Ph.D. Animal Science, May 1990, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
M.S. Animal Breeding, August 1986, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
B.S. Animal Science, June 1981, University of California, Davis, California, USA
My teaching focus is on leading a national graduate-level distance-delivery curriculum integrating quantitative genetics and genomics in animal breeding. In addition, I continue developing an online game (CyberSheep) to provide experiential learning in undergraduate and graduate instruction in animal genetics.
Undergraduate Courses Taught:
Animal Breeding and Genetics (ALS 3104)
Coordinator of Engaging the New Biology: integrating quantitative genetics and genomics in animal breeding graduate learning, a national graduate-level distance delivery program.
Graduate Courses Taught:
Quantitative Genetics Applications of Matrix Algebra (ALS 5504)
History and Perspectives in Animal Breeding (APSC 5974; co-instructed with Dr. Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
CyberSheep: a Genetic Simulation Game (APSC 5974)
A Primer to Quantitative Genetics (APSC 5974; co-instructed with Dr. Mark Enns, Colorado State University)
Selection Index Theory and Application (APSC 5974)
My research interests are in animal breeding and (quantitative) genetics with two main themes: (i) defining pragmatic strategies to improve the reliability of genetic evaluation, and thereby enhancing selection response, in livestock species; and, (ii) understanding how animals, changed through artificial selection, are influenced by and interact with their environment. This work involves a mixture of theory, simulation and field studies, with close collaborations nationally, in Great Britain and in Norway.
Research projects in these themes that I currently have underway are: (i) enhancing the reliability of genetic evaluations in ruminant livestock by developing strategies to ensure strong genetic links (connectedness) across-farms; (ii) assessing genetic sensitivities to nutritional constraints and disease challenges in long-term divergently selected lines of chickens; (iii) testing the efficacy of index selection in terminal sire breeds of sheep for improving performance of their crossbred offspring; and, (iv) predicting intake and diet selection in unrestrained (grazing) cattle, and evaluating behavior in young cattle predictive of future temperament in the breeding herd.
List of Publications since 2008
In the following list of refereed publications, an ‘*’ indicates that the publication was a collaboration with a current or former graduate student, or post-doctoral student.