Dr Mel McDowall

University of Adelaide

Mel focusses her research on hair and wool follicle development, with the aim of improving the wool farming industry in Australia. Mel is a project leader within the Sheep Genomics program, (funded by Australian Wool Innovation and Meat and Livestock Australia) which aims to improve wool, meat, parasite and reproductive efficiencies of sheep. Specifically, she is looking at hair and wool follicle development during pregnancy, with the hope of determining why follicles form when they do, why specific follicles have certain characteristics and the mechanisms involved in follicle development. While Mel’s research could benefit sheep producers by increasing productivity and profitability, advantages for consumers include the production of woollen garments that are lightweight, softer and easier to care for.