Fund Detail

Fund Purpose:

This fund was formed to recognize the contributions of Dr. Robert P. Wettemann to education and to the American Society of Animal Science. This fund is used to provide support to graduate education and scientific discovery. The requirements for the Wettemann Graduate Scholar in Physiology Award can be found here.

Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Robert P. Wettemann is a Regents Professor emeritus. His career includes 42 years of research and teaching centered on animal physiology in the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University.  Bob obtained his B.S. at the University of Connecticut and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.  His research evaluates endocrine mechanisms controlling reproductive processes and the application of findings to improve reproduction in cattle and swine.  Experimental approaches span from evaluating control of synthesis and secretion of gonadotropins to determining the effect of nutrition on follicular growth and pregnancy rate in range beef cows.

Dr. Wettemann enjoys research, discovery, and mentoring students.  He is the author or co-author of more than 630 publications, including 149 refereed journal articles and chapters.  He has presented seminars in 12 countries.  He has mentored 53 M.S., Ph.D., and postdoctoral recipients, and many of his students are in faculties at major universities or research centers.  Bob recognizes the need to utilize discoveries and encourages students to engage in fundamental and applied research.

Dr. Wettemann has attended more than 53 annual meetings of ASAS, was President of ASAS in 2009, President of Southern ASAS, and served on the ASAS Foundation and FASS Boards.  He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Southern section of ASAS, the Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Connecticut, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and was a Charter Diplomate in the American College of Animal Physiology.  Bob received the Physiology and Endocrinology Award, the Animal Management Award, the Casida Award, the Morrison Award, and is a Fellow in ASAS.  Bob and Grace have three children and five grandchildren.

Past Awards:

2023 Award Recipient: Ronald J. Trotta, University of Kentucky

Ronald J. Trotta is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He previously completed his B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Kentucky in 2017 and worked as an undergraduate research assistant. At North Dakota State University, he completed his M.S. in Nutritional Physiology under Dr. Kendall Swanson in 2019. Ronald is now working with Dr. David Harmon at UK and Dr. James Klotz at the USDA-ARS Forage & Animal Production Research Unit. His current research is focused on identifying cellular and molecular mechanisms of serotonin-mediated vasoconstriction and vasodilation in cattle. Ronald has been co-investigator on 7 research grants and has published 18 peer-reviewed journal articles, 7 conference proceedings, and 15 abstracts.

2022 Award Recipient: Katherine M. Halloran, Texas A&M University

Katherine M. Halloran received her B.S. in Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in 2015 and joined Dr. Fuller Bazer’s program in the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University where she received the M.S. in Physiology of Reproduction in 2018 and is a Ph.D. candidate to graduate in 2022. Katherine’s research focuses on understanding signaling mechanisms at the maternal-fetal interface during pregnancy with specific interest in polyamines in the pregnant uterus and fetal fluids influencing survival, growth, and development of conceptuses with results published in 9 papers in refereed scientific journals. Katherine has served as a teaching assistant for Reproductive Physiology, Animal Reproduction Management, Sheep and Goat Production, Equine Handling and Safety, and Animal Production Systems. She served as the Secretary for the Texas A&M Animal Science Graduate Student Association from 2020-2021 and is the graduate student representative for Texas A&M’s Interdisciplinary Faculty of Reproductive Biology.

2021 Award Recipient : Alice P. Brandão, Texas A&M University

Alice Poggi Brandão received a BS in Veterinary Medicine from São Paulo State University in 2013. Brandão received her MS. degree in Animal Science in 2016, in a collaborative effort between São Paulo State University and Oregon State University, under Dr. Reinaldo Cooke’s supervision. In 2017, Brandão started her PhD program at Texas A&M University, still under Dr. Reinaldo Cooke, where she investigates the use of ω-6 fatty acids supplements to improve physiological and productive responses in beef cattle. During her graduate career, Brandão has published 35 journal articles, 7 peer-reviewed research proceedings, and 31 research abstracts. Brandão also plays a significant role in outreach and teaching efforts, serving as Program Assistant for the Texas A&M International Beef Cattle Academy.

2020 Award Recipient: Kelsey M. Schubach, Texas A&M University

Kelsey M. Schubach received a B.Sc. in Animal Science from Oregon State University in 2014. Schubach also received a M.Sc. degree in Animal Science from Oregon State University in 2016, where her thesis focused on stress and reproductive physiology of beef heifers. In 2017, Schubach started her Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University, where she investigates the impacts of nutritional management during gestation and early-life on permanent alterations in physiological and productive responses in beef cattle. During her graduate career, Schubach has published 21 journal articles, 8 peer-reviewed proceedings, and 15 research abstracts. Schubach also played a significant role in securing extramural funding (> $500k) and contributed to several teaching and outreach efforts related to beef cattle physiology. Schubach received the WSASAS – Young Scholar Award (M.Sc. category) in 2017 and placed first in the 2018 SSASAS Graduate Competition (Ph.D. category). 

2019 Award Recipient: Pedro L. P. Fontes, Texas A&M University

Pedro L. P. Fontes received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from São Paulo State University (UNESP -Brazil) in 2014, where he also worked as Director of Beef Production in a junior consultancy company, Conapec Jr.. He then worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and Masters Student at University of Florida, with a research focus on beef cattle reproductive physiology. Exposure to research and extension during his Masters sparked his interest on pursuing a Ph.D. Therefore, he is currently working with Dr. Lamb as a Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, where his research focuses on strategies to improve reproductive efficiency in beef production systems, as well as the mechanisms controlling in utero programming of postnatal performance in cattle. During his graduate career, Pedro has published 10 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, 3 conference proceeding, 33 abstracts, and 19 extension articles. 

2018 Award Recipient: Mathew S. Crouse, North Dakota State University

Matthew began working at North Dakota State University in 2014 as the Nutrition Research Specialist while simultaneously pursuing his M.S. degree. Matthew received his M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition from NDSU under Dr. Joel Caton in 2016, investigating the effects of nutrient restriction of beef heifers during early gestation on concentrations of hexoses and amino acids in utero-placental fluids, as well as nutrient transporter expression and abundance in utero-placental tissues. Matthew is currently working on a PhD in Nutritional Physiology at NDSU under Drs. Alison Ward and Joel Caton investigating the effects of nutrient restriction of beef heifers during the first 50 days of gestation on the fetal transcriptome and epigenome. Matthew has authored or co-authored 11 refereed manuscripts, 18 abstracts, 11 proceedings papers, and has given 2 invited presentations. Matthew received over $130,000 in grants as PI or Co-PI to support his research including a NIFA-ELI Predoctoral Fellowship.

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