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NMSU Animal Science professor, students earn top awardsNMSU Animal Science professor and students earn top awards at the Western Section of American Society of Animal Science’s annual meeting.

  • By Kristie Garcia
  • Aug 29, 2017
Man and woman standing in front of helicopter.

Several individuals representing the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences were honored at the Western Section of American Society of Animal Science’s annual meeting this summer.

Jennifer Hernandez-Gifford, an associate professor of reproductive physiology in the NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences, received the Young Scientist Award, which is awarded through a nomination process only one time per year. The award recognizes outstanding research achievement by a candidate age 40 or younger. Ryan Ashley, an assistant professor in the NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences, nominated Hernandez-Gifford for the award.

Young Scientist Award nominees’ research activities are evaluated in terms of contributions to greater efficiency or quality of livestock production or utilization. Research from Hernandez-Gifford’s lab is expected to help reproductive physiologists provide novel and innovative methods to ensure economic success for livestock producers while feeding the world’s growing population.

The long-term goal of Hernandez-Gifford’s research is providing knowledge about the physiological role and mechanism of action of ovarian WNT signaling molecules in follicular development in the adult ovary.

Kendall Samuelson was honored by the Western Section Young Scholar Recognition program. She earned a doctorate in animal science with an emphasis in ruminant nutrition last December. The Young Scholar Recognition program acknowledges the research accomplishments of current and/or recent doctorate and graduate students in the Western Section of ASAS. This program recognizes only two graduate students and one doctorate student each year. Samuelson’s research primarily focuses on feedlot cattle nutrition and management with an emphasis in protein metabolism, growth promoting technologies, stress physiology and animal health.

Doctoral candidate Eben Oosthuysen gave an oral presentation at WSASAS titled, “Blood oximetry responses of glycerin-supplemented and immune-challenged calves” and a poster presentation titled, “Hydration status, health and performance of newly received feedlot heifers in response to delayed processing.” He was also selected as the junior platform speaker for the annual Canadian Society of Animal Science – American Society Animal Science meeting. His presentation was titled, “Blood gas analysis as diagnostic tool for early detection of respiratory disease in cattle.” Oosthuysen is expected to receive his doctorate in animal science with a minor in agricultural business in December.

Stacia Prosser, a doctoral student majoring in animal science with a concentration in reproductive physiology, earned third place in the graduate student paper competition. Her oral presentation was titled, “In utero inhibition of chemokine receptor four signaling alters peripheral blood immune response during early pregnancy in ewes.” In this project, she examined inflammatory proteins as they pertain to a signaling axis that is believed to be critical to early pregnancy maintenance.

Sierra Pillmore, an animal science major, earned second place in the undergraduate poster competition. The title of her poster was, “Supplementation of crude glycerin via drinking water alters feed intake of sheep.”

The American Society of Animal Science’s mission is to foster the discovery, sharing and application of scientific knowledge concerning the care and responsible use of animals to enhance animal and human health and well-being. The Western Section is comprised of 12 states from the United States, 11 states from Mexico and three provinces from Canada. Its 2017 annual meeting was held in Fargo, North Dakota.