Research Interests

The central objective of my research program is to understand the effect of different 03/10/06: Photo by Darrell Pehrdietary 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 IveyFermentersof 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:

Title Year Funding Agency
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