Photo by Michael P. King
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Van Os
I am an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My research focuses on understanding and improving quality of life for dairy animals. I also serve as the Communications Officer for the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) and as an expert on various animal welfare advisory councils.
In 2017, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Previously, I was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in the lab of Cassandra B. Tucker, Ph.D.
I received my Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Animal Behavior program at UC Davis in 2015. The findings from my dissertation research are published in Journal of Dairy Science and Applied Animal Behaviour Science. During graduate school, I gained diverse teaching experience in domestic animal production, behavior, and welfare, as well as in evolution and ecology and research methods.
Previously, I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University, where I studied human behavior. My honors thesis was on memory and awareness of deficits in Alzheimer’s patients, and my mentors were Andrew E. Budson, M.D., and Daniel L. Schacter, Ph.D. I then gained 6 years of professional experience in budget creation and management, planning, supervising, and staffing.
I first became interested in food production when I was growing up in Champaign, IL. My first job in high school was as a laboratory assistant in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois (UIUC). As a child, I remember attending the annual ag open house at UIUC. I am thrilled to have found my passion working to improve how dairy animals are raised.
I welcome collaborations with others seeking to promote a sustainable dairy industry and improve farm animal welfare.
If you are interested in joining my lab as a graduate student or undergraduate research assistant, please see the contact page for more information.
- Rekia Salter, Dairy Science MSc (Summer 2018 – )
- Kim Reuscher, Dairy Science PhD (Fall 2018 – )
- Faith Baier, Dairy Science PhD (Fall 2019 – )
Faith is a PhD student who will be conducting research to advance the understanding of nutrient partitioning and social competition to improve genomic selection for feed efficiency in dairy cattle. She was born and raised in Durand, WI. She completed her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. After graduating, she moved to Fort Collins, CO to earn her Masters in Animal Science under Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway at Colorado State University. She is excited to be back in Wisconsin and a part of the Van Os lab. She is passionate about animal welfare and hopes to improve the industry with both the animals and the people in mind.
- Kaylee Coel, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (Summer, 2019); intern at Marshfield Agricultural Research Station
- Kehan (Sky) Sheng, Animal Science (Fall 2018 – ); recipient of Spring 2019 Farrington Undergraduate Research Award
- Yatong (Tiffany) Feng, Applied Statistics and Mathematics (Spring-Summer 2019)
- Amanda Gimenez, Animal Science (Spring 2019 – )
- Ashley Wagner, Animal Science (Spring 2019 – )
- Sirui Yi, Statistics and Computer Science (Fall 2019 – )
- Emma Eppig, Dairy Science (Fall, 2018)