Search begins for next head of UNL Animal Science Department

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February 22, 2016

Lincoln, Neb. — A committee appointed by Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Harlan Vice Chancellor Ronnie Green has begun the search process to recruit and select candidates for a new head of the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The committee will be led by Deb Hamernik, associate dean of the Agricultural Research Division; and Galen Erickson, professor of ruminant nutrition in animal science. 

Search begins for next head of UNL Animal Science Department
Search begins for next head of UNL Animal Science Department

The current head of the Animal Science Department, Larry Berger, has indicated his intent to retire effective June 30. Berger has spent more than six years in the position. 

"We must have a visionary and effective leader in this role to guide our overall efforts in teaching, research and extension in the department in the coming years and to continue to grow our international prominence in the animal sciences," Green said. 

The search committee will conduct a vigorous national and international search to identify highly qualified candidates. Public interviews are expected to begin in May. 

In addition to Hamernik and Erickson, members of the search committee are: Samodha Fernando, assistant professor, animal science; Jana Harding, doctoral student, animal science; Tommi Jones, research lab manager, animal science; Maci Lienemann, undergraduate student, animal science; Lisa Karr-Lillienthal, associate professor, animal science; John Pollak, director, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center; Tom Rathje, industry stakeholder, chief technology officer, DNA Genetics; Matt Spangler, associate professor, animal science; Craig Uden, industry stakeholder, president-elect, National Cattleman's Beef Association; Jennifer Wood, associate professor, animal science.

The Animal Science Department implements resident instruction, extension and research programs in breeding and genetics, meat science, non-ruminant and ruminant nutrition, physiology, animal well-being, production and management. Species represented in these programs include beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, poultry, swine, companion animals and laboratory animals. Students who graduate in animal science go into animal production, veterinary medicine, sales and marketing, research and many other career fields. 

To learn more, visit


Jill Brown
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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