The following is a summary submitted with the application. This will be updated when the student’s abstract/thesis is received.
Melatonin is a reproductive hormone known for its influence over seasonality as well as its potent antioxidant effects. It is currently used by the sheep industry to enable earlier joining of ewes, but questions over its usefulness to influence male reproduction remain. This project will assess the effect of supplementing Merino rams with melatonin and measure its impact on semen freezeability.
It is hypothesised that exogenous melatonin will induce male reproductive season, as measured by an increase in testosterone levels produced in the first weeks post-supplementation. It is also anticipated that semen viability and motility will increase due to the cryoprotective role of melatonin. This in turn will provide favourable fertility outcomes.