The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences has a specific focus unique among animal science departments at other institutions across the United States. As you peruse our faculty’s research, you will notice three targeted broad areas of research:
1. Tissue Biology,
2. Nutrition, and
3. Microbial Ecology and Biomass to Energy.
The department has strong, nationally recognized programs that involve these three areas, covering a variety of animal species as well as humans. You will also note research emphases in physiology and genetics, which complement the above areas of concentrations.
One cannot completely divide any research into exclusive areas. The beauty of science is that it crosses disciplines and subjects, which is something we have learned to appreciate in the department as we and others continue to discover more about the web of our natural world. Even though we concentrate on three areas, they are by no means complete in themselves but instead interrelate with each other as well as other disciplines across the college and the university. Separate, each discipline is intriguing, but together, in the context of the ecological paradigm described elsewhere (pdf), they provide a wealth of potential for both the researcher and student to understand the relationship of human and animal in an environment suitable for, yet also dependent on, both.
Tissue Biology includes two segments of national caliber: meat science (which includes muscle, adipose and connective tissue) and reproductive/mammary biology. The department’s goal is to become one of the most sought meat science undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States and to continue as a national leader in research and outreach endeavors in mammary biology. Already one of the top programs in the US (Ranked #9, Meat & Poultry, November 2001), meat science at The Ohio State University is emerging as a program of excellence. The research programs and faculty members with a focus in reproductive and mammary biology are recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in these fields. Faculty members in mammary biology have provided international leadership and collaboration for the last 20 years within the global organizations NMC (formerly the National Mastitis Council) and the International Dairy Federation to assure animal health and food safety through research and outreach education. You can read more about the department’s focus, faculty, and facilities under the Tissue Biology research area.
Nutrition is a traditional discipline of strength and national recognition in the department, with emphasis on the major ruminant (beef and dairy cattle, sheep) and non-ruminant (pigs, poultry) food animal species. The department’s goal is to emerge the University leader, along with the Department of Human Nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology, in interdisciplinary nutrition undergraduate and graduate (OSUN) education endeavors. You can read more about the department’s focus, faculty, and facilities under the Nutrition research area. You can also learn about the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Nutrition (OSUN), which prepares students for the interdisciplinary nature of Nutrition Science.
The Microbial Ecology and Biomass to Energy emphasis fits well within pursuits and highlights of the college, university, and state of Ohio, as well as national endeavors related to energy conversion, sustainability, and responsibility. The department’s goal is to grow these programs to national pre-eminence and to emerge as one of the international leaders in research and graduate education in this area. You can read more about the department’s focus, faculty, and facilities in these areas under the Bioenergy and Nutrient Management and the Microbiology research areas.
The Ohio State University Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is located in Wooster, Ohio. The Department of Animal Sciences has a strong presence at OARDC, including faculty, graduate students, and animal units.