Speaker Biographies

2007 Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium

January 30-31, 2007 l Best Western Gateway Grand l Gainesville, Florida

 


Dr. Adesogan is an Assistant Professor of Ruminant Nutrition in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida where he holds a 40% teaching-60% research assignment. He served as an Assistant Professor of Animal Nutrition at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, UK between 1995 and 2001. Dr. Adesogan’s research presentation was selected as the most outstanding from the Animal Nutrition session during the 1994 meeting of European Association of Animal Production. His research interests include improving the utilization of forages with dietary additives, exploiting the potential of forages for improving the level and efficiency of sustainable animal production, developing in vitro methods for nutritionally-characterizing feeds, and using plant neutraceuticals to improve animal welfare, health, and production and thereby enhance human nutrition and health.

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Dr. John Arthington is Director of the Range Cattle Research & Education Center, University of Florida, Ona. Prior to coming to Florida, John earned his MS and PhD degrees studying nutrition, physiology, and immunology at Kansas State University. His current research areas include the development of cow/calf grazing and supplementation strategies that improve both the profitability and sustainability of Florida cattlemen, the identification of management practices that improve stress tolerances of cattle with special emphasis on weaned, transported calves, and the identification of quantifiable factors for the measurement of stress in cattle. Dr. Arthington’s efforts include extending to Florida cattle producers information on production practices that will improve percent calf crop, calf weaning weight, post-weaning performance, stress tolerance, and environmental quality.

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Dr. Karen Beauchemin is a senior research scientist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta, and an adjunct professor at several Canadian universities (University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, and University of Saskatchewan). Before her career in research, Dr. Beauchemin spent three years in the feed industry. She obtained a PhD in ruminant nutrition at the University of Guelph (1988), an MSc in animal nutrition at Laval University (1982), and her BSc in agriculture at McGill University (1978).

Dr. Beauchemin has developed a broad-based research program to improve the feed utilization ruminants. She is recognized for her expertise in the areas of acidosis, rumen function, and the fiber requirements of cattle.

Throughout her career, Dr. Beauchemin has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reviews, and over 200 conference proceedings and abstracts. Dr. Beauchemin has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific and industry meetings. She is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, the American Dairy Science Association and the Canadian Society of Animal Science. She was the 2005 recipient of the American Dairy Science Association’s Pioneer Hybrid Forage Award.

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Dr. Joel Caton is a ruminant nutritionist and professor in the Animal and Range Sciences Department at North Dakota State University. He is also co-director of the Center for Nutrition and Pregnancy at NDSU. Joel is native of Missouri and was raised on a livestock and grain farm. He received his B.S. degree 1982 from New Mexico State University. In 1983 he received his M.S. degree from University of Missouri. His Ph.D. was awarded at New Mexico State University in 1987. After a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri, he accepted a position at North Dakota State University. For the past 18 years, Joel has conducted research and taught courses within the Animal and Range Science Department at NDSU. In 1999 he completed a one-year sabbatical at the University of Reading and The Rowett Research Institute in the United Kingdom. In 2003, Joel was awarded the NDSU College of Agriculture’s Research Award and in 2004 he received the National AFIA Ruminant Nutrition Award presented at the American Society of Animal Science meetings. Joel’s nutrition research program has resulted in numerous publications and grants. In addition, he has advised or co-advised 29 graduate students and 4 postdoctoral fellows. Joel enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

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Dr. Matt Hersom is an Assistant Professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist in the Animal Sciences Department at the University of Florida. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science at Iowa State University and the Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University. His research efforts have focused on year-round grazing systems to minimize stored feed inputs and optimize forage utilization by spring calving beef cows, the effect of previous live weight gain during winter grazing on feedlot performance, visceral organ mass, body composition, and splanchnic metabolism of beef steers. His current research and extension program emphasizes the implementation of optimal supplementation strategies for Florida cow-calf production and the development of increased pasture and forage utilization and management.

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Dr. Richard Kohn joined the faculty at the University of Maryland at College Park in 1996. He is a Professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences. His appointment is split between research (75%) and extension (25%) on reducing environmental damage from animal agriculture. Rick has published dozens of refereed journal articles and book chapters, and has authored over 130 invited presentations. He was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations, which published two reports (2001, 2002).

Rick’s work focuses on reducing nutrient losses from dairy farms to air and water resources. This work includes development and evaluation of mathematical models that integrate feeding, cropping, manure and soil management to demonstrate the interactions of these subsystems, and to facilitate decision-making on the farm. This work has demonstrated that optimal diet formulation and crop selection can greatly reduce nutrient losses from farms without increasing the cost of production.

A related research interest is protein and phosphorus digestion and metabolism by dairy cattle. Rick’s laboratory quantified the minimal requirements for different forms of protein needed for milk production, and the milk production losses from underfeeding protein. His laboratory also developed the means to quantify N excretion per cow using milk urea N concentration and milk production, and developed recommendations to trouble shoot diets based on milk composition.

Rick also conducts basic research on applying principles of physical chemistry to fermentation and metabolism. He showed that the rumen environment is near equilibrium with respect to major volatile fatty acid concentrations and gases (carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen), which explains the stability of the rumen fermentation. The work provides an example of the way the laws of thermodynamics can be applied to understand the regulation of biological systems at the both the ecological and molecular level.

Rick grew up on a small farm in the town of North Collins in Western New York State. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from Cornell University in 1985, after also having studied for a year at the Swedish College of Agriculture in Uppsala. He received his Master of Science Degree in 1987 from the University of New Hampshire and his Ph.D. Degree in 1993 from Michigan State University. Before coming to Maryland, Rick was a Research Associate at New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dr. Lee R. McDowell earned his graduate degrees from University of Georgia and Washington State University. He has been a professor at the University of Florida Department of Animals Sciences since 1971 on a 80% research and 20% teaching assignment. His research deals mostly with mineral and vitamin utilization by grazing livestock. He teaches two graduate level courses in minerals and vitamins. Dr. McDowell is active in international research, having made 254 visits to 62 different countries. He has over 1,200 publications including 11 books and 305 journal articles. He has received eight nutrition awards from either the American Society of Animal Science or American Dairy Science Association. These include the Morrison Award as well as the International and Fellow Awards from both societies.

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Dr. David Schingoethe is Distinguished Professor of Dairy Science at South Dakota State University. He grew up on a dairy and livestock farm in northern Illinois where he was active in 4-H and FFA. His academic training included the B.S. in Agricultural Science-Dairy Science and M.S. degree in Dairy Science from the University of Illinois, and the Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in Dairy Science and Nutrition. He has been a member of the faculty of the Dairy Science Department at South Dakota State University since 1969, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate students in addition to conducting dairy cattle nutrition research.

Dr. Schingoethe's research investigations are primarily in the areas of protein and energy nutrition of lactating cows, including the use of distillers products in dairy cattle diets. He is the author or co-author of nearly 450 scientific and popular press articles reporting research results, 8 chapters in books, and 2 patents. He has been invited to speak at more than 50 international, national, and regional conferences on subjects related to his research.

He was President of the American Dairy Science Association (2000-01), was President of the Midwest Branch of the ADSA (1993-94), was President of the Federation of Animal Science Societies (2003-04), and is an Editor of the Journal of Dairy Science. He has received numerous national and local awards for his research, teaching, and service.

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Dr. William W. Thatcher is a Graduate Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida. He received his B.S. from the University of Maryland, a M.S. degree from the University of Maryland, in conjunction with the USDA-ARS Beltsville Research Center, and the Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University. He completed two sabbaticals at INRA, Nouzilly, France, in 1977 and 1985.

His research program in cattle has been associated with ovarian follicular development, maternal-embryo interactions, and developmental approaches for regulating reproductive function to enhance production and health. Major focus has been dealing with effects of the postpartum period, nutrition, and heat stress on ovarian follicular and corpus luteum functions and embryo survival. He has served as a mentor for 70 graduate students-postdoctoral fellows and sabbatical persons. Dr. Thatcher has published 311 refereed journal articles and 40 book chapters (www.thatcherteam.com). He teaches endocrinology, and is an active member of the Interdisciplinary Reproductive Biology and the Animal Molecular Cell Biology programs at the University of Florida. Dr. Thatcher has served as associate editor or on the editorial boards of Biology of Reproduction, Journal of Animal Science, Journal of Dairy Science, Theriogenology, Animal Reproduction Science, and Reproduction-Nutrition-Development. Dr. Thatcher is the recipient of the Research Award from SSR (1994), the Upjohn Physiology Award of American Dairy Science Assoc. (1981), the Animal Physiology and Endocrinology Award from American Society of Animal Science (1985), the Borden Award from American Dairy Science Association (1992), the L.E. Casida Award for Excellence in Graduate Training (1997), National Association of Animal Breeders Research Award (2000), Merial Dairy Management Research Award (2002), recipient of 2001-2002 Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award from the University of Florida, Honorary Member of American College of Theriogenologists (2003), and recipient of the Morrison Award of the American Society of Animal Science (2006).

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Dr. Gabriella Varga earned her advanced degrees from the University of Rhode Island and the University of Maryland. She currently conducts research and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as a professor at Pennsylvania State University where she is a University Distinguished Professor of Animal Nutrition. Her research focuses on determining management strategies for late gestation and early postpartum dairy cows that will minimize the incidence of periparturient metabolic disorders and maximize postpartum milk production. The research program incorporates basic and applied concepts to provide a mechanistic understanding of factors affecting the needs of the transition cow while providing information that can be used directly by the dairy producer. An interdisciplinary team of investigators is involved providing a diverse background of strengths to enhance the outcome of scientific findings. She was a member of the subcommittee developing the 2001 NRC Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle publication. In 2000 Dr. Varga received the AFIA Ruminant Nutrition Award from the American Dairy Science Association.

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Dr. Matt Waldron received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1993 and a Master’s degree from The University of Tennessee in 1996. He then returned to the northeast where he worked in the feed industry for Agway Agricultural Products for 3 years before returning to Cornell University to pursue his doctorate working with Dr. Tom Overton. Matt continued a consulting relationship with the feed industry during his doctoral work and received his Ph.D. in Animal Science with emphases in nutrition and physiology of dairy cattle in 2004. He then remained at Cornell as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Animal Science through June 2006 when he joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Vermont. Matt’s research entails gaining a better understanding of the interaction between nutrition and health of the dairy cow. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how nutritional and farm management factors impact the development of infectious diseases and metabolic disorders in dairy cattle, and also how sickness impacts the nutritional requirements and metabolism of the animal.

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