Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Safe and Sustainable Food

Research Centres: RVC Animal Welfare Science and Ethics

Theo is a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Science. My research interest include the animal environment and its impact upon animal behaviour and welfare, animal related gaseous and particulate emissions and precision livestock farming technology. The focus of Theo’s research is to improve the welfare of animals and the sustainability of the industry.

Theo graduated from Wageningen Agricultural University (WUR, Netherlands) with a degree (Dr Ing) in Environmental Science in 1987. He then spend 5 years working at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (IMAG-DLO) in the Netherlands on gaseous emission (ammonia) reduction technologies of from livestock before joining Silsoe Research Institute in 1993 as a Researcher. He completed a part time PhD from Nottingham University in 1997. He moved to the RVC with the Animal Welfare Science and Ethics group as a Senior Research Fellow.

Theo is a founder member on the committee of the European Association for Precision Livestock Farming (EA-PLF).

Theo has a broad interest in the area where environmental conditions and animal welfare and animal production overlap. He specialises in the measurement and control of gaseous and particulate emissions as well as the control of animal environments. He has managed several projects with large consortia quantifying and characterising emissions from livestock production funded by Defra.

Since joining the RVC theo has worked on BBSRC and EU funded projects related to aspects of precision livestock farming, most notably to measure, model and control responses of pigs and poultry to changes in biological and environmental parameters as well as the genetic-environmental interaction effects upon Post-Weaning Multi-Systemic Wasting Syndrome in pigs (PMWS).

Within a Marie Curie fellowship initial training network 11 early stage researches were trained on topics spanning the field between veterinary biology and engineering in particular the effects of the environmental parameters (light, sound etc) on embryo development during incubation. Furthermore, as a member of the EU-PLF consortium, created a blueprint for delivering PLF technologies to commercial farms. He focussed on the potential environmental benefits of PLF technologies.

Currently he is coordinating an InnovateUK funded feasibility project developping the use of an autonomous robotic platform for environmental and animal welfare data collection in broiler production.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Gauss, S., Lowe, J. C., Parsons, D. J. & Wathes, C. M. 2018. Neural predictive control of broiler chicken and pig growth. Biosystems engineering, 173, 134-142.

Tong, Q., McGonnell, I. M., Demmers, T. G. M., Roulston, N., Bergoug, H., Romanini, C. E., Verhelst, R., Guinebretiere, M., Eterradossi, N., Berckmans, D. & Exadaktylos, V. 2018. Effect of a photoperiodic green light programme during incubation on embryo development and hatch process. Animal, 12, 765-773.

Tong, Q., Romanini, C. E. B., Exadaktylos, V., Mcgonnell, I. M., Berckmans, D., Bahr, C., Bergoug, H., Roulston, N., Guinebretiere, M., Eterradossi, N., Verhelst, R. & Demmers, T. G. M. 2016. Detection of embryo mortality and hatch using thermal differences among incubated chicken eggs. Livestock science, 183, 19-23.

Romanini, C. E., Exadaktylos, V., Hong, S. W., Tong, Q., McGonnell, I., Demmers, T. G., Bergoug, H., Guinebretiere, M., Eterradossi, N., Roulston, N., Verhelst, R., Bahr, C. & Berckmans, D. 2015. An insight into the heat and mass transfer mechanisms of eggshells hatching broiler chicks and its effects to the hatcher environment. J therm biol, 48, 69-76.

Tong, Q., Demmers, T., Romanini, C. E., Bergoug, H., Roulston, N., Exadaktylos, V., Bahr, C., Berckmans, D., Guinebretiere, M., Eterradossi, N., Garain, P. & McGonnell, I. M. 2015a. Physiological status of broiler chicks at pulling time and the relationship to duration of holding period. Animal, 9, 1181-7.

Tong, Q., McGonnell, I. M., Romanini, C. E., Bergoug, H., Roulston, N., Exadaktylos, V., Berckmans, D., Bahr, C., Guinebretiere, M., Eterradossi, N., Garain, P. & Demmers, T. 2015b. Effect of species-specific sound stimulation on the development and hatching of broiler chicks. Br poult sci, 56, 143-8.

Tong, Q., McGonnell, I. M., Roulston, N., Bergoug, H., Romanini, C. E., Garain, P., Eterradossi, N., Exadaktylos, V., Bahr, C., Berckmans, D. & Demmers, T. G. 2015c. Higher levels of co2 during late incubation alter the hatch time of chicken embryos. Br poult sci, 56, 503-9.

Patterson, R., Nevel, A., Diaz, A. V., Martineau, H. M., Demmers, T., Browne, C., Mavrommatis, B. & Werling, D. 2015. Exposure to environmental stressors result in increased viral load and further reduction of production parameters in pigs experimentally infected with pcv2b. Vet microbiol, 177, 261-9.

Cheng, Z., O'connor, E. A., Jia, Q., Demmers, T. G., Wathes, C. M. & Wathes, D. C. 2014a. Chronic ammonia exposure does not influence hepatic gene expression in growing pigs. Animal, 8, 331-7.

Bergoug, H., Burel, C., Guinebretiere, M., Tong, Q., Roulston, N., Romanini, C. E. B., Exadaktylos, V., Mcgonnell, I. M., Demmers, T. G. M., Verhelst, R., Bahr, C., Berckmans, D. & Eterradossi, N. 2013a. Effect of pre-incubation and incubation conditions on hatchability, hatch time and hatch window, and effect of post-hatch handling on chick quality at placement. Worlds poultry science journal, 69, 313-334.

Bergoug, H., Guinebretiere, M., Tong, Q., Roulston, N., Romanini, C. E., Exadaktylos, V., Berckmans, D., Garain, P., Demmers, T. G., McGonnell, I. M., Bahr, C., Burel, C., Eterradossi, N. & Michel, V. 2013b. Effect of transportation duration of 1-day-old chicks on postplacement production performances and pododermatitis of broilers up to slaughter age. Poult sci, 92, 3300-9.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Parsons, D. J. & Gauss, S. 2013. Neural predictive control of biological processes in the livestock industry. In: berckmans, d. & vandermeulen, j. (eds.) Precision livestock farming '13. Leuven, belgium.

Mckeegan, D. E., Reimert, H. G., Hindle, V. A., Boulcott, P., Sparrey, J. M., Wathes, C. M., Demmers, T. G. & Gerritzen, M. A. 2013. Physiological and behavioral responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam. Poult sci, 92, 1145-54.

Romanini, C. E., Exadaktylos, V., Tong, Q., Mcgonnel, I., Demmers, T. G., Bergoug, H., Eterradossi, N., Roulston, N., Garain, P., Bahr, C. & Berckmans, D. 2013. Monitoring the hatch time of individual chicken embryos. Poult sci, 92, 303-9.

Tong, Q., Romanini, C. E., Exadaktylos, V., Bahr, C., Berckmans, D., Bergoug, H., Eterradossi, N., Roulston, N., Verhelst, R., Mcgonnell, I. M. & Demmers, T. 2013. Embryonic development and the physiological factors that coordinate hatching in domestic chickens. Poultry science, 92, 620-628.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Parsons, D. J., Gauss, S. & Wathes, C. M. Simultaneous monitoring and control of pig growth and ammonia emissions.  2012 ix international livestock environment symposium (iles ix)  2012 valencia, spain. St joseph, michigan, usa: asabe, 9.

Wieland, B., Werling, D., Nevel, A., Rycroft, A., Demmers, T. G., Wathes, C. M., Grierson, S., Cook, A. J., Done, S. H., Armstrong, D. & Wathes, C. M. 2012. Porcine circovirus type 2 infection before and during an outbreak of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome on a pig farm in the uk. Vet rec, 170, 596.

Bergoug, H., Guinebretière, M., Michel, V., Tong, Q., Romanini, C. E. B., Demmers, T., Exadaktylos, V., Berckmans, D., Eterradossi, N. & Garain, P. 2011. Effect of transportation duration on day-old chick dehydration and animal mortality, feed intake and weight during the rearing period. . Xvth isah congress 2011 viena: tribune eu o.s.r.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Gauss, S., Lowe, J. C., Parsons, D. J. & Wathes, C. M. 2011. Neural predictive control of broiler chicken growth. British poultry abstracts, 7, 17-18.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Parsons, D. J., Gauss, S., Lowe, J. C. & M., W. C. 2011. Modelling and control of broiler activity. In: Kofer, J. & Schobesberger, H., Eds. Xvth Isah Congress, 2011 2011b Viena. Brno, Czech Republic: Tribun Eu S.R.O., 243-246.

Mckeegan, D. E., Sparks, N. H., Sandilands, V., Demmers, T. G., Boulcott, P. & Wathes, C. M. 2011. Physiological responses of laying hens during whole-house killing with carbon dioxide. Br poult sci, 52, 645-57.

O'connor E, A., Parker, M. O., Davey, E. L., Grist, H., Owen, R. C., Szladovits, B., Demmers, T. G., Wathes, C. M. & Abeyesinghe, S. M. 2011. Effect of low light and high noise on behavioural activity, physiological indicators of stress and production in laying hens. Br poult sci, 52, 666-74.

Romanini, C. E. B., Roulston, N., Bahr, C., Guarino, M., Hartung, J., Halami, I., Etterradossi, N., Lokhorst, K., Demmers, T., Vranken, E., Birk, U., Garain, P. & Berckmans, D. 2011. Biobusiness research project: training and development of innovative solutions for animal health and welfare problems by means of livestock farming (plf). In: Kofer, J. & Schobesberger, H. (eds.) Xvth isah congress 2011. Viena: tribune eu o.s.r.

Tong, Q., Mcgonnell, I. M., Romanini, C. E. B., Exadaktylos, V., Berckmans, D., Bergoug, H., Guinebretière, M., Eterradossi, N., Roulston, N., Garain, P. & Demmers, T. 2011. Monitoring environmental conditions during incubation of chicken eggs. . In: Kofer, J. & Schobesberger, H. (eds.) Xvth isah congress. Viena: tribun eu s.r.o.

Demmers, T. G. M., Cao, Y., Gauss, S., Lowe, J. C., Parsons, D. J. & Wathes, C. M. 2010. Neural predictive control of broiler chicken growth. In: Banga, J. R., Bogaerts, P., Van Impe, J. F. M., Dochain, D. & Smets, I. (eds.) 11th ifac symposium on computer applications in biotechnology. Oude valk college, Leuven, Belgium: ifac-papersonline; elsevier.

Demmers, T. G. M., Saponja, A., Thomas, R., Phillips, G., Mcdonald, A., Stagg, S., Bowry, A. & Nemitz, E. 2010b. Dust and ammonia emissions from UK poultry houses. Cigr xviith world congress. Québec city, Canada.

O'connor, E. A., Parker, M. O., Mcleman, M. A., Demmers, T. G., Lowe, J. C., Cui, L., Davey, E. L., Owen, R. C., Wathes, C. M. & Abeyesinghe, S. M. 2010. The impact of chronic environmental stressors on growing pigs, sus scrofa (part 1): stress physiology, production and play behaviour. Animal, 4, 1899-909.

Parker, M. O., O'connor, E. A., Mcleman, M. A., Demmers, T. G., Lowe, J. C., Owen, R. C., Davey, E. L., Wathes, C. M. & Abeyesinghe, S. M. 2010. The impact of chronic environmental stressors on growing pigs, sus scrofa (part 2): social behaviour. Animal, 4, 1910-21.

Sherlock, L., Demmers, T. G., Goodship, A. E., Mccarthy, I. D. & Wathes, C. M. 2010. The relationship between physical activity and leg health in the broiler chicken. Br poult sci, 51, 22-30.

Green, A. R., Wathes, C. M., Demmers, T. G., Clark, J. M. & Xin, H. 2008. Development and application of a novel environmental preference chamber for assessing responses of laboratory mice to atmospheric ammonia. J am assoc lab anim sci, 47, 49-56.

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