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Dr. Barbara Murphy

Biography: 

Founder of Equilume Ltd, Dr. Barbara Anne Murphy is Head of Equine Science and Programme Director of the BAgrSc Animal Science-Equine degree at University College Dublin. Following a BSc in Equine Science from the University of Limerick, she spent a year working within the Thoroughbred industry before pursuing a PhD in Veterinary Science at the prestigious Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky.

Her widely read PhD Dissertation entitled “Investigations of circadian regulation and immune-circadian interaction in the horse” shone light for the first time on a new area of equine science research – chronobiology. Her current scientific research relates to studying how environmental cues, primarily photoperiod, regulate biological rhythms (i.e. the body clock) in animals. Specifically, her studies investigate how circadian and circannual rhythms are involved in important reproductive phenomena and how disruption of these rhythms impacts growth, health and performance in the equine and bovine species.

An important output from her UCD research was the finding that low intensity blue light could profoundly influence equine physiology when administered to a single eye. This led to the development of the Equilume Light Mask and its subsequent widespread assimilation into global breeding practices. Barbara is CSO at Equilume Ltd, head-quartered in Co Kildare, Ireland and drives the research and development of innovative Agri-tech lighting solutions.

A native of West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, her childhood around ponies and subsequent experience working for leading equine breeding operations in the US and Ireland, in addition to her extensive academic equine science background, helps fuel her role as both successful educator and entrepreneur.