Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Sustainable Food Systems

Research Centres: RVC Quantitative Biology Resource

Geoff has retired from full-time work at RVC but still teaches and carries out research in genetics as applied to livestock production. His particular expertise is in sheep and cattle but cooperates with colleagues in other species as and when possible.

  • Geoff has been working in the field of ruminant livestock production and genetics for 48 years.
  • His PhD from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne was a quantitative genetic analysis of 13 performance traits in a self-contained sheep flock.
  • Geoff put his academic training to practical use by working at the Meat and Livestock Commission for 16 years developing R+D programmes for livestock producers in the UK.
  • During this time Geoff also spent 3 years in the Sudan developing sheep and cattle systems for use in the rain-fed and irrigated areas of the country.
  • Subsequently Geoff joined Wye College (University of London) to lecture in animal breeding and production and remained there for 15 years until Imperial College took it over and closed it down.
  • Geoff then spent 2 years developing livestock genetic evaluation and breeding programmes at the Scottish Agricultural College before taking up his current post at RVC.
  • Geoff completed the Oxford Bioinformatics MSc programme which has enabled him to extend his research interests into molecular methods to complement his quantitative genetic skills.
  • Geoff has chaired the Scientific Programme Committee of the European Federation of Animal Sciences since 2010.
  • Geoff is a registered animal scientist with the BSAS accreditation scheme.
  • Geoff has been made an honourary member of the British Society of Animal Science
  • Geoff has recently received a Distinguished Service Award from the European Federation of Animal Sciences

Sheep genetics

  • Genetics of production traits in British Suffolk flocks
  • Dairy sheep genetics in Israel
  • Gastrointestinal parasite resistance in Australian Merino sheep genetics
  • Genetics of wool shedding

Sheep breed structure of Britain

  • British sheep breed surveys carried out in 1987, 1996, 2003 and 2012.
  • Value of genetic improvement to the UK sheep industry

A biological model of lactation

  • A new model describing lactation in dairy animals
  • Applying the new model to commercial dairy records
  • Listen to a podcast RVC37
  • Recently extended to include direct measures of apoptosis and gene expression levels during lactation.

Genotype by environment interactions in livestock breeding

  • UK sheep flocks
  • UK and Kenyan dairy herds
  • Australian Merino flocks

Extended lactations and greenhouse gas emissions

Molecular genetics and production traits


SIMM, G., POLLOTT, G.E., MRODE, R., HUSTON, R. AND MARSHALL, K. 2020. Genetic improvement of farmed animals. CABI:Wallingford.

POLLOTT, G. E. 2014 The breeding structure of the British sheep industry 2012. EBLEX:Stoneleigh.

POLLOTT, G. E. AND WILSON, R. T. 2009 Sheep and goats for diverse products and profits. FAO Diversification Booklet No. 9. FAO:Rome.

POLLOTT, G. E. AND STONE, D. G. 2006. The breeding structure of the British sheep industry 2003. Defra:London.

POLLOTT, G.E. (1995) (Editor) Grassland into the 21st century. BGS:Reading. (365 pages)

POLLOTT, G.E. (1995) The recording of fat-tailed sheep in Syria, Turkey and Jordan. ICARDA & FAO/RNEA: Cairo. (40 pages)

CROSTON, D. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (1994). Planned sheep production. (2nd edition). Blackwells:Oxford. (207 pages)

POLLOTT, G. E. (1990). (Editor). Milk and meat from forage crops. British Grassland Society Occasional Symposium No. 24. BGS:Hurley. (280 pages)

POLLOTT, G. E. (1987). (Editor). Efficient sheep production from grass. British Grassland Society Occasional Symposium No. 21. BGS:Hurley. (212 pages)

Chapters in books
LAWRENCE, A., POLLOTT, G. E.,GIBBONS, J.,HASKELL, M.,WALL, E., BROTHERSTONE, S.,COFFEY, M. P., WHITE, I. AND SIMM, G. (2009). Robustness in dairy cows: experimental studies of reproduction, fertility, behaviour and welfare. In: Breeding for robustness in cattle. Eds. Klopcic, M., Reents, R., Philipsson, J. and Kuipers, A. EAAP Scientific Series Volume 126. Pages 55-66.

POLLOTT, G. E. AND COFFEY, M. P. (2009). The link between energy balance and fertility in dairy cows. In: Breeding for robustness in cattle. Eds. Klopcic, M., Reents, R., Philipsson, J. and Kuipers, A. EAAP Scientific Series Volume 126. Pages 207-218.

CAB International (2002). Awassi sheep [original text by G. E. POLLOTT]. In: Animal Health and Production Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

POLLOTT, G. E. (1998) Goal-led livestock recording systems for low to medium input production systems. In: Trevedi (ed), International workshop on animals recording for smallholders in developing countries. ICAR Technical Series No. 1. ICAR: Rome.


Chen, X., Zhang, S., Cheng, Z., Pollott, G. E. and Wathes, D. C. (2019). Association between single nucleotide polymorphism in RelA with somatic cell count and longevity supports importance of NF-κB signaling in cattle health. Open Journal of Animal Sciences 9 No.1.

Pollott, G. E. (2018) Invited review: Bioinformatic methods to discover the likely causal variant of a new autosomal recessive genetic condition using genome-wide data. Animal, 12: 2221–2234.

Posbergh C. J., Pollott G. E., Southard T. L., Divers T. J. and Brooks S. A. (2018). A non-synonymous change in adhesion G protein-coupled receptor L3 associated with risk for Equine Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy in the Caspian Horse. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 70: 96-100.

Angeles-Hernandeza, J. C., Pollott G. E., Albarran-Portillo B., Ramírez-Perezb A. H.,  Lizarazo-Chaparro A., Castelan Ortegae O. A, and Ronquilloe M. G. (2018). The application of a mechanistic model to analyze the factors that affect the lactation curve parameters of dairy sheep in Mexico. Small Ruminant Research 164: 58-63.

Pollott, G. E., Brito, A., Gardiner, C., and Lawson, C. (2016). A comparison of different methodologies for the measurement of extracellular vesicles and milk-derived particles in raw milk from cows. Biomarker Insights, 11: 147-155.

Chen X, Zhang S, Cheng Z, Cooke JS, Werling D, Wathes DC, and G. E. Pollott. (2017). Polymorphisms in the selectin gene cluster are associated with fertility and survival time in a population of Holstein Friesian cows. PLoS ONE 12 (4): e0175555.

Chen, X., Z. Cheng, D. Werling, G. E. Pollott, M. Salavati, K. F. Johnson, F. A. Khan, D. C. Wathes, S. J. Zhang. (2016). Bovine P-selectin mediates leukocyte adhesion and is highly polymorphic in dairy breeds. Research in Veterinary Science, 108: 85–92.

Wisløff, U., Bye, A., Stølen, T., Kemi, O. J., Pollott, G. E., Pande, M., McEachin, R. C., Britton, S. L. and Koch, L. G. (2015). Blunted cardiomyocyte remodeling response in exercise-resistant rats. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 65:1377–84.

Pollott, G. E., Charlesworth, A. and Wathes, D. C. (2014). The use of molecular information can improve the genetic evaluation of a rare breed. Animal 8:685–694.

Pollott, G. E., Wilson, K., Jerram, L., Fowkes, R. C. and Lawson, C. (2014). Technical note: A non-invasive method for measuring mammary apoptosis in dairy animals using microparticles extracted from milk. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:5017-5022.

Wathes, D. C., Pollott, G. E., Johnson, K. F., Richardson, H. and Cooke, J. S.  (2014). Heifer fertility and carry over consequences for life time production in dairy and beef cattle. Animal, 8:s1, 91-104.

Pollott, G. E., Charlesworth, A. and Wathes, D. C. (2014) The use of molecular informationcan improve the genetic evaluation of a reare breed. Animal 8:685-694.

 Koch, L. G., Pollott, G. E. and Britton, S. L.  (2013) A selectively bred rat model system for low and high response to exercise training. Physiological Genomics 45:606-14.

Wathes, D. C., Clempson, A. M. and Pollott, G. E. (2013) Associations between lipid metabolism and fertility in the dairy cow. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 25: 48–61.

B. Albarrán-Portillo and G. E. Pollott. (2013) The relationship between fertility and lactation characteristics in Holstein cows on UK commercial dairy farms. Journal of Dairy Science. 96 :635–646.

Wu, J. J., Song, L. J., Wu, F. J., Liang, X. W., Yang, B. Z., Wathes, D. C., Pollott, G. E., Cheng, Z., Shi, D. S., Liu, Q. Y., Yang, L. G. and Zhang, S. J. (2013). Investigation of transferability of BovineSNP50 BeadChip from cattle to water buffalo for genome wide association study. Molecular Biology Reports, DOI 10.1007/s11033-012-1932-1.

Wall, E., M. P. Coffey and G. E. Pollott. (2012) The effect of lactation length on greenhouse gas emissions from the national dairy herd. Animal 6: 1857-1867.

A. M. Clempson, G. E. Pollott, J. S. Brickell, and D. C. Wathes. (2012). Associations between bovine IGFBP2 polymorphisms with fertility, milk production and metabolic status in UK dairy cows. Animal Biotechnology 23: 101–113.

Habib, M., Pollott, G. E. and Leaver, J. D. L. (2011) Digestibility and nitrogen balance of high- and low-quality forages supplemented with high- and low-protein concentrates fed to two breeds of cattle. Journal of Applied Animal Research 39: .303-310

ALBARRÁN-PORTILLO, B AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2011) Environmental factors affecting lactation curve parameters in the United Kingdom’s commercial dairy herds. Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria 43: 145-153.

POLLOTT, G. E. (2011) Short communication: Do Holstein lactations of varied lengths have different characteristics? Journal of Dairy Science 94:6173-6180.

CLEMPSON, A.M., POLLOTT, G. E., BRICKELL, J. S., BOURNE, N. E., MUNCE, N., AND WATHES, D. C. (2011) Evidence that leptin genotype is associated with fertility, growth and milk production in Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science 94 :3618–3628.

CLEMPSON, A.M., POLLOTT, G. E., BRICKELL, J. S., BOURNE, N. E., MUNCE, N., AND WATHES, D. C. (2011) Polymorphisms in the autosomal genes for mitochondrial
function TFAM and UCP2 are associated with performance and longevity in dairy cows. Animal 5:1335-1343.

POLLOTT, G. E. (2011). A suggested mode of inheritance for wool shedding in sheep. Journal of Animal Science 89:2316-2325.

ALBARRÁN-PORTILLO, B AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2011) Environmental factors affecting lactation curve parameters in the United Kingdom’s commercial dairy herds. Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria 43: 145-153.

BRICKELL, J. S., POLLOTT, G. E., CLEMPSON, A. M.,OTTER, N. AND WATHES, D. C. (2010). Polymorphisms in the Bovine Leptin Gene associated with Perinatal Mortality in Holstein - Friesian Heifers. Journal of Dairy Science 93:340-347. Pubmed ID 20059932

ISGREN, C. M., UPJOHN, M., FERNANDEZ-FUENTE, M., MASSEY, C., POLLOTT, G. E., VERHEYEN, K. L. P. AND PIERCY, R. J. (2010). Epidemiology of exertional rhabdomyolysis susceptibility in standardbred horses reveals associated risk factors and underlying enhanced performance. PLoS ONE 5:e1 1594. Pubmed ID 20644724

BRICKELL, JS, POLLOTT, GE, CLEMPSON, AM, OTTER, N AND WATHES, DC. (2009). Polymorphisms in the Leptin Gene Associated with Perinatal Mortality in Dairy Heifers. Reproduction In Domestic Animals 44: 80-80.

POLLOTT, G. E. (2009) Genetic parameters of a biological lactation model: early lactation and secretion rate traits of dairy heifers. Animal 3:1085-1093.

ALBARRÁN-PORTILLO, B AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2008) Genetic parameters derived from using a biological model of lactation on records of commercial dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 91: 3639-3648. Pubmed ID 18765622

POLLOTT, G. E. AND COFFEY, M, P. (2008) The effect of genetic merit and production system on dairy cow fertility, measured using progesterone profiles and on-farm recording. Journal of Dairy Science 91: 3649-3660. Pubmed ID 18765623

HABIB, M., POLLOTT, G. E. AND LEAVER, J. D. (2008). Effect of cattle genotype and variable feed supply on forage intake and digestibility. Asian-Australian Journal of Animal Science 21:1435-1440.

AMER, P.R., NIEUWHOF, G. J., POLLOTT, G. E., ROUGHSEDGE, T., CONINGTON, J. AND SIMM, G. (2007) Industry benefits from recent genetic progress in sheep and beef populations. Animal 1:1414 -1426.

BENYEI, B., KOMLOSI, I., PESCI, A., POLLOTT, G. E., MARCOS, C. H., de OLIVEIRA CAMPOS, A. AND LEMES, M. P. (2006). The effect of internal and external factors on bovine embryo transfer results in a tropical environment. Animal Reproduction Science 93:268-279. Pubmed ID 16169166

SINNIAH, J. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2006). Breeding activities and adoption of artificial insemination amongst dairy herds in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Livestock Research for Rural Development 18: No. 82.

OJANGO, J. M. K., DUCROCQ, V. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2005) Survival analysis of factors affecting culling early in the productive life of Holstein-Friesian cattle in Kenya. Livestock Production Science 92:317-322.

OJANGO, J. M. K. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2004) The productivity of Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle in different farming sectors of Kenya. International Journal of Agricultural and Rural Development, 5: 145-155.

POLLOTT, G. E. AND GREEFF, J. C. (2004) Genetic relationships between faecal egg count and production traits in commercial Merino sheep flocks. Animal Science, 79:21-32.

POLLOTT, G. E. (2004) Deconstructing milk yield and composition during lactation using biologically-based lactation models. Journal of Dairy Science, 87:2375-2387. Pubmed ID 15328258

POLLOTT, G. E. AND GREEFF, J. C. (2004) Genotype by environment interactions and genetic parameters for fecal egg count and production traits of Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science, 82:2840-2851. Pubmed ID 15484934

POLLOTT, G. E., KARLSSON, L. J. E., EADY, S. J. AND GREEFF, J. C. (2004) Genetic parameters for indicators of host resistance to parasites from weaning to hogget age in Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science, 82:2852-2864. Pubmed ID 15484935

POLLOTT, G. E. AND GOOTWINE, E. (2004) Reproductive Performance and Milk Production of Assaf Sheep in an Intensive Management System. Journal of Dairy Science 87:3690-3703. Pubmed ID 15483153

KARLSSON, L. J. E., POLLOTT, G. E., EADY, S. J., BELL, A. AND GREEFF, J. C. (2004) Relationship between faecal worm egg counts and scouring in Australian Merino sheep. Animal Production in Australia 25:100-103.

MANIATIS, N. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2003) The impact of data structure on genetic (co)variance components of early growth in sheep, estimated using an animal model with maternal effects. Journal of Animal Science, 81: 101-108. Pubmed ID 12597378

MANIATIS, N. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2002) Nuclear, cytoplasmic and environmental effects on growth, fat and muscle traits in Suffolk lambs from a sire referencing scheme. Journal of Animal Science, 80: 57-67. Pubmed ID 11831529

OJANGO, J. M. K. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2002) The relationship between Holstein bull breeding values for milk yield derived in both the UK and Kenya. Livestock Production Science, 74: 1-12.

MANIATIS, N. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2002) Genotype-by-environment interactions in lamb weight and composition traits. Animal Science, 75: 3-14.

MANIATIS, N. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2002) Direct and maternal (co)variances for weight and ultrasonically measured traits of lambs in a closed Suffolk flock. Small Ruminant Research, 45: 235-246.

OJANGO, J. M. K. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2001) Genetics of milk yield and fertility traits in Holstein-Friesian cattle on large-scale Kenyan farms. Journal of Animal Science, 79:1742-1750. Pubmed ID 11465361

POLLOTT, G. E. AND GOOTWINE, E. (2001) A genetic analysis of complete lactation milk production in Improved Awassi sheep. Livestock Production Science, 71: 37-47.

GURSOY, O., POLLOTT, G. E. AND KIRK, K. (2001) The performance of a Turkish Awassi flock when outcrossed with Israeli Awassi rams. Livestock Production Science, 71: 31-36.

GOOTWINE, E., ZENU, A., BOR, A., YOSSAFI, S., ROSOV, A. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2001) Lamb and milk production in the Afec-Awassi and Afec-Assaf strains carrying the B allele of the FecB fecundity gene. Livestock Production Science, 71: 49-58.

POLLOTT, G. E. AND GOOTWINE, E. (2000) Appropriate mathematical models for describing the complete lactation of dairy sheep. Animal Science, 71: 197-207.

GOOTWINE, E. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (2000) Factors affecting milk production in improved Awassi ewes. Animal Science, 71: 607-615.

POLLOTT, G. E. (2000) A biological approach to lactation curve analysis for milk yield. Journal of Dairy Science, 83: 2448-2458. Pubmed ID 11104263

BOELLING, D. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (1998) Locomotion, lameness, hoof and leg traits in cattle; 1) Phenotypic influences and relationships. Livestock Production Science, 54: 193-203.

BOELLING, D. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (1998) Locomotion, lameness, hoof and leg traits in cattle; 2) Genetic relationships and breeding values. Livestock Production Science, 54: 205-215.

BOELLING, D. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1997) The genetics of legs, feet and locomotion in cattle. Animal Breeding Abstracts 65: 1-11.

MORRIS, A. J. AND POLLOTT, G. E. (1997) Comparison of selection based on phenotype, selection index and best linear unbiased prediction using data from a closed broiler line. British Poultry Science 38: 249 - 254. Pubmed ID 9280349

POLLOTT, G.E., GUY, D.R. AND CROSTON, D. (1994). Genetic parameters of lamb carcass characteristics at three end points: fat level, age and weight. Animal Production 58: 65 76.

POLLOTT, G.E. AND FRANCE, J. (1992). The Flockplan decision support system for sheep producers in Britain. Agricultural Systems and Information Technology Newsletter 4: 10 11.

POLLOTT, G.E. (1988). Data collection schemes for the evaluation of production systems at flock level. Livestock Production Science 20: 84 85.

DOWLE, K., DOYLE, C.J., SPEDDING, A.W. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1988). A model for evaluating grassland management decisions on beef and sheep farms in the UK. Agricultural Systems 28: 299 317.

FRANCE, J., NEAL, H.D.S.C. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1982). Using a programmable calculator for rationing pregnant ewes. Agricultural Systems 9: 267 279.

FRANCE, J., NEAL, H.D.S.C., PROBERT, D.W. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1983) A model for evaluating lamb production systems. Agricultural Systems 10: 213 244.

AHMED, F.A. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1981). Observations on the growth and performance of some European x Zebu calves reared on agro industrial by products compared to their purebred zebu (Sudan type) contemporaries. Acta Veterinaria, Yugoslavia 31: 185 191. (ABA 50: 2913).

AHMED, F.A. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1981). The post weaning growth and carcase weights of Sudan desert lambs grazing either irrigated pasture with or without concentrate supplements or rain fed pasture alone. Acta Veterinaria, Yugoslavia 31: 267 272. (NAR 52: 4001).

POLLOTT, G.E. (1979). The development of lamb production systems using one type of Sudanese sheep. World Review of Animal Production 15:57 68.

AHMED, F.A. AND POLLOTT, G.E. (1979). The performance of yearling Kenana (Sudan zebu) calves given three levels of crude protein as a concentrate supplement to ad libitum groundnut hay. Tropical Animal Production 4: 65 72.

POLLOTT, G.E. AND KILKENNY, J.B. (1976). A note on the use of condition scoring in commercial sheep flocks. Animal Production 23: 261 264.

Wool shedding in sheep

Geoff's research on the genetics of wool shedding in sheep has generated great demand for him to speak at farmers' meetings. Farm open days in Wiltshire and Northern Ireland have been followed up with a presentation at the Sheepbreeder's Roundtable, held near Nottingham in November 2011.

Geoff visited Australia where he was the International Keynote speaker at the 'Cleanskin Sheep Autralia symposium.

Sheep breeding in Britain

The 2012 Sheep Breed Survey, which Geoff analysed, has made him in demand at farmers' meetings.

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