Research in our laboratory focuses on assessing the cholesterol requirement of the developing chicken embryo. We use an electrosurgical instrument to produce a canal from the exterior of the egg to the yolk on day 3 of incubation. The yolk is displaced with a physiological solution of electrolytes, glucose and antibiotics on day 4, and then replaced with cholesterol-reduced egg yolk on day 5. Typically, we have incubated eggs for 20 days, one day before the expected time of hatching. It appears (see impact statement) that less than half of the cholesterol normally present in eggs is required for embryos to 20 days of incubation. However, the concentration of cholesterol in liver, but not in brain, at 20 days is significantly reduced by the use of cholesterol-reduced egg yolk. Current research focuses on the effect of cholesterol-reduced yolk on chicks after 20 days of incubation, at the stages of hatching and early post-hatch growth and development.
I am one of two non-ruminant nutritionists on the faculty of the Department of Animal Science. My teaching activities reflect expertise in nutritional science and avian biology, and draw, to some extent, on my research experiences with several species including poultry, pigs, rats, and salmonid fishes. I am co-instructor in Animal Science 4100, a capstone course in nutrition for undergraduate students and beginning course for graduate students whose major or minor concentration is animal nutrition. My instructional effort extends to several other courses where I provide lectures in the areas of nutritional biochemistry and physiology, poultry nutrition, and aspects of avian biology.
I participate annually for Feed Manufacturers in program planning for the Cornell Nutrition Conference, usually serving as a speaker at the meeting (but not in 2008). I answer inquiries regarding poultry from the field and from the departmental extension person responsible for youth and small flock activities related to poultry. I am a regular invitee (and attendee) of the Unit of Avian Health Advisory Council (UAHAC) meetings of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center and The Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the College of Veterinary Medicine