Assistant Professor of Animal Science
Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2008
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station
My research falls under the umbrella of grazing ecology, with a particular emphasis on plant-herbivore interactions in livestock production systems. I am especially interested in the understanding of biotic and abiotic interactions in grasslands and how these interactions simultaneously regulate large herbivore responses and impacts at various spatial scales. I like to integrate foraging models to study spatially-explicit dynamics of plant-herbivore interactions in grazing systems, and I prefer to address fundamental questions of herbivory that have direct implication on our ability to control disturbances for conservation or restoration.
In recent years, I have increasingly conducted applied research on agricultural ecology and the sustainability of pastoral farms. Currently, my focus is on the production efficiency and sustainability of pasture-based dairy systems in Southwestern Michigan. I explore various opportunities for sustainable development of dairy farms, including incorporation of robotic milking systems and other latest precision farming technologies. Presently, I am conducting field experiments on resource hetergeneity to examine dairy cows' decisions towards a fully voluntary, automated milking system, and I integrate this work with grazing trials emphasizing effects of feeding practices on pasture utilization, feed intake, forage digestion and feed efficiency. I also complement animal- and pasture-level research with a systems approach to biogeochemistry processes, ecological perturbations and controls in grazing systems with a particular attention on the warming effects of greenhouse gases and use of biodiverse perennial systems as potential carbon sinks.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 20:15|