Welcome to Animal Sciences

Division introduces five new faculty members this fall

Derek Brake, Assistant Professor

Photo of Derek BrakeBrake joins Mizzou from South Dakota State University, where he served as an assistant professor. Here he will concentrate on research and teaching in ruminant nutrition with research efforts focusing on nutrient metabolism throughout the gastrointestinal tract, and the interface among nutrient metabolism and performance of cattle. Brake is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the American Society of Animal Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Dairy Science Association. He received the American Society of Animal Science Young Scholar Award in 2013. Brake has been a project director or co-investigator on grants from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. He received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in animal sciences, focusing in ruminant nutrition, nutritional biochemistry and digestive physiology.

Nichole Chapel, Assistant Teaching Professor

Photo of Nichole ClarkChapel received her Ph.D. in animal science from Purdue University in August 2018, with an emphasis in animal welfare. Her focus at Mizzou will be on teaching in animal behavior and well-being. Her research focuses on environmental impacts on animal behavior and quantifying animal well-being via behavioral measures. Chapel was the recipient of the first Grand Challenge Assistantship at Purdue University, which she used to increase internal and external recognition of the department’s work in animal well-being, and determined the need for a professional master’s program focused on animal behavior and welfare. She has also received the Graduate Teaching Award at the North American Teachers and Colleges of Agriculture National Meeting, the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue, won the National Animal Welfare Judging/Assessment Contest as part of a graduate team, and finished first in the Graduate Research Summary oral competition at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners national meeting.

Amanda Patterson, Assistant Professor

Photo of Amanda PattersonPatterson joins Mizzou from Michigan State University, where she was a research assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Here her focus will be on research in reproductive biology; she has a joint appointment in both animal sciences and in obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine. Her research interests include uterine stem cells, uterine fibroids, and early pregnancy and implantation biology. She is a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Society for Reproductive Investigation. Patterson has received first place in the Trainee Oral Presentation at the Michigan Alliance for Reproductive Technology and Science. Her funded research projects have included a Society for Reproductive Investigation and Bayer Discovery/Innovation Grant and a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fellowship. She received her Ph.D. from Washington State University in animal sciences, with a focus on mechanisms of endometrial regeneration. While at Washington State she was named Outstanding Doctoral Student for the Department of Animal Sciences.

Jordan Thomas, Assistant Extension Professor

Photo of Jordan ThomasThomas served as a senior research specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences for four years before taking on this Extension faculty role in beef cattle reproduction. His Extension and research program focuses on fertility, estrous cycle control, and timed artificial insemination. He has conducted field trials with more than 15,500 animals since 2012 and played a key role in coordinating the F.B. Miller Reproductive Management Internship in Animal Sciences. He has received funding for researching applications for sex-sorted semen, methods of estrus synchronization, and novel timed AI strategies. During his graduate training, he received the American Society of Animal Sciences’ Agri-King Outstanding Graduate Student award and Midwest Section Young Scholar honor. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in animal sciences – reproductive physiology.

Wesley Warren, Professor

Photo of Wes WarrenWarren joins Mizzou from the Washington University School of Medicine, where he was an associate professor of genetics and molecular microbiology and the assistant director at the McDonnell Genome Institute. Here his appointment is primarily in research and will involve the use of whole genome comparative methods to examine genetic adaptation events within existing or newly discovered model organisms as a means to better understand human biology. Warren has a joint appointment in animal sciences and in surgery in the School of Medicine. He is a leader in the field of comparative genetics, with 27 years of research initiatives in both the biopharmaceutical industry and academia. Among other appointments, he has served as the Comparative Genomics Leader at Monsanto. He is currently part of two National Science Foundation grants and three National Institutes of Health grants. Warren’s research has been published in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in animal sciences with an emphasis in molecular endocrinology.