The research mission of the Department of Animal Sciences is to develop and enhance excellence in basic and applied research in focused areas within Animal Science. As the only entity in the state that addresses the needs of New Jersey animal agriculturists, we are recognized as regional leaders in animal sciences. The Department of Animal Sciences serves not only New Jersey animal producers and processors but also a significant number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with an interest in animal health. To this end, the departmental faculty constitutes a cohesive, yet diverse body, implementing novel ideas in molecular biology in research in animal science with application to human health. At the same time, members of our faculty address practical on-farm problems related to feeding/nutrition and optimizing growth and well-being in animals. The research interests of the Animal Sciences faculty are focused in the following areas: Endocrine Physiology, Equine Science, and Sustainable Animal Agriculture.


Endocrinology represents a major common interest that bridges the multidisciplinary research programs of the majority of the departmental faculty. Collectively, these faculty members conduct a broad range of endocrine-related research encompassing both agricultural as well as biomedical applications. The endocrine and growth-related research described here includes studies in farm animals, laboratory animals, and zebrafish as well as both animal and human cell lines. Specifically, research is focused on the hypothalamic/pituitary control of reproduction, reproductive tissue growth and remodeling, circadian rhythms, the neuroendocrine axis of stress, hormonal control of reproductive and feeding behaviors, and developmental regulation of growth. Additionally, faculty members bring unique skills and expertise in whole animal approaches, protein chemistry, electrophysiology, and cell and molecular biology.

Carol A. Bagnell.

Carol A. Bagnell
Phone: 848-932-6334

Research: Reproductive endocrinology; Control of reproductive tissue growth; Maternal programming of development

William J. Belden.

William J. Belden
Assistant Professor
Phone: 848-932-5617

Research: Molecular aspects of chromatin remodeling and circadian rhythms; non-coding RNA

Nicholas T. Bello.

Nicholas T. Bello
Assistant Professor
Phone: 848-932-2966

Research: Neural control of feeding and diet selection

Wendie S. Cohick.

Wendie S. Cohick
Professor and Department Chair
Phone: 848-932-6319

Research: Endocrine regulation of mammary gland biology and breast cancer

Troy A. Roepke.

Troy A. Roepke
Assistant Professor
Phone: 848-932-9454

Research: Effect of environmental stresses, both naturally occurring and anthropogenic, on the physiological functions of organisms

Dipak K. Sarkar.

Dipak K. Sarkar
Director, Endocrine Program
Professor II
Phone: 848-932-1529

Research: Cellular and molecular neuroendocrinology

Mehmet Uzumcu.

Mehmet Uzumcu
Associate Professor
Phone: 848-932-6912

Research: Testis and ovary development in mammals


Equine science research in the department focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of horses, while ensuring the vitality and viability of the equine industry, statewide and nationally. The broad area of aging in horses and the effects of exercise on their well-being is a major interest of this group because this system provides an excellent model for answering questions about equine physiology, and the research may apply to human medicine as well. Faculty with research programs in equine science include specialists in nutrition, immune function, exercise physiology, endocrinology and reproduction.

Karyn Malinowski.

Karyn Malinowski
Phone: 848-932-9419

Research: Equine endocrinology and physiology

Kenneth H. McKeever.

Kenneth H. McKeever
Phone: 848-932-9390

Research: Equine exercise and environmental physiology; neuroendocrine control of cardio-renal function

Sarah L. Ralston.

Sarah L. Ralston
Associate Professor
Phone: 848-932-9404

Research: Nutrition management of age-related problems in horses; equine nutrition and behavior

Carey A. Williams.

Carey A. Williams
Associate Extension Specialist
Associate Professor
Phone: 848-932-5529

Research: Equine nutrition and exercise; antioxidant supplementation and oxidative stress


Several of the research programs in the Department of Animal Sciences are focused on sustainable animal agriculture with positive economic and environmental impacts for the State of New Jersey. These applied research programs include: food waste utilization and recycling, nutrient and manure management, composting manure and wildlife damage control.

Julie M. Fagan.

Julie M. Fagan
Associate Professor
Phone: 848-932-8354

Research: Companion animal research; biomass to biofuel; community engagement

Larry S. Katz.

Larry S. Katz
Senior Associate Director, NJ Agricultural Experiment Station
Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Phone: 848-932-3591

Research: Endocrine regulation of reproductive behavior in ruminants; wildlife damage control

Michael L. Westendorf.

Michael L. Westendorf
Associate Extension Specialist
Phone: 848-932-9408

Research: Ruminant nutrition; growth by-product utilization