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Sigrid Agenäs

Sigrid Agenäs


Research Interests:

Function of the mammary epithelial cells and all factors that affect their function, from nutrition, metabolism and endocrinology to management factors like milking routines, housing system and light to interactions with reproduction, the immune system and the microbiota of the mammary glands. I want to use my knowledge to contribute to the design of future food systems with high sustainability regarding environment and climate, animal welfare, farm economy and the possibility to live in rural areas.

During 2019-2021 I am linked to the Beijer Laboratory for Animal Science (BLAS) at SLU as a Beijer Researcher. This appointment gives me an opportunity to explore possibilities to use Big Data from automatic milking systems to provide management support for increased precision in dairy production at farm level.

Research Goal:

To understand factors that determine the secretory activity of the mammary epithelial cells and implement this knowledge in applied animal management.

To contrubute to the design of sustainable food systems.

Research Skills:

Design and interpretation of scientific studies on food producing animals, primarily dairy cows and their calves. Mammary gland biopsies.

Activity in the scientific society:

- Active in the Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala (CRU)
- Member of the steering committee for the Nordic researcher network on comparative lactation biology CoLact (2011-2014)
- Member of the Action Steering Group of the COST action DairyCare (2014-)
- Member of the organizing committee for the 15th International Conference on Production Disease (ICPD) in Uppsala 2013 and of the international scientific committee for the 17th ICPD in Bern 2019.
- Member of the editorial board of the scientific journals “Journal of Dairy Research” and “Translational Animal Science”
- Referee for scientific journals in animal science

Activity with stakeholders outside the scientific society:

Several research and development project in collaboration with DeLaval International, Tumba, Sweden

Member of the board for The Rural Economy and Agriculture Society on the island of Gotland


Course leader and examiner for several courses at BSc, MSc and PhD level, including Introduction to Animal Science, Animal Physiology, Animal Nutrition and Feed Science,  Biology of Lactation, Comparative Lactation Biology and Production Biology. Regular lecturer in lactation physiology, design of animal experiments and critical evaluation of scientific literature. Member of the consortium for the Erasmus Mundus MSc programme "Food of Life" (2009-2015) and chairman of the group at SLU that developed the MSc programme in Sustainable Food Systems (students admitted from 2018).

My own education in teaching includes a 4 wk full time teaching course at SLU (2000), participation in the Summer Institute (Swedish Council for Higher Education) in 2004, the Winter Institute in 2005 and as alumni at the Summer Institute in 2005, the SLU course in supervision of research students (2009) and several short courses in teaching and learning after that. In 2017 I was awarded teacher excellence at SLU.


On-going projects:

Title Project manager
Microbiome analysis of bovine milk - a tool for better understanding of mammary health  Sigrid Agenäs
Interactions between milk production and the need for sleep in dairy cows  Sigrid Agenäs
The risk for rancid off-flavour in milk is increasing – can we do anything about it? Sigrid Agenäs
LED-light for dairy barns Sigrid Agenäs
Strategies for healthy cows in profitable farm businesses Helena Hansson
Sustainable milk production with cow and calf together Sigrid Agenäs
Management for improved efficiency by increased cow longevity in dairy herds Mikaela Lindberg


Dr Vinsoun Millogo (2007-2010), co-supervisor

Dr Emma Ternman (2010-2014), main supervisor

Dr Sabine Ferneborg (2010-2016), main supervisor

Josef Dahlberg (2013-), main supervisor

Sofia Lindkvist (2019-) main supervisor

Selected publications

Agenäs S, Holtenius K, Griinari M & Burstedt E. 2002. Effects of turnout to pasture and dietary fat supplementation on milk fat composition and conjugated linoleic acid in dairy cows. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section A. 52(1):25-33

Agenäs S, Burstedt E & Holtenius K. 2003. Effects of Feeding Intensity During the Dry Period. 1. Feed Intake, Body Weight, and Milk Production. Journal of Dairy Science 86:870-82

Agenäs S, Dahlborn K & Holtenius K. 2003. Changes in metabolism and milk production during and after feed deprivation in primiparous cows selected for different milk fat content. Livestock Production Science 83:153-64

Holtenius K, Agenäs S, Delavaud C & Chilliard Y. 2003. Effects of Feeding Intensity During the Dry Period. 2. Metabolic and Hormonal Responses. Journal of Dairy Science 86:883-91

Meglia GE, Johannisson A, Agenäs S, Holtenius K & Persson Waller K. 2004. Effects of feeding intensity during the dry period on leukocyte and lymphocyte sub-populations, neutrophil function and health in periparturient dairy cows. Veterinary Journal 169(3):376-84

Agenäs S, Heath MF, Nixon RM, Wilkinson JM & Phillips CJC. 2006. Indicators of undernutrition in cattle. Animal Welfare 15(2):149-60

Millogo V, Ouédraogo GA, Agenäs S & K. Svennersten-Sjaunja. 2008. Survey on dairy cattle milk production and milk quality problems in peri-urban areas in Burkina Faso. African Journal of Agricultural Research 3(3):215-24

Strydom S, Agenäs S, Heath MF, Phillips CJ, Rautenbach GH & Thompson PN. Evaluation of biochemical and ultrasonographic measurements as indicators of undernutrition in cattle. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 75(3): 207-13

Millogo V, Ouédraogo GA, Agenäs S & K. Svennersten-Sjaunja. 2009. Day-to-day variation in yield, composition and somatic cell count of saleable milk in hand‑milked zebu dairy cattle. African Journal of Agricultural Research 4(3):151-5

Millogo V, Svennersten-Sjaunja K, Ouédrogo GA & Agenäs S. 2010. Raw milk hygiene at farms, processing units and local markets in Burkina Faso. Food Control 21(7):1070-4

Juhlin J, Fikse F, Lundén A, Pickova J & Agenäs, S. 2010. Relative impact on a-tocopherol, copper and fatty acid composition on the occurrence of oxidized milk flavour. Journal of Dairy Research 77(3):302-9

Millogo V, Norell L, Ouédraogo GA, Svennersten-Sjaunja K & Agenäs S. 2010. Effect of different hand-milking techniques on milk production and teat treatment in Zebu dairy cattle. Tropical Animal Health and Production 44(5):1017-1025

Ternman E, Hänninen L, Pastell M, Agenäs S, Nielsen PP. 2012. Sleep in dairy cows recorded with a non-invasive EEG technique. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 140:25-32

Ternman E, Pastell M, Agenäs S, Strasser C, Winckler C, Nielsen PP, Hänninen L. 2014. Agreement between different sleep states and behaviour indicators in dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 160, 12-18.

Hjalmarsson F, Olsson I, Ferneborg S, Agenäs S, Ternman E. 2014. Effect of low light intensity at night on cow traffic in automatic milking systems. Animal Production Science, 54 (10), 1784-1786.

Bergeå H, Roth A, Emanuelson U & Agenäs S. 2016. Farmer awareness of cow longevity and implications for decision-making at farm level. Acta Agiculturae Scandinavica, Section A – Animal Science 66(1):25-34

Krawczel P D, Ferneborg S, Wiking L, Dalsgaard T, Gregersen S, Black R, Larsen T, Agenäs S, Svennersten Sjaunja K, Ternman E. 2017. Milking time and risk of over-milking can be decreased with early teat cup removal based on udder quarter milk flow without loss in milk yield. Journal of Dairy Science 100(8): 6640–6647.

Agenäs S. 2017. Editorial: We need to bring the calves back to the dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Research 84:239

Ferneborg S, Kovac L, Shingfield KJ & Agenäs S. 2017. Effect of increased milking frequency and residual milk removal on milk production and milk fatty acid composition in lactating cows. J Dairy Res 84(4):453-463

Ternman E, Pastell M, Hänninen L, Agenäs S & Nielsen PP. 2018. First-night effect on sleep time in dairy cows. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195593.

Ferneborg S, Thulin M, Agenäs S, Svennersten-Sjaunja K, Krawczel P D, Ternman E. 2018. Increased take-off level in automatic milking systems – effects on milk flow, milk yield and milking efficiency at the quarter level. Journal of Dairy Research, pages 1-3 (E-pub 2018 Dec 11)

Agenäs S, Lundström I & Holtenius K. 2019. The effect of 17β-estradiol on lactose in plasma and urine in dairy cows in late lactation. Journal of Dairy Research 86(2): 188-192

Ternman E, Nilsson E, Nielsen PP, Pastell M, Hänninen L, Agenäs S. 2019. Rapid eye movement sleep time in dairy cows changes during the lactation cycle. J Dairy Sci. 2019 Jun;102(6):5458-5465. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15950. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Dahlberg J, Sun L, Persson Waller K, Östensson K, McGuire M, Agenäs S & Dicksved J. 2019. Microbiota data from low biomass milk samples is markedly affected by laboratory and reagent contamination. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 13;14(6):e0218257. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218257. eCollection 2019.

Danielsson R, Lucas J, Dahlberg J, Ramin M, Agenäs S, Bayat A-R, Tapio I, Hammer T & Roslin T. 2019. Compound- and context-dependent effects of antibiotics on greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. Royal Society Open Science accepted


Professor at the Department of Applied Animal Science and Welfare; Management, Ruminants
Telephone: +4618671633, +46706973231
Postal address:
Box 7024
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 26, Uppsala