College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Animal & Avian Sciences

Chair's Welcome!

The Department of Animal and Avian Sciences was formed in 1997 through the merger of the Animal Science, Dairy Science and Poultry Science Departments. Animal science is the study of domesticated animals used for food, biomedical research and leisure. Our department fulfills a tripartite mission of research, teaching, and extension. Departmental research programs are focused in four areas:

The Animal Science graduate program offers advanced training in each of these research focus areas. Learn More>>

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Department Newsletter

2019 Winter ANSC NewsletterRead our latest Newsletter, which highlights faculty, staff, and student academic and research achievements. 



Image Gallery: 


ANSC December 2018 Graduates

December 2019 ANSC GraduatesThe College of Agricultural and Natural Resources ceremony was held on December 19 at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The University ceremony was held on December 18 at the Xfinity Center.  >>

Graduate School’s Outstanding Research Assistant Award

Chaitra Surugihalli in Dr. Sunny’s labIt has been announced that ANSC graduate student, Chaitra Surugihalli will be recognized with one of the Graduate School’s Outstanding Research Assistants Awards (AY 2018-19) at the Graduate School’s Annual Fellowship and Award Celebration on May 14, 2019. >>

Bioscience Day 2018 Poster Winners

Rini Pek (left) and Chaitra Surugihalli with their postersOn November 13, graduate students, Chaitra Surugihalli from Dr. Sunny’s lab and Rini Pek from Dr. Hamza’s lab, were winners in the poster competition for Bioscience Day 2018 in the Stamp Student Union.  >>

Congratulations to the ANSC Spring 2018 Graduates

ANSC GraduatesThe University wide commencement was held Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 1:00 p.m in the Xfinity Center. The College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences commencement ceremony was on May 19, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in the Reckord Armory. >>

Timothy Sheets Receives Young Investigator Award 

Timothy Sheets presents his research at the 2018 Annual SymposiumTimothy Sheets, doctoral candidate in Dr. Bhanu Telugu's laboratory, was
recently selected for the young investigator travel award to present his research during the Large Animal Genetic Engineering Summit in Park City, Utah. >>

ANSC Annual Symposium 

Drs. Chad Stahl, Tom Lawlor, & Li MaThe Department of Animal and Avian Sciences held the 32nd Annual Symposium on May 22. This full-day event showcased our department's ongoing research as presented by our graduate students and postdocs. The keynote speaker was Dr. Tom Lawlor, Executive Director of Research and Development for Holstein Association, USA. >>

University of Maryland Bred Go Lassie Go 2nd in first race

Go Lassie Go shown here as a yearling running through a field at the University of MarylandIn his first race ever, Go Lassie Go, place 2nd in the 2nd race at Belmont racecourse on May 3, 2018 after an extremely slow start left him trailing the field. The colt (Buffum-Daylight Lassie) was foaled at the the University of Maryland in 2015 to much fanfare from the students in the Animal and Avian Science Department. Dr. Amy Burk remembers the colt being slow to start back then, "his hind legs were so long that the students had to help him stand for the first few hours until he learned how to get up on his own." It looks like he's doing it on his own now and we wish him and his connections all the best as he continues his racing career.

Marie Iwaniuk 2018 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant

Marie IwaniukMarie Iwaniuk, graduate student in Dr. Rich Erdman’s lab, was chosen as the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the college by the AGNR Student Council. Marie received this award at the annual banquet on May 7 at Riggs Alumni Center.

Latisha Judd Recipient of Three Outstanding Graduate Student Awards 

Latisha Judd headshotThe Alumni Association of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources selected Latisha Judd, Ph.D. graduate student working in the laboratory of Dr. Rick Kohn, as both the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student for the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences and the overall Outstanding Graduate Student for the college. Latisha was also recognized by the UMCP President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues (PCEMI) and was awarded the PCEMI’s Graduate Student Minority Achievement Award.  


Dr. Jourdeuil Awarded Fellowship

Dr. Karyn Jourdeuil Dr. Karyn Jourdeuil was awarded a $20,000 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association of Anatomists for her proposal, "Investigating the role of gap junctions and connexin proteins in chick trigeminal ganglion
formation" >>

Welcome Dr. Shawna Weimer

Dr Shawna WeimerIn December, the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences welcomed Dr. Shawna Weimer to the faculty as an Assistant Professor, specializing in Poultry Extension. >>

2018 Shorb Lecture

2018 Shorb LectureThe 2018 Shorb Lecture, co-sponsored by ANSC and NFSC, was given on October 23 by Dr. David Mangelsdorf, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. >>

Faculty/Staff Cookoff 2018

Staff/Faculty Cookoff 2018Sixteen cooks faced off to win the coveted Cookoff ribbons this year on September 20. They made all sorts of exceptionally delicious dishes and the competition was fierce, but when the marbles were weighed, these were the results. >>

Campus Sheep Are High Bid at National Sale

The Campus Farm successfully debuted its Katahdin sheep flock at a national sale when two spring 2018 ewe lambs brought premium bids at the 14th Annual National Katahdin Sale in Fishersville, VA on July 21, 2018. >>


Dr. Moyes awarded USDA Grant

Dr. Kasey MoyesDr. Kasey Moyes was awarded a $498,500 grant from USDA Animal Health Program (2018-22) for her proposal, “PlyC: Use of recombinant bacteriophage endolysin as a mastitis therapeutic in lactating dairy cows”. >>

Dr. Stahl and Dr. Telugu awarded $1.6 Million Grant

Chad Stahl & Bhanu Telugu awarded $1.6 Million GrantDrs. Chad Stahl  and Bhanu Telugu have been awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the NIH for their proposal, “A porcine model for investigating the role of an insulin signaling regulator in development and disease”.  >>

Gates Foundation Grant Awarded to Dr. Telugu

Dr Bhanu Telugu awarded Gates Foundation GrantThe Gates Foundation has awarded a $1.3 million dollar grant to Dr. Bhanu Telugu in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources to facilitate cutting-edge research into the development of precision breeding technologies. >>

Dr. Porter Awarded USDA Grant 

Tom Porter in the Horse BarnDr. Tom Porter and Dr. Hsiao-Ching Liu at North Carolina State University have been awarded a five hundred thousand dollar grant from the National
Institute of Food and Agriculture for their grant proposal titled "MicroRNA
Regulation of Metabolic Pathways during the Metabolic Switch in Broiler Chickens." >>

NIFA Grant Awarded to 3 ANSC Faculty

Drs. Kohn, Sunny, & SongRick Kohn, Nishanth Sunny, and John Song received a grant from USDA-NIFA for $493,000 in the AFRI Foundational Animal Nutrition, Growth and Lactation section titled, "Understanding Mechanisms of Changes in Ruminal Metabolism”.

Grant Awarded to Dr. Kohn

Dr. Kohn in his LabDrs. Rick Kohn, Fernando Escribano (Spain) and others received a grant from the World Bank for almost $400,000 titled "Innovative Research and Development for Use of Typha (Cattails) for Animal Feed and Biogas Production in Hadejia Valley, Nigeria" with Federal Ministry of Water Resources (Nigeria), Polytechnical University of Madrid, and University of Maryland. 


Breakfast on the Farm

Breakfast on the FarmOn June 30, 2018 the public was invited to learn about the importance of local agriculture and the journey of farm to table food at the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences’ and University of Maryland Extension’s (UME) first-ever Breakfast on the Farm event, hosted by Teabow Farms in Walkersville, MD and organized by ANSC professor, Dr. Robert Peters  and Racheal Slattery, Coordinator of Dairy-Beef Extension Activities.  >>

Dairy Field Day

Dairy Cow in ProfileDr. Bob Peters, on behalf of the department, hosted a Dairy Field Day and tour for local farmers on October
10 at CMREC  to discuss results of genomic testing in the University’s
dairy herd. >>

UMD Educates Small Flock Owners

Dr. Nathaniel Tablante teaches participants about First Aid for poultry.123 people from Maryland and surrounding states attended the
Mid Atlantic Small Flock Expo, held February 10, 2018 at the Carroll County Ag Center in Westminster, Maryland. 


Alumnus Daniel Castranova at Charles River

Dan Castranova

Daniel Castranov (’03) former MS graduate student in Dr. Woods laboratory is an aquatic research specialist studying the living cells and tissues of zebrafish.

ANSC Alumni Teaching in Liberia

ANSC alumni Anna and Nathan Glenn (Class of '12) have gone to Liberia to teach Agriculture.


Alum Kathleen (Hughes) Hartman in the News

ANSC alum Kathleen (Hughes) Hartman is now the Aquaculture Program Leader for USDA/APHIS Veterinary Services and was featured in "Fish Farming News.”

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