Research in Poultry Science
At the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A&M University, our research initiatives propel the field forward. Our dedicated faculty and researchers engage in groundbreaking studies exploring genetics, nutrition, and disease management. With a focus on innovation and practical solutions, our research contributes to developing sustainable practices, ensuring the long-term success and profitability of the poultry industry. By staying at the forefront of scientific advancements, we are shaping the future of poultry science. Join us at the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A&M University and be part of our research endeavors that are revolutionizing the field and impacting the industry.
Areas of Research Expertise
Our faculty represents a community of scholars who are conducting extensive research programs in a variety of program areas, collaborating with colleagues across the world from different disciplines.
Audrey McElroy, Ph.D.
Professor & Head
Her research is focused on intestinal health and integrity with the objective to minimize the impact of enteric pathogens on growth and performance in commercial broilers and turkeys. Goals are to investigate intestinal mechanisms of immunity to pathogens and how they can be modulated by vaccination, dietary/nutritional strategies, or other means to improve intestinal integrity during enteric disease challenge.
Gregory Archer, Ph.D.
Poultry Management, Stress Physiology, Health, Behavior, and Welfare
Breeder & Hatchery Management, Animal Welfare & Behavior
Research is focused in the areas of animal behavior/welfare and stress physiology. Research utilizes behavior and physiological measures to investigate the effects of environmental conditions, nutrition, management practices, and housing design on the health, production, and welfare of poultry. The primary goal of the research is to investigate current practices, identify problem areas, and develop new methods to optimize the production, health and welfare of poultry.
Giridhar Athrey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Associate Department Head
Avian Genetics & Functional Genomics
The main focus of our lab is to address fundamental questions relevant to genetics, evolution and conservation of both domesticated and wild bird species. Research projects in our lab utilize field and experimental studies coupled with genomic and computational tools to illuminate aspects of response to infectious dis-ease, innate immunity and complex trait evolution in avian and other models. The broader implications of our research includes the generation of knowledge and innovative tools for improving animal, human and environmental health.
Christopher A. Bailey, Ph.D.
Research areas include actively seeking to reduce the environmental impact of poultry production primarily by seeking improvements in nutrient utilization. Strategies include seeking improvements in ingredient processing and feed manufacture, evaluation of alternate rearing/feeding strategies such a continuous multiphase feeding, dietary incorporation of exogenous enzymes, use of probiotic materials such as mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), and use of antibiotic like growth promoters.
Morgan Farnell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Associate Department Head and Extension Program Leader – Avian Microbiology and Immunology
Avian Microbiology and Immunology
Over the past decade, Dr. Morgan Farnell’s internationally recognized research program has maintained a primary focus on avian immunology, microbiology, and disease intervention. He has become one of the foremost authorities in the U.S. for reportable disease outbreak responses in the commercial poultry industry. Much of external funding in recent years has been received from federal sources in support of his focus on reportable disease mitigation in commercial poultry, specifically mass depopulation and improved cleaning and disinfection protocol development.
Yuhua Farnell, Ph.D.
Instructional Assistant Professor
Avian stem cell biology and immunology
With a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms, her research examines interactions among gut microbes, the intestinal epithelium, and immune cells using intestinal organoids from crypt-containing stem cells. She successfully established a long-term avian intestinal organoids biobank, allowing the study of host-pathogen interactions in poultry. This innovative platform holds promise for identifying potential interventions and serves as a valuable resource for drug and supplementary screening, including nutrient supplements, immunomodulators, and antibiotic alternatives. Her work contributes to understanding gut health and has the potential to reduce animal testing costs while enhancing animal welfare and poultry gut health outcomes.
Sanjay Reddy, Ph.D.
Virology & Disease
Research areas include poultry health with special emphasis on vaccines, and host-pathogen interaction. Specifically the Marek’s disease virus with an emphasis in genomic/epigenetic regulation of Mareks disease virus genes and the development of the Marek’s disease virus as a vaccine vector.
Rosemary L. Walzem, Ph.D.
Research is focused on fundamental and applied issues in lipoprotein biology in humans, poultry and other comparative species. Research projects address basic mechanisms of yolk formation, functional qualities of yolk-precursor lipoproteins and physiological factors within the hen that influence yolk formation. Research related to human nutrition emphasizes those dietary factors and physiological processes that mitigate or initiate atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).
Ziteng “Tim” Xu, Ph.D.
Smart Technologies in Poultry Production
Research is focused on the development of innovative solutions aimed at optimizing the welfare, productivity, and energy efficiency of poultry production. His expertise encompasses artificial intelligence, image processing, data analysis, robotic solutions, and waste heat management. His projects utilize technical expertise in programming languages like Python, Matlab, R, Java, Go, Swift, and C++.
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