- Dairy Geneticist
Dr. Rebecca Cockrum grew up on a 160 acre hobby farm in Beebe, Arkansas. Her family raised everything from beef and dairy cattle to emus. Interests in math and science combined with her love of animals to earn her a BS in Animal Science at Arkansas State University in 2004. Afterward, she obtained an externship at the St. Louis Zoo’s Endocrinology Laboratory where she performed pregnancy tests on three of the elephants; Rani, Sri, and Ellie. After her externship, Dr. Cockrum joined Kelly Scientific Resources as a Scientific Recruiter, where she insider knowledge regarding skill attributes most desired in candidates, as well as application and interview techniques that ensure candidate success.
Though Dr. Cockrum enjoyed working with fellow scientists in obtaining employment, she had become interested in research. To that end, she began her graduate career at the University of Wyoming under the direction of Dr. Kristi Cammack. Her thesis research focused on identifying differentially expressed genes in ewes more or less tolerant of elevated dietary nitrate. After completing her MS in 2009, she continued her dissertation research with focus on identifying genotypes associated with residual feed intake (feed efficiency) in sheep. During her Ph.D. research, Dr. Cockrum spent a few months in New Zealand collaborating with scientists at AgResearch Limited—an experience that provided a more global perspective of agriculture and science. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2012, Dr. Cockrum began a post-doctoral program with Dr. Milton Thomas who currently serves as the John E. Rouse Chair in the Beef Cattle Breeding and Genetics group at Colorado State University. Dr. Cockrum’s research focused on identifying genotypes associated with tolerance to hypoxic-induced pulmonary hypertension (Brisket Disease) and bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in beef cattle. Additionally, Dr. Cockrum organized and conducted a multi-disciplinary research project involving more than 50 scientists from University of Colorado Medical School, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wyoming, and University of California at Davis. More than 1700 tissues were collected and the initial transcriptome profiling through RNA-Seq is underway.
Dr. Cockrum began her academic career with the Department of Dairy Science as the Dairy Geneticist in January 2014. She is interested in conducting research that focuses on identifying markers and pathways associated with economically relevant traits in Dairy cattle for marker-assisted selection. Through her graduate and post-graduate career, Dr. Cockrum developed an enthusiasm for teaching and is excited to share her knowledge and experiences with emerging scientists.
- ALS 5104 Mgmt and Analysis of Ag Exp
- DASC 4174 Applied Dairy Cattle Genetics
- DASC 4664 Translating Dairy Science
- DASC Effective Comm and Career Development
- ALS 3104 Breeding Genetics
Plant & Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, CA. “Genotypes within cellular growth and cell cycle processes associated with feed efficiency in sheep” (2014).
Zoetis, Kalamazoo, MI. “Bovine respiratory disease: Genome wide association study” (2013).
Western Section American Society of Animal Science - Sheep Symposium Bozeman, MT. “Applying genomic selection technology to the sheep industry” (2013).
Colorado State University – “Molecular structure of DNA and RNA” (2013).
Colorado State University – “Biotechnology and Genetic Improvement” (2012). American Sheep Industry/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention, Scottsdale, AZ.
“Incorporating feed efficiency with selection programs in sheep” (2012).
University of Wyoming - “Marker-Assisted Selection Strategies in Livestock" (2012)
University of Wyoming, Department of Animal Science, Laramie, WY. “The New Zealand sheep industry” (2011).
USDA, Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. “Differential gene expression in ewes varying in tolerance to subacute dietary nitrate” (2010).
Rustemeyer, S. M., W. R. Lamberson, D. R. Ledoux, G. E. Rottinghaus, D. P. Shaw, R. R. Cockrum, K. L. Kessler, K. J. Austin, K. M. Cammack. 2009. Effects of dietary aflatoxin on health and performance in growing barrows. Pg. 20-24. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Kessler, K. L., K. C. Olson, C. L. Wright, K. J. Austin, K. McInnerney, P. S. Johnson, R. R. Cockrum, K. M. Cammack. 2009. Effects of high-sulfur water on hepatic gene expression of steers fed forage-based diets. Pg. 37-40. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cockrum, R. R., K. J. Austin, J. W. Kim, J. R. Garbe, S. C. Fahrenkrug, J. F. Taylor, P. A. Ludden, K. M. Cammack. 2009. Subacute dietary nitrate effects on differential gene expression in highly tolerant and lowly tolerant ewes. Pg. 48-53. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cockrum, R. R., K. J. Austin, W. Murdoch, S. M. Rustemeyer, K. L. Kessler, K. M. Cammack. 2009. Breeding performance of Suffolk ewes administered subacute levels of dietary nitrate. Pg. 85-89. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Austin, K. J., R. R. Cockrum, A. M. Kaiser, K. M. Cammack. 2009. Differential gene expression in the testis of adult male mice after treatment with aflatoxin B1. Pg. 90-92. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cockrum, R. R., K. J. Austin, P. A. Ludden. J. F. Taylor, K. M. Cammack. 2008. Effects of elevated dietary nitrate on production and gene expression in Suffolk ewes. Pg. 22- 26. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cockrum, R. R., K. M. Cammack, K. J. Austin, S. P. Ford, B. W. Hess, G. E. Moss, B. M. Alexander. 2008. Expression of appetite regulatory genes, receptors, and hormones in obese dams and their fetuses. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cammack, K. M., K. J. Austin, R. R. Cockrum. 2008. Efects of aflatoxicosis on fertility in male and female mice and subsequent differential gene expression in tolerant mice. Pg 116. Research Brief. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Cockrum, R. R., K. J. Austin, P. A. Ludden, J. F. Taylor, K. M. Cammack. 2007. Effects of high dietary nitrate on feed intake, weight change, and plasma parameters in sheep. Pg 18-20. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
Singh, P., K. J. Austin, R. R. Cockrum, B. W. Hess, G. E. Moss, S. P. Ford, B. A. Alexander. 2007. Maternal nutrition influences expression of fetal steroids and their receptors. Pg 109-111. University of Wyoming Annual Animal Science Research Report.
- Gamma Sigma Delta - Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year, 2012.
- Awardee - Neal A. Jorgensen Genome Travel Award, 2012.
- Reproductive Biology Fellowship - M.S. and Ph.D. Assistantship, 2007-2012.
- Graduate Student Director - Western Section of American Society of Animal Science, 2010-2012.
- Gamma Sigma Delta - Agriculture Honor Society Member, 2009-2012.
- Minority and Women - Graduate Assistantship, 2009-2010.
- Graduate Student Representative - National American Society of Animal Science, 2009-2011.
- President - UW Animal Science Graduate Student Association, 2008-2009.
- Western Section ASAS meeting - Institutional Award contributor, 2009.
- Midwest Section ASAS meeting - 3rd place M.S. Oral Competition, 2009.
- University of Wyoming Graduate Symposium - 1st Place Poster Competition, 2008.
- Postdoc, 2013, Breeding and Genetics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Ph.D. 2012, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
M. S., 2009, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
B. S., 2004 Animal Science, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Video ItemBioplastic development means new way of sustainability on farms , video
CALS assistant professor Dr. Rebecca Cockrum, and graduate student Hailey Galyon are working to develop a bioplastic from bacteria in order to replace single-use plastics on farms.
Helping dairy calves
Rebecca Cockrum, assistant professor at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is researching environmental impacts on the health and well-being of dairy calves, which have an 8 percent mortality rate.