The primary research focus at present is genomic selection, with students working on topics such as: methods for prediction of breeding values using single nucleotide polymophism (SNP) markers, assessing the relationship between genomic predictions and future progeny performance, prediction of future phenotypes using genomic data and health history information, controlling inbreeding in modern breeding programs, development of cost-effective genotyping strategies, use of statistical models and machine learning algorithms to identify superior breeding stock, and the discovery and characterization of specific genes with large effects using genome-wide association studies. Strategies for using genetic and genomic information to improve traits such as fertility, calving ability, early postpartum health and feed utilization efficiency are a major emphasis. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of animal nutrition, reproductive biology and dairy management from their undergraduate studies. At the graduate level they will take courses in statistical methods, experimental design, molecular and quantitative genetics, computer science and bioinformatics.
Animal & Dairy Sciences
University of Wisconsin Madison