats in dairy cow diets,
  • protein, and energy evaluation systems for ruminants,
  • systems of dairy calf rearing,
  • additives to promote the growth and development of dairy calves.

Co-author of a national monitoring system for subclinical ketosis of dairy cows based on the determination of ketone bodies in milk using the FTIR technique.
A very well-known in Poland speaker of numerous courses, lectures, and seminars for students, farmers, extension workers, feed distributors, and veterinarians. Supervisor of several PhD students, and coordinator of numerous scientific projects conducted on ruminants, mainly dairy cows and calves. Expert in practical dairy cow and dairy calf feeding.

Marcin Pszczola

Marcin Pszczola is an Assistant Professor at the Genetics and Animal Breeding Department of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science at Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland, and Deputy Director of Centre for Genetics of Polish Federation of Cattle Breeders and Dairy Farmers. He works in the field of animal breeding and genetics. His research focuses on improving the accuracy of genomic predictions for novel traits in dairy cattle and reducing their environmental impact by selective breeding for reducing methane emissions. He obtained his PhD in animal science from Wageningen University (the Netherlands). He is vice-president of Polish Society of Animal Production (PTZ), vice-president of Commission on Animal Genetics of European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), secretary of the Young EAAP Club. 

Ino Curik

Professor of animal breeding, conservation genetics and population genetics at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture (Croatia). Scientific interests and publications concern conservation genetics (estimation of pedigree and genomic inbreeding, effective population size, diversity and inbreeding depression), quantitative genetics (quantitative aspects of coat colour inheritance, effects of mitogenome on quantitative variation and health) and archaeogenetics (genomic changes during domestication). Member of the editorial boards of Frontiers in Genetics, Livestock Science, Genes, and Journal of Bioanthropology. Recipient of the National Science Award of the Republic of Croatia for exceptional scientific achievements in the field of biotechnology. Awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).

Johann (Hans) Sölkner

Johann (Hans) Sölkner is a full professor of animal breeding and population genetics and head of Institute of Livestock Sciences. His main interest is genetic improvement of livestock populations by applying statistic and bioinformatic techniques, finding ways of combining high tech (genomic) as well as low tech (simple breeding programs) solutions. In Austria, his expertise has been critical for establishing national breeding programs for cattle and pig populations and genomic prediction procedures for very many traits. In Africa and Latin America, together with local partners, he has had a key role in establishing the concept of community-based breeding programs (CBBP), aiming at increasing the productivity and profitability of indigenous breeds without undermining their resilience and genetic diversity, and without expensive interventions.

Jaromír Vašíček

Ing. Jaromír Vašíček, PhD. has been working for more than 10 years in the field of preservation of animal genetic resources in the form of cryopreservation of generative cells (spermatozoa) and somatic (stem) cells of important Slovak breeds of livestock. After completing his PhD studies at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, he successfully followed up his domestic and foreign work experience and became a recognized scientist in the field of cell culture, magnetic separation and immunophenotyping of various types of animal cells using flow cytometry, as evidenced by invited lectures focused on immunophenotyping of stem cells. Thanks to his knowledge and experience, he has already managed to obtain three research projects of his own at a relatively young age. Within these, he is successfully continuing his research collaboration with the foreign institution AKH Vienna. In addition, he was and is a co-investigator in other research projects. Thanks to his efforts as well as those of his colleagues, several types of stem cells from the endangered breeds of the Nitra, Zobor and Zemplín rabbits as well as from the endangered breed of hen Oravka have been obtained and frozen.

John McEwan

John McEwan a principal scientist from AgResearch has been involved in genetic and genomic improvement for over 40 years. Initially, his genetics research was primarily in sheep carcass composition and disease resistance but in more recent years meat quality and methane emissions. This work included the implementation of New Zealand’s national across breed and flock sheep genetic evaluation system “Sheep Improvement Limited”. John was also involved in the initial sequencing of cattle, sheep and deer genomes and the subsequent creation of SNP chips used for genomic selection and GWAS studies in these species.  More recently, he has been involved in development low cost sequencing strategies and their use in a wide variety of animal, plant, fungi and bacterial species. Examples will include: genetic diversity studies, genomic selection, parentage assignment, GWAS, rumen microbial profiling for methane prediction and disease quantification.

Florence Garcia-Launay

Florence Garcia-Launay is researcher in the “Pig Farming System” research group of PEGASE Research Unit at INRAE, located in Saint-Gilles (Brittany, France). She graduated in biological systems analysis and modelling from Lyon 1 University and obtained her PhD from AgroParisTech Paris on the analysis of sheep grazing behaviour. She joined INRA in 2004 and developed research, models and tools dedicated to beef production until 2011. Within PEGASE Research Unit since 2012, she develops models and tools to investigate innovative strategies and to support decision for improved environmental and economic performances of pig production systems. She contributed recently to the French EcoAlim project and the H2020 Feed-A-Gene project. She is author or co-author of about 40 peer-reviewed papers, 9 book chapters and 120 contributions to national and international scientific congresses.

Jaap van Milgen

Jaap van Milgen obtained a PhD degree from the University of Illinois in animal science in 1991 after which he joined INRAE. He worked on the nutritional modeling of growth in pigs, which resulted in the development of the InraPorc software tool. He also developed an extensive research program of energy and amino acid nutrition using experimental and modeling methods. From 2015 to 2020, he coordinated the Horizon 2020 Feed-a-Gene project (www.feed-a-gene.eu). The objective of Feed-a-Gene was to adapt the feed, the animal, and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems. Since 2021, he has been coordinating PIGWEB (www.pigweb.eu), which is a Horizon 2020 infrastructure project for experimental research for sustainable pig production. In 2021, he received the Leroy Fellowship Award from the EAAP.

Sonja de Vries

I obtained my BSc and MSc degrees in Animal Sciences and PhD degree in Animal Nutrition at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. My PhD research focused on the degradation of fibres in pigs and poultry, with special emphasis on processing and enzyme technologies to improve the nutritional value of Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) and rapeseed meal; two agricultural by-products that are widely used as animal feed ingredients. Since then, I have been working on the nutritional characterization of fibre-rich ingredients and our understanding of their fate in the digestive tract of animals, with the aim to increase the use of agricultural by-products in animal feed. First at the Ingredient Research Centre of Trouw Nutrition R&D and since 2015 as Assistant and later Associate Professor at the Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University. I lead research projects and teach topics in the field of quantitative nutrition of monogastric animals, digestion kinetics, processing and enzyme technologies, and nutritional modelling, with special emphasis on dietary fibres and fibrerich ingredients. My research ambition is to understand the complexity of digestive processes in the animal and apply this knowledge to predict and improve the nutritional value of animal feed, ultimately aiming for sustainable and competitive use of feed resources without compromising animal performance and health. Currently, I am involved in several multidisciplinary projects, focusing at the challenges we face with the shift in feed resources and the increased fibre level of diets in circular agriculture; from pelleting technology to nutrient utilization and gut health. In 2017 I have been awarded a personal Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to study fundamental principles of the effects of fibres on digestive physiology in chickens, to better understand how chickens cope with fibre-rich by-products and identify

Sandrine Espagnol

Agricultural engineer, Environmental issues


  • Environmental assessment (case studies by expertise, life cycle assessment, modelling)
  • Database production (gaseous emissions factors, environmental impacts of livestock inputs)
  • Codesign of future pig farms
  • Gaseous emissions measurements (ammonia, greenhouse gases)

Since May 2002 (19 years)

Environmental engineer at IFIP French institute for pig and pork industry, Rennes, FRANCE.

  • Facilitator of a national network on livestock and environment
  • Projects construction: search for financing, response to call for projects, projects leading, implementation phases of the project, valorization of the results, training.

10 projects of three years led.

  • Acquisition of references on gaseous emissions
    • Design of a measuring devices
    • Different of manure management units studied: storage of slurry and solid manure, covered and uncovered storage, spreading
    • Construction of a national database with gaseous emissions factors published
    • Dynamic modelling of gaseous emissions
  • Acquisition of references concerning the environmental impacts of pig farms
    • Assessment of different pig productions: organic and conventional production, current and future pig farms, different feeding strategies, different manure managements
    • Different scales studied: pig unit, farm, pig production life cycle, territory approaches
  • Building of a tool for farmers (GEEP) to assess the environmental performances of pig units.
Luc A. Cynober

Luc A. Cynober, PhD, Pharm.D is head of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Cochin Hospital, Paris, and is Professor of Nutrition at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University Paris Descartes, France. Dr Cynober obtained his Pharm.D degree in 1979 from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Paris XI. In 1985, he received his PhD in Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the same university.
Dr Cynober is a member of the European Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ESPEN), American Nutrition Society, American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, among others. He served from 1992 to 2000 as officer in the executive committee of ESPEN, and from 2001 to 2005 as chairman of the French-Speaking Society of Nutrition and Metabolism. In the years 1987–1992 he served as editor-in-chief of Nutrition Clinique & Métabolisme. He is Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition since 1998.
Among other awards, he has received the Pharmacy Academy Award for his PhD thesis and the International Research Award of the French Society of Clinical Biology. Dr Cynober has presented over 100 invited lectures at international and national meetings. He has published more than 250 original research papers and more than 100 review papers. He is the editor of a book dealing with amino acids metabolism and therapy in clinical nutrition (published by CRC Press). His current major research interests relate to amino acid metabolism and therapy in health and diseases.

Martin Beaumont

Martin Beaumont performed his doctoral research on the effects of high protein diets and bacterial metabolites derived from amino acids on gut health, in the group of François Blachier at INRAE-AgroParisTech (Paris). In 2017, he joined the research group of Nathalie Delzenne at UCLouvain (Brussels) and focused his postdoctoral research on the hepatic effects of indole, a metabolite produced by the gut microbiota from tryptophan. Since 2018, he is researcher at INRAE-GenPhySE (Toulouse). By using a combination of omics technologies and intestinal organoid cultures in vitro, he studies the role of gut microbiota-derived metabolites on epithelial barrier function in young mammals.