University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences

Mateescu's Animal Genetics and Genomics Lab

Oct 3-4,

2019

Another successful UF Animal Sciences Graduate Symposium - 67 grad students, 23 faculty, 24 undergraduate research interns/ post docs/ visiting fellows: 32 oral presentations and 22 posters. A beautiful venue in St. Augustine FL, sharing science!

Great presentations from our group:

Sept 23-27,

2019

Had a great time visiting with Ioan Gociman from the Asociația Aberdeen Angus România. Learned a lot about their program and goals and had the opportunity to visit the biggest Angus farm in Romania. Quite impressive to see what they accomplished in 11 years starting from scratch. We also had the chance to taste their product in one of the restaurants in town! Very tasty!

Had the opportunity to participate in the 15th International Symposium of Animal Biology and Nutrition IBNA, Bucharest, Romania with a presentation on Integrated -omics approaches for meat quality improvement.

Sept 11 - 14,

2019

Great trip to Huntsville, AL for the Senepol Cattle Breeders Association. Beautiful cattle, great people and great conversations. Thankful for the opportunity to present and discuss Beef Cattle Improvements in the Genomics Era.

May 18 - 21,

2019

  • Beef Improvement Federation’s 2019 Annual Convention was hosted by South Dakota State University In Brookings, SD. This year’s program focused on applying technology and using “big data.”
  • Dr. Mateescu presented "Improving Thermotolerance in Beef Cattle — A Genomic Approach" in the “Advancements in Efficiency and Adaptability” session. See Summary and PPT and Facebook Post
  • Dr. Mateescu presented "Using Genomics to Improve Meat Quality in Bos Indicus-influenced Cattle" in the “Advancements in End Product Improvement” session. See Summary and PPT

August 9,

2019

Time to say goodbye to two of our PhD students:

  • Zaira Estrada-Reyes, PhD program focused on "Genomic regions associated with resistance to Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats"

  • Joel Leal Gutiérrez, PhD program focused on "Functional genomics and genetical genomics approaches reveal associated genes, gene networks and biological pathways affecting meat quality in beef".

Good luck to the 2 of them and we are looking forward to see the great things they'll do in their future!

May 8 - 10,

2019

  • 68th Florida Beef Short Course, Gainesville, FL "Connecting the dots, Calf to Carcass"
  • Dr. Mateescu presented an update on the meat quality and thermotolerance research.

April 26-27,

2019

“Animal Genetics” Short-Course - Royal University of Ag., Cambodia

Nov. 25 - Dec.1, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu taught the “Animal Genetics” Short-Course to improve technical research and teaching capacity at the Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia.

  • The short course was part of a twinning initiative between the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems and the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia. This short-course was identified as priorities by RUA faculty.

  • The short course included examination of principles of livestock inheritance, quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping strategies and functional genomic approaches used for genomic selection and improvement programs in livestock animals

International Symposium on Animal Functional Genomics

November 8-15, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu attended 7th International Symposium on Animal Functional Genomics in conjunction with a special Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) Workshop in Adelaide, Australia from Nov 12-15th, 2018.

  • Dr. Mateescu presented “Current insights into genomics of thermotolerance in beef cattle” See the presentation.

4th Animal Sciences Graduate Symposium

November 1-2, 2018

    • The 4th Animal Sciences Symposium for UF Animal Sciences graduate students and faculty fwas held at the Courtyard by Marriott St. Augustine Beach, on November 1-2, 2018.

    • 59 grad students, 31 faculty, 25 undergraduate research interns/ post docs/ visiting fellows: 29 oral presentations and 15 posters.

    • Great two days of science and fun!

    • The symposium was funded by the IFAS Dean for Research Dr. Jackie Burns and by the ANS Chair Dr. Dahl.

    • Zaira presented "Signatures of Selection in lambs and kids bred for low fecal egg count during Haemonchus contortus exposure"- see page 37 of the Proceedings.

    • Sarah presented "Effect of Nutritional Information on Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay for Beef" - see page 9 of the Proceedings. Sarah was awarded 2nd place in the Posters category - congratulations Sarah!

    • Kaitlyn presented "Genetic parameters for hair characteristics and vaginal temperature in a multibreed Brahman-Angus herd under hot humid conditions"- see page 43 of the Proceedings.

    • Joel presented "Identification of trait-associated genes related to meat quality using an RNA-seq analysis approach" - see page 31 of the Proceedings.

    • Alexa presented "Hair Phenotype Effect on Thermotolerance of Beef Cattle Evident on SNP in the Prolactin Gene"- see page 16 of the Proceedings.

International Brahman Performance Retreat

October 20-21, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu attended the 2018 International Brahman Performance Retreat, in Floresville, TX.

  • Dr. Mateescu was part of a round table discussion along Dr. J.R. Tait and John Genho: The American Brahman Outlook – Industry leaders examine the role of the hump and ear in feeding the global population.

  • Dr. Mateescu presented “The role of American Brahman cattle in global protein production”. See the presentation.

Select Sires's RAW Symposium

October 15-18, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu attended the 23rd Annual Roy A. Wallace (RAW) Memorial Symposium on Bovine Reproduction the week of October 15th, in West Palm Beach, FL.

  • Dr. Mateescu presented “Beef cattle genetics for a hotter world – current research on thermotolerance and meat quality on B. Indicus influenced cattle.” See the presentation.

Interview for the Wall Street Journal

October 1, 2018

  • Interview with Jason Bellini from the Wall Street Journal about the "World's first Angus calf engineered to be heat tolerant could beef up meat production in warmer climates". (min 6 of the video clip).

69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science

August 27-30, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu attended the 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 27th to 31st August 2018.

  • Dr. Mateescu presented "Beef cattle thermoregulation in response to naturally occurring heat stress on pasture". See the presentation.

  • Dr. Mateescu also co-chaired the "Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) in nutrition, genetics and physiology" section.

ASAS 2018 Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada

&

71st Reciprocal Meat Conference, Kansas City, MO

July 8-12, 2018

&

June 22-27, 2018

  • Heather, Kaitlyn, Sarah, and Zaira presented their research during the American Society of Animal Science national meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Sarah Flowers presented at the 2018 American Meat Science Association’s Reciprocal Meat Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

  • Heather Hamblen presented "Relationship of slice shear force and quality grade of strip loin steaks from Brangus steers". See the poster.

  • Kaitlyn Sarlo presented "Effect of hair characteristics on vaginal temperature under hot and humid conditions in an Angus-Brahman multibreed herd". See the poster.

  • Zaira Estrada presented "Targeted sequencing approach identifies immune loci associated to resistance to Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats". See the presentation.

  • Sarah Flowers presented "Understanding beef nutritional attributes contributes to consumers’ willingness-to-pay for a healthier product". See the poster.

Interview with WCJB20

September 2018

World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production

February 11-16, 2018

  • Dr. Mateescu attended the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production held in Auckland, New Zealand (a total of 1423 delegates attended the meetings from 70 countries).

  • Dr. Mateescu presented "Genetic parameters for body temperature under hot and humid conditions in an Angus–Brahman multibreed population". Read the paper published in the Proceedings and see the presentation.

  • Joel Leal presented "Genome-wide association and gene enrichment analyses of meat tenderness in an Angus-Brahman cattle population". Read the paper published in the Proceedings and see the presentation.

Feb 28 - March1

2018 Houston, TX

International Livestock Congress

  • Sarah Flowers attended the 2018 International Livestock Congress in Houston, Texas.

  • This year’s ILC topic was “Science-based Strategies for Meat in the Diet and New Perspectives on Global Trade.”

  • Industry leaders including Dr. David M. Klurfeld of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Hawley Poinsett of the Texas Beef Council, and Jamie Greenheck of FleishmanHillard, discussed the role of red meat in the diet as a wholesome, nutritious protein source.

  • Trade experts Dan Halstrom and Joel Haggard (U.S. Meat Export Federation) discussed U.S. beef trade globally.

  • Later, Dr. Keith Belk of Colorado State University and Dr. Molly McAdams of OM3 discussed technology advancements and the potential opportunities or challenges modern technology contributes to animal protein production and exports.

  • The conference concluded Thursday afternoon with presentations from Hannah Thompson-Weeman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance and Lisa Keefe of Meatingplace, both discussing the meat industry’s future in terms of meat alternatives and activist threats.

UF Graduate Student Research Day

April 2018

  • Heather, Sarah, Zaira and Joel presented their research during the UF Graduate Student Research day

  • Heather Hamblen presented "Impact of hair coat on thermoregulation of Brangus heifers". See the poster.

  • Sarah Flowers presented "Beef nutritional content…how important is it for consumers to have the correct information?". See the poster.

  • Zaira Estrada presented "Targeted sequencing approach identifies immune loci associated to resistance to Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats". See the poster.

  • Joel Leal presented "Structural equation analyses and genome-wide association for growth, carcass quality, and meat quality in beef." See the poster.

Jan 30- Feb 3, 2018

Phoenix, AZ

Cattle Industry Convention and

NCBA Trade Show

  • In early February Heather Hamblen and Sarah Flowers attended the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Heather and Sarah attended the 25th Annual Cattlemen’s College and heard from industry leaders including Dr. Matt Spangler of University of Nebraska, Mr. Shawn Tiffany of Tiffany Cattle Co., Inc., and the Chief Marketing Officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., Mr. Jim Taylor.

  • Later in the convention, Heather and Sarah attended the Region 2 meeting, the Cattle Fax seminar, the Emerging Leaders Luncheon, and networked with various industry representatives at the Trade Show.

Jan 13-17, 2018

San Diego, CA

PAG - Plant and Animal Genome Meeting

  • Heather Hamblen and Joel Leal attended the Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, CA - meeting designed to provide a forum on recent developments and future plans for plant & animal genome projects.

  • They had the opportunity to attend technical presentations, poster sessions, workshops, and mingle with other researchers.

  • Heather presented "Hair coat and thermoregulation in Brangus heifers". See abstract and poster for more info.

  • Joel presented "Genome-wide association and gene enrichment analysis of meat sensory traits in a crossbred Brahman-Angus population". See abstract and poster for more info.

December 15, 2017

Gainesville, FL

2017 UF Animal Sciences

Christmas Party

  • Another wonderful Christmas Party in the Department of Animal Sciences!

  • Great to visit with old and new friends!

  • Santa's visit always a treat - we all have been good this year!

Extension In-Service Training

December 6-7, 2017 Gainesville, FL

  • New Technologies in Animal Breeding: Opportunities and Challenges

Wednesday December 06,2017. 1:00 – 5:30

  • Precision Livestock Management Technologies (Ricardo Chebel)

  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Farm Animals (Peter Hansen)

  • Current and Emerging Genomic Technologies for Livestock Breeding (Francisco Peñagaricano)

  • Genomic tools in Beef Cattle Breeding (Raluca Mateescu)

  • Genomic tools in Dairy Cattle Breeding (Francisco Peñagaricano)

 Thursday December 07, 2017. 8:30 – 12:00

  •  DNA Testing in Horses (Samantha Brooks)

  • Development of Genomic Tools for Small Ruminants (Raluca Mateescu)

  • Public Perceptions of Modern Food Biotechnology (Joy Rumble)

  • Consumer Acceptance of Biotechnology: Lessons From the rbST Experience (Ricardo Chebel)

August 17-18, 2017

Brighton, FL

2017 SBBA Field Day & IBBA Fall Conference

  • Sarah Flowers, Heather Hamblen and Dr. Mateescu attended the 2017 SBBA Field Day & IBBA Fall Conference at at the Seminole Indian Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

  • On Friday, August 18th, Dr. Mateescu presented "Use of Genomics to Improve Climate Adaptability and Carcass Merit".

  • On Aug. 17, IBBA President Brandon Belt announced plans for an International Brangus Breeders Foundation (IBBF) research study at the SBBA Cattlemen's Gathering & IBBA Fall Conference in Brighton, Florida.

Oct. 13-14, 2017

St. Augustine, FL

  • The 3rd Animal Sciences Symposium for graduate students and faculty from UF and FAMU was held at the Courtyard by Marriott St. Augustine Beach, on October 13-14, 2017.

  • We had 108 registered participants (including 60 graduate students, 24 faculty, 5 summer interns and 15 postdocs/visiting fellows/graduate interns), 29 oral presentations and 22 poster presentations.

  • Great two days of science and fun!

  • The symposium was funded by the IFAS Dean for Research Dr. Jackie Burns and by the ANS Chair Dr. Dahl. All MS and PhD students and the current FAMU interns in the department (or UF undergraduate students working on research projects with ANS faculty) had the opportunity to present an oral or poster at the symposium. 

  • Zaira presented ". Effect of Ovar-DRA and Ovar-DRB1 genotype on fecal egg counts in sheep and goat populations infected with Haemonchus contortus"- click for Abstract.

  • Heather presented "Genetics of thermotolerance in Brangus heifers – the role of sweating rate and coat score" - click for Abstract.

  • Joel presented "Genome scan and gene enrichment analyses of meat tenderness in an Angus-Brahman cattle population" - click for Abstract.

  • Tamia presented "Analyzing Meat Tenderness in Beef Cattle: Saraf Gene"- click for Abstract.

November 13-14, 2017

Beltsville, MD

Livestock HTP and Big Data meeting

  • Dr. Mateescu attended the Livestock High-Throughput Phenotyping and Big Data Analytics (Livestock HTP and Big Data) meeting. You can listen to the presentation here or find information on this meeting here.

  • This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss how cutting-edge methodologies to manage and analyze large diverse livestock data can be applied to the animal sciences.

  • The goal of this meeting was to gather a diverse group of animal scientists in across disciplines to stimulate the livestock research community to expand the use of high-throughput data and develop a vision and strategy to apply these data to production agriculture.

November, 2017

UF ANS Beef research Report

BIF - Beef Improvement Federation

Conference

May 31 - June 2

Athens, GA

  • Sarah Flowers, Heather Hamblen and Blair Ballin attended the "Young Producers Symposium" which kicked off the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting and Research Symposium in Athens, GA.

  • On Thursday, June 1st, Dr. Mateescu presented "Beef cattle climate adaptability: How can genomics help?" in the "Advancements in efficiency and adaptability" breakout session. Read the summary or the ppt.

  • On Friday, June 2nd, Dr. Mateescu presented "Genetic improvement of carcass traits in Bos indicus-influenced cattle" in the "Advancements in end product improvement" breakout session. Read the summary or the ppt.

  • Summaries, proceedings, PowerPoints and audio are available here

TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course

August 7-8, 2017

College Station, TX

  • Sarah Flowers and Dr. Mateescu attended the the 63rd Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in College Station, TX.

  • On Tuesday, August 8th, Dr. Mateescu presented "Genomics of adaptability in beef cattle" in the "Building Better Breeding Programs" breakout session. See the presentation.

  • TBCSC 2017: Measuring Heat Stress in Cattle - A blog for stakeholders in beef production, genetics, and genomics

International Symposium of Animal Biology and Nutrition & Short Course

September 25-29, 2017

Bucharest Romania

  • Dr. Mateescu was invited to attend the 14th International Symposium of Animal Biology and Nutrition, Bucharest, Romania from September 28 - 29, 2017. 

  • Dr. Mateescu presented an invited  talk on "Genomic tools for thermotolerance in beef cattle".

  • Three days before the Symposium, Dr. Mateescu held a short course on “Recent developments in genomics and current applications”, at the National Research Development Institute for Animal Biology and Nutrition (IBNA), Bucharest, Romania from September 25 - 27, 2017.

S-1064 Multi-state Research Project - Annual Meeting

May 23-26, 2017 Gainesville, FL

  • The S-1064 "Genetic improvement of adaptation and reproduction to enhance sustainability of cow-calf production in the Southern United States" is a multistate research project committed to improving beef cattle production systems in the Southern region of the United States.

  • Dr. Mauricio Elzo from the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida (UF) planned and coordinated the 2017 annual meeting in Gainesville FL.

  • Station reports from each location were presented and discussed during the two days of meetings.

  • On Thursday, participants visited the research cattle herds at the University of Florida Beef Research Unit and Santa Fe River Unit where Danny and Michelle Driver provided insights on activities related to research projects involving the Multibreed Brahman-Angus and the Brahman herds.

  • On Friday, the members of the S-1064 Regional Project visited the Kempfer Ranch, St. Cloud, FL where they had the opportunity to learn about the history of the ranch and gain insights of the cattle operation.

  • For more information read the story published in the FL Cattlemen Magazine

Jan 14-18, 2017 San Diego, CA

PAG

  • Dr. Mateescu, Joel and Mesfin attended the Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, CA - meeting designed to provide a forum on recent developments and future plans for plant & animal genome projects.

  • Joel presented "Polymorphisms in µ-calpain and calpastatin genes associated with tenderness in a crossbred Brahman-Angus population". See abstract and poster for more info.

  • Mesfin presented "Predicting Breed Composition in an Angus-Brahman Crossbred Population Using Genomic Data". See abstract and poster for more info.

Florida Cattlemen Association - Legislative Quarterly

March 14, 2017 Tallahassee, FL

  • The Florida Cattlemen’s Association Legislative Quarterly meeting held in Tallahassee Florida is one of the association’s most important meetings of the year.

  • The goal of the meeting is for Florida’s cattlemen and cattlewomen to join together and discuss legislative issues important to the association to State Senators and Representatives. All who attend in support of the association break up into groups of 4-8 and each group is designated a select handful of Senators or Representatives.

  • Throughout the day each group meets with their designated Senators or Representatives or their staff to tell their story and the impact the legislative issues have on each diverse operation or segment of the Florida cattle industry.

  • This year Dr. Mateescu, Heather and Sarah attended the meeting and had the opportunity to share how the legislative issues affect Florida’s cattle production research and education.

NCBA - Annual Convention

February 1-3, 2017 Nashville, TN

  • The 2017 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention was held in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Sarah Flowers attended this year’s convention. While at the convention she attend the Cattlemen’s College, Beef Checkoff Committee meetings, CattleFax Seminar, Emerging Leaders Luncheon, Southeast regional meeting, the NCBA trade show and networked with various professionals throughout the industry.

  • Some highlights of the sessions Sarah attended included hearing from genetic companies and experts such as Zoetis’s Dr. Kent Anderson and Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam. Sarah learned about new genetic tools that can be utilized within the beef cattle industry to improve efficiency and profits at each segment of the industry.

Oct. 21-22, 2016

St. Augustine, FL

  • The 2nd Animal Sciences Symposium for graduate students and faculty in our department and at Florida A & M University was held at the St. Augustine Hotel and Suites, St Augustine on October 21-22, 2016. The symposium was funded by the IFAS Dean for Research Dr. Jackie Burns and by the ANS Chair Dr. Dahl. All MS and PhD students and the current FAMU interns in the department (or UF undergraduate students working on research projects with ANS faculty) had the opportunity to present an oral or poster at the symposium. 

  • 23 Faculty, 61 Graduate Students, 4 Undergraduate Students, 6 Research visitors, 32 Oral presentations, 20 Poster Presentations
  • Zaira presented "The role of MHC Class II DRA gene in resistance of sheep and goats to Haemonchus contortus"- click for Abstract.

  • Heather presented Genetics of thermotolerance in Brangus heifers – the role of sweating rate and coat score - click for Abstract.

  • Joel presented "Association of SNPs and haplotypes in μ-calpain and calpastatin genes with Warner-Braztler Shear Force in a crossbred Brahman-Angus population" - click for Abstract.

  • Mesfin presented "Predicting breed composition in an Angus-Brahman crossbred population using genomic data" - click for Abstract.

  • Victoria presented "Genetic Markers in the Calpastatin Gene Associated with Beef Tenderness"- click for Abstract.

Oct. 5, 2016

Okeechobee, FL

Florida Heritage Beef Group

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