Congratulations to Dr. Mary Kate and Dr. Jennifer Richter!

Mary Kate (on the left) successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation “Improving genomic prediction methods and estimation of genetic parameters for large populations” on March 6th. She completed projects focusing on blending parameters for single-step GBLUP, independent chromosome segments, heritability estimation with genomic information using Method R, and digital behavior traits in purebred pigs. During her Ph.D. studies, she completed an internship with PIC and won several student awards. Her next career step will be joining Bayer Crop Science as a senior quantitative genetics process scientist with the soybean team.

Jennifer (on the right) successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, “Challenges in genomic selection in poultry: From changes in variance components to modeling and efficient analysis of categorical data,” on March 20th. Her research projects focused on variance component estimation, refining mortality trait definitions, and exploring alternative algorithms for evaluating categorical traits in populations under genomic selection. She also completed a graduate certificate program in Agricultural Data Science.