The Department of Animal & Avian Sciences Campus Farm Revitalization Project The University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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ADVANCE Seed Grant
Apr 02, 2014

The seed grant proposal by Dr. Kasey Moyes, along with Co­PIs Dr. Xiaoping Zhu of the Veterinary Medicine Program, Dr. Ted Elssasser of USDA, Beltsville and Dr. Brian Bequette has been approved for funding from the ADVANCE Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research seed grant program. It is entitled: "Nutrient Supply and Stage of Lactation: Effects on Metabolism and Inflammatory Response of Bovine Blood Neutrophils" and will be funded for $20,000. Due to the critical importance of blood PMN for resolution of mastitis and the possible larger susceptibility to mastitis for cows in early lactation, results of this project may lead to improvements in animal health and well­being of dairy cows.

Dr. Moyes Receives MAES/UME Grant
Feb 28, 2014

Dr. Kasey Moyes was awarded a MAES/UME Integrative Research and Extension Grant in the amount of $30,500 for her grant proposal, "Estimating and quantifying the economic impacts, production outcomes and lifestyle changes for small-to-medium sized dairy farms regarding the transition from conventional to automatic milking systems in the Mid-Atlantic region."

Dr. Biswas Awarded Research Funding
Feb 27, 2014

Dr. Debabrata Biswas received funding in the amount of $40,000 from MAES/UME for his proposal titled: "Ecological prevalence of major foodborne bacterial pathogens in Mixed Crop-Livestock in Maryland and control with feed supplement."

Dr. Taneyhill Receives Grant and Award
Feb 24, 2014

Dr. Lisa Taneyhill was awarded a $50,000 Tier 1 seed grant from the University for her proposal, "Alpha-n-catenin function in mammalian neural crest cell development." She also received the Summer Research and Scholarship Award (RASA) for Summer 2014 from the Graduate School.

Dr. Porter Receives NIFA Grant
Jan 01, 2014

Dr. Tom Porter received a grant of $500,000 on January 1, 2014, from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his project titled "Glucocorticoid induction of endogenous growth hormone (GH) in chicken embryos." This research project in Dr. Porter's laboratory has been funded for 20 years by grants from the USDA. Growth in chickens is controlled in part by the chicken's production of its own hormones, including GH which is secreted from the chicken's pituitary gland. The overall hypothesis of this research is that chicken growth can be increased by manipulating the chicken's production of its own GH. The current proposal aims to define the mechanisms regulating GH production. Identification of these mechanisms will not only increase our understanding of the regulation of this hormone that is essential to normal growth, it will also lead to new information that can be used in breeding programs to produce more efficient chickens and more food for the world's population.

NIH Award for Dr. Hamza
Nov 13, 2013

The NIH awarded an administrative supplement of $194,377 to Dr. Iqbal Hamza for his NIDDK R01 grant titled "The Biological Role of Heme in Nutrition" to purchase a COPAS BIOSORT flow cytometer. The COPAS (Complex Object Parametric Analyzer and Sorter) is a continuous flow system sorter capable of analyzing small and large quantities of objects from 20-200 microns in diameter. The offices of the Vice President of Research, Dean of AGNR, and the Chairs of ANSC and PLSA Chair provided an additional $97,188. No such instrument currently exists on campus.

Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger Leaves for University of Houston
Oct 30, 2013

After a long and distinguished relationship with the University of Maryland Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger has left to accept the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Houston, beginning in September, 2013.

Dr. Ottinger’s association with the University of Maryland has spanned over 35 years. She has witnessed and served the university starting as an undergraduate, continuing her education through graduate degrees, rising through the academic ranks to full professor, and serving in a number of administrative roles.

Mary Ann Ottinger received a B.S. degree in biology, an M.S. degree in endocrinology, and a Ph.D. in ethology (Department of Zoology) from the University of Maryland. She was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science in 1978 and progressed to the rank of full professor.

Dr. Ottinger contributed significantly to the establishment of a number of cross-disciplinary graduate programs at the University of Maryland, including ENSP, MEES, NACS, and BEES – and of course, she has contributed considerable leadership and mentorship to the ANSC graduate program, mentoring and advising a number of outstanding graduate and undergraduate students. Her role in the creation and continuing growth of the Environmental Science and Policy Program is particularly noteworthy.

In her research she studied neuroendocrine regulation and behavioral components of reproduction in birds and mammals. Developmental and aging processes were focus areas, especially as impacted by endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Studies included molecular and cellular bases of neuroendocrine processes as well as the dynamics of endocrine and behavioral responses at the system level. Dr. Ottinger had many long-standing collaborations with the National Zoo of the Smithsonian Institution and the Patuxent Wildlife Center.

Dr. Ottinger served as the President of the Poultry Science Association in 1995-96 and the President of the Federation of Animal Science Societies from 1998-99. She was recognized as a Fellow of the Poultry Science Association in 2005. From 2007-2008 Dr. Ottinger served as Interim Associate Dean of the Graduate School. From 2008-2011 she was the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance and Policy in the Division of Research for the University. Since 2011 she served as Deputy Coordinator for Cooperative interactions and Grantsmanship at the Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

Dr. Ottinger received the Dean Gordon Cairns Award, from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2011. She was a 2011-2012 ADVANCE Professor and an ADVANCE Fellow since 2012.

We wish Dr. Ottinger much success in her new position.

Dr. Woods and Collaborators Awarded a 3-year USDA-NRAC Grant
Oct 10, 2013

Dr. Curry Woods is a co-principle investigator with Dr. David Berlinsky, University of New Hampshire, Department of Biology, on a recently awarded $119,000 USDA-Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center Grant. The grant has been awarded and research is scheduled to begin at the Department of Animal and Avian Science’s UM-Crane Aquaculture Facility later this fall. The research aims to determine if striped bass, through a comprehensive genetic evaluation of the range of geographic strains, are tolerant of seawater as juveniles and a potential candidate for marine aquaculture. One of the important goals of this research will be to provide identified salinity-tolerant striped bass brood stock to the industry. Dr. Woods’ lab will employee and train several undergraduate students to assist in the evaluation of phenotypes from six different geographic strains in each of the first two years of the project to determine which genotypes are more favorable for use in ocean aquaculture.

Dr. Carol Keefer and graduate student, Halli Sigal, Awarded Seed Grant
Oct 04, 2013

In June, 2013 a joint review panel of University of Maryland (UMD) faculty and Smithsonian Institution (SI) staff awarded a UMD-SI Seed Grant to Dr. Carol Keefer, Halli Sigal, and Dr. Adrienne Crosier for their proposal entitled "Elucidating spermatozoal energy metabolism and metabolic dysfunction in felids and teratospermic species." The UMD-SI Seed Grant is for the amount of $ 35,830 which is split between the two institutions. Funding, which is for one year, started in August, 2013.

2013 Faculty/Staff Cookoff Results
Sep 27, 2013

We had some stiff competition at the Cookoff last night with many amazingly delicious entries to wow the crowd of students judging the event. When all the voting beans were weighed, these cooks emerged victorious:

Main Dish
First: Rockin’ Ravioli - Sandra Nola
Second: The Hot Chick - Byung Kim
Third: Not Your Momma’s Mac and Cheese - Kiera Finucane

Side Dish
First: Spinach and Artichoke Dip - Kasey Moyes
Second: Cheesy Mashed Potatoes - Rick Kohn
Third: A Cultural Bridge — From Rome to Dafeng - Zhengguo Xiao

First: Extra Credit - Sarah Balcom
Second: Oreo Truffles - Bob Peters
Third: Jabba-The-Nut Cheesecake - Victoria Lake

Dr. Bequette and Collaborators Awarded a 3-year USDA-NIFA Grant
Sep 24, 2013

Dr. Brian Bequette is a co-principle investigator with Dr. Nathalie Trottier, Michigan State University Department of Animal Sciences, on a recently awarded $500,000 USDA-NIFA grant. The funding will begin in January 2014 with the University of Maryland portion amounting to over $66,000. The research aims to determine the impact of dietary amino acid balance in lactating sows on heat production, lysine utilization and whole body N metabolism, and subsequent piglet growth performance. The overall goal of the research is to improve nutritional performance of lactating sows and their nursing pigs under heat stress conditions. Dr. Bequette will employ novel stable isotope approaches in the lactating sows to determine the influence of dietary amino acid balance on whole body lysine utilization for milk protein and muscle synthesis, muscle protein turnover and amino acid catabolism.

Dr. Telugu awarded UMD-UM Seed Grant
Jun 12, 2013

On June 12, 2013, Dr. Bhanu Telugu and Dr. Loren Thompson, UMB, School of Medicine, were awarded a $75,000 UMD-UM Seed Grant for their proposal titled, "Development of a Novel Animal Model for Human Preeclampsia." There were 66 proposals submitted to the competition and only 7 were funded.

Dr. Hamza Promoted
Jun 05, 2013

Dr. Iqbal Hamza has been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor. Congratulations Dr. Hamza!

Milestones in Years of Service
May 31, 2013

The department is proud to acknowledge the service milestones of three staff members. Janice Barber, Business Service Specialist, has achieved 30 years of service at the University of Maryland, all with this department, dating back to before the merger of Animal Sciences and Poultry Science. Kiera Finucane, Coordinator of Dairy-Beef Extension Activities and Dr. Angela Black, Coordinator of Animal Care, both marked their five years at the university and with the department. These three outstanding staff members were recognized for their service at the AGNR Convocation and Awards Ceremony on May 8 at the Riggs Alumni Center.

Dr. Andrew Schiffmacher awarded NIH NRSA Fellowship
May 30, 2013

Postdoctoral research associate Dr. Andrew Schiffmacher was awarded the prestigious NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA F32 postdoctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Taneyhill and co-sponsor Dr. Iqbal Hamza. His over $164,000 fellowship titled, "Proteolysis of Cadherins in Cranial Neural Crest" will be funded for 3 years by the NIH-National Institute for Dental & Craniofacial Research.

MSCRF Postdoctoral Fellowship
May 29, 2013

Dr. Anjali Nandal, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bhanu Telugu's laboratory, has been awarded a 2-year, $110,000 postdoctoral fellowship from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF.) Dr. Nandal’s project aims at directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into insulin producing beta-precursor cells for diabetes therapies. Remarkably, Dr. Nandal put together the grant proposal within the first month of joining the Telugu laboratory.

Amy Burk Awarded Excellence in Extension
May 20, 2013

Dr. Amy Burk received the award for Excellence in Extension at the AGNR Alumni Celebration held on April 16, 2013 at the Riggs Alumni Center. Dr. Burk coordinates the Equine Extension Program for University of Maryland Extension focusing on three major areas: equine nutrition, horse pasture management and 4-H youth development. Dr. Burk is credited with developing an extensive applied research program to support her Extension efforts in areas including weight gain, diet and exercise on insulin sensitivity and inflammation in Thoroughbred geldings and works with a team of 23 on an equine pasture management program at the Central Maryland Research and Education Center located in Howard County. She also created an “Ask the Experts” column featured in major equine publications, is a regular presenter at the Horse World Expo and coordinates the Maryland 4-H volunteer horse council.

Debu Biswas
Speaker at AGNR Convocation

May 16, 2013

At the AGNR 2013 Convocation and Awards Ceremony on May 8 at the Riggs Alumni Center, Dr. Debu Biswas was a featured speaker during the morning program about promoting public health through our food supply. His talk was on “Controlling Bacteria in Poultry Products.”

Sandra Nola
On-Campus Staff Excellence Award

May 15, 2013

Faculty and staff from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) came together on Wednesday, May 8 for the 2013 Convocation and Awards Ceremony at the Riggs Alumni Center. Sandra Nola, our Director of Administrative Services won On-Campus Staff Excellence Award.

Sandra Nola joined the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences in 2010 as Director of Administrative Services. She was hired to oversee all of our budgets, employee contracts, personnel functions, financial and administrative reporting, resource allocations, facilities planning, and purchasing. Sandra has performed exceptionally well in all of these responsibilities. Her broad background in all areas of administration and her relationships with key university stakeholders make her an outstanding resource to faculty, staff and students. Sandra’s work ethic incorporates a can-do attitude and she actively seeks ways to relieve faculty of administrative burdens wherever possible. Sandra has no problem learning new systems and incorporating new business processes. She has a keen eye for seeing the big picture and ways to improve customer service to the department.

A graduate of Penn State University, Sandra has held many positions in the private and public sector before joining UMD in 1994. She willingly serves on multiple department and college committees. Sandra is a creative problem solver who loves a challenge. She is known to ‘roll up her sleeves’ and assist in any manner. Her attitude is upbeat which allows people to feel at ease.

Sandra Nola is an outstanding example of a staff member. She is a professional. She is responsible and conscientious. She works hard and is prepared in advance. She maintains a positive attitude and interacts well with everyone in the department. She is proactive, regularly looking for ways to improve our operations and department. Congratulations Sandra!

Dr. Yu Awarded Tenure
May 13, 2013

Dr. Liqing Yu has received tenure and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure, effective in August. Congratulations Dr. Yu!

Special Workshop - Domestic Large Animals as Models for Agricultural and Biomedical Research
Mar 21, 2013

Special Workshop: Domestic Large Animals as Models for Agricultural and Biomedical Research Sponsored by the Department of Animal Sciences.

Click here for agenda and hotel information.
Click here to register.


Associate Professor Iqbal Hamza and NRSA postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carine White publishes scientific findings in issue of Cell Metabolism.
Feb 05, 2013

Associate Professor Iqbal Hamza and NRSA postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carine White reveals the identity of the long-sought heme transporter which permits humans to recycle over 5 million red blood cells per second in their spleen and liver. Their study also shows that mutations in the human transporter, which they first discovered in worms, can be a causative agent for genetic disorder of iron metabolism in humans. These findings were published in the February 5th issue of CELL METABOLISM ( The work follows up on the heels of their discovery of the first heme importer (NATURE, 2008) and chaperone (CELL, 2011). More about this work can be found at


New ANSC Lecturer
Dec 11, 2012

Dr. Charlie Apter joined the faculty of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at University of Maryland College Park in August 2012 as Livestock Lecturer. His BS is from Clemson University and his PhD is in Animal Science (Equine) from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Apter has spent much of the last 15 years teaching animal science and equine-related coursework. During the 11 years he taught in NE Missouri he managed a 45-head university-owned horse herd. Most of his teaching has focused on the basic science of animals including anatomy, physiology, reproduction, nutrition, and behavior, and the practical implications of animal science for the management of horses, cattle and other livestock. Upon graduation from Texas A&M, he first taught for 11 years in NE Missouri at Truman State University and then for the last 5 years he was Director of Agriculture at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant, TX. His teaching assignment at UMD will include a mix of equine, livestock, and animal science courses.

Dr. Hamza Awarded Grant
Nov 08, 2012

Dr. Hamza was awarded a 5 year renewal of his NIH grant titled "The Biological Role of Heme in Nutrition" for $1,931,357. His research program is supported by two additional NIH R01 and NIH R21 grants

Cookoff Winners
Sep 20, 2012


  • First Place: Animal Science
    Zhengguo Xiao
  • Second Place: Pulled Pork Sliders
    Tom Porter
  • Third Place: A-maize-ingly Delicious Corn Chowder
    Victoria Lake


  • First Place: Buffalo Chicken Dip
    Kiera Finucane
  • Second Place: Corn Bread Pudding
    Tim Reardon
  • Third Place: Fabulous Fritters
    Carol Keefer


  • First Place: Tantalizing Chocolate Torte
    Bob Peters
  • Second Place: Insanely Tasty Terrapeanut Butter Pie
    Libby Dufour
  • Third Place: Watergate Salad
    Victoria Lake

Dr. Porter recognized by Poultry Science Association
Aug 07, 2012

Dr. Tom Porter was awarded the Embrex Fundamental Science Award at the Poultry Science Association’s 101st Annual Meeting on July 12, 2012. This award is in recognition of Dr. Porter’s outstanding achievement in basic disciplinary science on which advancements in Poultry Science will be built.

New Faculty Member, Dr. Kasey Moyes
Jun 14, 2012

Dr. Kasey Moyes joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor in August. She is currently here as a Visiting Assistant Professor. She has come to Maryland from Århus University in Tjele, Denmark where she was a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant (2009-12) in the Department of Animal Sciences with Dr. Klaus Ingvartsen. She received her Ph.D. in Animal Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 working with Dr. James Drackley. Dr. Moyes will be teaching ANSC101 and ANSC103 in the fall and ANSC 443, Physiology and Biochemistry of Lactation, every other spring. Dr. Moyes’ research interests in nutritional immunology of dairy cattle involve 1) the relationship between energy metabolism and immune response in dairy cows during mastitis and 2) the development of in-line and real-time measurement of biomarkers in milk for degree of physiological imbalance and subsequent risk of disease in lactating dairy cows on-farm. Her laboratory is being renovated on the fourth floor.

Dr. Ottinger Recognized at 5th Annual Celebration of Scholarship and Research
May 18, 2012

Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger was recognized on May 2, 2012 at the 5th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship and Research for her scholarly and research accomplishments during the past year. The event was sponsored by the Division of Research and the Provost Office.

Dr. Bev Teter featured on the 700 Club
Jan 12, 2012

Dr. Beverly Teter, research associate in Dr. Rich Erdman's lab, appeared on the television show "The 700 Club" in a segment about coconut oil and Alzheimer's disease. The show aired on January 5, 2012 on the ABC Family Channel and on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. A video of the segment can be viewed at


Dr. Hamza's New Zebrafish Facility
Jan 12, 2012

Dr. Iqbal Hamza finished a sabbatical in Dr. Paul Liu's lab at the NIH learning zebrafish research with specific emphasis on hematopoiesis. Since then he has established a state-of-art zebrafish facility in our department animal wing complete with reverse osmosis water, mechanical and biological filtration, ultraviolet sterilizers and automated water exchanges. The plans were completed in March 2011, construction started in August, and the facility was assembled in December. The zebrafish facility can handle up to 10,000 adult fish and is equipped with sensors that monitor water quality, respond in an emergency via a paging system, and can be operated remotely. The facility will also be equipped with instruments to manipulate zebrafish embryos for generation of transgenic fish.

Dr. Ed Orlando awarded a two-year grant from the Morris Animal Foundation to conduct a study entitled "Interactions between Environmental Progestins and Progesterone Receptors in the Fathead Minnow."
Oct 04, 2011

Fish are highly sensitive to their environment and are often the first animal to show negative effects of exposure to pollutants or other environmental damage. Endocrine disruptors, chemicals that occur in both natural and manmade forms, can interfere with the endocrine system and affect reproduction and development in fish and other animals. Aquatic ecosystems contain mixtures of chemicals, including endocrine disruptors, which originate from waste-water treatment plants, agricultural fields and pens, residences, industry, and aerial deposition. Some endocrine disruptors mimic natural steroid hormones, such as progestins. Progestins function through progesterone receptors and have critically important roles in reproduction. Currently, there are only a few published studies about the potential effects of environmental progestins. This study will determine whether these endocrine disruptors could interfere with progesterone-receptor signaling, which could have important effects on the reproduction and the robustness of fish populations. Data from this study will contribute to the understanding of the biological effects of altered progesterone-receptor signaling in wild fish.

This research grant was written and submitted by Drs. Edward Orlando and Jennifer (Farmer) Howard and will be executed by Drs. Orlando and Laura Ellestad.

Drs. Taneyhill and Keefer awarded UM ADVANCE seed grant
Jun 06, 2011

Drs. Lisa Taneyhill and Carol Keefer, along with Dr. Arpita Upadhyaya in the Department of Physics, were awarded a UM ADVANCE Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research Seed Grant to study the functional roles of palladin and a-actinin in actin cytoskeleton remodeling during key developmental transitions. Their application was one of the first grants, out of only 15 total, to be given out by the new UM ADVANCE program. With this funding, Drs. Taneyhill, Keefer and Upadhyaya will now be able to acquire preliminary data in support of the submission of a future NIH R01 or NSF application.

UM, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), has made an historic commitment to the professional growth of women faculty in all academic disciplines. Through this partnership, which involves a major contribution of in-kind funding from the University, the ADVANCE Program aims to improve rates of retention and advancement of women faculty by fostering changes in institutional culture. The goals of the seed grant program are to promote collaborations among women faculty members in departments and colleges across campus and to provide funding for preliminary or exploratory projects that will contribute to future external grant applications.

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