Robert L. Taylor, Jr. will join the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design as director of its Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.
“Dr. Taylor will further propel the Division towards great opportunities to advance the development of animal agriculture in West Virginia and beyond, to bring new science and technology to bear on the same, to broaden the scope of human nutrition, food science and dietetics, to engage with stakeholders across the state, and make an impact worldwide in all we do,” said Daniel Robison, dean of the Davis College.
Taylor is currently a professor of animal science at the University of New Hampshire where his efforts have focused on poultry immunology and genetics. He has provided oversight to research farms, led an array of local, regional and national level initiatives for the university and USDA, and been very active in professional societies, including his current service as president of the USA Branch of the World Poultry Association.
His current post is within the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture – Department of Biological Sciences, which was recently formed through a reorganization of several departments including his original home department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.
“He is a terrific scientist, academic thinker and leader, and a strong proponent of the importance of food and agriculture in our communities and worldwide,” Robison said. “Dr. Taylor will assume the leadership of the division at a key juncture in the life of the Davis College, as we complete our new Agricultural Sciences Building, ramp up our farm and laboratory efforts, translate the science of food into better nutrition, and find new ways to collaborate across the wide spectrum of disciplines in the college and across the university. We are thrilled that he will be joining us.”
“The Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences and the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design are positioned to engage students and stakeholders through teaching, research and outreach,” Taylor said. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunities to build the relationships needed to advance the land grant mission at West Virginia University.”
A native of Virginia, he holds academic degrees from Carson-Newman College, Auburn University and Mississippi State University.
“The Division has had terrific leadership over the past years from Matt Wilson,” Robison said.
Wilson led the unit through several years of transition in the college, including important advances in faculty hiring, facilities planning, and positioning the Division for success going forward. He will continue to serve the division and college as professor of animal science and physiology.
The Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences offers two undergraduate degrees in animal and nutritional sciences, a bachelor of science in agriculture and a bachelor of science, a bachelor of science in human nutrition and foods, and a bachelor of science in biochemistry, offered jointly with the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Undergraduates can also pursue minors in equine management, food service production, and food science and technology. The Division is home to the Davis-Michael Scholars Program, a rigorous, innovative program for undergraduates who plan to pursue medical or veterinary school.
At the graduate level, students can pursue master’s degrees in animal physiology, nutritional and food sciences, and reproductive physiology. Doctoral programs are available in agricultural biochemistry, animal nutrition, animal physiology, animal production, food science, and reproductive physiology. The Division is also home to WVU’s Graduate Dietetic Internship.
Faculty, staff and students can pursue teaching, research and service at the Animal Science Farm in Morgantown, the Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, and the Reedsville Farm. WVU’s Organic Research Farm in Morgantown also incorporates animal agriculture into its portfolio.
Research centers include the Rumen Fermentation Profiling Laboratory, which examines feed quality and digestibility for producers. The West Virginia Small Ruminant Project provides research and outreach for the state’s sheep and goat industries. The Veterinary Radiology Consultation Service helps animal care providers interpret images related to patient care.
CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
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