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Animal Science Young Scholar Awards

Sponsored by The Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science

Zachary Carlson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under the supervision of Dr. James MacDonald, with an expected graduation date of May 2021. Zac received his M.S. in Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017 under the direction of Drs. James MacDonald and Matt Luebbe, and his B.S. from North Dakota State University. Zac's PhD dissertation compares an integrated cropping-cow-calf production system to a traditional system utilizing smooth brome pastures and corn residue grazing. His work demonstrated a viable alternative cow-calf production system, which does not use perennial pastures. Zac is co-author of 5 refereed journal articles and 16 research reports. He currently works as a Research Project Coordinator where he assists 5 faculty members in their research. He has worked on 41 research trials and assisted 20 graduate students with data collection and analysis in this role.

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 Zachary Carlson
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Ryan Corbett is a PhD candidate in the Genetics and Genome Sciences Program at Michigan State University, where he is mentored by Dr. Catherine Ernst. He was a USDA NIFA National Needs Fellow from 2016 to 2019 and was a visiting scholar at Wageningen University and Research in summer 2019. He is currently a USDA NIFA Predoctoral Fellow. Ryan’s dissertation research is focused on characterizing state-specific DNA methylation patterns in farm animals and their associations with gene expression and phenotypic variation. His work has contributed to the Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes project by identifying novel sites of gene regulation.

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Michigan State University

 

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After completion of her BS degree, Mariola completed a Master’s degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Mariola then pursued her Ph.D. in swine nutrition with Tom Crenshaw. She challenged the association of hypocalcemia with uterine prolapses in sows and provided evidence that hypocalcemia was not likely a contributing factor. An outcome of this project generated questions about phosphorus requirements of sows. Mariola used meticulous statistical analysis to quantify phosphorus requirements and validated a method based on “spot” urine samples to assess phosphorus status of sows. Mariola refined a simplified approach which can be adapted in commercial breeding herds to allow whole-herd assessment of phosphorus status. This approach assures minimal phosphorus requirements are met while also assuring that over-supplementation of phosphorus does not contribute to environmental pollution concerns.

 

Upload ImageMariola Grez-Capdeville
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

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Kiah Gourley completed an impactful M.S. and Ph.D. research program as part of the Applied Swine Nutrition Team at Kansas State University in March 2020. Her influential research included the two largest sow transition feeding studies ever conducted as well as a study that determined the optimum level of soybean meal in lactating sow diets, two different studies to determine the lactation lysine requirements of gilts and multiparous sows, and two trials to determine the phosphorus release of a novel source of phytase. Kiah’s research has resulted in 10 published journal articles, 14 scientific abstracts, and 13 Extension research reports and she has completed the requirements for the KSU Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate. She was recognized with numerous awards and scholarships including the 2020 Outstanding K-State Animal Science PhD Graduate student award. Kiah is currently a nutritionist and sow technical service specialist with Pipestone System based in Pipestone, MN. 

 

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Kansas State University
Pipestone System

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Yijie He was born in Karamay, Xinjiang, China. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Technology at China Agricultural University in 2012. He earned his master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2015. His master thesis focused on identifying characteristics of slow growing pigs and risk factors associated with slow growth. After completing his master degree, Yijie worked at Ralco Nutrition for two years as Research Assistant. He joined the Animal Biology Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis in 2017. Yijie He completed his PhD degree on December 2020. His dissertation focused on ‘Effects of Dietary Bacillus species on performance and disease resistance of weaned pigs’. 

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University of California, Davis

 

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Vanessa Lagos is a Ph. D. student in the Hans H. Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois. She is a native of Colombia and received her BS degree from the National University of Colombia in Bogota. She joined the Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory at the University of Illinois in the summer of 2016 and graduated with a MS degree in 2018 and will obtain her doctorate in the spring of 2021. As a MS and PhD student, Vanessa determined requirements for digestible Ca and P in diets for weanling and growing pigs and she generated guidelines for the needed ratios between digestible Ca and digestible P in diets for pigs from weaning to market, which change during the growing period. Vanessa Lagos has published 14 peer-reviewed journal articles as a first author or co-author, 6 non peer-reviewed publications, and 7 abstracts. Following graduation she plans to continue her career as a company nutritionist in the swine industry. 

Upload ImageL. Vanessa Lagos
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

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Yusheng Liang is a native of Hengshui, China. He is doctoral candidate in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He received the MS degree in Animal Nutrition and Feed Science from Lanzhou University, China, in 2017 where he studied the link between residual feed intake and performance in sheep. During his PhD, Yusheng has been an outstanding scholar earning a 3.86/4.0 GPA. Yusheng’s ongoing research is focused on one-carbon metabolism and antioxidant signaling networks in adipose tissue of dairy cows in the context of amino acid supply and body condition at calving. A novel aspect of Yusheng’s research is studying the role of these pathways in the response of adipose tissue to inflammatory challenges. Since 2017, Yusheng has published 5 peer-reviewed papers as first author and 16 as co-author. He is first author of 8 abstracts presented at the ADSA meetings between 2018 and 2020. 

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

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Amy Petry, received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas Tech University and recently completed a Ph.D. at Iowa State University with Dr. John Patience. Her dissertation focused on the in vivo mode of action of xylanase, funded through a grant which Amy largely authored. Using dual cannulated pigs, she was able to concurrently study the effect of enzymes on digestion, the microbiome, intestinal structure and function and oxidative status in the jejunum, ileum and large intestine. Her work revealed a mode of action of xylanase which differs considerably from current dogma. Amy will has published 12 refereed publications, plus 7 other collaborative papers and co-authored 2 book chapters during her graduate studies. She was also very active in teaching and in extracurricular activities, serving as President of the Association of Graduate Animal Scientists, Senator of the Iowa State Graduate and Professional Student Senate and graduate director of MW ASAS. Amy has accepted a position as assistant professor at Texas Tech University. 

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Iowa State University

 

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Leticia Sanglard is a Ph.D. Candidate in Animal Breeding & Genetics at Iowa State University. Her research focused on the identification and genomic characterization of indicator traits for reproductive performance in commercial sows. She also significantly impacted undergraduate education by serving as a teaching assistant on multiple occasions and a co-instructor. Her outstanding performance as a graduate student resulted in ten awards, including the prestigious Graduate Student Award from National Swine Improvement Federation and both the Research and Teaching Excellence Awards from Iowa State University. To date, she has published 17 peer-reviewed papers (6 as the first author) and presented 44 scientific abstracts (over half as the first author) at national and international meetings, with many more to come. With outstanding research, teaching, and interpersonal skills, Leticia Sanglard will continue to push the Livestock Industries' boundaries for many more years to come. 

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Iowa State University

 

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