Summer 2011
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University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
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College welcomes thirteen new faculty members in seven departments

liuYizao Liu

The College's faculty, staff and students are pleased to welcome thirteen new faculty members in seven departments.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Yizao Liu joined the department on August 23, 2011, as an assistant professor. She earned her MS and PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her fields of specialization are industrial organization, applied econometrics, environmental economics and energy economics, particularly as it relates to food, energy and the environment. Liu was a research and teaching assistant at the University of Texas, and interned with BP America, The United Nations Development Program, China Jianyin Investment Limited of Beijing and the Ministry of Finance, People’s Republic of China.

swallowStephen Swallow

Stephen Swallow joined the department as a full professor on January 1, 2011. His appointment includes a one-third allocation of his time for multi-disciplinary research with UConn’s Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Swallow worked as a professor of resource economics at the University of Rhode Island. He received his MS and PhD in Resource Economics from Duke University. His research areas include the economics of environmental resource management involving multiple resources or user groups, regulation of recreational harvesting, multiple use forestry, watershed management planning, siting noxious facilities, valuation of environmental qualities, open space preservation and development, land use change and ecosystem management.

Department of Animal Science

ReedSarah Reed
WhiteHeather White

Sarah Reed joined the department on August 23, 2011, as an assistant professor. She received her MS in animal sciences and her PhD in animal molecular and cellular biology, both from the University of Florida. Reed’s research will focus on the role of muscle stem cells during periods of atrophy and hypertrophy using animal models of disease and growth. She will teach courses in the equine science program. Reed held a position as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida Department of Physical Therapy and was a USDA National Needs Fellow with the University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences.

Heather White became an assistant professor on August 23, 2011. She received her MS in animal science and her PhD from the animal sciences interdepartmental nutrition program at Purdue University. Her research will focus on elucidating the genetic predisposition for fatty liver onset and severity in dairy cattle. Her research will also strive to use nutritional interventions to improve the management of fatty liver and ketosis in order to improve animal health and productivity. She was a postdoctoral research fellow on an NIH training grant in the Department of Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Indiana University.

Department of Extension

German Cutz was hired on December 15, 2010, as associate extension educator for sustainable families and communities at the Fairfield County Extension Center in Bethel. His responsibilities include developing, conducting and evaluating extension outreach education programs for sustainable families and communities in rural, suburban and urban settings statewide. His areas of focus include family and consumer sciences, human development, financial management, sustainable family development, parenting, families at risk, personal and community empowerment, development of sustainable communities and related areas. Cutz earned an Ed.D. degree in adult and community education from Ball State University and three master’s degrees: one in higher education teaching methods from San Carlos University of Guatemala; and two from Ball State University, one in community education and another in natural resources and environmental management. He brings to the College more than twenty years of experience in curriculum development and training, including twelve years of field work in community development. Originally from Guatemala, Cutz is fluent in English and Spanish. While at the University of Illinois for the past ten years, he developed and implemented bilingual Extension programs in areas related to youth, families and community development. Additionally, he developed a bilingual pesticide applicator training program in Illinois.

Jiff Martin joined the department on November 26, 2010, as associate extension educator for sustainable food systems at the Tolland County Extension Center in Vernon. Her responsibilities include developing, conducting and evaluating sustainable food systems Extension outreach education programs statewide, in urban, rural and suburban communities. Martin holds one master’s degree in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts School of Nutrition, Science and Policy, and another in development economics, international trade, from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She brings a wealth of experience to the position, having served as state director of the American Farmland Trust; food policy director at the Hartford Food System; and coordinator of all activities for eight years for the Working Lands Alliance, a group that refers to Martin as “one of Connecticut’s great human resources.” 

Victoria Wallace was hired on November 19, 2010, as associate extension educator for sustainable landscapes in the Department of Extension at the New London County Extension Center in Norwich. Her responsibilities include developing, conducting and evaluating programs in the management of turfgrass, woody ornamentals and other landscape plantings; nutrient management; integrated pest management; water quality; pesticide applicator training; worker safety and other topics and issues pertinent to economic sustainability; environmental quality and human health in the green industries. Wallace received a master’s degree in plant pathology/entomology with an emphasis on turfgrass pathology from the University of Rhode Island. Her experience in the field includes working as regional technical representative & turfgrass consultant for Valley Green, Inc., technical agronomist and northeast sales representative for Turf Seed Co., marketing manager for Agribiotech, Inc. and a similar position with Lofts Seed, Inc.

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Thijs Bosker joined the College on August 23, 2011, as an assistant professor of ecotoxicology, with a joint appointment in the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering. His research focuses on the effects of endocrine disruptors on fish in coastal and estuarine environments. He plans to extend his research to the coastal areas of Connecticut. Bosker received his MS in crop science from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and his doctorate in aquatic sciences from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Canada. While a student at UNB, he received a diploma in university teaching. Prior to this appointment, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Canadian Rivers Institute, UNB.

Tracy Rittenhouse became an assistant professor of wildlife ecology on August 23, 2011. Her research tests theories of wildlife habitat selection, migration and dispersal within the context of land use change and spread of invasive species and the factors that contribute to the long-term persistence of wildlife populations given anticipated levels of global change. In her wildlife research programs, Rittenhouse utilizes field experiments with large-scale habitat manipulations. As an example, she was a member of a collaborative project in which experimental timber harvest was conducted around amphibian breeding sites in Maine, Missouri and South Carolina. Rittenhouse received MS and PhD degrees in biological sciences from the University of Missouri. She was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Department of Nutritional Sciences

AmyAmy Mobley

Amy Mobley became an assistant professor of nutritional sciences on August 23, 2011. Mobley will be responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in community nutrition and fundamentals of nutrition and dietary supplements, and she will also develop and teach new upper-level courses in her area of expertise: nutrition education, nutrition outreach programming and social marketing of nutrition information. She will participate as co-PI in a multi-state collaborative project recently funded by the USDA, focusing on obesity prevention for low-income families with young children. Mobley received an MS in human nutrition from Ohio State University and a PhD in nutrition from the University of Maryland. Most recently, she served as a clinical assistant professor and extension specialist for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program at Purdue University.

Stacey Mobley joined the department as a lecturer of nutritional sciences on August 23, 2011. He will be responsible for teaching undergraduate courses and will serve as an advisor for nutritional sciences majors. He is a registered dietitian and serves as a program reviewer/site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation in Dietetics Education. Mobley received an MS in nutritional sciences and a PhD in nutrition with specialized areas in physiology and molecular biology, both from Ohio State University. Mobley was an assistant professor and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University.

Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science

François Courtin joined the department on April 1, 2011, as an assistant clinical professor of pathology. He received an MS in preventive veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis, and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the School of Veterinary Medicine in Nantes, France. He has served as a veterinary epidemiologist in the UK, veterinary diagnostician, veterinary surgeon and director of the SELARL diagnostic laboratory in France. Most recently he was a pathology resident and teaching assistant in histology, anatomy and physiology at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Huan-Zhong Wang joined the department on August 23, 2011 as an assistant professor. He is a plant molecular biologist and will be responsible for teaching in the interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate biotechnology program. His most recent research involves developing transgenic plant varieties with enhanced characteristics for biofuel production and for forage quality. Wang received an MS in agronomy from the Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, China, and a doctorate in molecular genetics from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He recently held postdoctoral research positions at the University of California Berkeley and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

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