William Van Wettere

Dr William Van Wettere

Associate Prof/Reader

School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

My research interests are broad, but focus primarily on developing management strategies to improve the reproductive performance of female production animals (in particular pigs, sheep and cattle) and increasing the climate resilience of livestock production. This includes:

  • alleviating the impacts of heat stress on ewe and ram fertility
  • understanding the role of melatonin in production animal reproduction, thermoregulation and productivity
  • understanding how production animals adapts physiologically and behaviourally to climatic stress
  • increasing neonatal survival, as well as their growth and reproductive potential
  • developing phenotypic markers of reproductive potential and longevity, 
  • improving the quality of oocyte/embryo donors and embryo recipients,
  • alleviating seasonal infertility
  • improving ovarian function.
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2009 - ongoing Senior Lecturer, Intensive Livestock (pigs) The University of Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    The University of Adelaide Australia PhD

Below are grants and funding, from 2013 onwards, including current projects

Improving the climate resilience of the Australian Sheep Flock (2022 onwards)

Quantifying and improving the reproductive performance of Australia's Shedding Sheep flock (2023 to 2027)

Improving twin lamb survival through melatonin implants: commercial validation, MDC, 2021 to 2023

Sheep thermoregulation and fertility, Sheep Industry Funds, 2021 to 2024

Improving productivity and wellbeing of flocks joined during periods of heat using melatonin implants, Sheep Industry Funds 2021 to 2023

Characterising the vaginal microbes of high and low producing Poll Merino and White Suffolk Ewes, MDC, 2020

A review of the impact of heat stress on reproductive performance in sheep, MLA, 2019 to 2020

Evaluating the ability of anti-müllerian hormone to predict ewe reproductive rate, AWI, 2018 to 2023

Nutritional supplementation to increase the number of pigs weaned and the fertility of sows which farrow and are mated during summer / early autumn, APRIL, 2018 to 2020.

New approaches to increase the weaning rate of the national sheep-flock: MLA, 2017 to 2022

Maternal caffeine supplementation in early lactation, effects on piglet viability, growth and survival: Pig Industry Fund, 2018

Fenceline boar exposure at the end of lactation to improve reproductive performance of group-housed sows: Pork CRC, 2017 - 2018

Effect of maternal supplementation with creatine and caffeine prior to farrowing on piglet growth and survival: a commercial study: Australian Pork, 2016 to 2018

Alleviating seasonal infertility and increasing the female: male ratio in litters by manipulating dietary intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids: Australian Pork, 2016 - 2018

Reducing the confinement of peri-parturient and lactating sows: Pork CRC, 2015 - 2017

Reducing sow stress around farrowing: Pork CRC, 2015 - 2018

Conception to culling - effective management of the gilt to optimize reproduction and longevity: Australian Pork, 2015 - 2019

Maternal creatine monohydrate supplementation: A novel strategy to buffer the neonate against hypoxia and reduce preweaning mortality: Australian Pork, 2013 to 2015

I teach across a number of courses, my primary teaching areas are animal husbandry, pig production and  reproductive endocrinology and physiology. I co-ordinate three undergraduate courses:

Animal Handling and Husbandry (year one)

Livestock Production (year two)

Pig Production: Science into Practice (summer elective, involving undergraduate students and industry representatives)

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor Heat tolerance and reproduction of rams and ewes that shed Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sarah Myfanwy Hughes
    2021 Principal Supervisor Understanding the impact of ewe metabolic state on parturition duration and the incidence of dystocia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Amy Laurel Munn
    2020 Principal Supervisor Evaluating heat stress in Merino ewes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Bobbie Emilia Lewis Baida
    2020 Principal Supervisor Maternal supplementation with dietary betaine during gestation to improve twin lamb survival Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Billie-Jaye Brougham
    2019 Principal Supervisor Colostrum Quality in Merino Ewes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Bianca Agenbag
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Understanding anti-Müllerian hormone and its value as a phenotypic marker of fertility within commercial sheep production Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Jamee Daly
    2015 - 2024 Co-Supervisor Early indicators of a gilt’s reproductive potential Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Lauren Mackenzie Staveley
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Optimising the management of group housed, gestating sows Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Emma Catharine Greenwood
    2013 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Improving the Welfare and Performance of the Sow and Piglet in Confinement and Reduced Confinement Farrowing and Lactation Housing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Patricia Charlotte Condous
    2010 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Managing the lactating sow to stimulate lactation oestrus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Robyn Terry
    2010 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The induction of a fertile oestrus in lactating sows and the subsequent effect mating in lactation has on oocyte quality and embryo survival Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Alice Caroline Weaver
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Member Pork CRC Research and Development Committee - -
    2009 - ongoing Member Pork CRC education committee - Australia
  • Position: Associate Prof/Reader
  • Phone: 83137911
  • Email: william.vanwettere@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83137956
  • Campus: Roseworthy
  • Building: Corridor Block, floor G
  • Org Unit: School of Animal and Veterinary Science

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