M.S. Biotechnology student Rohit Rohra (set to graduate in May 2017) was awarded the Outstanding Graduate student award following his presentation at the Biotechnology Advisory Council meeting on February 10th. His presentation was on the work he is doing in our lab, analyzing whole genome sequence data from multiple chicken breeds from around the world. His project identified specific high-impact genetic variants unique to specific chicken breeds. Congratulations Rohit!
The Athrey lab welcomed two students – Mohamed Ibrahim (started in Fall 2016) and Travis Williams – both into the PhD program in the department of poultry science.
We also are looking forward to a new batch of chicks from our junglefowl colony, which we have successfully expanded two full size flocks. We recently relocated our colonies to renovated, spacious pens for our birds and they certainly seem to be getting quite comfortable in there.
A very happy new year to all!
Undergrad Jason Pizzini graduated in Dec 2015, but will be returning (hopefully) to complete some left over lab work.
Undergrad Hamza Khan will be returning as well to continue his project on nutrition-micriobiome interactions in wild birds.
We are about to travel to Tennessee to bring back some Red Junglefowl (Richardson’s strain). This is a big moment for our program. Red Junglefowl are considered the principal ancestor to all domesticated chicken. In their native range in Asia they face decline due to shrinking habitat but also threats from another source – namely introgression with domesticated chicken. The Red Junglefowl we are getting come from a pure line of birds that were imported by the U.S. in the 1960s. These birds have many secrets to reveal about chicken domestication, avian health and generally about avian evolution.
It will be a busy semester as far as teaching goes. I am teaching POSC 414 – Avian Genetics, but also EEBL 605 – Population and Quantitative Genetics (shared with Michel Slotman).
Dr. Hoa Nguyen-Phuc joining our lab on September 1st. We are pleased to have him join our lab. Hoa received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he worked on landscape genetics and understanding immune gene diversity in wild populations of of Red Junglefowl.