Professor Michael McGowan


School of Veterinary Science
Faculty of Science


Michael McGowan grew up on a wheat/fat lamb/beef cattle property near Tamworth in northern NSW. He completed his undergraduate veterinary training at The University Sydney in 1979 and after spending several years in rural practice completed an internship in food animal medicine and surgery and then a residency in theriogenology at the Western College Veterinary Medicine (Saskatoon, Canada). In 1986 he commenced his Phd studies at The University Sydney conducting a series of studies on the impact of pestivirus (BVDV) infection on the reproductive performance of cattle. In 1988 he was appointed lecturer in animal reproduction in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland. His areas of research include defining the pathogenesis and impacts of leptospirosis, heat stress and neosporosis on dairy and beef cattle fertility, development of bull selection and management strategies, defining factors affecting the reproductive performance of beef and dairy cattle and development of methods of synchronizing oestrus and ovulation to enable AI at a fixed time. He was appointed Professor of Farm Animal Medicine and Surgery at The Royal Veterinary College (University London) in 2000 and was invited to become a founding diplomate of the European College of Animal reproduction in 2001. Currently he is Professor of Livestock Medicine in the School of Veterinary Science at The University Queensland and Honorary Professor of Farm Animal Medicine and Surgery at The Royal veterinary College.

Research Impacts

Current and recently completed major research projects

Sex ratio and sterility for commercial animal production – CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Research Fund- $550K - senior investigator

Transformational Genetic (Genomic) and Breeding Strategies to Create a Sustained and Globally Competitive Queensland Tropical Beef Herd - senior investigator – Queensland Government Smart Futures fund - $900K

Improving AI rates in Bos indicus heifers – project leader – funded by MLA - $536K

Male indicator traits to improve reproductive performance of female beef cattle – collaborative project with Qld DPI&F and CSIRO - funded by Beef CRC – $267K - senior investigator

Epidemiology of bovine respiratory disease in feedlot cattle – collaborative project with Qld DPI&F (TMahoney) - funded by MLA – $3.6M - senior investigator

Seminal plasma proteins as early life indicators of male and female reproductive performance – collaborative project with Qld DPI&F (RHolroyd, BBurns,BVenus) and Federal University Ceara (AMoura - Brazil) - funded by MLA – $150K

An integrated genomics approach to improve our understanding of the biology of genital campylobacteriosis in beef cattle – collaborative project with Qld DPI&F ( ALew & GBoe-Hansen project leaders) and Murdoch University, Pfizer and Gribbles Pty Ltd – funded by ARC Linkage – $410K - Chief investigator

Northern Australia Beef Fertility project (Cash Cow) – funded by MLA – $2.47 M - collaborative project with DEEDI, NTDR, Outcross Performance Pty Ltd and Ausvet – project leader

Estimating the field efficacy of Pestigard in beef heifers – funded by Pfizer Animal Health Australasia - $137K – project leader

Evaluation of the impact on animal welfare of various manipulative and surgical procedures performed on the reproductive tract of female cattle in the northern beef industry –collaborative project with NTDPIF&M and Qld DPI&F - funded by MLA – $194K - project leader.


  • Graduate Certificate in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Certificate of Veterinary Medicine, CVMA
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Sydney
  • Master of Veterinary Science, University of Saskatchewan
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney


View all Publications


View all Grants



Book Chapter

  • McGowan, Michael (2021). Infectious diseases: Leptospirosis. Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences: Third edition. (pp. 339-342) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-818766-1.00184-7

  • Parkinson, Timothy J. and McGowan, Michael (2018). Abnormalities affecting reproductive function of male animals. Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. (pp. 635-668) Stevenage, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-7020-7233-8.00036-7

  • McGowan, Michael (2018). Evaluation of the fertility of breeding males. Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. (pp. 619-634) edited by David E. Noakes, Timothy J. Parkinson and Gary C.W. England. Stevenage, Herts, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-7020-7233-8.00035-5

  • Holroyd, R. G. and McGowan, M. R. (2014). Reproductive management of beef cattle. Beef cattle production and trade. (pp. 291-337) edited by David Cottle and Lewis Kahn. Collingwood, VIC, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision