The central objective of my research program is to understand the effect of different dietary constituents including biofuel co-products on rumen microbial ecology and the subsequent impact on animal production. My research program has focused in three areas: 1) the influence of feedstuffs on rumen microbial ecology, 2) impact of the host microbiome on animal performance, and 3) understanding how and what impacts rumen bacteria communication and migration. We use a variety of techniques that involve tightly controlled in vitro and molecular biology studies with pure cultures of ruminal bacteria and animal metabolism models. We also work closely with Dr. Tanner Schaub’s analytical chemistry laboratory study metabolites and quorum sensing molecules. Additionally, in an effort to mentor a
young faculty colleague I have participated in horse research projects looking at the effect of age on glucose metabolism and hind gut bacterial metagenome. Additionally, we are in the process of validating external markers (chromic oxide and titanium dioxide) in horses to use in determination of feed digestibility.
My students use both my laboratory and the core nutrition laboratories at NMSU.
Funded Research Proposals:
|Titanium Use as a Marker in Horses to Determine Digestibility of Various Feedstuffs (Co-PI)||2014-2015||Morris Animal Foundation|
|Acquisition of a High-Speed Centrifuge to Support the Research Mission of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences (PI)||2013-2014||USDA/NIFA|
|Evaluation of cobalt on feed digestibility and rumen microbial populations (PI)||2012 to 2013||Zinpro Corporation|
|Development of Algal/Advanced Biofuels Consortia – NAABB” (Co-PI, Team Leader for Agriculture Co-products)||2010-2013||DOE|
|Livestock utilization of algal co-products (PI)||2010-2012||Air Force Research Laboratory|
|Influence of probiotics on non-STEC e. coli survival (PI)||2012||Nova Microbials|
|Impact of ruminal bacterial communication (PI)||2009-2014||Hatch|
|Influence of locoweed on quorum sensing by rumen microbial populations (PI)||2012-2014||State of New Mexico|
|Evaluation of lipid extracted algae (PI)||2011||CHEMM|
|Rangeland ecosystems(PI)||2009 – 2011||State of New Mexico|
|Influence of fungal endophyte presence on the attachment of ruminal microorganisms to cellulosic substrate (PI)||2006 – 2007||NMSU – IRG|
|Impact of ruminal nutrient asynchrony||2004-2009||Hatch|