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. Jon Anderson
Univ. of MN-Morris

Dr. Samuel Baidoo
Currently is not taking students.
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. Kahina Boukherroub 
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. Luciano Caixeta
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Research Interests: Effects of the metabolic problems (i.e. ketosis, displaced abomasum, fatty liver, hypocalcemia) typical of the transition from late gestation to early lactation in dairy cows. My interest is in improving our understanding of the metabolic adaptations of the peri-parturient dairy cow.

Dr. Carol Cardona
Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Research Interests: Dr. Cardona is the Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health for the College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her expertise in avian influenza, Dr. Cardona is interested in zoonoses (infectious diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans) and the role that poultry play in human health and well being, especially in developing countries. 

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. Erin Cortus  
Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
Research Interests: Sustainable Livestock Production

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

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. 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. 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. Isaac Haagen
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Dairy cattle production and wellbeing.

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. 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. Jo Heuschele
Research Agronomist
Research Interests: Primary research consists of quantifying plant cell wall components, stem structure, and plant movement in response to changes in climate that influence forage quality.

Dr. Tim Johnson
Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Research Interests: Poultry microbiology, bacterial pathogen ecology, and bacterial genomics.

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. 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
Note: Can not serve as a graduate student's advisor 
Cow/calf Reproduction

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.

Dr. Melissa Palmer
Teaching Assistant Professor
Note: Can not serve as a graduate student's advisor 
Animal Physiology

Dr. Mary Raeth
Teaching Assistant Professor
Note: Can not serve as a graduate student's advisor
Dairy Cattle Nutrition

Dr. Isaac Salfer
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Dairy Nutritional Physiology

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

Dr. Declan Schroeder
Associate Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Research Interests: Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology, Genomics

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. Tony Seykora
No longer taking students
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. Marshall Stern
No longer taking students
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
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Livestock Sustainability

Dr. Michael White
No longer taking students
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.

Dr. Zheng Xing
Associate Professor
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Research Interests: Viral Immunology; Molecular Virology; Host-Virus interaction, Emerging Zoonotic Viruses