Graduate Students
Both MS and PhD degrees are offered through the Department of Animal Sciences. Currently all graduate programs involve a combination of courses and graduate research for a thesis. Areas of study broadly correspond to the specializations and research interests of the faculty. The following is a sample of graduate research currently being conducted by our graduate students:

Pam BentleyPamela Bentley is originally from Montpelier, Vermont. Pam earned her BA in Biology in 2007 from the University of Vermont. Her Master's Degree work is focused on the kinetic analysis of bovine glucose transporters. Pam loves to travel "y tambien ella esta enamorada de Espana y quiere vivir alli."

Ben GreenBenjamin Green, originally from Kingston, Massachusetts, received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Colby College and is currently working on his Master's of Science. Ben joins Dr. Kerr's lab with research focusing on bovine immune response in relation to mastitis infection. Ultimately he plans on attending veterinary school focusing on large animal medicine. He enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and the Red Sox.

Sukumar KandasamySukumar Kandasamy received his Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Science in 2002 from Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in India.  He completed his Master's Degree in Animal Biotechnology from the same university in 2004.  Sukumar worked as a Research Assistant for two and a half years in a research project funded by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute's Department of Biotechnology.  He joined UVM as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Science in the fall of 2006.  Sukumar's research focuses on the study of immune response of cows to mastitis infection and exploring the host pathogen interaction in mastitis infection.  His advisor is Dr. David Kerr.

"I am fascinated by research elucidating animals' different tactics which have evolved to resist different microbial infections in order to survive in a particular environment."

Peter KrawczelPeter Krawczel grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs of Maryland and received a BS from the University of Maryland, College Park in Environmental Science and Policy. After graduation, he worked for two years at the USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center on a research project evaluating the sustainability of various crop management systems in the mid-Atlantic region. In the summer of 2002, he left the state of Maryland and the field of soil science to begin a graduate career in Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Throughout his MS degree, his research focused on ways to minimize the amount of stress experienced by various livestock species. Peter is currently based on the New York side of Lake Champlain at the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute while working towards a Ph.D. in Animal Science at UVM. His research is focused on the effect of competition on the behavior, productivity, and health of lactating dairy cows. Peter plans to continue to work for improvements in the welfare of dairy cows. Peter and his wife share their home with two spoiled greyhounds who were retired from racing.

"During my first year at the Miner Institute, I have learned many things and, unfortunately, the most shocking to me has been how enjoyable waking up at 4am to work with dairy cows can be."

Yogi MisraYogi Misra graduated from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India in November of 2004 with a Master's Degree in Animal Reproduction, Gynecology & Obstetrics (MV Sc) and a minor in Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry and a Bachelor's in Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry (BVSc & AH). Yogi is currently working on his PhD and his research focuses on the hormonal control of the mammary tumorigenesis/breast cancer using transgenic mice and human mammary tumor samples. He is studying the intricate molecular mechanisms by which pregnancy or hormones induce protection against breast cancer. How pregnancy induced differentiation of the mammary gland reduces the incidence of mammary carcinogenesis also generates tremendous interest.

"This area of research is of tremendous significance as the incidence of breast cancer is on the logarithmic rise in the western world."

Yogi has a huge inclination/liking for the sweet things, ice cream, muffins; S'mores are his favorite.

Xi QianXi Qian is from Jiangsu, China. He received both his Bachelor degree in Biotechnology and Masters degree in Animal Nutrition from Shanghai Ocean University. He joined the Lactation and Mammary Gland Biology (LAMGB) PhD program in May, 2009. His research interest is involved with dairy farming, focusing on production of pharmaceutically active human proteins in bovine milk.

Beth Rice
Beth Rice is from Middle Island, New York. She began her career at UVM in 1999 as an undergraduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. She graduated in 2003 with a double major in Nutrition and Food Sciences and Dietetics. In 2005 she graduated with her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, also from UVM, under the direction of Dr. Mingruo Guo. Beth is currently working toward her PhD in Animal Science under the direction of Dr. Adam Lock. Beth is researching bioactive milk lipids and their effects on risk factors of coronary heart disease. When she graduates, Beth would like to move to Washington, D.C. and work in food policy, perhaps for the USDA. When not in lab, Beth enjoys training for the Vermont City Marathon and The Prouty, a charity bike-ride to raise money for cancer research.

"My goal is to pursue a career in which I would work to guide food policy through sound science."

Yong ShaoYong Shao grew up in the Shandong province of China. Yong achieved his BS degree in animal science in 2003 and MS degree in animal genetics and breeding in 2006 from China Agricultural University. He started his PhD program at UVM in January 2008. His research mainly focuses on the glucose transporter in the mammary gland, specifically the hormonal regulation of glucose transporter gene expression.

Xiaozheng SongXiaozheng Song is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Zhongzong Pan. He graduated from Shandong Normal University in China and joined the Lactation and Mammary Gland Biology (
LAMGB) PhD program in the summer of 2008. He is interested in molecular mechanisms of mammary gland development and breast cancer. Xiaozheng's current research is focused on how estrogen receptor affects mammary gland cell proliferation.

Jackson WrightJohn "Jackson" Wright is from Colchester, Vermont. He received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science from the University of Vermont (2008) and is currently working on a Master's of Science. His research is centered on frequent milking. Jackson's goal is vet school. He really enjoys the outdoors, cows, and staying active.

Yili ZhongA 2002 graduate of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, Yili Zhong received her B.S. degree in Veterinary Medicine.  After graduation she worked for a year at a biotechnology company located in China then came to the United State to pursue her Master's Degree in Animal Science at the University of Vermont.  She is currently working with Dr. Zhongzong Pan in the field of breast cancer.  Her project currently is on synuclein-gamma and ERä and their roles in tumorgenesis.

"The most valuable knowledge I have learned so far in the academic world is what I have learned by working in the lab. No matter what I learned from book or lecture, if would be meaningless, if I can not use it to explore the unknown part in this area."

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