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Two New Faculty Join the Department

Posted: June 2, 2007

DAS welcomes Dr. Wansheng Liu and Dr. Jon M. Oatley.

Dr. Wansheng Liu joined the Department of Dairy and Animal Science on May 1, 2007. He is an Associate Professor of Genomics as part of the Reproductive Biology initiative in the College of Agricultural Science. The goal of this initiative is to continue Penn State's tradition of excellence in reproductive biology research.

Wansheng earned a B.S. Degree (1982) in Animal Science, an M.S. (1987) and Doctoral degrees (1993) in Animal Breeding and Genetics from the Northwestern Agricultural University (NWAU), Yangling, China. He served on the faculty at NWAU and Shandong University (Jinan, China) from 1993 to 1996, where he rose to the rank of Associate Professor.

He was a visiting scientist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences from 1996 to 1997. Then he received his post-doctoral training in the Department of Genetics, Uppsala University, Sweden. In early 1999, he came to the United States and continued post-doctoral training in the Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota. From 2003 to 2007, he served as Associate Research Professor in the Department of Animal Biotechnology, University of Nevada, Reno.

Wansheng's appointment is 75 percent research and 25 percent teaching. His research is in the area of animal genomics and genetics, supported by USDA, and focuses on functional characterization of genes on the bovine Y-chromosome that play a crucial role in spermatogenesis and male fertility. He will be teaching a graduate course in comparative genomics and an undergraduate course related to genome analysis and/or molecular biology and breeding. He is married to his wife of 23 years and his daughter is now a junior at the University of Minnesota. Wansheng likes jogging/running, hiking, fishing, and downhill skiing. He also enjoys cooking Chinese foods.

Dr. Jon M. Oatley was recently hired as a faculty member in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science. Jon was raised in Nevada, where he gained an interest in production animal agriculture from working on several large beef cattle ranches in northwestern Nevada.

His father's family still operates their original homestead in eastern Ohio, which was originally a dairy farm but has since become a hay operation. Jon received his B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Nevada-Reno in 1999 before obtaining both a Masters and PhD degree from Washington State University in Reproductive Biology.

Jon's postdoctoral training was at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Ralph Brinster. Jon was hired at the assistant professor level at Penn State as part of the Reproductive Biology initiative in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He has a 75 percent research and 25 percent teaching appointment.

Jon's research is focused on enhancing reproductive efficiency in bulls, with a specific research interest in testicular stem cell function. Jon will be teaching an undergraduate course entitled "Techniques in Cattle Reproduction" and graduate courses in reproductive physiology. Jon is married and has 2 young children.