July 21, 2020

WSASAS Graduate Student Oral Competition

WSASAS Graduate Student Oral Competition

By Anne Zinn

On the afternoon of July 20, 2020, graduate students and viewers gathered virtually for the WSASAS Graduate Student Oral Competition. The oral presentation is judged as part of the overall Graduate Student Paper Competition, allowing graduate students the opportunity to advance and develop their abilities to communicate scientific data in an oral format. Presenters were judged on the following categories: delivery, presentation, visual aids, knowledge of subject matter, and discussion of research. This year, 18 graduate students took part in the oral competition. 

Presenters and subjects included:

  • Shelby Rosasco (New Mexico State University):”Effect of stair-step nutritional programming on ovarian development in replacement beef heifers”

  • Renee Sieck (University of Nebraska-Lincoln): “Beta-adrenergic agonists increase maximal output of oxidative phosphorylation in bovine satellite cells”

  • Emma Briggs (Colorado State University): “Evaluation of the genetic relationship amongst high elevation pulmonary arterial pressure, feedlot and carcass performance traits”

  • Miguel Sánchez-Castro (Colorado State University): “Genetic prediction for first-service conception rate in Angus heifers using a random regression model”

  • Paige Anderson (North Dakota State University): “Impacts of Flunixin Meglumine injection on pain responses of either rubber ring castrated and tail docked or surgically castrated and docked lambs”

  • Rebecca Swanson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln): “Beef cows with atypical estrous cyclicity at puberty produced calves with deficits in pre-weaning muscling, metabolic indicators, and myoblast function but not in feedlot performance”

  • Rachel Gibbs (University of Nebraska-Lincoln): “Deficits in growth, muscle mass, and body composition following intrauterine growth restriction persisted in lambs at 60 d of age but were improved by daily clenbuterol supplementation”

  • Rachel Reith (University of Nebraska-Lincoln): “Heat stress and β-adrenergic agonists alter the adipose transcriptome and fatty acid mobilization in ruminant livestock”

  • Kelly Woodruff (University of Wyoming): “ Influence of the maternal rumen microbiome on development of the calf meconium and rumen microbiome”

  • Meredith Harrison (Colorado State University): “Sorting strategy and effect of variation on profitability of a pen of feedlot steers”

  • Kelsey Schubach (Texas A&M University): “Administering an appeasing substance to beef calves at weaning to optimize welfare and productivity”

  • Jacob Wiegand (Texas A&M University): “Impacts of commingling on health and productive responses of beef heifers during feedlot receiving”

  • Eduardo Colombo (Texas A&M University): “Administering an appeasing substance to optimize welfare and performance of receiving cattle”

  • Gwendolynn Hummel (University of Wyoming): “Evidence for the amnion-fetal gut-microbial axis in late gestation beef calve”

  • Sheyenne Augenstein (University of California, Davis): “Heat stress alleviation and dynamic temperature measurement for growing beef cattle”

  • Travis Mulliniks, PhD (University of Nebraska): “Impact of cow milk production on cow-calf performance in the Nebraska Sandhills”

  • Alice Brandão, MS (Texas A&M University): “Supplementing Ca salts of soybean oil to late-gestating beef cows: Impacts on performance and physiological responses of the offspring”

  • Jaelyn Whaley (University of Wyoming): “Harvest season, carcass weight, and fat measurement effects on lamb carcass characteristics and economic comparison of moderate and heavy weight lamb carcasses in the Western lamb processing industry”


After each student had the opportunity to present, Reganne Briggs from Utah State University presented on the effects of pre-mortem stress on protein expression, steak color, and myofibrillar fragmentation index in the longissimus lumborum following harvest to conclude the afternoon’s session.


Winners of the Graduate Student Competition will be announced at the WSASAS Awards event.


The full recording of the WSASAS Graduate Student Oral Competition can be found on the ASAS-CSAS-WSASAS Virtual Annual Meeting website.