Graduate Faculty Directory

Graduate students work together with faculty and staff to conduct a broad spectrum of research, ranging from fundamental laboratory studies to farm-oriented applied projects. These are an important component of the interaction and collaboration among researchers within the Animal Sciences Graduate Program and with faculty and students of other programs.

Graduate students are also an integral part of the teaching and extension activities of the department. These activities are vital to the development of methods and programs that will continue to improve the productivity and efficiency of animal agriculture in the state, nation, and world.

Dr. Samuel Baidoo
Research Interests: Swine nutrition and management. Nutrition and management factors to enhance economic and environmentally sustainable swine production. Energy and amino acids nutrition of sows and impact on sow productivity and longevity. Evaluation of alternative feeds and feeding and management strategies to improve economic efficiency in swine production.

Dr. Chi Chen
Research Interests: Mechanistic investigations on the metabolic changes induced by dietary, chemical, microbial, and pathophysiological challenges through a combination of mass spectrometry-based untargeted metabolomics and targeted metabolite analysis, stable isotope tracing, in vitro biochemical analysis, animal model, and human intervention treatment.

Dr. Hugh Chester-Jones
Professor Emeritus (retired)
Research Interests: Dairy and beef production systems. Nutrition, health, and management of calves to be used for dairy heifer replacements or dairy-beef production. Nutrition, growth, development and economics of raising dairy heifers.

Dr. Ryan Cox
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Value-added animal product processing and safety (meat science).

Dr. Grant Crawford
Merck Animal Health
Research Interests: Beef cattle nutrition.

Dr. Brian Crooker
Research Interests: Nutritional physiology-ruminants. Regulation of nutrient use by food producing animals with a focus on lactation. Studies are designed to determine physiological, metabolic, and genetic factors that regulate and affect performance and efficiency of lactation.

Dr. Yang Da
Research Interests: Quantitative and molecular genetics. Statistical genetics and genomics. Statistical analysis for mapping disease genes and quantitative trait loci. Statistical procedures to apply genetics markers to animal breeding and genetics. Genetic diversity in domestic animals.

Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo
Research Interests: Beef cattle nutrition and management. Nutrition and management factors affecting the biologic and economic efficiency of cow-calf and feedlot operations. Evaluation of alternative feeds and feeding and management strategies to improve economic efficiency.

Dr. Marcia Endres
Research Interests: Dairy science. Dairy cattle well-being, management and behavior.

Dr. Christopher Faulk
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Nutrition and obesity; Lead Pb and epigenetics; Epigenetic drift and aging; Comparative genomics; Mobile DNA.

Dr. Kahina Ghanem 
Assistant Professor
Research Interests:  Elucidate the mechanisms of regulation and development of the ovarian follicle in laying hens and broiler breeders; Investigate female late fertility problems in turkey breeders; Develop a technique to sex-select eggs in layers before hatch.  

Dr. Andres Gomez 
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Extrinsic and intrinsic factors shaping the microbiome of animals and humans; Host-microbe interactions; Nutrition and gastrointestinal microbiomes

Dr. Melanie Graham
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Application of the 3Rs to guard the cumulative experience of animal subjects and improve model validity and translation; Diabetic animal models; Nonhuman primate disease models; Animal behavior; Development of cell-based therapies for treatment of diabetes; Extrahepatic delivery of islets, both free and encapsulated.

Dr. Les Hansen
Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Dairy Genetics
Research Interests: Dairy genetics. Monitoring of genetic relationships and inbreeding of Holsteins has been an on-going area of interest and research. Curator of a 1964 control line of Holstein cows at the University of Minnesota, which is currently housed at the research and outreach center at Morris, MN.

Dr. Marcia Hathaway
Professor Emeritus (retired)
Research Interests: Muscle growth biology. Effect of feed additives and beta adrenergic agonists on skeletal muscle growth. Role of satellite cells in muscle growth. Muscle tissue culture systems.

Dr. Brad Heins
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Organic dairy production. Research interests include organic dairy production with emphasis on reduced-input, intensive grazing systems, and crossbreeding in dairy cattle.

Dr. Lee Johnston
Research Interests: Swine nutrition and management. Energy and protein nutrition of sows. Management of reproducing sows. Nutrition/environment interactions. Nutrition of the newly weaned pigs. Feedstuffs evaluation. Disposal of swine mortalities.

Dr. Mathur Kannan
Professor, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences
Research Interests: Regulation of intracellular calcium in smooth muscle cells and immune cells; Signal transduction mechanisms in the regulation of calcium, particularly the role of CD38-cyclic ADP-ribose.

Dr. Anup Kollanoor Johny
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Poultry microbiological safety and quality. Environmentally-friendly and sustainable poultry production. Natural and/or organic approaches for improving performance and reducing/inactivating foodborne pathogens in poultry. Pre-and post-harvest food safety and quality. Antibiotic resistance mitigation in poultry. Genomics and transcriptomics to understand colonization and survival strategies in pathogens.

Dr. Yuzhi Li
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Swine behavior and production.

Dr. Krishona Martinson
Research Interests: Equine forage utilization and management. Forage related equine health issues. Poisonous plants and weed control. Equine industry impacts and trends.

Dr. Laura Mauro
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Cellular physiology. Importance of the tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) in cell proliferation and differentiation; exploring whether these molecules could serve as drug targets for skeletal disorders, such as osteoporosis, in animals and humans.

Dr. Eric Mousel
Associate Extension Professor, UM Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids
Cow/calf Reproduction

Dr. Sally Noll
Professor Emeritus (retired)
Research Interests: Poultry science. Nutrition and feeding of market turkeys. Management, health and stress interactions in market turkeys. Improving poultry waste utilization production.

Dr. Scott O’Grady
Research Interests: Cellular physiology. Laboratory investigations have focused on understanding mechanisms and regulation of electrolyte transport across epithelial tissues, and regulation of eosinophil activation in patients with asthma.

Melissa Palmer
Teaching Assistant Professor
Animal Physiology

Mary Raeth
Teaching Assistant Professor
Dairy Cattle Nutrition

Dr. Milena Saqui-Salces
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Gut cellular physiology. Endocrine function of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Mike Schutz 
Professor and Department Head
Research Interests: Dairy cattle genetics and management in the areas of pasture-based dairy farms and technologies for early intervention in animal disease. Optimum genetic selection for pasture-based dairy producers. Assessment of precision farming technologies for dairy cattle.

Dr. Jeremy Schefers
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Research Interests: Bovine pathology and diagnostic tests; Respiratory and enteric pathogens of ruminants.

Dr. Declan Schroeder
Associate Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Research Interests:  

Dr. Tony Seykora
Research Interests: Dairy cattle genetics.

Dr. Jerry Shurson
Research Interests: Applied swine nutrition and management. Pork quality and safety. Manure management and odor reduction in swine facilities. Dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in swine diets.

Dr. Srinand Sreevatsan
Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Research Interests: Molecular microbiology, epidemiology, and diagnostic medicine.

Dr. Marshall Stern
Research Interests: Ruminant nutrition. Protein nutrition of ruminants including methodology for measuring protein degradation and microbial protein synthesis in the rumen, and protein absorption from the small intestine. Also studying various factors that affect fermentation and microbial populations in the rumen.

Dr. Pedro Urriola
Research Associate Professor
Research Interests: Swine nutrition and management. Sustainability of pork production. Improvement of nutritional utilization of alternative feed ingredients in diets for growing pigs. Nutritional evaluation of industrial co-products, especially with distillers dried grains with solubles. Management and control of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus transmission.

Beth Ventura
Teaching Assistant Professor
Animal Behavior and Welfare

Dr. Michael White
Professor; CFANS Associate Dean for Academic Programs & Faculty Affairs
Research Interests: Muscle biology: Cellular and molecular regulation of muscle growth and development in meat-producing animals, with a specific focus on the role and mechanism of action of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), their binding proteins (IGFBPs) and anabolic steroids in the regulation of muscle growth.