dr.ir. TA (Marijke) Schop PhD

dr.ir. TA (Marijke) Schop PhD

Researcher - livestock in circular food systems

...What is the potential of animals in a circular food system?

My focus

As postdoctoral researcher within the Animal Production Systems group, I focus on quantifying environmental and economic impacts of different production strategies (breeding, nutrition) in animals. Moreover, I investigate which animal traits are important and what the potential of animal production systems around the world is, to quantify the role of animals in a circular food system.

What is a circular food system?
A circular food system may be a solution regarding the production of sufficient and healthy food for humans without crossing the Earth's planetary boundaries. In a circular food system, crops are mainly produced for human consumption, while only inevidable byproducts that are inedible for humans can be used as feed for animals or as fertilizer for the soil. As such, nutrients and biomass are recylced back into the food system. Animals play a role by turning low-opportunity cost biomass (e.g. straw, fibres, rejected/ unconsumed food products) into valuable animal products for human consumption or soil fertilizer (milk, meat, eggs, manure). For more information go to: www.circularfoodsystems.org.

My ambition

It is a challenge for the current animal sector to feed high productive animals with only low opportunity cost biomass. With my background in animal nutrition, I aim to bridge the gap between the ambition to feed animals only with low-opportunity cost biomass and the challenges in current practice to achieve this in a sustainable way.