We welcome Yvette Steyn to our team. Yvette hails from South Africa and will be joining us as a PhD student.
Yvette completed her undergraduate and Master degree at the University of Pretoria where she studied under Prof Este Van Marle-Kőster. After completing her degree, she worked for SA Stud Book, which is responsible for the South African national genetic evaluations of multiple livestock species and breeds. The SA Stud Book evaluation team attended a course presented by Dr Misztal during October 2016 and invited him to a braai (South African BBQ). “I was very lucky to have had the chance to talk to him here and end up with this great opportunity”.
Yvette grew up with her brother in the small town of Barkly East where her parents also had a farm. They have about 500 Merino sheep. The Merino is a white fine-wool breed but occasionally black lambs are born, which her father then gave to her. There was suddenly a noticeable increase in black sheep in the area, which made her more curious about genetics partly to identify the breeder who was responsible for selling carrier rams. “Black wool is undesirable since it can’t by dyed, but black ewes still give white offspring, so I could grow my own little flock this way”. Yvette is going to pursue her interests for Animal Breeding and Genetics at UGA. “Genetics is like a puzzle of which the picture is always changing” she said. “That is really what makes me love this field”.