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Behavior & Well-Being | Environmental Sustainability | Genetics/Genomics | Growth/Muscle/Meat Science | Nutrition | Reproductive Biology/Physiology

Graduate Emily Purbaugh with otters

Behavior & Well-Being

Research in this group is focused on identifying environmental and genetic contributions to the health and well-being of animals.

Faculty: Amber Adams Progar, Holly Neibergs

Don Nelson with cattle

Environmental Sustainability

Air, land and water quality are examined to assist in the understanding of how they are affected by animal agriculture and to assist animal agriculture in developing management strategies for sustainable production.

Faculty: Joseph Harrison, Kristen Johnson

Zhihua Jiang


Research encompasses genome science and biotechnology. In particular, projects include understanding the genome structure, function and evolution, and developing quantitative and molecular genomic approaches for improving animal production, product quality and health.

Faculty: Min Du, Kanako Hayashi, Nate Law, Holly Neibergs, Michael Phelps, Zhihua Jiang

Angus Bull

Meat Science

Projects span the gamut of basic and applied research and include defining the molecular mechanisms of muscle development, physiological responses to growth regulators, meat quality improvement and food safety.

Faculty: Min Du, Michael Phelps, Zhihua Jiang

Beef Center cows grazing


Basic and applied research in nutrition is conducted with beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, and laboratory animals. This work includes trace animal metabolism, energy nutrition and utilization of by-product feedstuffs.

Faculty: Min DuJoseph Harrison, Nancy Irlbeck, Kristen Johnson, Don Llewellyn

Photomicrograph of uterine cells

Reproductive Biology/Physiology

Research in reproductive biology/physiology includes endocrinology, and embryo development that is both basic and applied using cattle, sheep, swine and rodent models.

Faculty: Min Du, Kanako Hayashi, Zhihua Jiang, Nate Law, Martin Maquivar, Holly Neibergs, Michael Phelps, Jim Pru