Dr. Anita M. Oberbauer - Chair
The Department of Animal Science, originally the Division of Animal Husbandry, originated in Berkeley in 1901. The division moved to Davis in 1908 and 1909 and later became the Department of Animal Husbandry. The department's name changed to Animal Science in 1967, recognizing its emphasis on the basic biology of domestic animals as well as animal husbandry in its teaching and research programs. In 1998, faculty, staff and students from the Department of Avian Sciences transferred to the Department of Animal Science, adding avian species to the department's missions.
The Animal Science Department at UC Davis is the only such department in the UC system. Department members engage in teaching, research, and extension related to the biology and production of domestic animals. Their primary focus is on animals used to produce food and fiber, including freshwater and marine species, but the department's programs also feature horses, companion animals such as dogs, cats and birds, laboratory animals (rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice) and some wild species.
The department has one of the largest undergraduate enrollments at UC Davis, with approximately 850 students currently enrolled in three undergraduate majors, Animal Science, Avian Sciences and Animal Science and Management. Graduates often go into positions in the livestock industry, teaching, extension and biomedical research. Many go on to graduate and professional schools. The department's master's program - the Master of Science in Animal Biology - has 39 students, and our faculty sponsor another 65 M.S. and Ph.D. students who are enrolled in 13 different graduate group programs.
Disciplines represented among the Department of Animal Science's 44 teaching and research faculty include behavior, ecology, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, and physiology. Our scientists use modern techniques for molecular biology but also focus on whole-animal biology and problems related to animal production.
The department's 45 to 50 individual ongoing research projects result in more than hundred publications a year. Animal Science professors also do cooperative research with colleagues in other departments in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Medicine.
Currently, nine Cooperative Extension specialists work with livestock, birds and aquatic animals. Some 28 farm advisors in county Cooperative Extension offices are key members of UC's team in the animal sciences.
Dr. Mary E. Delany, Chair