Department News and Updates - 06/25/2021


A FAREWELL AND A WELCOME:  First the farewell. I have decided to step down as Chair at the end of the month and retire after 32+ years as a faculty member in Animal Science and the Vet School. During my last four years I have had the privilege of serving as the Chair of this great Department. I can only say how honored I have been to be in this Department, to work and teach with such great faculty and staff, to collaborate on a wide range of research topics, and to train such a talented and diverse group of graduate and undergraduate students. There is a reason why this Department is one of the best in the world and it is because of you, the faculty, staff and students. Finally, I would like to thank all of you for the support, help and trust you have given me over the last four years.

Now the welcome for our incoming Department Chair, Professor Anne Todgham. Anne has been in the Department for seven years and has proven herself to be an amazing research scientist, graduate student mentor, and undergraduate instructor. She is a tireless worker on behalf of the Department and brings a considerable range of experience and expertise to the corner office. I know the Department will be in good hands and I know that you will all give her the same support that you have given me. - Jim Murray

Due to the COVID pandemic, the Department had to cancel the annual foal auction at the Horse Barn last year. Kelli and Aaron then came up with a plan to hold an on-line auction this year. The result was outstanding. With only 10 animals in the sale, we brought in over $40,000 at this year's sale, which is the highest average sale price per animal for the Annual Production Sale in over ten years. In fact, it doubled it. In addition to thanking Kelli and the Horse Barn crew for all of the hard work organizing and running the new on-line format, a big thank you also goes to the Animal Science IT crew of Jennifer, Romeo, Jason and Joanne. Thanks also to Aaron and Ryan, Mark and Mike from our Farm Crew, and Kelly and Valerie for help with the registration, billing and invoicing side!

  • Congratulations to Joy Mench, the 2021 recipient of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Welfare Science.
  • Congratulations to Matthias Hess, recipient the 2020-2021 UHP Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship.
  • Congratulations to Maci Mueller, recipient of the 2021 Neal Van Alfen and James MacDonald Graduate Student Award!
  • Ryan Bourbour, Chris Tyson, Breanna Martinico, Alisha Goodbla, Josh Hull and others published "Falcon fuel: metabarcoding reveals songbird prey species in the diet of juvenile Merlins (Falco columbarius) migrating along the Pacific Coast of western North America" in Ibis: International Journal of Avian Science. DOI:
Jim will have lots of time for this activity!
Jim will have lots of time for this activity!


Thank you, Jim!
Thank you, Jim!