College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Animal & Avian Sciences

Reproduction & Development

Faculty in our Reproduction and Development Group study gamete preservation, embryonic development, growth biology, and effects of the environment on reproduction. 

General Goals

  • Delineate the molecular and cellular basis of embryonic patterning and cellular differentiation during animal development.
  • Elucidate the effects of environment-genome interactions on animal reproduction and development.
  • Refine methods to produce genetically modified livestock through an understanding of gamete development and preservation.


The Reproduction and Development faculty possess a wide range of scientific expertise that, in many instances, spans multiple core research areas. Through both basic and applied research, our faculty continues to make important contributions to the fields of animal agriculture and the biomedical sciences. Key questions being addressed by this group include the following:

  • Etiology of implantation failure and early pregnancy loss through an understanding of placental development.
  • Development of self-renewing, pluripotent cell lines.
  • Reproductive physiology and cryobiology.
  • Signaling pathways and gene expression regulating neural crest induction, migration and differentiation.
  • Molecular, cellular and genetic regulation of animal growth and reproduction by the neuroendocrine system.
  • Neuroendocrine and behavioral regulation of reproduction.
  • Brain-pituitary-gonadal axis regulation of reproduction, including the development of sex-specific characteristics.

Research Impacts

  • Cattle, sheep, bird, and fish producers.
  • Chesapeake Bay preservation.
  • Human health and development.


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